Ben Shelton beats Marcos Giron at Japan Open to reach his first final

TOKYO (AP) — Ben Shelton rallied from a set down to beat American qualifier Marcos Giron 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 6-4 on Saturday at the Japan Open to reach his first tour final.

The 21-year-old Shelton, playing in consecutive tournament semifinals after reaching the same stage last week in Shanghai, will play Aslan Karatsev in Sunday’s final.

The American converted four of eight break points in an arm-wrestle of a contest against Giron.

“It’s a huge achievement for me and my team, especially the way the match panned out today,” Shelton said. “Definitely one of the toughest matches I’ve played in my life. Marcos was waxing me from the baseline in almost every rally and I had to completely change my game to even have a chance against him.

“To be able to get through that match, to not only figure some things out but get a win and be going into my first ATP final, the win couldn’t be sweeter.”

Karatsev ended Japanese wild-card entry Shintaro Mochizuki’s dream run 6-3, 6-4 to advance to his first tour-level final since Sydney in January 2022.

The 30-year-old Russian has not dropped a set this week and now has the opportunity to avenge his defeat to Shelton at last month’s U.S. Open, the only time the pair have played.

Jiangxi Open

Katerina Siniakova and third-seeded Marie Bouzkova will contest an all-Czech final at the Jiangxi Open in China after winning their respective semifinals on Saturday.

Siniakova beat Leylah Fernandez 7-5, 6-4, ending the Canadian’s eight-match winning streak which included the Hong Kong Open title last week.

Earlier, Bouzkova eased to a 7-6 (5), 6-2 over Russia’s Diana Shnaider and will be looking for her second title after winning her home tournament at Prague last year.


AP tennis:

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