Truth & Rumors > Tennis

Djokovic, Sharapova advance at Indian Wells

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08:41 AM ET 03.16 | Two of the brightest starts in tennis, Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova, breezed through their matchups at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden to advance in the BNP Paribas Open. Djokovic, the top-ranked man in the world, easily disposed of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-3, 6-1, in under an hour as he advanced to the semifinals where he will meet Juan Martin del Potro who was able to take down No. 3 seed Andy Murray. Djokovic is continuing his impressive run that includes a win in 22 straight matches and a 17-0 record this year. He will be looking to earn his third title of 2013. On the women's side, Sharapova took down No. 13 Maria Kirilenko, 6-4, 6-3, in a semifinals match and will take on No. 8 Caroline Wozniacki in the tournament final which is set to take place on Sunday. Sharapova received some additional good news following the win. With her advancement to the finals, Sharapova is expected to move from the No. 3 to No. 2 ranked woman in the WTA Tour rankings, which are released on Monday.

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Novak Djokovic, Stephen Dunn/Getty Images Novak Djokovic, Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Victoria Azarenka cancels match after bad pedicure

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07:44 PM ET 01.04 | This is going to read like an extremely sexist ad-lib, but it's true: World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka had to cancel a scheduled tennis match in Brisbane against Serena Williams because she suffered an injury during a botched pedicure. My first reaction is, my god they can actually botch pedicures? Is nothing safe in this world anymore? Azarenka said that because of a bad pedicure, her toe became badly infected, and she couldn't risk further bodily harm by playing Williams in the Brisbane International semifinal. The top-ranked Azarenka said that she's been battling the injury for 10 days and would rather sit out this match than risk having to possibly miss the Australian Open. Her opponent, Serena Williams, fully supports Azarenka's decision to skip the match in an effort to be ready for the first leg of a potential Grand Slam year.

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Victoria Azarenka, AP Photo/Tertius Pickard Victoria Azarenka, AP Photo/Tertius Pickard

Rafael Nadal withdraws from Australian Open

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04:19 PM ET 12.29 | Rafael Nadal has decided to withdraw from next month's Australian Open. Nadal was hoping to return to the tour after being sidelined by a near injury, but he has now been struck with a virus that will prevent him from competing in Melbourne. "I am sorry and very sad to announce that I will not play in the Australian Open," Nadal said. "My knee is coming along okay, but a stomach virus has left me unable to get ready in time to tackle the rigours of a Grand Slam. Because of the virus, I have been unable to get any match practice and simply would not be doing myself or my friends in Australia justice if I went down there so unprepared. You need your body to be at its best for the Australian Open," Nadal said. "It was a difficult decision and I am extremely disappointed to be missing such a great event. I love coming to Melbourne and playing on Rod Laver Arena before the Australian crowds. It brings out the best in me. It hurts to have to wait another 12 months before I get another chance. In the meantime, the focus is now on desperately trying to get back on the tour." The lack of preparation is a large part in why Nadal has decided to withdraw from the tournament and the folks at the Australian Open understand his decision. "It is completely understandable and we really feel disappointed for him," Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said. "But without any match practice and without sufficient lead up time on the practice court, it makes it virtually impossible for him to get his body ready."

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Rafael Nadal, Miquel Benitez/WireImage Rafael Nadal, Miquel Benitez/WireImage

Andy Murray reflects on surviving 1996 school shooting

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12:13 AM ET 12.23 | The recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school has effected every person differently. But it's not just Americans reeling after 26 people were senselessly murdered, in fact one superstar athlete was forced to reflect on being a survivor of a devastating school shooting nearly 17 years ago. When the Sandy Hook shooting happened, I instantly went back to reading about a similar shooting at Dublane Primary school in central Scotland back in 1996. In that shooting, former scout leader Thomas Hamilton entered Dublane Primary and murdered 16 people, most of them children around the age of the Sandy Hook victims. World No. 3 Andy Murray was an 8-year-old student at Dublane Primary when the shooting happened. Murray has been training in Miami recently, and sent his thoughts out all the victims of the tragedy this weekend, while also reflecting on his own experience with tragedy.

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Andy Murray, AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano Andy Murray, AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano

Good Hands: Djokovic, Murray, and Tennis' Present and Future

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10:44 AM ET 09.20 | The day before he lost to Andy Murray in the best US Open Men's Final in some time, Novak Djokovic showed tennis what it feared. In a resumed match with David Ferrer, Djokovic played the coldest, most ruthless brand of tennis you're likely to find in a Grand Slam semifinal. Afforded opportunity by the game but unimaginative Ferrer, Djokovic clung to the baseline and hit one screaming groundstroke after another, peppering Ferrer's baseline. The strategy was clear; Djokovic felt sure that Ferrer would miss before he did, that Ferrer's well-regarded defense would crumble before his own. While the play lacked artfulness, it impressed. Read more at The Barstool.

The Barstool

Novak Djokovic, AP Novak Djokovic, AP

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