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Wawrinka still struggling following knee surgery

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ROME (AP) Stan Wawrinka is still struggling to regain his form following surgery on his left knee.

Playing his first match since February, the three-time Grand Slam champion lost to 55th-ranked Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-4 Sunday in the first round of the Italian Open.

Wawrinka committed 30 unforced errors to Johnson’s 17, was broken once in each set and failed to take advantage of his only two break opportunities.

Wawrinka was operated on in August – twice – and returned in January at the Australian Open, where he was eliminated in the second round by Tennys Sandgren. He then retired from a match against 193rd-ranked Ilya Ivashka in Marseille, France, in February, citing a left knee injury.

Also on the red clay of the Foro Italico, Italian wild card Lorenzo Sonego had strong fan support as he came back from a set down to defeat Adrian Mannarino 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Meanwhile, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova withdrew from the tournament citing a muscular injury that occurred during a grueling three-set win over Kiki Bertens in Saturday’s Madrid Open final – her second title in two weeks after also taking the Prague Open.

“After these incredible two weeks of tennis my body needs to rest and recuperate,” Kvitova said.

The women’s tournament at the Foro Italico starts Monday.

It’s the last Masters 100 event before the May 27-June 10 French Open

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

Larsson beats Riske to win Nuremberg Cup

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NUREMBERG, Germany — Swedish player Johanna Larsson won her first WTA singles title in three years by beating Alison Riske of the United States 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the final of the Nuremberg Cup on Saturday.

Her only other career singles victory was on home soil at Bastad in 2015.

Having come from a set down to win matches in the quarterfinals and semifinals, Larsson rallied from a break down in the first set and won the last four points of the tiebreaker. Larsson then won the final five games to take the match and deny Riske a second career singles title.

“When I held for 4-2, I could see some signs that she was a little bit tired,” Larsson said, “and that gave me a lot of energy to fight back.”

Pavlyuchenkova labors past Cibulkova to win at Strasbourg

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STRASBOURG, France — Third-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia won the Strasbourg International after laboring to a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (6) win against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia on Saturday.

They spent 3 hours, 35 minutes on court in a grueling contest, which ended when Pavlyuchenkova sealed victory on her second serve.

Pavlyuchenkova won her first title of the year and 12th overall, beating Cibulkova for the fourth time in their 11 career meetings.

Fifth-seeded Cibulkova was bidding for her ninth career title.

Both players head to the French Open in Paris, where first-round play starts Sunday.

Cibulkova reached the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2009, while Pavlyuchenkova reached her only quarterfinal there in 2013.