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Tennis: Hopman Cup a hit as kids come first for Federer

MELBOURNE, (BSS/AFP) – Roger Federer says he plans to keep the Hopman Cup on his playing schedule leading into the season-opening Australian Open Grand Slam as it suits his children best.The Swiss star, who teamed with Belinda Bencic to win the mixed teams event in Perth over the New Year, says he expects to return for the 2019 edition. Read More »

Turning up the heat: Sharapova into 3rd round, Konta out

Melbourne,(AP/UNB) – Maria Sharapova ticked off more items on her “to-do” list at the Australian Open, returning to center court and accounting for the only person who has beaten her at a Grand Slam since her comeback from a doping ban.Sharapova advanced to the third round with a 6-1, 7-6 (4) win over No. 14-seeded Anastasija Sevastova as the temperature ... Read More »

Sharapova back in Oz, joins Federer, Djokovic in 2nd round

Melbourne,(AP/UNB) – It wasn’t Maria Sharapova’s choice to miss the last Australian Open. That decision was taken out of her hands because of a doping ban following a failed test on her previous visit to Melbourne Park.The five-time major champion said it was her choice to return, though, and she relished every moment of it in Tuesday’s 6-1, 6-4 victory ... Read More »

Bencic loses to Kumkum; 15-year-old Kostyuk into 3rd round

Melbourne,(AP/UNB) – Two days after her upset win over Venus Williams, Belinda Bencic is out of the Australian Open.Bencic was on a high after beating 2017 finalist Williams on the center court in the first round, but started flatly on Hisense Arena on Wednesday and lost 6-1, 6-3 to powerful hitting Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum. Read More »

Ostapenko survives battling Schiavone test

MELBOURNE,(BSS/AFP) – French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko survived a second-set scare from corset-wearing Italian veteran Francesca Schiavone to get her Australian Open campaign off to winning start on Monday.World number seven Ostapenko raced through the first set on Rod Laver Arena against the 2010 Roland Garros winner 6-1. Read More »

Rosewall’s ‘good luck’ letters to Federer

MELBOURNE, (BSS/AFP) – At every Australian Open tennis great Ken Rosewall writes a heartfelt letter and leaves it for Roger Federer in the players’ locker room. It’s just a short note on a single slip of paper in neat hand writing, which Rosewall gives to the doorman.”I just write a simple half-page,” Rosewall told The Australian newspaper on Monday. “Good ... Read More »

After one for the ages, Australian Open now a fitness test

Melbourne,(AP/UNB) – With Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic among the walking wounded and Serena Williams already deciding not to defend her title, injuries and absentees have been the focus of attention ahead of the Australian Open.That’s not bothering Roger Federer, who is returning as defending champion just 12 months after entering the season-opening Grand Slam tournament seeded 17th and uncertain ... Read More »

Nadal to play Kooyong exhibition ahead of Australian Open

Melbourne, (AP/UNB) – Top-ranked Rafael Nadal will make his return from injury at the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament to prepare for the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 15.Nadal joins former No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, a six-time Australian Open champion, in using the Kooyong event to warm up for the year’s first Grand Slam tournament. Read More »

Monfils wins Qatar Open in 4th appearance in final

Doha,(AP/UNB) – Gael Monfils won the Qatar Open title on his fourth appearance in the final with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Andrey Rublev of Russia on Saturday.The 46th-ranked Monfils, a former top-10 player, lost previous finals at the tournament to Roger Federer in 2006, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2012, and Rafael Nadal in 2014. Read More »

BD tennis team set to leave for Vietnam tonight

Dhaka – A seven-member Bangladesh tennis team are scheduled to leave here for Vietnam tonight (Saturday night) to participate in Division-2 of the ITF Asian Junior Under-14 Tennis Tournament to be held in the Hoe Chi Minh city on January 7-20.A flight carrying the team members will take off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 11:30pm. Read More »