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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Kasatkina upsets Muguruza, sets up Dubai final with Svitolina

Sports Shorts: Kasatkina upsets Muguruza, sets up Dubai final with Svitolina

February 24, 2018 09:33 IST

A summary of sports events and sports persons who made news on Friday.

Daria Kasatkina

IMAGE: Russia's Daria Kasatkina survived three match-points before beating Garbine Muguruza of Spain. Photograph: Satish Kumar/Reuters

Russia's Daria Kasatkina stunned second seed Garbine Muguruza to reach the final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Friday, while defending champion Elina Svitolina cruised past former world number one Angelique Kerber.

Kasatkina, ranked 24 in the world, survived three match points and produced a high-intensity display to battle past world number three Muguruza 3-6, 7-6(11), 6-1.

Muguruza started stronger and needed just one break point to claim the first set in clinical fashion but her opponent showed incredible resolve to push the second set to a tiebreak.

It proved to be a roller-coaster deciding game and on one occasion, Kasatkina was forced to challenge a call in order to stay alive in the encounter with Hawkeye revealing her shot had clipped the line.

"I thought it was long, I was lucky," Kasatkina said in her post-match interview.

She picked up the second set and went on to break Muguruza three times to claim victory in just over two-and-a-half hours.

It was the 20-year-old Russian's first victory over the Spaniard as she continued her fine run of form against top-five ranked players, winning five of her eight meetings.

"I was just trying to fight for every ball because Garbine, she's playing unbelievable," Kasatkina added. "She's hitting so hard, playing so fast. I was just trying to do whatever I could.

"(Tomorrow) is a final already, so I have to put everything that's left in my body into this match. I hope I will."

She will next face world number four Svitolina, who made quick work of Kerber in a 6-3, 6-3 semi-final victory.

The 23-year-old Ukrainian has now won her last five encounters against the twice grand slam champion.

The victory puts Svitolina within touching distance of becoming only the third women's player, alongside Justine Henin and Venus Williams, to win successive Dubai titles.

Bouchard reaches settlement in lawsuit against USTA

Eugenie Bouchard

IMAGE: Canada's Eugenie Bouchard had sued the United States governing body after she slipped and fell in a training room. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard reached a settlement in her lawsuit with the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) on Friday after a fall at the 2015 U.S. Open resulted in her withdrawal and a concussion.

The terms of the settlement were confidential.

“It’s been two-and-a-half years, so I’m happy it’s over,” Bouchard told reporters outside a New York courtroom, the New York Times reported.

“I feel vindicated that I got the (jury) verdict yesterday. Just relief and happiness right now,” added the former world number five and Wimbledon finalist.

Bouchard had sued U.S. tennis's governing body after she slipped and fell in a training room.

She was seeking damages for her physical and emotional suffering as well as lost earnings both on and off the court after not playing a complete match for the remainder of 2015.

A New York jury decided on Thursday that USTA should pay 75 percent of the damages owed to Bouchard but also found the tennis player bore contributory negligence of 25 percent.

“My client Genie and I are very pleased with the settlement,” Bouchard’s lawyer, Benedict Morelli, said in an email to Reuters.

“Genie was vindicated yesterday with the verdict and now can put the case behind her. She can just focus on her game.”

USTA and Alan Kaminsky, a lawyer for the tennis association, said they also were pleased a settlement could be reached.

"(We) are glad that this matter has reached an amicable conclusion for both parties," USTA said in a statement. "We would like to thank the court and jurors for their service. We also wish Ms. Bouchard the best of luck moving forward."

Kaminsky added in an email: "I am very pleased that the USTA and Ms. Bouchard have resolved their differences."

Bouchard has struggled to find her best form in recent years and is currently ranked 116 in the world, having not gone past the third round at a grand slam in her last nine attempts.

List, Lovemark ahead in Florida as Woods shoots one-over 71

Tiger Woods

IMAGE: Tiger Woods plays his shot from the bunker on the 18th during the second round of the Honda Classic golf tournament at PGA National. Photograph: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Luke List and Jamie Lovemark took a one-stroke lead at the Honda Classic in Florida on a windy Friday as Tiger Woods fought back from late trouble to sit four back after a one-over par 71.

List, one of the early starters, shot the day's low round, a four-under 66, to complete the second round at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, at three-under 137.

Lovemark later shot a 69 for a share of the halfway lead.

First-day co-leader Webb Simpson was in a group of four one stroke behind the leading pair.

Woods, making his third start of the PGA Tour season after a year-long absence following back surgery, rebounded nicely from a rough 30 minutes to go one-over for the tournament at 141.

After a bogey and two birdies left him one-under for the day through 14, Woods found water at 15 and wound up with a double-bogey five.

A bogey at the next hole resulted in a three-stroke turn around in two holes.

But the 14-times major champion birdied the 17th and finished with a par to remain in contention.

Simpson shot 72 to join Briton Tommy Fleetwood (68), American Russell Henley (70) and South African Rory Sabbatini (69) at two-under 138.

Swede Alex Noren, who had shared the lead with Simpson, shot 75 to wind up in Wood's group of 10 at 141.

Rory McIlroy shot a second consecutive 72 but defending champion Rickie Fowler failed to make the projected cut after a 76 for a 147 total.