Young Guns Karen Khachanov and Frances Tiafoe Join Diego Schwartzman in ATP Winner’s Circle This Week
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
ATP MarseilleEmbed from Getty Images
Russia’s Karen Khachanov won his second career ATP title, taking the championship in Marseille 7-5 3-6 7-5 over Lucas Pouille. Khachanov beat Frenchman Julien Benneteau, veteran Tomas Berdych, Mischa Zverev, and Ruben Bemelmans on the week, dropping just a set against Pouille.
Pouille couldn’t make it 2/2 in French finals this year, but he did score tough wins over Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Filip Krajinovic. He beat Ilya Ivashka in the semis, Ivashka playing in his first ever semifinal at the ATP level after benefiting from drawing an injured Stan Wawrinka in the round of 16.
Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus defeated Marcus Daniell and Dom Inglot in the doubles final.
ATP Delray BeachEmbed from Getty Images
Frances Tiafoe lived up to the hype this week in Delray. The 20 year old defeated Peter Gojowczyk 6-1 6-4 in the final, capturing his first ATP title in what was an amazing week for the young American. He began his winning streak against Matt Ebden in the opening round, then upset Juan Martin Del Potro in 3 sets. In the quarterfinals and semifinals he beat fellow young guns Hyeon Chung and Denis Shapovalov, dropping a set to Chung but recovering well. Tiafoe’s game was more solid this week than it had been previously.
Germany’s Gojowczyk defeated Lukas Lacko, John Isner, Reilly Opelka, and Steve Johnson to reach the final, his second at the ATP level. Despite defeating three Americans, he couldn’t defeat a fourth in the final.
Jackson Withrow and Jack Sock beat Nick Monroe and J.P. Smith in the doubles final, completing an All-American sweep at the Delray 250.
ATP RioEmbed from Getty Images
Diego Schwartzman wrapped up a 500 level title in Rio with a routine 6-2 6-3 win against Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco. It’s the biggest title of the Argentine’s career and his second ATP title overall. He defeated Casper Ruud, Federico Delbonis, Gael Monfils, and Nicolas Jarry without dropping a set in any of his matches this week.
Verdasco turned back the clock a bit. The 34 year old showed his forehand range against Leonardo Mayer, Nicolas Kicker, Dominic Thiem, and Fabio Fognini. His wins against Thiem and Fognini, both in straight sets, was the best results he’s posted on tour in quite some time.
David Marrero joined with singles finalist Verdasco to win the doubles final against Nikola Mektic/Alexander Peya.