July 21, 2018 / 11:21 PM / 2 months ago

ATP roundup: Johnson seeks second win of season at Newport

Third-seeded American Steve Johnson breezed past Spain’s Marcel Granollers on Saturday to advance to the final of the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open in Newport, R.I.

FILE PHOTO: Mar 8, 2018; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Steve Johnson (USA) during his first round match against Daniil Medvedev (not pictured) at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 victory to move within one match of his second title of the year and the fourth of his career. The 28-year-old Southern California native claimed a tournament win in April when he captured the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston.

“It feels good,” Johnson said to ATP’s official website. “You come here to Newport, you come to an event, you expect to at least give yourself a chance at being here at the end of the week. Now we’re here, and I’m just going to keep putting my best foot forward.”

Johnson will face Ramkumar Ramanathan of India, who fended off American Tim Smyczek with a 6-4, 7-5 win in the semifinals. Ramanathan, 23, is seeking his first career victory on the tour.

Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag

Third-seeded Italian Marco Cecchinato reached the finals at Umag, Croatia, with a resounding 6-2, 6-1 win over Argentine qualifier Marco Trungelliti.

Cecchinato, a 25-year-old who is ranked 27th on the tour, is seeking his second championship this year. He won in Budapest in April before reaching the semifinals at Roland Garros as part of a breakout season.

“I’m putting in the hard work and that’s the key to this run,” Cecchinato said to ATP’s site. “Tomorrow, I’m playing against a very good player in Guido Pella. I need to play very good tennis to win again.”

Pella, of Argentina, advanced to the finals with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 victory over Dutchman Robin Haase. The 28-year-old Pella has yet to win a tour championship and is ranked No. 72 overall.

SkiStar Swedish Open

Third-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini outlasted fifth-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in a wild 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 match to make it to the finals at Bastad, Switzerland.

The 31-year-old Fognini improved to 3-4 all-time against Verdasco, a fellow seasoned veteran at age 34. Fognini will go for his seventh career title, including his second of the year, after the semifinal win.

“Beating Fernando is really difficult,” Fognini told ATP’s site. “Today was a tough match, I started really well, ... and then after losing the first game of the second set, it was 40-0 on my serve, he was playing more confidently. At the end, I think it is a lottery.”

The final will pair Fognini against fourth-seeded Richard Gasquet, who cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 win over Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen in the semifinals. Gasquet, 32, has one title this year and 15 in his career.

—Field Level Media

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