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.”

Novak Djokovic to start 2023 in Adelaide ahead of Australian Open

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MELBOURNE, Australia – Novak Djokovic will open his 2023 campaign in Adelaide as he prepares for a shot at a 10th Australian Open crown a year after having his visa revoked on the eve of his title defense.

The 21-time major winner has been granted a visa by the Australian government and has been listed to play at the Adelaide International, which starts Jan. 1.

Serbia isn’t contesting the inaugural United Cup team competition, leaving Djokovic free to play regular warmup tournaments head of the Jan. 16-29 Australian Open.

He’ll be joined in the men’s draw at Adelaide by Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada and Andy Murray.

Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka will headline the women’s draw.

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles last month confirmed Djokovic had been granted a visa to compete in Australia in January. The 35-year-old Serbian had been facing a possible three-year ban after being deported last January over his stance against COVID-19 vaccination.

Djokovic has won the Australian Open a record nine times, including the last three times he played. Rafael Nadal won this year’s title in Djokovic’s absence.

Djokovic was not vaccinated against COVID-19 when he arrived in Melbourne ahead of the 2022 tournament, but Australia has since lifted strict rules for unvaccinated travelers.

Karolina Pliskova reuniting with Sascha Bajin

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Two-time Grand Slam finalist Karolina Pliskova is reuniting with coach Sascha Bajin ahead of the 2023 season.

Pliskova posted on her website and her Twitter account about the move, which comes about six months after she and Bajin stopped working together. The pair originally teamed up in November 2020.

While Bajin was her coach, Pliskova reached the final at Wimbledon in 2021 before losing to champion Ash Barty. Pliskova also was the runner-up at the 2016 U.S. Open, where she defeated Serena Williams in the semifinals before being beat by Angelique Kerber for the trophy.

After splitting from Bajin in July, Pliskova was coached by Leos Friedl. Their results together included a quarterfinal run at the U.S. Open.

Bajin has worked as a coach or hitting partner with several top tennis players, including Grand Slam title winners Williams, Naomi Osaka, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki.

“Thank you for having me back,” Bajin wrote on Twitter. “Let’s go get it.”

Pliskova is a 30-year-old from the Czech Republic who reached No. 1 in the WTA rankings in 2017 and finished this season at No. 31 after going 21-21 with no titles.

Her team also includes fitness specialist Jez Green and physiotherapist Martin Salvador.

Next year’s first Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open, begins Jan. 16.