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Defending champ Zverev powers into Citi final

The Associated Press

Defending champion Alexander Zverev hits a return to Stefanos Tsitsipas during the semifinals of the Citi Open on Saturday.

The Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — Alexander Zverev is back in the final at the Citi Open.

The defending champion beat 10th-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals Saturday. The top-seeded German is looking to become the first back-to-back winner of the hard-court U.S. Open tuneup since Juan Martin del Potro in 2008 and 2009.

Zverev has won 15 of 17 career matches in Washington.

“I’m playing great here,” Zverev said. “Hopefully, I can continue to do so [Sunday] and hopefully in the next few years, as well.”

Zverev will face Alex de Minaur in the final after the unseeded Aussie beat Russia’s Andrey Rublev 5-7, 7-6 (10-8), 6-4 in the other semifinal. De Minaur reached the semis when former No. 1 Andy Murray withdrew from the waterlogged tournament, citing fatigue.

At 21, Zverev was the oldest player in the semifinals along with the 19-year-old Tsitsipas and de Minaur and 20-year-old Rublev. Zverev joked after advancing, “I think I’m the only one that’s allowed to buy a drink in the U.S., right?”

Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Germany’s Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-2 to reach the women’s final.

Fognini bounces del Potro

LOS CABOS, Mexico (AP) — Second-seeded Fabio Fognini upset top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-2 in the Mifel Open final.

Fognini, the 31-year-old Italian ranked 15th in the world, won the hard-court event for his third victory of the year and eighth overall. He also won clay-court titles this year in Bastad and Sao Paolo.

The 177-centimeter Fognini lost the first three games against the 198-centimeter Argentine star, then won 12 of the last 15.

The fourth-ranked del Potro missed a chance to win in his first event since a five-set loss to Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. The 2009 U.S. Open champion has 22 victories, winning this year on hard courts at Indian Wells and Acapulco.

In the doubles final, third-seeded Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela of Mexico beat Taylor Fritz of the United States and Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia 6-4, 6-4.

Serena drops out of Rogers

MONTREAL (AP) — Serena Williams has pulled out of next week’s Rogers Cup hard-court tournament, citing personal reasons.

The tournament announced Williams’ withdrawal on Saturday.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion is coming off the most lopsided defeat of her career, a 6-1, 6-0 loss to Johanna Konta in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old Williams was the runner-up at Wimbledon last month. That was just her fourth tournament since returning to the tour after having a baby in September and dealing with a health scare related to blood clots.

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