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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kafelnikov Clobbers Foes in Prelude to Open

COMMACK, New York -- Fifth-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov rallied to beat sixth-seeded Cedric Pioline of France 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 and capture the $313,750 Hamlet Cup tennis tournament the day before the U.S. Open began.


Sunday's victory gave the 20-year-old Russian his tournament title in a year that has seen him climb from 104th in the world rankings to No. 11.


Pioline, runnerup to Pete Sampras at last year's U.S. Open, has now lost in seven finals over his six years as a pro and is still looking for a tournament title.


Kafelnikov has posted a sparkling 51-19 match record this year. Only Pete Sampras (57-6), who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and French Open champion Sergi Bruguera (55-16) have also won 50 or more matches this year.


Kafelnikov, playing a persistent baseline game, said he did not want to come to the net against Pioline's passing shots, noting, "His ground strokes are very good."


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In Schenectady, New York, Jacco Eltingh of the Netherlands beat American Chuck Adams in the men's final of the OTB International Tennis Open on Sunday while Austrian Judith Wiesner defeated Latvian Larisa Neiland to take the women's title.


Eltingh beat Adams 6-3 6-4 in a battle of non-seeds to earn $42,000. Eltingh also earned a measure of revenge. Last week in New Haven, Adams eliminated him in the first round of the Volvo International.


"A week ago, I beat him so I guess he got me back in a more important situation," Adams said. "I owe him one back."


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In Umag, Croatia, top-seeded Alberto Berasategui of Spain won the $400,000 Croatian Open clay court tennis tournament Sunday, defeating Slovakia's Karol Kucera 6-2, 6-4.


A clay-court specialist who remains 10th in the men's world ranking, Berasategui achieved his fourth win ever, and third this year.


Berasategui, 21, rode to victory without giving a single set to his 8th seeded opponent. (AP, Reuters)