SINGAPORE — A physically spent Svetlana Kuznetsova claimed a draining 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 win over defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska in nearly three hours at the WTA Finals on Monday.
Kuznetsova, who saved a match point on Radwanska’s serve near the end, eventually prevailed on a third match point to break Radwanska’s serve.
“At some point I was just ready to let it go, just lay on the court and let them take me out of here,” Kuznetsova told the cheering crowd. “I was just trying to stay in there and hang in there.”
Kuznetsova was the last player to earn a berth into the eight-player, year-end championships when she defended her Moscow title on Saturday.
The Russian arrived in Singapore on Sunday afternoon after a grueling four weeks of chasing a spot in the WTA Finals for the first time since 2009.
Kuznetsova played three tournaments in China ahead of taking a wildcard into the Moscow tournament.
In a bizarre move while trailing 1-2 and down a break in the third set, Kuznetsova took a pair of scissors to the back of her head and cut off a portion of her braid during the changeover.
Kuznetsova immediately broke Radwanska’s serve after the impromptu haircut, but after dropping her serve again in the fifth game she cried into her towel on the changeover.
Still, trailing 2-4 Kuznetsova refused to surrender and climbed back into the set.
The hair Kuznetsova sheared off remained on her chair for the remainder of the match.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Total player compensation at the U.S. Open will top $50 million for the first time this year, with a record $3.7 million going to each of the singles champions.
The U.S. Tennis Association announced Tuesday that the total purse for the tournament will be $50.4 million, a nearly 9 percent increase from last year. The previous winners of the final Grand Slam tournament of the season – Stan Wawrinka and Angelique Kerber – earned $3.5 million.
Runners-up will get $1.825 million, up from $1.75 million.
Both the men’s and women’s doubles champions will earn $675,000, the highest in U.S. Open history. A player who loses in the first round of singles at Queens’ Flushing Meadows will make $50,000, an increase of $6,700.
The U.S. Open starts on Aug. 28.
LONDON — It’s not a good idea to turn down Martina Hingis. Jamie Murray is glad he didn’t.
Hingis and Murray won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title on Sunday, beating Henri Kontinen and Heather Watson 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court.
Murray hadn’t played mixed doubles since the 2016 French Open, but when Hingis contacted him before Wimbledon, he couldn’t resist.
“I mean, the (men’s) doubles for me is obviously my biggest goal of the year,” Murray said. “It’s going to take something pretty special to kind of maybe potentially take my eye off the ball with it.”
The duo had both previously won the title playing with different partners, Murray with Jelena Jankovic in 2007 and Hingis with Leander Paes in 2015.
Hingis, who has won five Grand Slam singles titles, 11 women’s doubles and six mixed doubles, usually gets her way.
“I’m not used to `no,”‘ Hingis said. “No, I don’t take `no’ as an answer pretty much.”
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