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Radwanska overpowers Puig, will face Wozniacki next

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TOKYO — Defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Rio Olympics gold medalist Monica Puig on Friday to set up a semifinal showdown with Caroline Wozniacki at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

Second-seeded Radwanska, of Poland, smashed eight aces in overpowering the Puerto Rican 6-2, 6-3.

“In this level of match you have to play well to win by that kind of score,” said Radwanska, who also won this tournament in 2011.

“I knew Monica was in great form, winning the gold, but you just have to go on court and play your game. I was serving great today and that helped me a lot.”

Wozniacki appears back near her best after a succession of ankle, knee and bicep injuries; reaching the U.S. Open semifinals and continuing that form here.

She beat Polish qualifier Magda Linette 6-4, 6-3. Wozniacki won 79 percent of points on her first serve, including 90 percent in the first set.

She holds an 8-4 head-to-head advantage against Radwanska.

“With Caroline, we’ve played so many matches everywhere on every surface, it’s always a great challenge against her,” Radwanska said. “For me she’s still a top-10 player, even though her ranking dropped a bit. Hopefully I can serve just as well against her tomorrow.”

Friday’s other quarter finals see Belarussian qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich tackle Japanese wild card Naomi Osaka, while top-seeded Garbine Muguruza, of Spain, faces eighth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, of Russia.

Thiem reaches third round at Monte Carlo

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MONACO — Dominic Thiem saved a match point and beat Andrey Rublev of Russia 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday.

Rublev was serving for the match at 5-4, 40-30 but hit a forehand narrowly wide. Fifth-seeded Thiem broke him with backhand pass down the line and held for 6-5.

The Austrian was 15-40 up on Rublev’s serve and clinched victory on his first match point, when Rublev double-faulted with a weak serve into the net.

“I was 10 centimeters from being out of the tournament,” a relieved Thiem said. “But I’m happy that I played two hours and 40 (minutes).”

Thiem has reached the French Open semifinals for the past two years. He next meets 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic or Borna Coric of Croatia, who play their second-round match on Wednesday.

“I’m looking forward to watching Djokovic and Coric in front of the TV, and then playing the winner on Thursday,” Thiem said.

In the second round later Tuesday, fourth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria faced Pierre-Hugues Herbert and seventh-seeded Lucas Pouille played Mischa Zverev.

In remaining first-round play, there were wins for Gilles Simon of France, Marco Cecchinato of Italy and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.

Jared Donaldson fined $6K for ranting at umpire

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MONACO — Jared Donaldson has been fined $6,200 for unsportsmanlike conduct after angrily ranting at the chair umpire during his first-round loss to Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the Monte Carlo Masters.

The American became irate with a call when Ramos-Vinolas was serving at 3-2, 40-0 in the second set on Monday. Donaldson thought the serve was out and pointed to the ground, shouting, “There’s a mark right here,” and then screaming the same words in the face of French umpire Arnaud Gabas.

He then squared up to Gabas and shouted: “Yes it is, yeah it is,” as he insisted his mark was right and the umpire’s call of in was wrong.

Donaldson, who yelled again at Gabas before the supervisor came on, received a code violation. He lost 6-3, 6-3.