V. Wil­liams cap­tures her 47th ca­reer ti­tle

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS -

Venus Wil­liams won the Wuhan (China) Open on Satur­day when her Span­ish op­po­nent and fifth­seeded Gar­bine Mugu­ruza re­tired with a left an­kle in­jury while trail­ing, 6-3, 3-0.

It was the un­seeded Wil­liams’s 47th ca­reer WTA sin­gles ti­tle.

“It’s not easy when you don’t play your best,” Wil­liams, 35, told Mugu­ruza, adding that “I prob­a­bly didn’t have a chance if you felt well.”

Mugu­ruza, 21, said she was “very sorry” at hav­ing to re­tire.

Wil­liams ral­lied from 5-3 down in the third set of the quar­ter­fi­nals to beat Bri­tish qual­i­fier Jo­hanna Konta, and she saved am­atch point dur­ing a 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) semi­fi­nal win over Roberta Vinci.

Both fi­nal­ists are pro­jected to make ma­jor moves up the rank­ings— Wil­liams from No. 24 to No. 14 and Mugu­ruza from No. 8 to No. 5, her top-five de­but. . . . Sec­ond-seeded Feli­ciano

Lopez fired in 12 aces to edge past Aus­tralia’s Nick Kyr­gios, 7- 6 (7-2), 7- 6 (7-5), in the semi­fi­nals of the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur and set up an all-Span­ish fi­nal against top seed

David Fer­rer.

Fer­rer ral­lied for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Ben­jamin Becker of Ger­many. . . . Nao Hib­ino of Ja­pan cruised past Croa­tia’s Donna Ve­kic, 6-2, 6-2, to win the Tashkent (Uzbek­istan) Open fi­nal. . . .

Per­sis­tent rain washed out the semi­fi­nals of the Shen­zhen (China) Open. Both semi­fi­nals will now be played on Sun­day with the fi­nal later the same day.

Top-seeded To­mas Berdych will take on Tommy Ro­bredo, and sec­ond-seeded Marin Cilic meets fourth-seeded Guillermo

Gar­cia-Lopez. Both semi­fi­nals will be played si­mul­ta­ne­ously on ad­ja­cent courts.


Vet­eran de­fense­man and for­mer Washington Cap­i­tal

Sergei Gon­char’s bid to make the Pittsburgh Pen­guins is over.

The team re­leased the 41-yearold Gon­char while trim­ming its ros­ter to 25 play­ers ahead of the sea­son opener next week in Dal­las.

The four-time all-star was at­tempt­ing to make a suc­cess­ful re­turn to Pittsburgh, where he played from 2005 to ’10 while help­ing the fran­chise to the 2009 Stan­ley Cup. . . .

The New Jersey Devils signed right wing Lee Stemp­niak to a one-year, $850,000 con­tract. Stemp­niak, 32, had 15 goals and 13 as­sists in 71 games last sea­son with the New York Rangers and Win­nipeg.


Tonal­ist easily beat five ri­vals in the $1 mil­lion Jockey Club Gold Cup in the slop at Bel­mont Park in New York to earn a re­turn trip to the Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic.

The Gold Cup was one of four Chal­lenge races at Bel­mont Park with each win­ner get­ting a fees-paid spot in the cor­re­spond­ing Breed­ers’ Cup race on Oct. 31 at Keeneland, Ky. . . .

Thor­b­jorn Ole­sen of Den­mark took a three-shot lead af­ter three rounds of the Euro­pean Tour’s Al­fred Dun­hill Links Cham­pi­onship af­ter a 7un­der-par 65 at St. An­drews, Scot­land.

Ole­sen started with a bo­gey on the first hole but then had eight birdies the rest of the way— in­clud­ing four on the last five holes— for a 17-un­der 199 to­tal.

Flo­rian Fritsch of Ger­many was sec­ond af­ter a 64 at Kings­barns, with Ben­jamin

He­bert of France another shot back af­ter a 67 at Carnoustie.

The play­ers al­ter­nated be­tween the three cour­ses on the first three days, with the fi­nal round held at St. An­drews.

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