June 29, 2016

Maria Sharapova Suspended for Two Years for Testing Positive for Meldonium

 

(June 8, 2016) Maria Sharapova has been suspended from tennis for two years for testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open. Sharapova said she will appeal the ruling by an independent three-person panel appointed by the International Tennis Federation.

Sharapova was initially provisionally suspended by the ITF in March after she announced that she failed a doping test at the Australian Open.

Below is the press release from the ITF about the decision, a PDF of the decision itself,  a statement from WADA, Sharapova’s statement on her Facebook page and a statement from the WTA tour.

 

 

ITF

From the International Tennis Federation: 8 June 2016 – London, ENGLAND

Decision in the case of Maria Sharapova

An Independent Tribunal appointed under Article 8.1 of the 2016 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the “Programme”) has found that Maria Sharapova committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme and as a consequence has disqualified the affected results and imposed a period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on 26 January 2016.

 

Ms. Sharapova, a 29-year-old player from Russia, provided a urine sample on 26 January 2016, after her quarterfinal match at the 2016 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia. That sample was sent to the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain meldonium, which is a metabolic modulator that is included under section S4 (Hormone and Metabolic Modulators) of the 2016 WADA Prohibited List, and therefore is also prohibited under the Programme.

 

On 2 March 2016, Ms. Sharapova was charged with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme (presence of a Prohibited Substance in a Player’s Sample). She promptly admitted that she had committed the Anti-Doping Rule Violation charged, and asked for a hearing before an Independent Tribunal in accordance with Article 8 of the Programme to determine the consequences to be imposed on her for that violation.

 

At a two-day hearing on 18-19 May 2016, the Independent Tribunal received evidence and heard legal arguments from both parties, and subsequently issued a reasoned decision on 8 June, which is available at www.itftennis.com/antidoping. The Independent Tribunal determined that (1) Ms. Sharapova should serve a period of ineligibility of two years; (2) due to her prompt admission of her violation, that period of ineligibility should be back-dated under Article 10.10.3(b) of the Programme to commence from 26 January 2016 (the date of sample collection) and so should end at midnight on 25 January 2018; and (3) her results at the 2016 Australian Open should be disqualified, with resulting forfeiture of the ranking points and prize money that she won at that event.

 

The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme applies to all players competing at Grand Slam tournaments and events sanctioned by the ITF, ATP, and WTA. Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and, upon a finding that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed, sanctions are imposed under the Programme in compliance with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code. More information on the Programme, sanctions, statistics, and related matters can be found at www.itftennis.com/antidoping.

Full decision in the case of Maria Sharapova 231178

 

WADA statement regarding Maria Sharapova case

WADA acknowledges the decision issued today by the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Independent Tribunal which found that Maria Sharapova committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) for the use of banned substance Meldonium, and that, as a consequence, a period of ineligibility of two (2) years has been imposed, commencing on 26 January 2016.

As with all decisions made by Anti-Doping Organizations, WADA will review the decision, including its reasoning, and will subsequently decide whether or not to use its independent right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

 

Sharapova

Maria Sharapova’s statement on decision from her Facebook page:

Today with their decision of a two year suspension, the ITF tribunal unanimously concluded that what I did was not intentional. The tribunal found that I did not seek treatment from my doctor for the purpose of obtaining a performance enhancing substance. The ITF spent tremendous amounts of time and resources trying to prove I intentionally violated the anti-doping rules and the tribunal concluded I did not. You need to know that the ITF asked the tribunal to suspend me for four years – the required suspension for an intentional violation — and the tribunal rejected the ITF’s position.

While the tribunal concluded correctly that I did not intentionally violate the anti-doping rules, I cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension. The tribunal, whose members were selected by the ITF, agreed that I did not do anything intentionally wrong, yet they seek to keep me from playing tennis for two years. I will immediately appeal the suspension portion of this ruling to CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

I have missed playing tennis and I have missed my amazing fans, who are the best and most loyal fans in the world. I have read your letters. I have read your social media posts and your love and support has gotten me through these tough days. I intend to stand for what I believe is right and that’s why I will fight to be back on the tennis court as soon as possible.

Love Maria

P.S. My lawyer prepared a short summary of how the ITF process works so I thought I would pass it along to my fans so you too can be aware of what the ITF rules call for

 

WTA

 

 

WTA Issues Statement on ITF Ruling for Maria SharapovaWTA Statement:  Steve Simon, WTA CEO, in response to today’s ITF ruling in the Sharapova case:

“It is important at all times for players to be aware of the rules and to follow them.  In this case, Maria has taken responsibility for her mistake from the outset.  The WTA supports the process that the ITF and Maria have followed. The ITF has made its ruling and, under the Tennis Anti-Doping Program, the decision may be appealed to the Court Arbitration for Sport. The WTA will continue to follow this closely and we hope it will be resolved as soon as possible.”

 

Related article:

Maria Sharapova Announces She Failed Drug Test at Australian Open

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Venus Williams’ Return to Indian Wells Ends in a Loss to Qualifier Kurumi Nara

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

(March 11, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – After a 15-year absence, Venus Williams returned to Indian Wells on Friday to face Kurumi Nara. The qualifier from Japan ranked 89th in the world spoiled Williams’ return winning 6-4, 6-3 on Center Court to get her first win over the world No. 12.

Williams last played the event in 2001 when she and her father were booed and jeered at by fans in the stands after Venus withdrew from her semifinal against Serena with an injury as both were watching the final. Serena won the tournament. Venus Williams wrote about why she returned in the Player’s Tribune.

Walking on the court to thunderous applause in a half-filled stadium, the seven-time major champion acknowledged the crowd before she sat down, waving to fans in all directions and putting her hand over her heart.

“I did get emotional,” Williams said. “When we were doing the coin toss I got a little watery eyed. Your opponent, you don’t want to give them any more encouragement. It was wonderful. I think I smiled the whole warmup. I had to get my game face on. It was tough to do.”

“The crowd rooted me on because it was a tough day and tough conditions and brutal out there,” she said. “It was wonderful to feel the love. You know, I would love to come on back.”

Williams’ sister Serena made her return to the desert last year which influenced the older sister to return.

“I hadn’t really thought a lot about Indian Wells, playing here, until Serena thought she was going to come back,” she said. “That’s when I thought about it, obviously, after she played.

“So before that I hadn’t really — it’s not something I focused on, you know. In your life, especially when you try to accomplish things, you’re focusing on what you can accomplish, not on what happened ages ago.”

“I think what I felt was I want to be able to play well for everyone I think more than anything,” said Williams when asked about how she felt about the match coming into the tournament. “Obviously I saw Serena’s warm welcome. I just wanted to come out and play well and try to win that match.

“So I think that’s more than anything what I felt. But like I said, I was able to come and focus on the tennis. You know, I’m a person that’s not into the spotlight so much, so I guess such a warm welcome I actually felt a little shy.

“So, you know, it’s been a wonderful moment. You know, 15 years later to have such a joyous return is more than I could have ever. It’s such a blessing.”

A rare rain delay in Indian Wells came at 3-3 in the first set and the winds continued to be blustery throughout the match.

The wind played havoc on the 35-year-old’s game making 43 errors and hitting only 21 winners. Williams was only 4 for 12 on break points.

Kurumi Nara

Kurumi Nara

For Nara, it was her first victory over the seven-time major champion in three tries. The Japanese woman called it the “No. 1 win” of her career.

Asked about  the very hot topic about Maria Sharapova’s situation, Williams explained:

“Well, any time I have spoken up on issues is because I know the facts. In this case I don’t. I guess they are finding the facts now. That’s, I guess, a discovery period.

“So what can you say? What I do know is that in the past she’s been very competitive. I think she has been a role model for a lot of people. She has a ton of fans, and I think she’s affected a lot of lives in a positive way. Hopefully that will won’t be the end of that.”

“I really don’t know any — nobody called me and told me what the facts are so how can I comment? I don’t know anything at all. I don’t think anyone knows. I don’t know.”

“It was hard, rough out there,” said Williams about her contest with Nara. “She played really well. You know, everything was going for her. She’s very competitive. Everything seemed to be comfortable for her. Even the shank shots kept going in.

“I kept saying, How are these balls going in? Lord, how do I get some of mine in? And the conditions were really brutal. Just serving, it was tough. Not ideal.

“Thankfully it looks like it at least calmed down so when Serena gets out there it will be a tad bit easier. It was still a great day.”

 

More to follow….

 

 

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Maria Sharapova Posts Letter to Fans on Her Facebook Page

Maria Sharapova with media

(March 11, 2016) Maria Sharapova posted a letter to her fans on her Facebook page on Friday. Sharapova announced on Monday that she had tested positive for Meldonium at the Australian Open. The drug became a banned substance as of January.

Maria Sharapova Announces She Failed Drug Test at Australian Open

Since her announcement, a few of the companies of the products she endorses have suspended her, including Nike.

To My Fans:

I want to reach out to you to share some information, discuss the latest news, and let you know that there have been things that have been reported wrong in the media, and I am determined to fight back. You have shown me a tremendous outpouring of support, and I’m so grateful for it. But I have also been aware that some not all, but some in the media distort, exaggerate and fail to accurately report the facts about what happened.

A report said that I had been warned five times about the upcoming ban on the medicine I was taking. That is not true and it never happened.

That’s a distortion of the actual “communications,” which were provided or simply posted onto a webpage.

I make no excuses for not knowing about the ban. I already told you about the December 22, 2015 email I received. Its subject line was “Main Changes to the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme for 2016.” I should have paid more attention to it.

But the other “communications?” They were buried in newsletters, websites, or handouts.

On December 18, I received an email with the subject line “Player News” on it. It contained a newsletter on a website that contained tons of information about travel, upcoming tournaments, rankings, statistics, bulletin board notices, happy birthday wishes, and yes, anti-doping information. On that email, if a player wanted to find the specific facts about medicine added to the anti-doping list, it was necessary to open the “Player News” email, read through about a dozen unrelated links, find the “Player Zone” link, enter a password, enter a username, read a home screen with more than three dozen different links covering multiple topics, find the “2016 Changes to Tennis Anti-Doping Program and Information” link, click on it and then read a page with approximately three dozen more links covering multiple anti-doping matters. Then you had to click the correct link, open it up, scroll down to page two and that’s where you would find a different name for the medication I was taking.

In other words, in order to be aware of this “warning,” you had to open an email with a subject line having nothing to do with anti-doping, click on a webpage, enter a password, enter a username, hunt, click, hunt, click, hunt, click, scroll and read. I guess some in the media can call that a warning. I think most people would call it too hard to find.

There was also a “wallet card” distributed at various tournaments at the beginning of 2016, after the ban went into effect. This document had thousands of words on it, many of them technical, in small print. Should I have studied it? Yes. But if you saw this document (attached), you would know what I mean. Again, no excuses, but it’s wrong to say I was warned five times.

There was also a headline that said, “4-6 Weeks Normal Treatment for Drug in Maria Sharapova Case.” That headline has been repeated by many reporters who fail to tell their viewers and readers what the rest of the story says. The story quotes the manufacturer of my medicine as saying: “Treatment course can be repeated twice or thrice a year. Only physicians can follow and evaluate patient’s health condition and state whether the patient should use meldonium for a longer period of time.”

That’s exactly what I did. I didn’t take the medicine every day. I took it the way my doctor recommended I take it and I took it in the low doses recommended.

I’m proud of how I have played the game. I have been honest and upfront. I won’t pretend to be injured so I can hide the truth about my testing.

I look forward to the ITF hearing at which time they will receive my detailed medical records. I hope I will be allowed to play again. But no matter what, I want you, my fans, to know the truth and have the facts.

— Maria

 

 

 

 

 

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Novak Djokovic on Maria Sharapova: “I do feel sorry about what’s happening with her”

Maria Sharapova Announces She Failed Drug Test at Australian Open

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Novak Djokovic on Maria Sharapova: “I do feel sorry about what’s happening with her”

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(March 11, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – Four-time BNP Paribas Open winner Novak Djokovic held a pre-tournament news conference after the unveiling of his winner’s mural in Stadium Plaza.

Djokovic was asked about his views on Maria Sharapova and her situation. The five-time major winner announced on Monday that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open. Sharapova tested positive for meldonium, a drug she says she’s been using for 10 years for different health issues. Meldonium became a banned substance in January under the WADA code.

“Well, it’s been the talk of the tennis world for the last couple of days, and this kind of news caught us all by surprise. I think I can talk about, you know, Maria and her situation from two perspectives, Djokovic said.

“First as a friend, somebody that knows her for a long time, of course I do feel sorry about what’s happening with her. I know that, you know, she has always been very responsible and aware towards herself, towards the sport, very disciplined, very kind of hard working, hard-working ethics, and love what she does.

“You know, she believes and still does believe that the hard work really pays off, and that’s what gets her titles.

“So as a friend, you know, I really hope that she will find the best possible way. I thought she was very courageous and was very human, brave of her, to go out and take the responsibility and say what has happened. She did admit that she made a mistake with her team, and I think, you know, you don’t have to blame ^ WADA for anything.

“It’s completely normal to expect that under these circumstances, you know, the player that has made this mistake has to suffer certain kind of consequences, and I’m sure she’s aware of that. She has approached this very maturely. I really admire that.

“On the other hand, from the different perspective, I talk as somebody that is involved in professional tennis and sport for so many years that always believed in clean and fair sport.

“So I do — I do hope that — I mean, obviously I can’t speak about the details because I don’t know. I know as much as you guys know whether or not she was aware of the changes. But certainly if there was a mistake and if she was caught to be positive on the doping for a certain substance, then there should be certain kind of, you know, consequences for that.

“But, again, I’m not here to talk about, you know, whether or not she needs to be away from the courts for certain periods of time. You know, I leave this to WADA and antidoping agency and, you know, organizations that are responsible for that.”

Djokovic admitted that he never heard about Medonium, the drug Sharapova took which was banned by WADA since January.

“No, I never heard of that medication,” he said. “Just one more thing I wanted to say, because I feel like in the sport in general there is maybe a conviction with many athletes that maybe medications and certain substances can make you feel healthy or, you know, feel better.

“I don’t believe in that kind of short-term process. I believe in long-term balance and harmonious health and well-being that is achieved, you know, with — from different aspects.

“I wouldn’t say that there is a magic potion or elixir that can make you feel better. No, I never heard about that substance.

“And regarding e-mails, I have to be frank that I don’t read them all. I do have the team of people that is working with me and that, you know, I have faith 100%, and if there is any significant changes that I need to be aware of, I am aware of. They do let me know.

“We communicate of course on a daily basis between the medical team, between the marketing team, or, you know, operational team. There is always something that needs to be discussed.”
“Now, I don’t know what the pros and cons are of this medicine, but it can happen to many people if it’s only a case of negligence, of Maria and her team of not really paying attention to the change,” said the world No. 1.

“Now, whether or not she was informed before or not, I don’t know that. I think the communication may be from the side of the governing bodies of tennis maybe should be a little bit better in terms of involvement of maybe ATP, as well, because I feel like maybe sometimes ATP is stepping on the side because it’s a matter of ITF and WADA.”

“I’m just saying there are maybe ways to improve the communication so that these things don’t happen in the future, because what has happened with Viktor Troicki was also something that was very debatable,” Djokovic said.

“I know him since I was seven years old, so I know — I know him like my own brother, so I can, you know, claim that he has never — has done or taken something that, you know, would be banned. Which he didn’t, as well. He was banned for 18 months for kind of refusing to give the blood sample that day, and he got the verbal confirmation from that lady that was working for WADA that he can do that because he was feeling bad.

“So because of this, you know, small certain situation and circumstances and negligence of somebody, you know, a player suffers for 18 months’ ban. Those kind of things, you know, need to be communicated better I think in order not to kind of damage the player’s career.”

Djokovic admitted that there have been times that he’s had a health issue and a doctor has prescribed something and he’s refuse to take the medication, because he did not know if it contained a banned substance or not.

Djokovic comes into Indian Wells dealing with health issues of his own over the past few weeks. He had to retire from a match in Dubai due to and eye infection. He played Davis Cup over the weekend and led Serbia to the quarterfinals.

“It was a couple of not easy weeks for me health-wise, but it was due to a lot going on on the court and off the court that, you know, caused maybe a weaker immune system that was more prone to those kind of infections” said Djokovic.

“Has happened first time honestly in my life to have some kind of an issue with an eye. Yeah, after that it was the Davis Cup. It was not physically very easy those three days, but all in all, I feel good. I feel already adjusted to the time zone of the West Coast. I have been here for already several days.

“You know, going back to normal. Hopefully I will be able to play at my best from the beginning.”

Djokovic comes into the tournament looking to win his fifth BNP Paribas Open title, which would set a record.

Karen Pestaina is covering the BNP Paribas Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.

 

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Maria Sharapova Announces She Failed Drug Test at Australian Open

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Maria Sharapova Announces She Failed Drug Test at Australian Open

(March 7, 2016) Maria Sharapova held a news conference on Monday in Los Angeles to announce that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open. Sharapova tested positive for meldonium, a drug she says she’s been using for 10 years for different health issues. Meldonium became a banned substance in January under the WADA code. She said that she did not notice that the drug was on the banned list.

The 28-year-old former No. 1 could face a ban from the International Tennis Federation.

“I know that with this, I face consequences,” Sharapova said in her news conference. “I don’t want to end my career this way, and I really hope I will be given another chance to play this game.”

“I take great responsibility and professionalism in my job, and I made a huge mistake,” Sharapova said. “I let my fans down. I let the sport down that I’ve been playing since the age of 4, that I love so deeply.”

 

Maria Sharapova’s news conference:

 

TENNIS ANTI-DOPING PROGRAMME STATEMENT REGARDING MARIA SHARAPOVA

7 March 2016

Following the statement made by Maria Sharapova in a press conference today, the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP) can confirm the following:

  • On 26 January 2016, Ms Sharapova provided an anti-doping sample to the TADP in association with her participation in the 2016 Australian Open.
  • That sample was analysed by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory, which returned a positive for meldonium, which is a prohibited substance under the WADA Code and, therefore also the TADP.
  • In accordance with Article 8.1.1 of the TADP, Ms Sharapova was charged on 2 March with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.
  • Ms Sharapova has accepted the finding of meldonium in her sample collected on 26 January.
  • As meldonium is a non-specified substance under the WADA (and, therefore, TADP) list of Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods, Ms Sharapova will be provisionally suspended with effect from 12 March, pending determination of the case.

The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme is a comprehensive and internationally recognised drug-testing programme that applies to all players competing at Grand Slam tournaments and events sanctioned by the ITF, ATP, and WTA. Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and, upon a finding that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed, sanctions are imposed in accordance with the requirements of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme and World Anti-Doping Code. More background information on the Programme, sanctions, tennis statistics and related information can be found at www.itftennis.com/antidoping.

 

 

Steve Simon, WTA CEO in response to Maria Sharapova’s announcement:

St Petersburg, Florida, USA – “I am very saddened to hear this news about Maria.  Maria is a leader and I have always known her to be a woman of great integrity.  Nevertheless, as Maria acknowledged, it is every player’s responsibility to know what they put in their body and to know if it is permissible.  This matter is now in the hands of the Tennis Anti-Doping Program and its standard procedures.  The WTA will support the decisions reached through this process.”

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BNP Paribas Open – Maria Sharapova Withdraws and Wildcards Named

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

(March 3, 2016) World No. 7 Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open due to a left forearm injury.

 

“I am extremely disappointed that I am unable to compete in this year’s BNP Paribas Open,” said Sharapova. “I have been focused on healing my left forearm injury and tried to get my body to be 100% ready to play this event, as it is one of my favorite events on the WTA and so close to my home in LA.  I know the tournament will be a great success this year and I will be anxious to return next year and hopefully many years after.”

With Sharapova’s withdrawal, Mariana Duque-Marino moves into the main draw.

Eight Americans, along with two-time BNP Paribas Open Champion Daniela Hantuchova and former British No. 1 Heather Watson, were awarded wildcards into the BNP Paribas Open, to be held March 7-20 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, it was announced by CEO Raymond Moore.

Americans who were granted wildcards into the main draws include Rajeev Ram, who reached the finals of Delray Beach last month; Frances Tiafoe, the youngest player in Top 200 of the ATP World Tour rankings; Mackenzie McDonald, a former collegiate standout at UCLA and Pac-12 Player of the Year; Samantha Crawford, who reached the semifinals at Brisbane in January; Alison Riske, who reached the finals at Shenzen earlier this season; Lauren Davis, who reached the third round of the 2016 Australian Open; Jamie Loeb, who won the 2015 NCAA Singles title at the University of North Carolina; and Shelby Rogers, who reached the finals at Rio de Janeiro in February.

 

2009 U.S. Open Champion Juan Martin del Potro, American Taylor Fritz and Australian Open quarterfinalist Zhang Shuai were previously awarded wildcards into the main draw.

 

Grand Slam Champions Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Ana Ivanovic and Petra Kvitova were granted wildcards into the doubles draws. Murray teams with Colin Fleming, Wawrinka pairs with Mahesh Bhupathi, Ivanovic partners with Kirsten Flipkens, and Kvitova will play with Denisa Allertova.

 

There are also three more men’s and two more women’s qualifying draw wildcards to be distributed. Two of those qualifying wildcards will be given to the men’s and women’s winners of the BNP Paribas Open Challenge, the pre-qualifying event for the tournament.

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Serena Williams Beats Maria Sharapova to Reach Australian Open Semifinals

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(January 26, 2016) Serena Williams won her 18th straight match against Maria Sharapova on Tuesday 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals of the Australian Open.

The beginning of the contest looked promising for the world No. 5 Sharapova when she opened the match with a 2-0 lead. The defending and six-time Australian Open champion Williams won 12 of the next 15 games to seal the win.

“I just started slow,” Williams said. “I missed three or four easy shots. I felt like, All right, I didn’t make those shots, but if I had made those shots I probably would have won that game.

“I just clung onto that and knew I could play better.”

“It was super intense,” Williams said after the match. “You have to come out with a lot of fire and intensity.”

In between sets, the defending champion had a visit from the doctor on-court. “I was just dealing with some food poisoning issues from a few days ago. That was it.”

Each of the six times Williams has reached the semifinal stage of the Australian Open, she has gone on to become the champion.

The 34-year-old Williams hit 31 winners to Sharapova’s 11, winning a total of 70 points during the match to the five-time major winner’s 52.

“She played quite explosive,” Sharapova said. “Thought at times, you know, when I got in the rally I wasn’t moving forward, wasn’t cutting the angles off enough.

“She got herself back in the points.”

Asked about how she can reverse her record against Williams, Sharapova said: “Keep setting opportunities. Keep getting to the point where I have an opportunity to play against her. Keep finding a way to turn that around. If I don’t have that chance then I don’t have the opportunity to try something different.”

“Well, it’s obviously always frustrating,” Sharapova commented on her poor record against Williams, now 2-19. “I mean, it’s motivating. It’s tough to sit here 30 minutes after the match and talk about the match, but that’s part of my job.

“It’s motivating because she’s at a different level. She makes you go back to the drawing board, not just for me, but for many other players. She makes you work. That’s inspiring.”

“Something about her game, ” Williams said of the 18-match streak against Sharapova. “I like the way she hits the ball. Plus, when I play her, I know automatically I have to step up my game. I think that makes me play better. When I play better, when I’m forced to play better, I don’t know, I do well.”

So what’s the Russian’s schedule before the U. S. hardcourt season in March? “I’m going to go and take care of my forearm first. I think that’s really important. I’m going to go to Moscow (for Fed Cup), be part of the team. I don’t think I’ll be playing. Then I’m not sure.

“But I think this will be a time to just get myself ready for a long year. I don’t see myself playing anything before Indian Wells.”

The world No. 1 and 21-time major champion will match up against Agnieszka Radwanska in her semifinal.

Radwanska beat Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals for her second appearance in the Melbourne final four.

Radwanska who is 0-8 against Williams commented about her next match: “Right now I have nothing to lose. Hopefully (I’ll) play my best tennis, otherwise I’ll be in big trouble.”

“She got the better of me at Hopman Cup,” Williams said. “It will be a good match. She’s been playing really well towards the end of the year, and already this year she’s been very consistent.

“She presents a completely different game, an extremely exciting game. So I think it will be a long match and it will be a good match to see where I am.”

“I didn’t think I’d be playing at this age,” said the 34-year-old. “But I’m still here and I’m doing well. I think that’s the reason I am still playing, because I know that I’m capable, you know, if I play well, of being on top.”

 

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Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova Reach Milestones with Wins at Australian Open

 

(January 22, 2016) Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova reached milestones on Friday at the Australian Open. Federer became the first male player to post 300 wins in majors with his 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over 27th seed Grigor Dimitrov. The four-time Australian Open champion trails Martina Navratilova who leads overall with 306 victories at majors.

“It’s very exciting, I must tell you,” Federer said. “Like when I reached 1,000 last year, it was a big deal for me. Not something I ever aimed for or looked for, but when it happens, it’s very special. Yeah, you look deeper into it, I guess, where it’s all happened and how. Yeah, so it’s very nice. I’m very happy.”

The Swiss who currently sits at No. 3 in the world is now 5-0 against the Bulgarian Dimitrov. Federer hit 48 winners against Dimitrov.

Federer faces No. 15 David Goffin for a spot in the quarterfinals.

No. 5 and 2008 Melbourne champion Maria Sharapova became just the seventh woman in the Open Era to post 600 match-wins when she held off American Lauren Davis 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-0 in a third round match.

“Wow. I’ve won 600 matches?” Sharapova asked, in her on-court interview. “Is this like a friendly reminder that I’m getting old?”

She told media: “I think it’s a proud number. I’ve played for many years. I don’t think about those numbers until I finish the match and someone does mention it. I think it’s a good fact that I’ve been able to win that many matches.”

The Russian was up a set and a break when the American began to turn the match around.

“I felt like I made it a little bit more difficult than I should have,” said the five-time major champion. “I definitely had a letup at 2-1, 30-Love. You know, felt like I was hitting the ball well, doing the right things to get in that position, then let up. In a Grand Slam environment against anyone you can’t expect to get away with it, and I didn’t in the second set.

“But overall really happy with how I came out in the third and stepped up, considering it’s been, you know, many weeks since I’ve been in that position. So I was happy with the way I finished.”

Sharapova will take on No. 12 Belinda Bencic in the fourth round. The Swiss defeated Kateryna Bondarenko 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska had a competitive first set and then dominated the second set to take down Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig 6-4, 6-0. The woman from Poland has reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open for the sixth straight year.

Radwanska will take on Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany next, who upset 13th seed Roberta Vinci 0-6, 6-4, 6-4. Vinci ended Serena Williams’ bid for a calendar Grand Slam when she defeated the world No. 1 in the semifinals of the U.S. Open.

 

On the men’s side, seventh seed Kei Nishikori had to take a medical time out for his wrist, but reached the fourth round at the Australian Open with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 26 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

“It was little bit sore in the beginning, but after the treatment it was fine,” Nishikori said. “I’m sure it’s going to be okay. Yeah, it was a really tough match. There was many long rallies.

“I have to give a lot of credit to him, because he was hitting really hard. I thought he was going to hit more spin, but he was hitting a lot of flat balls and it was going in.

“So it was, you know, tough to play. But I start playing much better in the third and fourth. I tried to dictate little more, tried to step in and use more forehands, and I think I able to come in many times today.”

The 2014 U.S. Open finalist will play the 2008 Australian Open finalist – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4).

Tsonga says that he expects a tough battle from Nishikori as always.

“Every time we played, it was a good fight,” Tsonga said. “We have a different style. Anyway, yeah, it’s going to be good I think – for spectator, for sure. For us, we’ll see.”

No. 15 David Goffin beat No. 19 Dominic Thiem 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5 for his first victory against a Top 20 player at a major.

More to follow…

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In Their Own Words – Players Reactions to Allegations of Match Fixing

(January 18, 2016) On Monday at the Australian Open, players were asked to respond about allegations cited in reports by BBC and BuzzFeed News that tennis authorities have suppressed evidence of match fixing and ignored possible cases involving players ranked in the top 50, including winners of majors in singles and doubles.

 

Here are some of the reactions from players in their news conferences which include Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams, as well as the specific questions asked.

 

Are you aware of reports today that there is possibly match fixing allegations within professional tennis? Would you be surprised to learn of something like this happening?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just heard about it today, just as a warning that I might be asked about it. But that’s literally all I have heard about it.

Have you ever seen any hint of that, any indications of that at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not that I’m aware of. When I’m playing, I can only answer for me, I play very hard, and every player I play seems to play hard.

I think that, you know, we go –you know, as an athlete, I do everything I can to be not only great, but, you know, historic. You know, if that’s going on, I don’t know about it. You know, I’m kind of sometimes in a little bit of a bubble.

 

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

There was a report today which suggested there was a problem with match fixing in tennis. Would you be surprised to learn there was a problem with match fixing on the tour?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it is. I didn’t know anything. It’s a little bit surprised, but, I mean, obviously I never, you know, involve with this. Actually I have no idea what’s going on.

So it’s — yeah.

 

We all turned up today to see the reports of the allegations of match fixing in tennis. What is your take on it? None of these players have been identified. Do you feel bad that it casts a shadow over everybody?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t think so. Honestly I’ve heard about the story and I read that there were a couple of players mentioned who are not active anymore, talking about the matches that have happened almost 10 years ago.

Of course, there is no room for any match fixing or corruption in our sport. We’re trying to keep it as clean as possible. We have, I think, a sport evolved and upgraded our programs and authorities to deal with these particular cases.

I don’t think the shadow is cast over our sport. In contrary, people are talking about names, guessing who these players are, guessing those names. But there’s no real proof or evidence yet of any active players, for that matter. As long as it’s like that, it’s just speculation. So I think we have to keep it that way.

Q. In 2007 you were quoted as saying you’d been offered $200,000 to throw a first-round match in St. Petersburg. I believe you didn’t actually even play in the tournament. Can you clarify that and tell us what happened.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I was not approached directly. I was approached — well, me personally. I was approached through people that were working with me at that time, that were with my team. Of course, we threw it away right away. It didn’t even get to me, the guy that was trying to talk to me, he didn’t even get to me directly. There was nothing out of it.

Unfortunately there were some, in those times, those days, rumors, some talks, some people were going around. They were dealt with. In the last six, seven years, I haven’t heard anything similar.

I personally was never approached directly, so I have nothing more to say about that.

Q. As a young player on your way up, how did that make you feel, even be indirectly associated with it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It made me feel terrible because I don’t want to be anyhow linked to this kind of — you know, somebody may call it an opportunity. For me, that’s an act of unsportsmanship, a crime in sport honestly. I don’t support it. I think there is no room for it in any sport, especially in tennis.

But, you know, I always have been taught and have been surrounded with people that had nurtured and, you know, respected the sport’s values. That’s the way I’ve grown up. Fortunately for me, I didn’t need to, you know, get directly involved in these particular situations.

Q. (Question regarding attending Zupska Berba wine festival with friend Ilija Bozoljac.)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I’m not so sure. Yeah, Ilija is a good friend of mine. I grew up with him. I drink more water than wine, I must say. So although I like to enjoy every once in a while a glass of wine, not more than that.

I’m sure it’s a great festival. For now I don’t really have time. But I do enjoy my life. I don’t know if you question that. But I assure you that I enjoy my life.

Q. You’re someone who takes your role as an ambassador for the sport really seriously. You care about the message you put out there. Does it make you uncomfortable at all that this Grand Slam has a betting company as one of its big sponsors? There’s so many ads, even on Twitter.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, this is a subject for discussion, I think, today and in the future. It’s a fine line. Honestly it’s on a borderline, I would say. Whether you want to, you know, have betting companies involved in the big tournaments in our sport or not, you know, it’s hard to say what’s right and what’s wrong.

One of the reasons why tennis is a popular and clean sport is because it has always valued its integrity. Protecting that integrity was one of the highest priorities of each and every leadership that was part of the association. I think especially in the Grand Slams that are and always have been the most valued and respected and known tennis tournaments around the world throughout the history of this sport.

You know, I know that there is also many betting companies that on the websites are using the names, the brands, images of tournaments and players and matches in order to profit from that. Tennis hasn’t been really getting the piece of that cake, if you know what I mean.

It’s hard to say. I don’t have yet the stand and clear opinion about that. I think it is a subject of discussion. We’ll see what happens.

Q. We’ve known you for a long time. You always tell it like it is. But how can tennis go to some 137th ranked player who has been struggling on the circuit and tell him don’t double-fault, don’t throw a point here or there, when the top officials themselves go to a betting company and take that money and send an obvious mixed message to everyone?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s the first time that I hear something like that. Obviously I can’t speak about that from this position where I don’t have the support of the facts and information and evidence, you know. Obviously you hear some stories here and there.

From my knowledge and information about, you know, the match fixing or anything similar, there is nothing happening on the top level, as far as I know. Challenger level, those tournaments, maybe, maybe not. But, you know, I’m not entitled to really talk about it. I can give my opinion. But there is an organization, authorities, people who take care of that on a daily basis and make sure to track it down.

It’s always a choice for a tennis player, an athlete or any person in life. You know, even though it seems that you don’t, but you always have a choice, especially for somebody who is on the tennis court, whether or not you’re going to accept something that is going against everything that the sport stands for.

I would always make the right choice. But I can only speak on my own behalf.

 

 

I’m sure you’ve heard that today there’s been new stories and allegations about match fixing in tennis. As a lot of it happened under your watch when you were head of the Player Council, what is your latest take on it?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know exactly how much new things came out, to be quite honest. I heard old names being dropped. That story was checked out. Clearly you got to take it super serious, you know, like they did back in the day. Since we have the Integrity Unit, it puts more pressure on them that a story like this broke again.

But I don’t know how much new things there is out there. It’s just really important that all the governing bodies and all the people involved take it very seriously, that the players know about it. There’s more pressure on these people now maybe because of this story, which is a good thing.

Under my watch, I mean, we discussed it early on. I actually never heard about it until it was brought up at a player meeting when somebody came and spoke about it. I was like, Okay, came totally from left field. Had no clue what it was about. Didn’t sort of know it existed. I hadn’t been approached.

Doesn’t matter whether I’ve been approached or not, I haven’t. It’s a bit farfetched, all these things. Clearly for a few years now we know this is very serious. Got to do everything about it to keep the sport clean. It’s vital, there’s no doubt about it.

You made your views clear on not being probably spent enough on doping, anti-doping. Do you think there’s enough being done with the TIU, enough resources and men?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know the numbers. Really, you can always do more. It’s like I can always train more. There’s always more you can do. So a story like this is only going to increase the pressure. Hopefully there’s more funding to it. That’s about it. Same as doping. Yes, absolutely, got to be super aggressive in both areas, no doubt about it.

You’ve always called for a level playing field in tennis or other sports. But still perception is so important. How can tennis ask players not to be involved in gambling and yet take one sponsorship deal after another and have big signage promoting betting companies at events?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. It’s a tough one, you know, to talk about one or the other. In some ways they’re connected. In some ways they’re not connected at all. It depends on how you really look at it.

Betting happens all across the world in all the sports. The players just need to know, we need to make sure the integrity of the game is always maintained because without that, I always would say, why do you come and watch this match tonight or any match, because you just don’t know the outcome. As long as we don’t know the outcome, the players, fans, it’s going to be exciting. The moment that gets taken away, there’s no point anymore to be in the stadium.

That’s why it’s super important to keep it clean. In terms of having sponsors around there, I guess there is a lot of money there. Maybe, who knows, could it be helpful maybe? I don’t know. This is a question for more people in suits than a guy in a track suit, I don’t know.

If you got wind of someone you knew was offered or fixing matches, would you tell the authorities straightaway?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, well, I guess so. It’s important that person, how he’s been approached. He needs to feel he’s been supported by the tour, or whatever the governing body is, that there’s a place he can go and speak about it. It’s uncomfortable, not a fun thing. It’s not like, Oh, I’ve just been approached, it’s all cool, and we don’t talk about it.

I think it’s really important that you get supported and get also told how to manage that. So, yes, I guess I would encourage that person to go and say something, otherwise I would say something or I would encourage us to go together or whatever. I would be very helpful in this situation because it’s a very tricky situation to be in.

Is there anything inside the ATP that talks to younger players, older players, that gives advice on how to deal with people who approach them about match fixing?
ROGER FEDERER: You have the ATP University I went to. It was a three-day training thing. I had it in Monaco back in the day. I know they still have it at the end of the year. There was a time they stopped doing it. They were more handing out CDs and explaining everything. It was about everything: how you handle the press, how you handle financially maybe down the road, your fitness, the tour in general. They explain how things are done. Then part of that definitely today is this one as well, the doping issues as well. It’s just like with the whereabouts you, how important, how serious it is. They educate you there.

So I’m sure match fixing is also a priority in those meetings. All the guys that came up, I don’t know exactly the age, like the first to break into the top 100 maybe, or you’re close to that, you get asked to do it. You have to come and show up at the end of the year, which is a great thing. I wasn’t in favor of them handing out CDs because that just ends up being in a drawer at home. They’re taking it serious again like they did with me back in the day.

Honestly, for me it was very helpful to be there. I wasn’t happy to go there in the first place, but I made friends there. I felt supported by the tour. I learned things. For me it was more about the press, how to handle that, to see the press as an intermediary from us to the fans rather than looking at the press as the bad guy.

For me it was very educational. I hope it’s the same thing for the young guys coming up.

When you’re not top 100 or 150, it’s tough to stay alive on the circuit without finding other ways. That’s probably the reason why, even if we wouldn’t accept, it happens. Don’t you think the problem should be to find some more money for those people who are not top 100? Challengers, minor tournaments, it’s there where they try to fix.
ROGER FEDERER: I completely disagree with you. I think you don’t understand. It doesn’t matter how much money you pump into the system, there’s always going to be people approaching players, or people, any sport. It’s all a question of money, you know.

It doesn’t maybe happen at the challengers. It’s going to happen at the futures. It’s going to go away if you offer $1 million for every player to play at every tournament? It’s not going to change a thing.

Still might be approached. That’s why I think you’re wrong there, that more money there is going to solve the issue completely.

I agree we should have more money at futures, challengers, all these levels. But it’s not going to solve the issue. The issue is elsewhere, in the player’s mind.

Among the allegations in the report was some of the suspected match fixers were Grand Slam singles and doubles players. Is it surprising, that element, that they’re saying Grand Slam champions are being involved?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, it’s like who, what. It’s like thrown around. It’s so easy to do that.

I would like to hear the name. I would love to hear names. Then at least it’s concrete stuff and you can actually debate about it. Was it the player? Was it the support team? Who was it? Was it before? Was it a doubles player, a singles player? Which slam? It’s so all over the place. It’s nonsense to answer something that is pure speculation.

Like I said, it’s super serious and it’s super important to maintain the integrity of our sport. So how high up does it go? The higher it goes, the more surprised I would be, no doubt about it. Not about people being approached, but just people doing it in general. I just think there’s no place at all for these kind of behaviors and things in our sport. I have no sympathy for those people.

 

Today there are a lot of discussions and debates about this match fixing story that came out. Of course, people like you who are top 100 or 10 or so were never in the position to survive getting fixed matches. What do you think? Do you think it exists at the minor level, when someone has to stay from 120 to 180 for five, six years, having to pay maybe a coach, transportation?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, honestly, I really hope not. I mean, to me the sport itself has always meant a lot more than money. I know that the more successful you are and the more matches you win, the more prize money, the more money you will receive.

But ultimately that’s never been my personal driving factor in the sport. There’s just so much more on the line. There’s the competitiveness. There’s the challenge of being better. There’s playing in front of thousands of people, playing you against somebody across the net and you trying to win that match.

When you’re out there, it’s not about money.

 

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

What I’m asking is, when you are not a player of your standard, playing in front of thousands of people.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don’t think it really matters what level you are. The sport itself is meaningful. It’s our career. It’s our job. I mean, I guess I can only speak for myself, but we want to succeed at it by improving, by getting better, by beating our own best, and not by anything else.

That’s how I would hope everyone else would think, as well. Make it a better and more competitive sport.

We have the situation where tennis, to its great credit, asks players at all levels not to be involved in gambling. Yet our leading organizations go out and get their own money, so to speak, but getting sponsorships from Betway and other companies. Players aren’t willing to say that’s a bad thing.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I personally don’t understand that. It’s not that I’m for or against it. As you know, I’ve had many great opportunities to work with great brands in my career. That’s just not a direction that I’ve ever followed. I don’t even know if I’ve had the chance, because I know my management would shut that down very fast. It’s so far away from any of my interests, everything I want to be a part of and the people I want to work with. It has to be true and real. That’s just not something I would ever associate myself with.

My question is, with all respect, do you think in terms of the sporting public out there, do you think it’s a problem to have signage and sponsors that say betting?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I’m not in their seat. I’m not in the organization’s seat. It’s tough for me to speak about it.

 

Sam Stosur

Q. The match fixing allegations, Novak said his team historically had been approached to throw a match. Have you ever been?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Never been asked. Never heard of anyone being asked. Don’t know anything about it.

Related Article:

Media Statement From Tennis’ Governing Bodies in Reaction to BBC and BuzzFeed News’s Report on Match Fixing

 

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Defending Champions Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams Open Australian Open Defenses with Wins

 

(January 18, 2016) World No. ones and Australian Open defending champions Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams made straight set starts in Melbourne on Monday. Novak Djokvic dominated teenager Chung Hyeon of South Korea 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 while Williams stopped No. 34 ranked Camila Giorgi 6-4, 7-5.

Coming into Melbourne, knee inflammation forced Serena Williams to withdraw from Hopman Cup. The 21-time major champion had not played a competitive match since she lost in the semifinals of last year’s U.S. Open, falling short or claiming a calendar Grand Slam.

Williams responded to media questions about her knee:It’s great. It was an hour and 43 minutes and I didn’t feel it at all.”

I think I served well today,” Williams said. “I think, you know, I got broken once, but other than that, I was able to stay focused on that part. And I was able to serve really well and that really helped me.”

Williams gave herself an “A for effort,” for her win.

“I have played her (Giorgi) a couple of times before, and just wanted to be as consistent as I could.”

Williams has won the Australian Open six times.

 

Djokovic who is trying to win a sixth title at Melbourne had to beat the heat as well his opponent, with temperatures in the 90’s (93 Fahrenheit).

“Having to play somebody for the first time, especially somebody that is as young as him, he’s only 19, you know, it can be tricky,” Djokovic said. “Obviously getting out on the court and playing against a player that has nothing to lose.

“His baseline game is very good, very solid, especially from the backhand side. Very flat, strong backhand, solid shots, both angles. Once he gets into the good rhythm, he can serve well.

“He’s a pretty tall guy. For somebody of his height, he moves very well, as well. He can play equally well from defense to offense. And he’s one of the players that people are talking about as a potential top player in the future.

“He’s got that potential, no question about it. As I said on the court, he needs experience, he needs more time.”

Chung said: “Great honor to play with Novak. He’s No. 1 in the world. He’s my idol. It was good experience to play with him.

“I’m just trying to fight every point, because too tough to win one games. Great experience. Great test to start season.”

Four-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer had an easy time with Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 in the night session. In the process, the world No. 3 is playing his 65 straight major, a record.

“That was a good match,” Federer said. “I’m really pleased how I was able to play. Definitely gives me a bit of a lift in confidence, you know, because this year I haven’t been able to play properly yet. I mean, I had some decent matches in Brisbane, but it was all under, you know, sort of a cloud knowing that I wasn’t 100%.

“But this was a match where I was able to focus, you know, on my game, on tactics, all that stuff. So it was nice to play that way.”

Federer will play Alexandr Dolgopolov in the second round.

“I think it’s going to be very tough, to be honest,” Federer said. “I’ve practiced with Dolgopolov in the off-season in Dubai. Had some great practice sessions together there, this year and last year. I know him very well. This is going to be a different challenge than the first round. This was more of an unexperienced player today, but still dangerous and still a good player.

“But Dolgopolov is a different player, a different level. He’s been there before. He’s got the fitness, the power, the speed, tennis IQ, all that. It’s going to be a big challenge.

“Curious to find out if it’s going to be day or night because that plays a big part in how it plays out. I feel it plays very different day to night, the conditions. Yeah, I’m ready for a very tough match, to be quite honest.”

No. 4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska is into the second round at Melbourne Park with a 6-2, 6-3 win over American Christina McHale as is two-time major champion Petra Kvitova. Kvitova, who had to withdraw from the Shenzhen Open, a warm-up event before the Australian Open, defeated Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum 6-3, 6-1. The Czech lost to her in three sets back in 2014.

Kvitova, who had to withdraw from a warmup tournament in China because of a stomach virus, said her preparation was disrupted and she was nervous ahead of the rematch with Kumkhum.

In the night session, Maria Sharapova had no problems against Nao Hibino 6-1, 6-3. Sharapova did not play a warm-up tournament before the Australian Open due to a left forearm injury.

There were some upsets on the women’s side. No. 16 Caroline Wozniacki lost to 76th-ranked Yulia Putintseva 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-4, No. 17 Sara Errani fell to Margarita Gasparyan 1-6, 7-5, 6-1, No. 22 Andrea Petkovic lost to Elizaveta Kulichkova 7-5, 6-4,  2013 quarterfinalist 24th seed Sloane Stephens had no answers Chinese qualifier Wang Qiang who won 6-3, 6-3, 25th seed, Australian Sam Stosur was beaten by qualifier Kristyna Pliskova 6-4, 7-6(6), 26th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was eliminated by American Lauren Davis 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 and No. 27 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova went down 6-3, 6-3 to Daria Kasatkina in the first round.

 

No. 7 Kei Nishikori beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. He’ll play friend Austin Krajicek in the next round.

Actually, it’s great to see him, especially on Grand Slam,” Nishikori said of the American. “We can play each other it’s great because, you know, because we train together when we are really young, like when we were junior(s).
“It’s going to be not an easy one.”

“It’s always tough to play with friends. Actually tougher than maybe top 10 players.”

Other men’s seeds advancing included No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych and No. 15 David Goffin. No. 22 seed Ivo Karlovic retired from his match with a left knee injury trailing Federico Delbonis 7-6 (4), 6-4, 2-1.

In the upset of the day on the men’s side of the draw, 19-year-old wild card Noah Rubin from Long Island, New York, ranked 328th in the world dismissed 17th seed Benoit Paire 7-6(4), 7-6(6), 7-6(5) for his first main draw win at a major

More to follow….

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