x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Schiavone cruises to Kremlin Cup title

Italy's Francesca Schiavone eased to her second career title with a 6-3, 6-0 thrashing of the Belarussian Olga Govortsova in the Kremlin Cup final.

MOSCOW // Italy's Francesca Schiavone eased to her second career title with a 6-3, 6-0 thrashing of the Belarussian Olga Govortsova in the Kremlin Cup final yesterday. After a nervous first set, where both players had trouble holding their serve, the eighth seed ran away with the second as 67th-ranked Govortsova was hampered by a painful rib injury. The Italian, 29, whose only other title was in Bad Gastein in 2007, screamed in delight after putting away the last point.

"In the first set we were pretty close battling for every single point," she said. "But in the end I was a bit more precise and served well when it was 5-3 to win the set." In Macao, China, yesterday Pete Sampras edged by Andre Agassi in three sets as the two retired American greats revisited one of tennis' greatest rivalries. The 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 win in was the first time the two had played since Sampras won in the 2002 US Open final for his then-record 14th grand slam.

The fast indoor surface at the Venetian Macao arena favoured Sampras's attacking style, but it was Agassi who came out packing more heat in his serve to win the first set. Sampras, who beat Roger Federer at the same venue in an exhibition two years ago, recovered to win the second set and hung on to save two match points before taking the marathon third set with an ace. The two former No 1s have 124 career titles and 22 grand slams between them - Agassi has eight and Sampras 14. Agassi is one of only six men to have won all four majors and an Olympic gold medal, in Atlanta in 1996.

* Agencies