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Sports in brief

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Kuznetsova completes finals field

MOSCOW — Top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova secured the last spot at the WTA Finals by beating Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-1 Saturday to retain her Kremlin Cup title. Gavrilova, ranked 38th, was seeking her first WTA title.

Kuznetsova, 31, was a fixture at the season-ending Finals for much of her early 20s but hadn't qualified since 2009. She she returns to take her place in the eight-player draw in Singapore this month at the expense of Johanna Konta.

Stockholm Open: Wild card Juan Martin del Potro reached his second final of the year by beating second seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-5. He faces sixth-seeded American Jack Sock, who beat fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.

et cetera

NBA: A Heat executive said there would be no change in the employment status of the team employee who knelt while singing the national anthem before Friday night's exhibition game against the 76ers at AmericanAirlines Arena. Michael McCullough, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said the team was unaware that Denasia Lawrence, a part-time employee who works on the game-night operations staff, would kneel during the performance while wearing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt that had not been previously visible beneath her blazer. Lawrence, who is black, posted on Facebook: "When I took the opportunity to sing the national anthem at the Heat game, it was bigger than me. Right now, we're seeing a war on Black & Brown bodies — we're being unjustly killed and overly criminalized. I took the opportunity to sing AND kneel; to show that we belong in this country AND that we have the right to respectfully protest injustices against us."

Soccer: Arsenal climbed to the top of the English Premier League with a 0-0 home draw against Middlesbrough that ended its six-game winning streak. Arsenal is in first place on goal difference ahead of Liverpool, which beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at Anfield for a sixth win in nine league matches. … Andres Iniesta's serious knee injury overshadowed another stellar performance by Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who scored his second goal of the game in stoppage time to earn a 3-2 win at Valencia in the Spanish league. Enzo Perez's tackle forced Iniesta off on a stretcher. Iniesta injured a ligament in his right knee and is out six to eight weeks, the team said. The defending champions rose to the top of the league, one point ahead of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

Times wires

Sports in brief 10/22/16 [Last modified: Saturday, October 22, 2016 9:57pm]
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