Mon, Aug 06, 2018 - Page 10 News List

De Minaur fightback earns finals berth

AFP, WASHINGTON

Alex de Minaur celebrates victory over Andrey Rublev in the semi-finals of the Citi Open in Washington on Saturday.

Photo: EPA

Australian 19-year-old Alex de Minaur on Saturday saved four match points and advanced to the final at the Citi Open, where he was to play third-ranked defending champion Alexander Zverev.

The teen outlasted 20-year-old Russian Andrey Rublev 5-7, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4 in 2 hours, 52 minutes, while 21-year-old German Zverev ousted Greek teen Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4.

“It’s one of the biggest wins of my career,” De Minaur said. “Dug deep and never gave up. Couldn’t be prouder of myself.”

De Minaur, ranked 72nd, won the final six points of the tie-breaker to force a third set, then broke 46th-ranked Rublev in the final game, winning on his fourth match-point chance when the Russian double faulted.

It will be the youngest combined age of any ATP final since 20-year-old Rafael Nadal beat 19-year-old Novak Djokovic in 2007 at Indian Wells after the ATP’s first all-21-or-under semi-finals since 1995 in Buenos Aires.

“This is amazing for tennis,” Zverev said. “It’s good to see the young guns come up.”

In the companion WTA event, two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia won 6-2, 6-2 twice to reach the final, first downing Kazakh eighth seed Yulia Putintseva in a match that had been halted by rain then dispatching Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.

World No. 128 Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open champion, was to play for the title against 44th-ranked Croatian Donna Vekic, who eliminated China’s 85th-ranked Zheng Saisai 7-5, 6-3.

SILICON VALLEY

AP, SAN JOSE, California

Mihaela Buzarnescu on Saturday rallied past fourth-seeded Elise Mertens 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to set up a final against Maria Sakkari at the Silicon Valley Classic.

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