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Andy Murray defeats Grigor Dimitrov to win China Open

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BEIJING — Andy Murray won the China Open in Beijing on Sunday, defeating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6 (2), in a hard-fought match that featured plenty of acrobatics from both players.

Playing in his ninth final of the season, the top-seeded Scot broke Dimitrov in the first game of the first set and again in the fifth game of the second. Murray looked to have the match in the bag serving at 5-4, but the Bulgarian finally broke his serve, then held his own to force the tiebreaker.

The finals victory was Murray’s first in three attempts at the China Open, having reached the quarterfinals on his debut and the semifinals in 2014.

Agnieszka Radwanska had an easier time of it in the women’s final, handily defeating Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2.

The third-seeded Pole added to her 2011 victory in the Beijing tournament, notching up her 20th career title and third of 2016. She took the victory without dropping a set throughout the tournament.

Radwanska broke Konta in the third game but then was broken back in the eighth before holding her service to take the first set.

She established her dominance in the second set, breaking Konta twice before serving out for the win with an ace.

“That was a really special week for me,” Radwanska said in post-match comments. “I really played great tennis, especially against top players.”

Radwanska has now won both of the pair’s encounters. She sealed the victory with just six unforced errors to Konta’s 29.

The 11th-seeded Konta was making her first Beijing appearance and had already assured herself of a place in the next WTA top-10 rankings – the first British woman to do so since Jo Durie in 1984.

“I guess it’s pretty cool. I’m very pleased with my progress over the last few years, and hopefully, yes, still many more places to climb,” said Konta, who was making her first appearance in Beijing. “But as of now I’m really enjoying my journey, I’m really enjoying working hard and really working towards playing matches like these against players like Agnieszka, so hopefully I’ll have many more in the future.”

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.”

Kuznetsova out of Australian Open after left wrist surgery

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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.