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Nadal beats Djokovic in Rome semifinals

Rafael Nadal was challenged in the first set by Novak Djokovic before pulling away for a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win to reach the Italian Open final on Saturday.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Nadal beats Djokovic to Rome final

Rafael Nadal reached the final of the Italian Open with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over Novak Djokovic.


Top Headlines

Royal Wedding

Beckham, Serena attend royal wedding

David Beckham and Serena Williams were among the guests at Prince Harry's marriage to Meghan Markle.


Rome Highlights

Halep defeats Sharapova

Top-ranked Simona Halep won her semifinal against Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, setting up a repeat of 2017 Italian Open final against Elina Svitolina.


Svitolina beats Kontaveit in Rome

World No. 4 Elina Svitolina marched into the final with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Anett Kontaveit.


Rafael Nadal

Take that, Rog! Why Maria Sharapova thinks Rafael Nadal is the GOAT

So Maria Sharapova thinks Rafael Nadal is the GOAT, eh? Whether he is, or is not, Sharapova sure hopes his clay dominance rubs off on her at the French Open.

This just in: Rafael Nadal not the only player in the Roland Garros sweepstakes

OK, so it was just one loss, but looking ahead to the French Open, Rafael Nadal is that much less of a guarantee to be holding the winner's trophy.

Nadal falls

Madrid Open

Nadal's clay-court streak ends with Madrid loss

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal lost to Dominic Thiem 7-5, 6-3 in the Madrid Open quarterfinals Friday, breaking the defending champion's run of 21 straight wins on clay courts.

U.S. women

Not yet: Serena withdraws from Italian Open

Serena Williams has withdrawn from next week's Italian Open, saying she needs more time to be "100 percent ready to compete."

Even without Serena Williams, these U.S. women could make a run at Roland Garros

Who needs Serena Williams anyway? We kid, but the sheer number of American women in the top 100 suggests one could make a career-altering run at Roland Garros.

Catching up with Osaka

Osaka on beating Serena and skydiving dreams

Rising tennis star Naomi Osaka talks about her impressive 2018 so far and her speech that she calls the "worst of all time."

Tiafoe time

Why Frances Tiafoe could be the last American standing at the French Open

He's got game, and he digs clay. Frances Tiafoe has every reason to believe he will thrive once Roland Garros rolls around.

Barcelona Open

Here are the players who could possibly beat Rafael Nadal on clay

We don't recommend you bet your life savings on Rafael Nadal falling on clay, but there are a handful of players who could give this dynamo dirt-baller a run for his money.

Reax: Rafa rolls

Nadal takes the plunge after Barcelona win

Rafael Nadal celebrated his 11th title at the Barcelona Open by taking a shirtless-plunge into a swimming pool with the tournament's ball boys and girls.

Problem solving

Wimbledon put forward solution to lower-level tennis match-fixing

The organisers of the Wimbledon tennis championship said on Tuesday the sport must reduce the "absurd" amount of players calling themselves "professionals" in order to stamp out the "tsunami" of lower-level match fixing.


Monte Carlo Masters

Does Rafael Nadal have anything to fear on clay? Yes and no

A dominating performance in Monte Carlo bodes well for the "King of Clay," but it would be foolish for the field to concede the rest of the clay season.

Nadal wins Monte Carlo for 31st Masters title

Rafael Nadal won a record 31st Masters title by beating Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2 in the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday.

Johnson wins

Johnson earns rare clay-court back-to-back win

Steve Johnson beat first-time ATP Tour finalist Tennys Sandgren 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-4 on Sunday to become the first player to defend the U.S. Men's Clay Court title in 16 years.

WTA clay preview

Serena, Sloane, someone else? Who is going to rule the WTA this clay season?

It's a question without a good answer, but we have to ask it anyway: Which WTA player is going to rise up above everyone else on the dirt?

Why clay might be Serena Williams' best chance to get back on track

We don't know what Serena Williams' immediate plans are, but the best thing she can do is return right now for the long clay-season haul.

Serena Williams' slithering fear

Serena Williams has somehow overcome a crippling fear of being bit by a snake in the dark of night to win 23 Grand Slam titles.


This public tennis court in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Houston, damaged by Hurricane Harvey last year, will get a facelift thanks to a gift from the U.S. Men's Clay Court championship organization that has been supplemented with donations by several top pros. John Isner, Francis Tiafoe and the Bryan brothers hit with local kids in the National Junior Tennis and Learning program Tuesday on the cracked, pitted surface — already in disrepair before the storm — and saw where their efforts will go.

Bonnie D. Ford, ESPN Senior Writer39d ago

Rafa's back and better

In case you were wondering, Rafael Nadal is still the master of clay

Should we give Rafa the French Open trophy now? All it took was one Davis Cup weekend to remind us that Rafael Nadal is far and away the best player on clay.

State of U.S. tennis

U.S., Croatia, Spain, France to Davis Cup semis

The United States will take on Croatia in its first Davis Cup semifinals since 2012, with Spain matching up against France on the other side of the bracket.

Finally, an optimistic forecast for American tennis in 2018

The season could not have started off any worse for the Americans, but something clicked at the Miami Open, and suddenly the red, white and blue are shining bright.

A winner's trophy, a slice of pizza and a day to remember for Sloane Stephens

From victory lane at the Miami Open to her favorite pizza joint, perhaps for the final time, it was quite a day for Sloane Stephens.

Isner prevails

Just relax, man: How John Isner won the biggest title of his career

After struggling all season, John Isner finally let loose at the Miami Open and walked away with the winner's trophy.

Serena Williams

Is there reason to doubt Serena?

New mom Serena Williams was sent home too soon from Indian Wells and Miami. D'Arcy Maine and Katie Barnes sort through their feelings on what the icon's comeback to tennis means and what we should expect in the coming months.

Upcoming Serena Williams' documentary

Serena Williams was in a sharing mood on Monday -- posting a very cute photo with her daughter, Alexis, as well as the trailer for her upcoming HBO documentary series.

Miami Open

Beating Venus Williams a testament to Danielle Collins' strong resilience

Danielle Collins isn't like most of her fellow tennis peers, which is probably why she is starting to win so many matches.

Venus shocked by qualifer Collins in Miami

Danielle Collins, who survived two qualifying matches to make the main draw at the Miami Open, ousted her idol Venus Williams in a quarterfinal match at Key Biscayne.

Collins sends Venus Williams crushing out of Miami Open

World No. 93 Danielle Collins shocks three-time Miami Open champion Venus Williams 6-2 6-3 in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.


Federer falls

Not a lot of answers for Roger Federer's failures during crunch time

Roger Federer had chances, lots of them. But like he did last week at Indian Wells, he simply had no answers when it mattered most in his opening match at the Miami Open.

Roger Federer

When did Roger Federer discover his dominance?

Roger Federer made this discovery in the 2004 U.S. Open final against Lleyton Hewitt, he discloses to writer Michael Steinberger. This is the never-before-told oral history of that moment.

Why Roger Federer might not be the best example for fellow players to follow

Word to the wise: Just because Roger Federer has thrived since a long hiatus from the tennis court doesn't mean other players will. Just look at Novak Djokovic.

Serena stumbles

If Serena Williams didn't know who Naomi Osaka was, she does now

Naomi Osaka said she wanted to impress Serena Williams when they met Wednesday at the Miami Open. Let's just say she did that -- and then some.

Serena gets upset in 1st round

Serena Williams is eliminated in the first round of the Miami Open in two sets by Naomi Osaka.



Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic's moment of dominance

In the past 10 years, Novak Djokovic has won 12 majors and 68 tournaments, seventh most in the Open era. Author Nathan Hill explores the 2011 forehand winner that defines the Djoker's now-storied career.

miami open

Osaka on Serena: 'I wanted to impress her'

Naomi Osaka's incredible run continued on Wednesday in her opening-round match against her hero, Serena Williams. And if her impressive play didn't win over the crowd, her postmatch interview definitely did.

The arrival of the WTA's new guard could be on time for Miami

On the men's side, Federer said his loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the finals of Indian Wells -- his first loss in 17 matches in 2018 -- "should sting for a bit," but "there is not too much time to dwell over it" as everyone heads to Miami.

Sharapova withdraws from Miami Open

Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the Miami Open that begins next week because of a left forearm injury.

Indian Wells final

Gentle giant? Spoiler? Nope, Indian Wells champ Juan Martin del Potro is a beast

A gentle giant? Pfft. Juan Martin del Potro showed he might be the heavyweight champ of the tennis universe with a smash-mouth win against Roger Federer in the final of Indian Wells.

Reax: Del Potro beats Federer

Del Potro tops Federer, wins BNP Paribas Open

Juan Martin del Potro defeats Roger Federer in three sets (6-4, 6-7, 7-6) to win the BNP Paribas Open.


del Potro's tweener all for not, Federer wins point

During a rally in the second set, Roger Federer sends the ball over the head of Juan Martin del Potro, who happens to pull off a brilliant tweener. Unfortunately, Federer is right there for the return and wins the point.


del Potro says he fought to beat Federer

Juan Martin del Potro reacts to defeating Roger Federer in the BNP Paribas Open and explains if he is ready to win grand slams again.


Indian Wells women's final

Osaka claims first career title at Indian Wells

Naomi Osaka needed just 70 minutes to dispatch Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday to win the BNP Paribas Open in a matchup of 20-year-old rising stars.

Osaka 'was really stressed' in match against Halep

After beating Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka says she tried to make her No. 1 opponent "really irritated" and looks ahead to playing in the final of the BNP Paribas Open.


The Dominant 20

The Dominant 20: Usain Bolt, the 10th most dominant athlete of our time

He's a six-time IAAF Athlete of the Year, eight-time Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder in the 100 and 200 meters. Not bad! ESPN's Anthony Olivieri runs some other numbers on the fastest man in history.

The Dominant 20

In celebration of ESPN The Magazine's 20th anniversary, Peter Keating's crunched the numbers to find the most dominant athletes of our time.

Venus beats Serena

After loss to Venus, it's time to temper our expectations for Serena

Whether it was against Venus or another top player, Serena Williams showed that while she is improving, she still has a ways to go before returning to championship-level tennis.

ICYMI: How Venus Williams took down sister Serena at Indian Wells

The sister showdown at Indian Wells more or less turned into a dominant display from Venus Williams, who beat her sister Serena in straight sets. Here's how it all went down.

Venus beats Serena for first time in nearly four years

In the third round in Indian Wells, Venus Williams beats Serena Williams in straight sets.


Reaction: Venus takes out sister Serena

Serena on Venus: 'This is the best she's played'

Serena Williams says she's missing shots she rarely misses and praises her sister after Venus Williams' 6-3, 6-4 win.


Venus calls matchup against Serena 'a treat'

Venus Williams attributes her victory over her sister to the fact that she has played more matches of late and talks about being a role model to the youth.


Davis Cup reform

Proposed Davis Cup reform still very much a work in progress

Before we get too excited about the major overhaul to Davis Cup competition, it's important to recognize that it is far from a perfect solution.

Davis Cup revamp plans get mixed response

The International Tennis Federation's plan to stage the Davis Cup at one location over seven days in November has gotten a mixed reaction from countries.

Laureus award

A rare honor Serena didn't deserve

There was no mention that the 2017 Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award was going to be for career achievement. So how did Serena Williams, who missed 11 months, win? A case could be made that she wasn't even the top sportswoman in her family.

Tiafoe's moment

Why Delray Beach winner Frances Tiafoe deserves a good night's sleep

Yes, Frances Tiafoe won his first career tournament, at Delray Beach, but before we start asking for long-term predictions, just let him close his eyes for a while.

Tiafoe wins 1st career ATP title at Delray Beach

Frances Tiafoe, 20, of the U.S. clinched his first ATP title at the Delray Beach Open, becoming the youngest American to win a title since Andy Roddick's 2002 trophy at age 19.

The Undefeated

United States Tennis Association to honor Althea Gibson with a statue

The two-time U.S. national champion will be immortalized at US Open site.

He coached Sloane Stephens to a US Open title, but Kamau Murray's big goal is a youth tennis center in Chicago

He's creating a pipeline of black tennis talent.

Did you see that?

Trick-shot artist nails tennis boomerang

Pablo Schurig shows off "the boomerang trick shot volley" in this amazing tennis trick.


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