In Brief | Tennis & Soccer | 04-06-14


Petkovic, Cepelova advance to Family final

CHARLESTON, S.C. — No matter how the final match goes, there will be a surprise champion at the Family Circle Cup.

No. 14 seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany and Jana Cepelova of Slovakia advance to the finals Saturday, both rallying late in their matches to set up an unlikely championship today.

Petkovic rallied in the final two sets to defeat sixth-seeded Eugenie Bouchard 1-6, 6-3, 7-5, while Cepelova came back from 4-1 down in a third-set tiebreaker to oust 17-year-old Swiss qualifier Belinda Bencic 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7).

Cepelova, 20, hadn’t ever been past the quarterfinals since her WTA debut in 2011. But she began a week of Family Circle surprises — just one of the top 10 seeds reached the semifinals — by defeating world No. 1 Serena Williams on Tuesday night and now will play for her first tour title.

Czechs reach Davis semis; Swiss lose doubles

LONDON — The Czech Republic became the first team to reach the Davis Cup semifinals Saturday, while heavily favored Switzerland had another disappointing loss in the doubles and France kept alive its quarterfinal against Germany.

The defending champion Czechs clinched an unassailable 3-0 lead over Japan after Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol comfortably beat Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the doubles.

That’s the only quarterfinal that has gone according to script so far, as Switzerland and France both find themselves down 2-1 going into the reverse singles today.

Many expected Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka to have wrapped up Switzerland’s best-of-five series against Kazakhstan by now as well, but the former Olympic doubles champions were beaten 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (6) by Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov. That came after Wawrinka lost his singles match to Golubev on Saturday.

Germany entered its quarterfinal without its top three players, but Tobias Kamke and Peter Gojowczyk surprisingly won their opening singles matches to give the visitors a 2-0 lead on Friday against France. However, Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra held their nerve to beat Andre Begemann and Kamke 6-1, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-5 to stay in the series.

Andy Murray completed a 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Italy’s Andreas Seppi in their delayed singles match, before returning to the court to help Britain take a 2-1 lead with a win in the doubles. Murray and Colin Fleming beat Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 to boost Britain’s bid to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1981.

Chelsea, Man City maintain title push

LONDON — Chelsea and Manchester City both earned routine victories on Saturday to leave the destination of the Premier League trophy as unclear as before.

Although Chelsea tops the standings after beating Stoke 3-0, Liverpool can reclaim the lead with a victory at West Ham today.

Manchester City brushed aside Southampton 4-1, meaning the 2012 champions and Liverpool both still have matters in their own hands before meeting at Anfield next weekend in a game that could go a long way toward deciding the title.

By wire sources