Errani cruises to Dubai Open title

Tennis Foreign round-up : Italian drubs Strycova; Nadal gets walk-over en route semifinal
Last Updated 20 February 2016, 18:05 IST

 Sara Errani defeated Barbora Strycova 6-0, 6-2 on Saturday to win the Dubai Tennis Championships three years after first reaching the final.

The Italian will rise back into the top 20 as a result of her comprehensive victory in 66 minutes, according to WTA calculations.

Strycova made a stand at the end, saving four match points over the last two games before drilling a forehand out to lose for the sixth time in seven meetings with Errani.

Errani, who won the first eight games, lost the 2013 final here to Petra Kvitrova. She now owns nine career titles.

Cilic in final

Croatian fourth seed Marin Cilic cruised into the final of the Open 13 by beating local favourite Benoit Paire 6-2 6-7(3) 6-3 in Marseille on Saturday.

Cilic will take on either Czech second seed Tomas Berdych or Australian Nick Kyrgios in Sunday's final. Kyrgios earlier whipped Richard Gasquet 6-0, 6-4.

Frenchman Gasquet, ranked 10, who pulled out of Rotterdam last week with flu, had triumphed two weeks ago in neighbouring Montpellier.

But he was no match for the 41st-ranked Kyrgios, whose powerful serve helped him to a straightforward victory in under an hour.

The 20-year-old fired 17 aces, dropping just six points on serve and breaking Gasquet four times.

While Cilic conceded eight points on his service games in a one-sided first set, Paire's first-serve percentage was only 33.

The Frenchman rediscovered his touch in the second set and Cilic lost focus in the tiebreak as the match went into a decider.

The former US Open champion, however, regained his composure to break for 4-2 in the third set before wrapping it up on his first match point.

Meanwhile, former world number one Rafael Nadal reached the Rio Open semifinals without even hitting a ball Friday as Aleksandr Dolgopolov withdrew injured from their last-eight tie.

Ukraine's Dolgopolov was forced to withdraw due to a right shoulder injury.
Nadal is playing at the low-key clay court event in a bid to find his form ahead of a tilt at an unprecedented 10th French Open crown in June.

Nadal will next play in Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas in the semifinal, who defeated Argentina's Federico Delbonis 6-4, 7-6 (4).

No stopping Del Potro

Injury-nagged 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro advanced to the ATP Delray Beach Open semifinals by defeating French fifth seed Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-3.

The 27-year-old Argentine wildcard entrant earned semis berth against 61st-ranked Sam Querrey, who rallied to dispatch fellow American Tim Smyczek 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4), 6-4.

Bulgarian fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov will face American Rajeev Ram in the other semifinal. Ram, ranked 89th, won their only prior meeting at Atlanta in 2011.

(Published 20 February 2016, 18:05 IST)

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