Sports briefs: Novak Djokovic wins title in China
TENNIS • Top-seeded Novak Djokovic extended his perfect record at the China Open when he defeated third-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the final Sunday in Beijing. Djokovic has won the tournament on all three occasions he has entered, defeating Marin Cilic in the 2009 final and David Ferrer in 2010. He has a 14-0 record.
On the women's side, top-seeded Victoria Azarenka won her fifth title of the year by dominating second-seeded Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-1. It was the third time this year Azarenka beat Sharapova in a final, including victories at the Australian Open and Indian Wells.
• In Tokyo, eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan beat Milos Raonic of Canada 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-0 to win the Japan Open.
Victory puts Vettel in striking distance
Auto racing • In Suzuka, Japan, Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won the Japanese Grand Prix from the pole to close within four points of Formula One championship leader Fernando Alonso, who crashed out of the race at the first turn.
Vettel is now within sight of a third straight title something only previously accomplished by Juan-Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher with five races left.
Alonso's Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa was second, 20.6 seconds behind Vettel. Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi delighted the home fans by taking third place for his first-ever F1 podium.
Ethiopian Kebede sets Chicago record
RUNNING • Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia shattered the course record in winning the Chicago Marathon. Kebede pulled away late and was all alone, waving to the crowd as he approached the finish at Grant Park and crossing the line in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 38 seconds. That eclipsed the previous mark of 2:05:37 set by Kenya's Moses Mosop last year and was more than enough to beat countryman Feyisa Lilesa.
In the women's race, Atsede Baysa of Ethiopia edged Kenya's Rita Jeptoo by about a step. The two traded leads down the stretch, with Jeptoo briefly grabbing it as they turned into Grant Park and Baysa quickly regaining it. Baysa finished in 2:22:03, one second ahead of Jeptoo.
From wire reports
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