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Kuznetsova 2-0 at WTA Finals after beating Pliskova

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SINGAPORE — Svetlana Kuznetsova closed in on a spot in the semifinals of the WTA Finals on Wednesday, beating Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6).

Both players served for the match in the third set, but Kuznetsova finally finished it off on her fourth match point.

“I felt the support of the crowd and I couldn’t let anyone down,” said Kuznetsova, who fell to the court after improving to 2-0 in the White Group. “So I had to fight.”

Kuznetsova will qualify for the semifinals if Agnieszka Radwanska defeats Garbine Muguruza in the second match. Plishkova is 1-1.

Kuznetsova, who has the most three-set match wins of the year with 22, led 4-1 lead in the final set and served for the match at 5-3. But she never held a match point until the tiebreaker.

Pliskova had an opportunity to serve out the match at 6-5.

Kuznetsova, the last player to qualify for the season-ending tournament, returned to the top 10 this year for the first time since she last played at the WTA Finals in 2009.

“I’ve not been at my best my past years,” Kuznetsova said. “Something changed this year and I’m just enjoying my game.”

On Monday, Kuznetsova won her opening match against Radwanska after cutting her own hair during a changeover because she said it was bothering her while she played.

U.S. Open singles champions to earn record $3.7 million

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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.

Hingis and Murray win mixed doubles title at Wimbledon

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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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