Author: Tomi Garguilo

By STEVE DORSEY DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—Radu Albot already is one of the most recognized athletes in his home country of Moldova in Eastern Europe. He’s going to be even more famous now. Albot became the first Moldovan to ever win an ATP Tour-level tournament Sunday when the 29-year-old defeated Daniel Evans of Great Britain 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7) in a compelling singles final at the Delray Beach Open. “I think a lot of people were watching for sure,” Albot said. “My parents watched all my matches and they didn’t sleep for a week, so I hope they are very, very happy now.” Suffice it to say that Albot truly earned the championship trophy presented to him following the grueling three-setter that took 2 hours, 51 minutes – not including a 56-minute rain delay – to determine a winner. It was Albot’s fourth three-set victory here this week, and he rallied...

By STEVE DORSEY DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Tommy Haas said he regarded Fernando Gonzalez as one of the toughest opponents he faced when both were on the regular ATP Tour. Haas needed all he could muster Saturday night to defeat Gonzalez in the nightcap of the ATP Champions Tour Delray Beach Open at the Delray Beach Stadium. “He made some unbelievable shots at times. It almost felt like old times,” Haas said after needing a lengthy third-set tiebreak beat Gonzalez 6-7(5), 6-3, 13-11. “When he was on top of his game he was one of the toughest players to play. His serve was good, he hit the spots, the forehand was just lethal. It’s always a challenge playing against him, and even tonight I could feel it at times. . . . It was definitely a very competitive match. Fernando’s such a great shotmaker.” The win by Haas...

By STEVE DORSEY DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – It’s been almost a year since Donald Young had an ATP world ranking in the top 100, and he’s coming off a disappointing, if not trying, 2018 campaign. But this weekend, the 29-year-old American is hoping to rekindle some of the magic that the left-hander has enjoyed here in the past at the ATP 250 in Delray Beach. Young was a semifinalist here two years ago, losing to eventual champion Jack Sock. Two years earlier, he made it to the 2015 finals, losing to Ivo Karlovic. Young arrived here this week with a No. 201 world ranking, far removed from his career high of No. 38 in 2012 when he was tabbed as a rising star among the American contingent. He took a first step toward regaining what he hopes will be another successful run here when he won his first-round...

By Steve Dorsey DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – He handled every challenger he faced, including one of the world’s best, and cleared every obstacle in his way, including a lengthy rain delay that forced him to finish one match and then play another on the same day. Suffice it to say that Frances Tiafoe truly earned the title of 2018 Delray Beach Open champion. The 20-year-old Tiafoe polished off the most successful week of his young career here Sunday when he defeated German Peter Gojowczyk 6-1, 6-4 to capture his first ATP World Tour title at the Delray Beach Stadium and Tennis Center. Tiafoe is the first wild card winner at Delray Beach and is the youngest American to win an ATP title since 19-year-old Andy Roddick won at Houston in 2002. He’s also the first Next-Gen American to win a title and the eighth player to capture his first ATP...

By Steve Dorsey DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – The painful disappointment of falling short in his quest to defend his singles title here this week was soothed Sunday for Jack Sock when he became the third player in Delray Beach Open history to win three combined titles in singles and doubles. What made the day even more special for Sock was that he accomplished the feat while teaming with his close friend Jackson Withrow to defeat Nicholas Monroe and John-Patrick Smith 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 in the doubles final. It’s the first ATP World Tour title for Withrow. “It’s not so much about the tennis, it’s more about our friendship. That’s what works for us,” Withrow said. Sock and Withrow are now 4-3 as a team. They captured the title Sunday playing in their first final together after storming through the doubles draw that included wins against three of the four seeded...

By Steve Dorsey  DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Frances Tiafoe was thrown into an unusual position of having to win a quarterfinal and a semifinal match Saturday at the Delray Beach Open. And after a hectic 24 hours, the 20-year-old American now finds himself on the brink of possibly claiming his first ATP World Tour title. About five hours after closing out his quarterfinal match against Hyeon Chung that was suspended Friday night because of rain, Tiafoe returned to the Stadium court at the Delray Beach Tennis Center and stopped 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov 7-5, 6-4 in a Next-Gen semifinal that wrapped up Saturday’s action. It’s been a remarkable two weeks for Tiafoe, regardless the outcome of Sunday’s championship match against German Peter Gojowczyk, who earned a berth in the final by beating Steve Johnson earlier Saturday. Two weeks ago, Tiafoe had nine career wins. After reaching the quarterfinals at last...

By Steve Dorsey  DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Peter Gojowczyk filled out one half of the championship final Saturday afternoon at the ATP World Tour Delray Beach Open when the 28-year-old German ousted American Steve Johnson in straight sets at the Delray Beach Stadium and Tennis Center. Earlier, American Frances Diafoe emerged a winner in the completion of Friday night’s suspended quarterfinal match against Korean Hyeon Chung, who was the last remaining seeded player. Gojowczyk, ranked No. 64 in the world, advanced to his first final of the year with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 win against Johnson, who earlier in the week defeated No. 9 seed Milos Raonic. Johnson became the third consecutive American to lose to Gojowczyk here, but the German insisted he has nothing against Americans. “I like you,” he told reporters in the post-match interview. “It’s just a great week for me. I’ve enjoyed my time here...

By Steve Dorsey  DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Canadian Denis Shapovalov joined American Steve Johnson and German Peter Gojowczyk as semifinalists, but weather played havoc with who will complete the singles final four at the ATP World Tour Delray Beach Open. Play was suspended because of rain for a second time late Friday night in the final quarterfinal match between Korean Hyeon Chung and American Frances Tiafoe with Tiafoe leading 5-3 in the decisive third set. They will resume the match Saturday afternoon, with the winner returning a few hours later to face Shapovalov in the semifinals. The other semifinal will match Johnson against Gojowczyk in an afternoon match following the conclusion of the suspended match. Tiafoe had an opportunity to close out the match before play was suspended the first time because of rain but Chung, the No. 8 seed, survived three match points to extend the game...

By Steve Dorsey  DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – The NextGen players have made headlines at the ATP World Tour Delray Beach Open this week, with four of them advancing to the quarterfinals. But it was two veterans who owned the Stadium court Friday afternoon at the Delray Beach Tennis Center. A pair of 28-year-olds, American Steve Johnson and German Peter Gojowczyk, punched their tickets into the semifinals with straight-sets victories Friday. Johnson ousted Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6-1, 6-4, and Gojowczyk tamed wild card Next-Gen American Reilly Opelka 7-6 (5), 6-3. Johnson, ranked No. 51 in the world, has not lost a set in his three matches here this week that included a straight-sets win against No. 9 seed Milos Raonic in the second round. He won five straight games to take the first set, then broke Donskoy to open the second set and held serve the remainder of the...