TennisSaturday, May 24, 2014
Delbonis to meet Gulbis in final
Karlovic, Kohlschreiber reach Düsseldorf decider
Seventh-seeded Federico Delbonis reached the Open de Nice final after beating Gilles Simon 6-2 6-4 and will face Ernest Gulbis today for the title.
NICE, France — Argentine Federico Delbonis will face second-seeded Ernest Gulbis in the Open de Nice Open today.
The seventh-seeded Argentine ousted fourth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-2 6-4 yesterday, while Gulbis of Latvia dropped just one point on his first serve on his way to a 6-0 6-3 victory over the defending champion Albert Montañés of Spain.
Delbonis, who beat top-seeded John Isner in the quarterfinals, is 1-1 in his previous tour finals. The 23-year-old Argentine lifted his first title in Sao Paolo in March, after losing in Hamburg last year.
“It was a pretty good match,” Delbonis said. “Gilles always fights and he showed it in the second set when he broke me. But I took control again. The final will be very similar to the match against Isner. Ernests has a strong service. If I am focused, I will always have a chance.”
Gulbis has won all five of his previous finals on the ATP tour, and triumphed in Marseille in February.
“He allowed me to play,” Gulbis said about his match against Montañés. “I felt confident from the first rally on. I had good timing. The first set was one of the best sets I have played.”
Despite the Roland Garros draw being made before yesterday’s semifinal, Gulbis said that he decided not to see who he would play in the first round (Poland’s Lukasz Kubot).
“Don’t tell me who I play because I haven’t checked the draw yet,” he told reporters. “The draw was out before my match, but I didn’t want to know because I wanted to concentrate on this match.”
DÜSSELDORF OPEN. Top-seeded Philipp Kohlscheriber of Germany beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-2 4-6 6-4 yesterday to set up a Düsseldorf Open final against Ivo Karlovic.
Karlovic of Croatia used his big serve to beat Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (9-7).
Kohlschreiber had lost all of his three previous matches against Istomin but the German broke serve for a decisive 3-2 lead in the third set and held on to reach his first final of the year.
Karlovic hit his 16th ace to win the match and make it to the final of a clay-court event for the first time since 2007, when he won his only title on the surface in Houston.
The seventh-seeded Croat saved all nine break points he faced, and fought off two set points before overcoming Vesely. The 20-year-old Vesely was the youngest player to break into the top 100 last year. The former No. 1 junior in the world, Vesely was in his first ATP semifinal.