Getty Images

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

Leave a comment

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.

Sharapova, Puig heading to Puerto Rico for hurricane relief

AP Photo
Leave a comment

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) Maria Sharapova and Monica Puig will head to Puerto Rico next week to help with recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, and Puig, who won Puerto Rico’s first Olympic gold medal in any sport at the Rio de Janeiro Games last summer, will go to the island Monday to distribute portable stoves, medicine and other supplies.

The agency that represents both players said Wednesday that Puig has raised more than $125,000 to help storm victims, while Sharapova is donating proceeds from her candy company for the rest of 2017.

The storm swept across Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, causing at least 48 deaths, according to the official tally. It caused widespread flooding and knocked out the entire power grid for the island of 3.4 million people.

 

Sharapova loses to Rybarikova at Kremlin Cup

AP Photo
Leave a comment

MOSCOW (AP) Maria Sharapova was beaten by Magdalena Rybarikova 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the first round of the Kremlin Cup on Tuesday, ending her bid for a second title in two weeks.

Sharapova, who won the Tianjin Open two days ago, brought her usual power but lacked accuracy with some wild swings on key points.

“I felt fine physically, to be honest, especially after having played five matches in five days (in Tianjin). That was a big surprise,” Sharapova said. “Maybe I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been … Maybe if this tournament hadn’t been in Moscow, I wouldn’t have played it.”

Sharapova was under pressure on serve from the start and saved six break points before finally being broken to 6-5. She responded by breaking Rybarikova, but Sharapova’s double fault at 4-3 in the tiebreaker handed the Slovakian the momentum to close out the set.

Rybarikova, seeded eighth, sealed the match after saving two break points to lead 5-4, then breaking Sharapova in the next game. Rybarikova will play Alize Cornet in the second round.

Six months after she returned from a 15-month doping ban, Sharapova is still trying to move back up the rankings from her current position of 57th. Her first tour appearance in Moscow in a decade drew a large and enthusiastic crowd despite taking place on a Tuesday afternoon.

Also Tuesday, seventh-seeded Julia Goerges beat Russian qualifier Polina Monova 6-0, 6-3 to set up a second-round meeting with Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

In the men’s Kremlin Cup tournament, sixth-seeded Damir Dzumhur defeated Thomas Fabbiano 6-3, 0-6, 6-2.