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Halep into 3rd round at Wuhan Open

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WUHAN, China — Former French Open finalist Simona Halep took less than 70 minutes to reach the third round of the Wuhan Open, advancing Monday when fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu retired in the second set of their second-round match.

The No. 4-seeded Halep was leading 6-3, 2-0 when Begu retired with a back injury amid warm and humid conditions. Halep, who skipped the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo last week because of a hamstring strain, had a first-round bye at Wuhan.

In first-round matches, 2014 champion Petra Kvitova opened with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Jelena Ostapenko and set up a meeting with Elina Svitolina, who rallied from a break down in the third set to beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

“This was the fourth time we’ve played this season and I’m glad now it’s 2-2,” Kvitova said. “I know how difficult it can be to play her and how dangerous she is.”

No. 10-seeded Dominika Cibulkova had a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win over Alize Cornet and Yulia Putintseva was leading 6-1, 4-1 when Anastasija Sevastova retired from their match.

Johanna Konta, the 11th seed, had a 6-1, 6-2 win over Annika Beck, and Madison Brengle advanced after leading 6-3, 2-1 when British qualifier Heather Watson retired because of a stomach complaint.

Top-seeded Angelique Kerber is in action on Tuesday against Kristina Mladenovic, who had a 7-6 (5), 6-3 first-round win over CoCo Vandeweghe.

Serena Williams, who was replaced by Kerber at No. 1 in the rankings with her run to the U.S. Open title, has withdrawn from the tournaments in Wuhan and Beijing because of an injured right shoulder.

Historical marker for tennis great Tilden rejected again

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) A Pennsylvania panel once again rejected a historical marker for Philadelphia tennis great Bill Tilden.

Tilden became the first American to win Wimbledon in 1920 and also won seven U.S. championships. In 1950, The Associated Press voted him the greatest player of the first half of the century.

A year ago, a panel of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission that approves historical markers voted 4-1 against recommending approval of a marker at Philadelphia’s Germantown Cricket Club, citing Tilden’s convictions on charges involving teenage boys in the 1940s.

Karen Galle, coordinator of the historical marker program, confirmed Wednesday that the panel again voted 4-1 against approving the marker in February and that recommendation was among 54 approved by the commission at its March 22 meeting.

“While the significance of this athlete’s tennis career and talent are indisputable, his convictions for sexual misconduct with underage boys preclude recognition,” commission spokesman Howard Pollman said.

Lack of a marker doesn’t diminish Tilden’s accomplishments but approval “may be perceived to dishonor victims of sexual abuse,” Pollman said. Officials have cited the climate in the commonwealth following the sex abuse scandal involving another sports figure, Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky.

Tilden was arrested in Beverly Hills, California, in November 1946, after a 14-year-old boy was caught driving the star’s car erratically. Officers reported that when the teen exited the car, his pants zipper was down. Police charged Tilden with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and he served seven months in jail. He was arrested again in 1949 on allegations that he violated probation by being in the company of another teen boy, and that he groped a third teen. He served 10 months at a prison farm.

Tilden, born to a wealthy Philadelphia family, was featured regularly in magazines, newspapers and newsreels during his career. He was friends with Hollywood elite and played at the White House at the invitation of President Warren Harding. He’s credited with urging children of all economic backgrounds to learn tennis, once a sport only for the wealthy, and modern players still value his manuals on how to play.

After his convictions, Tilden’s Germantown membership was revoked, and his portrait was removed. In recent years, the club has begun to embrace Tilden’s memory, and a group of Philadelphians has been lobbying for a historical marker at the site.

Injured Murray to miss Davis Cup quarterfinals

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LONDON — Andy Murray will miss Britain’s Davis Cup quarterfinal series against France next month because of an elbow injury.

Murray sustained the injury in practice and also recently withdrew from the Miami Open.

Britain captain Leon Davis says “not having Andy in the side is obviously a big loss to our team, but most importantly we all wish him well for a speedy recovery back to full health and fitness.”

Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund, Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot will line up for Britain on clay in Rouen from April 7-9.