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Richmond leaders approve renaming street after Arthur Ashe

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RICHMOND, Va. — The Richmond City Council has approved a proposal to rename a historic street after tennis champion Arthur Ashe Jr.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that on Monday the council backed an ordinance renaming Boulevard after Richmond native Ashe. He was the first black player selected to the U.S. Davis Cup team and the only black man to ever win the singles title at the U.S. Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

Ashe was also a well-known philanthropist who promoted education and civil rights.

The vote came amid turmoil after Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring admitted wearing blackface in the 1980s.

Ashe’s once-segregated hometown has an athletic center named after him and a sculpture of him. But proposals to rename a street for him have been defeated multiple times since Ashe’s 1993 death.

Mertens upsets Halep in Qatar Open final

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DOHA, Qatar – Unseeded Elise Mertens came from a set and a break down to beat recent No. 1 Simona Halep 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the Qatar Open final and capture the biggest title of her career on Saturday.

Halep led 6-3, 2-0, then lost a service game for a third time to see the second set back on serve. Mertens continued to pressure, missing two more break chances in the seventh game but finally breaking – to love – in the ninth. The set was the first Mertens took from Halep in three matchups.

Mertens broke again to start the third set, Halep leveled at 2-2, but Mertens finished stronger and won her fifth career title.

The Belgian beat two other top-10 players this week, Kiki Bertens and Angelique Kerber.

Halep’s first final appearance since August guaranteed she will rise one spot to No. 2 in the rankings on Monday.

Thiem advances at Argentina Open; Ferrer out

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Top-seeded defending champion Dominic Thiem of Austria advanced to the Argentina Open quarterfinals Thursday, beating Germany’s Maximilian Marterer 6-4, 6-4.

Thiem will face Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, a 6-4, 7-5 winner over Portugal’s Joao Sousa.

Fourth-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina beat Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to set up a match against Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Ramos-Vinolas beat compatriot David Ferrer 3-6, 7-6 (9), 6-3.

Ferrer promised to retire in May at the Madrid Open. The participation in the Buenos Aires tournament is one of the last of the 36-year-old’s career.