Dominic Thiem takes the Sport360 Arabic Test

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World No. 5 Dominic Thiem took some time during the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi to learn some Arabic words and put his language skills to the test.

The Austrian had a solid weekend in the UAE capital, where he lost a tight match to Kevin Anderson on Friday before defeating Pablo Carreno Busta on Saturday.

Thiem is the top seed in Doha this week and will be targeting a maiden Grand Slam success at the Australian Open this month.

Check out the video above to see how fared in the Sport360 Arabic test.


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Sharapova battles back to defeat Riske and make Shenzhen quarter-finals

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​Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova came back from a set down to defeat American Alison Riske at the Shenzhen Open on Tuesday and book a spot in the quarter-finals.

Riske, who had been hoping for her first win against the former world number one, proved to be a tough opponent early in the match before the Russian finally overcame her 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in just under two and a half hours.

“I’m glad I got this kind of match. Although I would’ve wanted a quick and easy victory, these are the kind of matches that you need, especially with such a short preparation going into the Australian Open in terms of matchplay,” Sharapova said afterwards.

“I’m just glad that I came back. She played a really great match and as I said to her at the net, I thought it was a great quality match. In the end, I won it so I have another opportunity to keep going.”

Despite Riske’s early lead, Sharapova hit 34 winners, nearly three times Riske’s total.

The world number 59 was helped by 11 aces, and managed to save seven out of 10 break points.

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko meanwhile slumped to a shock defeat on Tuesday only days after beating Serena Williams in the American’s comeback match.

Number two seed Ostapenko of Latvia lost to the big-serving Czech Kristyna Pliskova 6-1, 6-4 in just an hour and 20 minutes.

Ostapenko had beaten Williams via a super tiebreak 6-2, 3-6, 10-5 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, but she had no answer to the power of Pliskova, identical twin sister of former world number one Karolina.

“I felt a bit nervous in the second set, but my serve was really working today, which was a big help,” Pliskova said after the match.

Pliskova, third on the WTA Tour’s ace charts last season, raced out to a 5-0 lead to start the match. 

“My serve was great today, especially in the first set. I feel like it’s really fast here, so that can be tricky for both of us, and the first of us playing fast won the point.”

It was not the start to 2018 that Ostapenko wanted, with the first Grand Slam of the year – the Australian Open – starting in 13 days’ time.

Earlier there was disappointment for the home crowd when Chinese number three seed Zhang Shuai was bundled out in three sets by Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas.​

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Andy Murray posts emotional message discussing hip injury and potential surgery

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(Photos via Instagram/@andymurray and Getty)

Andy Murray has opened up about his struggle with a continuing hip injury that has forced him out of action for the last six months, and ruled him out of the Brisbane International this week.

The British three-time Grand Slam champion, who was ranked No. 1 in the world as recently as last August, admits that surgery is an option, but he is yet to decide if he will go for it.

Hey everyone.. Just wanted to write a little message on here for anyone interested in what I’m going through right now.

“I’ve obviously been going through a really difficult period with my hip for a long time and have sought council from a number of hip specialists. Having been recommended to treat my hip conservatively since the US Open I have done everything asked of me from a rehab perspective and worked extremely hard to try get back on the court competing,” Murray wrote on his Instagram account, in a message that accompanied a photo of him as a child.

“Having played practice sets here in Brisbane with some top players unfortunately this hasn’t worked yet to get me to the level I would like so I have to reassess my options. Obviously continuing rehab is one option and giving my hip more time to recover. Surgery is also an option but the chances of a successful outcome are not as I high as I would like which has made this my secondary option and my hope has been to avoid that. However this is something I may have to consider but let’s hope not.”

Murray flew to Abu Dhabi last Thursday to practice on the courts of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship and test himself before flying to Brisbane. He played an exhibition set against Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday (lost 6-2), then went to Australia hoping to kick-off his 2018 campaign.

But the 30-year-old withdrew from Brisbane on Tuesday and it seems likely he will miss the Australian Open.

“I choose this pic as the little kid inside me just wants to play tennis and Compete,” Murray said of the photo he posted with the message.

“I genuinely miss it so much and I would give anything to be back out there. I didn’t realise until these last few months just how much I love this game. Every time I wake up from sleeping or napping I hope that it’s better and it’s quite demoralising when you get on the court it’s not at the level you need it to be to compete at this level.

“In the short term I’m going to be staying in Australia for the next couple of days to see if my hip settles down a bit and will decide by the weekend whether to stay out here or fly home to assess what I do next.

“Sorry for the long post but I wanted to keep everyone in the loop and get this off my chest as it’s really hurting inside.

“Hope to see you back on the court soon 🎾😢❤️”

A post shared by Andy Murray (@andymurray) on


Murray is just one of several players struggling with injury woes. Novak Djokovic has been out of action since Wimbledon and was seen wearing a bandage around his troubled elbow in Dubai two days ago. Kei Nishikori withdrew from next week’s tournament in Sydney with an ongoing wrist issue while Stan Wawrinka hasn’t played since Wimbledon and withdrew from Abu Dhabi as he continues to recover from double knee surgery.

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