The Winston-Salem Open will produce a first-time ATP Tour winner as Mikael Ymer and Ilya Ivashka each advanced to their first Tour-level final Friday. 

Ymer upset the only player among the four semi-finalists who previously had reached a final, 15th seed Carlos Alcaraz, by a score of 7-5 6-3 as he contested his first ATP semi-final at the North Carolina event. 

The 22-year-old Swede, ranked number 90 in the world, knocked off Alcaraz in the second round at this year's Australian Open in their only prior meeting. 

Ymer converted all three of his break points against the Spanish teen, who is ranked a career-best number 54 this week. 

Ivashka had no trouble disposing of Emil Ruusuvuori 6-2 6-1 in the first semi-final. 

The Finn had won 93 per cent of his service games this week entering the match but was broken in four of eight Friday. 

Ivashka, meanwhile, did not face a single break point on his own serve as he cruised to victory in 68 minutes. 

Pablo Carreno Busta headlined the casualties at the Winston-Salem Open, where the top seed was shocked in straight sets by Ilya Ivashka.

The 2016 champion, Carreno Busta had his sights set on the semi-finals of the ATP 250 tournament but he suffered a surprise 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 loss on Thursday.

"Of course it's a great feeling. I had a great match today. These conditions suit me," Ivashka said. "I think he had more pressure because he's the top seed so for me it was a good challenge to see what my level is and to compete with these guys, so for me it was a great match."

Carreno Busta – who trumped world number one and 20-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic to win bronze at the Olympic Games – was not the only seed to fall.

Richard Gasquet and Frances Tiafoe also crashed out in the quarter-finals following defeats to Emil Ruusuvuori and Mikael Ymer.

The only seed to advance to the semis was 15th seed Carlos Alcaraz, who saw off Marcos Giron.

Pablo Carreno Busta sailed into the quarter-finals of the Winston-Salem Open an the top seed was joined by Richard Gasquet.

Carreno Busta – the 2016 champion – was too good for Dominik Koepfer 6-2 6-3 at the ATP 250 tournament on Wednesday.

The Spaniard, who stunned world number one Novak Djokovic to win bronze at the Olympic Games, will meet Ilya Ivashka, who upstaged ninth seed Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2 6-1.

"It was a very good match. I think I played very aggressively today, I made a lot of winners," Carreno Busta said. "I played against him the last two tournaments so it was important to me at the beginning of the match to be very focused and play very aggressive so I think this was a very good match for me.

"I'm feeling really comfortable playing this year, also. We know next we have the US Open but day by day I need the confidence, I need the rhythm. I think that I'm playing at a really good level so I would like to continue this way."

Former world number seven Richard Gasquet saw off third seed Daniel Evans 6-4 7-6 (7-4), Frances Tiafoe defeated Thiago Monteiro 7-5 7-6 (7-2), while fourth seed Marton Fucsovics was sent packing by Carlos Alcaraz 6-3 0-6 6-2.

Casper Ruud captured his third title on clay in as many weeks after defeating Pedro Martinez 6-1 4-6 6-3 in the Generali Open final on Saturday.

The world number 14 continued his blistering form having also landed the Swedish Open and Swiss Open earlier this month.

The Norwegian has now won each of his last 11 matches since defeat by Jordan Thompson in the opening round at Wimbledon.

Ruud – also a winner at the Geneva Open in May – dominated the opening set against world number 97 Martinez, who was appearing in his first ATP final.

The Spaniard defeated second seed Roberto Bautista Agut on the way to reaching the showpiece, and responded well by taking a close second set.

Nevertheless, Ruud broke to take control of the decider, before closing out victory for a fourth ATP title of the season – all of which have come on clay.

Top seed Casper Ruud is through to his third successive ATP final after defeating Arthur Rinderknech at the Generali Open.

The world number 14 has been in incredible form on clay, having captured the Swedish Open and Swiss Open titles.

Ruud, who also landed the Geneva Open crown in May, has now won his last 11 matches, but was made to work hard for a 6-3 7-6 (9-7) victory over world number 91 Rinderknech in Kitzbuhel.

The Norwegian was forced to come from behind and defeat Sweden’s Mikael Ymer on Thursday, saving a match point in the process, and a single break swung a close opening set in his favour.

Fresh from defeating third seed Filip Krajinovic in the last eight, Rinderknech refused to lie down and took the second to a tie-break.

The big-serving Frenchman fired down 10 aces, but Ruud held his nerve to avoid a decider and prevail, saving a match point as he came from a mini-break down to extend his winning run.

The 22-year-old will play Pedro Martinez in the final after the Spaniard came from behind to beat Germany’s Daniel Altmeier 4-6 6-3 6-3.

Spaniard Martinez won 70 per cent of points behind his first serve and broke four times to move into the championship match.

Casper Ruud survived a scare as he progressed to the Generali Open semi-finals with a 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 victory over Mikael Ymer.

World number 14 Ruud is targeting a third successive ATP title, having also captured the Swedish Open and Swiss Open earlier this month.

It has been a timely return to form for the Norwegian, who suffered a shock defeat to Australia's Jordan Thompson at Wimbledon at the end of June.

Although he was in danger of seeing his nine-match winning streak come to an end in Kitzbuhel, after losing the opening set against Swedish opponent Ymer.

Ruud, who also triumphed at the Geneva Open in May, was then taken to a tie-break in the second ser by the world number 99, but held his nerve to tee up a decider.

It was one-way traffic from there with the 22-year-old dominating play to set up a last-four clash with Arthur Rinderknech, who hit five aces as he overcame third seed Filip Krajinovic 6-4 6-1.

Meanwhile, Daniel Altmaier's place in the semi-finals was secured with a 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 win over Gianluca Mager.

The world number 135, who reached the fourth round of last year's French Open, will play Pedro Martinez in the semi-finals after the Spaniard saw off Jozef Kovalik 6-2 6-2.

World number 16 Roberto Bautista Agut crashed out in the second round as the other favourites for the Generali Open battled through.

Bautista Agut lost the first set to Spanish compatriot Pablo Martinez in Kitzbuhel, Austria, and could not complete a comeback despite forcing a decider as he lost 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-5.

Top seed Casper Ruud, who won last week in Gstaad to claim his third ATP Tour crown of 2021 and fourth in total, came from 4-2 down in the first set to win 7-5 5-7 6-4 against Mario Vilella Martinez.

Third seed Filip Krajinovic survived a second-set scare to beat Carlos Taberner 6-3 2-6 6-4.

Arthur Rinderknech, who dispatched of fifth seed Federico Delbonis on Tuesday, awaits Krajinovic in the next round.

The other clash on Wednesday saw Sweden's Mikael Ymer cruise past home favourite Alexander Erler 6-2 6-3 to secure a quarter-final berth.

Ymer will now face the thankless task of challenging 22-year-old Ruud for a spot in the semi-finals.

Federico Delbonis and Laslo Djere crashed out of the Generali Open in the first round on Tuesday.

Fifth seed Delbonis and sixth seed Djere were the highest-ranked players in action on day two, but both fell to surprise defeats.

Delbonis, a recent semi-finalist at the Hamburg European Open, was convincingly beaten 6-2 6-4 by Arthur Rinderknech.

Frenchman Rinderknech fired down 10 aces and was only broken once in the contest.

Djere, meanwhile, put up more of a fight but ultimately succumbed to Daniel Altmaier, who won 4-6 6-3 6-3 in a battle lasting two hours and 10 minutes.

World number 50 Djere had also made the semi-finals in Hamburg and followed that up with another run to the last four at the Swiss Open Gstaad.

But his run of form came to an end as German Altmaier – who himself enjoyed a semi-final run in Croatia last week – booked a last-16 tie meeting with Marco Cecchinato after breaking Djere on six occasions.

Cecchinato had beaten Radu Albot in straight sets to reach the next round while qualifier Jozef Kovalik saw off Jaume Munar with a 6-4 6-4 victory.

The top four seeds, including number one Casper Ruud, will begin their campaigns at the ATP 250 event in Kitzbuhel on Wednesday.

Pedro Martinez outlasted Lucas Pouille to set up a second-round clash with fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut at the Generali Open.

World number 97 Martinez came through Monday's longest match, which lasted two hours and 43 minutes, as a 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 winner.

Mikael Ymer, who reached the quarter-finals of last week's Swiss Open Gstaad, is also through to the second round in Austria after battling past Pablo Cuevas 6-3 7-5.

Qualifier Jozef Kovalik will face Jiri Vesely for a place in the quarter-finals, meanwhile, after beating ninth seed Jaume Munar in straight sets.

Also through on Monday was lucky loser Carlos Taberner, who took advantage of his second chance by battling from a set down to overcome Thiago Seyboth Wild 3-6 6-3 6-2.

Carlos Alcaraz won his first of possibly many ATP Tour titles on Sunday with an emphatic victory over Richard Gasquet at the Croatia Open. 

The 6-2 6-2 win in Umag meant 18-year-old Alcaraz became the youngest tour-level champion since Kei Nishikori won at Delray Beach in 2008, also aged 18.

Despite his tender years, seventh seed Alcaraz was too hot to handle for Gasquet, the highly rated Spaniard cruising past his significantly more experienced opponent in one hour and 17 minutes.

"I had a lot of good moments in this tournament. I beat five great tennis players," Alcaraz told atptour.com.

"I think that I grew up a lot in this tournament and I keep a lot of experience from this tournament. It's going to be useful for the future."

Gasquet, who needed more than three hours to overcome Daniel Altmaier in the last four, was hoping to win his first tour title since 's-Hertogenbosch in 2018.

"It was tough for me to play [with] full intensity. I had a tough match yesterday. It was tough, and especially with a guy like Carlos, who is playing really fast with a lot of energy and spin," Gasquet said.

"He’s playing unbelievable. He’s only 18 and of course he has a great future and I just couldn’t play at his level and his intensity.

"That was the key of the match and he didn't lose a point. He played well, very solid. He's a great player."

Casper Ruud secured back-to-back titles by beating Hugo Gaston in straight sets to be crowned Swiss Open Gstaad champion on Sunday.

Ruud won the Nordea Open last weekend and added a fourth ATP Tour title of his career with a 6-3 6-2 defeat of Frenchman Gaston.

The Norwegian took his tally of tournament victories on clay this year to three, having also won the Geneva Open in May, and the 22-year-old will rise to ninth spot in the ATP Race To Turin on Monday.

Ruud saved nine of the 10 break points earned by first-time ATP Tour finalist Gaston, who only won 51 per cent of points behind his first serve.

Gaston, who had never been beyond the second round at an ATP Tour event before this week, was broken twice in each set as the 20-year-old was unable to halt Ruud's brilliant run on clay.

Left-hander Gaston broke straight back after Ruud went 3-1 up in the opening set but failed to back that up with a hold.

Ruud had as many as 16 break-point opportunities but got the job done in an hour and 34 minutes.

World number 30 Cameron Norrie has claimed his maiden ATP title after defeating Brandon Nakashima in straight sets in the final of the Los Cabos Open on Saturday.

British top seed Norrie triumphed 6-2 6-2 in one hour and 23 minutes as he marks another milestone in his career-best season.

Norrie, 25, now has the most wins on the ATP tour this year, going past world number one Novak Djokovic with 35.

The 19-year-old American could not handle Norrie's first serve, while the Briton converted five of his eight break points.

Norrie served for the match with Nakashima pressing him in a tight final game but the top seed rounded out a breakthrough win.

Norrie won 21 of 29 points on his first serve, going at 72 per cent, with Nakashima breaking him once.

Hugo Gaston is one win away from securing his maiden ATP Tour title, but he must overcome in-form Casper Ruud at the Swiss Open Gstaad.

Gaston, ranked 155th in the world, booked his place in his first tour-level final with a 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory over Laslo Djere of Serbia on Saturday.

The 20-year-old had never advanced past the second round at an ATP Tour event before this week. He has now won three matches in a row in a third set.

"I tried to take more time with my game," Gaston said. "I made a lot of mistakes in the first set, so I tried to change my game. My serve was better in the second and third set.

"I am really happy to be in the final. It is going to be a good match, but I will try to enjoy [this] moment."

Ruud, meanwhile, enjoyed a rather more straightforward procession in his semi-final, with world number 249 Vit Kopriva little match for the 22-year-old Norwegian.

The world number 14 needed just 74 minutes to win 6-3 6-0, reaching his second final in as many weeks following his success in Bastad.

Ruud has won 23 clay-court matches already in 2021 and is in the hunt for his fourth career title.

Hugo Gaston showed admirable spirit as the young Frenchman saved four match points in a gripping tie-break against Cristian Garin en route to reaching his first ATP Tour semi-final.

Garin, the fourth seed, responded impressively to going a set down and then got to match point four times in their third-set tie-break, but he could not hold his nerve and Gaston got the job done 6-4 1-6 7-6 (13-11).

The Chilean was on the back foot right from the start Gaston broke him in the first game, and although Garin did hit back to make it 3-3, his opponent quickly had the advantage again and went on to seal the first set.

Garin's response was emphatic and clinical, dropping just three points on his serve and taking both of the break points that came his way to level the match.

The pair could not be separated in a back-and-forth third set, but Garin was the first to get match point at 6-5 in the tie-break – they would trade another six equally between them before Gaston finally prevailed at 13-11, leaving the 20-year-old satisfied.

"I am very happy to be in my first [ATP Tour] semi-final," Gaston said after.

"It was a great fight. It was a really long match. I always tried to play my game, and it is a good win for me. I hope I can continue like that."

Up next for Gaston will be Laslo Djere after he saw off Arthur Rinderknech 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4, while Casper Ruud – the highest seed remaining – is also into the final four.

The Norwegian was victorious at the Swedish Open last week, his second title of the year, and dispatched Benoit Paire on Friday to reach another semi.

Ruud won 6-2 5-7 6-3 in just under two hours and will face Vit Kopriva, a qualifier, who secured his first semi-final appearance thanks to a stunning 6-1 6-0 win over Mikael Ymer.

At the Croatia Open in Umag, top seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas cruised into the last four with a straightforward 6-2 6-1 defeat of Stefano Travaglia, setting up a meeting with either Filip Krajinovic or Carlos Alcaraz.

The other semi will be contested between Richard Gasquet and Daniel Altmaier, who produced something of a shock by ousting second seed Dusan Lajovic 6-2 6-4.

The veteran Frenchman came through against Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-6 (9-7), clinching the second set at the fourth opportunity.

Top seed Denis Shapovalov's Swiss Open Gstaad campaign came to an abrupt end as Vit Kopriva provided a second-round shock to eliminate the Wimbledon semi-finalist.

The world number 10, who has recently been praised by both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, took the first set 6-2 with ease before Kopriva, making his ATP Tour debut this week, emphatically fought back 6-3 6-2 to secure a memorable comeback victory.

Number three seed Casper Ruud battled past Dennis Novak 6-4 7-6 (7-5), while Benoit Paire, who only had two ATP wins in 2021 before the Hamburg European Open last week, was 6-4 to the good before Tallon Griekspoor was forced to retire due to injury.

Ruud, who has already won two ATP events in 2021 and three in his career, will now meet sixth seed Paire in the quarter-final stage.

But eighth seed Feliciano Lopez did not enjoy similar success as the world number 96 Mikael Ymer fought past the Spaniard to win 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 and set-up a quarter-final clash with Kopriva.

At the Umag Open in Croatia, third seed Filip Krajinovic breezed past Radu Albot to record a 6-4 6-2 win.

Krajinovic's countryman and number two ranked player Dusan Lajovic also went through with a 7-5 6-4 win against Bernabe Zapata Miralles.

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