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Lisicki breaks drought with first-round win at Guangzhou Open

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GUANGZHOU, China — Sabine Lisicki has recorded her first win since February in a WTA-level match with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over two-time Grand Slam finalist Vera Zvonareva at the Guangzhou Open.

Lisicki lost her opening service game but recovered to take a 4-1 lead before the 34-year-old Zvonareva, runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2010, won 12 straight points to level at 4-4. Lisicki, a Wimbledon finalist in 2013, held and then broke to seal the first set.

She recovered an early break in the second set to dominate the end of the match and move into second-round match against fifth-seeded Yulia Putintseva, who had a 6-1, 6-1 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo.

In other first-round matches, Bernarda Pera beat Magdalena Frech 7-6 (3),6-1

Osaka’s coach wins first WTA Coach of the Year award

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Sascha Bajin has been chosen as the first winner of the WTA Coach of the Year award after helping Naomi Osaka collect the U.S. Open title.

The women’s tennis tour announced its annual honors Monday.

The first season as a team for Bajin and Osaka produced her first WTA title at Indian Wells, then her first Grand Slam title in New York, where she beat Serena Williams in the final. Bajin used to work with Williams.

Bajin tweeted that he was “speechless and turning a bit red,” adding that it’s “easy to be a good coach when you have a great student.”

Petra Kvitova was given her sixth consecutive sportsmanship award and seventh overall, while Bethanie Mattek-Sands earned the player service award.

Mike, Bob Bryan set to reunite for doubles in Auckland

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) Mike and Bob Bryan are set to reunite as a doubles combination next month in New Zealand when the brothers begin their 21st season on the ATP Tour.

Bob Bryan has been sidelined since injuring his hip in the lead-up to the French Open, and Mike paired with fellow American Jack Sock to win the Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles and the ATP Finals, taking the world No. 1 ranking on his own.

With Bob back to full fitness, the 40-year-old twins will reunite for the ASB Classic hardcourt tournament in Auckland before heading to Melbourne for the Australian Open.

The Bryan brothers have won 114 doubles titles together, more than any other pairing, and have held the No. 1 doubles ranking jointly for 438 weeks. They have won 16 Grand Slam doubles titles together and a further 11 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles between them, adding an Olympic gold medal in 2012.

But they have yet to win a match in Auckland.

“We are stoked to be coming back to Auckland,” the brothers said in a joint statement.”We’ve got a bit of a point to prove.

“We’ve won 114 titles together but are yet to get the W in Auckland. We’ve got to change that. Here’s hoping 2019 can be our year.”