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Dayana Yastremska wins maiden WTA Title in Hong Kong

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HONG KONG — Ukrainian teen Dayana Yastremska won her maiden WTA title by upsetting sixth-seeded Wang Qiang of China 6-2, 6-1 in 65 minutes at the Hong Kong Open on Sunday.

The 18-year-old was playing in her first career WTA final in only her 11th career appearance in the WTA tournament main draw.

Yastremska is the sixth teenager to advance to a WTA final in 2018 and the second to win a title. Serbian teen Olga Danilovic won the Moscow River Cup earlier in the year.

Prior to arriving in Hong Kong, Yastermska held a 3-10 record in WTA-level matches this season. Her best previous result was reaching the 2017 Istanbul quarterfinals.

The victory, in which she posted 33 winners to 21 unforced errors, will move the 102nd-ranked Yastremska to a new career high ranking in the top 80 when the next rankings are released on Monday.

Yastremska’s win prevented the 24th-ranked Wang from winning her third career title. Earlier this fall she won the Nanchang and Guangzhou trophies.

Wang, the top female player from China, reached her first career semifinal at the Hong Kong Open last year. Prior to that she had lost her first seven WTA quarterfinal appearances.

Wang, who was playing in her fifth consecutive tour semifinal, will move up to a career-high No. 23 ranking despite failing to lift the title.

Djokovic wins World Sportsman of the Year at Laureus World Sports Awards

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MONACO  — Novak Djokovic, Tiger Woods, Lindsey Vonn and the France national soccer team were among the winners at the Laureus World Sports Awards, with Woods claiming the Comeback Award 19 years after he was first recognized.

Djokovic matched Usain Bolt’s record by being named World Sportsman of the Year for the fourth time after winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. He also earned the honor in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

Woods, who won the inaugural World Sportsman of the Year award in 2000, won the Tour Championship in September for his 80th PGA Tour title and his first since August 2013.

Vonn, who retired during the recent Alpine skiing world championships , took home the Spirit of Sport Award, which is given to an athlete for relentless dedication to his or her career, and France was honored for winning the World Cup in July.

Simone Biles was named World Sportswoman of the Year for winning four gold, one silver and one bronze medal at the gymnastics world championships. Naomi Osaka won the Breakthrough Award for winning the U.S. Open and Chloe Kim was named the World Action Sportsperson of the Year.

The awards were given in recognition of outstanding sports performance in 2018.

Wawrinka loses to Monfils in first final since knee surgeries

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ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka’s rebuilt knee couldn’t quite carry him to the title in Rotterdam on Sunday.

Wawrinka lost his first final since his comeback a year ago from left knee surgeries, succumbing 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 to Gael Monfils of France at the ABN AMRO World Tournament.

It was the Frenchman’s eighth career title.

“I tried a couple of times here. I lost the final in 2016,” Monfils told Dutch national broadcaster NOS courtside. He said it was special to win a tournament that his idol, Arthur Ashe, also won. Ashe won back-to-back titles in Rotterdam in 1975 and ’76.

Unseeded Wawrinka reached the final by beating top-seeded Kei Nishikori in three sets on Saturday.

But the Swiss finally ran out of steam in the final set as Monfils stepped up his game.

“In the third set I was a little bit more aggressive and I go a bit more for my shots, I served bigger and that helped me a lot,” Monfils said.

Wawrinka was going for his 17th career title and second in Rotterdam, after winning in 2015.

It was his first final since the 2017 French Open, where he previously met Monfils in the fourth round.

Monfils also needed three sets to overcome fifth-seeded Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals, but outlasted Wawrinka in a match that took 1 hour, 44 minutes.

After they shared the first two sets, Monfils was more consistent than Wawrinka in the decisive third.

Already trailing 4-2, Wawrinka hit three unforced errors to lose the seventh game and allow Monfils to serve out the match.