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Gavrilova upsets Cibulkova in New Haven for first WTA title

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Australian Daria Gavrilova doesn’t hide her emotions on the tennis court – and she put them on full display Saturday in winning her first WTA tournament title.

The unseeded 23-year-old, who was born in Russia, upset second-seeded Dominika Cibulkova 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Connecticut Open.

She finished her comeback from a set down by breaking the 11th-ranked Slovak in the final game, hitting a forehand winner, throwing her racket and jumping into the air in jubilation.

Gavrilova, ranked 26th in the world, gesticulated wildly throughout the match and yelled “Come on” after every big point. That included the turning point in the match, when she broke Cibulkova to go up 3-2 in the second set in a game that featured a 30-shot rally and five deuces.

The match was extremely close with Gavrilova winning 105 points and Cibulkova taking 102.

Both players had problems early serving into the sun. There were five service breaks in the first set all from the same end of the court.

Cibulkova broke at love in the 10th game to take that set when Gavrilova hit a shot into the net and then screamed in frustration.

Cibulkova relied heavily on her forehand, making winner after winner. She had 32 of them in the match, but Gavrilova had 35.

The Australian broke Cibulkova again in the ninth game of the second set, pumping her fist wildly as she sent the match into a third set.

The two also traded breaks in the third set before the decisive 10th game.

Gavrilova, who beat top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-finals, is 9-18 in her career against opponents ranked in the Top 10. Cibulkova came in ranked 11th. She had been as high as fourth earlier this season.

Cibulkova, who won four times on Tour last year, has not had a victory this season. She was looking for her ninth career win and her first in New Haven in her 8th appearance at the tournament. She had never before made it past the quarterfinals.

Gavrilova began playing for Australia in 2015 after moving from her native Russia at age 18. She became the first player to win her first WTA title in New Haven.

Neither player will get much of a rest before starting play in the U.S. Open. Both are in the bottom half of the draw and will play on Monday. Cibulkova will face fellow Slovakian Jana Cepelova and Gavrilova will face American Allie Kiick.

Wozniacki upsets Muguruza to reach Pan Pacific Open final

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TOKYO — Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki upset top-ranked Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the final of the Pan Pacific Open on Saturday.

Wozniacki, a champion here in 2010 and 2016, converted six of seven break points to reach her seventh final of 2017.

Playing in her first tournament since earning the WTA’s top ranking, Wimbledon champion Muguruza had 29 unforced errors to drop the final 10 games of the match.

“I didn’t feel that fresh,” Muguruza said. “In the long rallies, I was struggling a little bit. I felt my energy was a little bit low, but I think she just had a good match. I didn’t make the important shots in the important moments so the match went to her side very fast.”

Sixth-ranked Wozniacki will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Sunday’s final. Pavlyuchenkova rallied from being down 3-0 in the final set to beat former No. 1 Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-7 (4), 6-4.

Pavlyuchenkova, who is aiming for her third title of 2017, broke serve seven times and won six of the final seven games.

Pavlyuchenkova admitted her slow start in the final set had her thinking about the next tournament in China.

“I was already thinking about going to Wuhan,” Pavlyuchenkova said. “In my head I was booking flights. But at the same time, I always fight to the last point.”

Fognini, Dzumhur meet in St. Petersburg Open final

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Fabio Fognini will play for his second ATP title of the year and Damir Dzumhur for the first of his career in the final of the St. Petersburg Open.

The third-seeded Fognini eliminated top-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 2-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5 (5) in 2 1/2 hours in the semifinals on Saturday. The Italian broke Bautista Agut only once, in the second set.

Fognini also beat Bautista Agut in July at Gstaad, where he won his fourth career title, all on clay. St. Petersburg, where he was a finalist in 2012, is on an indoor hard-court.

The unseeded Dzumhur defeated eighth-seeded Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-3, 7-5. In a match of vulnerable servers, Struff was the least effective in winning less than 30 percent of his second serves and losing his serves five times.

“I was making him play more, because he likes fast points,” Dzumhur said. “I won because I didn’t give him easy balls that he likes.”

Dzumhur, of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is at a career-high ranking of 55 after reaching his first career final last month in Winston-Salem.

He has a 0-2 win record against Fognini.