Sunday, November 22, 2020

Medvedev tops Thiem for title; Sherif falls in final

   Daniil Medvedev won the biggest title of his career today, defeating Dominic Thiem 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the Nitto ATP Finals in London.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Medvedev, a 24-year-old Russian, also beat five-time champion Novak Djokovic and second-ranked Rafael Nadal during the week. Medvedev, seeded fourth, became the first player to sweep the top three players in the world rankings in the season finale, according to
   Medvedev, who went 0-3 in his ATP Finals debut last year, also became the fifth consecutive first-time champion in the indoor hardcourt tournament. He followed Stefanos Tsitsipas last year, Alexander Zverev in 2018, Grigor Dimitrov in 2017 and Andy Murray in 2016.
   Medvedev made $1.564 million, and Thiem took home $861,000.
   In the doubles final, fifth-seeded Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Nikola Mektic of Croatia topped seventh-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria and Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 6-2, 3-6 [10-5] for their first title together.
   Koolhof and Mektic, who joined forces at Adelaide in January, split $254,500. They reached the U.S. Open final, losing to Mate Pavic of Croatia and Bruno Soares of Brazil.
   ITF Women's Circuit — Top-seeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia rolled to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over second-seeded Maiar Sherif Ahmed Abdelaziz (Fresno State, 2015-16) of Egypt to win the $25,000 Open Gran Canaria on clay in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, off the coast of northwestern Africa.
   Since losing in the second round of the French Open, Kanepi has won 15 of 16 matches, all in $25,000 tournaments, with three titles. The 35-year-old veteran has reached the quarterfinals of the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open twice each and been ranked as high as No. 15 in 2012.
   Sherif, 24, lost for the first time in 12 matches. She won a $100,000 clay-court tournament in Charleston, S.C., as a qualifier two weeks ago.
   ATP Challenger Tour — Unseeded Brandon Nakashima, 19, of San Diego beat fourth-seeded Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India 6-3, 6-4 in the $52,080 Orlando (Fla.) Open for his first Challenger title.
   Nakashima, who will soar 37 places to a career-high No. 165 on Monday, saved all eight break points against him and did not lose a set in the hardcourt tournament. He ousted top-seeded Thiago Monteiro in the second round and eighth-seeded Mackenzie McDonald, a San Francisco Bay Area product, in the quarterfinals.
   Gunneswaran, a 31-year-old left-hander, lost a Challenger final for the second consecutive week. He fell to Denis Kudla last Sunday in Cary, N.C.
   Nakashima reached his first Challenger semifinal in Fairfield, Calif., last fall, and Gunneswaran advanced to the semis of the 2017 Tiburon, Calif., Challenger. Both were $100,000 tournaments.
   In the final round of qualifying for the $52,080 Lima Challenger on clay, fifth-seeded Thiago Agustin Tirante, 19, of Argentina beat top-seeded Collin Altamirano, 24, of Sacramento, Calif., 6-4, 6-4. Altamirano, who received a first-round bye, played his first match since March.

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