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Kvitova overpowers Cibulkova to win Wuhan Open

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WUHAN, China — Petra Kvitova overpowered Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 6-1 Saturday to win the Wuhan Open for her first title of the year.

The 14th-seeded Kvitova, who won the inaugural tournament in 2014, hit nine aces and converted six of seven break points to post her fifth win over a Top-20 player this week.

“Wuhan, it’s really one of my favorite cities,” said Kvitova, who defeated top-ranked Angelique Kerber in the third round. “It was a great crowd as well, there were some incredible matches for me and I’m really happy that I can stand here as a champion again.”

Kvitova won 17 of the first 18 points. Cibulkova managed a break in the fifth game of the first set, but it didn’t change the momentum and the second set was just as one-sided.

With the win, the Czech will move up to No. 11 in the rankings after coming into the tournament at No. 16, which was her lowest ranking since May 2011.

Kvitova, who has won at least one tournament every year since 2011, improved to 5-2 against her 10th-ranked Slovak opponent. It was the first meeting between the two players in more than two years.

Fifth-seeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova defeated third-seeded Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova 6-1, 6-4 to win the doubles title.

Two-time champ Azarenka gets Australian Open wild card

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka has been awarded a wild card for the Australian Open.

Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, has been involved in a custody dispute involving her son Leo, who was born last Dec. 19.

She hasn’t competed anywhere since Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10. The dispute with her former partner started shortly after Wimbledon ended.

Azarenka has played only six matches this year and is ranked 208th.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said on Wednesday that every assistance would be provided to the former No. 1, adding “Vika’s current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we have reached out to offer any support we can.”

The Australian Open starts on Jan. 15.

Nadal, Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards

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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.”