Tennis roundup: Lucky loser Andrey Rublev wins title; David Ferrer, Kiki Bertens among other winners
David Ferrer, John Isner, Andrey Rublev, Irina Begu and Kiki Bertens were among the winners in last week's tournaments across the globe.
Bastad: Spaniard David Ferrer claimed his first ATP Tour title in almost two years by seeing off Alexandr Dolgopolov to win the clay-court tournament in Bastad for the third time on Sunday.
The 35-year-old Ferrer came through 6-4, 6-4 to seal the 27th title of his career, but first since October 2015 when he won in Vienna.
The former French Open finalist, now ranked 46th in the world, was cruising to victory with a 5-1 lead in the second set, but needed seven match points to eventually get over the line.
"I'm moved. This is my first tournament win in two years," Ferrer said.
"It has been a tough period without victories."
Ferrer's victory means that eight of the last 13 stagings of the event have been won by Spanish players, with Rafael Nadal, Tommy Robredo, Nicolas Almagro and last year's champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas all successful since 2005.
Ukrainian Dolgopolov had to settle for his first runner-up effort in three years, although he did beat Kei Nishikori to win in Argentina in February.
Lucky guy Rublev wins first career crown
Umag: Russian lucky loser Andrey Rublev claimed his first career title on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-2 win over 35-year-old Italian veteran and fourth seed Paolo Lorenzi in the Umag claycourt final.
Rublev, 19, had lost in the final round of qualifying last weekend, but earned a spot in the main draw when Borna Coric was forced to withdraw with injury.
The world number 74, who will break the top 50 next week, made the most of his reprieve by seeing off third seed and defending champion Fabio Fognini in the quarter-finals and home hope Ivan Dodig in the semis.
Moscow-based Rublev is the seventh lucky loser to win an ATP World Tour title and the first to do so since Rajeev Ram in Newport in 2009.
Rublev has been in a rich vein of form in recent weeks, reaching his first quarter-final on grass in Halle and making the second round as a qualifier at Wimbledon.
Four months ago, he was ranked at 130.
Isner beats Aussie Ebden for ATP Newport title
Washington: US top seed John Isner blasted 17 aces Sunday in defeating Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) to win the ATP Hall of Fame Open title.
The 32-year-old American won 37-of-41 first-serve points in the 74-minute triumph in capturing his 11th career ATP title and third on the grass at Newport, Rhode Island, after 2011 and 2012.
Isner did not faced a break point in the week and the only set where he was pushed to a tie-breaker was the last, when he took three of the final four points for the victory.
"I'm very happy with how I played all week. It was a perfect week," Isner said. "I couldn't ask for anything better."
Ebden, the lowest-ranked ATP finalist since 2009 at 249th, was in his first ATP final. The 29-year-old South African-born former Commonwealth Games bronze medalist was only 3-3 in 2017 ATP main draw matches until this week, when he won six matches in six days to reach the final.
"It's disappointing, but at the same time I have to be happy with my week," Ebden said.
It was the first title for Isner since Atlanta in 2015 and came in his first final since last November's Paris Masters, where he lost to Britain's top-ranked Andy Murray.
"It has been two years since I won a tournament, so I had that weighing on my mind," Isner said.
"It's hard to win a tournament. It's no small feat to come out here and be the last man standing. I'm very happy about that."
Isner, ranked 21st, improved his career record at Newport to 19-5. He broke Ebden's first service game of the match for a 2-0 lead and held from there to claim the opening set.
Isner improved to 3-0 lifetime against Ebden without dropping a set, also winning in the fouth round at Indian Wells in 2012 and in the second round at Wimbledon in 2015.
Home favourite Begu wins Bucharest title
Bucharest: Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu claimed her fourth WTA Tour title by easing past Julia Georges to win on home clay in Bucharest on Sunday.
The 26-year-old broke twice in each set to come through 6-3, 7-5, as German third seed Georges double-faulted on match point.
It was the seventh-seeded Begu's second title in the Romanian capital, having won the tournament when it was part of the second-tier ITF Circuit in 2011.
Later in the day, Begu and compatriot Raluca Olaru also clinched the doubles trophy, defeating Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs in the final, 6-3, 6-3.
"It is amazing. I never thought that I could win two trophies in one week, especially in Romania, in Bucharest, my hometown," Begu was quoted as saying by the WTA website.
"It’s unbelievable. I am a little bit tired after so many hours spent on court. It’s tough. It was really hot this week here so, yes, I am tired, but happy in the same time. It was an amazing week for me."
Bertens bags Swiss WTA title
Gstaad: A tearful Kiki Bertens used an emotional change of ends in the deciding set of the Gstaad Ladies Championship final to beat Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 on Sunday.
Leading 2-1 in the third set, the second-seeded Bertens sobbed tears in her chair as she talked with her coach, Raemon Sluiter.
Bertens then won four straight games to clinch the title against the third-seeded Estonian.
The Dutch right-hander cried again behind the baseline when Kontaveit netted a service return on the first match-point chance.
Both singles titles for Bertens this season have been on clay courts, taking her career tally to four.
Bertens is expected to rise nine places to No 26 in the WTA rankings on Monday.
With inputs from agencies
"I think the WTA, the whole organisation, they handled it really well. I'm really proud of them," Osaka said.
A leaked entry list shared by tennis journalists on social media and picked up by several outlets showed Djokovic named as the top seed for the 21-26 February event.
Madison Keys warms up for Australian Open by beating Alison Riske in all-American Adelaide International final
Keys never allowed her compatriot a look into the contest powering her way to a 6-1, 6-2 victory in just over an hour to claim her sixth WTA title