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Murray eases into Queen’s Club quarterfinals

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LONDON —¬†Andy Murray kept on track to claim a record fifth title at Queen’s Club by beating fellow Briton Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals on Thursday.

John Isner of the U.S. fired 43 aces and held 10 match points but lost to Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 3-6, 7-6 (16), 7-6 (7).

Murray faced a break point in the opening game but then broke to lead 5-3 and served out the set. Murray maintained the pressure in the second set, and despite failing to convert four break points to lead 1-0 and dropping his own serve after breaking for 2-1, a further break for 4-3 proved decisive.

Murray’s next opponent will be another countryman, Kyle Edmund, who received a walkover when Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu withdrew with a wrist injury.

Isner seemed to be set for victory against Muller, holding six match points in the second-set tiebreaker, but Muller leveled the match on his fifth set point. In the final set, the American held off five break points as the set moved to another tiebreaker, but then failed to capitalize on a further four match points.

Nadal, Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards

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LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.

At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.

The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.

“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”

Kuznetsova out of Australian Open after left wrist surgery

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has withdrawn from next month’s Australian Open after having surgery on her left wrist.

Tennis Australia on Friday said No. 12-ranked Kuznetsova and China’s Sasai Zheng, with a right knee injury, were the only players ranked in the top 100 who are confirmed as not playing the Jan. 15-28 tournament at Melbourne Park.

Serena Williams, who was pregnant while winning the 2017 Australian Open title and gave birth to her first child in September, “is anticipated to return,” Tennis Australia said.

Williams could equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles with another win at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams’ ranking has dropped to No. 22 during her break from the tour.