Medvedev makes light work of Rublev as Tsonga benefits from Basilashvili injury

By Sports Desk September 20, 2019

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  • Bencic books Shenzhen spot as 'McCoco' win another title Bencic books Shenzhen spot as 'McCoco' win another title

    Belinda Bencic booked her place in the WTA Finals by progressing to the showpiece of the Kremlin Cup, where she will meet home hope Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

    Bencic needed to beat Kristina Mladenovic to secure her spot in Shenzhen and made no mistake in the 6-3 6-4 defeat of the Frenchwoman.

    This week's event in Moscow marked the final opportunity for the Swiss, who has enjoyed a resurgent 2019 having previously dropped out of the top 300 amid injury problems, to reach the season-ending tournament.

    Bencic, whose run to the US Open semi-finals was highlighted by a victory over Naomi Osaka, said: "I think tomorrow [Sunday], I'll just be so happy to be in the final and will enjoy it already knowing I'll be in Shenzhen.

    "This gives me a great feeling and hopefully I can take that into tomorrow and play even better.

    "It means the world to me. Obviously, it was a big goal this season, particularly after I started it so strongly, and having put myself in a position to reach the WTA Finals I'm so happy now to have reached it.

    "To do it at the last minute makes it even more emotional. There was lots of pressure today and I was really nervous so I'm just over the moon to somehow have made it to the Finals."

    Pavlyuchenkova stands between Bencic and a second title of 2019 after defeating Karolina Muchova 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-1.

    Jelena Ostapenko will take on Julia Goerges in the final of the Luxembourg Open, where Coco Gauff enjoyed doubles success alongside Caty McNally, a team dubbed 'McCoco' during the US Open.

    Goerges won in straight sets against Elena Rybakina, while Ostapenko came from a set down to beat Anna Blinkova, who knocked out Gauff in the first round.

    Fifteen-year-old Gauff was unable to follow up her first WTA singles crown in Linz with a run in Luxembourg, but she claimed her second doubles title alongside fellow American teenager McNally, the pair defeating Kaitlyn Christian and Alexa Guarachi 6-2 6-2.

  • Murray relishing reunion with Wawrinka in Antwerp final Murray relishing reunion with Wawrinka in Antwerp final

    Andy Murray is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with Stan Wawrinka at the European Open in his first singles final since 2017.

    Murray is playing his final tournament of the year, aside from the Davis Cup, in Antwerp as he continues a remarkable comeback from hip resurfacing surgery that was expected to end his career.

    The three-time grand slam champion progressed to his first final since March 2017 with a 3-6 7-5 6-2 win over Ugo Humbert.

    He will face Wawrinka, who himself tumbled out of the top 250 in 2018 after continued injury issues but is now back in the top 20, in the showpiece on Sunday.

    "I am obviously happy to be in the final," said Murray. "I did very well to turn that match around today. It was tough. He was playing huge from the back of the court… it was tricky but I am obviously happy to be back in a final.

    "I think it will be a nice match to play. Me and Stan have played a lot against each other… it is nice that we are both able to be back playing against each other in a final.

    "It was obviously big for me to get that [6-5] game in the second set, but the game that won me the match was the first game of the third set.

    "When I was 0-40 down, I think I played a couple of good points. It was a huge game to get out of. I felt like the momentum was with me once I won that game, I felt like that was what set me on my way."

    Meanwhile, Denis Shapovalov is into his first career ATP final at the Stockholm Open, the 20-year-old overcoming Yuichi Sugita 7-5 6-2 to set up a meeting with Filip Krajinovic, who got the better of Pablo Carreno Busta over three sets.

    At the Kremlin Cup, Andrey Rublev is a win away from his second ATP title after beating former US Open champion Marin Cilic 7-5 6-4.

    He will face Adrian Mannarino, a 6-3 6-4 victor over Andreas Seppi.

  • Murray and Wawrinka to meet in Antwerp final Murray and Wawrinka to meet in Antwerp final

    Andy Murray will face Stan Wawrinka in his first ATP Tour singles final since March 2017 after coming from a set down to beat Ugo Humbert at the European Open.

    Murray's career was in doubt after he underwent hip resurfacing surgery in January, but the former world number one could add to his title haul on Sunday after a 3-6 7-5 6-2 defeat of Humbert.

    The three-time grand slam champion has not featured in a singles championship match since overcoming Fernando Verdasco in Dubai two and a half years ago.

    Murray passed another stamina test and showed his strength of character to get past Humbert on Saturday, setting up a mouthwatering decider against fellow multiple major winner Wawrinka.

    Humbert secured the first break of the second semi-final to lead 4-2 after fending off two break points in the previous game and served out the opening set to love.

    Murray took the upper hand in the second by breaking to lead 3-1 and although he was unable to consolidate as the 21-year-old hit straight back, the Brit broke again to level the match.

    Southpaw Humbert saw three break-point opportunities pass him by in the opening game of the final set and was soon up against it at 3-0 down, with Murray going on to put away a simple volley at the net to break again and move into the final.

    Fourth seed Wawrinka also came through a battle between youth and experience, seeing off Jannik Sinner 6-3 6-2.

    The Swiss, also eyeing a first ATP Tour title since 2017, broke four times to end the 18-year-old's impressive run.

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