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Pro baseball

RailCats earn first win of season: A day after nearly being no-hit, the Gary SouthShore RailCats collected 13 hits and received a solid outing from Trevor Lubking to earn a 7-5 victory over the Chicago Dogs and avoid a season-opening series sweep.

Andy De Jesus led the way for the RailCats (1-2) with three hits Sunday in Rosemont, Illinois. John Price Jr. added two doubles and Danny De La Calle hit a solo home run.

Lubking threw five innings and allowed a lone run. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out four.

On Saturday night, the RailCats were one strike away from being no-hit by the Dogs, but Colin Willis came through with a two-out RBI single. Willis had two more hits Sunday.

Pro tennis

Nadal beats Djokovic, wins French Open prep: Rafael Nadal is right back where he wants to be.

After losing in the semifinals of three straight clay-court tournaments, Nadal dominated for stretches against his longtime rival, Novak Djokovic, in a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win Sunday for a record-extending ninth Italian Open title.

"You were asking for titles. Finally I have a title," Nadal told reporters. "Here we are. Important title, important moment."

It marked the first time in an Open Era-record 54 meetings, and in their 142nd set against each other, that Nadal won a set against Djokovic without conceding a game — otherwise known as a bagel.

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In all, Nadal had a career-high four bagel sets in this tournament.

"I played a great first set in all aspects. No mistakes. Playing so aggressive, changing directions," Nadal said. "It's not usual and probably will not happen again."

The timing for Nadal's return to form could not have been more opportune, as he will seek a record-extending 12th title at the French Open starting next weekend.

"Winning a title is important but for me the most important thing is (to) feel myself competitive, feel myself healthy," Nadal said. "Then with the feeling that I am improving. I know if I'm able to reach my level you can win, you can lose, but normally I'm going to have my chances — especially on this surface.

"Now is the moment to keep going," Nadal added.

In the women's final, Karolina Pliskova captured the biggest clay-court trophy of her career by beating Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4.

Top-ranked Djokovic, meanwhile, appeared exhausted after spending more than 5½ hours on court against Juan Martin del Potro and Diego Schwartzman the previous two days.

Djokovic was also coming off the Madrid Open title last week.

"I don't want to talk about fatigue or things like that," Djokovic told the crowd during the post-match ceremony. "Rafa was simply too strong today."

Speaking to reporters later, Djokovic said, "I was just running out of fuel a little bit today. Just kind of missed that half a step, especially on the backhand side."

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