kerber, cibulkova in wta finals final
SINGAPORE — Top-ranked Angelique Kerber and seventh-seeded Dominika Cibulkova will compete for the WTA Finals title today.
The top-seeded Kerber picked apart defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska's game in a textbook 6-2, 6-1 semifinal drubbing Saturday. This is Kerber's fourth trip to the WTA Finals and the first time she has advanced beyond the round-robin stage of the competition.
"It's just amazing to be here," Kerber said. "It's been an incredible 12 months. I've been really working to being focused, to being calm and to being just positive on court, and this is the biggest improvement I've made."
Cibulkova rolled to the ground in celebration after taking her debut at the season-ending, eight-player event all the way to the championship match with a 1-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova. "For me, it's one of my dreams come true," Cibulkova said. "I'm just so excited."
Kerber leads Cibulkova 5-4 in career meetings.
Erste Bank Open: Sixth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga saved a match point before beating eighth-seeded Ivo Karlovic 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) and setting up a final against top-seeded Andy Murray in Vienna. Murray advanced because defending champion and fifth seed David Ferrer pulled out with a left leg injury shortly before their semifinal.
Swiss Indoors: Third-seeded Kei Nishikori saved a match point with a perfect topspin lob and fought back to beat unseeded Gilles Muller 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 in the semifinals at Basel. Fourth-seeded Marin Cilic also trailed by a set before winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 against qualifier Mischa Zverev. The title match today is a repeat of the 2014 U.S. Open final, which Cilic won in three straight sets.
Race stays tight in Premier League
Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool each had four-goal wins and only goal difference separated them at the top of the English Premier League. It's shaping up to be the tightest title race in years. And Manchester United is not part of it.
Instead, manager Jose Mourinho is experiencing a frustrating start to his United career. Mourinho was sent off as a 0-0 draw with visiting Burnley left United with no wins in the league in October and three points from a possible 12. United — owned by the Glazer family, which owns the Bucs — dropped to eighth place, eight points behind the pacesetters.
Manchester City ended its six-match winless run with a 4-0 win over host West Bromwich Albion. Third-place Liverpool compensated for its defensive errors with a fine attacking display in a 4-2 win over host Crystal Palace. Arsenal topped host Sunderland 4-1.
Spain: Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty kick but scored three times to help Real Madrid increase its lead with a 4-1 win at Alaves. Madrid stayed two points ahead of Barcelona after the defending champion moved into second place with a 1-0 win over bottom-side host Granada.
Horses: Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist won't run in the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic next weekend because of a "puffy ankle." Trainer Doug O'Neill said that last year's 2-year-old champion came out of his workout Thursday with the ankle issue. He said X-rays revealed nothing, but the issue occurred too close to the race. The colt was scheduled to be retired after the Classic.
Sailing: Ed Baird of St. Petersburg is among the nine inductees today into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in Annapolis, Md. Baird helmed Alinghi to victory in the 2007 America's Cup.