Romanian tennis great Ilie Nastase apologised Friday for derogatory comments about Serena Williams and for a foul-mouthed Fed Cup tirade that saw him suspended by the International Tennis Federation. "My words during the Fed Cup have rightfully caused controversy and upset the audience, the press and, most painfully for me, the tennis world," the former world number one, 70, said on Facebook.
Kristina Mladenovic recovered from a set and a break down to halt Maria Sharapova's comeback on the WTA Tour in the Stuttgart Open semi-finals. Mladenovic remained unbowed, however, and fought back admirably to level before both women appeared beset by nerves towards the end of the decider. The Frenchwoman was broken when serving for the match at 5-3, but hit back immediately to end Sharapova's return and leave the Russian relying on another wildcard if she is to compete at the French Open next month.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — World No. 1 Andy Murray lost to Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the Barcelona Open semifinals on Saturday. Murray's defeat came a week after he exited the third round at Monte Carlo. That loss prompted Murray to enter Barcelona to whip up some form for the French Open following a right elbow injury. Murray fell for the first time in three meetings with Thiem. Nine-time winner Rafael Nadal played Horacio Zeballaos of Argentina in the other semifinal later Saturday. Thiem started strong, breaking Murray's first two service games before adding a third break en route to taking the first set. The ninth-ranked Thiem had a break point in the second set, but Murray held