Top 10ers Serena, Errani, Ferrer, Tipsarevic Eye Sunday Titles
There’s little rest for the top players. Just days after Wimbledon several of the game’s best have already embarked on a very busy summer schedule.
In California, Wimbledon champion Serena Williams made a successful transition from the grass to the hardcourts. The former No. 1 reached the Stanford finals after decimating Sorana Cirstea 6-1, 6-2 earlier this evening. Serena, who is also the defending tournament champion, will play free-swinging countrywoman CoCo Vandeweghe for the title.
The 20-year-old Vadeweghe was a lucky loser – she lost in the qualifying – but since has won five matches in eight days after stunning No. 5 seed Yanina Wickmayer 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 to reach her first career WTA final. Vandeweghe is the first lucky loser to advance to final since Melinda Czink’s runner-up finish at Canberra in 2005.
A title tomorrow would tie Serena with elder sister Venus with 43 career victories.
On the clay in Palermo, French Open finalist Sara Errani is in the final where she’ll meet Barbora Zahlavova Strycova Sunday. Errani beat Begu, Strycova ended the hopes of promising Brit Laura Robson.
On the men’s tour, David Ferrer stayed hot on the red clay beating Grigor Dimitrov to advance to the Bastad final. And there in the title match will be a familiar face, Nicolas Almagro. Ferrer has won all 10 meetings with Almagro, two coming this year.
Janko Tipsarevic is into his first career clay final at Stuttgart. The Serb will face Juan Monaco in the Sunday final in Germany.
“It’s a great final for the spectators. Everyone is happy here,” said Monaco who leads Tipsarevic 2-1. “It will be a difficult final. Janko is a great player. This year, he’s playing really well. But I like to play on clay so much. It will be a tough match and we’ll see how it goes.”
In Croatia, Marcel Granollers upset fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco to advance to the Umag final. He’ll collide Sunday with Marin Cilic, a winner over Alexandr Dolgoplov.
On the grass in Newport, former Top 10ers Lleyton Hewitt and John Isner will meet in the Hall of Fame championship. Hewitt outdueled the hard-charging Rajeev Ram in three while Isner eased passed the pesky Ryan Harrison in straight sets.
“It’s about getting wins and putting yourself in a position. You doubt yourself more when you’re coming back from surgery,” Hewitt said. “You can’t just click your fingers and start moving and playing the way you want to play. And that can be frustrating.
“I have small goals at the moment. I’m trying to get my movement as close to 100 per cent as possible. And be to the point where I don’t have to think about it either. You come back from surgery and you think about everything. My whole mechanics have changed. So that’s taking a bit of time.”
Hewitt has won both career meetings with Isner.
“I haven’t had much success at all against him. He’s definitely had my number you could say,” Isner said. “He doesn’t mind playing against really big servers because his return is one of the best in the game. With the way he returns, that puts pressure on his opponents, similar with the way I can serve. It’s going to be different styles out there but it should be a good match.”
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