The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports


Groth, Mattek-Sands in Hobart International final

Posted: 14 Jan 2011 05:15 AM PST

Published: Friday January 14, 2011 MYT 9:15:00 PM

HOBART, Australia (AP): Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States will play Jarmila Groth of Australia in the final of the Hobart International after semi-final wins Friday.

The sixth-seeded Groth beat fifth-seeded Klara Zakapalova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2, while Mattek-Sands defeated Peng Shuai of China 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.

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Li beats Clijsters in Sydney International final

Posted: 14 Jan 2011 03:15 AM PST

SYDNEY (AP): Li Na of China won her fourth career WTA title Friday, overcoming a 5-0 deficit in the first set to beat third-seeded Kim Clijsters 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the Sydney International final.

Clijsters jumped out to an early lead, but the U.S. Open champion from Belgium collapsed in that set and played poorly in the second.

Before Friday, Clijsters had won 27 of her previous 30 matches, collecting a third U.S. Open title and the 2010 year-end championship.

The 27-year-old Clijster's three defeats since Wimbledon last July had all come at the hands of Vera Zvonareva, the Russian who Clijsters would have displaced as the second-ranked player with a victory over Li.

Instead, Clijsters's serve and forehand completely deserted her when she seemed certain to land her third title in Sydney and 41st of her career. She had 27 unforced errors and lost 13 of the last 17 games.

"We've had some really tough battles in the past," Clijsters said. "I didn't played my best tonight, but she did and she deserved to win."

Earlier, Gilles Simon of France won all but three points in the second set to defeat third-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 7-6 (1), 6-0 and advance to the men's final, where he will face Viktor Troicki of Serbia.

The fourth-seeded Troicki defeated Florian Mayer of Germany 6-4, 7-6 (4) at Sydney Olympic Park. "OK, I made three points. Bad luck," Gulbis said. "Next time I will make four."

Simon, who battled a knee injury for six months of 2010 and slipped to No. 41 from a career-high No. 6, was pleased with more court time.

"I know on the court I can play three hours even if it's 40 degrees (Celsius) outside," Simon said. "I know that if the match is difficult, if we have to run, fight on every point, at the end it's good for me."

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