Cuevas outlasts Pella for Rio title

RIO DE JANEIRO: Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, coming off an upset of Rafael Nadal, won his fourth career ATP title on Sunday, defeating Argentina’s Guido Pella 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4 in the Rio Open final.
Cuevas smashed a forehand winner on the final point, the only break point either player managed in the last two sets, to claim the crown after two hours and 16 minutes at the clay court event.
The final was interrupted by rain in the opening set and completed in the early morning hours of Monday.
The $303,000 top prize was the biggest single payday of Cuevas’ career, coming after his semifinal shocker over Nadal.
“I know people were expecting Nadal but I’m glad you cheered for me,” Cuevas said. “I hope everybody in Uruguay enjoyed it.”
Left-hander Pella, ranked 71st, is likely to jump to a career-best ranking later Monday despite failing to capture his first ATP crown. He took home a runner-up prize of $142,450, the biggest payday of his career.
Cuevas, ranked 45th but set to jump to 27th, missed two seasons from 2011 to 2013 due to injury but has come back to win titles at the 2014 Swedish and Croatian Opens and last year’s Brazil Open at Sao Paulo.
In the WTA singles final, former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, who turns 36 in June, won her first title since 2013, defeating Shelby Rogers of the United States 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the final.
The Italian former world number four, now ranked at 132, came back from a set and a break down to defeat her 23-year-old opponent and claim her seventh career title.
Schiavone is the third Italian winner on the WTA Tour this year after Roberta Vinci in St. Petersburg last week and Sara Errani in Dubai on Saturday.

Querrey supreme in Delray Beach

Sam Querrey beat Rajeev Ram 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) on Sunday in an all-American final in the Delray Beach Open for his eighth ATP World Tour title and first since 2012.
Querrey rebounded from a break down in each set and 0-3, 2-5 and 5-6 in the tiebreaker before closing out Ram with a running forehand down-the-line pass that clipped the baseline. Ram challenged the call, but the replay showed it caught the outside of the line.
Querrey, who was down a break in six of the 10 sets he won throughout the week, knocked out former US Open champ Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the semifinals.
“It was kind of nervous, ugly tennis all week,” said Querrey, who also reached the semifinals in Memphis last week. “But sometimes it feels better to win when you don’t play your best.”
Querrey earned $86,950. He will also move back into the world’s top 45 from a current No. 61. The 28-year-old Californian was ranked as high of No. 17 in January 2011. This was only the second time in the 24-year history of the tournament that two unseeded players met in the final. The last time was 2013.

Easy for Djokovic

Novak Djokovic hammered Spain’s Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-2 at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Monday, winning the 699th match of his career.
The world No.1 now stands 13-0 this season as he bids for a third 2016 title after trophies in Doha and Melbourne. He last played in the final at Melbourne Park, beating Andy Murray.
The top seed will next face Tunisian wild card Malek Jaziri, who advanced over qualifier Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-1.
South Korea’s rising player Chung Hyeon made a winning Dubai debut, beating Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 a day after the Italian turned 32. Canadian Vasek Pospisil defeated Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
Marseille winner Nick Kyrgios was due in Dubai later after winning the first title of his career in France over Marin Cilic.
The 20-year-old Australian starts his campaign on Tuesday night, facing Slovak Martin Klizan, winner of the Rotterdam event eight days ago.

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