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Radwanska advances to semifinals at WTA Finals

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SINGAPORE — Defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska took the final spot in the semifinals of the WTA Finals, beating Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-3 on Friday.

Radwanska, who finished 2-1 in the round robin, will play top-seeded Angelique Kerber in Saturday’s semifinals. Kerber won the Australian Open and the U.S. Open this season, and reached the Wimbledon final.

“I think I really have nothing to lose at the moment, especially (since) I’m going to play the best player of the season,” Radwanska said of the top-ranked German. “She’s played incredible tennis this year.”

Earlier, Svetlana Kuznetsova earned first place in the White Group despite losing to Garbine Muguruza 3-6, 6-0, 6-1.

Kuznetsova will next play Dominika Cibulkova, who reached the semifinals despite finishing 1-2.

Pliskova offered Radwanska too many free points, making 29 unforced errors to only eight for the Pole.

Radwanska initially trailed 4-2 in the first set, but she soon recovered to 4-4.

In the second set, Radwanska scored the final service break in the eighth game when Pliskova netted two consecutive overheads.

Kuznetsova managed to win the first set against Muguruza, but looked fatigued after that.

“Definitely, you don’t want to lose the match,” said Kuznetsova, the last player to qualify for the season-ending tournament. “You try to fight. Sometimes the lack of energy just won’t let you do that.”

Top-seeded John Isner wins 3rd Hall of Fame title

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NEWPORT, R.I. — Top-seeded John Isner beat Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Sunday for his third Hall of Fame Open title.

The hard-serving American also won the grass-court event in 2011 and 2012. He has 11th career titles, all at the ATP World Tour 250 level.

“It’s hard to win a tournament,” Isner said. “It’s no small feat to come out here and be the last man standing. I’m very happy about that. It’s been two years since I won a tournament, so I had that weighing on my mind.”

Isner became the second player to win an ATP title without facing a break point since records began in 1991. Tommy Haas also accomplished the feat in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2007.

“I’m very happy with how I played all week,” Isner said. “It was a perfect week and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Ebden was playing his first tour-level final.

“It’s a lot of reward for a lot of hard work, a lot of years of sacrifice,” Ebden said. “It’s disappointing, but at the same time I have to be happy with my week.”

Roddick, Clijsters among Tennis Hall of Fame inductees

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NEWPORT, R.I. — Andy Roddick says jokingly he can now keep Roger Federer from a unanimous selection for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

As a new inductee, Roddick gets to vote on future candidates. He jested ahead of his enshrinement on Saturday that he’ll use it to get back at Federer, who stood in his way during at least four Grand Slam finals.

Roddick joins inductees Kim Clijsters, six-time Paralympic medalist Monique Kalkman and journalist and historian Steve Flink. Tennis instructor and innovator Vic Braden was to be inducted posthumously.

Roddick won one Grand Slam and lost to Federer in the finals four times. He says he doesn’t ask himself what would have happened if he hadn’t come along at the same time of perhaps the greatest player.

He says the first text he got when he woke up Saturday was from Federer. Says Roddick: “He makes it extremely hard not to like him as a person.”