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LHX1990 May 16
SINGAPORE -- Top-ranked Angelique Kerber and seventh-seeded Dominika Cibulkova will compete for the WTA Finals title on Sunday. Clearance Sneakers Australia .Top-seeded Kerber picked apart defending champion Agnieszka Radwanskas game in a textbook 6-2, 6-1 semifinal drubbing on Saturday.This is Kerbers fourth trip to the WTA Finals and the first time she has advanced beyond the round-robin stage of the competition.Its just amazing to be here, Kerber said. Its been an incredible 12 months. Ive been really working to being focused, to being calm and to being just positive on court, and this is the biggest improvement Ive made.Slovakias Cibulkova rolled to the ground in celebration after taking her debut at the WTA Finals all the way to the championship match with a 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 semifinal victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova.Im just so excited, Cibulkova said after winning in 2 hours, 27 minutes. This is my first time here, playing [the] finals now, and playing such a great match against Sveta.For me, its one of my dreams come true.Kerber leads Cibulkova 5-4 in career meetings, including Kerbers tough 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-3 win in their round-robin meeting.Its a little bit weird to play against one opponent twice in one tournament, Kerber said. This never happened before for me. She has nothing to lose, so I think it will be a good match and final from both of us.But Kerber warned that I am playing a lot more aggressive now than in that first match.Kerber featured in three Grand Slam finals this year, winning her first two Grand Slam titles at the Australian and US Open.The semifinal was lopsided as Kerber, always on the offensive, kept Radwanska from finding any inroads into her game. While Kerber did surrender her serve on both break points she faced, it had little impact as she took advantage of seven of 13 break points offered by Radwanska.I just couldnt make the last shot, Radwanska said. All the games were going one way. Not my way, unfortunately.At the end of her match, Kuznetsova did not wait at the net for the traditional handshake as Cibulkova celebrated victory. Cibulkova then approached the already seated Kuznetsova, but the handshake offered by the Russian appeared lackluster.Cibulkova, who reached the 2014 Australian Open final, played down the exchange.I saw her on her bench so I went there to shake hands, Cibulkova said. Sometimes you can get upset after the match and thats normal. We are fine, but we are not like best friends on the tour. It wasnt like were going to hug each other, but it was OK.Cibulkova holds a 6-3 winning record over Kuznetsova, and has now won their last six matches. She is the second consecutive player to reach the year-end final having come out of the round-robin stage with a 1-2 result.Radwanska won the title from a 1-2 finish in the round-robin last year.Cibulkova was named the 2016 WTA Comeback Player of the Year, having improved from a No. 38 year-end ranking in 2015 to No. 8 this week. In 2015, she missed four months of the season after undergoing Achilles surgery.Cibulkova was almost non-existent in the first set and Kuznetsova didnt offer a break-point opportunity.The second set featured six service breaks, but it was Cibulkova who took the tiebreaker by repeated smart shot placement against her opponent.Kuznetsova looked on the way to the finals with a 4-2 lead in the dramatic third set, but Cibulkova refused to fold.From 4-4, Cibulkova saved two break points on her serve in the ninth game, and then captured the first match point at 30-40 when Kuznetsovas forehand clipped the net and sailed wide.Whatever it is, Im not going to put any excuses, Kuznetsova said. I just did all I could, and I went short a little bit in the end. Sneakers Australia Outlet . One game after a miserable showing in Oklahoma City, Gay tied a career high with 41 points and the Sacramento Kings cruised to a 114-97 victory at the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night. Nike Sneakers Australia . Ashley Youngs cross was inadvertently headed by Chester into his own net in the 66th minute, allowing United to claim a third straight league win. "We had to dig deep with our fighting spirit and weve done that," United striker Wayne Rooney said. http://www.discountsneakersaustralia.com/ . MORITZ, Switzerland -- Fog prevented downhill racers from getting their Olympic dress rehearsal. ALAMEDA, Calif. -- After 13 straight seasons without a winning record, playoff berth or even much hope most years, the Oakland Raiders head into training camp this year with an unfamiliar burden: expectations.Two strong draft classes that brought in core players such as quarterback Derek Carr, pass rusher Khalil Mack and receiver Amari Cooper followed by a productive free agent shopping spree have put the Raiders into position to contend for the first time in years.Its a great thing that people are talking about us in that light because when I first got here, they werent, Carr said.So its a credit to where weve come from and thats about it. Its a credit to what weve done. Last year on the field was improvement, it was better than my rookie year, obviously. As a team, we were better. Thats the same kind of thing we want this year. We need to be better than 7-9.The Raiders more than doubled their win total last season in the first year under coach Jack Del Rio, improving from 3-13 to 7-9.Now they will try to ignore all the praise and make that even harder next step from mediocrity to legitimate contender.Its easy to get caught in that trap, Mack said. Thats not what were about. Were about the grind. Were about working hard, committing ourselves to excellence and going out and winning. Thats what its really all about.To help make that move, general manager Reggie McKenzie made some key additions this offseason, adding one of the top available offensive linemen on the market in power-blocking guard Kelechi Osemele, top-flight cornerback Sean Smith, pass rusher Bruce Irvin and playmaking safety Reggie Nelson.But the Raiders fortunes will rest on the performances of Carr, Mack and Cooper.Carr took a big step forward in year two, throwing for 32 touchdowns and 3,987 yards. The addition of Cooper played a big part in that as Oakland had a 1,000-yard receiver for the first time in a decade.Mack led the way on the defensive side with 15 sacks to become a first-team All Pro at both linebacker and defensive end.Here are some things to watch for the Raiders this seasonTOUT LINE: McKenzie has made it a priority to build his team from the trenches and the move to sign Osemele fits into thaat strategy. Cheap Sneakers Australia. The addition of another top inside blocker to go with last years big acquisition at center in Rodney Hudson and the third-year starter Gabe Jackson should boost the running game. Donald Penn is back as a capable blindside protector and Austin Howard will compete with Menelik Watson for the right tackle spot on what looks like one of the top lines in the league.Its a big physical group, Del Rio said. They kind of lead the way, create some running room, create a nice pocket for Derek. ... It all starts with our guys up front.PASS RUSH DUO: Mack emerged as a star last season with 15 sacks to along with the stout run defense he showed the previous year as a rookie. Now he should have some help on the other side with the signing of Irvin, who had 22 sacks in four seasons with Seattle. The Raiders plan to use Irvin even more as a pass rusher than the Seahawks did.BACKUP BACK: Latavius Murray ran for 1,066 yards in his first season as a starter. But he slumped late in games, averaging 2.2 yards per carry in the fourth quarter, and late in the season, with his average carry dropping from 4.8 yards in the first half to 3.3 in the final eight games. No other running back had more than 25 carries or 110 yards. That led to the addition of fifth-round pick DeAndre Washington, who is being counted on to give Murray needed support.STEPPED UP SECONDARY: Waiver-wire pickup David Amerson gave the Raiders a big boost at cornerback in the second half of last season after struggling in Washington. He will have some needed help on the other side with the addition of Smith and what had been a position of weakness for years now might be a strength. Oakland hopes former first-round pick DJ Hayden can fill the slot cornerback role.LOOKING FOR LEADERS: With the retirements of Charles Woodson and Justin Tuck, the Raiders have a void in leadership that they hope will be filled by a combination of the playoff-tested veterans added in free agency and the young core led by Carr and Mack.---Online:AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL ' ' ' 
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