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Pliskova beats Williams for 1st win at WTA Finals

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POSTED October 22, 2017 10:47 p.m.

SINGAPORE (AP) — Third-seeded Karolina Pliskova cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over fifth-seeded Venus Williams at the WTA Finals on Sunday.

“I felt really good,” Pliskova said. “I think everything was fine with my game today. I think I was just a little bit better, even from the baseline, even on my service games, so there was no need to panic with anything in my game.”

In Sunday’s other match, second-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain posted a 6-3, 6-4 win over seventh-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

Pliskova raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set, but Williams regained her composure to break back in the fifth game.

Pliskova broke the Williams serve again in the sixth and eighth games to secure the first set. Williams double-faulted to 30-40 and then sailed a backhand long on the final two points of the set.

In the second, Pliskova saved two break points in the third game, and the Czech then broke the Williams serve in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. She broke Williams again in the final game of the match.

“I definitely was playing better in the second set but she just seemed to have all the answers,” Williams said. “Some days that’s how it is. Hopefully, I will have more luck in the next ones.”

Pliskova, making her second consecutive appearance in the WTA Finals, and Muguruza are now 1-0 in round-robin action in the White Group.

Williams, the only player of the eight in the WTA Finals not to win a title this year, and Ostapenko fall to 0-1 in the group.

 

Dzumbur wins Kremlin Cup

MOSCOW (AP) — Damir Dzumhur recovered from a second-set slip to beat Ricardas Berankis and win the Kremlin Cup on Sunday.

Bosnia’s Dzumhur beat his Lithuanian opponent 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 to win his second career ATP title after victory last month at the St. Petersburg Open.

Dzumhur dominated from the start but slumped in the second set even though Berankis made just 31 percent of his first serves in that set.

The decider was even until Dzumhur broke for a 5-4 lead and closed out the match.

Berankis has lost both of his career finals.

Del Potro takes Stockholm Open

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Juan Martin del Potro won his 20th career title Sunday, beating Grigor Dimitrov in a successful title defense at the Stockholm Open.

Del Potro held serve throughout as he won 6-4, 6-2 against Dimitrov while also landing 70 percent of first serves and firing in nine aces.

It was the Argentine’s first title since he beat Jack Sock in last year’s Stockholm final. The two Stockholm wins are del Potro’s only tour titles since he returned in 2016 following chronic wrist problems.

For Dimitrov, it was his fourth final of the year and first defeat. The Bulgarian is now 7-6 in career finals,

 

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