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April 17, 2014

Tennis

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Leonardo Mayer reaches first career ATP final

Argentina’s returns a shot to Santiago Giraldo.

VIÑA DEL MAR, Chile — Leonardo Mayer advanced to the first ATP final of his career yesterday after beating Colombian Santiago Giraldo 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 in the Royal Guard Open in Viña del Mar.

His accuracy and service were the key for the Argentine to clinch the victory in one and a half hours.

Mayer will play for the title against Fabio Fognini of Italy or Nicolás Almagro of Spain, who were playing in the other semifinals last night at press time.

The Corrientes-born Mayer reached the final after beating Andreas Haider Maurer of Austria and Spaniards Tommy Robredo and Daniel Gimeno Traver, apart from Giraldo.

In Zagreb, Croatia, top-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany and defending champion Marin Cilic of Croatia reached the final of the Zagreb Indoors yesterday.

Haas rallied to defeat British lucky loser Daniel Evans 5-7 6-4 6-3, while Cilic defeated German qualifier Björn Phau 6-3 6-4 in the other semifinal.

Cilic has won 19 out of his last 20 singles here and holds a tournament-best record of 21-4. It will be the eighth time in the tournament’s nine-year history that a singles final features a Croatian.

In Montpellier, France, top-seeded Richard Gasquet beat third-seeded Jerzy Janowicz of Poland 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4) to set up an all-French final in the Open Sud de France against Gaël Monfils.

The fifth-seeded Monfils earlier beat sixth-seeded Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-2 3-6 6-1.

Defending champion Gasquet is chasing his 11th career title. Monfils won the tournament four years ago and will aim today for his fifth career title, but his first since winning indoors at Stockholm three years ago. Three of his titles were on indoor hard-courts.

ATP BUENOS AIRES. Juan Mónaco will play against Spaniard Albert Ramos in the first round of the ATP Buenos Aires, while fellow Argentine Horacio Zeballos will have a tough debut against Nicolás Almagro of Spain.

Also, Guido Pella will face Guillermo García López of Spain, Federico Delbonis will play against Spaniard Pablo Andújar and, in the only match between Argentines, Leonardo Mayer will face Facungo Argüello.

Top-seeded David Ferrer, who joined the tournament after Rafael Nadal pulled off, will play against someone from the qualifiers.

FED CUP. Argentine took a 2-0 advantage over Japan in their World Group II series in the Fed Cup yesterday. María Irigoyen gave the first point to Argentina with a 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 6-4 victory over Kurumi Nara, while Paula Ormaechea defeated Misaki Doi 6-2 3-6 6-3. Today, Ormaechea will face Nara and Irigoyen will play against Doi.

In the World Group Italy led the US 2-0, Germany was 2-0 ahead over Slovakia, Australia had a 2-0 advantage over Russia and Spain was 1-0 over the Czech Republic at press time.

Herald with agencies

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