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  • Gulbis, Roger-Vasselin advance at Delray

  • DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Edouard Roger-Vasselin upset top-seeded John Isner 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships on Saturday.
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  • DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Edouard Roger-Vasselin upset top-seeded John Isner 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships on Saturday.
    The 15th-ranked Isner could never find his form against Roger-Vasselin, who was playing in his first career ATP World Tour semifinal. Roger-Vasselin was 0-5 in career quarterfinals. His father, Christophe, was a French Open semifinalist in 1983 and ranked as high as 39th.
    Roger-Vasselin of France will play qualifier Ernests Gulbis of Latvia in the final today.
    Gulbis, who won the title here in 2010, upset second-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (2) to reach the final. Ranked 109th in the world, Gulbis moved into a tournament final for the first time since 2011, when he won in Los Angeles.
    Gulbis is the fifth qualifier to reach the Delray Beach finals. The others were Marinko Matosevic of Australia (2012), Evgeny Korolev 0f Uzbekistan in 2009, Kei Nishikori of Japan in 2008, Alex Calatrava of Spain in 2000 and Andrew Ilie of Australia in 1998.
    Nishikori and Ilie won the titles when they reached the final.
    "It is the first outdoor tournament after the indoor season," Gulbis said. "Qualifiers have one small advantage as they've played already three matches while the main draw guys haven't played a match yet.
    "That's why there's a lot of upsets here."
    It was another chilly day in South Florida and the wind was swirling at 24 mph during the first two sets. In the third set, as the wind died down to 14 mph the quality of the tennis picked up.
    Haas is known for having an effective serve, but with the windy conditions he only posted one ace and an uncharacteristic nine double faults.
    Haas had opportunities to take control of the third set, but wasn't able to capitalize on his chances. The German had two break points on Gulbis' serve in the ninth game and three break points in 11th game as well.
    "I definitely put myself in position to win the match but just didn't do it," Haas said. "If I had won one of those (break points) I think I'd have had the match in my favor." Gulbis dominated the tiebreaker, securing two minibreaks: a forehand drop shot on the third point and when Haas netted a backhand on the seventh point.
    Mexican Open
    At Acapulco, Mexico, Rafael Nadal blasted past top seed and defending champion David Ferrer 6-0, 6-2 in the final of the Mexican Open in a powerful performance that indicated he has quickly returned to near his best after a long-term knee injury.
    Ferrer was a three-time defending champion and had won 19 straight matches in this event, but he could find no answer to Nadal, losing to his Spanish compatriot in just one hour and five minutes.
    The women's final was similarly one-sided with Italy's Sara Errani beating Carla Suarez-Navarro of Spain 6—0, 6-4.
    Brazil Cup
    At Florianopolis, Brazil, Monica Niculescu of Romania defeated Olga Puchkova of Russia 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in the final of the Brazil Tennis Cup to win her first WTA title.
    Niculescu had been runner-up twice on tour before finally breaking through at the outdoor hard-court tournament in southern Brazil.
    The 75th-ranked Romanian broke Puchkova's serve to go up 5-4 in the final set then converted on her service game to close out the match in 1 hour, 59 minutes.
    She broke Puchkova three times to win the first set but allowed the Russian to rebound in the second with two breaks of her own, including in the final game of the set.
    The 109th-ranked Puchkova, who ended with six double faults, had upset top-seeded Venus Williams in three sets in Friday's semifinals.
    Dubai Championships
    At Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Novak Djokovic rallied from a break down in the first set to win his fourth Dubai Championships title in five years, downing third-seeded Tomas Berdych 7-5, 6-3.
    The top-ranked Djokovic extended his unbeaten streak this year to 13 matches, which included his third straight Australian Open title. He's won 13 of their last 14 meetings en route to his 36th career title.
    In an early display of power tennis, the sixth-ranked Czech used blistering groundstrokes and a serve that approached 132 mph. He hit a crosscourt winner to break Djokovic and go up 3-2 in the first set and extended it to 4-2 with another crosscourt winner.
    But errors began creeping into the Czech's game and Djokovic took advantage.
    The Serb broke to draw even when Berdych missed an easy volley winner and then saved three break points to make it 5-4. Djokovic broke Berdych a second time to win the set when the Czech made three unforced errors and finished with a double-fault.
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