The hectic ATP schedule goes on with two ATP-250 events heading towards the final stages in Switzerland and France. The Geneva Open has come back for the first time since 1991, while it is the sixth edition for the Nice Open, which was first staged in 2010. After the week-long matches at both venues, four finalists have emerged in men’s singles matches and four ATP250 titles, including the doubles, will be decided on Saturday. In Geneva on Friday, Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil defeated Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo in the semifinal to book his place in the final, where he would come face to face with Portugal’s Joao Sousa for the title. Sousa fought a tough three-set battle with Argentina’s Federico Delbonis in the other semifinal. At Nice, Austria’s Dominic Thiem reached the final by getting past America’s John Isner and set up the title clash with Leonardo Mayer, who defeated Croatia’s Borna Cilic in straight set in the other semifinal. Once these tournaments are concluded, all the players will head to Paris for the year’s second Grand Slam at Roland Garros, which begins on May 24, 2015.
In Geneva, Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci reached the final as he defeated Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-4. It was Bellucci’s first ATP World Tour final in 30 months but against Giraldo, the Brazilian has now scored the fourth victory in their seven previous meetings. The conqueror of Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinal, Bellucci broke Giraldo once in each set and finished the match in 71 minutes. For the title on Saturday, Bellucci will meet Portugal’s sixth seed Joao Sousa, who had a hard-fought match with Federico Delbonis of Argentina. It was the second successive three-setter for the Portuguese, who had almost lost against the third seed Pablo Andujar of Spain in the quarterfinal on Thursday. Sousa was down four match points and rode his luck against the Spaniard to reach the semifinals. Against Delbonis too, the match lasted for close to 2 hours before Sousa came through 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.
In men’s doubles at Geneva, second seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah both of Colombia defeated Belarus’s Alexander Bury and Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 4-6, 6-2, 10-8. For claiming the doubles crown, Cabal/Farah will have to beat Raven Klaasen of South Africa/Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan in the final. Klaasen/Lu defeated Treat Huey/Scott Lipsky 7-6, 6-3.
At Nice, the week-long proceedings have thrown up two finalists, who will clash for the title game on Sunday. World no. 42 Dominic Thiem played in the semifinal against USA’s big-serving second seed and world no.17 John Isner. In a closely fought first set, Isner saved seven out of eight break points in the first set, before Thiem edged the American on tiebreak. In the second set, Thiem began strongly, broke Isner once and raced to a 3-0 lead. After that the Austrian didn’t look back to carve out a 7-6, 6-3 victory in 87 minutes. Thiem matched Isner in ace-count as both players produced 11 aces each. For the title of Nice Open, Thiem will take on Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer, who defeated Croatian teenager Borna Cilic 6-4, 6-3 in the other semifinal. Mayer saved all 11 break points that Cilic created against him. Thiem and Mayer have met last year in Hamburg, where the Argentinian had beaten Thiem in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.
The doubles final at Nice will be played between ninth seeded Mate Pavic/Michael Venus and top seeds Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau.
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