WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Austria's Jurgen Melzer didn't want to spend a week in New York with all the craziness surrounding the start of the U.S. Open.
Instead, Melzer spent the week training and playing in the relative quiet of North Carolina — and came away with a champion's trophy and a big jump up the world rankings.
Melzer won the Winston-Salem Open title on Saturday at the Wake Forest Tennis Center after Frenchman Gael Monfils retired because of an injury early in the second set.
Melzer earned his fifth career ATP tournament title and first this season. His ranking will improve five spots to No. 27 on Monday, when the U.S. Open begins at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
New Haven Open
At New Haven, Conn., Simona Halep dominated defending champion Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-2 Saturday to win the New Haven Open, the final WTA tuneup for next week's U.S. Open.
Halep earned her fourth career win, but her first in a premiere tournament. All have come since June. The 23rd-ranked player improved to 29-5 in her last 34 matches (31-5 counting qualifying matches).
She broke the 2011 Wimbledon champion in four consecutive service games. The first break gave her a 3-2 lead in the first set. The fourth put her up 3-0 in the second as she took control of the match.
Kvitova had a chance to take charge early in match, up 2-1 and 15-40 on Halep's serve. But Halep won the next three points to save that game. She was down 40-30 in the next game before getting her first service break when Kvitova sent a cross-court forehand just wide.
Halep closed the match by holding Kvitova without a point in the final game, serving an ace, dropping her racket and throwing her arms into the air.