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Sports News Roundup: Tsonga, Venus Williams exit early

Associated Press Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Venus Williams left their winning touch in Canada. Tsonga followed his week of big upsets with an early exit Tuesday, losing his opening match at the Western & Southern Open in Mason. Two days after he won his second Masters title by beating Roger Federer in Toronto, he fell to Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-4. “I don’t have the energy to compete,” Tsonga said after the 68-minute match. “I just gave everything last week. Before the match, I believed I was able to play at a good level. But on court, I realized that was going to be impossible. And it was.” Williams knocked off sister Serena while reaching the finals in Montreal on Sunday, finishing runner-up. She lost to Lucie Safarova 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-4 in the first round Tuesday. “I wish I could have felt today like I did in Montreal, just to make it more competitive,” Williams said. The tournament lost its other defending champion when Victoria Azarenka withdrew because of an injured right knee. Defending champion Rafael Nadal withdrew before the tournament because of an injured wrist. The biggest intrigue is whether Novak Djokovic can finally win the one tournament that has eluded him. He has finished runner-up in Cincinnati four times. If he wins this week, he’ll become the first with titles at all nine ATP Masters events. Djokovic was to play his opening match Tuesday night. Williams and Tsonga had energizing weeks in Canada and hoped to keep their momentum going in Cincinnati, using it as a springboard to the U.S. Open. Both soon realized their successful weeks came with a cost. Williams arrived Sunday night and opened Tuesday morning, leaving little time to recover from her deep tournament run. “Yeah, it was definitely a quick turnaround,” she said. “Maybe it would have been a little better to play a little later in the day. But I think she just played so well. No matter what shot I hit, she hit a winner.” Safarova led 5-2 in the third set and appeared to have won a match point, but Williams challenged and the call was overturned. Williams rallied to win the set and then another.


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