Hantuchova wins Pattaya Open again
PATTAYA CITY, Thailand, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Daniela Hantuchova defended her PTT Pattaya Open title with a marathon three-set, come-from-behind win Sunday over Maria Kirilenko in Thailand.
Hantuchova, the No. 3 seed, got by Kirilenko 6-7, (4-7), 6-3, 6-3 in a match that took 3 hours, 14 minutes. It was a much different battle than the 6-0, 6-2 decision Hantuchova took over Sara Errani for the 2011 Pattaya title.
Last year, Hantuchova finished things quickly in the championship match but in 2012 Kirilenko fought off 6-of-7 break points to force a tiebreaker, which she won.
Hantuchova had a pair of breaks, however, to even the match after the second and two more in the thirds gave her the title. She won nearly two-thirds of the points on serve against Kirilenko.
Hantuchova improved to a 5-9 in WTA title matches, with the Pattaya wins are her only championships since 2007.
Kirilenko, making her first champion match since October 2010, fell to 5-5 in finals.
Hantuchova collected $37,000 for the win while Kirilenko, who was seeded fourth this week, took home $19,100.
U.S. completes 5-0 Davis Cup sweep
FRIBOURG, Switzerland, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Ryan Harrison and John Isner had straight-set wins Sunday that completed a 5-0 U.S. sweep over Switzerland in a Davis Cup first-round series.
Harrison defeated Michael Lammer 7-6 (7-0), 7-6 (7-4) and Isner beat Marco Chiudinelli 6-3, 6-4. Sunday's singles matches were cut to best-of-three sets since the Americans had wrapped up the series Saturday.
Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish teamed for a four-set doubles win Saturday, one day after Fish and Isner took singles wins. Isner's victory was a four-setter over world No. 3 Roger Federer.
That meant the best-of-five series had been decided and the United States was headed to the Davis Cup quarterfinals April 6-8 against either France or Canada. France leads that series 2-1.
Harrison won just three more points -- 94-91 -- than Lammer in their 2 1/2-hour match but came through in the tiebreakers. Harrison was unable to finish off any of his five first-set break chances but had the shutout in the tiebreaker. Lammer was 1-of-7 in second-set break opportunities, with Harrison staying alive to win the second tiebreaker.
Isner lost just nine points on serve in a 60-minute run past Chiudinelli. He had two break-point chances -- one in each set -- and won them both. Isner had 45 winners among his 60 points won.
Rangers avoid arbitration, sign Napoli
ARLINGTON, Texas, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The Texas Rangers have avoided arbitration with catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli, instead signing him to a one-year deal, the team said Sunday.
Terms of the contract weren't disclosed, but the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported it was worth $9.4 million.
After taking over behind the plate following the All-Star Game break, Napoli wielded a hot bat, especially in the postseason when he hit .328 with three homers and 15 RBI over 17 games.
Overall last year, the 30-year-old batted .320 with 30 homers and 75 RBI in 113 games -- all career highs.
He boasts 122 home runs and 324 RBI in 619 career games.
France's Tessa Worley wins giant slalom
SOLDEAU, Andorra, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Tessa Worley of France took the lead Sunday in the women's World Cup giant slalom standings with a victory on the wind-blown slopes of Soldeu, Andorra.
Worley had a combined time of 2 minutes, 01.80 seconds, 0.16 seconds ahead of Tina Maze of Slovakia, who gained ground on American Lindsey Vonn in the overall World Cup points race.
Vonn, who placed eighth Sunday, leads Maze by 410 points with six weeks to go in the season. "It was not at all what I had in mind when I came here," the disappointed Vonn said. "I was looking for podiums, but the first giant slalom was canceled, I skied out of the slalom and finished eighth here. It's an obvious disappointment."
The blustery winds prompted race officials to shorten the race course by 11 gates for the second run. Worley was timed at 51.43 in her second try and had just enough cushion to hold off Maze, who blazed her way down the slope in 51.17.
Third place went to Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Manuela Moelgg placed fourth.