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Federer beats Nadal in 3 sets to take Swiss Indoors title

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BASEL, Switzerland (AP) Roger Federer mastered Rafael Nadal in their first meeting in almost two years to win the Swiss Indoors final 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 on Sunday.

The top-seeded Federer ended a five-match losing streak against Nadal, including the last time they played for a title in May 2013.

With the match finely poised in the deciding set, Federer hit a series of ground strokes for winners and broke Nadal’s serve for a 5-3 lead.

Federer created his second match point with a backhand volley winner and clinched it when Nadal’s service return flew long.

Nadal still has a 23-11 career hold over Federer, including 14-7 in tournament finals.

Federer’s sixth title this season is also the seventh of his career at his hometown event in Basel.

The Swiss Indoors, where Federer was once a ball boy, is now the fifth tour event he was won at least seven times. He has eight titles at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament in Halle, Germany.

Federer dominated the first half of the match, finding the lines with his ground strokes and commanding at the net, but he was broken at 5-5 in the second set and Nadal forced a third.

The old rivals had not faced each other on court since Nadal won an Australian Open semifinal in three straight sets in January 2014. Their previous title match was another Nadal victory at the Rome Masters 2 1/2 years ago.

Federer broke Nadal for a 3-2 lead, creating the chance with a backhand passing shot and taking it with a fierce forehand winner.

Federer clinched the set with four straight points on Nadal’s serve, sealed by a forehand crosscourt winner.

The Swiss even stepped up his intensity to start the second set, needing just a few strokes to win the opening game.

Nadal again called for the trainer at a changeover, as he did in a semifinal victory over Richard Gasquet, and had his right knee taped.

The third-seeded Spaniard saved a break point midway through the set and soon unleashed his best shot of the match – stretching to fire a low forehand winner down the line.

Nadal broke for a 6-5 lead after Federer’s backhand briefly faltered, and served out the set.

In the deciding set, Nadal found a stunning backhand crosscourt winner to save a break point when trailing 2-1.

Top-ranked Halep wins tough 3-setter in Miami

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) Top-ranked Simona Halep of Romania struggled to post a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 second-round win over French lucky loser Oceane Dodin at the Miami Open on Thursday.

In the first career meeting between the players, Halep allowed the 98th-ranked Dodin to break her serve on six of seven opportunities she presented in the match, which lasted more than two hours.

Halep broke Dodin’s serve for the seventh time at 4-4 in the third set before closing it out.

Halep played in her third career Grand Slam final at the Australian Open in January, but has yet to secure a Grand Slam trophy.

Halep’s best Miami Open was reaching the 2015 semifinals.

Also Thursday, former No. 1 Angelique Kerber of Germany advanced to the third round with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Johanna Larsson of Sweden.

Kerber is 19-4 this year and has reached at least the quarterfinals of all five tournaments she’s played.

Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open and U.S. Open champion, won her first tournament since that U.S. Open at Sydney in January. She also reached the Australian Open semifinals.

Serena Williams loses in first round at Miami Open to Osaka

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) Serena Williams lost in the first round of the Miami Open on Wednesday, still rusty in her return from pregnancy and unable to overcome a tough draw against Naomi Osaka, who won 6-3, 6-2.

The 20-year-old Osaka, who earned her first career title Sunday at Indian Wells, showed no signs of letup and overpowered the erratic Williams. Osaka had the stronger serve, and in rallies wore down Williams working her from side to side.

The matchup worthy of a final came about because both players are unseeded. Osaka is ranked a career-best 22nd, while Williams’ ranking is 491st after her layoff of more than a year.

Another new mother and former No. 1, three-time Key Biscayne champion Victoria Azarenka, defeated Catherine Bellis 6-3, 6-0.

Williams has endured a first-round defeat only four other times, most recently at the 2012 French Open. The latest loss came at a tournament she has won a record eight times and considers her hometown event.

The match was the last for Williams at Key Biscayne, 90 miles south of her home in Palm Beach Gardens. The tournament is moving next year to the Miami Dolphins’ stadium, and Williams helped with the ceremonial groundbreaking Monday.

After her defeat, she left without speaking to the media.

Because of Williams’ ranking, she entered the draw as a wild card, and looked the part. She was a step slow to balls in the corners and often late with her swing, while she put barely half her first serves in play.

Osaka, who has both American and Japanese citizenship and lives in Fort Lauderdale, was playing her idol for the first time but didn’t seem a bit fazed. She improved to 14-4 this year.

Things may get tougher for her in the second round, when she’ll face No. 4-seeded Elina Svitolina.

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis