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Australian Open Tennis – W2W4

10:05 PM ET Peter BodoTennis Close Peter Bodo has been covering tennis for over 35 years, mostly recently for ESPN. He is a former WTA Writer of the Year and the author of numerous books, including the classic “The Courts of Babylon” and the New York Times bestseller (with Pete Sampras), “A Champion’s Mind.” With two full rounds complete, our latest bracketology reports morph from wild guesswork into something approaching science. What they tell us about the Australian Open right now is that the third quarter of the WTA draw,…

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ICYMI at Australian Open – tennis

9:31 AM ET Niall Seewang Close ESPN Associate Editor Niall is an award-winning journalist who discovered from an early age he had more to offer watching and writing about sport than playing it. He joined ESPN Australia/New Zealand after a four-year stint at AFL Media having previously worked as a sports journalist at newspapers in Albury, Melbourne and Hobart. Jake Michaels Close ESPN Assistant Editor Jake Michaels is a multi-sport journalist but his heart belongs truly to motorsport, particularly Formula 1. He joined ESPN Australia’s team in June, 2013. MELBOURNE,…

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Five facts about the fast-rising Marta Kostyuk

Roger Federer is on an eight-match unbeaten run at the Australian Open but there is one 15-year-old Ukrainian who is on a longer winning streak at the year’s first major. Guess who? Marta Kostyuk. The girls’ champion at the Australian Open last year, Kostyuk beat Olivia Rogowska 6-3, 7-5 on Wednesday to enter third round — and take her unbeaten streak to 11 at the Grand Slam. She will next face fourth-seeded countrywoman Elina Svitolina. Here are five lesser-known facts about the fast-rising Kostyuk: * World No. 522 Kostyuk advanced…

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ICYMI at Australian Open – tennis

12:17 PM ET Niall Seewang Close ESPN Associate Editor Niall is an award-winning journalist who discovered from an early age he had more to offer watching and writing about sport than playing it. He joined ESPN Australia/New Zealand after a four-year stint at AFL Media having previously worked as a sports journalist at newspapers in Albury, Melbourne and Hobart. Jake Michaels Close ESPN Assistant Editor Jake Michaels is a multi-sport journalist but his heart belongs truly to motorsport, particularly Formula 1. He joined ESPN Australia’s team in June, 2013. MELBOURNE,…

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Australian Open – Petra Kvitova keeps perspective after heartbreaking loss

MELBOURNE, Australia — Her spirit was there and her mind willing, but her body could not quite get her over the line. Petra Kvitova‘s comeback to the Australian Open ended in the first round Tuesday with a 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 loss against Andrea Petkovic. Kvitova, who missed last year’s event, served for the match twice but to no avail. The effects of a recent fever and lingering cough were perhaps factors down the stretch. But if anyone is likely to be able to put a loss in perspective, it is…

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Australian Open – It’s clear now

4:37 AM ET Jerry Bembry MELBOURNE, Australia — After waving to the crowd in appreciation of the warm greeting she received during her easy opening-round Australian Open win, Maria Sharapova quickly made her way from center court to the west edge of Margaret Court Arena. There, straddling the rail, were Russian-flag holding fans who chanted encouragement to “Masha” from their third-row seat for the entire match. Then came an exchange of gifts: Sharapova tossed them her damp, match-used towel; one of the guys in the group extended a selfie-stick and…

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Criticism of Margaret Court is muted at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Marriage equality proponents draped themselves in rainbow flags at Margaret Court Arena on the first day of the Australian Open to protest tennis great Margaret Court’s controversial views on gay marriage and the broader lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Several, however, stopped short of saying Court’s name should be removed from the venue — a move advocated by Billie Jean King before the tournament began. Marlene Jorgensen, sitting with a group of friends decked head to toe in rainbow-colored attire, said Court was entitled to her…

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ICYMI at Australian Open – tennis

MELBOURNE, Australia — A note for all up-and-coming players wanting to announce themselves on the big stage: Avoid a first-round Rafa encounter at all costs. After a 90-minute Rafael Nadal power exhibition on Rod Laver Arena on Monday night, Victor Estrella Burgos certainly won’t want a rematch anytime soon. Nadal simply mauled the world No. 83 on Rod Laver Arena, taking his first step toward bettering last year’s runners-up finish after that thrilling five-set classic against Roger Federer. Monday’s onslaught was vintage Nadal. The Spaniard allowed his outclassed opponent only…

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Australian Open – Venus Williams looked the part, but there was no magic

5:21 AM ET Jerry Bembry MELBOURNE, Australia — It took Venus Williams more than an hour to face the media after her loss to Belinda Bencic in the opening round of the Australian Open, and it was clear as she settled into her chair that the media was on the clock. Her responses to questions were short. Her tone — even with a microphone in front of her — was barely audible. Venus Williams, a finalist last year, is out of the Australian Open, beaten 6-3, 7-5 by Belinda Bencic…

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Australian Open women’s roundup — Day 1

MELBOURNE, Australia — Sloane Stephens‘ woes since her winning her first Grand Slam title at the US Open have continued with a first-round loss at the Australian Open. No. 13-seeded Stephens was serving for the match in the 10th game of the second set against Zhang Shuai but dropped her serve. She was outplayed in the tiebreaker and in the third set, with Zhang winning 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2. It always shaped as a tough opener for Stephens, who hasn’t won a tour-level match since her triumph at the US…

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