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Zverev beats Thiem to win Madrid Open

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MADRID – Second-seeded Alexander Zverev eased past fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-4 to win the Madrid Open on Sunday, claiming his second title in a week.

The German broke Thiem’s opening service games in each set and didn’t give his Austrian rival a single break chance to win in 1 hour, 19 minutes.

Zverev won his eighth career title and second of the season after also winning the Munich Open last weekend.

“It is unbelievable,” Zverev said. “This is my third Masters 1000 and I am only 21 years old. It has been an amazing journey.”

Zverev dominated the entire week in the Spanish capital, not losing a single set en route to victory.

Thiem lost his second consecutive final at the Caja Magica. He avenged last year’s final loss to Rafael Nadal by beating him in Friday’s quarterfinals for the Spaniard’s first clay-court loss in a year.

Zverev started strongly when Thiem conceded his first service game with a costly double fault.

Serving to close out the first set, Zverev trailed 0-30 but used his big serve to force deuce and finally closed out the point when Thiem’s return sailed long.

Zverev started the second set in similar fashion, hitting a deep forehand that Thiem could only send into the net on the final point of his service game to fall behind a break.

It was Zverev’s second win in six meetings with Thiem.

On Saturday, Petra Kvitova beat Kiki Bertens in three sets to win the women’s title.

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.