Brady wins first WTA title as Halep withdraws from US Open; Nishikori tests positive - GulfToday

Brady wins first WTA title as Halep withdraws from US Open; Nishikori tests positive


Jennifer Brady poses with the trophy after winning Lexington Open. Associated Press

American Jen Brady captured her first WTA title on Sunday, defeating Swiss left-hander Jil Teichmann 6-3, 6-4 in the Top Seed Open final. Brady did not drop a set all week on the way to her first WTA final and wore down Teichmann to claim the crown in a US Open tuneup event without spectators at Lexington, Kentucky.

The tournament was established in the wake of COVID-19 rescheduling issues as the first WTA event in the United States since the season was halted.

Brady, set to rise nine spots to a career-high 40th in Monday’s rankings, delivered the first finals defeat for 63rd-ranked Teichmann, who had won titles in 2019 at Prague and Palermo.

The two had split two prior matches, Teichmann winning in 2019 at Limoges and Brady winning last year at Cincinnati.

Brady squandered a break chance in the fourth game with a backhand beyond the baseline and three more in the sixth game, twice on errant backhands.

Teichmann was denied on four break points in the seventh game, Brady saving with an ace, service winner and serve and volley winner and the Swiss hitting a forehand crosscourt return wide in the nine-minute game.

Brady, 25, finally struck for the break in the eighth game when Teichmann sent a forehand long, seizing a 5-3 lead, but the American squandered four set points in the ninth game before the 23-year-old Swiss netted a forehand to surrender the set after 55 minutes.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up, said Sunday he has contracted COVID-19 and has withdrawn from an ATP event in New York with this year’s US Open only two weeks away.

Nishikori said he took the test and received the positive result on Sunday in Florida and will isolate himself despite few symptoms. He and his team plan more tests and a status update on Friday.

“I have some unfortunate news,” Nishikori said in a statement posted on social media. “This morning, while still in Florida, I got tested for COVID-19 and tested positive.”

Nishikori had planned to fly to New York on Monday ahead of this week’s Western and Southern Open, an event usually played in Cincinnati but moved to New York in a quarantine setting to serve as a final tuneup for the US Open, which starts Aug.31 in the same bubble atmosphere.

“I will have to pull out of the Cincinnati tournament at this time,” Nishikori said. “I am feeling well and have very little symptoms but will obviously be in complete isolation for the safety of everyone.”

Nishikori has enjoyed his best Grand Slam efforts at Flushing Meadows, including his loss to Marin Cilic in the 2014 final and semi-final runs in 2016 and 2018.

Nishikori, whose most recent victory came in 2019 at Brisbane, has won six of his 12 career ATP titles on US soil.

Elsewhere, Wimbledon champion Simona Halep will skip the US Open, saying Monday she is putting her health first and prefers to stay in Europe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Halep, a former top-ranked player who is currently No. 2, won the title in Prague on Sunday.

“After weighing up all the factors involved and with the exceptional circumstances in which we are living, I have decided that I will not travel to New York to play the (at)usopen,” Halep wrote on Twitter.

“I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision and I therefore prefer to stay and train in Europe.”

Six of the top eight women in the WTA rankings won’t play in New York. No. 1 Ash Barty and defending champion Bianca Andreescu have also withdrawn from the tournament.

Other women who won’t be playing include No. 5 Elina Svitolina, No. 7 Kiki Bertens and No. 8 Belinda Bencic. The US Open is scheduled to start at Flushing Meadows on Aug. 31.

“I know the (at)usta and (at)WTA have worked tirelessly to put on a safe event and I wish everyone there a successful tournament,” Halep wrote.


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