Garcia, Berrettini, Mannarino, Riske triumphant

Published by Reuters

Caroline Garcia celebrates her victory at the WTA Nature Valley Open in Nottingham (Getty Images)
Caroline Garcia, Matteo Berrettini, Adrian Mannarino and Alison Riske scoop grass-court titles on bumper day of action on Sunday.

France’s Caroline Garcia recovered from a set down to beat Croatian Donna Vekic and win her first title of the season at the Nottingham Open grass-court event.

Garcia’s compatriot Adrian Mannarino won his first ATP title in a seventh final to claim victory in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, while Alison Riske saved five match points to stun top seed and home favourite Kiki Bertens in the women’s event.

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In Stuttgart, Italian Matteo Berrettini beat fast-rising Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime for his second ATP title of 2019, third overall, and first on grass.

Top seed Garcia, the world No.28, who had finished off her semi-final win over Jennifer Brady just hours before the decider on Sunday, lost her opening two service games in a slow start to concede the opening set.

The 25-year-old then rediscovered her touch in the second set, before stepping up her game in the final set tiebreak to complete a 2-6 7-6(4) 7-6(4) victory after two hours and 36 minutes.

The final brought to a conclusion the rain-hit pre-Wimbledon tournament in Nottingham, with some earlier matches having had to be played indoors.

Matteo masters Stuttgart

Berrettini claimed his first grass-court title with a 6-4 7-6(11) victory over 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime, saving five set points in the marathon second-set tiebreak to capture his third ATP crown in last 11 months.

Berrettini, who defeated home favourite Jan-Lennard Struff in the semifinal, grabbed an early break in the opening set after Auger-Aliassime erred by pushing a backhand approach shot into the net.

The Canadian – the youngest player in the world’s top 100 – was unable to take advantage of one of his five chances in the tiebreak, with Berrettini serving well under pressure before taking control of points on his forehand.

Berrettini won all 50 of his service games over the week, claiming more than 89 per cent of his first-serve points in his five matches and becoming the first Italian male grass-court titlist since Andreas Seppi in Eastbourne in 2011.

Stuttgart marks Auger-Aliassime’s third defeat in as many finals this year after losing out in Rio de Janeiro and Lyon.

Mannarino, Riske win in ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Mannarino saved four set points in the first set and raced to a 3-1 lead in the set as Thompson struggled to control his forehands, and later held to love at 5-3 to clinch the title.

The win was the Frenchman’s first ATP title in seven attempts.

The triumph completes an impressive week for Mannarino on the Rosmalen grass courts; he overcame fourth seed Fernando Verdasco and fifth seed David Goffin, before a final set tiebreak win over Coric.

In the women’s decider, Riske staged a remarkable fightback to defeat local hero Kiki Bertens.

The American lost 10 of the first 11 games and saved five match points before turning the contest around to beat the top seed 0-6 7-6(3) 7-5.

Riske has now extended her winning run on grass to 10 matches after also claiming the ITF trophy in Surbiton last week.

“I’m just really proud of myself,” she told the WTA website. “I looked at the clock and it was 6-0 1-0 at 32 minutes in, and I thought, ‘I can’t possibly be (double) bageled in a final’.

“I had faith that things would turn around at some point, I just wasn’t sure when. I thought maybe it was too late but I stayed in there and I fought for every point.”

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