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Nadal shakes off Schwartzman to enter US Open semis

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Rafael Nadal. Text: US Open @ATP.

New York: Three-time champion Rafael Nadal defeated Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 on Thursday, but the Spaniard’s victory was anything but straightforward.

Nadal overcame a spirited effort from the No. 20 seed to win his eighth consecutive quarter-final in Flushing Meadows in what felt like a titanic battle, not a straight-sets win.

The legendary lefty earned double-break leads in each of the first two sets, but was unable to hang onto those on either occasion.sports news headlines

However, when it mattered most, Nadal maintained the more consistent level, advancing to his eighth semi-final in New York after two hours and 47 minutes.

The Spaniard has long been dominant in major quarter-finals, improving to 33-7 at this stage of Slams with five of those losses coming at the Australian Open.

He also owns a 33-match winning streak against Argentine opponents not named Juan Martin del Potro.

“Diego is playing unbelievable. I need to play my best in the next round to have the chance to be in that semi-finals,” Nadal said after his fourth-round victory. That prediction proved to be spot on.

Nadal crushed 35 winners and broke serve eight times to find a way to win against an opponent who refused to back down. Many times, Nadal’s unrelenting groundstrokes typically push players further behind the baseline as a match wears on.

But Schwartzman tried to go blow-for-blow with the second seed, playing aggressively whenever possible.

Berrettini outlasts Monfils, Andreescu advances to first Slam semis

Matteo Berrettini out-slugged French veteran Gael Monfils, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6, in an instant classic that featured waves of momentum changes and left Monfils leaning on his racquet for reprieve.

Bianca Andreescu advanced to her first career major semifinal. The 19-year-old Canadian overcame an error-strewn first set and used her superior firepower to came back to beat No. 25 seed Elise Mertens, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

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ATP Cup draw puts Djokovic in Brisbane, Federer in Sydney and Nadal in Perth

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Roger Federer (from left), Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Photo: usopen.org

Sydney: Top ranked Novak Djokovic will begin his 2020 season in Brisbane, Roger Federer in Sydney and Rafael Nadal in Perth after ATP Cup’s draw was announced.

The ATP Cup is the new world tennis team event.today’s sports news

The championship, which will take place from January 3-12 in the lead-up to the year’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open in Melbourne, will feature 24 nations split into six groups across Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

Eight teams — with up to five players each — will emerge from the round-robin stage to compete in the knockout phase in Sydney until one is left standing Most of the world’s top 30 men will take part, with ties comprising two singles and one doubles match.

At the draw in Sydney, Djokovic’s Serbia were pitted against France, South Africa, Germany, Greece, Canada and wildcard entry Australia in Brisbane.

Nadal’s Spain will face Japan, Georgia, Russia, Italy and the United States in Perth while Federer’s Switzerland take on Belgium, Austria, Croatia, Argentina and the Andy Murray-led Britain.

The final five nations in the ATP Cup standings, based on the ranking of their number one singles player, will be determined by the second entry deadline of November 13.

The new-look start to the year offers USD15 million in prize money and a maximum of 750 singles and 250 doubles ATP rankings points.

It will be held on the back of a revamped Davis Cup, run by the International Tennis Federation, in November, bringing together 18 nations in one place for a week at the end of the 2019 season.

ATP Cup draw: Group A (Brisbane) – Serbia, France, South Africa +1 TBC Group B (Perth) – Spain, Japan, Georgia +1 TBC Group C (Sydney) – Switzerland, Belgium, Britain +1 TBC Group D (Perth) – Russia, Italy, USA +1 TBC Group E (Sydney) Austria, Croatia, Argentina +1 TBC Group F (Brisbane) – Germany, Greece, Canada, Australia.

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Islamabad to host India’s Davis Cup tie against Pakistan in end of November

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The All India Tennis Association has expressed security concerns regarding the tie against Pakistan.

New Delhi: India’s Davis Cup tie against Pakistan is to be held in Islamabad, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) confirmed on Friday.

The tentative dates of the contest is on November 29 or 30. But the final clearance will only be given after a security clearance, to be conducted on November 9.sports news headlines

The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) hs until November 19 to confirm the precise dates of the tie, the  International Tennis Federation (ITF) said in a release.

In case of reservations following the final security review, the tie could be shifted to a neutral venue.

“The India vs Pakistan Davis Cup tie will take place at Islamabad either on 29 and 30th November or 30th November/1st December,” the AITA said.

“However, the security situation will be reviewed on 4th November whether the tie can be held in Islamabad or to be shifted to a neutral venue.”

The tie was scheduled to be held in Islamabad on September 14-15.

But following AITA’s reservations on security issues, the ITF conducted a security review and on August 22 decided to postpone the tie to November.

The AITA has consistently voiced its concern, keeping in tune with the high diplomatic tension between the two countries, and requested the ITF to either shift the tie to a neutral venue or postpone it.

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Former World No. 1 Kim Clijsters to return to tennis in 2020

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Kim Clijsters.

Paris: Belgium’s former world number one Kim Clijsters announced on Thursday her return to competitive tennis in 2020, seven years after retiring to become a stay-at-home mum of three children.

The 36-year-old four-time singles Grand Slam champion said she loved being a mum but missed the adrenalin of the tennis world tour.latest sports news in english

“These last seven years I’ve been a full-time mum. And I love it, I really do. But I also loved being a professional tennis player. And honestly I miss that feeling,” she said on Twitter.

Clijsters won the US Open in 2005, 2009 and 2010, and the Australian Open in 2011.

She initially retired in 2007 aged 23, making a return two years later after having her first child to win her second US Open, then hanging up her racquet again after the 2012 US Open.

In a 51-second video on social media she asks: “Could I be a loving mum to three kids, and the best tennis player I can possibly be? “Let’s do this. Let’s come back one more time. See you in 2020.”

Her return next season was warmly welcomed by WTA chairman Steve Simon.

“Kim Clijsters ranks among the greats of the game and her return to the Tour is exciting news for the WTA family and tennis fans around the world,” he said.

Clijsters made her WTA debut aged 15 at Antwerp in 1999. She has 41 singles titles, and is the only mother to top the WTA charts since computer rankings began in 1975.

Despite her lengthy time out she still ranks third among active players in terms of tournament success behind the Williams sisters — Serena with 72 titles and Venus with 49.

As well as her singles Grand Slam titles she won two more in doubles at the French Open and Wimbledon with Ai Sugiyama in 2003.

She told the WTA’s official website that her motivation to come out of retirement wasn’t that she felt she still had something to prove but rather for “the challenge”.

“I have friends who would say, I want to run the New York Marathon before I turn 50. For me, I still love to play tennis,” she said.

As a former world number one she can expect unlimited wildcards next season.

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