The three tour-level events climaxed to their last stages on Saturday with some stunning results. At the Rio Open, Fabio Fognini sent Rafael Nadal crashing out of the tournament, American Donald Young caused an upset at Delray Beach to oust third seed Alexandr Dolgopolov but the most unexpected upset was caused by Sergey Stakhovsky, who defeated second seed Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals of Open 13 at Marseille. As it stands, Sunday’s final line-up at these three venues is all clear with the Italian Fognini taking on Ferrer of Spain at Rio; Ivo Karlovic of Croatia meeting rising American Donald Young and in an all-French final at Marseille, Gael Monfils will play against Gilles Simon. Reaching their 155th tour level final, USA’s Bryan brothers will try to win the title at Delray Beach on Sunday. But the brothers will have to get past Leander Paes and Raven Klaasen in the final.
Rafael Nadal suffered his first tour-level semifinal loss against Fabio Fognini on clay after 52 straight victories on the surface of his choice. In the biggest upset in Rio Open semifinal, the Italian defeated the world’s no.3 player 1-6, 6-2, 7-5 to set up a clash with another Spaniard David Ferrer on Sunday. The 27-year old Italian began by losing the first set but bounced back strongly in the second. The aggressive approach paid off as he took the second set quite easily. Nadal raised his game in the decider but Fognini kept the pressure up. Nadal saved two match points but yielded on the third and the Italian sealed victory in 2 hours 17 minutes. During the course of the match, Nadal served six double faults and managed to save just four of nine break points. Despite the loss, the 28-year old Spaniard had a positive outlook for future and his next tournament is the Argentina Open, where he is also playing in doubles with his friend Juan Monaco. Meanwhile, Fognini’s final opponent David Ferrer took 1 hour 24 minutes to defeat Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer 7-5, 6-1 to book his place in the final.
At Delray Beach, big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-4 to reach the final, where he will meet American sensation Donald young for the singles title. The fourth seeded Croat blasted 17 aces and saved all five break points against Mannarino to enter his 13th ATP tour-level final. On the other side, Young came back from a set down and defeated Australian Bernard Tomic 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Tomic played a great game producing 13 aces and forced 10 break points, of which Young saved 7. Earlier on Friday, Young caused an upset by beating Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov also in three sets.
Also at Delray Beach, men’s doubles top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan reached their 155 tour-level final of their career. In their semifinal match, the Bryans defeated another American pair Eric Butorac and Rajeev Ram 4-6, 6-3, 10-4. For the title, the Bryans will have to beat the indo-South African pair of Leander Paes and Raven Klaasen on Sunday. In their semifinal match Paes/Klaasen defeated Australian Bernard Tomic and Serbian Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-4 to reach their third final of the season.
At Open 13 in Marseille the title clash will be an all-French affair with Gael Monfils taking on Gilles Simon. The seventh seeded Gael Monfils made it to his 22nd ATP tour final on Saturday, when he defeated Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-2. In the other semifinal, Simon had a much harder time against Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine before coming through 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. The Ukrainian had caused a major upset earlier, when he shocked second seed Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals. The 29-year-old Ukrainian saved four of five break points in a one hour 51 minute encounter before finishing his match against the Swiss with a score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. The last all-French final at Marseille was played in 2009 between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llorda.
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