Tennis roundup: Teen Marketa Vondrousova, Borna Coric win 1st titles; Steve Johnson downs Thomaz Bellucci
World number 233 Marketa Vondrousova, Croatia's Borna Coric, former Grand Slam champion Francesca Schiavone and American Steve Johnson were among the winners last week.
Biel: World number 233 Marketa Vondrousova won her first title on Sunday when the 17-year-old defeated Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) in the Biel/Bienne final.
The Czech teenager came through qualifying at the hard court event and knocked out top seeded compatriot Barbora Strycova in the semi-finals.
"It's the biggest win of my career, because I'd mostly played smaller tournaments," said left-hander Vondrousova, who was playing in just her second main draw on the WTA Tour.
"This was one of my first big tournaments, and I was injured in my left elbow for a lot of last year. I had to do a lot of fitness, which helped me become a better mover. Now I'm playing really great.
"At first, I asked for a qualifying wildcard because I wasn't sure if I could get in without one. Once I got into qualies, I almost lost my first match, but I got better and better from there."
Francesca Schiavone eyes French Open spot with Bogota title
Bogota: Francesca Schiavone won her eighth career title at the Bogota Open on Saturday to move closer to a main draw place at the French Open in her final year on tour.
The 36-year-old Schiavone, the 2010 Roland Garros champion but now down at 168 in the world, defeated Spanish fourth seed Lara Arruabarrena 6-4, 7-5.
"I'm very happy and emotional," said former world number four Schiavone who had gone into the Colombia tournament without a win on the tour in 2017.
"Today was a disaster match, but winning was the most important thing."
Victory on Saturday was Schiavone's 600th career win and took her ranking back to within striking distance of the Top 100.
Borna Coric saves five match points to win maiden title
Marrakech: Croatia's Borna Coric saved five match points to defeat Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 5-7, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 on Sunday to clinch his maiden career title at Marrakech.
Coric, the 20-year-old world number 79, trailed 3-0 in the second set and 4-2 in the decider before he rallied to victory against the third-seeded Kohlschreiber, who was bidding for an eighth title.
The Croatian lost the 2016 Marrakech final to Federico Delbonis of Argentina.
Coric fired 10 aces to defeat Kohlschreiber after two hours and 38 minutes, the longest final on the ATP World Tour this year.
"I would say that's my biggest comeback, I've never saved five match points," said Coric.
"Especially in such an important match, I served very well in the big points. It's an awesome feeling. I didn't know what to expect when I came here and I wasn't in the best shape.
"But I've been working very hard the past three or four months and now it's paying off."
For 33-year-old Kohlschreiber, the manner of defeat was nothing new -- he squandered seven match points against world number one Andy Murray earlier this year.
"It was one of those days," said the German veteran.
Ailing Steve Johnson outlasts Thomaz Bellucci for Houston title
Los Angeles: Fourth-seeded American Steve Johnson shook off cramps and fought his way to a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5) over Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci in the Houston ATP final on Sunday.
Johnson, who arrived in Houston after a US Davis Cup tie in Australia, won his second career ATP title, and his first on home soil.
"To win on US soil and win when you're not feeling great is a testament to my willpower and competitiveness," he said.
"My body has just physically run out of gas after this week. Coming in from Australia kind of put me behind the eight ball and then the nerves of trying to close out the final, a lot of factors go into cramping. I was very fortunate to get out of that."
Eighth-seeded Bellucci was vying to become the first player since 2004 to win five three-set matches en route to an ATP singles title.
"I wasn’t cramping, but I was so tired that I couldn't think to win the match," he said. "He was a little bit worse than me (physically), but he was playing unbelievably."
But Johnson was quickly down in the third set, surrendering an opening service game that included back-to-back double faults.
As Johnson's legs began to cramp as he trailed 4-2, it appeared the American was on his way out.
In a bid to keep the points short Johnson loaded up his forehands. He gave himself a break chance with a passing winner and broke Bellucci on his way to levelling the set at 4-4.
Although the cramps intensified, Johnson held on to force the tiebreaker in which he built a 6/3 lead. Bellucci saved two match points before Johnson sealed the win.
"I'm a little bit sad because I think I could have won," Bellucci said. "But I’m happy to make another final."
Sarin is placed joint second after the rapid, blitz and four rounds of Classical section at the Biel Grandmaster Triathlon
World number 73 Alcaraz is the youngest man to reach a tour final since 2008 when Kei Nishikori made the Delray Beach championship match when he was also 18.
The 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz swept past 35-year-old Richard Gasquet of France 6-2, 6-2 in the final in Umag.