Woz­ni­acki beats Ja­panese teen Osaka to win Pan Pa­cific Open

Malta Independent - - SPORTS -

Caro­line Woz­ni­acki over­came in­jury to beat Ja­panese teenager Naomi Osaka 7-5, 6-3 and win the Pan Pa­cific Open yes­ter­day.

Woz­ni­acki, who also won here in 2010, took con­trol in the sec­ond set when she broke in the sec­ond game.

The for­mer No. 1 led 5-0 be­fore Osaka fought back to give home fans some hope, but Woz­ni­acki sealed vic­tory in the ninth game when Osaka’s re­turn went wide.

Osaka — play­ing in her first WTA fi­nal — had led 3-1 in the first set but couldn’t sus­tain the mo­men­tum.

Woz­ni­acki, who has faced an­kle and wrist in­juries this sea­son, took a med­i­cal time­out mid­way through the first set be­cause of a sore groin and came back with a ban­daged left leg. She broke Osaka af­ter re­turn­ing and won three of the last four games of the set.

The vet­eran’s con­sis­tency won the day, with just 16 un­forced er­rors to Osaka’s 32. Ruth­less on the cru­cial points, Woz­ni­acki con­verted five of six break point op­por­tu­ni­ties and won an im­pres­sive 11 of 12 for­ays to the net.

Zverev stuns Wawrinka for St. Peters­burg ti­tle

Promis­ing Ger­man 19-year-old Alexan­der Zverev won his first tour ti­tle Sun­day, beat­ing US Open cham­pion Stan Wawrinka in a tight bat­tle in the St. Peters­burg Open fi­nal.

Zverev took the first set be­fore Wawrinka re­sponded to draw level. The Ger­man was a break down in the de­cider, but fought back to win 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

Zverev be­comes the first man to beat Wawrinka in a tour fi­nal since 2013, snapping an 11-match win streak in fi­nals for the Swiss star, who had been try­ing to win back-to-back ti­tles in his first tour­na­ment since the US Open. The loss also ends a 10-match un­beaten run for Wawrinka.

Ear­lier, Bri­tain’s Do­minic In­glot and Fin­land’s Henri Kon­ti­nen won the dou­bles ti­tle.

Ar­ru­abar­rena beats Niculescu in 3 sets to win Korea Open

Lara Ar­ru­abar­rena of Spain beat Monica Niculescu of Ro­ma­nia 60, 2-6, 6-0 on Sun­day to win the Korea Open and claim her sec­ond WTA sin­gles ti­tle.

Af­ter rac­ing through the open­ing set, Ar­ru­abar­rena dou­ble faulted twice to sur­ren­der her serve in the fourth game of the sec­ond and Niculescu seized the op­por­tu­nity to level the match.

Ar­ru­abar­rena broke with a su­perb lob early in the third set and the match swung de­ci­sively in her fa­vor.

Niculescu saved one match point but it was de­lay­ing the in­evitable and Ar­ru­abar­rena wrapped up the vic­tory, adding to her win on clay in Bo­gota four years ago.

Pouille beats Thiem to win Moselle Open and 1st ti­tle

Lu­cas Pouille clinched his first ca­reer ti­tle yes­ter­day, beat­ing topseeded Do­minic Thiem of Aus­tria 7-6 (5), 6-2 to win the Moselle Open fi­nal.

The third-seeded French­man, a US Open quar­ter­fi­nal­ist ear­lier this month, clipped a neat vol­ley for match point and then hit an ace down the mid­dle.

The 22-year-old Pouille tilted his head back and then wagged a fin­ger in cel­e­bra­tion, be­fore the 10th-ranked Thiem hugged him at the net.

“I’m re­ally happy to win my first ti­tle here. I played well from the be­gin­ning,” Pouille said. “Now I can rest and get ready for (the China Open) next week in Bei­jing.”

It has been a break­through year for the No. 18-ranked Pouille, who has beaten five top 10ranked play­ers this year — in­clud­ing Rafael Nadal at the US Open.

“Since beat­ing (David) Fer­rer in Mi­ami, there hasn’t re­ally been a mo­ment where my level dropped,” Pouille said. “I can’t stop now; the ten­nis road is very long.”

Pouille gave spe­cial thanks to his coach, Em­manuel Planque, who looked tear­ful when Pouille made his vic­tory speech.

“Thanks Manu, for ev­ery­thing,” Pouille said. “It’s in large part thanks to you that I’m here now.”

Pouille won 83 per­cent of points on his first serve and saved the only break point he faced in the first set.

Thiem, who was bid­ding for his eighth ca­reer ti­tle, saved all three break points in the first set, but Pouille broke him twice in the sec­ond.

Thiem, a French Open semi­fi­nal­ist this year, is in con­tention to qual­ify for the sea­son-end­ing ATP Fi­nals for the first time. He is in seventh po­si­tion in the race for the ATP Fi­nals to be played in Lon­don in Novem­ber, with five of the eight slots still up for grabs.

Caro­line Woz­ni­acki poses with the win­ner’s plate af­ter win­ning the Ja­pan Pan Pa­cific Open ten­nis tour­na­ment in Tokyo yes­ter­day Photo: AP

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