Sebastian Korda and Lorenzo Sonego reach the second round in Metz - UBITENNIS
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Sebastian Korda and Lorenzo Sonego reach the second round in Metz

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Sebastian Korda beat Hugo Gaston 6-3 7-6 (7-2) to reach the second round at the Moselle Open in Metz, an ATP 250 Tournament. 

 

Korda was playing his first indoor tournament sincthe Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan last November, when he beat Hugo Gaston in five sets en route to the final against Carlos Alcaraz. 

Korda went up a 2-0 lead in the first set. Gaston broke straight back in the third game to draw level to 2-2. Korda earned his second break in the eighth game to close out the first set 6-3. 

Korda saved two set points when he trailed 5-6 in the second set. The 22-year-old US player held serve to force to the tie-break. Korda raced out to a 5-1 lead with two mini-breaks. Gaston pulled one break back for 2-5, but Korda won the final two points to close out the second set. 

Lorenzo Sonego edged past Aslan Karatsev 7-5 6-3 in 1 hour and 53 minutes with two breaks in each set to advance to the second round. In Metz for the third time in his career. Sonego will face the winner of the match between David Goffin and three-time Metz champion Gilles Simon. 

Sonego went up a 5-2 lead in the fourth game. Karatsev broke back in the ninth game to draw level to draw level to 5-5. Sonego won 8 points to.1 to break serve as Karatsev made a double fault to win the first set 7-5.Sonego broke serve in the fourth game of the second set to open up a 4-1 lead. Karatsev broke back in the seventh game after Sonego missed three game points for 5-2. Sonego broke at love in the eighth game to seal the second set 6-3.

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Brandon Nakashima wins his first ATP title in his home city San Diego

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Brandon Nakashima beat Marcos Giron 6-4 6-4 in an all-American final to win his first ATP Tour title in his third final in his home city at the San Diego Open. 

 

Nakashima has moved 21 places this week moving up  to world number 48 in the ATP Ranking and number 6 in the ATP Next Gen Race to Milan. The US player reached the semifinal at last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals. 

Nakashima converted the only break point in the fifth game to claim the first set 6-4. 

The first set did not feature a single deuce game, before four games went to deuce in the second set. Nakashima went up an early break in the first game, but he dropped his serve for the first time in the match at deuce in the fourth game for 2-2. Nakashima won eight points from 2-2, including a break in the fifth game to take a 4-2 lead. Giron held serve at 3-4 in the seventh game. Nakashima won 12 of the last 13 points on serve, including a love hold to close out the match. “It feels like a dream to win my first ATP title in my home town. To be able to capture my first title here. It’s unbelievable. Amazing atmosphere here tonight. I just really want to say thank you for coming out and showing your support. No matter the score out here today. I always knew there were going to be some tough moments. I knew it wasn’t going to come easy against my friend Giron. I had to battle for every game. At the beginning of the second set, a couple of tight games. I lost my serve, but I think I regrouped pretty well in the next game. I was happy to close it out on my serve ”, said Nakashima.

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Lorenzo Sonego claims the title in Metz

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Lorenzo Sonego beat seventh seed Alexander Bublik 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 after 87 minutes in the final of the Moselle Open in Metz to win the third title of his career and the first in 2022 without dropping a set in the whole week after beating Hubert Hurkacz in the semifinal. Sonego won his first tournament on hard-court.

 

Sonego, who was playing the fifth final of his career, saved three break points at 2-2 to hold serve in the fifth game of a hard-fought first set. Bublik saved a set point on return at 4-5 down with a backhand passing shot. 

Sonego won four consecutive points from 3-3 in the tie-break with two mini-breaks to claim the opening set 7-3 after 57 minutes. 

Sonego broke serve in the third game at 15 to take a 2-1 lead, as Bublik made a volley error on the break point. The former Vienna finalist earned a double break at 30 in the fourth game to take a 4-1 lead with a passing shot. Sonego closed out the win with a hold at 15 on his first match point. 

Sonego has extended his lead in the head-to-head matches against Bublik to 4-0. 

“I improved my tennis every day, and I am really happy for this match and this tournament. I like the atmosphere here. It was unbelievable today, yesterday and this week. It’s really tough to play against Alexander, because he is an unbelievable player with an amazing serve, good talent, and it is always tough to play him”, said Sonego. 

Sonego has reached his first ATP Tour final since Eastbourne in June 2021.  With this title he has moved up to world number 44 in the ATP Ranking. 

Bublik had won his first ATP title on French indoor courts in Montpellier last February. “Big congratulations to Lorenzo. It’s always a pleasure to lose against you, as I told you at the net. Thanks to my team, thanks to everyone for supporting me and I was happy to be back in the finals in France”, said Bublik.

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In-Form Liudmila Samsonova Storms To Tokyo Title

Tokyo is the second tournament this year the Russian has won without dropping a set.

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Image via https://twitter.com/WTA_insider

Liudmila Samsonova has continued her rapid surge on the Tour by defeating China’s Qinwen Zheng 7-5, 7-5, to win the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. 

 

The world No.30 dropped serve only once and hit four aces as she edged her way past rising star Zheng who is the first Chinese teenager to reach the final of a Tour-level singles event. Overall, Samsonova won 68% of her service points en route to becoming the first Russian player to win the tournament since Nadia Petrova in 2012. 

“It’s amazing, I don’t have too many words right now. I need a little bit of time,” said Samsonova, who beat Grand Slam champions Elena Rybakina and Garbine Muguruza earlier in the draw. 
“It was a really tough match. She is playing amazing. It was a nervous match, we were fighting every point. It was tough.”

Samsonova is becoming a formidable force in the women’s game and has now won 18 out of her past 19 matches. Last month she also won titles in Washington and Cleveland before reaching the last 16 of the US Open for the first time in her career at the age of 23. She is now 4-0 in tournament finals and didn’t drop a set in Tokyo this week. 

“I played a high level in all my five matches. I am incredibly happy about how I managed it,” she said.

There is also a reason for Zheng to celebrate with her run in Tokyo securing her place in the world’s top 30 for the first time on Monday when the rankings are updated. Making her the first Chinese player to do so as a teenager. She is also only the second teenager to reach the final of a WTA 500 event or higher this season after Coco Gauff at the French Open. 

Samsonova will also rise to a ranking high on Monday to just outside the world’s top 20. 

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