Getty Images

Nadal to return next month in Abu Dhabi exhibition

Leave a comment

Rafael Nadal will return from a wrist injury to play an exhibition in late December in United Arab Emirates.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion said Monday on his Facebook page he will compete in the six-player, $250,000 Mubadala World Tennis Championship. The event is not connected to the ATP Tour and will be held in Abu Dhabi from Dec. 29-31.

Top-ranked Andy Murray is also scheduled to play, as is fourth-ranked Milos Raonic. Nadal beat Raonic in the previous final.

Last month, Nadal said he was cutting short his 2016 season to fully recover from an injured left wrist that sidelined him for more than two months this season.

The 30-year-old Spaniard recently missed a tournament in Basel, Switzerland, and last week’s Paris Masters. He also will miss the season-ending ATP Finals that begin Sunday in London.

Nadal said he intensified his recovery to play in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August, causing wrist pain in every tournament after that. He won the doubles gold medal in Rio. He lost in the singles semifinals and the third-place match.

Earlier in the year, the injury forced Nadal to withdraw from the French Open before the third round and skip Wimbledon altogether.

Djokovic beats Delbonis in third round at Miami Open

AP Photo
Leave a comment

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Novak Djokovic squandered a second-set lead but regrouped to beat Federico Delbonis 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 Sunday in the third round of the Miami Open.

Djokovic appeared on his way to an easy victory when he led 3-1 in the second set, but he dropped serve twice in a row. He won a succession of long rallies in the final set and swept the last five games.

The top-ranked Djokovic is trying for his seventh title in the tournament, which moved this year to the Miami Dolphins’ stadium complex.

Defending champion John Isner was broken in the first game but he held the rest of the way and hit 16 aces to beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-5, 7-6 (6).

Isner, now 33, won the biggest title of his career in the tournament a year ago. Seeded No. 7, he’ll next face No. 19 Kyle Edmund, who beat No. 12 Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4.

In women’s play, Venus Williams reached the fourth round of the tournament for the 16th time with a 6-3, 6-1 win over No. 14 Daria Kasatkina, who never held serve.

Williams won the title in 1998, 1999 and 2001. She’s unseeded at Miami for the first time since 2012, but improved to 11-3 this year.

Williams next faces No. 2 Simona Halep, who outlasted Polona Hercog 5-7, 7-6 (1), 6-2.

“I was running like crazy for three hours,” Halep said. “If I keep doing this, I think I have a chance to be back No. 1.”

A loss Saturday by top-ranked Naomi Osaka opened the door for Halep to reclaim the top ranking if she reaches the final.

No. 25 Danielle Collins lost to Wang Yafan 7-5, 6-1.

John Isner advances to fourth round at Miami Open

AP Photo
Leave a comment

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — John Isner was broken in the first game but held thereafter and hit 16 aces to beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-5, 7-6 (6) Sunday in the third round of the Miami Open.

Isner, now 33, won the biggest title of his career in the tournament a year ago. He is seeded seventh this year.

In women’s play, No. 25 Danielle Collins lost to Wang Yafan 7-5, 6-1.

Defending women’s champion Sloane Stephens was scheduled to play later Sunday, as was No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic on the men’s side.