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Thiem beats Nishikori at ATP Finals

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LONDON — Dominic Thiem kept alive his chances of reaching the last four at the ATP Finals – and helped out Roger Federer – with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Kei Nishikori on Thursday.

Thiem, who lost both his previous matches at the season-ending tournament, had to win in straight sets to have any hope of advancing at the O2 Arena.

Six-time champion Federer needs to win one set in the late match against Kevin Anderson to advance alongside his South African opponent. If Anderson wins in straight sets, Federer needs five games in total if both sets go to six, or six games in total if one or more sets go to seven.

“I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Thiem said, referring to his chances of reaching the semis.

Having been pummeled 6-0, 6-1 by Anderson on Tuesday, Nishikori made a disappointing start by allowing Thiem to break at the first attempt.

Two-time semifinalist Nishikori then had several chances to get back on serve at 1-3, but the Japanese player was unable to take his four break points, before Thiem broke again to seal the opening set.

The Austrian continued to apply pressure in the second set, and after failing to take an opportunity at 2-2, forced a backhand error from Nishikori to grab a 4-3 lead before going on to secure victory.

“I was the same last match,” Nishikori said. “There were too many unforced errors for me.”

Serena Williams launches pop-up shop during Art Basel Miami

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Strong. Sophisticated. Sexy. Like the tennis champ herself, Serena Williams’ fashion line is all about power moves and she’s hoping it will also inspire woman to find their own voice.

“I want everyone to be able to do that and to step into their power,” she said Wednesday night at the launch of her first pop-up shop.

Williams launched her shop at the luxe Faena hotel during Miami’s Art Basel where guests, including fellow tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, drank cocktails draped with fluffy pink cotton candy and snapped selfies from a life-size swing covered with botanicals.

Everything in the line, from a black sequined top with the word “Unbothered” to a crisp, white button-down that says “Slay” in red letters, is under $200.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion not only designed all the clothing in the shop, but also painted all the art on the walls, saying many of the paintings took a month to complete because of their intricate textures.

“I’ve painted for years, probably like ten years now. It’s my outlet,” she said. “I jokingly said I’m going to be at Art Basel one day.”

It’s been an awe-inspiring year for Williams, who said she was “pinching myself, like what the heck am I doing here,” at the Wimbledon final in July after a difficult pregnancy and childbirth.

She said her recent accomplishments on the court helped her persevere through the challenges of being a first-time mom.

“If I can be in the final less than a year (after giving birth), I’m OK to handle my little baby who’s starting to have tantrums. I’m OK to handle this tantrum baby. I can do it. I can do it,” she joked, speaking of her 15-month old daughter.

Last month, GQ magazine named her its 2018 Woman of the Year, featuring an image of Williams wearing a black bodysuit and Chanel belt. The headline crossed out “Men” and some fans took offense.

But Williams, who has been criticized for being too muscular, too strong and too outspoken throughout her career, said it was “really cool” and just another example of women breaking down barriers.

“This is a strictly men’s thing but they broke and said, `Let’s also put a woman on (the cover) because this is a strong woman. She’s just as strong as our men.”‘

Art Basel Miami Beach, the prestigious extension of the annual contemporary art fair in Basel, Switzerland, has spawned dozens of other art shows around Miami over the years, along with star-studded parties days in advance.

Bono, Leonardo DiCaprio and rapper Cardi B, fresh from a split with rapper Offset, were all spotted making the rounds Wednesday night.

Mauresmo gives up France Davis Cup captaincy to help Pouille

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PARIS — Amelie Mauresmo won’t be captaining France’s Davis Cup team after all because the two-time major winner is going back to coaching to help Lucas Pouille.

The French Tennis Federation announced Thursday it was searching for a new captain, who will also look after the national team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A statement from the federation said Mauresmo gave up the role to focus on her new job with French player Pouille, ranked 32.

The winner of the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006, who retired from playing in 2009, previously coached Andy Murray.

The former top-ranked Mauresmo was announced in June as the successor to Yannick Noah, who is stepping down after France’s 3-1 loss to Croatia in the final last month, having previously guided the team to three Davis Cup titles.