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The Star Online: Sports


Del Potro wins first title since 2009 US Open

Posted: 27 Feb 2011 05:53 PM PST

DELRAY BEACH, Florida (AP) - Juan Martin del Potro won his first title in his first final since winning the 2009 U.S. Open, beating Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 6-4 at the Delray Beach championships on Sunday.

The 22-year-old Del Potro, on the comeback trail after missing most of last season with a right wrist injury, looked fatigued throughout the finals at Delray Beach, but he willed himself to victory over the erratic Tipsarevic, then thrust his arms in the air and kept kissing his wrist - almost in thanks for healing.

"Three months ago I was thinking I'll be trying to play tournaments," Del Potro said. "Now I won a tournament. It's great to win a tournament after a year."

Del Potro should make a big move from No. 166 when the next ATP Tour rankings are released. But he knows there is still a long way to go before he contends with top players again.

The Argentine, who has eight career wins, reached the semifinals at San Jose and Memphis in advance of playing Delray Beach.

He plans to stay in South Florida and skip the Davis Cup for Argentina this coming weekend, then play at Indian Wells or Miami later in March.

"I don't know if I'm ready to fight with top-10 players, but I'm working very hard and hope to do it soon," Del Potro said. "I need 20 to 25 matches before I'll really be ready to play with them, but it's coming soon."

The 52nd-ranked Tipsarevic was trying to win his first title in three career finals, but couldn't hold onto his early advantage in the match. The Serbian struggled on his serve, posting only a 49 percent first service percentage, throughout the match.

He only was able to capitalize on one of 11 break points on Del Potro's serve.

"The key was the break points and my first serve percentage was horrible," Tipsarevic said. "All the factors were going my way to win. But I really didn't use my chances.

"One of 11 break points - it's completely unacceptable against a guy like this in a final."

At the beginning of the match, Tipsarevic raced to a 4-1 lead. Del Potro was looking flat and couldn't find any range with his trademark forehand.

Tipsarevic played a poor seventh service game to hand del Potro back the service break, which turned the match to his favor.

In the second set, del Potro scored the one necessary service break in the fifth game.

Tipsarevic was heading off to join his Serbian Davis Cup teammates in Novi Sad, Serbia, where they'll begin defense of their 2010 Davis Cup title against India.

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India, England share the spoils in classic encounter

Posted: 27 Feb 2011 05:45 PM PST

BANGALORE (India): India and England tied a thrilling World Cup clash here yesterday in a match which yielded 676 runs and was adorned by blistering centuries from Sachin Tendulkar and Andrew Strauss.

England, chasing a World Cup record 339 to win, finished on 338 for eight having scored 13 off the last over when 14 were needed for victory.

Zaheer Khan's dramatic three-wicket burst turned the match back in India's favour after England captain Strauss' man-of-the-match winning innings of 158.

Earlier, India great Tendulkar's record-breaking 120 saw him become the first man to score five World Cup hundreds.

Khan took three wickets for one run in six balls, including two in two, as England slumped from 281 for two to 285 for five.

Tim Bresnan (14) revived England's innings before he was bowled by leg-spinner Piyush Chawla to leave his side 325 for eight and needing 14 off the last over from Munaf Patel.

But Ajmal Shahzad launched Patel for six to leave England needing five from three balls in front of a frenzied crowd at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Shahzad and Graeme Swann ran a single to make the target four from two. They ran two more to leave England requiring two for victory off the last ball.

But they managed just a single to produce only the fourth tie in World Cup history.

Strauss and Ian Bell (69) put on 170 for the third wicket before Khan had Bell holing out.

Next ball he had Strauss lbw with a brilliant yorker to end the left-handed opener's 145-ball innings featuring a six and 18 fours that beat his previous one-day best of 154 against Bangladesh last year.

Strauss' was the first hundred by an England captain at the World Cup and the highest score by an England batsman, beating the 137 made by Dennis Amiss against India in the competition's inaugural match at Lord's in 1975.

England then needed 58 off 43 balls with two fresh batsmen at the crease but they were in the first over of the batting powerplay.

Khan then bowled Paul Collingwood and finished with three for 64.

There had been controversy when Strauss and Bell's partnership was worth just 52.

Left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh thought he had Bell lbw on review for 17, with replays showing the ball would have hit the stumps.

Bell had started to walk off but because New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden's verdict was not out, the decision was returned to him by Australian replay official Rod Tucker and the Kiwi deemed Bell to be too far down the pitch. — AFP

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