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Nadal beats Bedene to reach 3rd round at Monte Carlo Masters

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MONACO (AP) Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal dropped serve twice and still beat Aljaz Bedene of Britain 6-3, 6-3 in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday.

Nadal was broken for a second time when serving for the match at 5-3, but the Spaniard broke straight back to seal victory.

The fifth-seeded Nadal, who won the last of his titles here in 2012, next faces 12th-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria.

No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, also advanced past Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (2), 7-5 into the third round.

But No. 6 Tomas Berdych, last year’s runner-up, squandered eight break-point chances in losing to 99th-ranked Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-3.

Later, top-ranked Novak Djokovic began his title defense against Czech Jiri Vesely.

Boris Becker to head men’s tennis for German federation

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FRANKFURT, Germany — Boris Becker has been hired for the new position of head of men’s tennis by the German tennis federation.

The six-time Grand Slam champion will advise all top male players from the country and help its Davis Cup team.

The federation announced Becker’s appointment Wednesday, as well as Barbara Rittner’s move from Fed Cup captain to head of women’s tennis.

Jens Gerlach takes over Germany’s Fed Cup team.

Becker won three titles at Wimbledon – including at age 17 in 1985 – two at the Australian Open and one at the U.S. Open. He also reached No. 1 in the ATP rankings.

He played his last Grand Slam tournament in 1999. Becker turns 50 in November.

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

Top-seeded Radwanska gets past Bouchard at Connecticut Open

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska survived a second-set comeback bid from Eugenie Bouchard to advance to the quarterfinals of the Connecticut Open on Tuesday.

The 10th-ranked Radwanska, who won the title in New Haven last year, defeated Bouchard 6-3, 7-5 in 1 hour, 45 minutes. The Polish veteran is 4-0 in her career against the Canadian, who needed a wild card to enter the tournament.

Bouchard fought off two match points but was broken while serving to force a tiebreak.

Also advancing were Australia’s Daria Gavrilova, who needed 2 hours, 12 minutes to defeat Timea Babos of Hungary 7-5, 7-6 (6), and Elise Mertens of Belgium, a straight-sets winner over Russia’s Daria Kasatkina.

The Connecticut Open is the final women’s tuneup for the U.S. Open, which begins on Monday.