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Venus Williams advances to third round with comeback win

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LONDON — Venus Williams has come back to win and reach Wimbledon’s third round after dropping the opening set against Wang Qiang of China.

Williams powered her way through the final set to pull out the 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory. She wound up with more than twice as many winners as her opponent, 43 to 20.

This is Williams’ first tournament since a two-car crash police say she caused in Florida on June 9. A 78-year-old passenger in the other vehicle died about two weeks later.

Williams also beat Wang at the French Open in May. The 55th-ranked Wang has never been to the third round at a Grand Slam tournament.

Williams owns seven major titles, including five at Wimbledon. Wednesday’s match was her 97th in the main draw at the All England Club, breaking a tie with her sister Serena for the most among active players.

Two-time champ Azarenka gets Australian Open wild card

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka has been awarded a wild card for the Australian Open.

Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, has been involved in a custody dispute involving her son Leo, who was born last Dec. 19.

She hasn’t competed anywhere since Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10. The dispute with her former partner started shortly after Wimbledon ended.

Azarenka has played only six matches this year and is ranked 208th.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said on Wednesday that every assistance would be provided to the former No. 1, adding “Vika’s current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we have reached out to offer any support we can.”

The Australian Open starts on Jan. 15.

Nadal, Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards

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LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.

At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.

The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.

“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”