Winston Salem 2019 Live : In the other semi-final, top seed Benoit Paire will meet American Steve Johnson. Paire overcame a mid-match Winston Salem 2019 dip to beat Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 7-6(5), 1-6, 6-3. The Frenchman is going for his third ATP Tour title of the season this week.Johnson, who won an ATP Challenger Tour event in Aptos two weeks ago, is through to his first ATP Tour semi-final of the season. The 29-year-old outlasted 14th seed John Millman of Australia 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.
Top seeds Lukasz Kubot/Marcelo Melo went two-for-two on Friday at the Winston-Salem Open to win their first ATP Tour team title of 2019. The Polish-Brazilian pairing beat American wild cards Nicholas Monroe/Tennys Sandgren 6-7(6), 6-1, 10-3 on Friday evening to claim the ATP 250 championship, their 13th doubles crown together.
Kubot/Melo dismissed Brits Jamie Murray/Neal Skupski 6-2, 6-3 earlier in the day. Both doubles semi-finals were postponed until Friday because of rain on Thursday.
“We played very good since the first match. We’re of course very happy with the title. We were looking for this title during the year, and we missed a couple opportunities along the way. But we’re so happy to play as we played this tournament,” Melo said.
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Kubot/Melo, four-time titlists together in 2018, were 0-2 in title matches this season (Indian Wells, Halle) coming into the final. But the veteran pairing saved all five break points faced in the second set and ran away with the Match Tie-break.
The two have won at least one title together for the past five years. Melo, who won his 33rd doubles title, extended his title streak to 13 consecutive years, and Kubot, with his 25th doubles title, extended his own streak to eight consecutive years. The Pole has also won a doubles title in 10 of the past 11 years.
They’ll receive 250 ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $40,600 in prize money.
“I think the level was very high today,” Kubot said. “We used our chances. We had a great four matches here.”
Monroe/Sandgren were playing in their second tournament together after falling in the first round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati last week. They beat Belgians Sander Gille/Joran Vliegen 7-6(1), 6-4 to reach the title match. The Americans will receive 150 ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $20,800 in prize money.If Feliciano Lopez’s fans are wondering how much more great tennis he has left in him, the Spaniard isn’t offended by the thought.
“I’ve been thinking it might be my last year for four or five years now,” he said, smiling.
The 37-year-old Spaniard has been a Top 100 staple since 2002 and still continues to pick up ATP Tour titles and high-profile wins. When Lopez competes next week at the US Open, It will be a record 71st consecutive Grand Slam appearance.
But at the moment, his attention is fully devoted to the Winston-Salem Open. Lopez, seeded No. 16, held off an inspired comeback from fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar in his opening-round match to advance 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
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“I never expected to be playing this long,” he admitted. “I know that it’s not normal. I’m very happy to keep going, play another US Open and add some more Grand Slams to my record.”
But Lopez knows that all good things inevitably come to an end. He briefly dropped out of the Top 100 in April, marking the first time that happened in 17 years, and also took over this year as the tournament director of the Mutua Madrid Open. Lopez began to consider that his days might be numbered.
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That all changed in June at the Fever-Tree Championships. Lopez, the 2017 champion at Queen’s Club, made full use of his wild cards by winning the singles title (d. Simon) and teaming with Andy Murray to take the doubles crown (d. Ram/Salisbury). His magical run was his first clean sweep at an ATP Tour event. Lopez arrived that week at No. 113 in the ATP Rankings, but jumped up nearly 60 places with his seventh ATP Tour singles title.
If anything, the constant travel of Tour life might slow him down before his level of tennis does. The Spaniard is competing in his 22nd season and long stretches away from home have understandably made him wary of airports, but he’s using his experience to maximise his time on the road.
“I find the traveling to be tough. A two-hour flight feels like a whole day ,” said Lopez. “Being in the gym is okay for me, but the training it takes to be competitive, spending hours on the court hitting balls… It’s tough for me now.
“But the most important thing is that I love what I do and love to compete. And I have experience. I know myself and what I need, so I try to condition the most important things. I hit less, but spend more time in the gym to avoid injuries.”
For now, Lopez is happy to keep going. With his grass-court success this season ensuring he will remain in the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings until at least June of next year, the Spaniard sees little reason to call time on his career.
“I don’t think it would be fair to stop now,” he said. “I think that I deserve another year.”