tennis Archives ⋆ MICHAELANTONIO MEDIA
Sports 

Coming in cold, Nadal finds form quickly at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal has missed a lot of tennis since last September. He hasn’t missed a beat. The No. 2-seeded Nadal had a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 win over Australian wild-card entry James Duckworth on Monday in the first round of the Australian Open, his first match back on Rod Laver Arena since he had to retire during his quarterfinal match last year. The 17-time major winner hasn’t played since retiring from his semifinal at the U.S. Open because of a knee injury. He had surgery on his…

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Sandgren, Norrie to meet in Auckland final

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Tennys Sandgren is heading to the Australian Open in career-best form after beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2 to reach the ASB Classic final on Friday. Sandgren beat former champion Kohlschreiber to play in his second ATP Tour final, after the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships last April. In Saturday’s final he will face British wild card Cameron Norrie who reached his first ATP final by defeating Jan-Lennard Struff 7-5. 4-6, 6-3. Sandgren used the Auckland hard-court tournament last year as a springboard to his best…

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Djokovic, Federer on opposite sides of Aussie draw

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are aiming for the same record from opposite sides of the draw, leaving open the prospect of them playing in the final for a seventh Australian Open title. Top-ranked Djokovic and defending champion Federer enter the season-opening major equal with Roy Emerson, who won his six Australian singles championships between 1961-67, before the Open era. Serena Williams already has won seven Australian Open singles titles, and is a strong contender to add another after skipping last year’s tournament while on leave…

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Bencic follows Hopman Cup win with tough 1st-round in Hobart

HOBART, Australia (AP) — Belinda Bencic has followed up her title at the Hopman Cup with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over second-seeded Mihaela Buzarnescu in the first round of the Hobart International. Bencic, who combined with Roger Federer to win the international mixed teams event in Perth, Western Australia, on the weekend, kept up her successful start to the season in Australia’s southern island state. The third set contained nine service breaks, including seven straight, as blustery conditions made it difficult for both players. Bencic had two match points…

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Karolina Pliskova wins second Brisbane International title

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Karolina Pliskova has won her second Brisbane International title, beating Lesia Tsurenko 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 after being just two points from defeat. Serving for the title at 5-4 Sunday, Tsurenko lost 13 straight points. It came after Tsurenko rolled her ankle in the second game of the deciding set. Tsurenko was 4-0 in her previous WTA finals. Pliskova won her first Brisbane title two years ago. In the later men’s final, No. 2-seeded Kei Nishikori attempted to win his first title since Memphis in 2016 when…

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Goerges beats Andreescu to win ASB Classic

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Julia Goerges defended her singles title at the WTA Tour’s ASB Classic, ending the amazing run of Canadian qualifier Bianca Andreescu 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in Sunday’s final. At first, the 18-year-old Andreesecu, ranked 152, looked likely to continue the form that saw her emerge from the qualifying tournament to beat Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and third-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei on the way to her first final. She took the first set in only 30 minutes, unsettling second-seeded Goerges with…

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Goerges and surprising Andreescu to meet in ASB final

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Unseeded Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu beat third-seeded Su-wei Hsieh 6-3, 6-3 on Saturday to advance to the final of the ASB Classic against defending champion Julia Goerges. After qualifying and then leaving a trail of seeded opponents in her wake, 18-year-old Andreescu, ranked 152, outplayed the 28th-ranked Hsieh to reach her first WTA Tour final. Sevens days ago, Andreescu entered the qualifying rounds of the Classic, unheralded and hoping to get in a few matches before chancing her arm in qualifying at the Australian Open.…

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Medvedev beats Raonic to reach Brisbane International semis

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Fourth-seeded Daniil Medvedev has beaten Milos Raonic 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-4 to reach the semifinals at the Brisbane International. The score was level at 4-4 in the third, when Medvedev got the decisive break on a succession of unforced errors from 2016 Brisbane champion Raonic. Medvedev will next meet either Alex de Minaur and 2008 Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who were playing in the later quarterfinal match. No. 2-seeded Kei Nishikori and Jeremy Chardy have already progressed to a semifinal on Saturday. Donna Vekic trounced…

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Nadal withdraws from Brisbane because of thigh strain

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Brisbane International with a strained left thigh on the eve of his first scheduled competitive match of the season. The second-ranked Nadal had a bye in the first round and arrived in Australia after withdrawing from an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi following one match. The 17-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match since September but said Wednesday he is working hard in practice and remains confident he will be ready to compete at the Australian Open, which starts…

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Rafa’s plan for 2019 revolves around quality, not quantity

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal wants to make a little go a long way in 2019. The No. 2-ranked Nadal, in Brisbane preparing to play his first competitive match since retiring from the U.S. Open semifinals last September, found some positives out of an injury-interrupted season that he wants to apply to this year. “I want to feel myself competitive every week that I am on court and I want to keep fighting for the things that really make me feel alive, you know, for the things that motivate…

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