Nadal, Serena hit US Open semis

Defending champion Rafael Nadal dug deep to win the longest match of this year’s US Open in a classic five-set quarterfinal against Dominic Thiem – which finished at 2:03am local time. World number one Nadal lost the opening set 6-0 after being outpowered by the Austrian ninth seed in New York. However, the 32-year-old Spanish top seed recovered to lead two sets to one before Thiem levelled in a tie-break. Nadal edged a tense fifth-set tie-break to win 0-6 6-4 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5). He will play Argentine third…

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US Open: Serena, Nadal in good start

Six-time champion Serena Williams made her return to the US Open with a clinical first-round win over Poland’s Magda Linette. Williams, 36, missed her home Slam last year, giving birth to daughter Olympia shortly after the tournament started. Opening Monday’s night session at Arthur Ashe Stadium, she won 6-4 6-0 against her 68th-ranked opponent. The 17th seed will meet Germany’s Carina Witthoeft in the second round. Also, men’s defending champion Rafael Nadal moved into the US Open second round after fellow Spaniard David Ferrer’s Grand Slam farewell was ruined by…

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Wimbledon: Nadal maintains top spot with De Minaur victory

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal raced past Alex de Minaur 6-1 6-2 6-4 to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon and retain his place at the top of the world rankings. Two-time champion Nadal was clinical on Centre Court and looks to be finding his best form as the grass-court grand slam heads towards the latter stages. Although the scoreline was a little harsh on teenager De Minaur, he was simply unable to stay with the second seed in all three sets. Having not been beyond the last 16 at the All England…

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Nadal survives Kukushkin test

Rafael Nadal was made to work hard by Mikhail Kukushkin despite a straight-sets win in the second round at Wimbledon. The world number one has not been past the fourth round at the All England Club since 2011, but he overcame a significant obstacle en route to the third stage on Thursday. Nadal was pegged back in the first set and trailed in the third, before eventually prevailing on each occasion, the second seed rescuing break points throughout against a dogged rival. Kukushkin deserved more than a 6-4 6-3 6-4…

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11th French Open title, a dream – Nadal

Rafael Nadal has described winning the French Open title for an 11th time as a “dream” after he dismantled Dominic Thiem in straight sets in Paris and also indicated that he intends to defend his title in 2019. The world number one required less than three hours to shake off his Austrian opponent, prevailing 6-4 6-3 6-2 in Paris. Nadal will be 33 when the tournament rolls around next year, but he has no intentions of hanging up his racket just yet, as he told the Roland Garros crowd he’ll…

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French Open: Nadal beats Del Potro to set up Thiem final

Top seed Rafael Nadal will bid for a record-extending 11th French Open title after breezing past fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals. Nadal, 32, won 6-4 6-1 6-2 to set up a meeting with Austrian seventh seed Dominic Thiem in Sunday’s final. The Spaniard, who has only lost twice in 87 matches at Roland Garros, beat the Argentine in just over two hours. Nadal is only the second man after Roger Federer to reach 11 finals at the same Grand Slam. Thiem, 24, will contest his first…

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French Open: Halep, Stephens hit final

Nadal,del Potro clash in semis World number one Simona Halep has another chance to finally land her first Grand Slam title after beating Garbine Muguruza in the French Open semi-finals. The Romanian, 26, won 6-1 6-4 against the Spanish third seed. She will now face Sloane Stephens in Saturday’s final after the US Open champion beat Madison Keys 6-4 6-4. Halep has lost three previous Grand Slam finals, including two at Roland Garros in 2014 and 2017. The Romanian arrived in Paris as the top seed and the leading player…

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French Open: Nadal remains on course for 11th title

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal has recorded another dominant win at the French Open with the Spaniard seeing off Richard Gasquet to reach the fourth round. Nadal is looking for his 11th title at Roland Garros and the world number one dropped just seven games in registering a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory. Gasquet played his part in the opening set but two breaks of serve were enough for Nadal to seize the advantage and it set the tone for the remainder of the contest. The 31-year-old dropped just three points on serve in…

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French Open: Djokovic wins, rain stops Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic made the second round of the French Open after beating Brazilian qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva. The former world number one, seeded 20th at Roland Garros, went 2-0 down at the start of the first two sets but recovered to come through 6-3 6-4 6-4. The injury-hit Serb, 31, has not won a Grand Slam title since his victory in Paris in 2016. Meanwhile, Stan Wawrinka, another former champion who has struggled with injury, lost his opener. The Swiss 23rd seed, who overcame Djokovic in the French Open final…

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Nadal beats Djokovic to reach 10th Rome final

Rafael Nadal closed in on an eighth Rome Masters title as he dismissed old rival Novak Djokovic 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 on Saturday to reach the final for a record-extending 10th time. The last-four success will give the Spanish top seed added confidence ahead of the French Open, where he has won a record 10 titles.   Nadal, still unbeaten in semi-finals at the Foro Italico, unleashed a trademark clay-court attack after winning a tight first set lasting well over an hour. “I need to be able to play my best…

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