Gulbis Wins Marseille, Says Top Pros Should Be Afraid
The outspoken Ernests Gulbis captured the title on Sunday at the Open 13 in Marseille, upsetting No. 2 seed and defending champ Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(5), 6-4, then had a message for the top players on tour.
“I think [the top players] feel threatened by my game, because they know if I serve well and I’m aggressive, then it’s tough to play against me,” the Latvian said. “I don’t feel I’m in the same league as the [Top 4] yet, I need to prove it. Game-wise, I think that I can be.”
The No. 3-seeded Gulbis upset top seed Richard Gasquet in the semifinals, and is now on the verge of cracking the Top 20 for the first time. Gulbis improved to 5-0 in career finals, and Tsonga dropped to 10-9.
Nadal Wins 62nd Title at ATP Rio
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-6(3) on Sunday in the final of the inaugural Rio Open on clay for his 62nd career title.
“The first edition of a big tournament like Rio, it’s a very important city in the world, and after coming back from injury, it always makes the victory a little more special,” Nadal said.
Nadal saved two match points to overcome countryman Pablo Andujar in the semifinals, and in the final improved to 5-0 career against Dolgopolov. The Spaniard is now 16-1 in 2014, with his only loss coming in the Australian Open final against Stan Wawrinka. Dolgopolov dropped to 2-4 in career finals.
Red-Hot Cilic Wins Big-man Battle of Delray Beach
Marin Cilic, appearing in his third consecutive final, defeating former champion Kevin Anderson 7-6(6), 6-7(7), 6-4 for the Delray Beach Open by The Venetian Las Vegas title.
“It feels awesome, especially after waiting for a long time last night and finishing after 1 a.m.,” said Cilic, who so far this year won Zagreb and was runner-up to Tomas Berdych at Rotterdam. “Then, today to come back and win it, I’m really happy with this victory.”
In the semifinals Cilic tamed fellow big man John Isner, and Anderson downed American qualifier Steve Johnson. Cilic improved to 11-9 in career finals, while Anderson dropped to 2-5.
Nara Zaps Kakopalova for 1st Career Title at Rio
Japanese No. 5 seed Kurumi Nara won her first title of the year on Sunday, defeating top-seeded Klara Zakopalova 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 for the inaugural Rio Open crown.
Up a break three times in the second set before dropping the set, Nara nonetheless regrouped to roll through the third set 6-1. “In the second set I was probably thinking too much about winning the title, so after I lost the set I had a good break and tried to come back and play well again in the third set,” she said.
With the win the Japanese will crack the Top 50 for the first time. Zakopalova falls to 2-12 in career finals.
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