Andy Murray Has Another Hip Surgery; His Future in Tennis Remains Unclear

Andy Murray had a second hip operation, getting a metal implant one year after his first procedure on the joint. The three-time major champion posted a message Tuesday on Instagram, saying that he had the surgery in London on Monday. “Feeling a bit battered and bruised just now,” Murray wrote, “but hopefully that will be the end of my hip […]

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Naomi Osaka Found Herself In Danger, Turned Into A Robot, And Held It Down

It could have unraveled so quickly for Naomi Osaka. Up a set and 5-3, having whittled Petra Kvitova’s service game down to 0-40, Osaka had three straight opportunities to claim her first Australian Open. None of them got her there. First Kvitova tore the court open with her fiercest groundstrokes, letting fly a winner so pure her opponent had to […]

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Novak Djokovic Passes His Idol and Sets a New Target: Roger Federer

MELBOURNE, Australia — The first tennis player to capture Novak Djokovic’s imagination was a big-serving American with a beautiful one-handed backhand. A grade-school-aged Djokovic, living in the Serbian mountain resort town of Kopaonik, watched on television as Pete Sampras won one of his seven Wimbledon titles and fell madly in love with tennis. “I did not have a tennis tradition […]

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Another Source of Conflict in Tennis: Are You Up or Down on Doubles?

MELBOURNE, Australia — After bowing out of the Australian Open this week, Jack Sock and his childhood friend and doubles partner, Jackson Withrow, ended up on opposite sides of a great divide. Withrow’s childhood dream was to play professional tennis; doubles proved to be his only portal. Sock, the world’s second-ranked doubles player, has an Olympic gold medal from 2016 […]

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Novak Djokovic and Lucas Pouille Advance to Semifinals

MELBOURNE, Australia — Lucas Pouille had lost every Australian Open match he played until he hired Amélie Mauresmo as coach. A couple of months later, he’s into a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time. Pouille, a 24-year-old Frenchman, will next play Novak Djokovic, who is aiming for a men’s record seventh Australian title, so things will get tougher. Djokovic […]

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Serena Williams’s Absence Gave Her Foes the Chance to Improve

MELBOURNE, Australia — Time did not freeze, like a televised sporting event placed on pause, during the 13 months Serena Williams spent away from tennis. The absence of Williams, who has averaged one title in every three majors played, allowed younger players to wade deeper into the draws and grow their games and their confidence. Karolina Pliskova, 26, was already […]

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Rafael Nadal Holds Off One Young Challenger, and Prepares to Meet Another

MELBOURNE, Australia — Early in his quarterfinal match at the Australian Open on Tuesday, Frances Tiafoe, part of a new generation of male stars who have emerged for the first time at a Grand Slam tournament, faced a break point against his battle-tested opponent. But Rafael Nadal, of course, is not just any opponent. He is the No. 2 seed, […]

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Serena Williams Defeats Halep to Reach Australian Open Quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia — Serena Williams took a big step toward winning a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title on Monday, defeating the top-seeded Simona Halep, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, in a round of 16 slugfest. “It was really an intense match, some incredible points,” Williams said in an on-court television interview afterward. “I really needed to elevate my game. She is […]

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For Australian Men, Off-Court Drama Overshadows the Tennis

MELBOURNE, Australia — As the tennis world was transfixed on Andy Murray as he played what may have been the final match of his career last Monday night, another drama was beginning in Interview Room 2 at the Australian Open. After a first-round loss, Australia’s Bernard Tomic launched the opening volley in an off-court rift between Lleyton Hewitt and some […]

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