Cibulkova crowned champion

Dominika Cibulkova avenged an embarrassing defeat to Agnieszka Radwanska by overhauling the top-seeded Pole 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to win the Bank of the West Classic on Sunday.

Earlier this year in the Sydney final, Radwanska handed the Slovakian a humiliating 6-0, 6-0 loss which Cibulkova said affected her for weeks.

But in Sunday’s final, the 24-year-old Cibulkova immediately shook off her nerves by winning the first game and fought tooth and nail to seal the win in two-and-a-half hours.

“The difference between Sydney and today was I made the first game and after that I looked at my coach and said ‘Here we go, I am here and it's going to be good today,’” the Slovakian said.

“It was big deal for me because I never beat Aga before and she's a really tough competitor and I had to earn every point. It was really tough physically and mentally. That's why I am so happy that I won.”

World No 4 Radwanska entered the final with a 4-0 record against Cibulkova, and appeared to be in control after winning the first set with creative and steady play. Cibulkova then settled down, breaking Radwanska to lead 4-3 and holding on to win the second set when her opponent missed a return.

The Slovakian wobbled in the decider, with a double-fault conceding a break and allowing Radwanska to take a 4-2 lead, but she broke back immediately and closed out the contest with a searing backhand crosscourt winner.

She fell to her back in joy and her father Milan jumped on to the court to embrace her. Cibulkova has flirted with the top 10, reaching a career-high 12 back in 2009, but has struggled to break through to the next level.

She has failed to make an impression at the Grand Slams this year, but will head into the fourth and final Slam, the US Open, with renewed belief.

Isner triumphs

American John Isner saved two match points before beating South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-2) in the final of the Atlanta Open on Sunday to claim his seventh ATP career title.

The towering Isner, who stands six-foot-10 (2.08m), fired down 24 aces in a match dominated by big serving from two of the tallest players in tennis.

Neither player was able to break their opponent's serve in the slugfest, which lasted almost three hours, with each set decided by tie-breakers.

Anderson, a 6-foot-8 (2.03m) right-hander from Johannesburg chasing a third career title, won the first tie-breaker and had 11 chances to break Isner's serve but failed to convert any of them.

He hit 21 aces and only faced one service break on his own serve and had two match points in the third set but was unable to seize either chance.

“I was holding easily and trying to give myself chances, which I did. Just wasn't able to capitalise on them. That was the difference today,” said Anderson.

“He stays in there. He serves well, he plays well when it matters, and he definitely played two better tie-breaks than me.”

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