Sunday, March 3, 2019

Roundup: Federer wins 100th title, Kenin falls, etc.

Roger Federer, playing in Indian Wells in 2017, beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4
in Dubai for his 100th tour-level title. Photo by Mal Taam
   By winning the Dubai title on Saturday, Roger Federer joined Jimmy Connors as the only male members of the Century Club.
   The second-seeded Federer, 37, beat fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, 20, of Greece 6-4, 6-4 for his 100th tour-level singles title. Connors, now 66, won 109. Ivan Lendl ranks third with 94.
   "It's been a long, wonderful journey. ... I have loved every minute," Federer, who won the tournament for the eighth time, told reporters. "It's been tough, but the sacrifice has been very, very worthwhile, and we'll see how much more I've got left in the tank. Reaching 100 is an absolute dream come true for me."
   The milestone came almost exactly one year after Federer made his Northern California debut in a San Jose exhibition.
   Three women have won at least 100 titles in the Open era, which began in 1968: Martina Navratilova (167), Chris Evert (154) and Steffi Graf (107).
   Federer played in only his second tournament of the year. He avenged a 6-7 (11), 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (5) loss to Tsitsipas, will become the first Greek to crack the top 10 on Monday, in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January.
   In the Dubai doubles final, fourth-seeded Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain topped unseeded Ben McLachlan (Cal, 2011-14) and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 7-6 (4), 6-3.
   Abierto Mexicano Telcel -- Entering Saturday's final in Acapulco, Sofia Kenin seemed to have the advantage against Wang Yafan.
   Kenin -- who won Northern California Challengers in 2016, 2017 and last year -- was ranked 30 spots higher at No. 35 and captured the Hobart title in January in her first WTA final. Wang, meanwhile, was playing in her maiden WTA title match.
   But once Wang overcame her nerves, she was the fresher player. The unseeded Chinese player outlasted the fifth-seeded Kenin, from Pembroke Pines, Fla., 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in 2 hours, 10 minutes. Wang, 24, trailed 2-0 in the second set.
   It was Wang's second consecutive victory in which she lost the first set 6-2 and the 20-year-old Kenin's third straight match that went to 7-5 in the third set.
   Wang cracked the top 50 for the first time at No. 49, and Kenin rose to a career-high No. 33. 
   In the men's final, unseeded Nick Kyrgios of Australia beat second-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-3, 6-4. It marked the first time that the mercurial Kyrgios, 23, defeated two top-three players (No. 2 Rafael Nadal and No. 3 Zverev) and three top-10 opponents (also including No. 9 John Isner) in one tournament.
   Wang's compatriot Zheng Saisai won the doubles title with Victoria Azarenka. The unseeded pair clobbered third-seeded Desirae Krawczyk, from Palm Desert, Calif., and Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area who plays for Mexico, 6-1, 6-2 in 55 minutes.
   Pacific Coast Doubles -- Govind Nanda, a UCLA freshman and Johannes de Villiers, a Bruins assistant coach, edged USC's Brandon Holt, the son of International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, and Riley Smith 7-6 (0), 4-6 [10-4] today for the title in the Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championship in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla. Both teams were seeded first.
   Nanda and de Villiers, playing in their first tournament together, throttled ninth-seeded Jack Barber and William Genesen of Stanford 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals.
   Stanford women -- The No. 4 Cardinal's home match against No. 9 Texas on Saturday was canceled because of rain.
   Stanford defeated the Longhorns 4-3 in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships three weeks ago in Seattle.
   The Cardinal (6-1) is scheduled to open Pacific-12 Conference play on March 10 at Oregon.

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