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Tennis: Wawrinka outclasses Ferrer, into first Monte Carlo final

Stanislas Wawrinka made it into his first ever Monte Carlo Masters final with a 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) semi-final win over David Ferrer on Saturday. Ferrer had clinched his last four spot by toppling Monte Carlo master Rafael Nadal, the eight-time champion, in Thursday's quarter-final. But the Spanish sixth seed was unable to mete out the same treatment to Wawrinka, with the Australian Open champion sweeping into a one set lead before holding his nerve in the second set tie break.

Tennis: Wawrinka outclasses Ferrer, into Monte Carlo final

Stanislas Wawrinka made it into his first ever Monte Carlo Masters final with a 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) semi-final win over David Ferrer on Saturday. Ferrer had clinched his last four spot by toppling Monte Carlo master Rafael Nadal in Thursday's quarter-final. But the Spanish sixth seed was unable to mete out the same treatment to Wawrinka, with the Australian Open champion sweeping into a one set lead before holding his nerve in the second set tie break.

Tennis: Wawrinka outclasses Ferrer, into Monte Carlo final

Stanislas Wawrinka made it into his first ever Monte Carlo Masters final with a 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) semi-final win over David Ferrer on Saturday. Ferrer had clinched his last four spot by toppling Monte Carlo master Rafael Nadal in Thursday's quarter-final. But the Spanish sixth seed was unable to mete out the same treatment to Wawrinka, with the Australian Open champion sweeping into a one set lead before holding his nerve in the second set tie break.

Tennis: Fed Cup - Czech Republic 1 Italy 0

Results of the Fed Cup semi-final between the Czech Republic and Italy in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava on Saturday: Czech Republic 1 Italy 0 Lucie Safarova (CZE) bt Sara Errani (ITA) 6-4, 6-1 Playing later Petra Kvitova (CZE) v Camila Giorgi (ITA) Sunday Petra Kvitova (CZE) v Sara Errani (ITA) Lucie Safarova (CZE) v Camila Giorgi (ITA) Klara Koukalova/Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) v Roberta Vinci/Karin Knapp (ITA) afp

Tennis: Petkovic, Kerber win to give Germany 2-0 lead

Germany took hold of their Fed Cup semi-final on Saturday, winning both the opening day singles to lead Australia 2-0 in Brisbane. Andrea Petkovic downed Australia's number one and former US Open champion Samantha Stosur 6-1, 7-6 (9-7) in 101 minutes in the first singles match. World number seven Angelique Kerber then only dropped one game in disposing of Australia's number two Casey Dellacqua in just 50 minutes to seize control of the tie.

Four French journalists 'free' after Syria kidnap

Four French journalists held captive in Syria for almost a year were free and "in good health" on Saturday, President Francois Hollande told AFP, saying they would be back in France within hours. In a statement to AFP, the president said he had "learned with great relief this morning of the liberation of the four French journalists". Hollande said the four, who had been held in Syria since 2013, were "in good health despite the very challenging conditions of their captivity".

Tennis: Fed Cup - Australia 0 Germany 2

Results from the Fed Cup World Group semi-final between Australia and Germany on Saturday: Australia 0 Germany 2 Andrea Petkovic (GER) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS) 6-1, 7-6 (9/7) Angelique Kerber (GER) bt Casey Dellacqua (AUS) 6-1, 6-0 afp

Four French journalists free after Syria kidnap

Four French journalists taken hostage in Syria last year were freed on Saturday after a 10-month ordeal in the world's most dangerous country for the media. French President Francois Hollande said Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres were "in good health despite the very challenging conditions of their captivity". Turkish soldiers found the four men abandoned in no-man's land on the border with Syria overnight Friday-Saturday, wearing blindfolds and with their hands bound, the Turkish news agency Dogan reported.

Tennis: Nadal searches for fire as French Open nears

Rafael Nadal won't panic after having his cloak of claycourt invincibility ripped to shreds by David Ferrer, but admits he needs to quickly rediscover his famed Spanish fire. The world number one suffered just his third career defeat in Monte Carlo when he slumped to a shock 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 quarter-final loss to compatriot Ferrer on Friday. Nadal had won the Monte Carlo title for eight successive years from 2005 to 2012 before his run was ended in 2013 by Novak Djokovic in the final.

Djokovic to vie with Federer for spot in Monte Carlo final

International Sports Desk, Apr 18 (EFE).- Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Swiss great Roger Federer will face one other in the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters after each triumphed in hard-fought matches on Friday. Djokovic, ranked second in the world, needed more than two hours to defeat Spaniard Guillermo Garcia Lopez 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. Federer, meanwhile, squandered 16 break-point chances in the first set against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and came within two points of losing the match before winning the tiebreak in the second.
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