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Spanish Players Devastated Over Barcelona Terror Attack

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Grand slam champions Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza has spoken out about a devastating terrorist attack that struck in the heart of Barcelona.

On Thursday a van driver went on a rampage in the tourist hotspot of Las Ramblas. At least 13 people have been killed and over 100 injured in the attack. Later in the day a second incident occurred in Cambrils, resulting in police killing five attackers who were reportedly wearing fake explosive belts.

Leading the reaction is Rafael Nadal, a ten-time champion of the Barcelona Open. An annual ATP clay-court tennis tournament located approximately 6km away from the scene of Thursday’s attack.

“Shattered by what has happened in Barcelona! All my support for the families affected and the city,” the 31-year-old tweeted.

Muguruza spoke of her shock following her marathon win over Madison Keys at the Western and Southern Open. The Wimbledon champion triumphed 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), in a rain-delayed match. Muguruza moved to Barcelona at the age of six and trained at the Bruguera Tennis Academy.

“I couldn’t believe it. I have been so many times to that place, so many times. It’s like a main street with a lot of shops and people,” She said.
“I was very surprised because you always hear what happened in Paris and in London, and you’re, like, ‘Shit.’ But now, I’ve been so many times to this place, it’s like my home. And I feel, like, ‘Shit.’
“I’ve been there so many times. So it really shocked me. Really shocked me.”

The world No.6 learned about the attack during a rain delay in Cincinnati and called her friends to check their safety. Asked if the news affected her performance against Keys when they resumed the match, Muguruza explained that she drew upon her experience.

“I’m used to putting so many things aside to be able to compete. That’s my every day, putting things aside and going out there and have two hours of concentration of tennis,” she explained.

Taking to Twitter, Roberta Bautista Agut wrote that he sends ‘strength to the affected people, family and friends.’ Meanwhile, Carla Suarez Navarro said she was ‘dismayed’ about the terrorist attacks.

Former world No.12 Feliciano Lopez tweeted that he has been left speechless over the incident: “I have no words to express the sadness and helplessness I feel for what happened in Bcn. Hugs to all the families concerned.” Lopez wrote.

David Ferrer, who will play his quarter-final match in Cincinnati later today, expressed his support for the Barcelona public: “All my solidarity with the people affected in the attack of Barcelona .. Very sad all that is happening.”

A police investigation into the terror attacks is ongoing.

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Daria Kasatkina And Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Lead Calls For VAR In Tennis

There have been calls for VAR to be introduced into the sport.

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Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina have called for VAR to be implemented in tennis.

The calls have came after Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik in Dubai.

As Bublik lead 6-5 in the final set, Rublev shouted in the face of an umpire allegedly swearing in Russian which was picked up by one of the officials.

This saw Rublev be disqualified from the event with Bublik reaching the final in Dubai.

However as a result of the incident players have called for a VAR review system with the video showing inconclusive proof of whether Rublev did swear in Russian.

Leading the calls for such innovation are Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as the duo called for VAR to be introduced on twitter, “So you can just disqualify a player, take away all his points and money, without even checking the video? What a joke, yet another confirmation that we need VAR in tennis and an electronic appeal system in all tournaments,” Kasatkina said on social media.

VAR has been implemented in football and also a similar system in rugby with mixed results.

It’s clear though that more technology would help umpires identify whether a grounds for disqualification would be necessary.

So far VAR has been trialled at the Next Gen Finals and the Nitto ATP Finals.

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Casper Ruud Overcomes ‘Tough Start’ To Set De Minaur Final In Acapulco

Casper Ruud is into his first ATP 500 final after defeating Holger Rune in three sets.

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Casper Ruud is into his second consecutive final in Mexico after defeating Holger Rune 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Acapulco.

The Norwegian had to overcome an electric start from Rune to prevail in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

It was a clinical performance from Ruud who is now into his second consecutive final in Mexico after reaching the final in Los Cabos last week.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted it was a tough start but he’s pleased to be in another final, “It was a tough start,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“Holger just came out firing bullets from the forehand, from the backhand and I had not too much time to play my game. I was frustrated at times, especially at the end of the first set, beginning of the second.

“I didn’t really feel like I got to play any points how I wanted to, so there was some frustration towards myself, towards my box, because I didn’t feel like we were doing the right thing.

“But luckily with one break in the second, it turned around a bit and in the third set it got a little physical. I think maybe Holger seemed like he was struggling a little bit and started firing even more and a couple of games it went in and he broke me, which is frustrating.

“Some unforced errors crept up on him and I served really well in the last game to close it out.”

Ruud is now into his first ATP 500 final in Acapulco where he will face defending champion Alex De Minaur.

De Minaur overcame Jack Draper after the Brit retired at 4-0 down in the deciding set.

Heading into Saturday’s final, De Minaur leads the head-to-head 1-0 although that was in a completely different scoring format in the Next Gen Finals.

Whatever happens on Saturday, Ruud will return to the world’s top ten.

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Andrey Rublev Disqualified In Dramatic Dubai Semi-Final

Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final in Dubai.

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Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik after being accused of swearing in Russian.

The event took place in Dubai where Rublev had more than enough opportunities to win the match having been 4-2 40-0 up in the deciding set.

However Bublik came back into the match as he caught up with Rublev in what was turning into a fascinating contest.

The score was at 6-5 Bublik when Rublev’s frustrations boiled over when he allegedly told the official at the side of the court that he was a ‘f****** moron’ in Russian.

One of the officials on the sidelines at the side of the court reported the incident and the supervisor ruled that Rublev should be defaulted.

The incident below means that Rublev will now lose all his ranking points and prize money, resulting in Rublev exiting the world’s top five.

An ending that didn’t warrant the dramatic contest and after the match Bublik agreed that the consequences, “I highly doubt Andrey said something crazy,” Bublik was quoted by Sports Illustrated.

“He’s not this kind of guy. But I guess that’s the rules. That’s what they did, they just follow the procedure.”

Bublik will hope for a smoother finish to the final when he takes on Ugo Humbert for the title.

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