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Sabalenka beats Riske to win Shenzhen Open

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SHENZHEN, China — Aryna Sabalenka got a confidence boost for the upcoming Australian Open after beating Alison Riske 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the Shenzhen Open final on Saturday.

“To start the season with a title, it gives you more belief in yourself, and hopefully I can do well at the Australian Open,” Sabalenka said.

Both players earlier won their semifinals after rain on Thursday disrupted the tournament schedule. Top-seeded Sabalenka defeated local favorite Wang Yafan 6-2, 6-1, and Riske won the first seven games against Vera Zvonareva before the Russian retired due to a left hip injury.

“If I need to play two matches in one day, I’m going to do that,” Sabalenka said.

Riske was making her third appearance in the final at Shenzhen.

“It was a tough day for us, especially to come back after the first set,” Sabalenka said. “She was putting everything in, down the lines … I’m so happy that I found a way how to win.”

The Australian Open starts Jan. 14.

Top-seeded Barty withdraws from French Open warm-up event

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STRASBOURG, France (AP) Top-seeded Ashleigh Barty withdrew from the Internationaux de Strasbourg clay-court tournament on Tuesday because of a right arm injury.

Barty was replaced in the main draw by lucky loser Diana Marcinkevica.

The eighth-ranked Australian said she would not take any risk ahead of the French Open, which starts Sunday in Paris.

“I gave it my best chance, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be playing my best tennis,” Barty said. “I’m busy the next two months and I need to look after my body now.”

Wild-card entry Tipsarevic advances at Geneva Open

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GENEVA (AP) Former top-10 player Janko Tipsarevic used his wild-card entry to beat Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 7-5, 7-5 in the Geneva Open first round on Monday.

Now ranked No. 317, the 34-year-old Tipsarevic is back in ATP Tour main draws after missing the 2018 season for hamstring injuries to heal.

Fifth-seeded Radu Albot advanced to the second round on a day when two seeded players lost in the final week of clay-court warmups for the French Open.

Albot beat qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), after 92nd-ranked Hugo Dellien beat eighth-seeded Andreas Seppi 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, and seventh-seeded Matthew Ebden lost to Nicolas Jarry of Chile 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Rain cut short play and gave former No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov a day off after playing through two qualifying rounds.

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