Kei Nishikori wins in Memphis for 3rd career title
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Kei Nishikori played so well that Feliciano Lopez felt as if the 23-year-old Japanese player knew exactly what he wanted to do and where he was hitting to.
Nishikori used his speed Sunday in winning his third career title and second since October, beating Lopez of Spain 6-2, 6-3 in the U.S. National Indoor Championships at The Racquet Club.
Nishikori needed only 67 minutes to improve to 3-2 in finals. He won his first career title in Delray Beach in 2008, but now he quickly followed up becoming the first Japanese winner at the Tokyo Open in October by starting 11-2 this year with another title.
Seeded fifth, Nishikori was the only seed to reach the weekend. He finished the tournament without dropping a set in taking the $291,800 winner’s check, and he is expected to move from No. 22 in the ATP rankings to about No. 16.
Bob and Mike Bryan, the top seeds, won their 85th career doubles title earlier Sunday, beating James Blake and Jack Sock 6-1, 6-2.
Ferrer beats Wawrinka in Copa Claro final
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — David Ferrer won his second tournament of the season by defeating Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 on Sunday to successfully defend his Copa Claro title in the Argentine capital.
The top-seeded Ferrer broke his opponent six times — including three in the final set — to clinch the 20th title of his career. He won the Heineken Open last month in Auckland, New Zealand.
Wawrinka was aiming for his fourth ATP title but could not match the consistency of Ferrer on the outdoor clay court. His last tournament victory was in 2011 at Chennai, India.
Ferrer won 11 straight points during one stretch of the third set, a slump from which Wawrinka couldn’t recover as he dropped serve three times.
Ferrer broke Wawrinka twice in the first set and then needed five set points in the 10th game before closing it out.
In the doubles final, the Italian pair of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini defeated American Nicholas Monroe and Simon Stadler of Germany 6-3, 6-2.
Tsonga beats Berdych in Open 13 final
MARSEILLE, France — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga saved a match point before overcoming top-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 Sunday in the final of the Open 13.
The third-seeded Frenchman won his first title of the season and 10th of his career.
Tsonga had to wait until the third game of the last set before getting his first break of serve, when Berdych netted a forehand. The 2008 Australian Open runner-up clinched the victory when Berdych hit a service return long.
Top 3-year-old Violence hurt, off Derby trail
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Top 3-year-old Violence is off the Kentucky Derby trail after fracturing a bone in his right front leg.
The injury was detected after his second-place finish in Saturday’s Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Violence was resting comfortably Sunday, and the colt will ship to owner Steven Marshall’s Black Rock Stable’s Farm in Versailles, Ky., this week for further evaluation and recuperation.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said “it’s such a disappointment to see such a promising colt sustain an injury.”
The heavily favored Violence lost Saturday for the first time in four starts, defeated by half a length by Orb.
Cuban: Amnesty comment on Bryant was innocent
DALLAS — Mavericks owner Mark Cuban doesn’t expect to hear from the league over his suggestion the Los Angeles Lakers could reduce their salary cap tax by dumping Kobe Bryant through the amnesty clause.
Cuban said before Dallas’ game against the Lakers on Sunday that he made it clear during a radio interview Friday he was speaking hypothetically, and he was just trying to use an example to explain new restrictions in the labor agreement.
The Lakers called the remark inappropriate but didn’t plan to pursue a complaint.
“Amnesty THAT,” Bryant tweeted after scoring 38 points in a 103-99 victory over the Mavericks.
“I’m sure if he wants to amnesty Dirk, that’s something we’ll be willing to entertain,” Bryant told reporters.
Cuban has cited the labor deal as a main reason for not bringing back key pieces of Dallas’ 2011 championship team, most notably New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler. He said the labor contract is difficult to explain, and “it’s not like we’re getting any help from the league.”
Yankees OF Granderson breaks arm, out 10 weeks
TAMPA, Fla. — Curtis Granderson jogged to first base after being hit on his right forearm as if it was a minor annoyance. Back at the ballpark in a brace a couple of hours later, it was clear the New York Yankees had a pretty big power problem on their hands.
In his first at-bat of spring training, the slugger broke his arm when he hit by a pitch from Toronto’s J.A. Happ in the bottom of the first inning Sunday and is expected to be out until the first week of May.
The Yankees, who were beaten 2-0 by a Blue Jays’ split squad, first called it a bruise but X-rays revealed the break.
Kimetto sets race record at Tokyo Marathon
TOKYO — Dennis Kimetto set a race record of 2 hours, 6 minutes, 50 seconds Sunday to lead a Kenyan sweep of the podium at the Tokyo Marathon.
Kimetto won his first marathon in only the second start of his career while taking 33 seconds off the previous mark set by Viktor Rothlin of Switzerland in 2008. Last year’s winner, Michael Kipyego, finished eight seconds behind Kimetto, while Bernard Kipyego took third place in 2:07:53.
Ethiopia’s Aberu Kebede won the women’s race in 2:25:34. Yeshi Esayias, also of Ethiopia, finished second, almost 30 seconds back, with Irina Mikitenko of Germany, the World Marathon Majors champion in 2008 and 2009, taking third in 2:26:41.
By wire sources