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Tuesday, Nov 19th

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Tennis

Venus made to work for opening round win on 20th Wimbledon anniversary

French Open finallist Simona Halep eased past Marina Erakovic 6-4, 6-1 while American Venus Williams defeated Belgian Elise Mertens 7-6 (7), 6-4 in the opening round at Wimbledon on Monday.

Erakovic of New Zealand committed 31 unforced errors in one hour 14 minutes in a match that saw her serve broken five times by the Romanian second seed. The Wimbledon 2014 quarter-finalist is set to play against Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, who defeated British Laura Robson 6-4, 6-1.

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Murray opens Wimbledon campaign with easy win

Defending champion Sir Andy Murray started his Wimbledon campaign on the right foot as he defeated Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 on Monday.

With the Duchess of Cambridge watching from the royal box, Murray, the world no.1, needed just one hour and 44 minutes to get rid of the young Russian-born Bublik. Bublik, 20, served 15 aces and fired 33 winners but his 12 double faults and 35 unforced errors made him vulnerable to Murray, who committed just 10 unforced errors.

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Djokovic preps for Wimbledon with win at Eastbourne

Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic on Saturday defeated France's Gael Monfils to clinch the Eastbourne International title ahead of Wimbledon, which kicks off in two days. The top-seeded Serb defeated Monfils, who reached his first grass-court final in 13 years, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 16 minutes. Djokovic's win was just his second of the season, following his January victory in Qatar.

Djokovic shared after his triump, “It was a great week. Obviously it feels right, looking back on the decision-making process and whether or not I should come here, now it feels like it was a good decision. But also a few days ago it felt right because I had a lot of time spent on the court, some good match play. But most of all, I felt very welcomed here by the people. On and off the court I was greeted, I was respected. So, for me, it was just a phenomenal experience that I will definitely take with me to Wimbledon.”

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Bouchard gets tough opener at Wimbledon, Raonic in difficult section of the draw

The singles draws are set for Wimbledon 2017 and it will feature at least five Canadians, Milos Raonic (Thornhill, ON), Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver, BC), Eugenie Bouchard (Montreal, QC), Françoise Abanda (Montreal, QC) and the young rising Canadian star Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON).

Raonic, currently world no. 7, is the sixth seed at the tournament and will face world no. 50 Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany in the opening round. The Canadian is in the bottom half of the draw, alongside both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Raonic, the finalist last year at Wimbledon, has another tough path this year, which could potentially include a Round of 16 encounter with NextGen ATP front runner Alexander Zverev and a quarter-final showdown against the seven-time champion Roger Federer. Despite making an early exit at Queen’s Club last week, Raonic has had a strong 2017 season, reaching the finals at Delray Beach and Istanbul.

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Geneva selected to host combined World Cup of Tennis finals

The ITF Board of Directors has selected Geneva as the preferred bid to host the World Cup of Tennis finals - a new combined season-ending event including the finals of Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas. The finals are the centrepiece of a series of historic reforms that will transform Davis Cup and Fed Cup, the largest annual team competitions in sport.

The ITF AGM will be asked to approve the full reform package at its meeting in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in August 2017.

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Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic to return for 2018 Hopman Cup

Swiss superstar and eighteen-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and compatriot Belinda Bencic will return to Western Australia for the Hopman Cup in 2018.

The dynamic duo of Federer and Bencic starred in three record-breaking sessions at the event this year, with 13,917 fans turning out for the tie between Switzerland and France, the biggest tennis crowd in WA history.

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Federer routs Zverev in one-sided Halle final

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer claimed his ninth title at the Halle Open after beating German Alexander Zverev, World No.12, in Sunday's final.

The World No.5 Swiss star won his fourth trophy this season with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over his 20-year-old German rival in 53 minutes. The 35-year-old victor claimed the Halle Open title one week ahead of Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam of the season, which he has won seven times. Wimbledon is to be held from July 3 to 16.

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