Wozniacki beats Peng
Danish world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki warmed up for the French Open in style on Saturday with a three-set win over Chinese hope Peng Shuai in the WTA Brussels Open final. Wozniacki, yet to land a Grand Slam, started nervously as Peng landed the first set 6-2, but righted herself to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 and take her 16th career title. The Dane had already gained a boost in the semis with her three-set win over reigning French Open champion Francesca Schiavone. Wozniacki now heads for Paris where she faces Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm in her first round match on the red clay. Peng, ranked No. 31 in the world, had seen off No. 2 seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia in her semi, but was unable to capitalize on her strong start as Wozniacki roared back for her fourth title of the season having had treatment to her left thigh in the opening set.
Petkovic takes Strasbourg
Andrea Petkovic of Germany won her second career title on Saturday after her opponent, Marion Bartoli of France, retired while trailing 6-4, 1-0 in the final of the Strasbourg International. The top-seeded Bartoli asked for a medical timeout at 5-4 to have her left thigh strapped, but a few games later she decided to pull out. Bartoli may now be a doubt for the French Open. “I didn’t want to win this way at all,” Petkovic said. “I hope Marion will be fine for the French Open because she plays very well and I think she could play very well in Paris.”
Hoey, Elson share lead
Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday for a share of the third-round lead with England’s Jamie Elson in the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal. Elson had a 68 to match Hoey at 9-under 207 at Porto Santo Golf Club, the Seve Ballesteros-designed course that features 150m seaside cliffs. England’s Chris Gane (70), Scotland’s Alastair Forsyth (69) and France’s Francois Delamontagne (71) were two strokes back in the event sanctioned by the European Tour and the developmental European Challenge Tour.
Almagro wins Nice title
Spaniard Nicolas Almagro recovered from a sluggish start to beat Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 in the final of the Nice Open on Saturday. Third seed Almagro made a string of unforced errors and found himself trailing when the towering Hanescu claimed the opening set tiebreak 7-5. World No. 12 Almagro eventually found his range from the baseline and outpowered Hanescu to clinch his 10th ATP title. Clay court specialist Almagro will be seeded 11th at the French Open and will face a qualifier in the first round.
Argentina level Team final
Defending champions Argentina leveled the World Team Cup final 1-1 against Germany on Saturday in the singles after Juan Ignacio Chela beat Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets. Chela earned a 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) win over Kohlschreiber to make it all square after Germany’s Florian Mayer had earlier sealed a straight-sets 7-6 (7/4), 6-0 win over Juan Monaco. The final will now be decided by the doubles. Germany is bidding to win the cup for the first time since 2005, when they beat Argentina, having also captured the title in 1989, 1994 and 1998. Argentina are playing their seventh final in Dusseldorf having won in 1980, 2002, 2007 and last year.
Tagliani grabs Indy 500 pole
Canada’s Alex Tagliani edged New Zealand’s Scott Dixon to win pole position for the 100th anniversary edition of the Indianapolis 500 in Saturday’s qualifying. The 38-year-old, who was forced to assemble his own team for Indy on a shoestring budget, completed the fastest four-lap qualifying average around the 2.5 mile (4km) Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval at 227.472mph (366.08kph). “When I heard the team screaming on the radio I was really happy,” Tagliani said. “I’m going to pinch myself tonight.” Dixon, who won the Indy 500 from the pole in 2008, settled for second-best at 227.340mph after running out of fuel in the fourth turn. “It would have been damn close if we had finished that last lap,” Dixon said.