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Rafael Nadal adds Carlos Moya to coaching team

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MADRID — Rafael Nadal has added former player and fellow Spaniard Carlos Moya to his coaching team ahead of the 2017 season.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion said in a statement Saturday that Moya will work together with Toni Nadal and Francis Roig.

“To have someone like Carlos, who is not only a friend but also a very important person in my career, is something special,” Nadal said. “He will be next to me on my practice and competition.”

Moya, who won the 1998 French Open as a player, parted ways earlier this month with Milos Raonic after leading the Canadian to his most successful year on the tour. Raonic reached his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon and moved up to a career-high ranking of No. 3. Moya had joined Raonic’s team in January.

“To be able to help Rafa is something special for me and I am sure that together with Toni, Francis and the rest of the team we have a great common project,” Moya said. “Rafa is a special player and above all a great person and friend on which I have a lot of trust and confidence that will be able to continue winning important titles.”

Toni Nadal, the player’s uncle and main coach, said Moya will also join projects involving the Rafa Nadal Academy.

“When I knew Carlos had stopped with Raonic I called him since we think he can join all our projects,” Toni Nadal said. “Carlos has always been a special person for us … We understand it is the right moment to have him join our team.”

Tsonga levels for France in Davis Cup final against Belgium

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LILLE, France (AP) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga swept past Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 to put France level with Belgium on the opening day of the Davis Cup final on Friday.

Tsonga’s comfortable win over the 76th-ranked Darcis evened the tie at 1-1 ahead after Belgium’s top player David Goffin had dispatched Lucas Pouille in straight sets.

Tsonga missed several chances to move ahead early in the first set but finally broke for a 5-3 lead with a deep forehand attack on his fourth break point. The Frenchman then claimed five consecutive games and served out the second set at love with a drop shot that hit the net cord and dribbled over for a winner.

Tsonga continued to play consistent and occasionally brilliant tennis in the third, including a series of reflex volleys.

Dimitrov defeats Goffin to win ATP Finals title

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LONDON — Grigor Dimitrov claimed the biggest title of his career at the season-ending ATP Finals on Sunday, prevailing on his fifth match point to beat David Goffin of Belgium 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

“It’s such an honor to play here,” Dimitrov said. “This week has been one of the best I’ve ever had.”

The sixth-seeded Bulgarian won in 2 hours, 30 minutes, 15 seconds for the longest final since the tournament returned to a three-set format in 2008.

Dimitrov won all five of his matches at the O2 Arena to become the first player to win the elite tournament on debut since 1998, when Alex Corretja of Spain triumphed in Hanover.

Goffin saved three match points on his own serve, but Dimitrov kept his cool, taking the second opportunity on his own delivery to close it out.

By reaching the final, Dimitrov had already secured a career-high No. 3-ranking to end the year. Goffin also moves up to a career-best No. 7.

The final lasted more than 11 minutes longer than Roger Federer took to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2011. It was a nervous start as both players failed to hold serve in the opening three games before Goffin settled down to control the opener as Dimitrov struggled with his timing.

However, Dimitrov fought his way back into the set. He leveled in the eighth game before breaking once more in the 12th to snatch the set in which Goffin hit eight more winners.

Dimitrov’s confidence carried into the second set, where he brought up the first break point in the sixth game, only for Goffin to produce a stunning cross-court backhand winner to save it. The momentum back with him, Goffin broke the following game for a 4-3 lead and calmly closed out the set.

Having come from behind to beat Federer in Saturday’s semifinal, Goffin had every reason to be confident and could have gone ahead. But he wasted four break points in the opening game – they would turn out to be his only chances in the decider.

Dimitrov was more clinical, striking in the sixth game to take control. Goffin tested Dimitrov’s nerve by saving three match points on his own serve, before saving one on Dimitrov’s. However the Belgian’s resistance came to an end as he netted a backhand volley, leaving Dimitrov in tears.

(This story has been corrected to show it was the longest three-set final since the tournament returned to a three-set format in 2008, not longest three-set final ever.)