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Svitolina wins Dubai, will debut in top 10

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Elina Svitolina of Ukraine is set to debut in the top 10 after winning her second title of the season at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Saturday.

Svitolina dominated Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2 in the final that started two hours late because of rain.

“It’s big relief, because I knew that if I win this match, I’m gonna be top 10,” Svitolina said. “There was extra pressure. (And) when I was warming up, added even more pressure because they announced it. It didn’t help.”

Svitolina earned her final berth by knocking out top-seeded Angelique Kerber in a three-set semifinal.

The Dubai tournament is the most prestigious title of the six that Svitolina’s won. The previous five were lower-level WTA events, including the Taiwan Open this month. She is on a 12-match winning streak.

Svitolina has won both times she’s played against Wozniacki, although the first at the Miami Open last year was a much harder victory.

Both players were content to remain fastened to the baseline in Dubai, but Svitolina’s firepower set them apart.

“I kind of felt like I ran out of steam a little bit and she took advantage of that,” Wozniacki said. “She stepped it up a little bit, and that was kind of that.

“Obviously, it’s frustrating when you see what you want to do out there and you just can’t do it.”

Svitolina took advantage of her second match point by shutting down Wozniacki with a blistering backhand that painted the sideline.

Beyond losing her serve at love in the second game of the second set, Svitolina saved the other three break points she faced.

This was Wozniacki’s second consecutive final in as many weeks, but she also left without the winner’s trophy from Doha last week. She was now 25-19 in career finals.

“I can take a lot of positives with me from this week,” Wozniacki said. “I’m hoping for a good season.”

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.”