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TENNIS

France’s Rezaï wins WTA Båstad title over Dulko

Rising French star Aravane Rezaï won her fourth WTA title on Saturday at the Collector Swedish Open Women in Båstad in southern Sweden on the west coast, beating Gisela Dulko.

France's Rezaï wins WTA Båstad title over Dulko
Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/Scanpix

It was the second title this season for Rezaï, ranked 19th in the world. Earlier this season, she stole the show at the prestigious Madrid tournament, defeating US star Venus Williams.

Seeded second here, Rezaï did not have it all her own way against fourth-seeded Dulko, who had beaten her in both of their previous encounters, before winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Rezaï started strongly, leading 6-3, 3-2 and holding two points for 4-2 before Dulko bounced back, winning four of the next five games to take the second set. The momentum swung towards Rezaï in the third set as she cruised to a 4-0 lead in the final set.

Just when it seemed she had the upper hand, Rezaï lost her service to love and a string of unforced errors allowed Dulko come back to 4-3. However, Dulko double faulted, giving Rezaï 5-3 and a double match point.

The Argentine saved both, the first when her opponent double faulted and then with a powerful return of serve, to make it 5-4. Rezaï made no mistake on her third match point, breaking Dulko’s serve to take her fourth career title, following wins at Strasbourg and Bali last year and Madrid this season.

Dulko bounced back to defend her doubles title with Italy’s Flavia Pennetta, winning 7–6 (0), 6–0 against the Czech Republic’s Renata Voráčová and Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová.

After the tournament wrapped up, the SkiStar Swedish Open (Swedish Open Båstad) for men on the ATP Tour opened on Saturday. Båstad is best known for the tennis tournament, held each summer since 1948.

The city has has the most tennis courts in the country and has fostered many internationally successful tennis players. The town attracts some 20,000 visitors during this time. Meanwhile, the women’s tournament moved to Båstad from Stockholm last year.

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SPORT

Björn Borg’s son Leo set to make his Wimbledon debut

Four decades after Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg won a fifth consecutive Wimbledon title, his 16-year-old son Leo Borg is reportedly set to make his debut at the tournament.

Björn Borg's son Leo set to make his Wimbledon debut
Leo Borg's Wimbledon debut is yet to be officially confirmed. Photo: Hanna Franzén/TT

According to reports in British tabloid The Sun and Swedish tabloid Expressen, Borg will be awarded a wildcard to play in the Wimbledon junior event.

“Leo is very grateful about getting a wildcard for the qualifiers to junior Wimbledon,” Björn Borg told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.

“It will be an incredible experience and useful practice for the future,” he added.

A spokeswoman for the Wimbledon tournament did not want to confirm the decision, only saying that wildcard announcements and the main draw for the Juniors tournament would be made next week.

If confirmed, Leo Borg’s Wimbledon debut comes 39 years after Björn Borg defeated American rival John McEnroe, winning him his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title.

The iconic match has been called one of the greatest matches of all time and the story was adapted for the screen in the 2017 feature film Borg vs McEnroe, where Leo, bearing a striking resemblance to his fatther, played a younger version of Björn Borg.

During the 1970s and early 1980s Björn Borg won a total of 11 Grand Slam titles, five Wimbledons and six French Opens.


Björn Borg after winning his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title in 1980. Photo: Scanpix/TT

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