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Kyrgios walks out on match after losing 1st-set tiebreaker

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SHANGHAI (AP) A year after being fined for “tanking” a match at the Shanghai Masters, Nick Kyrgios quit another one altogether.

The temperamental Australian argued several times with the chair umpire during his first-round match against Steve Johnson on Tuesday. After losing the tiebreaker 7-6 (5), Kyrgios shook hands with Johnson at the net and then with the chair umpire before packing his bags and walking off court.

Serving at 30-30 in the 12th game of the first set, a forehand by Kyrgios was called out. The Australian challenged the call and it was overruled. Kyrgios then hit two balls in anger and was assessed a code violation warning.

At the change of ends in the tiebreaker, Kyrgios was leading 4-2 but was annoyed that fans were being allowed to come into the court. Kyrgios lost the next point and then started to complain and curse, which earned him an audible obscenity code violation. He was docked a point, which made the score 4-4.

When the set was done, so was Kyrgios. He left the court without explanation, though took to Twitter later to firstly apologize for his actions then give his reasons.

“I’ve been battling a stomach bug for the past 24 hours and I tried to be ready but I was really struggling on the court today which I think was pretty evident from the first point,” he wrote.

“My shoulder started to hurt in the practice today which didn’t help either and once I lost the first set I was just not strong enough to continue because I’ve not eaten much the past 24 hours.”

Last year, Kyrgios was suspended by the men’s tour for tanking a match and insulting fans following a second-round loss to German qualifier Mischa Zverev at the Shanghai Masters. Kyrgios gave little effort during the 6-3, 6-1 loss, even patting easy serves over the net and turning away before his opponent’s serve crossed the net.

Kyrgios arrived in Shanghai this time after losing the China Open final to Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-1 on Sunday.

Also, 12th-seeded John Isner beat Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) on a day with temperatures soaring past 32 degrees C (90 degrees F).

“The conditions were brutal,” Isner said. “It felt like Atlanta in August. I think that could’ve been the hottest match I played all year.”

Ryan Harrison also advanced, beating Chinese wild card Zhang Ze 6-2, 6-3, while U.S. Open finalist Kevin Anderson defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-1.

Sharapova loses to Rybarikova at Kremlin Cup

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MOSCOW (AP) Maria Sharapova was beaten by Magdalena Rybarikova 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the first round of the Kremlin Cup on Tuesday, ending her bid for a second title in two weeks.

Sharapova, who won the Tianjin Open two days ago, brought her usual power but lacked accuracy with some wild swings on key points.

“I felt fine physically, to be honest, especially after having played five matches in five days (in Tianjin). That was a big surprise,” Sharapova said. “Maybe I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been … Maybe if this tournament hadn’t been in Moscow, I wouldn’t have played it.”

Sharapova was under pressure on serve from the start and saved six break points before finally being broken to 6-5. She responded by breaking Rybarikova, but Sharapova’s double fault at 4-3 in the tiebreaker handed the Slovakian the momentum to close out the set.

Rybarikova, seeded eighth, sealed the match after saving two break points to lead 5-4, then breaking Sharapova in the next game. Rybarikova will play Alize Cornet in the second round.

Six months after she returned from a 15-month doping ban, Sharapova is still trying to move back up the rankings from her current position of 57th. Her first tour appearance in Moscow in a decade drew a large and enthusiastic crowd despite taking place on a Tuesday afternoon.

Also Tuesday, seventh-seeded Julia Goerges beat Russian qualifier Polina Monova 6-0, 6-3 to set up a second-round meeting with Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

In the men’s Kremlin Cup tournament, sixth-seeded Damir Dzumhur defeated Thomas Fabbiano 6-3, 0-6, 6-2.

Maria Sharapova wins her 1st title since doping ban

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TIANJIN, China (AP) Maria Sharapova won her first WTA title since returning from a doping ban after defeating Aryna Sabalenka to win the Tianjin Open on Sunday.

The Russian, a tournament wild card, overcame Belarusian teenager Sabalenka 7-5, 7-6 (8) despite trailing heavily in both sets.

Sharapova last won a title at the Italian Open in May 2015.

The former top-ranked player and owner of five major titles, including the 2006 U.S. Open, tested positive for the newly banned drug meldonium at the Australian Open in January 2016. That led to a 15-month doping ban, which expired in April.

“Such a special, special tournament, and victory for me, one that I’ll remember forever,” Sharapova said. “Sometimes you never know when it will all come together but it happened to me this week in Tianjin.”

Sharapova displayed resilience as she came from behind in both sets to overcome her 19-year-old opponent.

Sabalenka led 4-1 in the opener and 5-1 in the second before relenting to Sharapova’s greater big-match experience. It was Sharapova’s 36th WTA singles title.

The 30-year-old Sharapova played in her first Grand Slam tournament following the ban at the U.S. Open in August, where she reached the fourth round. Sunday’s result will lift Sharapova up to No. 57 in the world rankings.