Siniakova beats Wozniacki, seals second title in Bastad
July 30 2017 10:22 PM
Katerina Siniakova
Czech Republic’s Katerina Siniakova returns a shot during her win over Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the final of the Swedish Open in Bastad. (AFP)

Agencies/Bastad, Sweden

Katerina Siniakova clinched her second career WTA title at the Ericsson Open in Bastad, shocking top seed and former World No.1. Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-4 in the final yesterday.
Delayed by heavy rain after the conclusion of the doubles final, Siniakova and Wozniacki endured a tough battle on the heavy red clay before the Czech youngster earned the win after nearly two hours on court a year after reaching her maiden WTA final in Bastad.
“It’s really amazing for me,” Siniakova said. “Last year was really good, and so I’m so happy that I came back because I couldn’t imagine a better week. Caroline has had such a great season and it’s so much pressure to play against you. I’m sorry I won!” she added as the crowd laughed. “I was just enjoying the game even in the tough conditions.”
Wozniacki has been in the midst of a career renaissance in 2017, reaching four finals before Wimbledon and becoming the first woman to win 40 matches this season. Playing in her fifth final, the Dane was aiming to take home her first title after runner-up finishes in Doha, Dubai, Miami, and Eastbourne, but was undone by right elbow injury for which she took a medical timeout after the first set, striking an uncharacteristic 39 unforced errors to just 19 winners.
“It was a tough match,” Wozniacki said. “I’m looking forward to the US Open Series and the US Open. It’s one of the tournaments where I’ve done my best, and it’s one of my favorite tournaments of the year. I’m excited to go back, see how I can do on the hardcourts and hopefully finish the year strongly.”
Siniakova also dealt with a right arm injury, but remained calm under pressure and kept her stats relatively clean with 20 winners to 28 unforced errors, and broke serve five times to secure an emotional victory. “This just means so much to me,” the 21-year-old said through tears.
Starting the season with her maiden title at the Shenzhen Open, Siniakova has become a threat in both singles and doubles, partnering countrywoman Lucie Hradecka to reach four finals - including the BNP Paribas Open back in March.
While Wozniacki is set to remain No.6 on the WTA rankings, she moves up one spot on the Porsche Race to Singapore, leapfrogging Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko to take the No.7 position. Siniakova will move up nearly 20 spots on both WTA and The Race rankings at No.39, three spots away from her career-high of No.36.

Mayer beats Mayer in Hamburg final
Leonardo Mayer secured his second career title as he defeated Germany’s Florian Mayer 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in the Hamburg clay-court final. Argentina’s Mayer, ranked 138 in the world, had already won here in 2014 but was a lucky loser this time, profiting from Martin Klizan’s withdrawal due to injury after losing in the final round of qualifying.
After a week in which he notably ousted the top seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Leonardo Mayer will rocket into the top 50 when the latest rankings come out on Monday. Florian Mayer, 33 years old and 101 in the rankings, had been looking for the first title of his career.

Fognini wins fifth ATP title in Gstaad
Fabio Fognini beat Yannick Hanfmann 6-4, 7-5 in the Gstaad ATP tournament final to win his fifth tour title. The 31-year-old Italian, ranked 31 in the world, was playing in his 13th ATP final. All five of his victories have come on clay.
“It’s always a nice feeling when you win. This week was really tough for me,” said Fognini. “I lost my first set 6-1 in 20 minutes (to Slovakian Norbert Gombos).But each day I felt better and better.”
Despite losing, 25-year-old Hanfmann, the world number 170 who has had a hearing impairment since birth, enjoyed the best result of his career this week in reaching the final, having also knocked out third seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain in the second round.

Isner streaks into Atlanta final
Second-seeded John Isner powered past Wimbledon quarter-finalist Gilles Muller 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday to reach the final of the ATP’s BB&T Open in Atlanta, Georgia. Isner needed just 75 minutes to reach his seventh Atlanta final in eight years, where he’ll be gunning for a fourth Atlanta crown.
The big-serving American saved all four break points he faced, and has now won seven straight ATP matches and held for 69 straight service games dating back to his title run last week in Newport. Harrison beat fifth-seeded Briton Kyle Edmund 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4 to advance.

China’s Peng romps to home title
China’s Peng Shuai claimed the Jiangxi Open title when she overpowered unseeded Nao Hibino 6-3, 6-2 in a one-sided final. The 31-year-old Peng made light work of the Japanese in just under 90 minutes to add to the maiden WTA singles crown she won last year, also on home soil, in Tianjin.
Peng, with a world ranking of 32 and the tournament’s second seed, was never really in trouble on the outdoor hard courts at Nanchang in southeast China. Fellow Chinese and top seed Zhang Shuai and European stars Jelena Jankovic and Kristyna Pliskova all tumbled out early to leave Peng as the sole remaining seed in the semi-finals.

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