Fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska cruised into the second round of the WTA hardcourt tournament here on Monday, but eighth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova worked hard to get past Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm.
Poland’s Radwanska defeated Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1, 6-2.
“It was a good match,” said Radwanska, who is seeking her first WTA title in three years, but has enjoyed solid results this season including a quarter-final appearance at the Australian Open and the fourth round at Roland Garros.
“I am very happy to have won my first hardcourt match and especially under hot conditions,” she said.
Radwanska next faces Taiwan’s Chang Kai-Chen, who rallied from an early deficit to beat American Hilary Barte 7-5, 6-4.
Slovakia’s Cibulkova, ranked 19th in the world, was playing for the first time since falling in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon to Maria Sharapova.
Her 6-2, 7-6 (9/7) victory over Date-Krumm was her eighth win in 10 matches. She hasn’t lost more than two matches in a row all season.
However, she admitted that she nearly lost her composure after falling behind 5-1 in the tiebreaker.
“I’m a player who really needs to control my emotions,” Cibulkova said. “I went a little crazy once I lost my serve at 6-6.”
She managed to hang on, but said it wasn’t easy against a player of Date-Krumm’s experience.
“It’s not easy to play Kimiko,” Cibulkova said. “She’s a tough opponent. In the first set, I just played aggressively like I should and was going for my shots.”
Cibulkova booked a match with American Christina McHale, a 6-1, 6-0 winner over Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic.
Canadian Rebecca Marino defeated American Coco Vandeweghe 6-4, 6-4 to set up a meeting with third-seeded Marion Bartoli of France.
? CITI OPEN
AP, COLLEGE PARK, Maryland
Britain’s Elena Baltacha hung on in a second-set tiebreak to beat Yaroslava Shvedova on Monday and advance to the second round of the inaugural Citi Open just outside Washington.
Baltacha beat the Kazakh 6-2, 7-6 (5) to set up a second round meeting with France’s Virginie Razzano, who was a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Japan’s Misaki Doi.
On a good day for Britons, Heather Watson beat Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-4, 6-1 and will next take on Canada’s Stephanie Dubois, who ousted seventh-seeded Sania Mirza of India 7-5, 6-4.
In a match of two Americans, Varvara Lepchenko beat Sloane Stephens 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Her second-round opponent will be either eighth-seeded Alberta Brianti of Italy or another Briton, Anne Keothavong.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on