Maria Sakkari set up a final against Caroline Dolehide in Guadalajara - UBITENNIS
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Maria Sakkari set up a final against Caroline Dolehide in Guadalajara



Maria Sakkari cruised past Caroline Garcia 6-3 6-0 to secure her spot in the final of the Guadalajara Open AKRON. 


Sakkari has not dropped a set all week. The Greek player is a win away from clinching her first title since Rabat 2019. 

Sakkari made just three unforced errors in the first set. She broke Garcia in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead and dropped just two points on her serve. 

Sakkari came back from 15-40 down in her opening service game of the second set to break serve for 1-0. Garcia earned three break points in the longest game of the match, as Sakkari was serving at 3-0. Sakkari saved them to hold serve for 4-0. Sakkari broke for the third game to close out the second set with a bagel. The Greek player hit eight winners to seven unforced errors and saved all four break points she faced. Garcia hit 11 winners to 20 unforced errors. 

“I said it the first day that I felt like this was the week. This is the place where I was going to overcome a lot of difficult obstacles and difficult emotions. I don’t want to go back to the US Open because that’s passed, but I am just so happy to be back in the final and to get to stay until the end of the tournament. I could not have for anything better this year”, said Sakkari. 

Sakkari had won just one of her previous four head-to-head matches against Garcia last February in Doha by the scoreline of 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5). 

“The last match we played was one of the toughest matches in my career. My goal today was to smile, to enjoy, to come out here and have fun, because those are the emotions that I have not felt in a while. I kept telling myself if you don’t feel it here, in this amazing stadium, where are you going to feel it ? So the mission is complete, but we have one more to go. I am going to have the same goal tomorrow. I am going to come out here with a smile and enjoy my last day in Guadalajara for this season”, said Sakkari. 

Sakkari set up a final agianst Caroline Dolehide, who beat Sofia Kenin 7-5 6-3. Dolehide has become only the second player outside the top 100 to reach a WTA 1000 final since Svetlana Kuznetsova reached the final in Cincinnati in 2019. 

Dolehide is the third unseeded finalist at WtA 1000 level following Barbora Krejcikova in Dubai and Karolina Muchova in Cincinnati. 

Dolehide went down 2-4 in the opening set, but she won three consecutive games to take a 5-4 lead. Dolehide won eight straight points from 5-5 to close out the first set 7-5. 

Dolehide trailed 1-3 down in the second set, but she won five consecutive games to close out the second set 6-3. She saved three break points in the sixth game before pulling back on serve. 

Dolehide fended off five break points in the final game before serving out the win on her first match point. 

“After being down a break in both sets, I found what was working and I stuck with it”,said Dolehide. 

Kenin made 32 unforced errors and saved one of the five break points she faced. 

Sakkari has never played against Dolehide, who will play just the fifth match of her career against a top 10 player.  

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Luca Van Assche rallies from two sets to one down to beat Alex Michelsen



Luca Van Assche came back from two sets to one down to defeat Alex Michelsen 4-3 (7-0) 3-4 (4-7) 3-4 (4-7) 4-1 4-3 (8-6) in 2 hours and 36 minutes at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah in the second longest match in the history of this tournament. 


Van Assche and Michelsen went on serve in the first three sets. Both players saved all five break points they faced in the first three sets. 

There were three consecutive breaks in the fourth set. Van Assche earned two of them and served out the set at love in the fifth game. 

Both players traded breaks in the fifth and sixth games of the fifth set. Van Assche earned a chance to serve for the match, but Michelsen pulled back on serve to force a tie-break. 

Van Assche built a 3-0 in the tie-break with an early mini-break. Michelsen saved two match points to draw level to 6-6. Van Assche sealed the win with another mini-break on the second match point. 

“He was playing very well the whole match. It was really close. Not a lot of breaks and it was difficult for me but I am very happy”, said Van Assche. 

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Arthur Fils beats Dominic Stricker to end Green Group unbeaten



Arthur Fils battled past Dominic Stricker 4-2 3-4 (3-7) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) after 1 hour and 47 minutes in the final round-robin match to end the Green Group unbeaten with a 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals. 


Stricker knew that he would advance to the semifinals if he won just one set. The Swiss player won the set he needed against the already qualified Fils to secure his spot in the semifinal despite the defeat. 

Stricker saved a break point on the deciding point in the third game of the fourth set. Fils earned the break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out on his second set point. 

Stricker held serve at love in the first game of the fourth set. The Swiss player broke serve on the deciding point to open up a 2-0 lead. Fils broke straight back in the third game and held serve at 15 to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned three mini-breaks, but Stricker pulled back on serve each time. Fils sealed the tie-break 7-5 on his second match point. 

Stricker beat Fils 7-6 7-6 in Gstaad in their only previous head-to-head match last summer. 

Fils saved two break points in the first game to hold serve. Stricker fended off a break point in the fourth game on the deciding point to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned his first break on his third set point with a forehand return winner in the sixth game to clinch the first set 4-2. 

Stricker saved the only break point of the second set in the fourth game. Both players held on their serve en route to the tie-break. Stricker won six consecutive points from 0-1 down with two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Fils won his first title in Lyon and reached the final in Antwerp

“I knew before the match that I qualified, but I just want to win every match that I am playing. I think I put a little bit more focus out there out there today than the first two days because I know this opponent and he already beat me this year. It was a tough match but I am really happy to win and let’s see who I get in the semifinal”, said Fils in the post- match interview. 

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Luca Nardi beats Flavio Cobolli but it’s not enough to advance to the semifinals at the Next Gen Finals



World number 115 Luca Nardi overcame Flavio Cobolli in an Italian match 3-4 (4-7) 4-2 4-3 (7-1) 1-4 4-3 (7-3) in 2 hours and 14 minutes in the final round robin match of Green Group at the Next Gen Finals at King Abdullah Sports Club in Jeddah. 


The win was not enough to earn a semifinal spot for Nardi. Arthur Fils is the first player to qualify for the knock-out stage. The top seeded Frenchman will face Dominic Stricker later today. Stricker needs to win just one set to reach the semifinals. 

Both players went on serve in the first set en route to the tie-break. Cobolli earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-4. 

Nardi saved two break points in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. The world number 115 broke serve in the sixth game to close out the second set 4-2. 

Cobolli converted his second break point in the first game of the third set. Nardi pulled back on serve in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Nardi opened up a 3-0 lead with two mini-breaks. Cobolli pulled one of the two mini-breaks back for 1-3. Nardi won the final four points with two mini-breaks to claim the tie-break 7-1. 

Nardi clutched his groin when he was serving at 0-1 in the fourth set and called a medical time-out at 0-3. Cobolli earned a break in the second game to close out the fourth set 4-1. 

Cobolli saved two break points to hold serve in the second game. Nardi fended off two break points in the fifth game. Both players held on serve en route to the tie-break. Nardi earned his first mini-break with a backhand flick from out wide to take a 2-1 lead. Cobolli pulled the mini-break back to draw level to 2-2. Nardi closed out the match with a return down the line winner.   

Nardi hit 27 winners to 12 unforced errors. 

“I am happy with the win. Even if I did not qualify, I think today was the best match I played out of the three. I am a bit sad I did not qualify, but I did not want to leave Jeddah without a win. I kept fighting today and I am happy”, said Nardi. 

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