Casper Ruud retained his Geneva Open title with a hard-fought defeat of Joao Sousa on Saturday.

Ruud had to dig deep in the deciding set, breaking Sousa when the Portuguese was serving for the title at 5-4, before going on to win 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 7-6 (7-1).

The world number nine has now won six of his last seven ATP 250 events on clay, and is the first player since Stan Wawrinka (2016 and 2017) to win more than one Geneva Open title.

Ruud served five aces in the first set on his way to edging a tie-break, but a determined Sousa was able to level in a second set in which he won eight of 11 second-service points.

It looked like Sousa would cause an upset against the tournament's second seed when serving for the match, only for Ruud to break back and use that momentum to take the win.

The Norwegian made the semi-finals at the Internazionali d'Italia last week and maintained his momentum ahead of the French Open by lifting the trophy in Switzerland.

"It was one of the craziest matches that I have ever played," he said in his on-court interview. "It was a lot of up and down. Sousa was close to winning and then suddenly everything turns around and this is tennis.

"This win feels so good, but you have to give a lot of credit to Joao because he fought back from one set down and has been playing well all week.

"It was just a matter of one or two points today and luckily they went in my favour."

At the Lyon Open, it was Cameron Norrie who emerged triumphant as the Brit beat Alex Molcan 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 6-1.

Norrie – who was beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas in last year's final – was largely on top throughout, firing down six aces and boasting an impressive success rate of 72 per cent of first serve points won, while also saving five of seven break points against his Slovakian opponent.

The top seed could have won in straight sets, but was unable to convert two match points in the second before being forced to a decider by Molcan.

It is Norrie's second ATP title of the season and the fourth of his career. It is his first on clay as he prepares for the second grand slam of the year at Roland Garros.

"It is my first title on the clay so it means a lot to me," Norrie said. "I can't be happier with how I handled everything this week. This one feels the best so far. I don't know why, it is just so special and I couldn't be happier and am really speechless right now. It was an incredible atmosphere. Thanks to everyone for coming out.

"I had chances to close the matches in straight sets this week and get it done easier than usual and it didn't go that way and I was able to let that go and respond. In the third set I moved really well and it is nice to get over the line."

Casper Ruud is one match away from successfully retaining his Geneva Open title, while Cameron Norrie has a shot at redemption in Lyon. 

World number nine Ruud was a 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 winner against Reilly Opelka on Friday, putting him on the brink of a second ATP Tour crown of the season and a sixth in his past seven ATP 250 events on clay. 

The Norwegian made the semi-finals at the Internazionali d'Italia last week and maintained his momentum ahead of the French Open. 

He converted the match's only breakpoint in the penultimate game and sealed the deal in the next, dropping just five of 46 points behind his first serve throughout.

Ruud will take on Joao Sousa – who was the runner-up to Thomaz Bellucci in Geneva seven years ago – in the final after the Portuguese defeated Richard Gasquet 6-2 6-2. 

Norrie will also be hopeful of making up for a past final defeat after winning his last-four encounter with Holger Rune at the Lyon Open. 

The Briton was a set and a break up before Rune recovered to force a decider, which Norrie took for a 6-2 5-7 6-4 triumph in a little over two hours.

Norrie was beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas in last year's final but it is Alex Molcan who stands between him and the trophy this time around. 

Molcan, who is yet to win a Tour-level title, claimed an impressive victory 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 win over Alex de Minaur. 

Casper Rudd set up a semi-final clash with Reilly Opelka by claiming a straight-sets win over Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Geneva Open, while Cameron Norrie made his third semi-final of 2022 at the Lyon Open.

World number eight Rudd, who claimed the title in Geneva last year with a straight-sets final win over Denis Shapovalov, overcame Kokkinakis 6-4 7-6 (7-3) on Thursday and will now face Opelka.

The American bounced back from losing the second set against Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor to claim a 6-4 3-6 6-3 win as he bids for his third title of 2022, and second seed Ruud said he was excited to pit himself against Opelka after securing his spot in the semi-finals.

"I expect it to be tough," Ruud said. "But I will do my best and see how I can do. I always enjoy playing against Reilly. He is a similar age to myself, and it will be another battle against him – hopefully it will be a good one."

Elsewhere, three-time grand slam semi-finalist Richard Gasquet followed up his shock win over Daniil Medvedev with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Kamil Majchrzak, and will face Joao Sousa for a place in the final after the Portuguese beat Ilya Ivashka 7-5 7-5.

At the Lyon Open, top seed Norrie battled to a 6-4 4-6 7-5 win over Sebastian Baez, spurning three match points before finally downing the Argentinian after a marathon two hours and 40 minutes clash.

The world number 11 will face Holger Rune in his semi-final contest after the 19-year-old came from a set down to beat Manuel Guinard 3-6 6-3 6-4.

The other semi-final in France will see fourth seed Alex de Minaur take on Alex Molcan after the Australian's quarter-final opponent Yosuke Watanuki withdrew after losing the first set 6-4, citing a back issue.

Molcan, meanwhile, downed Federico Coria 6-3 6-2 to reach the final four.

Reigning champion Casper Ruud made a winning start to his Geneva Open title defence after defeating Benoit Paire in straight sets on Wednesday.

The world number eight triumphed in Switzerland 12 months ago with victory over Denis Shapovalov in the final, claiming the first of five ATP titles he won during an impressive campaign.

Fresh from reaching the semi-finals in Rome, the Norwegian – also a winner in Buenos Aires and a Miami runner-up this season – made a dominant start.

Although he was broken in game three of the opening set, Ruud responded immediately and a further four breaks wrapped up a commanding 6-3 6-1 victory in just 55 minutes.

Meanwhile, Reilly Opelka registered his first win on European clay this season as he saw off Christopher O'Connell.

Despite triumphing in Dallas and Houston earlier this year, Opelka has suffered first-round exits in Munich, Madrid and Rome since the latter. 

Nevertheless, the fourth seed was in fine form in Geneva, hitting 13 aces on the way to defeating the Australian qualifier.

However, there was no joy for 2021 runner-up Shapovalov as the third seed crashed out 6-4 6-7(2) 6-3 to Ilya Ivashka.

Fifth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili fell 6-4 6-3 at the hands of 2015 finalist Joao Sousa, who progresses beyond round two for the first time since reaching the Championship match seven years ago.

There were more surprise defeats in Lyon, where second seed Pablo Carreno Busta was beaten 7-5 6-3 by Federico Coria.

After taking a close opening set, the world number 59 rallied from 3-1 down in the second to reach his fourth quarter-final of the season on clay.

Karen Khachanov also bowed out to Marrakech runner-up Alex Molcan 6-2 7-6(4), while Munich champion Holger Rune built on his momentum with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Adrian Mannarino.

Daniil Medvedev was defeated on his ATP Tour return at the Geneva Open by a sparkling Richard Gasquet, a blow to the Russian ahead of the French Open

World number two Medvedev was making his first appearance since March after undergoing a hernia operation and fell to a 6-2 7-6 (7-5) defeat.

The Russian's rustiness was clear in the last-16 tussle as he racked up seven double faults and struggled to make inroads on Gasquet's second serve, with the Frenchman winning 61 per cent of points behind it.

It was the first time Gasquet overcame an opponent ranked in the top two since beating Roger Federer at the 2005 Monte Carlo Masters.

Next up for Gasquet will be Kamil Majchrzak, who beat Marco Cecchinato 6-2 6-3.

At the last-32 stage, Fabio Fognini went down 6-4 6-3 to Thanasi Kokkinakis and Albert Ramos-Vinolas succumbed to a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 loss against Christopher O'Connell.

Johan Nikles, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Joao Sousa also advanced to the second round.

Top seed Cameron Norrie cruised into the quarter-finals of the Lyon Open by beating Francisco Cerundolo 6-4 6-4.

The Briton will face another Argentinian next in the form of Sebastian Baez, who came from a set down to beat Oscar Otte 5-7 6-4 6-2. 

Alex De Minaur also had to rally for a 1-6 6-3 6-2 win against Ugo Humbert, with Yosuke Watanuki awaiting in the last eight after the world number 263 beat Soonwoo Kwon 6-3 6-4.

Dominic Thiem will head to the French Open on the back of six consecutive defeats after he was knocked out of the Geneva Open by Marco Cecchinato.

Thiem missed the second half of last season due to a wrist injury and has won only one set in six matches since returning at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Marbella in March.

The 2020 US Open champion's latest loss came at the hands of Marco Cecchinato, who prevailed 6-3 6-4 to reach the second round on Monday.

A two-time runner-up at Roland Garros, Austrian Thiem will travel to Paris struggling to return to form following such a long absence.

Cecchinato had lost all 11 matches this year, but has won three in Geneva without losing a set after coming through qualifying and will now face Kamil Majchrzak.

Federico Delbonis, the seventh seed, beat Ricardas Berankis 6-4 6-4, while French duo Richard Gasquet and Benoit Paire made it through to the last 16 along with Ilya Ivashka.

There will be no fairytale win for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who will retire after the French Open, at the Lyon Open after he suffered a 6-4 6-4 loss to Alex Molcan.

Eighth seed Pedro Martinez was knocked out by Yosuke Watanuki in the first round, but Karen Khachanov beat Gilles Simon 6-1 6-4 and Lucas Pouille was also beaten in his homeland, falling to Oscar Otte.

Adrian Mannarino dumped sixth seed Aslan Karatsev out of the Lyon Open with a straight-sets victory on day one.

Mannarino secured a 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 win on Sunday to reach the second round in his homeland.

The Frenchman roared back from 5-1 down in the first set and rocked Karatsev further by winning the tie-break.

Mannarino then claimed the only break of the second set to advance at the expense of the Russian.

Holger Rune will be his opponent in round two following the Dane's 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) defeat of Arthur Rinderknech.

Francisco Cerundolo will do battle with top seed Cameron Norrie in the second round after the Argentine saw off James Duckworth 6-2 3-6 6-3.

There were just two matches in the first round of the Geneva Open, with Tallon Griekspoor and Kamil Majchrzak progressing at the expense of seeds Tommy Paul (6) and Alexander Bublik (8) respectively. 

Sebastian Baez sealed a straight-sets win against Frances Tiafoe in the final of the Estoril Open on Sunday.

The Argentinian put in a powerful performance to ease past the American fifth seed, winning 6-3 6-2 in Portugal in just 74 minutes.

It was a fast start from Tiafoe, breaking Baez in the opening game, before the 21-year-old secured back-to-back breaks of his own in the fourth and sixth games to edge ahead, ultimately taking the first set.

The second set started evenly, but from 2-2, Baez put his foot down, again breaking consecutive Tiafoe service games, before serving out for the title.

The first serve was the difference for Baez, making 64 per cent of his compared to Tiafoe, who managed just 39 per cent.

Baez was also more effective when he needed his second serve, winning 61 per cent of points, with his opponent winning only 39 per cent from his own second serve.

Holger Rune won his first ever ATP tour title on Sunday, but admitted it was the "worst way to win a final" after opponent Botic van de Zandschulp retired in the BMW Open final.

Both men were playing in their maiden tour-level final on debut at the ATP 250 event in Munich, and Rune becomes the third-youngest Munich champion in the Open Era.

Eighth-seed Van de Zandschulp was leading 4-3 in the first set, with his Danish opponent serving at 40-15 when the Dutchman retired due to an aching chest.

"This was probably the worst way to win a final,” Rune said. "I was obviously expecting a very tough match and he came out very strong.

"I just wish him all the best, a speedy recovery, and we all just hope to see him back on the court very soon."

Rune, who turned 19 on Friday, had a memorable week in Germany, including securing his first victory against a top 10 opponent when he beat world number three Alexander Zverev in the second round, before also getting past Jiri Lehecka, Emil Ruusuvuori and Oscar Otte on his way to the final.

"I'm super happy, of course," Rune continued. "As I said, not the way I want it to end, but if I look through the week, what a week.

"I played some unbelievable tennis, really fighting my way through it. To be playing here in Munich and winning my first ATP title in front of such a brilliant crowd, I couldn't really ask for more."

Frances Tiafoe downed fellow American Sebastian Korda in a hard-fought encounter to reach the final of the Estoril Open, while Holger Rune reached a first title match at the BMW Open.

Korda had eliminated top seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-finals in Portugal to set up an all-American last-four clash, and looked on course to reach the final after winning the first set against Tiafoe.

However, the fifth seed roared back to seal a 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 victory and set up a final encounter with Argentina's Sebastian Baez, who beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas to reach his second tour-level final.

Baez also needed three sets in his semi-final clash after losing a competitive second-set tie-break, but he then produced a scintillating performance to win the decider without dropping a game, winning 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-0.

Elsewhere, Danish 19-year-old Rune sealed his first ATP tour final appearance by beating home favourite Oscar Otte 6-4 6-4 at the BMW Open in Munich.

Rune, who has enjoyed a dream week in Bavaria after sensationally downing Alexander Zverev in the last-16 and failing to drop a single set in the tournament, revealed his ambitions to become world number one in the future after the victory.

"It's a pretty unreal feeling," he said of his semi-final win. "I didn't expect this at all coming into this tournament, and I just took it match by match. Obviously, I had a tough draw, playing Zverev in the second round, but I knew it was going to be tough, so I was ready from the beginning, and I'm super happy to be in the final.

"It's getting better and better, I'm improving every day, and this is what matters. I have some goals to be number one in the world, and you have to start somewhere."

Rune will face eighth seed Botic van de Zandschulp in the final after the Dutchman rallied to beat Miomir Kecmanovic 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in his own final-four encounter. 

Top seed Felix Auger-Aliassime fell to Sebastian Korda in the Estoril Open quarter-finals, while Casper Ruud was sent packing at the BMW Open. 

Auger-Aliassime won just 50 per cent of points behind his first serve as Korda claimed an impressive 6-2 6-2 success over the Canadian in one hour and 29 minutes. 

In the semi-finals Korda will take on fellow American Frances Tiafoe, who edged out Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 7-5 in a tight encounter. 

The other last-four clash will see Albert Ramos Vinolas take on Sebastian Baez. 

Ramos Vinolas bested Fernando Verdasco 6-2 6-2 to set up his meeting with Baez after the Argentine rallied from a set down to defeat Richard Gasquet 3-6 6-1 6-4. 

At the BMW Open, second seed Ruud fell to Botic van de Zandschulp in the quarter-finals. 

The Dutchman won their only previous encounter en route to the last eight at last year's US Open and he triumphed 7-5 6-1 in Munich. 

"Maybe the score is easier than it really was," said Van de Zandschulp. "The first set [was] really tight, I think. A great battle in the first one. I had some opportunities to break him in the beginning and didn't take them. Gladly [at] five-all I made the break and held the serve at 6-5. 

"[The] second set was a little bit easier, but I think I played really well today." 

Next up for Van de Zandschulp is Miomir Kecmanovic, who defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6 (7-5) 6-2. Holger Rune will continue his impressive run against Oscar Otte in the other semi-final after they overcame Emil Ruusuvuori and Alejandro Tabilo respectively. 

Alexander Zverev will play Holger Rune and Casper Ruud is set to face Alex Molcan in the round of 16 at the BMW Open.

Zverev and Ruud – the number one and two seeds respectively – received byes in the round of 32, with Danish wildcard Rune defeating Jiri Lehecka 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 to advance in Munich on Monday, and Molcan beating fellow Slovakian Norbert Gombos 6-1 3-6 7-6 (9-7).

Teenager Rune had won his opening match in four of his past five tour-level events ahead of the tournament and extended that run with relative ease.

There were no problems for seventh seed Miomir Kecmanovic as he overcame Max Hans Rehberg in straight sets, 6-2 6-3, and he will face Daniel Altmaier in the last 16 after he beat his German compatriot Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-1.

Emil Ruusuvuori is also through after beating Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka 7-6 (7-5) 7-5, and the Finn will now go up against the winner of Dan Evans and Maxime Cressy.

At the Estoril Open, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who reached the final in Monte Carlo earlier this month, will face fellow Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles next after he overcame Federico Coria 6-4 6-3.

Fifth seed Frances Tiafoe secured a victory against Dusan Lajovic, with the American coming from a set down to win 2-6 7-5 6-0, and up next for him is Nuno Borges in the last 16.

Borges advanced after opponent Pablo Andujar retired hurt in the second set, although the Portuguese was already a set and 3-0 up at the time, while Soonwoo Kwon eased past Benoit Paire in straight sets.

Novak Djokovic is "progressing slowly but surely" ahead of the French Open as the world number one took positives from his run to the Serbia Open final.

The Serbian remains without an ATP Tour title this season after losing 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-0 to Andrey Rublev on home clay in Belgrade on Sunday.

It has been a disrupted 2022 for Djokovic, having been prevented from playing the Australian Open due to his unvaccinated status, a factor which also meant he was barred from competing in tournaments in the United States last month.

He only made it as far as the quarter-finals of the Dubai Championships in his first tournament of the year in February and suffered a surprise loss to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the last 32 of the Monte Carlo Masters.

Djokovic showed signs of improvement in Serbia, though, as he defeated Laslo Djere, Miomir Kecmanovic and Karen Khachanov en route to reaching the final.

Rublev proved a step too far for Djokovic, who faded badly in the deciding set against an opponent aged 10 years younger, but the 34-year-old is remaining upbeat ahead of next month's French Open.

"Things are progressing slowly but surely," he said. "Paris is the big goal and hopefully by Paris I'll be ready.

"I have to look at the positives – playing the final in front of my home crowd, it was unfortunate that in the third set I ran out of gas and couldn't deliver more of a fight.

"After four three-set battles I can say that I am tired but also pleased that I managed to win the matches prior to this one.

"I think that will serve me for the continuation of the clay-court season."

Djokovic is set to return to action at the Madrid Masters in a little over a week's time, an event he enters as top seed.

Novak Djokovic ran out of puff in front of his adoring Belgrade public and suffered a third-set drubbing as he lost to Andrey Rublev in the Serbia Open final.

The world number one was beaten 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-0 by the Russian second seed, who drove a forehand past Djokovic on his third championship point.

Djokovic was seeking a third triumph at this tournament, and an 87th tour-level title of his career, but 24-year-old Rublev came out on top, scooping his third trophy of the year after previous successes in Dubai and Marseille.

Having been barred from playing in Australia and the United States in the early stages of the season, due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19, Djokovic was playing just his third tournament of the year.

He lost to Jiri Vesely in the Dubai quarter-finals and to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in his clay campaign opener in Monte Carlo, and on home clay he won three matches from a set in arrears but could not make it four in a row.

Djokovic had worked hard to get back on level terms in Sunday's final after making a slow start, and he had two break points immediately in the third set.

Rublev saved both, the second with an audacious drop shot, on his way to taking the game, and he streaked through the rest of the decider.

This was just the second meeting on the ATP Tour between Djokovic and world number eight Rublev, with Djokovic having previously enjoyed a crushing hard court win at the ATP Finals in Turin last November.

Rublev, addressing Djokovic, said: "It's a big honour to play against you, to share a court for the second time.

"I hope to see you for many years, and we will have more battles which I would like.

"I feel so great here in Belgrade. It's a really nice city. It reminds me of a small Moscow. I really enjoy my time here and to win a title here I feel double special."

Novak Djokovic will chase the first title of his chaotic season when he tackles Andrey Rublev in the Serbia Open final on Sunday.

Playing in his home city of Belgrade, world number one Djokovic will be expected by many to carry off the trophy for a third time.

He scored a 4-6 6-1 6-2 victory over Russian Karen Khachanov in the first of Saturday's semi-finals.

Djokovic has made a habit of losing opening sets this week, rebounding from early deficits to beat fellow Serbians Laslo Dere and Miomir Kecmanovic on his way through to the last four, where it happened again.

The 34-year-old was able to recover and improve his career win-loss record to 13-2 at the clay-court tournament.

Djokovic, who has been prevented from playing events in Australia and the United States this year after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, believes he is gradually building up form and match fitness.

He said in an on-court interview: "I'm already feeling quite comfortable on the courts. I think the three matches that went all three sets gave me enough of the match play.

"I was running enough in order to be at my optimum best. I don't think the lack of matches now plays a role. Maybe it was the case three or four days ago, not today.

"But in terms of the audience, of course that's going to be a huge motivation boost for me, so I'm going to enjoy the crowd's support as much as I can and hopefully bring the title to Serbia."

Rublev, another Russian, beat Italian Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-2 in the second semi-final, saying it had been his best performance of the week.

The world number eight is relishing playing Djokovic, saying: "It's going to be fun. Tomorrow I have nothing to lose, I can go out and enjoy it. He plays at home, so it will be his moment. The best I can do is fight and try to do my best."

Page 1 of 12
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.