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Tennis: Birthday girl Kerber sets up Sharapova clash

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former world number one Angelique Kerber celebrated her 30th birthday on Thursday with an emphatic 6-4 6-1 win over Donna Vekic at the Australian Open to set up an intriguing third round clash of former champions with Maria Sharapova.

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Tennis: Powerful Pera sends ninth seed Konta out

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - World number 123 Bernarda Pera sent ninth seed Johanna Konta tumbling out of the second round of the Australian Open on Thursday with a 6-4 7-5 upset in blazing sunshine on court two.

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Halep survives date with Destanee in opening round

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - World number one Simona Halep flirted with another early exit from the Australian Open and suffered an ankle injury before rallying to reach the second round with a 7-6(5) 6-1 victory over local teenager Destanee Aiava on Tuesday.

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Tennis: Raonic slumps to early exit at Melbourne Park

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former world number three Milos Raonic was sent tumbling out of the Australian Open first round by Lukas Lacko on Tuesday, the Canadian's earliest grand slam exit since the 2011 French Open.

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Tennis: Kyrgios can become global superstar, says Becker

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian maverick Nick Kyrgios is ready to win over his doubters and can become an 'international sporting superstar' according to former world number one Boris Becker.

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Kerber issues Australian Open warning with Sydney triumph

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former world number one Angelique Kerber continued her 2018 resurgence with a 6-4 6-4 win over Ashleigh Barty in the Sydney International final on Saturday, giving herself a welcome boost ahead of next week's Australian Open.

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Tennis: Returning Djokovic still managing elbow injury

Jan 13 (Reuters) - Former world number one Novak Djokovic admits his elbow is not yet 100 percent as the Serb prepares to return from six months out at the Australian Open.

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Tennis: Kerber issues Australian Open warning with Sydney triumph

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former world number one Angelique Kerber continued her 2018 resurgence with a 6-4 6-4 win over Ashleigh Barty in the Sydney International final on Saturday, giving herself a welcome boost ahead of next week's Australian Open.

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Tennis: Brand-less, slam-less Halep looks for more in Melbourne

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Simona Halep enters the Australian Open with the world number one ranking and a familiar set of doubts over her ability to win a grand slam.

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Tennis: Uncle Toni still 'more than anything' for Nadal

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal embarks on a new era without his coach and uncle in the players' box at the Australian Open but the Spaniard said he would always welcome advice from his lifelong mentor with open arms.

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Navratilova backs Kvitova, Venus at Australian Open

(Reuters) - Former world number one Martina Navratilova believes Petra Kvitova's attacking style of play makes her one of the top contenders for next week's Australian Open, while Venus Williams' experience gives her the edge over the rest of the women's field.

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Thiem an Australian Open doubt after Kooyong withdrawal

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Dominic Thiem's preparations for the Australian Open suffered another setback on Thursday when the world number five was forced to pull out of the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament.

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Muguruza suffers second injury withdrawal Down Under

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Garbine Muguruza's preparations for next week's Australian Open were thrown into disarray when the world number three pulled out of the Sydney International due to a leg injury on Wednesday.

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Muguruza withdraws from Sydney after defeating Bertens

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Garbine Muguruza's preparations for next week's Australian Open were thrown into disarray when the world number three pulled out of the Sydney International with a thigh injury on Wednesday.

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Djokovic back with a bang at Kooyong

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic returned to competitive tennis with a bang on Wednesday, bringing a six-month spell on the sidelines to an end with a thumping 6-1 6-4 win over world number five Dominic Thiem at the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament.

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Dominant Johnson cruises to victory in Hawaii

(Reuters) - World number one Dustin Johnson eased to an eight-shot victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii on Sunday.

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Johnson cruises to victory in Hawaii

(Reuters) - World number one Dustin Johnson eased to an eight-shot victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii on Sunday. Johnson entered the final round with a two-shot advantage and blew away the field with an eight-under-par 65 at the wide open Kapalua Plantation course on Maui.

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Tennis: Makarova stuns Ostapenko in sweltering Sydney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Ekaterina Makarova kept cool in the fierce Australian heat to upset the French Open champion and world number seven Jelena Ostapenko 7-6(3) 6-1 in the opening round of the Sydney International on Sunday.

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Goerges humbles Wozniacki to seal Auckland title

AUCKLAND (Reuters) - World number 14 Julia Goerges won her third successive tournament as she blasted her way to a 6-4 7-6(4) victory over Caroline Wozniacki to seal the Auckland Classic title on Sunday.

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Johnson grabs lead in Tournament of Champions

(Reuters) - World number one Dustin Johnson put the hammer down and surged to a two-shot lead after the third round at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii on Saturday.

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Murray can get back if he puts his mind to it: Wilander

LONDON (Reuters) - Former world number one Andy Murray can return to the top of the sport despite the hip injury that forced him to pull out of the Australian Open this week as long as his mind is willing, according to tennis great Mats Wilander.

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Halep warms up for Australian Open with Shenzhen tennis title win

(Reuters) - World number one Simona Halep continued her preparations for the Australian Open by lifting the Shenzhen Open title after a 6-1 2-6 6-0 victory over holder Katerina Siniakova on Saturday.

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Golf: Johnson puts leaders on short leash, one shot behind

(Reuters) - Dustin Johnson offered a reminder that he is still the world number one as he moved within one stroke of second-round leaders Marc Leishman and Brian Harman at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii on Friday.

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Simon stuns top seed Cilic to reach Pune final

(Reuters) - World number six Marin Cilic was handed a shock defeat in the warm-up event ahead of the Australian Open, with the top seed losing to France's Gilles Simon in the Maharashtra Open semi-finals in Pune, India on Friday.

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Siniakova tames Sharapova, faces Halep in Shenzhen final

(Reuters) - Czech defending champion Katerina Siniakova fended off Maria Sharapova in a fiercely contested match at the Shenzhen Open on Friday to set up a final with world number one Simona Halep.

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Halep powers past Begu to reach Shenzhen Open final

(Reuters) - World number one Simona Halep of Romania tamed compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets to reach the final of the Shenzhen Open in China on Friday.

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Tiger to start 2018 campaign at Farmers Insurance Open

(Reuters) - Former world number one Tiger Woods will make his much-anticipated 2018 debut at this month's Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, his first official PGA Tour event since missing the cut at the same tournament last year.

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Murray pulls out of Australian Open with hip injury

LONDON (Reuters) - Former world number one Andy Murray will miss this month's Australian Open after failing to recover from the hip injury that has kept him out of action for nearly six months.

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Sharapova, Halep cruise into Shenzhen semi-finals

(Reuters) - Former world number one Maria Sharapova cruised past Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas and into the semi-finals of the Shenzhen Open in China on Thursday.

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Tennis: Murray pulls out of Australian Open with hip injury

(Reuters) - Former world number one Andy Murray has pulled out of the Australian Open after failing to recover from a hip injury, tournament organizers said on Thursday.

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Nishikori withdraws from Australian Open

(Reuters) - Japan's Kei Nishikori has pulled out of this month's Australian Open as he continues to recover from a wrist injury, the world number 22 said on Wednesday.

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Dominant Svitolina cruises into Brisbane quarter-finals

(Reuters) - World number six Elina Svitolina continued her charge at the Brisbane International as she eased past Croatia's Ana Konjuh and into the quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-1 win on Wednesday.

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Halep rallies past Duan, ensures top billing for Australian Open

(Reuters) - World number one Simona Halep assured herself of top billing for the Australian Open after powering past local hope Duan Yingying and into the quarter-finals of the Shenzhen Open in China on Wednesday.

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Briton Konta pushed to the brink again in Brisbane

(Reuters) - Britain's Johanna Konta was pushed to the brink for the second time in as many rounds before advancing to the quarter-finals while world number two Garbine Muguruza of Spain succumbed to leg cramps in her opening clash at the Brisbane International on Tuesday.

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Murray fears for Melbourne after Brisbane withdrawal

(Reuters) - Former world number one Andy Murray's lingering hip issues forced him to withdraw from the Brisbane International on Tuesday with the Briton admitting he was unsure whether he could recover in time for the Australian Open later this month.

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Murray out of Brisbane event with hip injury

(Reuters) - Former world number one Andy Murray withdrew from the Brisbane International with a hip problem on Tuesday, further putting in doubt the Briton's prospects of being fit in time for the Australian Open later this month.

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Murray pulls out of Brisbane event with hip injury

(Reuters) - Former world number one Andy Murray withdrew from the Brisbane International with a hip problem on Tuesday, further putting in doubt the Briton's prospects of being fit in time for the Australian Open later this month.

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Muguruza injury jinx continues with Brisbane retirement

(Reuters) - World number two Garbine Muguruza's wretched run of injury retirements at the Brisbane International extended to a fourth consecutive year on Tuesday when the Spaniard succumbed to leg cramps in the third set of her opening match.

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Murray will trim 2018 schedule to avoid injury issues

(Reuters) - Former world number one Andy Murray plans to trim his schedule in the new season to prevent a recurrence of the injuries that blighted his campaign in 2017.

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Nadal to make Australian return in exhibition event

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal, who is struggling to get any match practice before the Australian Open, will play an exhibition event at Melbourne Park in the week leading up to the season opening grand slam, organizers said on Monday.

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Injured Djokovic pulls out of Qatar Open

(Reuters) - Former world number one Novak Djokovic withdrew from next week's Qatar Open on Saturday and faces a race to be fit for the first grand slam of the year.

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Djokovic doubtful for Australian Open after withdrawing from Abu Dhabi event

(Reuters) - Former world number one Novak Djokovic's preparation for next month's Australian Open suffered a blow after he pulled out of the season-opening exhibition event in Abu Dhabi on Friday due to pain in his right elbow.

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Tennis: Fitness comes first for returning Murray, Djokovic

(Reuters) - Former world number ones Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are relishing their return to competition after serious injuries cut their last campaigns short, but the overriding aim for both players in the New Year is to stay fit and healthy.

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Tennis: Unprepared Nadal withdraws from Brisbane tournament

SYDNEY (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal's preparations for next month's Australian Open have suffered a blow after he was a late withdrawal from the Brisbane International tournament on Thursday.

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Nadal out of season-opening Abu Dhabi event

(Reuters) - Rafa Nadal has withdrawn from next week's season-opening exhibition event in Abu Dhabi due to ongoing fitness problems, the world number one has said.

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Tiger parts ways with swing coach Chris Como

(Reuters) - Former world number one Tiger Woods said on Friday he has decided to end his working relationship with swing coach Chris Como, opting instead to fly solo in his latest comeback from injury.

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Bedene to switch allegiance from Britain back to Slovenia

LONDON (Reuters) - World number 49 Aljaz Bedene has finally given up on representing his adopted country Britain and will switch allegiance back to his native Slovenia next year.

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Hewitt comes out of retirement to play doubles at Australian Open

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt is to come out of retirement temporarily and play doubles with compatriot Sam Groth at next month's Australian Open, local media reported on Friday.

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Kuznetsova out of Australian Open with wrist injury

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Russia's world number 12 Svetlana Kuznetsova will miss next month's Australian Open as she recovers from wrist surgery, organizers confirmed on Friday.

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Konta appoints Joyce as new coach

(Reuters) - British world number nine Johanna Konta has named American Michael Joyce as her new coach for the 2018 season following her split from Belgian Wim Fisette in October.

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Badminton: Japan prepared to roll dice on Momota with eye on Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Former world number two Kento Momota will be restored to the top tier of Japan's national badminton team next season as he continues his long rehabilitation from a gambling scandal that ruled him out of the Rio Olympics, local media reported.

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Tiger dazzles in long-awaited return from injury

(Reuters) - Tiger Woods dazzled in his much-anticipated return from injury on Thursday at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas where the former world number one flashed his vintage fist pump and did not seem troubled by his troublesome back.

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Djokovic adds Stepanek to coaching team

(Reuters) - Former world number one Novak Djokovic has brought Czech Radek Stepanek into his coaching team, the Serb said on Instagram on Thursday.

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Tiger makes long-awaited return from injury

(Reuters) - Tiger Woods did not take long to display his vintage fist pump on his much-anticipated return to competition on Thursday at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas where the former world number one seemed unbothered by his troublesome back.

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Serena, Kuznetsova uncertain of playing Australian Open

(Reuters) - Former world number one Serena Williams has yet to make a decision about her participation at the Australian Open, while world number 12 Svetlana Kuznetsova is also a doubt for the first grand slam of 2018 after undergoing wrist surgery.

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Final round flop sums up 'indifferent' season for Day

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former world number one Jason Day felt the final round two-over-par 73 that dashed his hopes of a maiden Australian Open title on Sunday pretty much summed up his disappointing 2017 season.

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Golf: Unheralded Davis wins Australian Open after Day blow-up

SYDNEY (Reuters) - World number 1,494 Cameron Davis shot a stunning seven-under-par 64 to win the Australian Open by a stroke on Sunday after compatriot and overnight leader Jason Day's title charge ended in a mid-round collapse.

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Golf: Day to take one-shot lead into final day of Australian Open

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former world number one Jason Day will take a one-stroke lead into the final day of the Australian Open after firing up on the back nine and shooting a third-round two-under 69 in tricky conditions on Saturday.

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Spieth fails to cash in as putter splutters in Sydney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Jordan Spieth failed to cash in on his early start to the second round of the Australian Open on Friday but the world number two still feels he is very much in the hunt to retain the Stonehaven Cup over the weekend.

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Tiger 'pain free' and ready for return, says Day

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Tiger Woods is waking up "pain free" for the first time in three years ahead of his return to golf at next week's Hero World Challenge, his fellow former world number one Jason Day said on Wednesday.

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Golf: Rose to compete at Indonesian Masters tournament

(Reuters) - World number six Justin Rose will compete in the final event of this year's Asian Tour at the Indonesian Masters in December, the tournament organizers said on Tuesday.

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Golf: Spieth's Sydney love affair comes with a cash bonus

(Reuters) - World number two Jordan Spieth will be well rewarded for his trip Down Under this week regardless of whether he successfully defends his title at the Australian Open, a tournament he has developed a love affair with over the last four years.

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Kontinen and Peers retain ATP Finals doubles crown

LONDON (Reuters) - Finland's Henri Kontinen and Australian partner John Peers won the doubles title at the ATP Finals for the second year running when they beat world number one duo Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-4 6-2 on Sunday.

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Dimitrov snaps Sock jinx, rises to world number three

LONDON (Reuters) - Grigor Dimitrov stood one win away from the biggest title of his career on Saturday after ending his Jack Sock jinx to reach the final of the season-ending ATP Finals at the 02 Arena.

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Murray splits with coach Lendl for second time

LONDON (Reuters) - Andy Murray has mutually agreed to end his relationship with coach Ivan Lendl for a second time, the British former world number one said on Friday.

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Kerber appoints Fissette as new coach

(Reuters) - Former world number one Angelique Kerber is hoping to bounce back from a disappointing campaign with the announcement that Belgian Wim Fisette will replace Torben Beltz as her coach in 2018, the German said on Thursday.

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Former number one Donald in hospital after heart scare

(Reuters) - Former world number one Luke Donald was admitted to a Georgia hospital after feeling prolonged chests pains, the English golfer said in a social media post on Thursday.

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Sock stuns Zverev to prolong London adventure, Federer rolls on

LONDON (Reuters) - Jack Sock became the first American to reach the last four of the ATP Finals for 10 years when he stunned world number three Alexander Zverev in a firecracker of a match on Thursday.

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Nadal wins damages of 12,000 euros over doping slur

LONDON (Reuters) - World number one Rafael Nadal was awarded 12,000 euros ($14,000) damages on Thursday after a French court found in his favor over comments made by the country's former Sports Minister.

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Delgado confident Murray is tracking back to best

(Reuters) - Former world number one Andy Murray has had no adverse reaction to his recent charity game against Roger Federer and assistant coach Jamie Delgado is confident he will be able to get back to his best after a hip injury brought an early end to his season.

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U.S. on brink of Fed Cup glory as Vandeweghe downs Sabalekna

MINSK (Reuters) - The United States moved one win away from winning the Fed Cup final after Coco Vandeweghe turned in another calm display to beat Belarus's world number 78 Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(5) 6-1 on Sunday.

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Golf: China's Feng wins at home, projected to take top ranking

(Reuters) - China's Shanshan Feng is projected to take over the women's world number one ranking after she completed back-to-back victories with a one-stroke win at the Blue Bay LPGA at home on Sunday.

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Nadal says cannot guarantee will be fit for ATP Finals

LONDON (Reuters) - World number one Rafael Nadal said on Friday that he still cannot guarantee he will play in London's ATP Finals starting this weekend.

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Nadal confident of being fully fit at ATP Finals

(Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal is confident he will be "100 percent fit" at the ATP Finals event in London as he continues to recover from a knee injury.

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Nadal will be fit for London, says coach Moya

MILAN (Reuters) - World number one Rafael Nadal will be fit for the ATP Finals in London next week despite concerns over the state of the Spaniard's knee, coach Carlos Moya said.

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Wawrinka returns to training after knee injury

(Reuters) - World number seven Stan Wawrinka has returned to training ahead of his scheduled comeback at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) exhibition event in December.

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Murray targets return in Brisbane ahead of Australian Open

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former world number one Andy Murray is targeting a return to competitive tennis at the Brisbane International in January in the lead-up to the Australian Open.

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Azarenka to miss Fed Cup final over custody battle

(Reuters) - Victoria Azarenka will miss this week's Fed Cup final in Minsk against the United States due to an ongoing custody battle with her baby son's father, the former world number one said on Tuesday.

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Tennis: Graf backs Williams to break Court's record

ZHUHAI, China (Reuters) - Serena Williams can "absolutely" surpass Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 grand slam singles titles if the American returns to tennis after giving birth earlier this year, former world number one Steff Graf said on Sunday.

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Golf: Park projected to take world number one ranking from Ryu

IBARAKI, JAPAN (Reuters) - Park Sung-hyun is projected to take over the women's world number one ranking after fellow South Korean Ryu So-yeon finished equal 33rd at the TOTO Japan Classic on Sunday.

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Golf: Rose charges as overnight leader Colsaerts falters in Turkey

BELEK, Turkey (Reuters) - World number six Justin Rose continued to move smoothly through the gears at the Turkish Airlines Open on Saturday, firing a joint best-of-the-day 64 to boost his chances of claiming back-to-back European Tour victories.

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Nadal's participation in Tour finals in the balance

PARIS (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal's participation in the season-ending Tour finals hung in the balance when the Spaniard pulled out of the Paris Masters with injury on Friday.

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Nadal to end the year as world number one after Paris win

PARIS (Reuters) - Spain's Rafa Nadal made sure he would top the ATP rankings at the end of the season when he beat South Korea's Chung Hyeon 7-5 6-3 in the second round of the Paris Masters on Wednesday.

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Halep gains consolation from year-end number one status

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Simona Halep is still searching for her first grand slam title but the Romanian admits the consolation of ending the year as world number one will help to motivate her for another tilt at a major title breakthrough next season.

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Golf: Rose wins in Shanghai as Johnson has record collapse

(Reuters) - Justin Rose roared back from an eight-stroke deficit to claim a stunning two-shot win at the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai on Sunday after world number one Dustin Johnson threw away the tournament with a record-tying collapse.

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Golf: Johnson crushes Koepka, eyes victory in Shanghai

(Reuters) - World number one Dustin Johnson humbled Brooks Koepka in a third round shoot-out at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai on Saturday to take a six-stroke lead over his compatriot into the final day of the $9.75 million event.

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Golf: Johnson's new putter works like magic, 63 gives him the lead in Shanghai

(Reuters) - World number one Dustin Johnson reaped magic from a new putter to card a sparkling nine-under 63 and take a one-shot lead at the halfway mark of the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai on Friday.

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Venus stuns Muguruza to advance at WTA Finals

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Venus Williams gained revenge for her Wimbledon final defeat by Garbine Muguruza when the American advanced to the last four of the WTA Finals with a gutsy 7-5 6-4 victory over the Spanish world number two on Thursday.

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Wozniacki swats aside Halep to reach Singapore semis

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Caroline Wozniacki produced an almost perfect display to dismantle world number one Simona Halep 6-0 6-2 at the WTA Finals on Wednesday as the Dane eased into the semi-finals with her second dominant victory in as many matches.

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Dominant Wozniacki swats aside Halep in Singapore

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Caroline Wozniacki produced an almost perfect display to dismantle world number one Simona Halep 6-0 6-2 at the WTA Finals on Wednesday, the Dane recording her second dominant victory in as many matches.

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Japan's Matsuyama to play golf with Trump, Abe next month

(Reuters) - Japan's Hideki Matsuyama has accepted the chance to play golf with U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next month, the world number four said on Wednesday.

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Tennis: Cilic, Dimitrov qualify for ATP Finals

(Reuters) - World number four Marin Cilic and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov have sealed their spots in next month's ATP Finals, leaving two spots still up for grabs in the season-ending tournament in London.

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Djokovic, Wawrinka to return to action in Abu Dhabi

(Reuters) - Former world number one Novak Djokovic and Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka will return from lengthy injury breaks at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) exhibition event in Abu Dhabi in December.

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Refreshed Muguruza braced for big hitters in Singapore

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Garbine Muguruza feels fit and fresh ahead of the WTA Finals with the Spanish world number two keen to bank on her experience of previous visits to Singapore to emerge from a group containing the tour's hardest hitters in the round-robin phase.

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Nadal withdraws from Basel with knee problem

(Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal has withdrawn from the upcoming Basel indoors tournament due to a knee issue, the Spaniard has said.

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Federer eyes ATP Finals title, top ranking after Shanghai triumph

(Reuters) - Roger Federer is eyeing a seventh ATP Finals crown and has not ruled out pinching the world number one ranking from Rafa Nadal if he maintains the form that won him his second Shanghai Masters trophy on Sunday.

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Federer brushes aside Nadal to win Shanghai Masters

(Reuters) - Roger Federer brushed aside world number one Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-3 to win the Shanghai Masters on Sunday and register his fourth victory of the year over his Spanish rival.

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Nadal edges out Cilic to reach Shanghai Masters final

(Reuters) - World number one Rafael Nadal squeezed past Marin Cilic into the Shanghai Masters final with a 7-5 7-6(3) victory over the big-serving Croatian on Saturday.

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Sharapova storms past Peng into Tianjin final

(Reuters) - Former world number one Maria Sharapova eased past defending champion Peng Shuai 6-3 6-1 at the Tianjin Open on Saturday to reach her first WTA final in almost two and a half years.

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Nadal overcomes Dimitrov to make Shanghai Masters semi

(Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal battled past Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 7-6(4) 6-3 and into the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters on Friday.