Tsonga beats Herbert in final
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.