Nick Kyrgios returns fire at Rafael Nadal ‘respect’ criticism

Nick Kyrgios has returned serve at Rafael Nadal, saying he wouldnt listen at all to the world No 2 after the Spaniard said he needed to show more respect Nick Kyrgios has returned serve at Rafael Nadal, saying he wouldnt listen at all to the world No 2 after the Spaniard said he needed to show more respect to himself, his opponents and the crowd. The Australian displayed some of his best form when beating Nadal in a tight three-setter at the Mexican Open on Wednesday in Acapulco, saving three match points to register a 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (8-6) victory, his best result in almost two years. But the high-quality spectacle didnt translate into positive words for the former …

Martina Navratilova criticized for comments about trans women in sport

(CNN)Tennis great Martina Navratilova has been criticized after claiming it is a form of “cheating” for transgender women to be allowed to compete in women’s sport. Follow @cnnsport Her comments led to her becoming embroiled in an online argument with cyclist Rachel McKinnon, the first transgender woman to win a world track cycling title in October 2018. Navratilova, a nine-time Wimbledon champion, wrote on Sunday that this debate had led to her going away to do more research on the subject, adding: “Well, I’ve now done that and, if anything, my views have strengthened. “To put the argument at its most basic: a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organization is concerned, win …

Martina Navratilova dropped by LGBT group over trans athletes row

(CNN)An LGBT group has cut ties with tennis great Martina Navratilova after she said it was a form of “cheating” for transgender women to be allowed to compete in women’s sport. “Trans women are women, period. They did not decide their gender identity any more than someone decides to be gay, or to have blue eyes,” the group added. “They are women, and want to compete in the sport they love, just as any other athlete would.” The move follows a flurry of criticism directed at Navratilova, a gay rights campaigner who herself suffered homophobic abuse when she came out in 1981, for her Sunday Times column. Navratilova, who competed for Czechoslovakia and the United States, wrote that “it would …

Rafael Nadal engaged to girlfriend of 14 years Mery Perello

(CNN)Tennis star Rafael Nadal and long-term girlfriend Mery Perello are set to get married later this year following the couple’s recent engagement. She was in Nadal’s team box at the Australian Open, only the second time she has supported him Down Under with the couple reportedly preferring to not travel together to every tournament. Nadal’s defeat to Djokovic means the Spaniard remains second on the grand slam all-time list with 17, three behind Roger Federer. ‘I can’t practice’ In October, Nadal’s mind was as far away from tennis as is possible. Flash floods struck his home island of Mallorca, killing 13 people, including the cousin of one of his best friends and her young son. READ: Nadal reveals how he …

Naomi Osaka beats Petra Kvitova at Australian Open to win second straight major, reach world No. 1

Melbourne (CNN)When the women’s final at the Australian Open was over, Li Na did the honors in presenting the Daphne Akhurst trophy to Naomi Osaka who had just downed Petra Kvitova 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-4 in a dramatic, high-quality affair. READ: Nadal 2.0 hitting new heights READ: Kvitova, Osaka battle for women’s title Rare feat Osaka has now matched the soon-to-be Hall of Famer Li in majors on two and did something not witnessed in the women’s game in 18 years, landing her first two grand slam titles back-to-back. The 21-year-old is only the sixth female player in the Open Era to do so, joining Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong, Hana Mandlikova, Venus Williams and most recently, Jennifer Capriati in 2001. …

Djokovic crushes Nadal for record seventh Australian Open title and 15th major

Melbourne (CNN)Seven years ago at the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic battled past Rafael Nadal in a historic, marathon final. That five hour, 53-minute contest in 2012 that at times left both men gasping for air and led to, unusually, organizers giving them chairs during the trophy presentation? Nowhere to be found. Djokovic needed a mere two hours, four minutes to see off Nadal in what was the most lopsided men’s final in Melbourne in games since Andre Agassi surrendered five to Germany’s Rainer Schuettler in 2003. Djokovic won all but 13 of his service points, registering 34 winners overall and a minuscule nine unforced errors. He took sole possession of third place on the all-time men’s list with 15 majors …

Andy Murray feeling ‘battered and bruised’ after hip surgery

(CNN)Andy Murray has undergone hip surgery as he bids to save his career. In an emotional press conference, Murray said he was unsure whether he could play through the pain “for another four or five months.” “I can play with limitations but having the limitations and the pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training,” Murray said. “Wimbledon is where I would like to stop playing but I am not certain I am able to do that. “Not feeling good. Been struggling for a long time. I’m not sure I can play through the pain for another four or five months. “Pretty much done everything that I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it …

Petra Kvitova and Naomi Osaka to battle for Australian Open title and No. 1 ranking

Melbourne, Australia (CNN)Petra Kvitova has already overcome the odds by returning to tennis after she was stabbed in her home three years ago. But now the Czech is a win away from doing the near impossible — winning another major after that horrific ordeal. Kvitova was the first to progress, seeing off the unseeded, fiery Danielle Collins 7-6 (7-2) 6-0 before Osaka edged Serena Williams’ conqueror, Karolina Pliskova, 6-2 4-6 6-4, to become the first Japanese woman to make the Australian Open final. It is Kvitova’s first grand slam final since the stabbing in Prostejov. “Not very many people believe that I could do that again, stand on the court and play tennis and kind of play at this level,” …

Don’t call Serena Williams’ loss a ‘choke’

Melbourne (CNN)After Serena Williams surrendered a 5-1 lead and four match points against Karolina Pliskova in an unbelievable quarterfinal at the Australian Open on Wednesday, the word ‘choke’ did the rounds on social media. READ: What’s next for Federer? For this author, this was not one of those times. The clear turning point was rather Williams rolling her left ankle on her first match point at 5-1. Even before then, though, there was drama. Williams was called for a foot fault on her first serve. Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos That serve, however, wasn’t going to be an ace, despite suggestions to the contrary. The Czech didn’t make a play for the ball because it was an early …

Nadal beats Tiafoe to reach Australian Open semifinals without dropping set

Melbourne, Australia (CNN)For someone who entered the Australian Open short of match practice, Rafael Nadal is looking scary good. World No. 2 Nadal — Federer’s friend and on-court rival — entered the year’s first major having last contested an official match at the US Open, after which he shut his season down due to more injury woes. But in blasting through his opponents helped by a new service motion, the 17-time grand slam winner has breezed to the last four. Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos The last time he failed to drop a set en route to the semifinals at a major outside his favored French Open? In 2011 at the US Open, when he eventually fell to …

Maria Sharapova beaten by Ashleigh Barty at Australian Open

Melbourne (CNN)Ashleigh Barty taking a break from tennis may not have been in the script for some but the 22-year-old said it was the best thing that could have happened to her after beating Maria Sharapova to make history at the Australian Open. Five years ago Barty’s tennis career looked uncertain when she stepped away the sport, weighed down by expectations and all the traveling. She even played cricket for a while. But Barty and her varied game returned in 2016, and she has made inroads since, sitting at a career-high 15th in the rankings. “I needed to take that time away,” Barty said. “I feel like I came back a better person on and off the court, a better …

Rafael Nadal beats Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach Australian Open final

(CNN)Lightning did not strike twice in Melbourne. After conquering defending champion Roger Federer, 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas could not see off two greats within a week as he was comfortably beaten by a superb Rafael Nadal, who will now compete in his fifth Australian Open final. READ: Kvitova to face Osaka in women’s final Asked by on-court interviewer John McEnroe whether he could play any better, a smiling Nadal replied: “Hopefully, yes. “It’s been a great match, great tournament. I think I’ve played very well every day. A lot of months without playing — this court, this crowd, have given me an unbelievable energy.” Much was expected of Tsitsipas, the first Greek player to reach a major semifinal and the youngest …

Roger Federer stunned by Stefanos Tsitsipas at Australian Open

Melbourne (CNN)One by one at this Australian Open, the big three in men’s tennis brushed aside their ‘Next Gen’ challengers — until Roger Federer met Stefanos Tsitsipas. “This match point is going to stay (with me), I’m pretty much sure, forever, for the rest of my life,” Tsitsipas told reporters. “I just managed to close that match and stay strong, beat my idol. My idol today became pretty much my rival,” he added later. Federer wasn’t the only big name to tumble, with Maria Sharapova falling to home hope Ashleigh Barty earlier on center court. Tsitsipas, Barty, Roberto Bautista Agut, Frances Tiafoe and Danielle Collins all reached the last eight at a major for the first time, an unusually high …

Andy Murray loses Australian Open thriller to Roberto Bautista Agut

Melbourne (CNN)If this was the final match of Andy Murray’s career, the Briton made sure his swansong was a memorable one — losing a four-hour, five-set thriller to Roberto Bautista Agut in Melbourne. Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos Murray wants to say farewell in July at Wimbledon — where he made history in 2013 by ending Britain’s 77-year men’s drought — but has admitted this Australian Open could be his final event. It took Bautista Agut four hours and nine minutes to see off Murray, who received a raucous standing ovation after what the Scot described as an “incredible” match. “If this was my last match, amazing way to end. I gave everything I had,” Murray said on …

Andy Murray: The sporting great who became a champion feminist

(CNN)And so a golden career is nearing the end. Andy Murray’s body is giving up on him. Witty, honest, assiduous, decent — all are adjectives used in the last few hours to describe the father of two. READ: Roger Federer: My dream opponent would be…

Simona Halep: Bittersweet off-season for popular world No. 1

(CNN)For someone who says she is usually asleep by 10 p.m., Simona Halep pushed past her bedtime during tennis’ off-season. “I spent a lot of time in the city, which I don’t do very often,” Halep said. “I lived a normal life, which I enjoyed a lot. I met new people, stayed with friends.” The most successful family affair in tennis There were “many” who expressed an interest in succeeding Cahill, according to Halep. The Constanta native denied reports, though, that one of them was Novak Djokovic’s former coach, Boris Becker. “He came for a different reason in Bucharest and I was happy to see him, but we never talked about being together as a coach and player,” said Halep. …