x

International

Jabeur Ends Gauff’s Run in Berlin to Book Final with Bencic

BERLIN — Coco Gauff missed out on reaching a first grass-court final on Saturday when the 18-year-old American lost to Ons Jabeur 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the semifinals of the Berlin Open.

Cheered on by fans waving Tunisian flags amid a heatwave in Berlin, Jabeur recovered from 3-1 down in the first set and dominated the second to set up a final against Belinda Bencic on Sunday.

“You have to be this good to beat Coco, you know. She’s a great player,” Jabeur said. She added she had “no expectations” of her first grass tournament of the season and paid tribute to the Tunisian fans. “Everywhere I go they’re always here, they’re chanting all the time, it’s amazing,” she said.

Coco Gauff from the United States returns the ball to Ons Jabeur from Tunesia during the WTA tournament semifinal tennis match in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Jabeur will play her fourth final in a season where she has reached a career-high ranking of fourth in the world and became the first African and first Arab player to win a WTA 1000 event at last month’s Madrid Open. The tournament in Berlin is her first since a surprise first-round loss at the French Open.

Next week, Jabeur is heading to Eastbourne, where she will team up with Serena Williams in doubles on t he American’s return after a year out.

Gauff’s run in Berlin was the closest she has yet come to a title on grass, a surface on which she hadn’t previously reached any quarterfinals, though she has twice reached the fourth round at Wimbledon. Her quarterfinal win over last year’s Wimbledon runner-up, Karolina Pliskova, was a particular highlight.

Bencic is back in the Berlin final for the second straight year in her quest for a first grass-court title in seven years after a hard-fought win over Maria Sakkari.

Bencic needed to play more than three hours in the heat to beat second-seeded Sakkari 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-4 in their semifinal.

Bencic had set point in the first-set tiebreaker before her Greek opponent won the next three points to take the set.

Belinda Bencic from Switzerland celebrates winning the WTA tournament semifinal tennis match against Maria Sakkari from Greece in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

The second set and decider were also closely contested, with Sakkari saving four set points in the second and two match points in the third before Bencic broke through.

Sakkari is ranked sixth, 11 places above Bencic, but had never played a grass semifinal before.

Maria Sakkari from Greece returns the ball to Belinda Bencic from Switzerland during their WTA tournament semifinal tennis match in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

The Swiss player has a chance to win the Berlin title after losing last year’s final to Liudmila Samsonova. Olympic gold medalist Bencic has a 6-8 record in finals including 1-3 on grass, with the lone grass title coming in Eastbourne in 2015.

Bencic leads Jabeur 2-1 in career meetings, all of them on clay. Jabeur lost the Charleston Open final to Bencic in April but won their last meeting on her way to the Madrid title a month later.

RELATED

LONDON (AP) — Jurgen Klopp just couldn't keep the smile from his face.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

THE HAGUE (AP) — The United Nations’ highest court on Monday wrapped up historic proceedings into the legality of Israel’s 57-year occupation of lands sought by Palestinians for a future state, with most voices at the hearing arguing against the Israeli government.

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump has appealed his $454 million New York civil fraud judgment, challenging a judge’s finding that Trump lied about his wealth as he grew the real estate empire that launched him to stardom and the presidency.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary’s parliament voted Monday to ratify Sweden's bid to join NATO, bringing an end to more than 18 months of delays that have frustrated the alliance as it seeks to expand in response to Russia's war in Ukraine.

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City is marking the anniversary of the 1993 bombing at the old World Trade Center that blew apart a van parked in an underground garage, killing six people and injured more than 1,000.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.