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Andy Murray undergoes hip operation

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Andy Murray did have a second hip operation, after all, getting a metal implant one year after his first procedure on the joint.

The three-time major champion posted a message Tuesday on Instagram saying that he had the surgery in London on Monday.

“Feeling a bit battered and bruised just now,” Murray wrote, “but hopefully that will be the end of my hip pain.”

What’s not known with any certainty yet is what this might mean for the 31-year-old Murray’s future in tennis. Before the Australian Open, where he lost in the first round on Jan. 14, Murray said that he planned to retire at some point in 2019 – and that it was possible that Grand Slam tournament might be the final event of his career.

He is most famous for ending Britain’s 77-year wait for a male champion at Wimbledon in 2013; he also won the 2016 title there, along with the 2012 U.S. Open and two Olympic singles gold medals and a Davis Cup, while reaching No. 1 in the rankings.

Tuesday’s post included two pictures – one of Murray in a hospital bed, the other of an X-ray.

“I now have a metal hip as you can see,” Murray wrote, before showing that his sense of humor is intact by adding, “and I look like I’ve got a bit of a gut.”

He has dealt with hip pain for years and already had one operation in January 2018. But that did not solve the problem.

The night he lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in Australia, Murray said he would decide quickly whether to have surgery again.

“I have an option to have another operation, which is a little bit more kind of severe than what I’ve had before – having my hip resurfaced, which will allow me to have a better quality of life and be out of pain. That’s something that I’m seriously considering right now,” he said at the time. “Some athletes have had that and have gone back to competing. But there’s obviously no guarantees with that. The reason for having an operation like that is not to return to professional sports, you know, it’s just for a better quality of life.”

Murray had been keeping in touch with American doubles player Bob Bryan, who had the same hip resurfacing with a metal implant last August.

By December, Bryan was back at practice. And he made his Grand Slam return at the Australian Open.

“He’s been watching me like a hawk, asking me how I’m feeling after matches, after practices, where I’m at. He’s just trying to gauge how long it would take him, if this procedure is an option,” Bryan said about Murray. “I’m just trying to be supportive. I never once told him, `This is the way to go,’ because I do see that singles is a different monster. Those guys are really sliding around, killing themselves for four hours. Who knows if this joint would hold up?”

Nadal beats Ferrer to reach Barcelona Open quarterfinals

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BARCELONA, Spain — Rafael Nadal looked closer to his clay-court best again as he beat David Ferrer 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open.

The 11-time Barcelona champion saved four of five break points and broke four times in what could have been his last meeting with Ferrer, who is retiring after the Madrid Open next month. It was a sign of improvement for Nadal, who lost in the semifinals in Monte Carlo last week and then needed three sets to get past Leonard Mayer in his opening match in Barcelona.

“This match was important for me,” Nadal said. “Yesterday I had a tough match. I took a step forward and was able to play with more energy.”

The top-seeded Nadal will next face either Stefanos Tsitsipas, last year’s runner-up, or Jan-Lennard Struff.

Nadal was up 5-3 in the first set before play was stopped for a rain delay. He continued to dictate the match when play resumed, serving out the set and breaking Ferrer’s next service game.

Ferrer saved three match points before finally sending a forehand into the net to give Nadal the win.

The 37-year-old Ferrer was making his last appearance at the Barcelona Open and could not hold back the tears when he received an ovation from the audience. He placed his pink headband on the court as a mark that he had played his last match here.

“I am happy to be able to finish this tournament on the center court, playing against Nadal. I gave it my all,” Ferrer said.

Also, third-seeded Dominic Thiem broke Jaume Munar five times to earn a 7-5, 6-1 victory. Fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori, who won the tournament in 2014 and 2015, brushed off Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-1, 6-3.

Grigor Dimitrov was beaten 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2) by Nicolas Jarry, who will meet Daniil Medvedev after he beat American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-2.

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.