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USTA picks new U.S. Open tournament referee, chief umpire

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Soeren Friemel is the new U.S. Open tournament referee, and Jake Garner has been selected to succeed him as the chief umpire for the American tennis major.

The U.S. Tennis Association announced the appointments Thursday.

Friemel takes over for Brian Earley, who retired after 26 years as tournament referee in Flushing Meadows.

The job includes making sure rules and procedures are followed, serving as final authority on all officiating matters and approving officials’ match assignments.

Friemel has been head of officiating for the International Tennis Federation since 2014 and will retain that post.

He was chief umpire at the U.S. Open from 2016-18.

Garner, the chair umpire for 18 Grand Slam finals, now will oversee selection, training and scheduling of U.S. Open officials.

Murray loses doubles match at Eastbourne

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EASTBOURNE, England (AP) Andy Murray has lost in men’s doubles for the first time since returning from hip surgery in January.

Murray and his Brazilian partner Marcelo Melo were defeated 6-2, 6-4 in the first round at Eastbourne by top-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah on Tuesday.

Murray, who struggled on serve, won the doubles title with Feliciano Lopez at the Queen’s Club on Sunday.

The 32-year-old Murray will partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert in men’s doubles at Wimbledon.

More AP Tennis: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Kvitova to decide this week whether to play at Wimbledon

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PRAGUE — Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova says she will decide later this week if she’s ready to play at the All England Club.

The 29-year-old Czech player injured her left forearm during training in Paris ahead of the French Open and has not played since. The injury prevented her from defending her title at the Birmingham Classic this week.

Kvitova wrote on Twitter that she was “Happy to tell you that my arm is improving and I just hit some balls on the beautiful grass for the first time.

The sixth-ranked Kvitova, who won the Wimbledon title in 2011 and 2014, reached the Australian Open final and won tournaments in Sydney and Stuttgart this year.