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11.06.2019 03:01
"anti-star," and he meant it in a good way. The r Antworten

MONTREAL -- Tournament director Eugene Lapierre called Agnieszka Radwanska the "anti-star," and he meant it in a good way. The right-hander, who won the US$2.44 million womens Rogers Cup with a too-easy 6-4, 6-2 victory over Venus Williams on Sunday, is not flashy on or off the court. She is relentlessly efficient, a tireless returner of balls from the baseline, with subtle changes of speed and spin that wear down vulnerable opponents like Williams, who had worn her 34-year-old self out with a stirring, three-set win over her top-ranked sister Serena Williams in the semifinals. The third-seeded Radwanska, the first Rogers Cup champion from Poland, picked up her first tournament win of the year at the hardcourt event and the $441,000 winners prize. "She played great tennis the whole week, playing and beating a lot of good players on the way to the final," Radwanska said of Williams, a seven-time grand slam champion in her glory years. "I think I am even more happy to beat Venus when shes really on fire." Radwanska, ranked fifth in the world to Williams 26th, posted her first Rogers Cup win after twice reaching the semifinals. It was her first victory since 2013 at Seoul. She was the best, most consistent player all week, mowing down Victoria Azarenka in two sets in the quarter-finals before beating a hot Ekaterina Makarova in two long sets in the semis. "I think I was playing much better every match," the 25-year-old Radwanska said. "I didnt start that well from my first match, but every match was much better. "Thats why I think Im sitting right here now with you (reporters). I was feeling the balls much better." The Krakow, Poland native shot off to a 4-1 lead, but Williams answered with a break that had the centre court crowd on its feet as Radwanska hit a drop shot, Williams dropped back, Radwanska hit a lob and Williams got back in time to win the point with a cross-court slash. Radwanska settled back in to finish the set and opened the second with a service break. After Williams broke to tie it at 2-2, she gave the break to Radwanska with a pair of double faults. Radwanska cruised the rest of the way, punctuating her victory with an ace on match point. Williams had an excellent week that will put her back into the world top-20 starting Monday. Her six matches, four of them in three sets, included wins over sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber and 14th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro. But beating Radwanska required more energy and patience than she had left for the final. "Against her, you really have to be patient," said Williams. "Today, I just didnt have everything to be patient and really work the point. "I wanted to give more, but I just didnt have it. It felt great to play so well this week. I really would like to think under circumstances, where I could give everything I have, that the results could have been a little different." She fell short in her bid to become the events oldest champion after Martina Navratilova, who won 52 days before her 33rd birthday in 1989. Still, Williams was upbeat about her game, which is on the rebound after a few years of injuries and a battle with the auto-immune disease Sjogrens Syndrome. The five-time Wimbledon champion could even be a factor at the U.S. Open that starts Aug. 25 in New York, where she won in 2000 and 2001. "Its starting to come," she said. "Finding myself in all these different situations where youre playing the world No. 1, youre in the semifinals, youre in a final, Ive done it so many times, but I havent done it in a while. "Im so grateful just for everything. Its a whole new way of looking at things now." That includes not being upset at losing in the final, which earned her $220,000. "This week I was tired because I played so many matches," she added. "Thats great for me. "Instead of unreasonable fatigue thats unconquerable, just the opposite really: a fatigue from too much success. Thats the positive. I ran out of energy because I was winning too many matches. I havent had that problem in a long time." Williams has played the Rogers Cup in alternate years when it is held in Toronto, but had never played it in Montreal. She became a fan favourite and said she fell in love with the tournament and the city, telling centre court fans she hopes to be back many more times. She will be back in the region soon, as she plans to play the lower-level Coupe Banque Nationale Sept. 6-14 in Quebec City. In the doubles final, the top-ranked Italian duo of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci defeated Cara Black and Sania Mirza 7-6 (4), 6-3. Organizers announced the tournament drew 181,996 spectators, topping the previous high of 175,000. 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Thats exactly what happened. And they enjoyed every moment. Durant remained sizzling with 33 points, Serge Ibaka added 22 and the Thunder roared back from an abysmal start -- they trailed 22-4 early -- to embarrass the Miami Heat 112-95 on Wednesday night, erasing that big deficit out of the gate by outscoring the two-time defending champions by 43 points over a 33-minute span. David Njoku Jersey . Kevin Martin and Kevin Love paced the Timberwolves like they do so often. Martin had 27 points with some key baskets down the stretch, Love had his usual double-double, and the Timberwolves snapped a three-game losing streak with a 112-106 victory Saturday night over the suddenly slipping Dallas Mavericks. White Sox rookie first baseman Jose Abreu came to major league baseball with some hype, as many Cubans do, but there wasnt any expectation for the kind of first month that hes enjoying. 27-years-old with a power-hitters build (listed at 6-foot-3, 255 pounds), Abreu has roared into the majors, with 10 home runs, 31 RBI, a .262 batting average and .962 OPS in his first 26 games. As with any one-month sample, these numbers arent sustainable, but what is fair to expect from Abreu? For one thing, his batting average on balls in play is .246, which is well below average, so it would be fair to expect his batting average to go up as a few more balls fall in, but hes also had a major-league best 33.3% of his flyballs leave the park, which isnt going to hold. Over the past five seasons, there have been two seasons in which a player finished with more than 27% of his flyballs turning into home runs -- Adam Dunn in 2012 (29.3%) and Chris Davis in 2013 (29.6%) -- so Abreu is most likely to fall off his current 62-home run pace. No, seriously. What will bear watching with Abreu is how pitchers adjust to him as he makes his way through the league. He swings at a lot of pitches out of the strike zone and hes already seeing among thelowest percentage of strikes when hes at the plate, so pitchers are learning. Its also interesting to note that, thus far, while Abreu destroys fastballs and sliders, hes struggled with change-ups. If thats the scouting report, surely hell start seeing more change-ups, if just to affect his timing. At this point, 14.5% of the pitches Abreu has faced have been change-ups; it will be interesting to see if that number increases over the next month or more. None of this anticipated regression should come as a surprise, merely as a caution.dddddddddddd Baseball tends to catch up to sluggers, especially ones that are willing to expand their strike zone by swinging freely. GOOD ADDS (available in at least 40% of TSN leagues) Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit - 3 HR, 13 RBI, .258 AVG, 7 R, 66 AB (Available: 71.6%) Dioner Navarro, C, Toronto - 1 HR, 14 RBI, .309 AVG, 11 R, 81 AB (Available: 89.6%) Alberto Callaspo, 3B/2B, Oakland - 3 HR, 13 RBI, .272 AVG, 9 R, 81 AB (Available: 74.6%) Casey McGehee, 3B, Miami - 0 HR, 16 RBI, .287 AVG, 5 R, 94 AB (Available: 75.8%) Dillon Gee, RHP, N.Y. Mets - 2-1, 2.88 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 27 K, 40 2/3 IP (Available: 65.7%) Ian Kennedy, RHP, San Diego - 2-3, 3.16 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 37 K, 37 IP (Available: 76.2%) CLOSER NOTES The Angels have demoted Ernesto Frieri, leaving side-arming veteran Joe Smith for the role. Smith, 30, recorded the first three saves of his career last season for Cleveland. While hes not the classic fire-balling closer, Smith has managed to miss bats this year, striking out 11 in 10 innings, the best rate of his career. Pirates closer Jason Grilli is on the DL with a strained oblique. Mark Melancon, who has 37 career saves, takes over. Melancon has been really good for the Pirates over the past couple seasons, posting a 1.41 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 84 games, striking out 79 in 83 innings. If the Pirates are in position to win games, Melancon is qualified to close them out. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. 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