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Australian Open: Pouille credits Mauresmo after quarter-final win

6 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Lucas Pouille hailed new coach Amelie Mauresmo for bringing him "a lot of confidence" after Wednesday becoming the first Frenchman to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2010. The 28th seed fought back from a break down in the first set to stun 16th seed Milos Raonic 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4 and reach the last four of a Slam for the first time. The 24-year-old had never won a match at Melbourne Park before this year but will on Friday face Novak Djokovic for a place in the final. "I think she's bringing a lot of confidence to my game, to my personality, to my state of mind," he said of the Frenchwoman, who won the singles crown at Melbourne Park in 2006. "As I said at the beginning, the goal is not to reach the final, the semi-final, the goal is to improve my tennis, to put into a match what I work on during practice. "That gives me less pressure. I'm just trying to focus on my game, not on the consequences and the results." Pouille recruite..
                 

Mahesh Bhupathi: India will not be intimidated by Italy in Davis Cup

6 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
India may be much below Italy in rankings, but their non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi Wednesday said his players will not be intimidated by their European opponents in the Davis Cup Qualifiers here next month. Keeping in mind Italians' weakness on grass, India have opted for grass courts in South Club here for the February 1-2 fixtures which will be played in new format with the winners making a cut to the 18-nation finals in Madrid next year. "Nothing can be taken for granted. We are underdogs but my boys will not be intimidated. I feel we have a better chance," Bupathi told reporters on the sidelines of the first practice session of the team at the Calcutta Gymkhana Club. "I think my boys are experienced enough that when Davis Cup comes into play ranking is not really a factor. They have all played at the highest level now, both Ramkumar (Ramantahan) and Prajnesh (Gunneswaran) have played Grand Slams and Tour events," the 44-year-old the multiple Grand Slam champion in doubles sa..
                 

PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal make winning starts in Jakarta

7 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
The Indian trio of PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth dished out superb performances on the opening day to advance to the second round of the USD 350,000 Indonesia Masters World Tour Super 500 badminton tournament here Wednesday. Olympic and World Championship silver medallist Sindhu opened the new season with a fighting 22-24 21-8 21-17 win over 2012 London Games champion Li Xuerui of China in a 54-minute women's singles match. The second seeded Indian will now be pitted against Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska Tunjung. Eighth seeded Saina, who had reached the semifinals at the Malaysia Masters last week, recovered from a first-game loss to secure a 7-21 21-16 21-11 win over local hope Dinar Dyah Ayustine, ranked 50th, in another women's singles match. It was Saina's third win over Ayustine. The 28-year-old from Hyderabad will next face another Indonesian Fitriani Fitriani, against whom she has a 4-0 head-to-head record. In men's singles, eighth seed Srikanth eased past Malays..
                 

Serena Williams after Australian Open exit: Pliskova just went crazy

8 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Serena Williams denied choking after falling victim to one of the greatest ever comebacks yesterday, saying she was powerless as Czech foe Karolina Pliskova just went crazy and stormed into the Australian Open semi-finals. Serena had Pliskova on the rack serving at 5-1 in the third set but the seventh seed fended off four match points to bounce back 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 and end the American's latest bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam. "She just played lights out on match point, literally hitting lines," Serena said. "[Pliskova] just went for it, just went crazy on match point. She just played unbelievable." Did not choke: SerenaSerena said there was nothing she could do against an opponent in such form. "I can't say that I choked on those match points, said Serena. "She literally played her best tennis ever on those shots." The American, 37, made a slow start and conceded the first set, but had recovered and looked set for a hard-fought win before a desperate Pliskova went on the s..
                 

Australian Open: Rafael Nadal marches on into semis

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Ruthless Rafael Nadal brutally swatted aside a bright young star in the Australian Open quarter-finals, before setting his sights on the leading new kid on the block, Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Spanish second seed continued his relentless progress by slaying giantkiller Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in just 107 minutes of power-packed, precision tennis. And Nadal, 32, warned Tsitsipas, 20, who knocked out Roger Federer in the fourth round, to be ready as the Spaniard would be at his best in Thursday evening's semi-final. Petra Kvitova 'Need to play my best'"For me is always the same: you are in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam, you can't expect an easy opponent. Stefanos is one of the best players of the world. To have the chance to be in that final, I need to play my best, and that's what I am looking for," he told reporters. The Spaniard has been in irresistible form in Australia in his first tournament since limping out of the US Open and having foot surgery. "I feel lucky to be..
                 

Everyone's going crazy over tennis stars Elina and Gael's love match

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
A blossoming romance between new tennis power couple Elina Svitolina and Gael Monfils has fans begging for more, with the pair obliging by setting up a joint Instagram account. Ukrainian sixth seed Svitolina revealed last week that she is dating French star Monfils after he was spotted in her player box at the Australian Open. "He's there for me, he's supporting me, and I'm there for him as well," she said. "He understands, I understand, what we're going through. It's great." The news sent social media into overdrive and the pair have now launched a joint Instagram account 'g.e.m.s life' - Gael Elina Monfils Svitolina - which quickly racked up thousands of likes. The pair posted a video montage of the two of them going about their daily lives together and did a Q&A with fans. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. M..
                 

Novak Djokovic: Daniil played some great tennis

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Novak Djokovic dropped a set for the second match running but survived a tough examination by 15th seed Daniil Medvedev yesterday to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals. The World No. 1 won 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-3 and will face Japan's eighth seed Kei Nishikori for a place in the semi-finals. Djokovic and Medvedev both needed attention from the trainer during a draining 3hr 15min match liberally sprinkled with punishing rallies of 30 shots or more, and one of 42 strokes. "That was a physical battle," said a relieved Djokovic, who crucially saved three break points from 2-1, 0-40 in the pivotal third set to break the tenacious 22-year-old's resolve. "Daniil played some great tennis. He has a great backhand and doesn't make any unforced errors on that side. It was hard to find another way to get through him. In these kinds of matches you just have to hang in there." "It was kind of a cat-and-mouse game for most of the match. We had rallies of 40, 45 exchanges. That's why I think..
                 

Bernard Tomic's dad threatens Lleyton Hewitt with legal action

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Bernard Tomic has called Lleyton Hewitt a "liar" after the Australian Davis Cup captain claimed he had been blackmailed and physically threatened by the firebrand, whose father Saturday said he planned legal action against the veteran. The explosive allegations on Thursday by Hewitt followed an ugly war of words in which Tomic claimed the two-time Grand Slam champion had ruined the national system and "no one likes him any more". Hewitt responded by calling Tomic "a clown", while alleging he attempted to blackmail him by demanding wildcards and threatening to refuse to play Davis Cup. He also said he and his family had been physically threatened. "I think the threats that I have received for me and my family, that I've had for a year-and-a-half now, I don't think anyone would reach out to a person that speaks like that," said Hewitt, with their relationship in tatters. Tomic told the Herald Sun newspaper late Friday: "I have never threatened his family. "Nice, Lleyton. To think..
                 

Australian Open: I misconducted myself verbally, says Novak Djokovic

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Top seed Novak Djokovic admitted he should have "known better" than to let a floodlight row get to him after copping a code violation during a mini-meltdown in the Australian Open on Saturday. The Serb angrily blamed floodlights for dropping a tournament set for the first time as he beat Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 in the third round. He seethed when leading 3-0 in the third set against the 25th-seeded Canadian when the powerful lights blazed on all around Rod Laver Arena — in broad daylight. An incandescent Djokovic lost his focus, swore towards a wise-cracking fan and dropped six of the next seven games as the red mist descended under bright sunshine. "I think there was no sense to turn on lights on court at 5pm when we have another four hours of daylight," fumed the Serb 17-time Grand Slam winner. "Completely unnecessary to turn on the lights. The explanation I got was for TV reasons. I hope the viewers enjoyed it," he added. Djoko warnedThe normally mild-mannered D..
                 

I'll get some breakfast: Muguruza after record Aus Open late show

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza emerged triumphant in the latest women's match ever held at the Australian Open after defeating Briton Johanna Konta in the early hours of Friday morning. Muguruza and Konta's match on Margaret Court Arena did not start until 12:30 am Friday morning -- a record at the season-opening Grand Slam -- and finished with a 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 7-5 victory for the Spaniard two hours and 42 minutes later at 3:12 am. The start was delayed when the men's match between Alexander Zverev and Jeremy Chardy turned into three hour 46 minute epic, ending 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (6/8), 6-1 for Germany's Zverev. "I'll go get some breakfast now," Muguruza joked after wrapping up the win to set up a third-round clash with Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland. The previous record for the latest start was set last year when a second-round match between Daria Gavrilova and Elise Mertens began at 11:59 pm. The latest end to a match at any Grand Slam was also at Melbourne Park..
                 

Australiain Open: Sizzling Sharapova sets up Wozniacki date

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova's scintillating return to form continued yesterday as she powered into the Australian Open third round to set up a mouth-watering clash with defending champion Caroline Wozniacki. Sharapova, who is seeded 30th at the tournament and seeking to recapture former glories after coming back from a drugs ban in 2017, brushed aside Swede Rebecca Peterson 6-2, 6-1. Sharapova has only conceded three games en route to round three at Melbourne Park, where she won the title in 2008 and has reached the final a further three times. Caroline Wozniacki serves against Johanna Larsson in Melbourne yesterday. Pics/AFP "I'm really happy the way I performed today and obviously it's always great to be back on this court. Overall, I thought I played a really solid match." The pair emerged on Rod Laver Arena late in the night due to a long-running men's match, meaning only a smattering of fans were there to cheer on the former World No. 1. Dane Wozniacki, who i..
                 

Australian Open: Serena has fences to mend, Osaka downs bugs

8 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Serena Williams has fences to mendSerena Williams might need to mend some fences with Tatjana Maria after humiliating the German 6-0, 6-2 in the first round at Melbourne Park. The pair are neighbours at Florida's Palm Springs and have young children. who are playmates. However, Serena did not let emotion hinder her bid for a record-equalling 24 Grand Slams. Japan's Naomi Osaka hits a return against Poland's Magda Linette during their women's singles match on day two of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 15, 2019. Pic/AFP Osaka beats bugs tooJapanese fourth seed Naomi Osaka overcame a nervous start and distraction from flying bugs to ease into the Australian Open second round yesterday. The US Open champion downed Magda Linette of Poland 6-4, 6-2 in just under an hour to set up a meeting with Tamara Zidansek of Slovakia in the next round. Croatia's Ivo Karlovic celebrates his victory against Poland's Hubert Hurkacz during their men's singles match on d..
                 

Serena Williams slammed on Twitter for bold outfit

8 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Serena Williams has a knack of always being in the news, and it is not laways due to her tennis skills. The American all-time great trends for her fashion sense on court too. Serena Williams always manages to make a statement with her outfits at various Grand Slams and Australian Open 2019 is no exception. Serena Williams, who is in search of her 24th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open 2019, invited the ire of trolls on Twitter for her outfit in the match against Tatjana Maria on Day Two of the Slam in Melbourne Park, Australia. When asked by one of the journalists in the post-match conference, whether her dress is a 'Leotard'? Serena Williams gave a powerful statement saying it was a 'Serenatard' This is how some of the users on Twitter reacted: She talks about #sexism and is wearing an outfit you only see in bars with red lights 🏩🔞So disgusting!!!#AusOpen #Serena #SerenaWilliams — 🇩🇪TennisFan🎾 ..
                 

Australian Open: Wozniacki, Sharapova seal easy victories

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Caroline Wozniacki fought back tears after launching her Australian Open defence with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win over Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium yesterday. The third seed won her maiden Slam at Melbourne Park last year but has since been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The Dane, who is bidding to become the first woman to defend the title since Victoria Azarenka in 2013, showed no outward sign of the illness as she eased past world number 52 Van Uytvanck in straight sets. Meanwhile, five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova warned she cannot be written off after serving a 6-0, 6-0 "double bagel" to Britain's Harriet Dart in the first round. Russia's Maria Sharapova The Russian arrived at Melbourne Park as the 30th seed after failing to impress at Grand Slam level since returning from a doping ban in 2017. But Sharapova, 31, shrugged off the scorching Australian conditions to prevent Dart winning a game. In another match, second seed and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber was ..
                 

Australian Open: 'Serena Williams not clear favourite'

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Australian great Margaret Court has predicted nerves could undermine Serena Williams' bid to match her record 24 singles majors at Melbourne Park, clearing the way for an outsider to snatch the title. She disputed the bookies' assessment that Serena is red-hot favourite to lift the Australian Open trophy for an eighth time, taking her overall Grand Slam tally to 24 and equalling Court's mark. "I think it's possible for Serena to equal me, if anybody's going do it, it's Serena, but I don't think there's a clear-cut favourite," Court said. "I think it's a pretty open tournament and I think an outsider can win it." Williams, 37, has won 23 singles Grand Slams since 1999 — seven Australian Opens, three French Opens, seven Wimbledons and six US Opens. Court, now 76, won 24 singles Grand Slams from 1960-73 — 11 Australian Opens, five French Opens, three Wimbledons and five US Opens. However, 13 of Court's titles came before 1968, when the women's game entered the Open era and ..
                 

Australian Open: Roger Federer warns opponents: I'm playing good tennis

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Ageless Roger Federer said Sunday he was in a confident mood and warned his rivals he was "playing good tennis" as he aims for a third successive Australian Open title. The Swiss master enjoyed a successful Hopman Cup warm-up in Perth and knows that at even the grand old age of 37 he has a great chance of a record seventh Melbourne crown and 21st major victory. "I'm playing good tennis. I'm confident that I think it needs a good performance by my opponent probably to beat me," said the third seed, who opens his defence against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in Monday's night match on Rod Laver Arena. A buoyant Federer revealed he had enjoyed a successful break coming into the 2019 season. "Throughout my career, I've been very lucky that in the off-seasons I never had any setbacks," he told reporters at Melbourne Park. "What I can say is the off-season was great for me. I think maybe it showed a little bit at the Hopman Cup already. Again, look, I'm playing tomorrow. We'll see how it's goi..
                 

Kvitova beats Barty to win second Sydney title

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Petra Kvitova outlasted Ashleigh Barty in a final-set tiebreak to win the Sydney International for the second time on Saturday. The Czech 2015 champion and fifth seed fought back from dropping the opening set and an early break in the final set to beat the top-ranked Aussie, 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) in two hours 19 minutes. It was a gutsy performance from the two-time Wimbledon champion who only finished her semi-final against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the early hours of Saturday. Kvitova had beaten Barty both the previous times they played, including in the Birmingham final in 2017, but she had to dig deep to win her eighth straight final, coming back from an 0-3 deficit in the final set. "I left everything out there. I was cramping in the end. It wasn't the best," Kvitova said. "She's Aussie, so she used to these conditions. I played three times in the night, so for me it was totally different conditions, which from the beginning I feel very, very slow. "So it just took me a while to get ..
                 

Sania Mirza promotes sister Anam Mirza's fashion label on Instagram

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Sania Mirza posted photos on her Instagram stories, where she is seen promoting her sister Anam Mirza's fashion label in Bengaluru. Sania Mirza's sister Anam Mirza is often seen on Sania Mirza's social media feeds, spending time with her sister. Sania Mirza and Anam Mirza share a very close bond. Although she is Sania Mirza's sister, Anam Mirza is a star in her own right She has 1,15,000 followers on Instagram and is often in the news for her posts. Anam Mirza is a fashion stylist and is a fashion curator at Label Bazaar. She is the one behind Sania Mirza's style statement on and off court. Sania Mirza got married to Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik back in 2010. Their marriage was met with much trolling and backlash from a few section of fans from both countries, but nevertheless, they went strong. The couple announced they were pregnant in April 2018. Sania Mirza gave birth to a baby boy on 30th October 2018. Catch up on all the latest T20 news and updates here. Also downloa..
                 

Prajnesh gets close to Australian Open main draw; Ramkumar, Ankita bow

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
In-form Prajnesh Gunneswaran inched closer to his maiden Grand Slam appearance with another straight-set win but Ankita Raina and Ramkumar Ramanathan were ousted from the Australian Open Qualifiers after suffering narrow defeats, here Thursday. Prajnesh, seeded sixth, got the better of Spain's Enrique Lopez Perez 6-3 6-3 in the men's singles second round. "I played a better match than yesterday and remained solid throughout. I broke three times and there were not too many games where my serve was in danger. I played good mentally as well," Prajnesh told PTI. "I did the right things, attacked when I got chances. Looking forward to the final round tomorrow," he added. The world number 112 will next take on Japan's Yosuke Watanaki, ranked 192 in the world. If Prajnesh wins tomorrow's match, it will be his first main draw competition at a Grand Slam. He unfortunately missed out on playing at 2018 French Open when as a lucky loser he made the main draw but since he had left Paris and ente..
                 

Andy Murray plans to retire and Australian Open could be his last event

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray on Friday announced that he plans to retire after this year's Wimbledon but fears next week's Australian Open could be the final tournament of his career. Murray, who is struggling to recover from a hip surgery, was in tears as he spoke to journalists here, the BBC reported. "I'm not sure I'm able to play through the pain for another four or five months," said the Scot. "I want to get to Wimbledon and stop but I'm not certain I can do that." Murray conceded: "I'm not feeling good, I've been struggling for a long time. "I've been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now. I've pretty much done everything I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn't helped loads. "I'm in a better place than I was six months ago but I'm still in a lot of pain. I can still play to a level, but not a level I have played at." Murray also ruled out becoming a doubles player in the future, ending the possibility of him teaming up with older brother J..
                 

When Sania Mirza's father went for a jog in formals

15 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
                 

Tennis star Ana Ivanovic: It's called home when we come together

18 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
For tennis star Ana Ivanovic, 31, and footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger, 34, their home is where their heart is. Currently, the couple stay in America, as Schweinsteiger plays for the Major League Soccer club Chicago Fire. They also own a villa on the island of Mallorca in Spain. In a recent interview for Vogue magazine, when the couple were asked what home means to them, Ivanovic replied: "For me, being at home means being where your heart is and where you feel most comfortable. For us, the feeling of home comes when we are together." Meanwhile, Bastian said: "My home is where Ana and my son are, I'm thankful every day for the time we spend together. The three of us are a family and create our own home." Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates..
                 

AITA challenges Somdev to implement his vision

19 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
If Somdev Devvarman has a better vision for Indian tennis than AITA, who is stopping him from implementing it, questioned the national tennis federation, which also accused the former player of bias. Somdev recently had asked what was AITA's vision for sport in country, suggesting the federation had not done enough to lift the game in the country. In a sarcastic response, Chatterjee said one must ask Somdev when and where he won his first tournament. He said that it was the All India Tennis Association (AITA), which brought hundreds of tournaments to India and players like him moved up the ranking ladder by competing in those events. "As far as the vision is concerned we brought international junior, men's and ladies events to our country and organised the same at our cost. Our players benefited, including Somdev," Chatterjee told PTI. "Ask him which was his first junior & men's international event he won and where. We also have an internationally recognised development program fo..
                 

Serena Williams posts inspirational message for working moms and dads

21 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Serena Williams has posted an inspirational New Year message to mums and dads juggling parenthood with work, saying, "anything is possible". The 23-time Grand Slam champion began 2019 in Perth at the mixed teams Hopman Cup, with baby Alexis Olympia in tow. She posted this picture of herself and her daughter to her 10.4 million followers on Instagram, holding her child as she stretched her leg. Williams, 37, wrote: "As I head into next year it's not about what we can do it's what we MUST do as working moms and working dads. Anything is possible. I am getting ready for the first match of the year and my dear sweet baby @olympiaohanian was tired and sad and simply needed mama's love. So if it means warming up and stretching while holding my baby that's what #thismama will do. My fellow moms and dads working - or stay home it's equally as intense - but you inspire me. Hearing your stories makes me know I can do this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This year is to you! What are so..
                 

Roger Federer on playing Serena Williams: It was great fun

22 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Roger Federer took the honours in the much-anticipated mixed doubles clash with fellow great Serena Williams in what the latter described as the "match of her career" at the Hopman Cup in Perth yesterday. In the biggest mixed doubles drawcard in the 31-year history of the tournament, in what is expected to be its final edition, Federer teamed with Belinda Bencic to win the match in straight sets under the Fast4 format and win the Group B tie for Switzerland. With 43 Grand Slam singles titles (Williams 23, Federer 20) and more than US$200 million in prize money between them, the two had welcomed the chance to face each other on the court in an official match for the first time. As it turned out, the tie was decided by the mixed doubles, after both Federer and Williams won their earlier singles matches. A capacity crowd of 14,064 turned out for the tie, and they saw Federer and Bencic largely capitalise on the mixed doubles inexperience of Williams' teammate, Francis Tiafoe, to clinch ..
                 

My daughter is the most important thing in my life, says John Isner

24 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
American tennis ace John Isner has revealed that fatherhood has changed his priorities in life. Isner, who married Madison in December last year, welcomed daughter Hunter Grace in September. Isner said that he wants to continue playing tennis as he wants his daughter to see him in action. "She [Hunter Grace] is definitely the most important thing in my life now, but I have to continue my career and when she grows, I will be able to bring her with me; my calendar will not be affected," Isner, 33, told Tennis World USA. Meanwhile, he also revealed his career options if he wouldn't have taken up tennis professionally. "Before being a professional tennis player, I wanted to be a TV reporter to preview and cover sports. I would still like to do it. At the moment, I will focus on my career. I have a lot of years left," he added. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates..
                 

Australia down France 2-1 in Hopman Cup

25 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Local favourite Matthew Ebden's come-from-behind win ensured Australia beat France on the opening day of the mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth Saturday. Ebden came from a set down to beat the higher ranked Lucas Pouille as he and Ashleigh Barty beat the French duo of Pouille and Alize Cornet 2-1 in their Group A tie. World number 15 Barty had given Australia the early ascendancy with a polished straight-sets win over Cornet, a former Hopman Cup winner. Ebden then secured the tie for the host nation by coming from a set down to beat Pouille, who went cold after a blistering start. Ranked 46th in the world, Ebden was playing in front of his hometown crowd and turned the match by snaring the second set tie-breaker after looking likely to be blown away by Pouille early. Ebden raced to a 6-2 lead in the tiebreaker and then held off the 32nd-ranked Frenchman to level the match. He continued that good form into the third set, claiming two breaks of serve to win 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2. Ebden was ..
                 

Eugenie Bouchard shares sexy holiday photos from Hawaii

one month ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
                 

Australian Open to have final set tie breaks

one month ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
The Australian Open is going to have final set tie-breaks from its upcoming 2019 edition. According to the new rules, the final set will be decided after six-games-all with the longer of the tiebreak formats which means that the first player to get ten points after 6-6 would be declared as the winner. Tournament director Craig Tiley said that the decision was taken after extensive consultation with those associated with the game. A ten-point tie break at six-games-all gets approval as this format is expected to give fans a special finale to epic contests, Tiley added. 'We asked the players ' both past and present, commentators, agents and TV analysts whether they wanted to play an advantage final set or not, and went from there,' Australian Open official website quoted Tiley, as saying. 'We went with a 10-point tiebreak at six-games-all in the final set to ensure the fans still get a special finale to these often epic contests, with the longer tiebreak still then allowing for that o..
                 

I'm shelving self-care for now: Brooklyn

one month ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
American model and actress and wife of tennis star Andy Roddick, Brooklyn recently said she wants to put in the hard yards now for a better future. Decker, 31, who will be starring in the Netflix show Grace and Frankie which will be released in January, is the cofounder of Finery, a virtual wardrobe management app. The mother of two, Hank, 3, and Stevie, 1, said it's fine to priorities work over everything else. "My point with self-care is that I think women, specifically, have relationships. They have friendships. They have careers. They're wearing a million different hats, so to add one more thing to that to-do list to make you feel like you're failing I think is not healthy," Decker was quoted as saying by Pagesix.com. "For me, right now, my life is completely chaotic. I have a one-year-old and a three-year-old and two jobs," Decker said. "I'm going to shelf self-care for now. Knowing that if I work my butt off right now, there's going to be a day - a time - where I can a take a s..
                 

I do not have a girlfriend: Former tennis star Marat Safin

one month ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Former World No. 1 tennis star Marat Safin, who is currently a Russian politician, has revealed that he prefers to stay alone and is not in any relationship. "I do not have a girlfriend and a wife either. I do not want it, I have no wish for that. I am not ready for it. I like the way I live. I do not want to build any relationship with no one. I do not want to share my personal life. "I do not want to share my things. I only want to live for myself, travel, not be connected to anyone. I live totally free. Now, I need time, I need to rest. I had a long relationship and then I decided that I want to live for myself," Safin told Sports.ru. Safin added that he stays away from social media too. "I do not have a Twitter account. I am not on Facebook. Life is mine, just for me. At home I read newspapers, I read. Many documentaries are on YouTube. This is what I have been doing in the last two or three years and I am perfectly okay with it," he said. Catch up on all the latest sports news ..
                 

Wig and shades keep Naomi Osaka under cover in Japan

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Naomi Osaka says she needs to wear a wig and sunglasses to stay anonymous in Japan since her profile soared into the stratosphere after her stunning victory at the US Open. Her achievement in New York made her the first player from her country to win a major, and with it came fanatical support. She's not complaining, but took precautions when back there recently. "I mean, I didn't really walk outside. I just went in the car and stuff," she said after winning through to the quarters of the Australian Open yesterday. "When I did, I went at night and had a wig on. For me, it was very fun." She said the wig was her sister's idea. She was, like, 'You know what you should do? You should bring this wig and if you want to walk around, just throw it on and put on some sunglasses'. I personally think she was making it a bigger deal than it had to be. Honestly, I feel like people don't look at other people when they're walking around," she added. Catch up on all the latest sports news and upda..
                 

Australian Open: I have massive regrets, says Roger Federer after loss

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Swiss great Roger Federer denied yesterday that his defeat to Greek young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas signalled a changing of the guard as he announced he will play the French Open this year for the first time since 2015. The 20-time Grand Slam champion was shocked by a man 17 years his junior in the Last 16 of the Australian Open 6-7 (11-13), 7-6 (7/3), 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) on Rod Laver Arena. But Federer, the defending champion, played down suggestions it was the beginning of the end for a man who has dominated the sport for so long. "I've heard that story [for] the last 10 years. From that standpoint, nothing new there," he said. And in a signal that he is hungry for more, Federer, 37, said he planned to play on clay again this year for the first time since 2015. "It's a bit of a desire. I'm in a phase where I want to have fun and I've missed not doing it," he told reporters of the French Open. He missed Roland Garros in 2016 with an injury and skipped the clay season the last two years. "I..
                 

No ID, no entry: Roger Federer stalled by steward

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Maybe Roger Federer isn't as famous as we thought. Turns out that even he must carry his tournament ID to get where he's try to go at the Australian Open. Rules are rules, after all. So what if Federer is a six-time champion at Melbourne Park ... the owner of 20 Grand Slam titles in all ... a man who's spent more weeks ranked No. 1 than any other ... and one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet? A video showing Federer stopped by a security guard in a hallway outside a locker room at the Grand Slam tournament made the rounds on Twitter on Saturday, drawing a mix of amazement and amusement. In the clip, the guard is seen indicating to Federer that he was missing his Australian Open accreditation pass. Players, coaches, officials, members of the media and others are given lanyards with badges that have a name, a photo, tournament role and a bar code that can be scanned at security checkpoints. Federer didn't argue. He stood patiently, waiting until he was joined by members..
                 

Australian Open: Maria Sharapova overcomes Caroline Wozniacki

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Maria Sharapova denied revenge was a motivating factor behind her shock win over defending Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki yesterday. The five-time Grand Slam winner dumped the Dane from the tournament in a three-set thriller 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to claim her biggest scalp since completing a drugs ban in 2017. At the time, World No. 3 Wozniacki was an outspoken critic of the way the WTA eased Sharapova's return from the positive test by handing the Russian wildcards to top tournaments. But Sharapova, who is seeded 30 at Melbourne Park this year as she tries to rejoin the game's elite, insisted the spat was not on her mind as she bundled out the Dane on Rod Laver Area. "I just really like winning," Sharapova, 31, said. "I'm really happy and proud of the way I competed today and I'm into the fourth round. That's all that matters." The win sets up a last 16 clash with in-form Australian hope Ash Barty for the Russian, who won the title at Melbourne Park in 2008 and has reached..
                 

Australian Open: Serena Williams blitz leads to Eugenie Bouchard exit

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Serena Williams stormed past Canada's Eugenie Bouchard and into the Australian Open third round Thursday as her quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title gathered pace. The American won 6-2, 6-2 in 70 minutes, setting up unseeded Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska as the next hurdle in her bid for another major to equal the mark set by Australian great Margaret Court. The 37-year-old won her 23rd major Down Under two years ago while two months pregnant and is the bookies' favourite to claim an eighth Australian title, despite being seeded 16th. Williams said she was wary of Bouchard, who is on the comeback trail after a slide down the rankings to number 79 in the world. "It wasn't an easy match tonight, Eugenie's been to the final of Wimbledon (in 2014) and the semi-finals of other Grand Slams," she said. "So I knew 'Serena, you've got to come out hot, you've got to come out firing, she's a really good player and I haven't had many matches since last year'." The signs look..
                 

Australian Open: Sloane Stephens loses her way

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Fifth seed Sloane Stephens said she was desperate to improve her "terrible" Australian Open record after advancing to the third round at Melbourne Park on Wednesday. The American has endured a horror run since reaching the semi-final in 2013, exiting in the first round in 2015, 2016 and 2018, then also missing 2017 with a foot injury. But she was hopeful her fortunes were improving after posting a second round 6-3, 6-1 win over former doubles partner Timea Babos of Hungary. "I haven't won a match here in how long?" she said. "I'm kind of conquering all the places where I've been terrible. Asia. I've won a few matches there (reaching the decider at the WTA Finals in Singapore). And here, I played well today. "I know I haven't done too well here in the last couple of years, so to do well is nice. I'm putting the emphasis on starting the year on a good foot." Stephens had to work hard for the win over Babos, despite the deceptively one-sided scoreline. "I knew I had to be patient, her ..
                 

Australian Open: Krueger was very competitive, says Novak Djokovic

8 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Novak Djokovic began his bid for a record seventh Australian Open title in emphatic fashion yesterday, crushing 230th-ranked American Mitchell Krueger to set up a showdown with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The World No. 1 had reached the Australian Open second round for 13 consecutive years and that streak was never threatened by the qualifier, who caved in 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena. Mitchell Krueger Djokovic, appearing in his 300th Grand Slam match, did drop his second service game to go 1-2 behind in the first set but broke back immediately and went on to record his 259th match win in a major against a gritty but outclassed opponent. "Playing him for the first time I didn't know what to expect," said the Serbian top seed. "He was very competitive and I had to work hard," he said. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. ..
                 

Australian Open: Andy Murray takes a dig at Nick Kyrgios

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Andy Murray proved he hasn't lost his sense of humour despite chronic pain from a hip injury forcing him into retirement this year. The three-time Grand Slam winner came across long-time mate Nick Kyrgios in a restaurant and posted a photo on Instagram of the Aussie eating alone with the caption: "[Nick Kyrgios] having dinner with all his mates." Despite coming across as dour, Murray is known to enjoy a laugh. It's game over... oh, not yet!Britain's Katie Boulter had an embarrassing moment when playing the first ever final-set tiebreak at Melbourne Park. Instead of continuing until one player leads by two clear games, third sets for women and fifth sets for men now go to a super tie-break when the score reaches six games all with the first to 10 points triumphing. But the message didn't get through to a confused Boulter who celebrated win over Russia's Ekaterina Makarova when she reached the normal seven tiebreak points. She approached the net to shake hands, only to be told the matc..
                 

Maria Sharapova loves a man who can make her laugh

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova has claimed that she is quite a simple person to date, unlike what people may perceive given her celebrity status. "I'm much simpler than what I look like: if a man makes me laugh, and therefore makes me happy, he has a very good chance of becoming a lover," said Sharapova, who is currently dating British businessman Alexander Gilkes. Alexander Gilkes The couple have been reportedly in a relationship since 2016. Sharapova elaborated on some of the other qualities that she likes in her man. "I like someone who knows how to surprise me and who opens my eyes to things I did not know or did not think," she told Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera recently. The conversation veers towards her retirement. Has she thought about when she will hang her racquet?. "The last match, last handshake, last clap. It will be will be a strong emotion but I haven't thought about it," she said. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download t..
                 

Andy Murray promises Australian Open ticket to fan

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
British tennis ace Andy Murray promised to give a fan tickets to his Australian Open matches after a disappointing show during a practice session in Melbourne recently. The former World No. 1 announced on Friday that he may retire this year due to severe pain from a hip injury. A fan, Jordyn Kollmorgen, through Instagram, shared his excitement of finally seeing Murray live during the practice. "Still in absolute shock that I finally got to see the man behind my love for tennis in action today," Kollmorgen wrote. "It was Muzza that showed me just how entertaining tennis really could be and for that I thank him with my whole heart," added Kollmorgen. Murray saw the post and commented: "I'm sorry I couldn't be more entertaining. Thanks for the support. If you'd like to come along and watch my match, I'll sort you a ticket." That's sweet! Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates..
                 

Can Roger Federer and Serena Williams dominate Australian Open 2019?

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
On the eve of the Australian Open 2019, we take a look at some of the usual suspects to take the crown. We also take a look at a few dark horses that can make this Australian Open a Grand Slam to remember. We check out the usual suspects first: Roger Federer: The Swiss ace is in better form than his arch rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Roger Federer would love to start off his 2019 campaign with his 21st Grand Slam Rafael Nadal: After ending the 2018 season early and pulling out of the Brisbane International, Rafael Nadal raised concerns about his participation at the Australian Open 2019. But he shrugged off all rumours by saying, "If I am not feeling good, I will not be here". Serena Williams: Serena Williams is back at the Australia Open for the first time after becoming a mother. 2018 was a mediocre year for the 23-Grand Slam champion, with the most talked about issue being her ugly spat with the chair umpire in the final of the US Open 2018, a match which she lost..
                 

Australian Open: India's Prajnesh enters maiden Grand Slam main draw

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Outlining his growth as a player, a consistent Prajnesh Gunneswaran sealed his maiden appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam by qualifying for the Australian Open men's singles event here Friday. The 29-year-old from Chennai came from behind to beat Japan's Yosuke Watanuki 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 in the third and final qualifying round. Prajnesh is only third Indian in five years to feature in the men's singles main draw of a Grand Slam, the other being Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri. While Yuki played in all four Grand Slams in 2018 before a knee injury cut short his season, Somdev, who is now retired, last played at the 2013 US Open. "It's obviously huge for me. First time ever in a Grand Slam main draw, something I have always dreamt of. I am really happy, don't have words to describe it but it's big deal for sure," Prajnesh told PTI. "I am very proud that I stuck to it and put in all this work. I got here much later than most people do. I had the tennis to reach here, now just n..
                 

Sania Mirza: My son Izhaan can be a doctor or whatever he wants to be

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
The journey back to the top won't be easy, says star player Sania Mirza, who is targetting a return to competitive tennis by the end of 2019 season. Sania recently had her first child with cricketer-husband Shoaib Malik. The winner of six Grand Slams has started training. The 32-year-old Hyderabadi says she has to juggle many a roles and it is a demanding task. "Well, I have been able to play these roles thick and fast. I have been a wife for a while. I have become mother just now. I am trying to get back to the top level. I know, it is not going to be easy, but nothing is worth than doing it," Sania told PTI. "My realistic goal is to make a comeback to the sport. Probably by the end of this year it may happen. Earlier I had talked about my return by 2020. There was a reason for that. I didn't want to put pressure on myself and still don't," she said. Sania said her life has changed completely after giving birth to her son Izhaan. "Life changes a lot when you have an infant in the h..
                 

Spanish police arrest 28 tennis players connected to fixing

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Spanish authorities arrested 83 people, including 28 professional tennis players, suspected of being involved in a bribery and match fixing scheme linked to an Armenian organised crime gang, Spain's police and Europol said yesterday. Authorities launched the operation, codenamed Bitures, in 2017 when the Tennis Integrity Unit, an anti-corruption body, flagged irregular activities in the ITF Futures and Challengers tournaments. One of the suspects participated in the last US Open. "The suspects bribed professional players to guarantee predetermined results and used the identities of thousands of citizens to bet on the pre-arranged games," Europol, which supported the Spanish operations, said. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reli..
                 

Sydney International: Angelique Kerber survives Camila Giorgi scare

15 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
World number two Angelique Kerber edged past Camila Giorgi of Italy in their closely-contested opening match of the ongoing Sydney International tournament here at the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre on Tuesday. The 30-year-old registered a 7-6(3), 6-2 win over her Italian opponent to advance further in the tournament. With a better first serve percentage in the opening set, Giorgi cracked 22 winning points taking a 3-1 lead in the first set. Making a smashing comeback, Kerber whacked four consecutive backhand shots and nullified the advantage of the Italian player. As the set headed towards a tie-breaker, Kerber began to strengthen her grip on the match. Her experience came to fore in the match as she defeated Giorgi 5-0 in the tie-break round to clinch the first set 7-6 (3). The second set saw the German player not breaking much sweat as she registered an easy 6-2 win. The Italian player took an initial lead of two pints but once Kerber¿s firing forehand came into play, ..
                 

Caroline Wozniacki: My David sees well in everything

17 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Denmark's tennis ace Caroline Wozniacki recently opened up on her relationship with former NBA player fiancee David Lee and called him a very positive and energetic person. The World No. 3 got engaged to David in December 2017. "I think David is very positive and he has a lot of energies and he sees well in everything and people in general," Wozniacki was quoted as saying by Elle Magazine. "He is a very open person and he is a big help when it comes to my tennis, and he never said in any moment that there are things that I should not or I cannot do." Earlier, the former World No. 1 said she wanted to have a big family with David. "I want to be a good fiancee, a good daughter and a great tennis player. At this point, I keep short goals. I would love to have a big family and step away a little from the spotlight," she had said. Also read: Caroline Wozniacki eyes acting after retirement; wants big family with fiance Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Al..
                 

Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan win maiden ATP tour title

18 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Rohan Bopanna combined his booming serves with exquisite backhand winners during his blossoming partnership with Divij Sharan as the Indian pair won its maiden ATP tour title at the Tata Open Maharashtra on Saturday. Bopanna lost just four points on his serve during the entire title-clash as the top seeded Indians produced a dominating 6-3, 6-4 win over British pair of Luke Bambridge and Jonny O'Maara. This was veteran Bopanna's 18th ATP tour title while Sharan has now won his fourth tournament on the circuit and first on the Indian soil. Bopanna carried the team smartly in this tournament even as Sharan would require to do more when they compete against tougher opponents at the Australian Open. Before this, Bopanna won the Vienna event in October 2017 with Pablo Cuevas and Sharan won the Antwerp trophy with Scott Lipksy in the same month. The Britons had won two titles on the ATP World Tour last year - Stockholm and Eastbourne - and suffered their first defeat in a final. No dramaS..
                 

Zeeshan Ali back in selection committee

20 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Making a U-turn, the national tennis federation has brought back Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali in the senior selection committee after realising that none of the other members had a direct connect with the players on the Tour. At its recent Executive Committee in Gurugram, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) had removed Zeeshan along with head of the panel SP Misra and replaced them with former player Vishal Uppal and Ankita Bhambri. Rohit Rajpal, who was already in the panel, was named as the new chief while Nandan Bal and Balram Singh were retained. "Zeeshan is someone who is always in touch with the players, so we thought we need to bring him back," Rajpal told PTI confirming the development. "From among all the current members in the committee, only he can provide the latest input on the players since he remains in touch with them as Davis Cup coach." Zeeshan replaced Uppal in the five-member committee. Asked if Uppal was taken into confidence before removing him from the panel..
                 

Rafael Nadal withdraws from Brisbane International

21 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Brisbane International on Wednesday due to a strain on his left thigh. 'After a long period of time without competing, I felt a little bit of pain in the leg. I did an MRI, and it shows a very small strain on the left thigh, but it is there' I tried to play and I still wanted to play,' ATP quoted Nadal, as saying. The 32-year-old, who underwent the MRI scan on January 1, admitted, 'There is always a time difference between here and in Spain. So I spoke with my doctors there yesterday. I went to sleep. When I woke up, they were sleeping, so I had to wait until later today to make the final decision.' The Spaniard, however, plans to compete at the Australian Open, which is scheduled to begin on January 14. 'I feel better than four days ago. So the normal improvement is I will be practising. I will probably be 100 per cent in five days' But I really believe that I will be 100 per cent ready for Melbourne,' he said. Nadal has been a..
                 

Sharan returns, Balaji dropped from Indian Davis Cup team for Italy tie

24 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Asian Games gold medallist Divij Sharan is set to play only his second-ever Davis Cup tie and first since 2012 after being included in the Indian team for the World Group Qualifier rubber against Italy, scheduled for February 1-2 in Kolkata. An AITA source told PTI that the new selection committee, led by Rohit Rajpal, has largely gone by the rankings. "It picked the best four available singles players and the top-two doubles player," said the source. Sharan had missed out on playing the Serbia tie due to a shoulder injury. The left-hander from Delhi, ranked 39, will play the doubles alongside Rohan Bopanna, ranked 37th with whom he has paired for 2019 on the Pro Tour. Sharan had made his Davis Cup debut against New Zealand, playing the doubles rubber with Vishnu Vardhan, in India's 5-0 whitewash of the visitors. As Yuki Bhambri continues to miss action due to his knee injury, the singles duty will done by Prajnesh Gunneswaran (110) and Ramkumar Ramanathan (132). Saketh Myneni (259)..
                 

Kerber to auction Wimbledon final outfit for charity

25 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
German tennis star Angelique Kerber, who was recently named German Athlete of the Year for the second time in her career, will auction the outfit she wore when she won Wimbledon. Kerber wore the attire when she beat Serena Williams 6-3, 6-3 in the women's singles final at Wimbledon in July this year. According to Tennis World USA, the proceeds of the auction without any deductions will go to Hanau-based network Inklusion Deutschland, where students with and without disabilities learn together. Fans can bid for the outfit on Europe's largest charity website - United Charity. The United Charity site described the outfit as, "a piece of sports history" and consists of a skirt and a top, both of which are in white, and have been signed by Kerber. The auction will continue till January 14, 2019. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates..
                 

Venus Williams beats sister Serena Williams in exhibition match

26 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Venus Williams prevailed over younger sister Serena 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 in an exhibition match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. Serena, 37, broke 38-year-old Venus' serve twice to win the first set, but faltered in the second, dropping three service games on the way to losing 6-3 here on Thursday, reports Efe. Serena Williams of the US plays the ball to Venus Williams of the US, during the 2018 Mubadala World Tennis Championship match in Abu Dhabi, on December 27, 2018. Pic/AFP The contest went to a super tie-break. While Venus dropped her opening serve, she outlasted Serena to win 10-8. "Serena said I was playing well. I think we can only go up from here and that's our plan," Venus said after defeating the winner of 23 Grand Slam titles. "It was really fun and so good to see everyone come out to support myself and Venus. It was really fun out here," Serena said. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get ..
                 

Sania Mirza shares first photo of 2-month-old son Izhaan on Instagram

one month ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
India's tennis star Sania Mirza, who welcomed son Izhaan with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik in October, shared his picture on social media. "Living life in the fast lane can be fun !!! It's time to say hello to the world. #Allhamdulillah," Sania captioned the Instagram picture on Saturday.       View this post on Instagram Living life in the fast lane can be fun !!! It’s time to say hello to the world 😀 #Allhamdulillah A post shared by Sania Mirza (@mirzasaniar) onDec 22, 2018 at 2:41am PST Sania Mirza and her Pakistan cricketer husband Shoaib Malik welcomed their baby boy in October 2018. It was in April 2018, when Sania Mirza first took to social media to announce that she was pregnant. Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza were married in April 2010, first in a traditional Hyderabadi Muslim wedding ceremony followed by Pakistani wedding customs. Over the years, Sania and Shoaib have faced a lot of backlash from the..
                 

Mom Sania Mirza cannot wait to get back in shape

one month ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
                 

I would move to South Africa if I could, says Roger Federer

one month ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Swiss tennis great Roger Federer has disclosed that he has a special connection with South Africa, where he runs his foundation that works with children in that country. Recently, it was confirmed that The Roger Federer Foundation, founded back in 2004, has reached a historical milestone - by the end of this year one million children will now be benefiting from the programmes promoted by his foundation. When Federer is not travelling across the globe to play in tournaments, he lives in Dubai or Switzerland, but if he could have his way, he would head to South Africa. "When I was 12, my father Robert had the chance to work in Australia in the paper industry. We spoke about it in my family, but in the end we decided not to move because our connections were and are in Switzerland. Today, if I had to move, I would go to South Africa, the country where I already have my passport," Federer told Tennis World USA. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the n..
                 

Slovak tennis beauty Cibulkova: Not pregnant, but an author-to-be!

one month ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Slovakian tennis player Dominika Cibulkova recently announced that she is in the process of writing her memoir with the help of friend Andrea Coddington. Cibulkova, 29, who has won eight WTA singles titles and reached the final of the Australian Open in 2014, insists she will include a wide range of topics in her book. The release date is yet to be decided. "I want to share a big news with you," the World No. 25 wrote on Instagram. "Something I've been leading to for quite a while now. For those who expect that I will say that my time as a professional tennis player is up - not quiet yet. So, I am not pregnant and I'm not ending my career. What I do, though I am working on my memoir - which I believe will be a great read. "Together with my friend and talented Slovak writer Andrea Coddington who knows me very well. It is fun and it is not going to be a tennis bible. There will be everything - my love for tennis, my achievements, my mistakes, my ups and downs, my passion for fashion, m..
                 

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Serena Williams after toppling No. 1 Simona Halep: I never give up

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Serena Williams subdued a stubborn fightback from World No. 1 Simona Halep to take her quest for a record-equalling 24th major into the Australian Open quarter-finals yesterday. The American beat the Romanian top seed 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 in an epic three-setter to line up a last eight clash with Czech eighth seed Karolina Pliskova. It was Williams' first match against a World No. 1 since returning after having a baby in September 2017 and the American showed why many already regard her as the greatest of all time. She unleashed an early onslaught and Halep was in danger crumbling before the French Open champion regrouped for a stirring comeback. "It was an intense match and there were some incredible points," Williams said. "She's the No. 1 player in the world and there's a reason why... (but) I'm such a fighter, I just never give up." Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam Down Under two years ago while two months pregnant and is the bookies' favourite to claim an eighth Australian title, desp..
                 

Ankita bags year's first singles title

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Indian tennis player Ankita Raina yesterday won her first singles title of the 2019 season and eighth overall after trampling top seed Arantxa Rus in straight sets in the final of the USD 25,000 event in Singapore. Coming into the tournament after competing at the Australian Open Qualifiers, Ankita demolished World No. 122 and the Dutch top seed 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 23 minutes. The 50 points earned from the title triumph are likely to catapult Ankita to a career-high singles rank of 168 when the new WTA list is issued on Monday. "I've been working on my serve for a long while now and I think it's starting to help. I also feel there's more power in the strokes. It definitely helped playing the Grand Slam as the first tournament of the year. It gave a lot of positivity and self belief," Ankita said. "Even though I was a bit disappointed that I didn't qualify for the Australian Open since I expected that but I was grateful that I had reached where once I used to imagine I would be p..
                 

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Serena Williams, Simona Halep set up Last 16 Oz Open clash

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Serena Williams marched into the Australian Open Last 16 on Saturday and warned she was still improving after taking time out to console the latest victim of her quest for a record-equalling 24th major. Serena swatted aside Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 6-1 in a Melbourne Park mauling that reduced the World No. 57 to tears. Serena, 37, who is in the hunt for her first Grand Slam since having a baby, comforted the youngster at the net, telling her: "You did amazing, you're gonna make it, don't cry". But Serena, who is in ominous form and has dropped only nine games in her opening three matches, also had a message for her rivals, saying she was not yet at the top of her game. "I think I'm getting there. I don't feel like I'm there yet," she said. "I feel like I'm still getting there." Meanwhile, World No. 1 Simona Halep hit form to cruise past Venus Williams and set up a mouth-watering Last 16 clash with her sister Serena. The Romanian top seed defeated Venus 6-2, 6-3 in o..
                 

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Australian Open: Nervous Novak Djokovic beats Jo-Wilfred Tsonga

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic said he could feel the tension before overcoming his great rival Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 at the Australian Open yesterday in a repeat of their 2008 Melbourne final. The top seed vanquished the Frenchman, who he described as, "one of my greatest rivals", for the 17th time in 23 tour meetings stretching back 11 years and advances to face Canada's 25th seed Denis Shapovalov in the third round. Repeat of 2008 Melbourne finalDjokovic, 31, won the first of his 14 Grand Slams in that final against Tsonga over a decade ago and he said the memories came flooding back as the pair walked back out on Rod Laver Arena. "You could feel the tension on court at the beginning. We felt a lot of emotion," said Djokovic as both players took a trip down memory lane. He said the tension was because he was, "playing on the centrestage against Jo, who I consider one of the greatest rivals that I had throughout my life, my career. "In the first Grand Slam final I had, I pla..
                 

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Prajnesh Gunneswaran top seeded for Chennai Open ATP

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
India's top singles player Prajnesh Gunneswaran headlines the field for the second edition of the Chennai Open ATP Challenger 80 tennis tournament, to be held at the SDAT Nungambakkam stadium here from February 4 to 10. The tournament, to be organised by Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, carries a prize money of USD 54,500. Prajnesh, currently ranked 109 on the ATP list, had recently qualified for the Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam before losing in the first round. Japan's Yuichi Sugita, ranked 145, Courentin Moutet of France (151), Martinez Pedro of Spain (165) and Mohamad Safwat of Egypt (186) would be seeded behind Chennai player Prajnesh, a press release here from TNTA said. The other Indians in the fray are Saketh Myneni, who is on a comeback trail and the young Sasikumar Mukund. The cut-off for the singles draw is 341, the releasesaid. Apart from the Indians in the main draw on the basis of their ranking, four others would also find a place as wild cards. Players fr..
                 

Australian Open: Oz favourite Kevin Anderson knocked out in Round 2

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Fifth seed Kevin Anderson was sent packing from the Australian Open in Round Two yesterday with American Frances Tiafoe prevailing 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5. The South African, a Wimbledon finalist last year, struggled with an elbow injury early in the clash and couldn't cope with Tiafoe's power and finesse. World No. 39 Tiafoe, who is into the third round at Melbourne Park for the first time, equalling his best ever Grand Slam result, next plays veteran Italian Andreas Seppi. "It means the world to me," said the American, who will celebrate his 21st birthday on Sunday and is fresh from playing the mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth with Serena Williams. "I lost to him three times last year and when I was down a set and a break it looked like it would happen again. I dug deep and went to a different place. "It's all about competing, how bad you want it and I want it real bad. I'd love to get to the second week of a Slam for the first time," he added. Anderson warmed up for the Australian Op..
                 

Australian Open: Laura Siegemund stuns Victoria Azarenka in Round 1

8 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Germany's Laura Siegemund ousted former World No. 1 and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka yesterday to advance to the second round of the Australian Open. Siegemund rallied from a set and a break deficit to beat the Belarusian 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2 in a marathon match that lasted for almost three hours, reports Efe news.The German trailed 7-6(5), 4-2 in the opening set but finally walked away with a dramatic victory. "I played a good first set and even though I was up in the tie-break, I let go a little bit and she was right there," Siegemund said after the match. Laura Siegemund 'Stayed focused'"I kind of reset myself and knew I was playing a good match, and I just had to close in those situations. In the third set, I stayed very focused. I knew she wasn't going to hand me the match, and I just had to (take) it," she added. Siegemund will now play against No.28 seed Hsieh Su-wei, who beat Stefanie Voegele in her first round match, 6-2, 6-1. Halep survives scareMeanwhi..
                 

Australian Open: Prajnesh bows out in maiden Slam

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran said he struggled a bit with the sun and that it cost him a lot of games at the Australian Open, ending his maiden Grand Slam appearance in a first round exit. Prajnesh lost to American Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 6-3 yesterday. "It was a good experience. I played a good match, had chances in all sets. I struggled a bit with the sun, [it's] different in Australia for some reason. Found it hard to adjust the serve from one side of the court," Prajnesh said. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever..
                 

Injured Andy Murray bows out of Aus Open after fighting 5-setter

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Gutsy Andy Murray fought to the end before losing an epic Australian Open farewell match 4-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 2-6 at the hands of Roberto Bautista Agut yesterday. The Scot, who said he will retire this season because of chronic hip pain, seemed finished at two sets and a break down to the 22nd seeded Spaniard in the first round but somehow battled back to force a fifth set. Love for Melbourne"Amazing. That was incredible, thank you so much to everyone that came out tonight," the three-time Grand Slam champion said after being swept along on a wave of vociferous support. "Honestly I've loved playing here over the years. If this was my last match, an amazing way to end. I gave everything I had and it wasn't enough tonight." Murray announced on Friday that he would retire at Wimbledon this year, but conceded the Australian Open could be his last tournament, so great have been his injury problems. But he seemed to have a change of heart after a match in which he showed his fighting spiri..
                 

Australian Open opened lot of doors for me: Novak Djokovic

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
World No.1 Novak Djokovic revealed his fondness for the Australian Open yesterday, saying the tournament kickstarted his storied career when he won his first major in Melbourne more than a decade ago. Perhaps prompted by Andy Murray's shock announcement that this year's appearance Down Under will be his last, Djokovic allowed himself to wax nostalgic about the season-opening Grand Slam. His breakthrough came against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2008 and he has won the title five more times since, most recently against Murray in 2016. "It was my first major trophy, that obviously served as a great springboard for my career," said the Serb, who has 14 majors in the trophy cabinet. "It opened a lot of doors for me. It allowed me to believe in myself that I can actually win the biggest tournaments in the world, challenge the best players in the world." Top seed Djokovic, who launches his campaign for a record seventh crown against American Mitchell Krueger tomorrow, said he also enjo..
                 

Rafael Nadal back to full fitness ahead of Oz Open

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Rafael Nadal revealed Saturday he was back to full fitness and has a brand new serve to unleash at the Australian Open. The world number two limped away from Melbourne Park a year ago, forced to retire in pain from his quarter-final with Marin Cilic. The 17-time Grand Slam champion missed most of the next three months and cut short his season to have surgery on a troublesome foot injury. He pulled out of a Brisbane warm-up event with a slight thigh strain but declared Saturday his troubles were behind him. "I feel good. If I am not feeling good, I will not be here," Nadal told reporters two days before the start of the first Grand Slam of the year. "I have good feelings in terms of the surgery. After surgery, after months without competing, having trouble practising, of course there are always issues when you come back. "But it's nothing new for me," added Nadal who admits he has to manage the workload on his creaking 32-year-old body, battered by years of his all-action style. To be..
                 

Andy Murray: Can't play through pain anymore

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
A tearful Andy Murray yesterday announced he would likely retire this year due to severe pain from a hip injury, saying next week's Australian Open could be the last tournament of a glittering career. The former World No. 1 and three-time Grand Slam winner broke down at a press conference in Melbourne as he said the pain had become almost unbearable. "I can play with limitations. But having the limitations and the pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training," the emotional Scot said. Sir Andy, 31, said he would like to finish at his home Grand Slam in Wimbledon, but ruefully admitted he might not make it that far. He will be remembered as the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years and as a player who battled his way to the top in a golden era for the game alongside Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal."Wimbledon is where I would like to stop playing, but I'm not certain I am able to do that," he said. "I've been struggling for a long time. I'm not sure I ..
                 

Serena Williams handed tough draw in quest for record 24th Slam

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Serena Williams has been handed a challenging draw in her quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, starting with Germany's Tatjana Maria in the first round. The American, seeded 16, is gunning to match Margaret Court's record of singles majors and claim an eighth Australian Open crown. But Williams is in a tough half of the draw and could meet world number one Simona Halep in round four, and if she gets through that Karolina Pliskova in the last eight. Before those potential ties, either Chinese wildcard Peng Shui or Canadian Eugenie Bouchard would await Williams in the second round. Halep, who enters the tournament having played just one game in four months after a back injury, was handed a chance to avenge Estonia's Kaia Kanepi, who beat her in the first round of the US Open in August. If she comes through that dangerous opening showdown, she could meet Venus Williams in round three. Defending champion and third seed Caroline Wozniacki starts agains..
                 

Roger Federer feels bringing up children is a 'challenge'

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Tennis icon Roger Federer says he wants to make sure that his children remember what "normal" is as their "lives are not normal". Federer and Mirka have four children — Myla, Charlene, Leo and Lenny. "I need to make sure that my children remember what normal is because their lives are not normal. It's a challenge bringing kids up but we're trying our absolute best," Federer said. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever..
                 

Sharapova's boyfriend Gilkes apologises for being far away from her

15 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
There are reports that Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova could miss the Australian Open due to a thigh injury. But that hasn't stopped her from exploring Melbourne. On Monday, Sharapova posted this picture (above) on Instagram and wrote: "Love all the hidden laneways in Melbs.. [such a local!!] I asked an elderly French couple to take this [because my content providing (officer) isn't here] and in return would take theirs but wifey told me no thank you, we have way too many photos together."       View this post on Instagram Love all the hidden laneways in Melbs.. ( such a local 😝!!) I asked an elderly French couple to take this 📸 ( because my content providing 🐻 isn’t here 😢) and in return would take theirs but wifey told me no thank you, we have way too many photos together 🤷🏼‍♀ï¸ÂðŸ˜„ A post shared by Maria Sharapova (@mari..
                 

Kei Nishikori: Oz Open is the target

17 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Japanese star Kei Nishikori claimed his first title since 2016 when he downed Russia's Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in the final of the Brisbane International yesterday. The Japanese had not won a tournament since Memphis in 2016 and was hampered by a wrist injury the following year. He was runner-up in Brisbane in 2017 but went one better this year in the final. Nishikori said he was pleased with his form heading into the Australian Open, where he has never progressed further than the quarter-finals. Confident Kei"The main goal is to do well in Australian Open, but I'm happy that I've been playing really well this week," Nishikori said. "Even if I lost today, I think I was confident, and some of the matches I played some of the best [players]. So, I'm happy to go in Melbourne, and I feel like it's one of my favourite tournaments there. I feel like I have much support and feel almost home there so I hope I can do well better than quarter-final." Medvedev rues missed chancesMeanwhil..
                 

Roger Federer wins record third Hopman title

18 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Roger Federer became the most successful player in Hopman Cup history when he led Switzerland to a 2-1 win in an enthralling final of the mixed teams event on Saturday. In what is tipped to be the final edition of the unique tournament, the best was saved for last as Federer became the first player to win three Hopman Cups, teaming with Belinda Bencic to make it successive titles in Perth. For the second year in a row, the Swiss beat the German pairing of Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber by claiming a deciding mixed doubles rubber which was loaded with drama. It was Switzerland's fourth title overall, behind only the United States with six. Federer first won the Hopman Cup back in 2001 when he teamed with Martina Hingis. Federer was a dominant figure in an extraordinary doubles match as the Swiss claimed the abbreviated format 4-0, 1-4, 4-3 (5-4) to clinch the title despite Germany having two match points. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download t..
                 

Eugenie Bouchard loves showing fans what she does but...

21 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Canadian tennis beauty Eugenie Bouchard has 1.8 million followers on social media, but she has revealed that the online world is like a double-edged sword. Athletes use platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to let their fans know about their whereabouts and promote their endorsements online. Talking about the anonymous nature of social media, Bouchard, who is ranked No. 87 in the world, told New Zealand's Radio Sport Breakfast show recently: "It's [social media] definitely crazy. We [athletes] are scrutinised on a whole other level. Fans have access to us; they can essentially write to us their unfiltered thoughts. Social media is a very tough world out there so I think it is important to not get too wrapped up in it." Meanwhile, Bouchard, who is fondly known as Genie, added that she prefers to avoid reading what is written online. "I love using it to show my fans what I do; I think it adds another dimension to me as a tennis player. But I do keep a distance in terms of read..
                 

Venus Williams outlasts Victoria Azarenka in Auckland opener

22 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
American tennis star Venus Williams outlasted Belarusian player Victoria Azarenka in a thrilling first-round match at the ASB Classic in Auckland on Tuesday. After surviving a scare, the number six seed had to dig deeper in the match that lasted over two hours to register her first win 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 over the two-time Australian Open champion. ¿Tonight was not easy, maybe one of the toughest first rounds I have ever played. She (Azarenka) has the experience, and for the first match of the year...my goal was to get past this first round, and we need these matches going into the Australian Open. I am hoping that the next round will be fruitful for me, and I already got a goal for 2019,¿ Women's Tennis Association quoted Williams, as saying.¿I would say that my first serve percentage dropped a lot, and she made fewer errors. Both of us, our ranking is not as high, but it doesn't mean that we can't play, regardless of whatever the ranking is,¿ she added. In a ..
                 

Hopman Cup: Federer off to another flyer

24 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Roger Federer made an almost flawless start to his Australian Open preparation with a superb straight-sets win over Cameron Norrie as defending champions Switzerland beat Britain in the mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth Sunday. Federer, who has won the past two Australian Opens off opening his season in Perth, made an early statement in dismantling Norrie 6-1, 6-1 in under an hour in the men's singles, before Belinda Bencic secured the tie for the Swiss with a 6-2, 7-6 (7/0) win over Katie Boulter. The Swiss won the mixed doubles to complete a clean sweep of the tie. The 91st-ranked Norrie was coming off an impressive win over world number 15 Stefanos Tsitsipas the previous day, but had no answer to the brilliance of the Swiss maestro, ranked third in the world. Two breaks of the serve in each set were enough for the 20-time Grand Slam winner to win 6-1, 6-1 in just 57 minutes, just over two weeks out from the year's first Grand Slam. Federer said he'd been in good touch in practice an..
                 

New extreme heat policy introduced in Aus Open

25 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
A new extreme heat policy that dictates when it is safe to play will be introduced at next month's Australian Open to better deal with frequent oven-like conditions on court. The "Heat Stress Scale" will be used for the first time at a Grand Slam to help prevent players from fainting and suffering exhaustion, relying on more weather-measuring devices. New rules will allow for a 10-minute break between the second and third sets in women's singles matches when a four - on a scale of one to five - is recorded on the HSS prior to or during the first two sets of a match. Men will get a 10-minute breather after the third set if a four is reached. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid..
                 

Simona Halep was 'embarrassed to ask for a photo with Roger Federer'

one month ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
                 

Mom Victoria Azarenka puts her son as first priority, tennis is a job

one month ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Two-Time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka has revealed that being a mother to son Leo, two, with former partner Billy McKeague, tops her priority list. Azarenka, who will make her first appearance in Melbourne in three years, will have her son for company Down Under. Victoria Azarenka "Being a mum is my No. 1 priority. Being a tennis player is my job, which is also a very high priority, but I've had this year to kind of test it out and see how I can learn a lot more how can balance my own time and spend time with my son. Leo is a good traveller; he likes to travel, so I'm sure he'll love all the cities and the Australian Open. I'll definitely take him to the zoo so he can see all the cool animals, so it's going to be fun. Australia is one of my favourite places in the world," she told Tennis World USA recently. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates..
                 

Enrique Iglesias, Anna Kournikova put up Miami mansion for sale

one month ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
                 

Caroline Wozniacki wants big family with fiance David Lee

one month ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, who was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, has expressed the desire to try her hands at acting after she retires from the sport. "Acting could be so much fun. Push my limits a little bit," Wozniacki told Vogue magazine. Wozniacki also revealed that venturing into fashion or doing some charity work is also on her mind when she hangs up her boots. Meanwhile, the former World No. 1, who won the Australian Open this year, wants to have a big family with fiance David Lee. "I want to be a good fiancee, a good daughter and a great tennis player. I can't think too far ahead. At this point, I keep short goals. I would love to have a big family and probably step away a little from the spotlight," she said in the interview. The Dane had, earlier, revealed she was suffering from the condition after crashing out of the WTA Finals in October. Wozniacki was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, which causes swelling of the joints and fatigue, befo..
                 

Is tennis star Zverev dating Olga Sharypova?

one month ago  
News / Mid-Day/ Tennis  
Going by the pictures posted by German tennis star Alexander 'Sascha' Zverev and Russian Olga Sharypova on their respective social media accounts, rumours are abuzz that they are dating. Olga was with Zverev at the Shanghai Masters in October, but he had clarified, in an interview with Sky Sports Germany, that there is no romantic relationship between them. However, things seem to have got serious now after they went on a vacation together to the Maldives. Zverev posted this picture (above) on Instagram recently and captioned it: "Apparently, we are just friends." Meanwhile, Olga posted this loved-up picture (below) and wrote: "#404 error." Both pictures received comments asking them if they are a couple. Here are a few: "OMG, you guys look so cute together." "Beautiful picture, beautiful couple." "Are you dating Sascha?" "From friendship then to the altar." "It's all a screen to hide real romance." "Lucky Sascha she is cute." "What a sweet declaration." Catch up on all the latest s..