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Andy Murray plans to retire this season

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Andy Murray said he hopes to retire this season after Wimbledon, but acknowledged he might not make it to that point.

Murray, 31, spoke through tears at a press conference in the lead-up to the Australian Open, citing a painful hip injury that is “not allowing me to enjoy any of the stuff that I love about tennis.”

“I can still play to a level, [but] not a level I’m happy playing at,” he said. “The pain is too much.”

Murray said he had been dealing with a hip injury for years but the pain has worsened in the last 20 months, making day-to-day tasks, like walking and putting on socks, uncomfortable. “I spoke to my team and I told them that I can’t keep doing this,” he said. “I said to my team, ‘I think I can get through this till Wimbledon. That’s where I’d like to stop playing. But I’m also not certain I’m able to do that.”

When asked if the Australian Open could be his last tournament, Murray paused to gather his thoughts and said, “I think there’s a chance of that.”

Murray is a three-time Grand Slam winner and the only player to win two straight singles titles at the Olympics. In his first Grand Slam title, at the 2012 US Open, Murray beat Novak Djokovic in the final to become the first British man to win a major since Fred Perry at the 1936 US Open. He reached another milestone with his second Grand Slam title at 2013 Wimbledon, topping Djokovic to become the first British man to win the tournament in 77 years. He won a second Wimbledon title in 2016. He has also been outspoken about gender issues in sports, advocating for equal prize money and more women’s matches on centre court at Wimbledon. In 2014, Murray hired Amelie Mauresmo as his coach. He wrote in a 2015 column published by French sports paper L’Equipe, “Have I become a feminist? Well, if being a feminist is about fighting so that a woman is treated like a man then yes, I suppose I have.”

Federer lauds Serena’s ‘wonderful serve’ in Hopman Cup victory

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PERTH, Australia — Roger Federer won the bragging rights over fellow tennis great Serena Williams as they faced each other on court for the first time on Tuesday, with Federer spearheading Switzerland’s 4-2, 4-3 (3) victory in a mixed doubles decider at the Hopman Cup.

“I was nervous returning. People talk about her serve so much and I see why it is such a wonderful serve because you just can’t read it,” Federer said.

Federer and playing partner Belinda Bencic overcame Williams and Frances Tiafoe in the Fast4 format in front of a 14,000 capacity crowd.

“It was so fun. This is super cool that we get to do it at such a pinnacle point of our careers,” Williams said.

Federer and Williams have won 43 Grand Slam singles titles between them.

Defending champion Switzerland will qualify for Saturday’s final if it beats Greece on Thursday. The United States, which lost to Greece on Monday, can’t now advance.

The much-hyped contest lived up to the billing immediately with Federer almost running down Williams’ smash into the open court. Williams and Federer both served well against each other, but Federer’s sublime touch at the net proved decisive.

Williams grabbed at her right shoulder on several occasions late in the second set but played the match out.

Earlier, Federer beat Tiafoe 6-4, 6-1 in the men’s singles before Williams leveled the tie with a comeback 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Bencic.

Serena Williams named AP Female Athlete of the Year

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Serena Williams was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press on Wednesday, marking the fifth time she has won the award.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion returned to tennis following a health scare during and after the birth of her first child, daughter Olympia, in September 2017. Williams had an emergency C-section, sustained blood clots that required multiple surgeries, and was confined to her bed for six weeks. She returned to competition five months after Olympia’s birth, and was outspoken about the difficulties she faced in coming back to tennis. Donning a catsuit at the French Open, Williams posted on Instagram, “For all the moms out there who had a tough recovery from pregnancy—here you go. If I can do it, so can you.”

Williams reached the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in her first competitive season as a mom, though she did not win either tournament. She also used her platform to push for rule changes at WTA events: beginning in 2019, players can use a “special ranking” for up to three years from the birth of a child when returning to the tour, which can be utilized for seeding at major events, and the tour will now allow players to wear leggings or compression shorts without the requirement of a skirt or dress over them.

The 37-year-old received 93 votes from U.S. editors and news directors. Simone Biles was second in voting, with 68 votes, and Notre Dame basketball star Arike Ogunbowale finished third. Also in the top five was Olympic snowboarding gold medalist Chloe Kim and 2017 winner Katie Ledecky. Williams previously won the award in 2002, 2009, 2013 and 2015. Only one woman – Babe Didrikson Zaharias – who won once for track and field and five times for golf, has won the award more times than Williams.

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