Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 6th 2016 Contents A49
Thursday, October 6, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Sharapova to play at
Smash Hits in Las Vegas
NEW YORK---Maria Sharapova
returns to the court for the first time
since her doping ban was reduced
when she makes her World Team Ten-
nis Smash Hits debut next week in
WTT announced yesterday that
Sharapova will play in the charity event,
co-hosted by Billie Jean King and Elton
John, on Monday at Caesars Palace.
Proceeds go to the Elton John AIDS
Sharapova says she's "really excited
to get back on the court for a great
cause" and "looking forward to a great
night of tennis."
She joins a field that includes John
McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Martina
Navratilova, Mardy Fish, Mark Philip-
poussis and Liezel Huber.
The event will be shown live on
ESPN2 at 10 pm.
Sharapova's two-year ban was
reduced to 15 months on Tuesday by
a sports court. She tested positive for
the prohibited heart medication mel-
donium at the Australian Open in Jan-
Berdych out of Japan Open
TOKYO---Former champions Kei
Nishikori and Tomas Berdych lost at
the Japan Open yesterday.
Top-seeded Nishikori was forced to
retire with a left glute problem in the
first set of his second-round match
against Joao Sousa.
Third-seeded Berdych fell to Gilles
Muller of Luxembourh 7-6 (7), 6-1 in
the first round.
Nishikori was 3-0 up when he
received medical treatment on his left
glute while lying face down on the court
for several minutes.
The 2012 and 2014 champ served
two weak double faults in the next
game, and appeared in pain when chas-
ing the ball. He held serve, but lost the
next three games before calling a halt
while leading 4-3 in his first matchup
Nishikori, ranked No. 5, saw a doctor
after the match, and will have a scan
Sousa moved on to face fifth-seeded
David Goffin, after the Belgian beat Jiri
Vesely 6-3, 7-5.
Also, fourth-seeded Marin Cilic ral-
lied to defeat Spanish baseliner Fer-
nando Verdasco 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.
Berdych captured his first ATP title
of the season when he retained his
Shenzhen Open crown in China on
Sunday, but his first-round defeat in
Tokyo dented his bid for the ATP Finals.
He lies ninth in the race for the elite
eight-man finals, which he's played for
the last six years.
A weary Berdych, the 2008 champ,
squandered three break points in the
sixth game then failed to convert a set-
point in the first tiebreaker.
After falling 3-0 behind in the second
set, the Czech called for a trainer to
treat a left glute complaint, and was
unable to stop Muller, who fired 12 aces.
"At the beginning of the second set,
been playing a little too much tennis
in the last couple of weeks," Berdych
Muller, a two-time finalist this year,
next faces Marcos Baghdatis. Berdych
and Muller believed Maria Sharapova
was lucky to have her two-year doping
ban reduced to 15 months. (AP)
Murray sets up quarter-
final vs teammate
BEIJING---Top-seeded Andy Murray dis-
patched Andrey Kuznetsov 6-2, 6-1 yes-
terday to set up a China Open tennis quar-
terfinal against his British Davis Cup
teammate Kyle Edmund.
Both are playing their first tournaments
since Britain's loss to Argentina in the Davis
Cup semifinals last month.
Murray is hoping with a strong run in
China to close the gap on No. 1-ranked Novak
Djokovic, who withdrew from the tourna-
He struggled initially against Kuznetsov,
dropping two early service games as the
players traded breaks, but went on a dom-
inant run after the fifth game.
Edmund, a qualifier, upset seventh-seeded
Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
Fifth-seeded David Ferrer advanced to the
quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Fabio
Fognini and will next play Alexander Zverev,
who beat Jack Sock 6-4, 6-2. Ferrer is still
chasing his first title of the season. The
Spaniard has won at least one ATP title in
all but one year since 2006.
Grigor Dmitrov held off Steve Johnson 7-
5, 6-7 (9), 6-4 and No. 8-seeded Richard
Gasquet beat Sam Querrey 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in
In the women's second round, top-ranked
Angelique Kerber had a 6-3, 7-6 (4) win
over Barbora Strycova, U.S. Open runner-
up Karolina Pliskova rallied for a tough 3-
6, 7-5, 7-6 (7) win over 19-year-old Daria
Kasatkina, Johanna Konta wrapped up a
rain-delayed 7-5, 6-2 win over Timea Babos,
and Daria Gavrilova ousted 12th-seeded
Timea Bacsinszky 4-6, 6-0, 6-4.
Kerber, who twice failed to serve out the
match in a tight finish against Strycova, will
next play Elina Svitolina for a place in the
Svitolina beat Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 6-4,
and Caroline Garcia fended off Peng Shuai
6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (4), ending a tournament for
the Chinese wild card that started with an
upset first-round win over Venus Williams.
Daria Kasatkina of Russia hits a return shot against
Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their
women's singles match of the China Open tennis
tournament at the Lotus Court in Beijing, yesterday.
PERTH---Roger Federer will compete at
the Hopman Cup in January as part of his
buildup to the Australian Open.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion will
join Belinda Bencic for Switzerland at the
eight-team tournament which runs from
Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova will
return to defend the title they won this year
when they became the first Australians since
Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic in 1999
to win the Hopman Cup.
Kyrgios says "Australia hadn't won it for
a long, long time so, to be coming back
there, it's pretty exciting to be defending
Also in the field will be Jack Sock and
Coco Vandeweghe from the United States,
and Petra Kvitova and Adam Pavlasek from
the Czech Republic. (AP)
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