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Australian Open Bernard Tomic fails to qualify after loss to Lorenzo Sonego

MELBOURNE — Bernard Tomic‘s Australian Open campaign is over before the tournament proper even begins following a 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 final-round qualifying loss to Italian Lorenzo Sonego. While the second-seeded Federer won’t have an easy path to the finals in Melbourne, it’s last year’s runner-up on the women’s side who faces a serious opening-round obstacle. And we’re back. Media day at the Australian Open officially kicked off the start to a new season of Q&A. 1 Related Tomic looked shattered after a 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 defeat on Sunday,…

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Elise Mertens claims back-to-back Hobart International titles

Elise Mertens has claimed back-to-back Hobart International titles, becoming the first player in the tournament’s history to lift the trophy twice. The Belgian second seed was too consistent for Romanian world No. 57 Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1 4-6 6-3 in a rain-interrupted final on Saturday. The players were forced from the court four times in a match that officially lasted two hours and 31 minutes but finished more than eight hours after it began. Belgium’s Mertens, the world No.36, took out her maiden WTA silverware in Hobart last year as a…

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Angelique Kerber wins Sydney International

SYDNEY — Angelique Kerber won her first title since the 2016 US Open and extended her winning streak to nine matches with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ashleigh Barty in the Sydney International final on Saturday. The 2016 Australian Open champion and former No. 1-ranked Kerber won four singles matches at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Western Australia, last week, helping Germany reach the final against Switzerland, and followed up with five wins in Sydney. In a momentum-boosting buildup to the Australian Open, which starts Monday, Kerber had wins over…

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Jo Konta ‘disagrees’ with Margaret Court but will not boycott Arena

3:03 AM ET ESPN staff British No. 1 Johanna Konta will compete at the Margaret Court Arena despite disagreeing with Court’s controversial statements on LGBT issues and same-sex marriage. Tennis legends Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King both condemned Court’s views — the latter calling for the Margaret Court Arena, which is one of the main venues at the Australian Open, to be renamed. When asked about the furore, Konta told a press conference: “I don’t agree with what Margaret Court said. However, she’s entitled to her own opinion. “But…

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Tennis Novak Djokovic sweating on fitness ahead of Australian Open Kooyong Classic

Novak Djokovic admits there’s still a chance he could withdraw from the Australian Open, moving to ease expectation over his performance at the Grand Slam he’s dominated for a decade. The six-time Open champion played his first exhibition matches in six months on Wednesday, and reported delight at his performance – and no pain from the hit-out. He beat world No. 5 Dominic Thiem over two sets at the Kooyong Classic and lost to Lleyton Hewitt in a mini-match at the Tiebreak Tens event that same night. It was the…

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Australian Open – The Novak Djokovic rebuilding process far from complete

Before Novak Djokovic could entertain the idea of returning to top form, the 12-time Grand Slam champion ended 2017 by withdrawing from an exhibition in Abu Dhabi. It was a fitting end for a player who is coming off the most disastrous year of his storied career. The last competitive match Djokovic played came at Wimbledon this past July. He was facing Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals, and after losing the first set, Djokovic hit a sloppy forehand wide in the second, then walked toward the net, shaking his head…

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Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta takes out Kooyong title

World No.10 Pablo Carreno Busta has claimed the Kooyong Classic trophy in a tight match against in-form Australian Matt Ebden. The Spaniard lost Friday’s first set and was down a break in the second but fought back to take the match 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-2 against the Australian No.2. Ebden, who beat world No.6 Marin Cilic earlier in the week, was delighted with his form heading into next week’s Australian Open. “The first day I won and, yesterday, I had chances to win and again, today, I was right there…

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James Blake hired as Miami Open tournament director

MIAMI — Former top-five player James Blake has been hired as tournament director of the Miami Open. In the newly created position, Blake will focus on player relations, the media and improving the event, the tournament said in a news release Thursday. Blake takes over for Adam Barrett, who will remain as the tournament’s executive vice president. “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the Miami Open team that has been putting on one of the best tennis events for more than 30 years,” Blake said. “As a player,…

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Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic drawn in same half for Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Roger Federer found himself in a slightly awkward position before the Australian Open draw. Just being there. A few minutes later when the formalities were completed, Federer found out how difficult defending his title could be after landing in the same half as six-time champion Novak Djokovic. “This is not normal,” Federer told a crowd of hundreds of fans before the draw on Thursday at Margaret Court Arena. “I don’t like usually going to draws because they freak me out. I don’t want to know who I…

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Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer seeded first, second for Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal and defending champion Roger Federer have been seeded first and second for the Australian Open, meaning they can only play each other at Melbourne Park this month if they set up a rematch of last year’s final. Federer was coming off an extended injury break and was seeded 17th at last year’s Australian Open when he beat Nadal, who was seeded ninth, in five sets in the final. Grigor Dimitrov, a semifinalist here last year, is seeded third and six-time champion Novak Djokovic —…

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