Venus, Sharapova win titles in Auckland, Brisbane
Check out some of the headlines and results from the top tournaments around the world on Saturday that you may have missed.
Maria Sharapova battles back to win the Brisbane International.
The No. 2 is less than 700 points behind Serena Williams after beating Ana Ivanovic 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 to win the Brisbane International. Ivanovic rallied from 1-4 down in the first set to earn the early lead before Sharapova found the range on her serve and returns to get the win. Sharapova finished with 47 winners to 43 unforced errors and is now 10-4 against Ivanovic.
Venus Williams wins the ASB Classic.
Could this be the year Venus returns to the top ten and becomes a major player at the Slams? The 34-year-old won her 46th WTA title by beating top seed Caroline Wozniacki 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to win in Auckland. Thoroughly outplayed in the first set, Venus found her range in the second and never looked back. Her aggression forced Wozniacki into a defensive shell she couldn't break out of. The windy conditions looked to favor Wozniacki early but it was Venus who found a way to hit through it with consistency and improve her record against the Dane to 6-0.
"In the first set she was serving so well," Venus said. "She had an amazing first serve percentage, all those amazing passing shots, even her mis-hits were too good. But I just tried to stay level-headed in the second set and focus on holding, and cut down on my unforced errors too, and it worked for me today."
After the match the two gave heartfelt speeches to remember.
Highlights and speeches here:
Simona Halep wins the Shenzhen Open.
No surprises in Shenzhen as No. 3 Halep starts her season with a title-run. The top seed, who said she felt ill before the match, had no problems with surprise finalist Timea Bacsinszky and won 6-2, 6-2 to capture her ninth title.
Roger Federer will face Milos Raonic in the Brisbane International final.
Federer completely dominated Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals, winning 6-2, 6-2 in just 53 minutes. Since that two hour come from behind win in his first match over John Millman, Federer has lost just five games of tennis. He'll go for career win No. 1,000 on Sunday when he plays Raonic. The Canadian pulled off the upset over Kei Nishikori in a match that saw no breaks of serve. Both men played well, but three loose points in the second and third set tiebreakers spelled Nishikori's doom. Raonic won 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) in over two and a half hours.
Highlights from Raonic's clutch win:
Marin Cilic withdraws from the Australian Open
An ongoing right shoulder injury will keep Cilic out of the Australian Open. The U.S. Open champion announced the news on Facebook. "I am really disappointed to announce that I had to withdraw from the Australian Open," Cilic wrote. "Right shoulder injury, that hampers me for some time now and forced me to withdraw from the ATP event in Brisbane, is improving day by day, but I still don't feel fit enough to be able to compete at the highest level. I am really sad that I won't be able to participate in Melbourne, especially after winning the last Grand Slam in New York, but I was advised by doctors to be careful as much as possible to avoid even more serious problems."
Poland takes home the Hopman Cup title.
Agnieszka Radwanska and Jerzy Janowicz took home the Hopman Cup for Poland, beating the Americans 2-1. Radwanska kicked it off with a 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1 win over Serena Williams. John Isner kept the Americans in it by beating Janowicz 7-6 (10), 6-4 to set up a decisive mixed doubles match. Poland clinched the tie with a 7-5, 6-3 win.
Photo of the day
Video of the day
Vine of the day
Tweets of the day
This post will be updated.