Tennis

Mon
23
Oct

Kukushkin beaten by Bautista Agut, Shapovalov seals Next Gen berth

Roberto Bautista Agut enjoyed a routine victory to open his Swiss Indoors Basel campaign, as Denis Shapovalov secured an important win.

Roberto Bautista Agut brushed aside Mikhail Kukushkin at the Swiss Indoors Basel on Monday, but Denis Shapovalov had to work hard to get past Yuichi Sugita.

Bautista Agut, seeded sixth for the ATP 500 competition at St. Jakobshalle, thrashed his Kazakh opponent 6-0 6-3 in less than hour to advance to the second round, where he will face Ryan Harrison or Alexandr Dolgopolov. 

Rising Canadian star Shapovalov endured a more difficult passage, coming from a set down to get past Japan's Sugita 4-6 6-2 7-6 (7-3).

The 18-year-old's victory saw him qualify for next month's inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals for players aged 21 and under.  

In the other matches on Monday, Hyeon Chung ousted Paolo Lorenzi 6-3 6-1, while Robin Haase saw off home-crowd favourite Marco Chiudinelli 6-2 7-6 (7-3).

Mon
23
Oct

Zverev battles past Troicki as Tomic's tricks fall flat

Viktor Troicki was unable to halt Alexander Zverev at the Vienna Open, as Bernard Tomic failed to wrong-foot Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Top seed Alexander Zverev needed three sets to overcome a stubborn Viktor Troicki and progress to the second round of the Vienna Open on Monday.

The German won 6-3 4-6 6-4 in one hour and 44 minutes at the ATP 500 event on indoor hard courts at the Wiener Stadthalle.

Having battled back to level the match at 1-1, Serbian Troicki gave up a double break to start the decisive third set on the back foot.

And although Zverev handed one of those breaks straight back, the world number five did not falter after that moment, winning it on his first match point.

Philipp Kohlschreiber caused an upset when he ousted fifth seed John Isner 7-6 (8-6) 6-4, and qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert also claimed a notable scalp.

Mon
23
Oct

Wozniacki serves up bagel revenge to Svitolina in Singapore

Elina Svitolina inflicted a bagel on Caroline Wozniacki to win the Rogers Cup but she was on the wrong end of a similar fate in Singapore.

Caroline Wozniacki made a winning start to the WTA Finals and gained revenge for a painful defeat on another big stage by thrashing Elina Svitolina 6-2 6-0 in Singapore on Monday.

A beaten finalist at this event in 2010, when she lost to Kim Clijsters, Wozniacki's opening victory - the 27-year-old's first in four career meetings with Svitolina - saw her move joint top of the Red Group alongside Simona Halep, who defeated Caroline Garcia earlier in the day.

Wozniacki could have been forgiven for feeling somewhat apprehensive going into the match, having been on the wrong end of a bagel set as she lost the Rogers Cup final to Svitolina 6-4 6-0 in Toronto in August.

Mon
23
Oct

Halep overpowers Garcia in WTA Finals opener

Carolina Garcia showed she belongs at WTA Finals level, but she came up short against a fearsome opponent in world number one Simona Halep.

Simona Halep looked every inch the world number one as she rode out a rocky WTA Finals opener against Caroline Garcia to win in straight sets.

Garcia's late run to Singapore came courtesy of an 11-match winning streak that included titles in Wuhan and Beijing, the latter sealed with a final victory over Halep.

But the Romanian took this contest 6-4 6-2, showing a greater fluency in the crucial exchanges to start her quest to hold off six rivals for her top ranking in style.

Though Garcia's purple patch came to an end, she impressed on her debut at the tournament and may fancy her chances against Red Group rivals Elina Svitolina, who she beat in Beijing, and Caroline Wozniacki.

Sun
22
Oct

Del Potro retains Stockholm crown to enhance ATP Finals hopes

Grigor Dimitrov's perfect record in finals this year was brought to an end as Juan Martin del Potro won the Stockholm Open once again.

Juan Martin del Potro boosted his hopes of qualifying for the ATP Finals and delayed confirmation of Grigor Dimitrov's likely qualification by beating the Bulgarian in straight sets to retain the Stockholm Open title.

Victory for Dimitrov in Sunday's final would have been enough to assure the top seed of a place in the season-ending showpiece, but he will now have to wait at least another week to book his place in London.

Del Potro charged to a 6-4 6-2 victory and is now up to 14th in Race to London himself, with increased hope of catching Pablo Carreno Busta, the man occupying the final qualifying slot.

Two of the players between Del Potro and Carreno Busta in the standings - Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray - are sidelined through injury.

Sun
22
Oct

Tsonga overcomes Schwartzman to claim Antwerp crown

Diego Schwartzman proved unable to halt the momentum of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who made it his best season yet by winning in Belgium.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Diego Schwartzman in straight sets on Sunday to claim the European Open title in Antwerp. 

The Frenchman, who was seeded second for the ATP 250 event on indoor hard courts in Belgium, broke his opponent four times to win 6-3 7-5 in one hour and 34 minutes.

It is Tsonga's 16th ATP tournament victory and fourth this year after previous successes in Lyon, Marseille and Rotterdam, making 2017 his most productive season in terms of titles. And that purple patch has arrived despite the popular and mercurial talent, now 32, entering the twilight of his career.

There was more disappointment for Schwartzman on this stage though, after he also lost the inaugural final to Richard Gasquet last year.

Sun
22
Oct

Dzumhur wins again in Russia, Berankis eyes swift revenge

Bosnia-Herzegovina's Damir Dzumhur beat Ricardas Berankis in the Kremlin Cup final but the Lithuanian will have a chance for swift revenge.

Damir Dzumhur's fruitful time in Russia continued as he secured a second trophy in a month by beating Ricardas Berankis in the Kremlin Cup final.

Sixth seed Dzumhur won his first career title at the St Petersburg Open and has enjoyed another happy return to the country, beating Berankis 6-2 1-6 6-4.

Dzumhur became the first Bosnian to win on the ATP Tour last month and beat fellow countryman Mirza Basic in the semi-finals, with Berankis unable to secure his first career title in just his second final.

He will, however, get a swift shot at revenge as the two players are slated to play each other on Monday in the first round of the Vienna Open.

Sun
22
Oct

Muguruza survives late Ostapenko surge in Singapore

Jelena Ostapenko was outclassed by Garbine Muguruza in their opening match of the WTA Finals on Sunday.

Garbine Muguruza overcame a late wobble to start her 2017 WTA Finals bid by defeating Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-4 in White Group.

World number two Muguruza went into the match with a 2-1 record against Ostapenko, making her first appearance at the season-ending competition, but that solitary defeat came in their only encounter on a hard court in Wuhan.

The Spaniard contrived to lose on that occasion after winning the first set 6-1 and threatened to tread a similar path before serving out the match at the second attempt.

Ostapenko's typically aggressive style led to a number of errors that aided Muguruza, who did well to keep the pressure on for prolonged periods and lay down a marker.

The Latvian sent a backhand down the line long when attempting to hold her first service game and the Wimbledon champion punished her.

Sun
22
Oct

Pliskova kickstarts WTA Finals with statement win over Venus

Looking to become world number one for the second time in 2017, Karolina Pliskova thrashed Venus Williams in the WTA Finals opener.

Karolina Pliskova delivered a statement of intent, beating Venus Williams 6-2 6-2 in the first match of the 2017 WTA Finals on Sunday.

Seven of the eight players are chasing the number one ranking in Singapore, with Pliskova looking much more likely than the veteran American on this evidence.

Williams, who beat Pliskova in the 2015 Elite Trophy final, could scale the rankings for the first time since June 2002 this week, but her chances took a dint in this White Group match as she struggled woefully on second serve and seemed caught between strategies when the ball was in play.

Pliskova's greater mobility routinely allowed her to steal points and the Czech showed a useful ability to accelerate into the back-end of sets to get her tournament off to a winning start.

Sat
21
Oct

Getting there - Murray posts positive update on comeback from injury

After overcoming a troublesome hip injury, Andy Murray posted an Instagram video as he prepares for 2018.

Andy Murray is on course to make his return in 2018 after posting a video on social media showing him serving at full speed.

The former world number one has not featured on the ATP Tour since his quarter-final exit to Sam Querrey at Wimbledon in July due to a hip problem.

Murray was troubled by the injury during his entire campaign at SW19 and he opted to take a break to ensure his body was fully recovered, meaning a withdrawal from the US Open and missing out on the end of the season ATP World Tour Finals – which he won in 2016.

He is not the only player out of competitive action, with Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic also eyeing a 2018 return.

Australian Open organisers suggested this month that Murray would be read for the opening grand slam of next year, and the Scot's latest Instagram post adds weight to those claims.

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