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Mladenovic reaches Indian Wells semis and top 20 in rankings

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) Kristina Mladenovic outlasted Caroline Wozniacki 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open and break into the top 20 in the WTA Tour rankings for the first time in her career.

Neither Mladenovic nor Wozniacki had dropped a set before their quarterfinal Thursday. Wozniacki rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the second set to force the tiebreaker, but the former world No. 1 and 2011 Indian Wells winner never led in the tiebreaker.

Wozniacki held for a 2-1 lead in the third set and then had her right foot heavily taped by a trainer. She went on to lose the final five games and the match, making the 28th-seeded Mladenovic the lowest seed to reach the semis.

There were 11 service breaks in the 2 1/2-hour match played in 91 degree (32 C) heat.

Mladenovic will play the winner of a later match between 12th-seeded Venus Williams and No. 14 Elena Vesnina.

No. 3 Karolina Pliskova and Svetlana Kuznetsova are set for the other semifinal.

Besides moving up in the world rankings, Mladenovic becomes the new No. 1 in France, overtaking countrywoman Caroline Garcia by virtue of her results in the desert.

No. 3 Stan Wawrinka takes on No. 8 Dominic Thiem in an evening quarterfinal.

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.”