Murray, Djokovic looking forward to playing in 2020 Olympics

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MADRID — Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have their sights set on playing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Murray said Wednesday “he would love to compete in Tokyo,” and Djokovic acknowledged the Olympics are “very high on the list of wishes for next year.”

Murray, the two-time Olympic champion in singles and a three-time Grand Slam winner, has been slowly coming back to full speed after undergoing hip surgery in January. In October, he won his first title since his return.

He defeated Tallon Griekspoor 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (5) on Wednesday in his first Davis Cup match with Britain since 2016.

“I’ve really enjoyed playing in the Olympics,” the 32-year-old Murray said. “I’ve always enjoyed a team environment and competing for my country. Always really enjoyed that. So yeah, I would love to play in Tokyo.”

The Olympic gold medalist in 2012 and 2016, Murray said he hopes to “feel healthy” and that his “body feels good” at the end of next year.

“I’d be delighted with that,” he said. “That’s what I’d like for next year.”

Roger Federer has already said he plans to play in Tokyo, even though it adds to an already packed calendar. And Djokovic, who helped Serbia beat Japan in the new Davis Cup Finals on Wednesday in Madrid, said the Olympics are also part of his plans for 2020.

“I’m going to try to be healthy, be fit, be prepared to play my best,” he said. “I played the Tokyo (ATP) tournament, I won it this year. And the Olympic Games are going to be played on the same courts, which are quite good for my style of the game, I think it’s quite suitable.”

The 32-year-old Djokovic said he expects “fun” games in Japan.

“Olympics are always bringing something extraordinary,” he said. “Every four years you get a chance to be part of the most historic sports events in the history of sport. You never get really a chance to, other than in the Olympics, to really sit next to all the elite athletes from their sports and dine with them and just exchange experiences and knowledge and everything. There’s a lot of storytelling, a lot of fun.”

The Olympics is the only top tournament Djokovic hasn’t won in his career. He won the bronze medal in the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Tennis star Kyrgios to fight charge on mental health grounds

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CANBERRA, Australia – Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios will apply to have an assault charge dismissed on mental health grounds, his lawyer told an Australian court on Tuesday.

Lawyer Michael Kukulies-Smith appeared on behalf of Kyrgios in a court in the tennis star’s hometown of Canberra and asked for an adjournment so forensic mental health reports could be prepared.

Magistrate Glenn Theakston adjourned the case until Feb. 3, when Kyrgios’ lawyers are expected to apply to have the charge dismissed under a section of the local crimes law.

The 27-year-old Australian tennis star will appear in court in person on that date for the first time since he was charged by police by summons in July.

The law gives magistrates the power to dismiss a charge if they are satisfied an accused person is mentally impaired, and dealing with an allegation in that way would benefit the community and the defendant.

The common assault charge, which has a potential maximum sentence of two years in prison, relates to an incident in January 2021 that was reported to local police last December.

The charge reportedly relates to an incident involving his former girlfriend.

Kukulies-Smith told the court his client’s mental health history since 2015 made the application appropriate, citing a number of public statements made by Kyrgios.

In February, Kyrgios opened up about his performance at the 2019 Australian Open, saying what appeared to be a positive time in his life had been “one of my darkest periods.”

“I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, pushed away family and friends,” he wrote on Instagram. “I felt as if I couldn’t talk or trust anyone. This was a result of not opening up and refusing to lean on my loved ones and simply just push myself little by little to be positive.”

Kyrgios made further references to his mental health struggles during his runs to the final at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open.

After ending Daniil Medvedev’s U.S. Open title defense last month to reach the quarterfinals, Kyrgios expressed pride at lifting himself out of “some really tough situations, mentally” and “some really scary places” off the court.

Theakston questioned whether Kyrgios would need to appear in court for the February hearing, but Kukulies-Smith said his client wanted to attend.

Kyrgios was scheduled to play at the Japan Open later Tuesday against Tseng Chun-hsin of Taiwan.

Speaking in Tokyo before his matter returned to court, Kyrgios said it was “not difficult at all” to focus on tennis despite the pending charge.

“There’s only so much I can control and I’m taking all the steps and dealing with that off the court,” he told reporters. “I can only do what I can and I’m here in Tokyo and just trying to play some good tennis, continue that momentum and just try to do my job.”

Wimbledon champ Rybakova beats Keys in Ostrava opener

Agel Open Ostrava - Day One
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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic – Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakova came from a set down to defeat Madison Keys 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of the Agel Open on Monday.

Rybakova had lost to Keys this year at the French Open and Cincinnati.

In other first-round matches in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava, Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia defeated Zhang Shuai of China 6-3, 6-3, and local hope Petra Kvitova overcame American Bernanda Pera 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

Fresh from her second title of the year in Seoul last month, Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia knocked out former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.