AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) Venus Williams has withdrawn from the ASB Tennis Classic, her first tournament of 2017, due to an arm injury.
Williams beat New Zealand wildcard Jade Lewis in a first-round match and was due to play Japan’s Naomi Osaka in the second round later Wednesday but withdrew before the match.
The former No.1 and seven-time grand slam winner struggled early against Lewis and had to save a set point in the first set.
Tournament director Karl Budge told reporters Williams “wasn’t able to serve as she would like to and at the level that we have come to expect from Venus and unfortunately that has taken her away from the tournament this year.”
The Australian Open, the year’s first grand slam tournament, begins on Jan. 16.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Top-seeded Andy Murray said Sunday he is back to his best ahead of the Dubai Tennis Championships after recounting his struggles with shingles following his early exit from the Australian Open last month.
Shingles is a common, painful skin rash.
“I was a bit sick for 10 days, a couple of weeks, after I got back from Australia,” said Murray, who will play Malek Jaziri of Tunisia in the first round in Dubai. “I feel fresh and ready to go here.
“I had shingles,” he added. “It’s not terrible, but it’s not great. I had to go easy for a little while, so I wasn’t able to push that hard in training when I got back into it. But I’m fine now and have been training flat out the last two weeks.”
Murray said he’s not sure if the illness had already started developing while he was playing in the Australian Open.
The British top-ranked player was upset in a four-set, fourth-round encounter with Mischa Zverev at the first major of the year.
“I didn’t play particularly well at the Australian Open,” Murray said. “I started to play a bit better as it went on, but not as well as I would’ve liked.”
This marks Murray’s sixth career appearance at the Dubai tournament. His best result was reaching the 2012 final where he lost to Roger Federer.
MARSEILLE, France (AP) Second-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won a second title in as many weeks by defeating fellow Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Open 13 on Sunday.
The 11th-ranked Tsonga put on a nearly flawless performance on his serve to win his 14th career title at the indoor event. Tsonga hit seven aces, dropped only three points on his first serve and did not face a single break point.
The former Australian Open runner-up broke once in each set and added a third Marseille trophy to his collection after victories in 2009 and 2013.
Tsonga, who defeated defending champion Nick Kyrgios in the semifinals, captured the Rotterdam title last week to end a two-year trophy drought.