Tennis

Roger Federer out of Australian Open

Posted on 29 Dec 2020 06:16:48 GMT - tennis

Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will miss the Australian Open for the first time in his career as he continues his recovery from two rounds of knee surgery, organisers said Monday.

The 39-year-old Swiss has been out of action since February but recently resumed training and was on the entry list for year's opening Grand Slam, which will make a delayed start on February 8. Federer, a huge favourite with the Melbourne crowds, hasn't missed the Australian Open since his debut in 2000, winning the trophy six times. "In the end Roger ran out of time to get himself ready for the rigours of a Grand Slam and he's very disappointed he won't be coming to Melbourne in 2021," said tournament chief Craig Tiley.

"We wish him all the best as he prepares for his comeback later in the year and look forward to seeing him in Melbourne in 2022." Federer sat out most of the Covid-disrupted 2020 season after losing to Novak Djokovic in the Melbourne semis in January, his last competitive match. He underwent keyhole surgery on his right knee in February, before needing a follow-up operation and calling off his season to recover. The Swiss could only watch as Rafael Nadal matched his all-time men's record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles with a 13th victory at the French Open. Federer will now concentrate on getting himself ready for the rest of the 2021 season, which includes the Tokyo Olympics and the chance of his first singles gold medal. "He has made strong progress in the last couple of months with his knee and his fitness," his agent Tony Godsick said in a statement. "I will start discussions this coming week for tournaments that begin in late February and then start to build a schedule for the rest of the year," Godsick added.

Murray wildcard

Federer's absence will be felt at the Australian Open, despite a top-quality field led by world number ones Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty. US superstar Serena Williams, Federer's contemporary at 39, is also on the entry list as she again attempts to equal Margaret Court's record of 24-time Grand Slam singles titles. Federer's withdrawal comes as former world number one Andy Murray, a five-time Australian Open finalist, was given a wildcard entry. Tiley welcomed the 33-year-old back to the tournament, two years after his first-round exit prompted fears his career was at an end. "Seeing him come back, having undergone major surgery and built himself back up to get onto the tour again, will be a highlight," Tiley said.

The opening Slam of the year, which will be played in front of at least 50 percent of normal crowds, has been pushed back three weeks to February 8 over difficulties caused by the coronavirus. All players must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival, during which they will constantly be tested for Covid-19 but allowed to train for five hours a day in a bio-secure bubble. The men's and women's qualifiers will be held in Doha and Dubai respectively from January 10-13, with players arriving in Melbourne from January 15 on special charter flights. Melbourne only emerged from a months-long lockdown in October following a second wave of Covid-19, complicating planning for the Grand Slam and how to allow so many players and support staff to enter the country safely. Australia has largely contained the coronavirus, although a new outbreak in Sydney has sparked fresh restrictions in parts of the city and even state border closures.

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Wheelchair tennis star Dylan and girlfriend Chantelle enjoy great sex life

Posted on 29 Dec 2020 05:42:52 GMT - tennis

Australian wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott's girlfriend Chantelle Otten, who is an award-winning sex therapist, is proud to be in a relationship with a person with disability. And she wants the world to know that they enjoy a great sex life.

"Dylan and I are quite private but it's important to get the word out. For me, working with people and having them know I'm in a relationship with someone with a disability is great. A lot of people think people with a disability don't have sex. But I'm having the best sex of my life and it's important for me to say that," she was quoted as saying by Stellar magazine.

Alcott was born with a tumour on his spine, but despite successful surgery to remove it, he became a paraplegic. The couple met at one of his book reading sessions and are in a relationship since last year.

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Australian Open wild card for Andy Murray

Posted on 28 Dec 2020 06:57:16 GMT - tennis

Former world number one Andy Murray has been handed a wild card for February's delayed Australian Open, pushed back three weeks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Murray, 33, is a five-time runner-up in Melbourne but feared his last match at the tournament in 2019 would mark the end of his career due to chronic hip pain.

The injury pushed him to the brink of retirement but the three-time Grand Slam champion is battling to extend his career having undergone two hip surgeries. The Scot's ranking of 122 is too low to qualify directly for the Australian Open main draw, which starts on February 8, and he has also accepted a wild card to the Delray Beach event early next month. Murray played

just seven tour-level matches this year as he returned to action in August following a lingering pelvic injury and the suspension of the tennis season. "We welcome Andy back to Melbourne with open arms," said Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley. "His retirement was an emotional moment and seeing him come back, having undergone major surgery and build himself back up to get onto the tour again, will be a highlight of AO 2021."

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Roger Federer to spend Christmas with wife Mirka and kids in Dubai

Posted on 24 Dec 2020 02:30:08 GMT - tennis

Swiss tennis great Roger Federer plans to celebrate Christmas with wife Mirka and their four kids, twin daughters—Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, and twin sons—Leo and Lenny, in Dubai.

Federer, who has been out of action this year due to a knee injury, is preparing for the new season in Dubai. "We'll spend Christmas in Dubai this year. I really have to fully test my knee on the tennis court now. With the hope that maybe it will be enough for the Australian Open. But we're just at home wherever the family is," Federer was quoted as saying by Tennis World USA.

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Andy Murray grabs his first win in two months

Posted on 21 Dec 2020 07:10:57 GMT - tennis

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray won his first match in two months after defeating Dan Evans in straight sets at the Brits Premier League Tennis event being played in Roehampton.

The 33-year-old had not played since withdrawing from the tournament in Cologne, Germany, this October due to a pelvic problem.

Playing his opening match in event, the former world number one on Sunday showed great form as he defeated current British number one Evans 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

Despite coming into this tournament having only played seven matches this year because of the Covid-19 suspension and injuries, Murray looked comfortable, sharp and moved freely around the indoor court.

The four-day tournament is organised by Lawn Tennis Association, the governing body for tennis in UK, aimed at helping the British players to gear up for the 2021 season.

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Roger Federer on course for Australian Open: Organiser

Posted on 21 Dec 2020 03:24:40 GMT - tennis

All the world's top players, including 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, are expected to be in Melbourne for the coronavirus-disrupted Australian Open, tournament organiser Craig Tiley said. The opening Grand Slam of the year, in front of at least 50 percent of normal crowds, has been pushed back three weeks until February 8 with all players to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival. The delay could be pivotal for Federer, who admitted last week he was in a "race against time" to be fit as his recovery from two rounds of knee surgery takes longer than expected. Tiley said he had been in touch with the 39-year-old and he was going through his normal pre-season training routine in Dubai.

"Every player, including Roger, has made a commitment to travel to Melbourne to play," he said after confirming the new start date on Saturday. "We have been in touch with him and his team and it's been three days now, he's hit for the first time in Dubai. He's in his normal pre-season training routine. "He did say to us that February 8 was a more suitable date for him in terms of preparing for the Australian Open," Tiley added. "But a lot will depend on how he responds to his surgery in the next two to three weeks of training." Federer has won the Australian Open six times. But after losing in the semi-finals to Novak Djokovic, missed the rest of the Covid-interrupted 2020 season following surgery and could only watch as Rafael Nadal matched his record 20 Grand Slam titles with a 13th victory at the French Open. The men's and women's qualifiers will be held in Doha and Dubai respectively from January 10-13, with players arriving in Melbourne from January 15 on special charter flights for their quarantine.

Tiley said they would constantly be tested for Covid-19 but allowed to train for five hours a day in a bio-secure bubble, although with just one other player. They will be shuttled between designated hotels and Melbourne Park, where the tournament is held and if anyone tests positive, they will need to isolate in their room. "If there are any breaches (of quarantine) the player will be immediately removed from the country as well as being fined," Tiley warned. A slimmed-down, 12-team ATP Cup, the relocated Adelaide International, and a ATP 250 tournament will all be played in Melbourne once players are out of isolation. Two WTA 500 tournaments are also planned to be held concurrently at Melbourne Park on January 31-February 7. Melbourne only emerged from a months-long lockdown in October following a second wave of Covid-19, complicating planning for the Grand Slam and how to allow so many players and support staff to enter the country safely. Australia has largely contained the coronavirus although a new outbreak in Sydney over recent days has sparked fresh restrictions in parts of the city and even state border closures.

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Maria Sharapova announces engagement with Alexander Gilkes

Posted on 19 Dec 2020 05:08:32 GMT - tennis

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, 33, announced her engagement to British businessman Alexander Gilkes, 41 on social media.

On Thursday, she Instagrammed the above picture for her 4.1 million followers and captioned it: "I said yes from the first day we met [red heart emoji]. This was our little secret, wasn't it [ring and wine glasses emojis] @gilkesa."

 
 
 
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A post shared by Maria Sharapova (@mariasharapova)

Meanwhile, Gilkes wrote: "Thank you for making me a very very happy boy. I look forward to a lifetime of loving you, and learning from you @mariasharapova."

The couple have been in a relationship since 2018.

Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova

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See photo: Tennis babe Karolina Pliskova stuns in black bikini on beach in Spain

Posted on 18 Dec 2020 06:48:09 GMT - tennis

Czech tennis star Karolina Pliskova is one of the most talented sports stars on the court as well as one of the most active ones on social media off the court.

The 28-year-old tennis babe is a regular on Instagram and often posts photos and videos of her training as well as holiday time. She is not shy to flaunt her slim figure on social media and often gets a favourable response for it.

Karolina Pliskova is currently holidaying in Spain and shared a stunning picture on Instagram where she is seen wearing a printed black bikini on her getaway to the country. She captioned it: 'Winter in Spain.'

 
 
 
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A post shared by Karolina Pliskova (@karolinapliskova)

In October, Karolina Pliskova participated at the Ostrava Open but was sadly ousted by Veronika Kudermetova 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 and missed out on entering the quarter-finals.

Karolina Pliskova is also a former number one tennis player. She reached the top of the  Women's Tennis Association (WTA) rankings on July 17, 2017. She is currently ranked 6th on the list with 5205 points.

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For Maria Sharapova, it all about what the body and mind tell you

Posted on 18 Dec 2020 02:52:09 GMT - tennis

Russian tennis beauty Maria Sharapova contemplated retirement many times a few months before she actually bid adieu to the sport in February. One of the key factors in making the decision was listening to her body and mind. "It's a question I've addressed several times over the past few months before announcing my retirement. You have to search within yourself and what you feel, what your body tells you and also what your mind is saying," Sharapova was quoted as saying by Tennis World USA.

The former World No. 1 revealed that she lost the competitive streak in her. "I realised that I was showing off but not as a tennis player by now and I had lost sight of the competition. It became a hard and difficult process to manage. But together with my team I realised that it was necessary to move forward and I could use many other better and perhaps more meaningful ways," she explained.

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Australian Open 2021 to start on February 8

Posted on 18 Dec 2020 02:50:05 GMT - tennis

The Australian Open was pushed back to February 8 on Thursday after weeks of negotiations as COVID-19 disruption hits a second Grand Slam tennis season. Men’s qualifiers will be held in Doha but Australia will host a series of build-up events including the flagship ATP Cup, the men’s ATP Tour said, announcing its early 2021 schedule.

The three-week delay to the season’s opening Grand Slam comes after this year’s Wimbledon was cancelled - for the first time since World War II - the French Open was postponed and the US Open was played behind closed doors. Fans are expected to be allowed at Melbourne Park, the tournament’s venue, as the COVID-19 is under control in Australia, but players will need to undergo 14 days of quarantine.

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See photos: Sania Mirza's evening to remember with sister Anam and Asaduddin

Posted on 15 Dec 2020 04:31:23 GMT - tennis

Be it photos of her making fashion statements, going on outings and vacations with her younger sister Anam, spending time with Shoaib and her son Izhaan - Sania Mirza is constantly on the go on social media. India tennis star Sania Mirza has recently given her fans a glimpse into how she spent one of her evenings in her latest post on Instagram.

Sania Mirza recently shared a lovely picture along with her good friend and Romanian tennis player, Sorana Cirstea. Sania captioned it: "Evenings like these, some friendships last beyond the court."

 
 
 
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A post shared by Sania Mirza (@mirzasaniar)

Sania Mirza also recently celebrated her younger sister Anam's first wedding anniversary with former cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin’s son, Asaduddin. Sania shared a photo of the lovely couple along with her and son Izhaan Mirza Malik posing beside a Christmas tree.

Sania Mirza shared a close and strong bond with her sister Anam Mirza. Anam and Asad dated each other for sometime before they tied the knot on December 12, 2019.

Also Read: Sania Mirza's open letter: I gained 23 kg during pregnancy, wasn't sure about playing again

Sania Mirza is married to Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik. The couple, who is one of the most talked-about in sports, tied the knot on April 12, 2010.

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It's a race against time: Roger Federer on competing at Australian Open

Posted on 15 Dec 2020 01:53:36 GMT - tennis

Swiss tennis great Roger Federer said he was in a "race against time" to be fit for the Australian Open as his recovery from two rounds of knee surgery takes longer than expected.

Federer, 39, has been out of action since February, when he underwent keyhole surgery on his right knee. In June, Federer revealed a follow-up operation and called off his 2020 season. But despite months of rehabilitation, the 20-time Grand Slam champion said he was still not "100 per cent" for the Australian Open, which looks likely to be delayed from January to February over Coronavirus restrictions.

"It's a race against time. Of course it would help if I had a little bit more time. But it's going to be close," Federer said at an awards ceremony in Switzerland, according to Swiss media.

Close call

"I would have hoped that I'd be at a 100 per cent already in October. But I'm not at this level even today. It will be a close call for the Australian Open," he added. Federer even set off speculation about his future when he said: "I hope there is still something to see of me in the new year. We will see."

Frustrating year

It's been a frustrating year for Federer, who had to watch from afar as his frequent nemesis, Rafael Nadal, matched his record haul of 20 Grand Slam titles. He has given few updates on his progress, but in early November he tweeted, "Back to work" with a picture of him practising on court. On Sunday, he posted an ATP promotional video with the message, "Excited for what's to come."

Federer said the coming months were "immensely important" as he contemplates a busy 2021 including the Tokyo Olympics, where he is targeting a first singles gold medal. "I wish I'd made more progress, but I'm nevertheless satisfied with where I am," he said.

"My second knee surgery was a huge setback, but in the past months things have gone steadily forward. "We're taking our time, but the next two, three months will become immensely important for me." Federer, known for his elegant style of play, has got off lightly with injuries during a career in which he has won 103 singles titles, including all four majors.

20
No. of Grand Slam singles titles won by Roger Federer

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