SER­BIA DE­FEAT SPAIN TO LIFT ATP CUP

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Syd­ney, Aus­tralia - No­vak Djokovic over­pow­ered Rafael Nadal in lead­ing Ser­bia to vic­tory in the in­au­gu­ral ATP Cup fi­nal Sun­day, cap­ping a per­fect build up to his Aus­tralian Open ti­tle defence. The world No 2 blasted the top-ranked Spa­niard off court 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) af­ter world No 10 Roberto Bautista Agut caned Ser­bian Du­san La­jovic 7-5, 6-1 in the other sin­gles.

A fresh Djokovic re­turned to Syd­ney's Ken Rose­wall Arena for the de­cid­ing dou­bles but Nadal opted not to, with Feli­ciano Lopez part­ner­ing Pablo Car­reno Busta. But they proved no match for Djokovic and Vik­tor Troicki, who bounced back from a break down in the first set to romp home 6-3, 6-4.

"Ev­ery time I get to play Rafa we get to play a lot of ex­cit­ing points. There were some in­cred­i­ble ex­changes to­day," said Djokovic. "I started off the match per­fectly, every­thing worked. I'm just re­ally glad I held my nerve in the end."

AUCK­LAND CLAS­SIC Ser­ena wins first ti­tle in three years

Auck­land, New Zealand - Ser­ena Wil­liams ended a three-year ti­tle drought and do­nated her win­ner's cheque to vic­tims of the Aus­tralian bush­fires in an emo­tional WTA Auck­land Clas­sic fi­nal on Sun­day.

Ser­ena raised ex­pec­ta­tions for this month's Aus­tralian Open, where she can equal Mar­garet Court's record of 24 Grand Slam ti­tles, with her 6-3, 6-4 vic­tory - her first WTA tro­phy since she won in Mel­bourne in 2017.

But the 38 year old tem­pered cel­e­bra­tions as she do­nated her US$43,000 win­ners cheque to the Aus­tralian bush­fire re­lief fund and de­scribed how the tragedy had af­fected her deeply.

It is Ser­ena's first ti­tle since 2017 - and her first as a mother - since she won the Aus­tralian Open while preg­nant. Her 73 WTA ti­tles now stretch across four decades, af­ter she won her first in 1999.

BRIS­BANE IN­TER­NA­TIONAL Pliskova downs Keys in fi­nal

Bris­bane, Aus­tralia - Karolina Pliskova said her tough three-set win over Madi­son Keys in the fi­nal of the Bris­bane In­ter­na­tional on Sun­day was the ideal prepa­ra­tion for next week's Aus­tralian Open. The Czech world No 2 won 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours, seven min­utes.

QATAR OPEN Rublev claims crown in Doha

Doha, Qatar - Rus­sia's An­drey Rublev de­feated Corentin Moutet of France 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) to win the Qatar Open ti­tle on Satur­day for a third ca­reer tro­phy and a place in the world top 20 for the first time. Rublev, 22, and ranked 23, dom­i­nated his world No 81 op­po­nent who had stunned top seed Stan Wawrinka in the semi­fi­nals.

(AFP)

Vik­tor Troicki (left) and No­vak Djokovic of Ser­bia cel­e­brate af­ter win­ning the men's dou­bles match against Spain in Syd­ney on Sun­day

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