Sports 

Tennis: Kerber wins battle of left-handers to progress to third round

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – German second seed Angelique Kerber easily won the battle of left-handers against big-hitting Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2 6-3 to stroll into the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday. Tennis – Australian Open – Second Round – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 16, 2019. Germany’s Angelique Kerber in action during the match against Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia. REUTERS/Edgar Su The Wimbledon champion broke the 22-year-old Haddad Maia twice in the opening set and converted her first set point when the Brazilian sent a forehand…

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Tennis – Battling Kvitova downs Barty to claim Sydney title

(Reuters) – Petra Kvitova warmed up for the year’s first Grand Slam by coming from behind to beat home favorite Ashleigh Barty 1-6 7-5 7-6(3) and win her second Sydney International title on Saturday. Kvitova, the 2015 champion, surrendered her serve in the opening game and struggled to recover from her poor start, with the Czech’s usually lethal backhand disintegrating amid a flurry of unforced errors in the first set. The world number eight hit her stride in the second, staying within touching distance of Barty until pouncing to take…

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Tennis: Bautista Agut expects injured Murray to ‘fight’ in Melbourne clash

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut will give no quarter to Andy Murray in their first round clash at the Australian Open and expects the injured Briton to “fight” hard in what could be his last match as a professional. Tennis – ATP – Qatar Open – Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, Doha, Qatar – January 5, 2019 Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut celebrates winning the final against Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari Three-times Grand Slam champion Murray said on Friday that he may retire after the…

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Tennis: Australian number four Kyrgios ‘in a good spot’ ahead of home Open

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Nick Kyrgios is in the unusual position of being Australia’s number four in the men’s draw at Melbourne Park this year but the 23-year-old thinks he has found at least some of the answers to the questions that have held back his career. Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 7, 2018. Australia’s Nick Kyrgios hits a shot during his third round match against Japan’s Kei Nishikori. REUTERS/Toby Melville Part of the reason for his lowly spot in the…

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Andy Murray: Women praise tennis star for role in fighting sexism

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Coach Amelie Mauresmo, and Judy Murray have been big influences on Andy Murray Following Andy Murray’s announcement that he will retire this year, many prominent women – inside and outside of tennis – have praised him for taking a leading role in fighting sexism. From calling out journalists, to becoming one of the first leading men’s tennis players to employ a female coach, he has hit the headlines on numerous occasions. US tennis legend Billie Jean King tweeted: “Your voice for equality will inspire…

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Tennis: Kenin upsets Cornet to reach Hobart final

FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Fed Cup – World Group Final – Czech Republic v United States – O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic – November 11, 2018 Sofia Kenin of the U.S. celebrates during her match against Czech Republic’s Katerina Siniakova REUTERS/David W Cerny (Reuters) – Big-hitting American youngster Sofia Kenin reached her first WTA final when she stunned sixth seed Alize Cornet 6-2 6-4 at the Hobart International on Friday. In windy conditions, unseeded Kenin kept her composure to land 77 percent of her first-serves in play and broke her…

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Tennis: Spanish police make arrests, investigate 28 players, in fixing probe

MADRID (Reuters) – The Spanish Civil Guard has made widespread arrests following an investigation into tennis match-fixing by an organized Armenian criminal gang, the European Union’s Europol agency said on Thursday. Eleven house searches were carried out in Spain and 167,000 euros in cash were seized, along with a shotgun, more than 50 electronic devices, credit cards, five luxury vehicles and documentation related to the case. Forty-two bank accounts have been frozen. The Civil Guard said in a statement 15 people had been arrested, including the leaders of the criminal…

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Tennis – Murray suffers Djokovic mauling in Australian Open practice

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – World number one Novak Djokovic gave Andy Murray a stinging reality check in the lead-up to next week’s Australian Open, dominating the Briton 6-1 4-1 in a practice match at Melbourne Park on Thursday. Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 10, 2019 – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic at practice match against Britain’s Andy Murray. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon Murray has struggled to regain form since undergoing hip surgery last January, and was quickly dismantled by the six-times Australian Open champion at Margaret Court Arena before…

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Tennis: McEnroe plays down Murray’s chances in Melbourne

LONDON (Reuters) – Former world number one Andy Murray is unlikely to last long at the Australian Open and playing pain-free would be a victory for the Scot, according to John McEnroe. FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Andy Murray at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Aug 29, 2018; New York, NY, USA. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports Murray, five times a runner-up in Melbourne, has struggled in the aftermath of hip surgery a year ago and is currently ranked 230 in the ATP standings. The 31-year-old three-time Grand Slam…

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Tennis: Goerges rallies past teen Andreescu to retain Auckland title

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Defending champion Julia Goerges rallied from the brink of defeat to end Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu’s fairytale run at the Auckland Classic on Sunday. The 30-year-old German clinched a 2-6 7-5 6-1 victory on her third championship point when her exhausted opponent netted a backhand after an hour and 45 minutes on court. Qualifier Andreescu, ranked 152 in the world, had beaten former world number ones Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki on her way to the final, but simply ran out of steam as Goerges battled back…

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