AP

Berdych beats Vesely to make Shenzhen semis with Gasquet

Leave a comment

SHENZHEN, China — Defending champion Tomas Berdych defeated Czech countryman Jiri Vesely 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-2 in the Shenzhen Open quarterfinals on Friday.

Berdych dropped his serve in the opening game, but rallied to win the set in a lopsided tiebreaker.

Vesely made the crucial service break in the fourth game of the second set to level the set score, but Berdych broke Vesely three times in the deciding set to win in just over two hours.

Top-seeded Berdych will take on unseeded Thomaz Bellucci in the semifinals, after the Brazilian upset Bernard Tomic of Australia 6-2, 6-2.

Third-seeded Richard Gasquet ended German qualifier Mischa Zverev’s run in the tournament 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), and set up a semifinal against Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia, who beat Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 7-6 (6), 6-2.

Nadal, Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards

AP Photo
Leave a comment

LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.

At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.

The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.

“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”

Kuznetsova out of Australian Open after left wrist surgery

Getty Images
1 Comment

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has withdrawn from next month’s Australian Open after having surgery on her left wrist.

Tennis Australia on Friday said No. 12-ranked Kuznetsova and China’s Sasai Zheng, with a right knee injury, were the only players ranked in the top 100 who are confirmed as not playing the Jan. 15-28 tournament at Melbourne Park.

Serena Williams, who was pregnant while winning the 2017 Australian Open title and gave birth to her first child in September, “is anticipated to return,” Tennis Australia said.

Williams could equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles with another win at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams’ ranking has dropped to No. 22 during her break from the tour.