Tsitsipas overcomes Kukushkin for title

RISING STAR: Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas with the Marseille Open trophy after defeating Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin in the final. AFP

Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas clinched his first singles title of the year with a 7-5, 7-6 (5) victory over Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin at the Marseille Open on Sunday.

Tsitsipas, who reached the Australian Open semifinals last month, battled hard to clinch victory over the 31-year-old Kukushkin in a little under two hours, firing 14 aces and winning 86 percent of his first-serve points.

Break points were in short supply in the opening set with neither player wilting under the pressure as they held serve. However, Tsitsipas drew first blood when he broke Kukushkin at 6-5 to take the first set.

Tsitsipas was seeing the ball very well on Kukushkin’s serve and returns, hitting some juicy forehand and backhand winners straight down the line.

Kukushkin broke Tsitsipas for the first time in the second set and had the chance to break him again to go 5-2 up but the Greek number one saved two break points to mount an epic comeback.

Evans upsets Isner 

Briton Dan Evans spoke of his resilience after reaching his second career final with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 upset of second seed John Isner at the Delray Beach Open in Florida on Saturday.

Less than a year after returning from a 12-month cocaine suspension, Evans staged a remarkable turnaround to set up a final against Moldovan Radu Albot. Albot, 29, will be playing in his first final after thrashing Mackenzie McDonald 3-6, 6-0, 6-0.

Canadian teen in final

Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime became the youngest man to reach an ATP 500 final when he overcame Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to progress to the title round of the Rio Open. The 18-year-old will meet Laslo Djere after the Serbian’s opponent Aljaz Bedene withdrew with a leg injury.

 

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