Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 28th 2014 Contents A59
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BEIJING---Rafael Nadal s right wrist is
healthy enough to allow him to compete
again, the Spaniard said as he prepares for
a tough first-round match against French-
man Richard Gasquet at the China Open.
Nadal hasn t played a match since losing
in the fourth round of Wimbledon to Aus-
tralian teenager Nick Kyrgios. He injured
his wrist while practicing on his home island
of Mallorca in late July and was forced to
drop out of the US Open, where he was the
"The injury in my wrist, as I said before,
I cannot say 100 percent because I still feel
something when I start for the first five
minutes of the practice," he said in Beijing
yesterday. "But in general the injury is not
limiting me to compete."
Nadal is seeded second at the tournament
behind defending champion and top-ranked
Novak Djokovic, who has a perfect 19-0
record in Beijing and will be aiming for his
Nadal said the Serb s record in Beijing
suggests he will be the player to beat.
"Novak dominates almost all the tour-
naments," Nadal said. "Normally he likes
to play here. We ll see what s going on this
Djokovic, who opens against Guillermo
Garcia-Lopez of Spain, is playing his first
match since losing in the semifinals of the
U.S. Open to Japan s Kei Nishikori.
The other top men s players in the draw
are Andy Murray, who reached his first final
since last year s Wimbledon triumph at the
Shenzhen Open on Saturday, as well as
newly crowned US Open champion Marin
Cilic of Croatia.
On the women s side, fifth-seeded
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, the 2011
China Open champion, moved into the sec-
ond round with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Amer-
ican Coco Vandeweghe on Saturday.
Another American, Madison Keys, also
advanced with a tough 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-5
win over countrywoman Alison Riske and
Chinese wild card Lin Zhu moved on when
Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova retired
with dizziness while trailing 6-3, 3-3.
Serena Williams, who retired from her
opening match at the Wuhan Open last
week with a viral illness, is the top seed in
Beijing, followed by second-ranked Simona
Halep and No 3 Petra Kvitova, who captured
her third title of the year in Wuhan.
Nadal returns from wrist
injury at China Open
Murray beats Monaco
to reach Shenzhen finale
Andy Murray rallied from a set
down to beat Juan Monaco of
Argentina 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 yesterday
and reach the final of the Shen-
zhen Open in China.
From 3-3 in the second set, Mur-
ray won nine straight games to beat
Monaco in one hour, 42 minutes
and set up a meeting with fourth-
seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain
in today s final.
Robredo overpowered sixth-
seeded Santiago Giraldo of Colom-
bia 6-1, 6-4.
In the third set, Murray dropped
just four points on serve and con-
verted all three of his break points.
In today s final, he will be bidding
for his first title since his Wimble-
don triumph in July 2013.
Murray has struggled since back
surgery a year ago.
"It s been a tough year for me,"
Murray said. "The first few months
coming back from surgery were
Murray accepted a wild card into
Shenzhen in a bid to improve his
ranking from 11th into the top eight,
so as to qualify for the ATP Finals
in London in November.
Robredo had 10 aces and con-
verted four of his seven break points
to beat Giraldo in 70 minutes.
win Wuhan title
WUHAN---Petra Kvitova backed up her lopsided
win over Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon with
another emphatic victory over the Canadian to
capture the inaugural Wuhan Open title yester-
The third-seeded Czech player saved seven of
eight break points she faced in the second set to
close out a 6-3, 6-4 win over the sixth-seeded
Bouchard in scorching conditions that lived up to
Wuhan s reputation as one of China s "oven cities."
It was Kvitova s third title of the year and also
secured her spot at the season-ending WTA finals
in Singapore, alongside No 1 Serena Williams,
Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova.
She s also now a perfect 3-0 over the 20-year-
old Bouchard, including her dominant 6-3, 6-0
win in the Wimbledon final that lasted only 55
minutes. It was the fewest games in a women s
Wimbledon final since Steffi Graf beat Monica
Seles 6-2, 6-1 in 1992.
"I knew that I have to play a little bit more
aggressive than I played the matches before," Kvi-
tova said. "I need to play a similar game as in
Wimbledon, very aggressively going for the shots."
Bouchard had hoped to put up more of a fight
than she did at Wimbledon. But she didn t have
an answer for Kvitova s lefty serve out wide and
couldn t match the Wimbledon champ s powerful
groundstrokes, especially early in the match when
she fell behind 3-1 in the first set.
Then, at the start of the second, she jammed
her finger with her racket on a follow-through
and had to take an injury timeout to have it taped
while holding a bag of ice to her head to cool off
in the 32-degree Celsius (90 F) heat.
Still, after returning to the court, she made Kvi-
tova work hard to close it out. Serving for the
match at 5-2, Kvitova wasted a match point and
was forced to save five break points before dumping
a volley into the net to drop serve. After Bouchard
held to make it 5-4, however, Kvitova regained
her composure and put the match away.
The 24-year-old Czech player will now look to
carry her late-season momentum into the WTA
Championships, which she won in her breakout
season in 2011 after beating Sharapova to capture
her first Wimbledon title. (AP)
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic poses with
the trophy outside the centre court stadium after
she defeated Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in the
final of the Wuhan Open tennis tournament in
Wuhan, in China's Hubei province yesterday.
Kvitova won 6-3, 6-4. AP PHOTO
Nishikori and Benneteau
reach Malaysian Open final
KUALA LUMPUR---To p-
seeded Kei Nishikori of
Japan beat Jarkko Nieminen
of Finland 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to
reach the final of the
Malaysian Open yesterday.
Playing in his first tour-
nament since reaching the
US Open final, Nishikori con-
verted six of his 13 break
points and fired eight aces to
defeat Nieminen in 1 hour,
Nishikori will face fourth-
seeded Julien Benneteau of
France in today s final. Ben-
neteau beat second-seeded
Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-
Benneteau will contest the
title match at the Malaysian
Open for the third straight
year. Nishikori has a 5-4
record in tour-level finals and
is attempting to add to vic-
tories earlier this year in
Memphis and Barcelona. He
has a 2-1 lead over Benneteau
"Julien is definitely a tough
player, especially on indoor
courts," Nishikori said. "He
can be a really dangerous
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