Category: Tennis

Maria Sharapova Withdraws from Indian Wells with Shoulder Injury

The Russian hasn't set an official timetable for her return. Maria Sharapova‘s injury woes continue. The former World No.1 and five-time major champion has played just 61 matches since she returned from her infamous doping ban in 2017—and that number won’t be rising any time soon. The Russian announced that she’ll miss the BNP Paribas Open in March due to a shoulder issue.


Sharapova has gone 42-19 in those 61 matches since she has returned to the tour in 2017.

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She has one title and four semi-finals to her name since then. Sharapova has struggled with the shoulder for quite some time. She cut her 2018 campaign short in mid-September due to shoulder injuries as well, and the shoulder has bothered her periodically over the last decade. She originally has surgery on the shoulder in 2008

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Nadal To Attend Tennis Center Inauguration

King of clay to attend inauguration in Mexico on February 18th.
Rafael Nadal will be on hand when the world's first Rafael Nadal Tennis Center celebrates its inauguration this month.

The world No. 2 will attend the inauguration of the Rafa Nadal Tennis Center in Costa Mujeres, Mexico on February 18th.

Tsitsipas: Brain-Exploding Experience

Former world No. 1 Carlos Moyá, Technical Director of the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca and Abel Matutes Prats, CEO of Palladium Hotel Group, will also attend the event.

The Rafa Nadal Tennis Center is part of the facilities of both hotels TRS Coral Hotel and Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa that the chain is building.

The 32-year-old Nadal has spoke for years about the importance of training and playing on natural surfaces.

Rafael Nadal
Photo credit: Rafa Nadal Academy

With that in mind, the Rafa Nadal Tennis Center Costa Mujeres with feature eight red clay courts, a soccer field 7, one paddle court, a gym for warm-ups, stretches and basic training, an exhibition of objects and clothes from Rafa Nadal, a store with exclusive premium sports products, and a bar/cafeteria with TV screens so guests can watch tennis and other sports.

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Tennis Twitter Scores as Super Bowl Fizzles

Tennis' social media highlights from a snooze-fest Super Bowl.
Super Bowl was stupor bowl.

Super Bowl 53 was the lowest-scoring Super Bowl, the lowest-rated Super Bowl in a decade and a general snooze-fest unless you're a member of Patriot Nation.

More: Kyrgios Calls Out Yastemska

Still, tennis stars scored on social media even as the big game fizzled.

Sunday was a special day for Sloane Stephens, who showed her support for the Patriots wearing a Pats No. 44 jersey in honor of her departed dad.

Sloane's father, the late John Stephens, was a Patriots running back who made the Pro Bowl in 1988 wearing No. 44.

John Stephens

The big game brought us a twitter battle between former world No. 1 players.

Former doubles world No. 1 Rennae Stubbs, sharing sentiments many football fans feel, declared she's sick of quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichik always raising the Lombardi trophy.

Stubbsie flat-out challenged Patsies, er Patriots fans, hash tag "Hate the Pats."

Former world No. 1 Chrissie Evert, Stubbs' ESPN colleague, fired back bestowing the ultimate title on Brady with multiple exclamation points for emphasis.

Winning Ugly author and long-time Bay area resident Brad Gilbert, already emotionally gutted after another dismal and abysmal season from his Oakland Raiders, suffered further trauma during the game.

Gilbert was horrified by the halftime show.

Typically a man of many words, the ESPN analyst delivered a brutal one-word review of Maroon 5's performance: Awful.

Before the game, champion of equality Billie Jean King congratulated the Rams for making history featuring the first male cheerleader in Super Bowl history, hashtag "equality for all."

After the game, King, whose brother Randy was a former Major League Baseball player, praised Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick for building a dynasty.

Nancy Armour raised an intriguing question: should Patriots MVP Julian Edelman even be playing the big game given his four-game PED suspension?

Serena Williams owns a piece of the Miami Dolphins and while her beloved Fins failed to make the Super Bowl (again), Serena made her mark on game day as only Serena can.

In case you missed it, the 23-time Grand Slam champion starred in an ad for Bumble, a mobile app and platform for women to connect for dating, friendship or networking.

Serena's spot has already earned more than a half-million YouTube views.

And if you've ever seen Serena loosen up her serving shoulder tossing a football in practice, you know she can throw the ball almost as well as she serves.

Sickened Saints fan Ryan Harrison summed up the feelings of bitter New Orleans fans following the refs blown no-call in the NFC title game.

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Yastremska Called out for Gamesmanship by Nick Kyrgios, Rennae Stubbs

The 18-year-old Ukrainian won her second title on Sunday, but not without some controversy. Dayana Yastremska defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(3) in a dramatic final at the Toyota Thailand Open in Hua Hin on Sunday, and when it was over Nick Kyrgios took to Twitter to call out the Ukrainian champion for calling for a medical timeout while trailing 5-2 in the deciding set.

“That medical was trash,” wrote Kyrgios.


During the match the MTO drew the ire of Tomljanovic, who protested during the changeover to chair umpire Jenny Zhang but was told that there was nothing that could be done about the situation.

Later in the day Rennae Stubbs, former WTA star and current coach of Karolina Pliskova, replied to Kyrgios on Twitter, calling Yastremska’s medical timeout “Bush league.”


Yastremska had her left knee looked at and worked on before returning to the court after a five-minute delay as Tomljanovic served for the title with a 5-2 lead in set three. The Ukrainian would take the next four games, seeing the trainer and having the same knee treated during each of the next two changeovers.

Players are limited to one three-minute medical timeout for non-acute, treatable injuries, and it is expected that they ask for the trainer only if there is an injury. But there's a whole lot of grey area in there as who can really say if a player is injured or not?

Untimely MTOs are a common phenomenon in tennis, and they are seen by many as an attempt by one player to game the system.

It is also generally frowned upon when players take medical timeouts before their opponents are about to serve, but in this case changeovers were only occurring prior to Tomljanovic’s serve, so Yastremska would have had to stop the match on an even game to do it on her serve.

One looking at it from Yastremska’s side of the coin could say that she was carrying a knee injury and needed the medical attention to clear up a blockage in that area. Who are we to say that she wasn’t feeling pain in the knee? Technically she did nothing against the rules—unless she was faking the injury to buy time and take Tomljanovic out of her groove.

It isn’t the first time Yastremska has received some negative attention for her disregard of tennis’ unwritten code of ethics. She has twice retired with her opponent one game from victory over the last 15 months. Again, in such situations, it’s hard to know what the player is feeling. That’s what the rules are put in place for—the safety of the players is paramount, and sometimes controversy follows as a result.

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Wilson Drives Depth With New Clash Release

New Clash collection line launches on February 8th.

Wilson aims to drive depth with its new Clash racquet collection.

The brand announced the launch of the Clash line today.

More: Stefanos Tsitsipas, Naked And Alive

The Clash line, which was created over three years, is billed as the first racquet series explicity created for the modern swing featuring racquet flexing without compromising stability or power.

Essentially, Wilson is aiming to create a modern racquet providing power with unprecedented feel thanks to the frame's flex.

Clash
Clash
Clash
Clash

The brand said it applied motion capture technology to track the racquet swing planes and "dimensionalize the modern player's angle of attacking bringing to life how much more vertical it has become over time."

Armed with that data, designers at Wilson Labs tried to alter conventional racquet construction providing a level of fluid movements to the frame.

The Clash features two new technologies: FreeFlex and StableSmart.

FreeFlex is a carbon mapping system that the brand claims "unifies carbon at unconventional angles throughout the racquets' frame for a higher degree of flexibility both vertically and horizontally."

Wilson says StableSmart is a new frame geometry designed to provide powe and stability. 

The new Clash line includes the Clash 100 and Clash 100 Tour. Both frames retail for $249 and will available for sale on February 8th.

Photo credit: Wilson

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Naomi Osaka’s Advice to Daughter After Aussie Open: GO TO SLEEP

Moms will be moms. Don't believe us? Ask Naomi Osaka…

What did Naomi Osaka’s mom tell her when the pair finally talked on the phone after Osaka won the Australian Open on Saturday night?

Go to bed!

Some things never change.

Speaking on Good Morning America with hosts Robin Roberts via satellite, Osaka said her mom warned her that she better get some rest-asap.

“She was upset at me and she kind of yelled at me to go to sleep,” Osaka said. “Yeah I think that was the most important thing for her.”

Tecnifibre T-Fight

During the brief interview Osaka exhibited some of her trademark shyness with people she isn’t all that familiar with. She kept her answers short, talking about her sister, her family, her personal interest in photography and what advice she would give to young people who might look to her for advice.

“I would just say everyone has their own path so you should just keep going and never give up—don’t compare yourself to other people,” she said.

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Mom’s Advice to Naomi Osaka After Aussie Open: GO TO SLEEP

Moms will be moms. Don't believe us? Ask Naomi Osaka…

What did Naomi Osaka’s mom tell her when the pair finally talked on the phone after Osaka won the Australian Open on Saturday night?

Go to bed!

Some things never change.

Speaking on Good Morning America with hosts Robin Roberts via satellite, Osaka said her mom warned her that she better get some rest-asap.

“She was upset at me and she kind of yelled at me to go to sleep,” Osaka said. “Yeah I think that was the most important thing for her.”

Tecnifibre T-Fight

During the brief interview Osaka exhibited some of her trademark shyness with people she isn’t all that familiar with. She kept her answers short, talking about her sister, her family, her personal interest in photography and what advice she would give to young people who might look to her for advice.

“I would just say everyone has their own path so you should just keep going and never give up—don’t compare yourself to other people,” she said.

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Report: Nadal Engaged, Plans Fall Wedding

King of Clay and his queen plan autumn wedding in Mallorca.
Rafael Nadal is leaving the singles scene.

The king of clay is engaged to his queen, long-time girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello.

More: Toni Nadal on Gap Between Novak and Rafa

The couple, who have been together 14 years, have planned an autumn wedding in their native Mallorca, reports Hola Magazine.

"Obviously, I have the intention of forming a family," Nadal told the magazine. "I love children and I would like my children to do what they like."

The 32-year-old Nadal and 30-year-old Maria work together for the Rafa Nadal Foundation, where she serves as project director.

RafaNa
Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

This month, Maria attended the Australian Open for just the second time rooting Rafa all the way to the final.

Photo credit: Wimbledon Facebook

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ATP Rankings: Tsitsipas Rises to No.12, Djokovic Widens Gap on Field

With the Aussie Open in the rearview, we look at risers and sinkers in the ATP rankings.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has reached another career milestone on the heels of his breakout performance at the Australian Open. The Greek rises to a career-high ranking of No.12 in the world this week and now sits just 335 points out of the Top 10.

See the full ATP Rankings Breakdown Here

The 20-year-old has just 154 points to defend over the next two months, between now and the end of the Miami Open.

Tsitsipas was one of three #NextGenATP players that hit a career-high ranking inside the Top 30 this week, along with No.28-ranked Alex de Minaur and No.30-ranked Frances Tiafoe.


At the top of the rankings World No.1 Novak Djokovic increased the gap between himself and No.2 Rafael Nadal to 2,625 points, while Roger Federer slipped out of the Top 5 for the first time since March of 2017, dropping from No.3 to No.6.

The biggest riser inside the Top 20 was France’s Lucas Pouille. The 24-year-old climbed 14 spots from No.31 to No.17. Pouille wasn’t the only Frenchman making a big jump. Aussie Open doubles champion Pierre-Hugues Herbert also reached a career-high singles ranking of 44 thanks to his third-round showing at Melbourne.

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American Taylor Fritz jumped a career-high ranking of 40 after reaching the third round in Australia and winning the Newport Beach challenger.

The biggest droppers inside the Top 100 were Hyeon Chung, who fell 25 spots to No.50, Tennys Sandgren, who fell 34 spots to No.75 and Tomas Berdych, who fell 22 spots to No.79. Kyle Edmund and Nick Kyrgios each dropped 15 spots, with Edmund falling to No.29 and Kyrgios falling to 67.

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Nadal Says Defense Was the Issue in Aussie Open Loss to Djokovic

The Spaniard says that his defensive skills weren't polished enough to allow him to play at Djokovic's level on Sunday in Melbourne

Photo: Mark Peterson/ Corleve

Rafael Nadal worked extremely hard to give himself a shot to win this year’s Australian Open. The 17-time major champion beefed up his serve and his overall aggression in order to minimize his time on court and his plan worked to perfection as he raced through six rounds down under without dropping a single set. But Nadal says that there was one thing missing from his game in Australia, and it left him exposed against Novak Djokovic in the final: DEFENSE.

Social Buzz: Twitter Reacts to Djokovic's Aussie Open Triumph

“I think I was playing great during the both weeks in offensive positions,” Nadal told reporters on Sunday night. “In defensive positions, I practiced what I practiced. I practiced well, very well I think, but because of the things that happened to me in terms of surgery, then what happened in Abu Dhabi, I was not able to work that much the defensive game. I worked a lot on the offensive game, but not that much on the defensive game.”

Nadal had off-season ankle surgery and was in a rush to return to form in January. He was forced to withdraw from a match at Abu Dhabi in late December then pulled out of Brisbane in early January.

Tecnifibre T-Fight

Nadal says he felt like a defensive base would have given him a better chance to employ aggression on his terms in the final, but Djokovic’s absurd level would not let him do that.

“To play against a player like him, playing the way he played tonight, I needed that defensive game to finally have the chance to be offensive, no?” he said. “When he was hitting, is true that maybe was difficult to beat him even if I was at my 100%. But probably will be a little bit more fight.

Still Nadal has to be pleased with his effort and the fact that he finished the tournament without aggravating any injuries. He will begin this week at No.2 in the rankings, 2,635 points behind No.1 Djokovic.

“I played fantastic tennis during both weeks, is true, but probably playing that well, I didn't suffer much during the both weeks,” Nadal told reporters after the final. “Five months without competing, having that big challenge in front of me, I needed something else. That something else probably today, I don't have it yet. That's my feeling, to compete at this super high level.”

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Australian Open Day 12 Order of Play

The last men's singles semifinal, plus the women's doubles final and boys and girls singles semifinals, all on tap for Day 12 down underWelcome to Day 12 of the Australian Open, where we’re looking forward to the second men’s semifinal between Novak Djokovic and Lucas Pouille, plus the women’s doubles final and boys and girls singles semifinals. Full schedule below…

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Rod Laver Arena, 3 PM

J. Bjorkman T. Johansson versus M. Bahrami M. Philippoussis Men's Legends Doubles Final

Not Before 4 PM

S. Stosur S. Zhang versus T. Babos (2) K. Mladenovic (2) Women's Doubles Final

Not Before 730 PM

N. Djokovic (1) versus L. Pouille (28) Men's Singles Semifinals

Tecnifibre T-Fight

Court 3, From 315 PM

K. Montjane L. Shuker versus M. Buis (2) S. Ellerbrock (2) Women's Wheelchair Doubles Semifinals
D. Alcott (1) versus A. Lapthorne Quad Wheelchair Singles 2nd Round

Court 5, 3 PM

F. Jianu (4) versus E. Nava (13) Junior Boys' Singles Semifinals
L. Fernandez (4) versus A. Tikhonova Junior Girls' Singles Semifinals
C. Beck (8) E. Navarro (8) versus N. Kawaguchi (3) A. Nagy (3) Junior Girls' Doubles Final

Court 7, 3 PM

L. Musetti (1) versus G. Zeppieri Junior Boys' Singles Semifinals
C. Tauson (1) versus D. Snigur Junior Girls' Singles Semifinals
J. Forejtek (3) D. Svrcina (3) versus C. Kingsley (4) E. Nava (4) Junior Boys' Doubles Final

Court 8, 315 PM

D. De Groot (1) A. Van Koot (1) versus G. Capocci Y. Kamiji Women's Wheelchair Doubles Semifinals
H. Davidson (WC) versus D. Wagner (2) Quad Wheelchair Singles 2nd Round
S. Houdet B. Weekes versus J. Gerard (2) S. Olsson (2) Men's Wheelchair Doubles Final

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Australian Open Day 11 Order of Play

Both women's semifinals, followed by Nadal and Tsitsipas. Plus doubles semis, boys' and girls' singles quarters and more! All on tap for Day 11 in Melbourne. Welcome to Day 11 of the Australian Open, where we’re looking forward to the both women’s singles semifinals and Nadal vs. Tsitsipas in the night sesh.. Plus legends, men’s and women’s doubles, mixed and juniors! Full schedule below…

Tennis Now Year End Sale

Rod Laver Arena

L. Mayer J. Sousa versus H. Kontinen (12) J. Peers (12) Men's Doubles Semifinals

Not Before 2 PM

P. Kvitova (8) versus D. Collins Women's Singles Semifinals

Not Before 330 PM

Ka. Pliskova (7) versus N. Osaka (4) Women's Singles Semifinals

Not Before 730 PM

S. Tsitsipas (14) versus R. Nadal (2) Men's Singles Semifinals
A. Sharma (WC) J. Smith (WC) versus N. Melichar (2) B. Soares (2) Mixed Doubles Semifinals

Tecnifibre T-Fight

Margaret Court Arena

J. McEnroe P. McEnroe versus M. Chang J. Eltingh Men's Legends Doubles 3rd Round
T. Enqvist M. Wilander versus W. Ferreira G. Ivanisevic Men's Legends Doubles 1st Round

Not Before 1230 PM

P. Herbert (5) N. Mahut (5) versus R. Harrison S. Querrey Men's Doubles Semifinals
M. Martinez Sanchez N. Skupski versus B. Krejcikova (3) R. Ram (3) Mixed Doubles Semifinals
A. Lapthorne D. Wagner versus D. Alcott H. Davidson Quad Wheelchair Doubles Final

Court 3

O. Virtanen (3) versus G. Zeppieri Junior Boys' Singles Quarterfinals
L. Musetti (1) versus N. Alvarez Varona (6) Junior Boys' Singles Quarterfinals
C. Tauson (1) versus K. Bartone (9) Junior Girls' Singles Quarterfinals
L. Musetti (5) G. Zeppieri (5) versus J. Forejtek (3) D. Svrcina (3) Junior Boys' Doubles Semifinals

Court 5

C. Kingsley (9) versus F. Jianu (4) Junior Boys' Singles Quarterfinals
J. Lehecka versus E. Nava (13) Junior Boys' Singles Quarterfinals
D. Frayman F. Rossi versus C. Beck (8) E. Navarro (8) Junior Girls' Doubles Semifinals
C. Kingsley (4) E. Nava (4) versus N. Alvarez Varona (2) F. Jianu (2) Junior Boys' Doubles Semifinals

Court 7

H. Davidson (WC) versus A. Lapthorne Quad Wheelchair Singles 3rd Round
S. Houdet versus G. Fernandez (2) Men's Wheelchair Singles Semifinals
D. De Groot (1) versus M. Buis Women's Wheelchair Singles Semifinals
A. Hewett (1) G. Reid (1) versus S. Houdet B. Weekes Men's Wheelchair Doubles Semifinals
K. Montjane L. Shuker versus M. Buis (2) S. Ellerbrock (2) Women's Wheelchair Doubles Semifinals

Court 8

D. Alcott (1) versus D. Wagner (2) Quad Wheelchair Singles 3rd Round
S. Kunieda (1) versus S. Olsson Men's Wheelchair Singles Semifinals
A. Van Koot versus Y. Kamiji (2) Women's Wheelchair Singles Semifinals
G. Fernandez S. Kunieda versus J. Gerard (2) S. Olsson (2) Men's Wheelchair Doubles Semifinals
D. De Groot (1) A. Van Koot (1) versus G. Capocci Y. Kamiji Women's Wheelchair Doubles Semifinals

Court 13

L. Sun (7) versus A. Tikhonova Junior Girls' Singles Quarterfinals
M. Leonard versus L. Fernandez (4) Junior Girls' Singles Quarterfinals
D. Snigur versus M. Sawangkaew (5) Junior Girls' Singles Quarterfinals
N. Kawaguchi (3) A. Nagy (3) versus L. Bencheikh (7) F. Curmi (7) Junior Girls' Doubles Semifinals

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