Madison Keys downs Wozniacki to claim Charleston crown

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Madison Keys celebrates with the ball boys and ball girls after defeating Caroline Wozniacki to win their finals match at the Volvo Car Open tennis tournament in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
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Madison Keys celebrates after defeating Caroline Wozniacki to win their finals match at the Volvo Car Open tennis tournament in Charleston, South Carolina on April 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
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Caroline Wozniacki hits a forehand to Madison Keys during the final at the Volvo Car Open tennis tournament in Charleston, South Carolina on April 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
Updated 08 April 2019
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Madison Keys downs Wozniacki to claim Charleston crown

  • Victory marks 4th title of Keys' career and her first since winning at Stanford in 2017

CHARLESTON, USA: Madison Keys claimed the first clay court title of her career on Sunday with a straight sets defeat of Caroline Wozniacki in the final of the Charleston Open.
World number 18 Keys, who had not reached a WTA final since her defeat to Sloane Stephens at the US Open in 2017, took 1hr 46 min to complete a 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 win over Danish fifth seed Wozniacki.
It marked the fourth title of Keys' career and her first since winning at Stanford in 2017.
Her win also completed a superb week in South Carolina, where she defeated three Grand Slam champions — Jelena Ostapenko, Stephens and Wozniacki — to take the title.
After winning a close opening set on a tiebreak, Keys took control of the second set with a stroke of good fortune.
A netcord earned her a break to go 4-2 up, and from there she was not going to surrender the initiative and duly closed out the set to complete the win.


Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

Updated 20 July 2019
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Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

  • Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute
  • For Senegal, who lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, the long wait for a first continental crown goes on

CAIRO: Baghdad Bounedjah’s early goal propelled Algeria to a first Africa Cup of Nations title in 29 years after a fiery 1-0 victory over Sadio Mane’s Senegal in Friday’s final in Cairo.

Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute when his deflected shot looped over Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, and it proved enough for the 1990 champions to lift the trophy on foreign soil for the first time.

For Senegal, who lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, the long wait for a first continental crown goes on as coach Aliou Cisse, the captain of the 2002 runners-up, again fell short in the final.

It was the first title-decider to feature two African coaches since 1998, with Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi completing a whirlwind 12 months at the helm after inheriting a side that failed to make it out of the group stage two years ago.

With defensive rock Kalidou Koulibaly suspended for Senegal, Salif Sane deputised at the back and Ismaila Sarr was recalled in attack, while Belmadi kept faith in the same side that overcame Nigeria with an injury-time free-kick from Riyad Mahrez.

Senegal had understandably feared the absence of Napoli star Koulibaly, banned after two bookings in the knockout rounds, although the towering Sane was desperately unlucky as Algeria grabbed the lead with scarcely a minute played.

As Bounedjah took aim from 20 yards his effort smacked off Sane and arced high into the air before dropping underneath the crossbar and beyond a static Gomis, sparking delirious celebrations from both players and fans, some of whom arrived for the final on military planes provided by the Algerian government.

It was the first time Gomis had conceded in almost 400 minutes in Egypt having replaced the injured Edouard Mendy ahead of Senegal’s final group game.

Henri Saivet, who missed a penalty in the 1-0 victory over Tunisia, tried to catch Rais Mbohli out with a free-kick while Mbaye Niang fizzed a powerful drive just over as Senegal gradually showed signs of life before the half ended with both sets of players embroiled in a scuffle as they headed for the tunnel.

Senegal thought they had won a penalty on the hour when Cameroonian referee Alioum Alioum pointed to the spot for a suspected handball by Adlene Guedioura, but the official reversed his decision after a VAR review.

Niang rounded an advancing Mbohli after a searching ball through from Cheikhou Kouyate but the forward sliced wide of the target from a tough angle, with the Algeria ‘keeper then acrobatically tipping over a rasping drive from Youssouf Sabaly.

The Desert Foxes started to look jaded as Senegal brought on fresh legs in Krepin Diatta and Mbaye Diagne, but Youcef Belaili nearly made it 2-0 when his cross brushed the head of a defender and skimmed the roof of the net.

Sarr blazed over on the volley as Algeria clung on to their advantage in the closing minutes, the final whistle greeted by an outpouring of raw emotion as the North Africans emerged worthy winners of the expanded 24-team event.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman telephoned Algeria’s interim president Abdelkader Bensalah to congratulate him on Algeria’s African Cup of Nations win, with Bensalah thanking the king for his phone call.