Novak Djokovic becomes father of baby girl

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Twelve-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena have become parents of a baby girl, local media reported on Sunday.

Jelena gave birth on Saturday evening and their second child will be named Tara, Blic newspaper reported on its online edition.

The couple have a two-year-old son Stefan.

The 30-year-old Djokovic announced in July he would miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury.

The Serb retired from his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych in July because of the problem, from which is suffering for a year-and-a-half.

Between mid-January 2015 and June 2016, Djokovic won 17 of his 22 finals played in 24 tournaments. It seemed nothing could interrupt his dominance of world tennis.

But for months the Serbian national hero – now fourth in the world rankings – has been a shadow of his former self.

Since winning the French Open last year to complete the career Grand Slam, he has failed to claim another major title.

He crashed out of the Australian Open in the second round and the French Open in the last eight.

Djokovic said in July he would need a couple of months without the racket but that surgery was “not an option”.

With Andre Agassi continuing as his coach while he recovers, Djokovic now intends to be ready to start the new season at the beginning of 2018.

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Tennis ace Serena Williams goes into labour with first child

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Serena Williams (L)

Pregnant tennis superstar Serena Williams was in labour at a Florida clinic on Friday, US media reported, prompting an outpouring of goodwill messages for the charismatic former world number one.

Williams, who will turn 36 later this month, was admitted Wednesday to St Mary’s Medical Center, which shut down an entire floor to provide security for the megastar, the local CBS affiliate said.

The network also said the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion – who revealed she was pregnant in April – was induced overnight.

“We’re sending all our love and best wishes to @serenawilliams, who has reportedly gone into labor,” the US Tennis Association wrote on Twitter.

The US Open – where Serena’s elder sister Venus is due to play Friday – also sent words of support.

“#HelloSeptember and soon to be hello to a new baby! Sending our best wishes to @serenawilliams who is reportedly in labor!,” the tournament wrote.

Williams and her fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, have said they plan to keep the sex of the baby a surprise until birth.

Williams has vowed to return to competitive tennis in January, to defend her Australian Open title, which she won while newly pregnant.

Her spokespeople were not immediately available for comment on the reports.

PRETTY INTENSE

Williams last month told Vogue in a wide-ranging interview that she had set herself a goal of returning to play in Melbourne at next year’s Open.

“It’s the most outrageous plan,” she said. “I just want to put that out there. That’s, like, three months after I give birth. I’m not walking anything back, but I’m just saying it’s pretty intense.”

Williams is one Grand Slam title short of matching Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slams and admits that she still dreamed of joining the Australian legend.

“Obviously, if I have a chance to go out there and catch up with Margaret, I am not going to pass that up,” Williams said. “If anything, this pregnancy has given me a new power.”

A separate article in Vanity Fair in June said Williams, who unveiled her pregnant body in a nude cover photo for the magazine, planned to tie the knot with Ohanian later this year after the birth of their child. The couple announced their engagement in December after meeting in 2015 in Rome.

In the same interview, Williams also admitted she was unprepared for the arrival of her child.

“I don’t know what to do with a baby,” she said. “I have nothing…. I’ve done absolutely nothing for the baby room,” she added.

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Maria Sharapova is not going anywhere after stunning win over Simona Halep at the US Open

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Maria Sharapova marked her first Grand Slam appearance since her doping ban ended with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory over second seed Simona Halep at the US Open and said she had never been tempted to quit the sport.

The 30-year-old five-time major winner and former world number one was hit by a 15-month suspension after failing a drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open.

The ban ended in April but she missed this year’s French Open and Wimbledon tournaments.

“You try and think it’s another day, another opportunity but it was so much more,” said Sharapova, who fell to her knees in tears after securing a thrilling triumph, her seventh in seven meetings with Halep.

“You never know how you are going to feel until match point but you figure it’s all worth it.”

Sharapova, who needed a wild card to get into the tourmanent she won in 2006 after her world ranking slumped to 146, told her critics that she had no intention of giving up on her career.

“Behind this little black dress and the Swarovski crystals, there is a girl with a lot of grit and she’s not going anywhere.”

That was a reference to the eye-catching all-black and sequined playing gear she was wearing for the occasion.

The crystals were a perfect teaser for the TV cameras for the night session on Arthur Ashe stadium where her record under the lights now stands at 18-0.

Sharapova hit 60 winners with just 64 unforced errors

Sharapova hit 60 winners with just 64 unforced errors

“It’s prime time baby!” she said with a smile.

“Sometimes you wonder why you put in all the hard work – this is exactly why.”

Sharapova ended with 60 winners and 64 unforced errors and converting just five of her 22 break opportunities.

“Simona and I have so much respect for each other,” she said.

“It’s always tough. I knew I would have to work for it.”

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