Kohlschreiber wins title
Philipp Kohlschreiber claimed his fifth ATP Tour trophy by defeating Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) in the Duesseldorf Open final on Saturday. The 35-year-old Karlovic fought back in the second set after the top seed went ahead 4-3. It looked like a decisive break, but the seventh seed took it to the tiebreaker, where the German let two match points go before ultimately claiming the win in 72 minutes. “It’s simply great,” Kohlschreiber said. “It’s one of the nicest feelings in tennis to win a tournament. You don’t get the chance that often.” It was the 30-year-old’s first title since 2012, when he won his home tournament in Munich. Four of his five titles have been on German soil.
Gulbis stays perfect in finals
Second seed Ernests Gulbis maintained his perfect record in ATP Tour finals when he defeated Federico Delbonis to win the Open de Nice on Saturday. The Latvian triumphed 6-1, 7-6 (7/5) for his sixth career tournament victory. Gulbis secured the opening set in just 26 minutes, but then wasted three break points early in the second. He fell behind in the tiebreaker, but fought back to win five of the next six points, securing the victory when Delbonis hit a forehand into the net. “I am really happy to win here,” said Gulbis, who should rise to a career-high of No. 15 in the rankings. “My next goal is to be top 10, even top eight. I think if I play well in the Grand Slams, I have a good chance. It’s tough to kick out somebody from the top as there’s a lot of good players, but I am working on it.”
Bouchard claims first title
Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard defeated Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 on Saturday to win the Nuremberg Cup for her first WTA Tout title. Second seed Bouchard, who had not lost a set on the way to her second career final, held her nerve in the third set after five breaks of serve in a row to win in 1 hour, 53 minutes. Pliskova beat top seed Angelique Kerber and No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina to reach the final, but the Czech was unable to claim her second career title after Kuala Lumpur last year. “She’s a great player and she can be very dangerous at times, so I’m really glad I stayed with it and kept fighting for it during the third set,” Bouchard said. The 20-year-old had won the only previous matchup between the pair in the first round of the US Open last year. “This is kind of like a stepping stone for me. Winning a WTA title is of course a goal I’ve had and I’m so happy to accomplish it, but I still want to achieve more — more titles, bigger titles,” Bouchard said.
Monica Puig makes history
Monica Puig became the first Puerto Rican to win a WTA Tour title on Saturday by beating Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 6-4, 6-3 in the Strasbourg International final. “It’s amazing to do this coming from such a small island, where tennis isn’t necessarily recognized as one of the main sports,” Puig said. “I’m just happy I’m able to be here playing tennis, not only for myself, but for my country too.” In a match between two players appearing in their first final, the 20-year-old Puig was on top from the start as she broke the Spaniard in her first service game. She also broke twice in the second set. Puig dropped just nine points on serve all match. “I woke up this morning and I felt it. I felt I was going to do something amazing,” Puig said. “It was one of those feelings where you just know it’s going to happen and I played some of the greatest tennis I’ve ever played.”