Tsonga beats Her­bert in fi­nal

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - SCOREBOARD -

Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga beat Pierre-Hugues Her­bert 6-4, 6-2 in an all-French fi­nal of the Open Sud de France in Mont­pel­lier, win­ning his 17th ca­reer ti­tle and deny­ing his coun­try­man a first.

Tsonga broke the sev­enth-seeded Her­bert’s serve three times and dropped only 4 points through­out the match on his own serve.

Ro­ma­ni­ans oust de­fend­ing cham­pion Czechs

Ro­ma­nia up­set de­fend­ing cham­pion Czech Repub­lic 3-2 to ad­vance to the semi­fi­nals of the Fed Cup, along with France, Be­larus and Aus­tralia.

Ro­ma­nia reached the semi­fi­nals for the first time af­ter its first vic­tory against the Czechs, who won six ti­tles in the last eight years.

Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu teamed up to clinch the best-of-five con­test with a 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4 win over Czech pair Ka­te­rina Sini­akova and Barbora Kre­j­cikova in the dou­bles.

Ro­ma­nia took a 2-1 lead on an in­door hard-court in Os­trava af­ter Si­mona Halep beat Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in a re­verse sin­gles fea­tur­ing two for­mer top-ranked play­ers. Halep im­proved her record against Pliskova to 7-2 to put Ro­ma­nia one win from ad­vanc­ing.

Sini­akova, the star of last year’s fi­nal vic­tory against the United States, made it 2-2 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over

Mi­haela Burzanescu, leav­ing the re­sult hing­ing on the dou­bles.

It was a sim­i­lar fin­ish in Aus­tralia’s 3-2 win over the U.S. in Asheville, N.C., with Ash Barty and Priscilla Hon beat­ing for­mer Vir­ginia star Danielle Collins and

Ni­cole Melichar 6-4, 7-5 in the de­cid­ing dou­bles. Ear­lier, Barty beat Madi­son Keys 6-4, 6-1 to give Aus­tralia a 2-1 lead. Collins, who reached her first Grand Slam semi­fi­nal at the Aus­tralian Open last month, made it 2-2 af­ter a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 vic­tory over Daria Gavrilova.

The Aus­tralians will next play Be­larus, which lost the 2017 fi­nal to the U.S., in April. Be­larus dom­i­nated at Braun­schweig, with Aryna Sa­balenka cruis­ing past

Laura Siege­mund 6-1, 6-1 to give her coun­try an in­sur­mount­able 3-0 lead over host Ger­many on an in­door hard court.

In the fi­nal dou­bles match, Vic­to­ria Azarenka teamed up with Lidziya Marozava to beat Mona Barthel and Anna-Lena Groene­feld 6-1, 0-6, 11-9 to win 4-0 over­all.

In Liege, Caro­line Gar­cia clinched an in­sur­mount­able 3-0 lead for France over host Bel­gium af­ter eas­ing past Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-3 to set up a semi­fi­nal against Ro­ma­nia.

Madi­son Chock and Evan Bates of the United States cap­tured the first ma­jor in­ter­na­tional ti­tle of their ca­reer Sun­day, win­ning the ice danc­ing com­pe­ti­tion at the Four Con­ti­nents Fig­ure Skat­ing Cham­pi­onships in Ana­heim, Calif. Chock and Bates, who were sec­ond at the U.S. Fig­ure Skat­ing Cham­pi­onships two weeks ago, scored 126.25 points dur­ing their free dance. They fin­ished with 207.42 points to edge Cana­di­ans Kait­lyn Weaver and An­drew Poje, who to­taled 203.93 points.

The Char­lotte Hor­nets are us­ing their open ros­ter spot to add vet­eran point guard Shelvin Mack. The Hor­nets claimed Mack off waivers from the At­lanta Hawks. In his 11th NBA sea­son, the 6-foot-3 Mack is pri­mar­ily a point guard but has also played some shoot­ing guard.

Cor­ner­back Nick­ell Robey-Cole­man of the Los An­ge­les Rams was hit with a $26,739 fine for a hel­metto-hel­met hit on de­fense­less New Eng­land run­ning back Rex Burk­head in last Sun­day’s Su­per Bowl. In the NFC cham­pi­onship game, Robey-Cole­man also was fined for a hel­met-to-hel­met hit on New Or­leans Saints re­ceiver Tom­mylee Lewis. Cole­man wasn’t called for that in­frac­tion on the play or the ob­vi­ous pass in­ter­fer­ence — a key fac­tor in the Saints’ loss.

Rain on Sun­day forced NHRA of­fi­cials to post­pone fi­nal elim­i­na­tions in the Lu­cas Oil NHRA Win­ter­na­tion­als in Pomona, Calif., un­til Mon­day. Robert Hight topped Funny Car qual­i­fy­ing in the sea­sonopen­ing event. Steve Tor­rence qual­i­fied first in Top Fuel, and Rodger Brog­don was the fastest in Pro Stock.

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