Section: Tennis

Tennis: Caroline Wozniacki & Simona Halep to meet in Stuttgart semis

Caroline Wozniacki will face Romanian world number three Simona Halep in the semi-finals of the Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart after beating in-form Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0 6-3.

Dane Wozniacki, 24, took just one hour and six minutes to secure victory.

Halep, 23, overcame Italy’s Sara Errani 6-4 6-4 to make the last four.

Germany’s Angelique Kerber saw off sixth seed Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 6-2 and will face American Madison Brengle in the other semi-final.

Kerber had already beaten defending champion Maria Sharapova on Tuesday,

World number 43 Brengle, who previously beat reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the second round, saw off France’s Caroline Garcia 3-6 6-3 6-3 in the day’s final quarter-final.

Read more at BBC Sport

Miami Open: Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray to win fifth title

Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak against Britain’s Andy Murray to seven matches with victory in a gruelling Miami Open final.

The world number one prevailed 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-0 in hot and humid conditions to win his fifth Miami title.

Djokovic, 27, takes his record against Murray to 18-8, and the Serb will tie Rafael Nadal’s total of 141 weeks at the top of the rankings on Monday.

Murray, who gets married next Saturday, will move up from fourth to third.

The Scot, 27, twice led by a break in the first set and looked to have the momentum heading into the decider, but ultimately came up short once again.

“It has been a good start to the year for me so far,” he told the crowd. “I’m not quite there where Novak is at, but I feel I am getting there. I just need to keep working hard.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Miami Open: Serena Williams beats Carla Suarez Navarro to win

World number one Serena Williams thrashed Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro to win her eighth Miami Open title.

The 33-year-old raced to a 6-2 6-0 victory in 56 minutes to secure her third straight title at Crandon Park.

The American won the final 10 games as she outclassed Suarez Navarro, who will make her top-10 debut next week.

Williams said: “It feels really good to have eight under my belt. I’d like to believe the older I get, the better I get.”

Suarez Navarro, 26, went into the biggest final of her career having won just 10 games in four previous meetings with the younger Williams sister, and the 12th seed could add only two more.

Read more at BBC Sport

Miami Open: Andy Murray beats Tomas Berdych in semi-finals

Britain’s Andy Murray reached his fourth Miami Open final with a convincing straight-sets win over Czech eighth seed Tomas Berdych.

Third seed Murray won 6-4 6-4 and will play world number one Novak Djokovic or 22nd seed John Isner on Sunday.

The Scot, 27, broke Berdych’s serve four times as he took his career record against the Czech to 6-6.

Murray, who won the Miami title in 2009 and 2013, is set to return to third in the world rankings next week.

Friday’s first semi-final was a repeat of the Australian Open clash in January, which Murray won in four tense sets as he went up against Berdych and former coach Dani Vallverdu.

There was another familiar face in the Berdych box in Miami after fitness coach Jez Green recently began working with the Czech, having left Murray’s team along with Vallverdu last November.

In contrast to Melbourne, Murray made the sharper start this time around, breaking the Berdych serve either side of dropping his own as he took charge early on.

Berdych looked unsettled, complaining about the balls at one stage and then a line call as Murray saw out the set by making an impressive 77% of first serves.

Things got worse for the Czech at the start of the second as a confident Murray broke to love, but the Briton handed him a lifeline as two double faults gave the advantage straight back.

Both men were stepping in and attacking returns at every opportunity, and Murray’s strength in that area proved the difference when he broke the Czech for a fourth time as the pattern of the first set was repeated.

Murray almost clinched victory with a fifth break and had to recover from 0-30 when trying to serve it out, but a rasping forehand sealed victory and he let out a scream of delight.

Read more at BBC Sport

Miami Open: Andy Murray beats Santiago Giraldo

Andy Murray dismantled Colombian Santiago Giraldo’s hard-hitting game to claim his 499th career win and reach round four at the Miami Open.

The Briton, seeded third, won 6-3 6-4 and will play South Africa’s 15th seed Kevin Anderson in the last 16.

Another victory would make Murray the 46th man in the open era to reach 500 match wins.

Rafael Nadal is in action later on Sunday, while women’s top seedSerena Williams beat Cici Bellis 6-1 6-1.

Murray, 27, lost heavily to Giraldo in Madrid last year but made amends in Miami, where he lives and trains for much of the year.

Read more at BBC Sport

Indian Wells: Djokovic beats Federer to claim fourth title

Novak Djokovic needed three sets to defeat Roger Federer and win his fourth Indian Wells title for the second year in a row.

“I am at the prime of my career,” Djokovic said. “I’m going to try to use every part of this fact to stay where I am and to fight for as many major titles as possible.”

Djokovic, ranked No.1 in the world, and No.2 Federer met for the 38th time, second-most among rivalries in the Open era. Federer leads the series 20-18 and had won three of their last four meetings going into the final.

But Federer made too many mistakes at crucial times as he went down 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2, piling up 43 unforced errors to 35 for Djokovic. The Serb connected on 63% of his first serves, while Federer’s serve let him down. He double-faulted to trail 4-2 in the third as Djokovic won the last four games of the match.

“I felt huge relief, to be honest,” Djokovic said. “I saw I’m not the only one that is double-faulting under pressure. I got myself in a position to break and then he handed me that break. I thought I deserved it in a way because I really fought hard for it.”

Federer’s serve had carried him earlier in the tournament, when he faced just three break points in his first five matches and he saved two of those.

“I was trying to really focus a lot on my serve because it was very important because he returns so well off the second serve,” Federer said. “He really plays everybody really tough when he returns off the second serve, and I think that’s what also was tough today against him.”

Djokovic also won in three sets last year. He and Federer have combined to win eight of the last 11 titles in the desert, and they became the first two players to reach the final in consecutive years since the tournament began 40 years ago.

“He has been always the ultimate challenge, with [Rafael] Nadal, depending on which surface I get to play,” Djokovic said. “Obviously Nadal on clay is the toughest one to beat, and Roger on the quicker surfaces. But because they have been so dominant over the years and so consistent and so confident on the court, it’s very difficult to get into the mix and start winning titles against them.”

Simona Halep beat Jelena Jankovic 2-6 7-5 6-4 in the women’s final, giving the Romanian the biggest title of her career and a WTA Tour-leading third tournament victory of the year. Djokovic and Halep earned $900,400 (£604,000) each.

On his way to his 50th career ATP Tour title, Djokovic broke Federer once to take the first set. Federer rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the second set for a 5-all tie. They traded love service games to get into the tiebreaker, where Djokovic took a 5-3 lead.

Djokovic double-faulted three times, including twice in a row, setting up Federer’s first break point. The Serb’s backhand lob sailed long, allowing Federer to tie the match at a set apiece.

Federer then broke Djokovic for a 2-1 lead in a game that went to deuce five times before Djokovic netted a backhand. Federer was the clear favorite among the crowd of 16,988, although chanting Serbian fans at the top of the stadium made their presence known.

“When I play Roger it’s something that you expect that he has more support because of who he is,” Djokovic said.

Federer held serve for a 2-2 tie before Djokovic won the final four games of the match.

“You miss a couple of shots which you shouldn’t and then maybe I didn’t serve as good as I should have, and then that’s all Novak needs,” Federer said. “Then he doesn’t blink. It’s pretty quick.”

Read more at ESPN

Indian Wells: Watson downs Radwanska to claim biggest win

Heather Watson claimed the biggest win of her career as she beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 6-4 to move into the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Watson had never beaten a top-10 player before and had lost to Radwanska at Indian Wells last year but broke the seventh seed five times on her way to victory in an hour and 33 minutes.

Victory in Hobart in January had given Watson the second title of her career and the world No.43 will now take on either Carla Suarez Navarro or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the last-16 in California.

The 22-year-old had not won a set against Radwanska in three previous WTA meetings but broke in the first game on her second break point and then held her save to take a 2-0 lead.

Radwanska held and then broke back but Watson was giving her opponent some serious trouble and once again claimed the advantage on a fourth break point.

The rest of the set went with serve but it was Radwanska who was being made to work the harder and Watson closed out with an ace.

Watson needed just one break point to again take the early advantage in the second set and she then held her serve again although Radwanska won the third game to love.

The Pole seemed to have found some rhythm and just as in the first set broke back for 2-2, although she required three break points to do so.

Radwanska was beginning to build up a head of steam now and eased through her next service game before breaking Watson to make it four games in a row.

The match looked to be swinging Radwanska’s way but Watson halted her momentum by getting back on serve and seeing off two break points for an impressive hold to make it 4-4.

The momentum was now back with Watson and she won the next on a second break point before serving out to love to take the match.

“Aga is a fantastic player,” Watson told BT Sport 2. “I’ve played her quite a few times and she’s beaten me pretty comfortably every single time so I knew I was going to have to bring my A-game and play my very best and that’s what I did.

“The crowd definitely helped me today. I absolutely love it here. What’s not to love? For three years I didn’t win a match here and then last year I won a couple and here I’ve won a few more so hopefully I can keep it going.”

Elsewhere, tenth seed Lucie Safarova was beaten 7-6(5) 7-5 by Elina Svitolina in little under two hours on court.

Read more at ESPN

Tennis: Watson through to second round at Indian Wells

Heather Watson reached the BNP Paribas Open second round at Indian Wells with a nervy win over German Julia Goerges.

Heather Watson secured a nervy 6-4 5-7 6-3 win over Julia Goerges to make it through to the second round at Indian Wells.

Watson served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, before losing five games in a row as Goerges levelled the match.

The German then broke in the decider but Watson rallied to claim victory, setting up a second-round meeting with Camila Giorgi.

It was just British No.1 Watson’s second win since lifting the title in Hobart at the beginning of the year.

“I was definitely a bit nervous today and it showed,” said Watson. “But I found the right way to finish the match.”

Read more at ESPN

Davis Cup: Andy Murray wins to wrap up GB victory over USA

Andy Murray sealed a Davis Cup quarter-final place for Great Britain with a straight-sets win over American John Isner in Glasgow.

He saved three set points in the first set and won 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) to give Britain an unassailable 3-1 lead in the World Group first-round tie.

Britain will next play France at home in July, with the venue to be decided.

“It feels great. This is a team effort and I think everyone agrees the team played their part,” said the Scot.

Murray, 27, who returned to play in Scotland this week for the first time in four years, looked edgy in the early stages against Isner but was clinical when it counted.

“On behalf of all of the players I want to thank the crowd because it’s been one of the most special atmospheres I’ve ever played in,” he added.

Read more at BBC Sport

Tennis: Andy Murray climbs above Rafael Nadal to third in world rankings

Andy Murray has swapped places with Rafael Nadal to move to third in the ATP world rankings.

The Scot, 27, climbed to his highest ranking since occupying second place after beating Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in the 2013 Wimbledon final.

He had dropped to 12th in September 2014 after missing three months following back surgery on a long-standing disc injury the previous year.

Murray plays in Dubai this week along with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Second seed Federer opened with a 6-3 6-1 win over Mikhail Youzhny on Monday, with top seed Djokovic facing Vasek Pospisil and Murray taking on Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller at 12:00 GMT on Tuesday.

British number two James Ward will plays Spaniard Feliciano Lopez after coming through qualifying to reach the main draw.

Murray’s last outing was a quarter-final defeat to Frenchman Gilles Simon in the Rotterdam quarter-finals last week, but his form over the past few months has been impressive.

The Scot won back-to-back ATP tour events in Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia towards the end of last season, and started 2015 by reaching the final of the Australian Open, where he lost in four sets to Djokovic.

Read more at BBC Sport