Fourth seed Dominic Thiem of Austria will take on Portugal’s Joao Sousa in the final of the Kozum Croatia Open Umag. In their semifinal matches on Saturday, Thiem defeated top-seed Gael Monfils of France in three sets while Sousa became the first player from Portugal to play for the title at Umag after a three sets victory over second seed Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. In the SkiStar Swedish Open at Bastad, Spain’s Tommy Robredo will aim for his third title in the tournament after he defeated Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the semifinal. Robredo’s opponent in the final will be Frenchman Benoit Paire, who got rid of defending champion and third seed Pablo Cuevas in the other semifinal. Meanwhile at Bogota’s Claro Colombian Open, reigning champion Bernard Tomic of Australia edged out Germany’s Michael Berrer to set up a title clash with Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who played two identical tiebreaks to see off big-serving Ivo Karlovic of Croatia.
Joao Sousa became the first Portuguese player to enter the final of Umag’s Kozum Croatia Open after defeating second seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Saturday. Though Sousa lost the first set, he held eight break points against the no.2 seed. But Bautista Agut saved them all and broke the Portuguese in the final game to take the first set. However, world no.51 Sousa stormed back into the match with controlled play and took the net two set easily. He came through with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory in 2 hours and 21 minutes. For the Umag title on Sunday, Sousa will have to deal with fourth seed Dominic Thiem, who scored a 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over top seed Gael Monfils of France. The Thiem/Monfils match began with the Frenchman dominating the proceeding. He broke Thiem twice and wrested the first set 6-1. In the second set, the turnaround occurred after Thiem saved a break point against him and broke Monfils in the third game. Monfils’ game crumbled after that as he lost his serve thrice more to hand over a surprising victory to the Austrian.
In Sweden, Spain’s Tommy Robredo will try to capture his third title at the Skistar Open in Bastad. If he wins, Robredo would have claimed his 12th clay-court trophy overall. In Saturday’s semifinal second seeded Robredo defeated Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-3, 6-4. Despite the innocuous looking score-line, Robredo faced 10 break points, 8 of which he saved. However, the veteran Spaniard, who is making his 15th appearance in Bastad found the opening to unsettle the German teenager in their 82-minute encounter. In Sunday’s final, Robredo will have to get past Frenchman Benoit Paire for his third title in the tournament. Paire played strongly in the other semifinal and beat Uruguay’s defending champion Pablo Cuevas in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 in one hour 10 minutes. The 35-minute first set between Paire and Cuevas was story of trading breaks before the Frenchman prevailed 6-4. In the second set, however, Paire took a quick 3-0 lead and despite battling hard, he was broken in the eighth game and lost the match.
In Bogota’s Claro Open, Second seed Bernard Tomic looked solid in edging out Germany’s Michael Berrer 6-4, 6-7, 7-6. The Australian broke Berrer in the opening game and that was enough for his to take the first set 6-4. But Berrer forced a tiebreak in the second and forced a decider by winning it. Berrer had an edge in the decider after he broke Tomic in the third game. But the Aussie found his own break opportunity and leveled things up. The set went to tiebreak and Tomic played forcefully to win the match. For the title defense, the Australian will have beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the final. In the other semifinal at Bogota, Mannarino won in two similar tiebreaks against Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic. The Frenchman survived 17 aces from the Croat, who also won 46 out of his 53 first serve points. But Mannarino kept his nerves under control and made most of the unforced errors from Karlovic to win 7-6, 7-6.
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