Kuznetsova wins a dramatic three-set match against Radwanska

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SINGAPORE — A physically spent Svetlana Kuznetsova claimed a draining 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 win over defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska in nearly three hours at the WTA Finals on Monday.

Kuznetsova, who saved a match point on Radwanska’s serve near the end, eventually prevailed on a third match point to break Radwanska’s serve.

“At some point I was just ready to let it go, just lay on the court and let them take me out of here,” Kuznetsova told the cheering crowd. “I was just trying to stay in there and hang in there.”

Kuznetsova was the last player to earn a berth into the eight-player, year-end championships when she defended her Moscow title on Saturday.

The Russian arrived in Singapore on Sunday afternoon after a grueling four weeks of chasing a spot in the WTA Finals for the first time since 2009.

Kuznetsova played three tournaments in China ahead of taking a wildcard into the Moscow tournament.

In a bizarre move while trailing 1-2 and down a break in the third set, Kuznetsova took a pair of scissors to the back of her head and cut off a portion of her braid during the changeover.

Kuznetsova immediately broke Radwanska’s serve after the impromptu haircut, but after dropping her serve again in the fifth game she cried into her towel on the changeover.

Still, trailing 2-4 Kuznetsova refused to surrender and climbed back into the set.

The hair Kuznetsova sheared off remained on her chair for the remainder of the match.

Sorribes Tormo beats 2nd-seeded Trevisan at Parma Open

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PARMA, Italy — Sara Sorribes Tormo beat second-seeded Martina Trevisan 7-5, 6-0 in the opening round of the Parma Ladies Open – marking the third consecutive first-round loss for this year’s French Open semifinalist.

Third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu advanced when Viktoriya Tomova retired with Begu leading 7-5, 5-1.

Danka Kovinic beat Oceane Dodin 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 and will next face 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Also on the red clay courts, Mayar Sherif of Egypt eliminated fifth-seeded Anna Bondar 7-5, 6-4; Elisabetta Cocciaretto defeated seventh-seeded Nuria Parrizas Diaz 7-5, 6-1; and Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti earned her first tour-level win by beating Romanian qualifier Gabriela Lee 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.

Nakashima takes first ATP Tour title at San Diego

San Diego Open - Finals
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SAN DIEGO – Brandon Nakashima earned his first ATP Tour victory in his hometown, beating friend and fellow Southern Californian Marcos Giron 6-4, 6-4 in the San Diego Open final.

“It’s super-special, something you dream of, but to have it happen in my hometown with all my friends and family here, it’s a moment I’ll never forget,” said Nakashima, who had two previous finals appearances. “I hope there are many more moments like this to come.”

Nakashima, a 21-year-old who grew up in San Diego and trained extensively at the event’s site as a junior, clinched the opening set in only 30 minutes. The second set, filled with lengthy rallies, took nearly an hour.

Giron, the No. 5 seed and former NCAA title winner from UCLA, wasn’t able to fend off Nakashima’s persistent ground strokes and well-placed serves. Nakashima had eight aces, six in the first set.

Serving at 5-4 in the second set, Nakashima tallied the match’s deciding two points when Giron pushed an easy volley into the net, followed by Nakashima’s second-serve ace.

He earned $93,090, about half of what received for reaching the third round of the U.S. Open in early September.

Nakashima, who was ranked No. 69 on the ATP Tour, moved up to 48, his highest ranking in nearly three years on tour. Despite the loss, Giron moved up to 53 from 58.

Not only was the singles title claimed by an American, the doubles title also taken by an American duo as the second-seeded pair of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow defeated Australians Jason Kubler and Luke Saville 7-6 (5), 6-2.

The $612,00 event was held at Barnes Tennis Center, which next hosts the $757,900 WTA 500 San Diego Open, Oct. 8-16. That will feature 16 of the world’s top-ranked 20 women pros, led by No. 1 Iga Swiatek.