Sweden’s Robin Soderling and Spain’s David Ferrer on Saturday easily secured their spots in the final of the ATP Swedish Open tennis tournament in Bastad.
Soderling, ranked fifth in the world, beat world No. 8 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-0, with the semi-final match ending after only 71 minutes.
Soderling was to face Ferrer in the final yesterday.
Ferrer, who is the world No. 6, also had a straightforward path to the final, beating his compatriot Nicolas Almagro, the world No. 14, 6-1, 6-3.
Soderling and Ferrer have played against each other 13 times and Soderling has won nine of their matches.
“It’s going to be a tough one. I’m going to have to play my best tennis and hope Robin misses,” Ferrer said.
AP, PALERMO, ITALY
Polona Hercog of Slovenia reached her second straight WTA final by defeating top-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-2, 6-2 at the Palermo Open on Saturday.
The seventh-seeded Hercog, who won her maiden title in Bastad last week, was to play four-time Palermo champion Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain yesterday. It’s the first Palermo final since 2007 without an Italian player.
Hercog eased to a 5-0 lead before Pennetta, who won here in 2009 and was runner-up last year, found some rhythm against her hard-hitting opponent.
The 20-year-old Hercog used two early breaks in the second to set up the victory.
AP, BAD GASTEIN, AUSTRIA
Austrian wild card Patricia Mayr-Archleitner thrashed eighth-seeded Ksenia Pervak of Russia 6-0, 6-0 in less than 48 minutes at the Gastein Ladies on Saturday to reach her first WTA Tour final.
She will play Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain, who defeated Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine 6-1, 7-6 (5) to reach her first final of the season.
Mayr-Archleitner played a power game from the baseline, forcing Pervak into errors. The Russian won only nine points on her own serve and 17 in total. Mayr-Archleitner closed it out when Pervak hit a double fault.
It was only the 109th-ranked Mayr-Archleitner’s second semi-final after reaching the last four at a 2009 tournament in Bogota, Colombia. She lost that match 7-5, 7-5 to Martinez Sanchez in their only previous meeting.
AP, STUTTGART, GERMANY
Juan Carlos Ferrero rallied to beat Federico del Bonis of Argentina 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday and will play fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar in the final of the Mercedes Cup.
Ferrero was a set and a break down to Del Bonis, in his first tournament in two months after wrist and knee injuries.
A former No. 1, Ferrero is ranked 85th in the world. Del Bonis, 11 years younger, is at No. 240. The Argentine had never won a tour-level match before last week. He won three in qualifying and three in the main draw to reach his first semi-final.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
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