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Rafael Nadal pulls out from the Queen’s for the third consecutive year

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Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club for the third consecutive year after winning his 11th Roland Garros title last weekend. Nadal enjoyed a successful clay season, in which he also clinched titles in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Rome and finished runner-up in Madrid.

Nadal has played at Queen’s Club six times so far in his career and clinched this title in 2008 (the year in which he also won Wimbledon against Roger Federer, but he did not play at Queen’s in 2016 due to a wrist injury and missed last year’s edition due to precautionary reasons.

In his last appearance at the Queen’s tournament in 2015 he lost to Alexander Dolgopolov in the first round.

He will start his Wimbledon campaign without any official grass-court tournaments. He did not advance beyond the fourth round since his last final appearance in 2011.

“Queen’s is a great event. I have happy memories of winning the title in 2008 and I wanted to come back this year, but it has been a very long clay court season for me with great results. I would like to say sorry to the the tournament organizers and most of the fans that were hoping to sse me play, but I have spoken to my doctors and I need to listen to what my body is telling me”, said Nadal.

Nadal has become the leader in the ATP Race to London for the first time this season following his win over Dominic Thiem in the French Open final.

Even without Nadal the Queen’s tournament will feature a star-studded line-up, including Novak Djokovic, who has accepted a late wild-card. It is still uncertain whether Andy Murray will be able to play at Queen’s and Wimbledon after pulling out of this week’s tournament at s’Hertogenbosch.

Murray has not played a competitive match since losing in the Wimbledon quarter finals last July. He underwent hip surgery during the Australian Open last January.

 

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Lucie Hradecka and Ekaterina Makarova lift their maiden WTA doubles title as a team in Cincinnati

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Lucie Hradecka and Ekaterina Makarova lifted their maiden WTA doubles title as a team with a 6-2 7-5 win over Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs in the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Two of the most successful doubles specialists on the circuit Hradecka and Makarova lifted 34 doubles titles between them, but they clinched their first title as a team. They played together once before in 2011, when they reached the final in Luxembourg before finishing runners-up to Iveta Benesova and Barbora Strycova. Makarova has won their first title of the year, but the first with a player other than Elena Vesnina, who is currently injured. Hradecka has won her first double title since Moscow 2016.

Hradecka and Makarova broke Mertens and Schuurs three times to win the opening set in 25 minutes. Mertens and Schuurs broke serve in the second set to take a 4-2 lead in the second set, but Hradecka and Makarova reeled off five of the last six games to seal the second set.

“It was a very tough match today and our opponents played a great game. I want to thank my team, my coach, my physio. We have had a great week and look forward to the future”, said Makarova.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be back on court, I want to thank Ekaterina for partnering me this week”, said Hradecka.

 

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Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares reach the doubles final in Cincinnati

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Fourth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares will face Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the men’s double final of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Murray and Soares won eight of the final nine points of the Match Tie-break to beat sixth seeds Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 6-7 (7-9) 6-2 10-6.

Both teams went on serve until 5-5 in the opening set. Murray and Soares earned a break point chance at deuce at 5-5 30-40, when Rojer missed a half-volley return. Rojer hit an ace at 5-6 to send the first set to to the tie-break. Rojer and Tejau, who had not dropped a set in their previous two matches this week, clinched the first set on their third set point.

The second set started with three holds of serve. Murray and Soares earned three break points, as Rojer made a double fault at 15-30. Soares broke serve to take a 3-1 lead with his overhead. Rojer earned two break-back points with his return. Murray and Soares fended off both break points to open up a 4-1 lead. Rojer and Tecau served to stay in the second set at 5-2. Soares hit a forehand volley to close out the second set with a break after 1 hour and 17 minutes.

Rojer and Tecau earned the first mini-break in the first point of the match tie-break. Murray and Soares pulled the break back a point later to take a 1-3 lead. Both teams went on serve as Rojer and Tecau led 4-5. Soares broke back with a backhand winner to draw level to 5-5. Tecau dropped serve on the 11th point to go down 5-6. Soares won two points to take a 8-5 lead for his team. Murray hit a forehand winner to earn three match points at 9-6. The Brazilian and British players closed out the match 10-6 on their first opportunity to secure their spot in the Cincinnati final.

The British and Brazilian team set up a final against Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, who beat Phillip Kohlschreiber and Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Murray clinched eight ATP doubles titles in their career including two tournaments in Acapulco and Washington. Cabal and Farah won their maiden Masters 1000 title in Rome after beating Murray and Soares in the semifinal.

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David Goffin Upbeat Over US Open Presence Despite Injury Setback

The Belgian speaks out about his latest problem after retiring during his clash with Roger Federer.

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David Goffin has said that he ‘doesn’t think’ his retirement from the Western and Southern Open will have any impact on his campaign at the US Open.

Goffin was taking on world No.2 Roger Federer is the semi-finals on Saturday before retiring early on in the second set due to a shoulder injury. An anti-climatic end to what has been a stellar week for the 27-year-old. In Cincinnati, he has scored wins over Rogers Cup finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas, Benoit Paire, Kevin Anderson and Juan Martin del Potro. A run that has moved him back into the world’s top 10 when the rankings are updated on Monday.

“I’ve felt it for many days, but yesterday (Friday) at the end of the second match, against Delpo, I started to feel really my arm, and then it went from the shoulder to the elbow.” Goffin commented about his injury on Saturday.
“During the warmup I felt like I couldn’t serve 100%, so I started the match and I just wanted to see how it goes. I didn’t lose my serve, but I guess it was a little bit too dangerous because I start to feel it (the pain) a little bit more, so I decided to stop.”

It is far from ideal timing for Goffin to be hit be this problem. In eight days time the US Open will get underway at Flushing Meadows. Last year he achieved his best performance at the tournament by reaching the fourth round before crashing out to Andrey Rublev. In the grand slams, Goffin has reached the quarter-final stage twice in 24 attempts.

“I don’t think so. But we will see with my staff, with my doctor, my physio.” He replied when asked if the injury could impact on his US Open campaign.
“I think it was a tough week, and I need to rest my arm and rest my shoulder a little bit.” Goffin added.

Goffin will be the top seed at next week’s Winston-Salem Open. There has been no formal word on if he will play in the tournament. As it currently stands, he is set to face either Paolo Lorenzi or Marton Fucsovics in his first match.

On Monday, Goffin will rise to 10th in the ATP World Tour rankings.

UPDATE: Since this article was published, Goffin has withdrawn from Winston-Salem

https://twitter.com/WSOpen/status/1031188161152667648

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