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Tsonga doubtful with groin injury at Davis Cup final

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LILLE, France — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is doubtful for the remainder of the Davis Cup final after apparently injuring his groin during his loss to Marin Cilic on Friday.

The Frenchman was hurt in the third set of his 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 defeat to Croatia’s top player.

Croatia leads 2-0 after the opening singles and could win its second Davis Cup crown on Saturday in the doubles.

Tsonga said he will undergo exams on Saturday morning that will determine whether he is capable of playing on Sunday in case France extends the tie to the reverse singles.

He said he was advised by team doctors to consider retiring against Cilic after taking a break in the third set to receive a medical treatment.

“It was impossible for me, with 25,000 spectators in the stadium and many more people in front of their TV sets,” Tsonga said. “I wanted to fight until the end.”

The injury-prone Tsonga has already missed seven months of this season because of a knee injury. He was selected for the Davis Cup by France captain Yannick Noah despite playing just four tournaments and wining only one match since September.

Four years ago, Tsonga played in the Davis Cup final loss to Switzerland despite an arm injury. He lost the opening match to Stan Wawrinka then withdrew from the rest of the final.

“I’ve had injuries throughout my career,” the 33-year-old Tsonga said. “I’d like to know the reasons and wipe off all these physical problems. Today, I haven’t got any certainty but I will do my best to be competitive on Sunday.”

Osaka opens clay campaign by beating Hsieh in Stuttgart

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STUTTGART, Germany — Top-ranked Naomi Osaka opened her clay-court season by beating Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan 6-4, 6-3, on Thursday to reach the Porsche Grand Prix quarterfinals.

Osaka hit 22 winners and converted three of her six break points to seal the win in 1 hour, 24 minutes and set up a meeting with Donna Vekic of Croatia.

After saving two break points early, it was an unusually smooth victory for Osaka over Hsieh. She needed three sets to get past the Taiwanese veteran en route to her Australian Open victory and then lost to her at the Miami Open last month.

“I felt like this surface is more suited for me (than Hsieh),” Osaka said. “I was sort of in my plan. So, I just felt like I executed what I was trying to do.”

Two-time Stuttgart champion Angelique Kerber also advanced by beating fellow German Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-4. The fifth-seeded Kerber saved two break points to hold for 2-2 in the first set and then reeled off the next four games to take control. She then earned a decisive break for 4-3 in the second before closing out the win with her fourth match point.

Kerber will face sixth-seeded Kiki Bertens, who served 20 aces to rally for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Belinda Bencic.

No. 7 Anastasija Sevastova also advanced by beating former champion Laura Siegemund of Germany 6-4, 6-3 to set up a quarterfinal against Petra Kvitova, who advanced on Wednesday.

Vekic dispatched Russia’s Daria Kasatkina, 6-1, 7-5, earlier on Thursday.

Nadal rallies to beat Mayer in Barcelona Open

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BARCELONA, Spain – Rafael Nadal recovered from a slow start to defeat Leonard Mayer 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-2 and advance to the third round of the Barcelona Open on Wednesday, keeping alive his streak of never losing consecutive matches on clay.

The second-ranked Nadal was coming off defeat to Fabio Fognini in the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Open.

An 11-time champion in Barcelona, Nadal will next play fellow Spaniard David Ferrer. The 37-year-old Ferrer, who is playing in Barcelona for the last time, defeated Lucas Pouille 6-3, 6-1 in his second-round match.

The top-seeded Nadal squandered two set points after exchanging breaks late in the first set. He rebounded quickly by breaking Mayer’s serve in the first game of the second set, then cruised to victory against the 63rd-ranked Argentine.

Fognini won’t be able to add to his Monte Carlo win after withdrawing from the Barcelona tournament because of a hamstring injury. He was replaced by 104th-ranked Roberto Carballes Baena, who opened with a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2 win over Nicola Kuhn.

Seventh-seeded Daniil Medvedev reached the third round by defeating Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 2-6, 6-1, while American Mackenzie McDonald advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 win over 11th-seeded Gilles Simon.