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Kyrgios walks out on match after losing 1st-set tiebreaker

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SHANGHAI (AP) A year after being fined for “tanking” a match at the Shanghai Masters, Nick Kyrgios quit another one altogether.

The temperamental Australian argued several times with the chair umpire during his first-round match against Steve Johnson on Tuesday. After losing the tiebreaker 7-6 (5), Kyrgios shook hands with Johnson at the net and then with the chair umpire before packing his bags and walking off court.

Serving at 30-30 in the 12th game of the first set, a forehand by Kyrgios was called out. The Australian challenged the call and it was overruled. Kyrgios then hit two balls in anger and was assessed a code violation warning.

At the change of ends in the tiebreaker, Kyrgios was leading 4-2 but was annoyed that fans were being allowed to come into the court. Kyrgios lost the next point and then started to complain and curse, which earned him an audible obscenity code violation. He was docked a point, which made the score 4-4.

When the set was done, so was Kyrgios. He left the court without explanation, though took to Twitter later to firstly apologize for his actions then give his reasons.

“I’ve been battling a stomach bug for the past 24 hours and I tried to be ready but I was really struggling on the court today which I think was pretty evident from the first point,” he wrote.

“My shoulder started to hurt in the practice today which didn’t help either and once I lost the first set I was just not strong enough to continue because I’ve not eaten much the past 24 hours.”

Last year, Kyrgios was suspended by the men’s tour for tanking a match and insulting fans following a second-round loss to German qualifier Mischa Zverev at the Shanghai Masters. Kyrgios gave little effort during the 6-3, 6-1 loss, even patting easy serves over the net and turning away before his opponent’s serve crossed the net.

Kyrgios arrived in Shanghai this time after losing the China Open final to Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-1 on Sunday.

Also, 12th-seeded John Isner beat Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) on a day with temperatures soaring past 32 degrees C (90 degrees F).

“The conditions were brutal,” Isner said. “It felt like Atlanta in August. I think that could’ve been the hottest match I played all year.”

Ryan Harrison also advanced, beating Chinese wild card Zhang Ze 6-2, 6-3, while U.S. Open finalist Kevin Anderson defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-1.

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.