Nadal Turns Around Fognini Foil in ATP Hamburg Final
Rafael Nadal gained some much-needed confidence on Sunday after returning to his familiar clay courts, defeating a player who had beaten him twice on clay this year.
The top-seeded Nadal beat Fabio Fognini 7-5, 7-5 to win the bet-at-home Open in Hamburg, his third title of the year after Stuttgart and Buenos Aires. He improved to 67-29 in career finals. Fognini broke in the first game of the first set, and served for the second set, in the end falling to 3-7 in career finals.
“I lost the last two times against him, so I knew it was going to be a tough one,” Nadal. “I think I had a great attitude the whole match, very positive, fighting for every ball. I had some tough moments on court, lost opportunities, but every time I came back and I kept fighting with the right mentality…It is an important victory for me.”
Thiem Machine Wins 3rd Title of 2015 at Gstaad
Dominic Thiem’s season of emergence continued on Sunday when he won his second consecutive title and third of the year, defeating David Goffin 7-5, 6-2 for the crown at the Swiss Open Gstaad.
Thiem, who next enters his home country Kitzbuhel event as the top seed, won last week in Umag and has now won 13 straight matches on clay. Goffin served for the first set before failing to cross the hurdle, and fell to 2-3 in career finals.
“I returned and served well, which is very important against such a great return player,” the Austrian said.
Pereira Sets Brazil Mark with WTA Florianopolis Title
Teliana Pereira became only the second Brazilian in WTA history to win a title in Brazil on Sunday at the Brasil Tennis Cup in Florianopolis, defeating Annika Beck 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
In the final set Pereira won five games in a row to clinch the match. Earlier this year she won the Claro Open Colsanitas in Bogota, becoming the third Brazilian in the Open Era to win a WTA title.
“When I came here I didn’t know if I would be able to play — my knee wasn’t so well — so I can’t believe I managed this victory,” said Pereira, defaulted earlier this year in a tournament when she flung a racquet that went into the crowd. “Something that inspires me is when people call me a warrior. It describes me perfectly. I know I don’t have the best forehand, or the best backhand, but I feel privileged to have this characteristic. I fight until the end. I never quit.”
Russian Gasparayan Goes From Winless to 2 Titles at WTA Baku
Margarita Gasparyan splashed onto the national scene at Wimbledon where her effective one-handed backhand allowed her to hang in a match with world No. 1 Serena Williams. One month later the unseeded Russian is raising her career-first title after Sunday beating qualifier Patricia Maria Tig 6-3, 5-7, 6-0 to win the Baku Cup.
In the semifinals Tig ousted No. 1 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Gasparyan upended No. 2 seed Karin Knapp. Gasparyan was 0-5 career at the WTA level in matches entering the event, and is the first player with a one-handed backhand to win a tournament this year.
“It’s been an amazing tournament for me,” said Gasparyan, who also won the doubles title with fellow Russian Alexandra Panova. She is projected to jump into the Top 100 on the WTA Rankings.
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