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Del Potro picked for Davis Cup doubles by Argentina

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PESARO, Italy (AP) Argentina picked Juan Martin del Potro to play doubles against Italy in the Davis Cup quarterfinals from Friday.

It will be Del Potro’s first tie in four years, and his first Davis Cup doubles.

Wrist surgeries have limited his appearances, but he’s finally sustained another comeback which included beating Stan Wawrinka en route to the third round of Wimbledon.

This is his first tie since the 2012 semifinals, and though he has a 12-4 record in the cup, all in singles, he was passed over by Argentina captain Daniel Orsanic, who preferred Federico Delbonis, who will open against Andreas Seppi, and Juan Monaco, playing his first tie in 2 1/2 years, in the singles.

Del Potro was paired on Thursday with Guido Pella, who made his debut in the first-round win over Poland.

Italy has returned to Pesaro’s clay, the site of its first-round sweep of Switzerland. It hopes a six-match winning streak on home soil, going back to 2009, will help carry it to only a second semifinal in 18 years.

Fabio Fognini leads the team, and will oppose his old doubles partner Monaco in the second singles.

Against Del Potro and Pella, Italy has teamed Marco Cecchinato and Paolo Lorenzi, who have never played Davis Cup doubles.

The winner meets Britain or Serbia in the semifinals.

Wozniacki beats Pavlyuchenkova for Pan Pacific title

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TOKYO — Caroline Wozniacki overwhelmed Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 7-5 to retain her Pan Pacific Open title on Sunday.

The victory gives Wozniacki, also champion in Tokyo in 2010, her first title of the year. The Dane had lost all six of her previous finals in 2017.

“This was my seventh final of the year – it gets harder to get that last win,” said world No. 6 Wozniacki, who has now won at least one title every year since 2008. “I’ve been putting myself in a position to win all year. It was really important for me to stay focused and positive.”

Wozniacki had crushed world No.1 Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals and a similar score looked on the cards here Sunday.

“The court suits my game. She plays powerfully so it was important for me to make her move around early on. In the first set everything was going my way. In the second set she served better, so it was tricky for me to break.”

The first set lasted only 20 minutes as Pavlyuchenkova struggled to get a foothold.

“I was really disappointed in the first three games,” said the Russian. “I felt I was a bit unlucky and really believe if I had turned those points round and won the games, it may have been a different match. I was a little down on myself and missed more than I should.”

The Russian fought harder in a second set that went with serve until the 12th and final game.

Yet she failed to earn a break point in the match and appeared outclassed in her first Premier-level final since Moscow in 2015. Semifinal opponent Angelique Kerber was the only seed she faced this week before third-seeded Wozniacki.

“It’s disappointing to lose no matter which round it is, even more disappointing in the final,” said Pavlyuchenkova, who needed three sets to win all four of her matches en route to the final.

“I felt a little flat due to the previous matches. I didn’t have so much energy left.”

Federer beats Kyrgios as Europe wins first Laver Cup

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PRAGUE — Roger Federer rallied to beat Nick Kyrgios 4-6, 7-6 (6), 11-9 Sunday and clinch the new Laver Cup tournament for Europe on Sunday.

The three-day competition at Prague’s O2 Arena pitted a team of the best six European players against the top six from the rest of the world.

Seen by some as a tennis version of the Ryder Cup in golf, the inaugural Laver Cup was played on an unusual black hard court.

Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych also formed the European team, while Sam Querrey, John Isner, Jack Sock, Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe played for the world.

The tournament is to honor Rod Laver, an 11-time major champion who won two calendar-year Grand Slams.

Chicago will host it in 2018.