Maguire pockets £50,000 cheque

STEPHEN MAGUIRE held his nerve in a final-frame shoot-out to beat Stuart Bingham 9-8 in a thrilling BetVictor Welsh Open final in Newport and claim his first ranking event title since 2008.

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Stephen Maguire fired in a final-frame break of 82 to lift the Welsh Open in Newport
Stephen Maguire fired in a final-frame break of 82 to lift the Welsh Open in Newport

Maguire, the world No.6, had led 4-2 at one point during the afternoon session, only for Bingham to hit back by winning five of the next six frames to lead 7-5.

Maguire dug deep and won a critical 13th frame where his opponent missed a shot to move within one of victory, and went on to take an 8-7 advantage.

Bingham, who won the last two frames to win his semi-final against Ding Junhui, set up a decider but Maguire's 82 sealed his fifth career title and a cheque for £50,000.

TENNIS: Victoria Azarenka's spell at the top of the world rankings has come to an end – despite her victory in the final of the Qatar Open against the woman who will replace her in pole position, as the Belarusian beat Serena Williams 7-6 (8/6), 2-6, 6-3.

Despite the loss, the American will return to the No.1 spot for the sixth time when the new rankings are released tomorrow. At 31, she is the oldest player ever to hold the position.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal celebrated a title win in his second tournament back following seven months out injured as he swept aside David Nalbandian in straight sets in the final of the Brazil Open.

The Spaniard's 51st victory on the ATP Tour was rarely in doubt as he dismissed his Argentinian opponent 6-2, 6-3 in just 78 minutes in Sao Paulo.

GOLF: South African Darren Fichardt survived a late wobble to claim a two-shot win at the Africa Open in East London.

Fichardt, the joint overnight leader, held on for victory, despite dropping three shots in his last five holes to finish the day with a one-under-par 71.

Leading Scot was David Drysdale, who carded a 72 for 284, with Chris Doak closing with a disappointing 79 for 291.

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