Roger Federer has confirmed he will not participate at the Australian Open and said he would be "extremely surprised" if he is fit enough to play at Wimbledon.

The 20-time grand slam winner has played just 13 matches in 2021 as he recovers from a third knee surgery in the space of 18 months, with Federer's last appearance a disappointing straight-sets loss to Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals at SW19 in July.

The Swiss great has now officially confirmed he will not be at Melbourne Park for the first grand slam of 2022, while it remains touch-and-go whether Federer will be back at Wimbledon this year.

"At the moment, I expect to be able to return in the summer of 2022," he told Tribune de Geneve having confirmed playing in Australia is out of the question. 

"The next four or five months are crucial. In the spring, I will already see things much more clearly. The truth is that I would be incredibly surprised if I were to play again at Wimbledon [in 2022]."

"When you get right down to it, it doesn't make much difference whether I return in 2022 or not until 2023, at 40 or 41. It doesn't matter. The question is rather will I manage to torture myself again day after day for my comeback?

"My heart says 'yes' today. So, I'm taking things step by step. I have experienced similar challenges many times in my career sometimes without the public being aware of it. Even though I know that the end is near, I want to try to play some big matches again. It won't be easy but I will try."

 

Now aged 40, Federer's latest injury setback led to suggestions he could call time on his glittering career, though his coach Ivan Ljubicic this week said he was not contemplating such a decision.

Federer accepts he may never play in a grand slam final again and is at peace with that fact, but still "believes in these miracles" as he aims to once again compete among the elite level.

"If I do my rehabilitation intensively, there is a chance that I will get back to a high level," he added. 

"If I do strength training, go on the bike, swim, do balance exercises, work on my upper body, then I believe in it.

"Will I return to the Tour for a smaller round or for something bigger? Nobody knows, neither the doctors nor me. But I'm fighting for it. To be clear, my world will not collapse if I never play another grand slam final.

"But it is my ultimate dream to return once again. And in fact, I still believe in it. I believe in these kinds of miracles. I have already experienced them. 

"Sports history sometimes writes such miracles. I am realistic – it would be a great miracle but there are miracles in sport."

Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash says his side are not in the category of this season's NBA elite after a blowout 117-99 loss to the 12-2 Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.

The star-studded Nets, who were billed as title favourites this season, were humbled on their home court, with their record moving to 10-5.

The Nets added James Harden in January alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant last season, but crashed out in the conference semi-finals to eventual champions the Milwaukee Bucks.

Brooklyn are 0-4 against this season's early contenders, the Warriors, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Bucks.

"Well, I just don't think we're in that [elite] category yet," Nash said at the post-game news conference. "We've got a lot of work to do.

"We're trying to improve as a group, get better and hopefully we can find a way to overcome some of our deficiencies by the end of the year.

"The guys have been great buying into the things we want to do defensively. I think offensively we have all these different line-ups, different backgrounds, styles of play, 10 new players in our team, it takes time.

"We started the year with a continuity plan from last year that got thrown out when Ky [Kyrie Irving] didn't come back. Tonight was a great lesson for us that we've got to double down on some of our principles when the going gets tough."

Durant had his lowest points return for the season with 19, as the Warriors piled on a 35-18 third quarter, before benching star guard Stephen Curry, who was in foul trouble, for the majority of the final period.

Harden has had a slow start to the season by his standards after rehabbing a hamstring injury over the offseason, averaging 19.8 points per game.

The 32-year-old scored 24 points in Tuesday's defeat but remained bullish about the Nets, reiterating it is still early in the season.

"The goal is to be the best team at the end of the season, in the postseason," Harden said at the post-game news conference.

"That's the goal. But probably not [there yet]. We're probably nowhere near. But it's a long season for us to get better, and we will continue to get better."

Odell Beckham Jr's departure from the Cleveland Browns is something that still stings for teammate Jarvis Landry.

Veteran wide receiver Beckham was released by the Browns last week, a move that came after his father complained on social media about his lack of involvement in the team's offense.

Beckham Sr posted an 11-minute video on Instagram, highlighting moments he felt Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had failed to find his son.

Mayfield later stated he considered Beckham a "good friend" and wished him well.

Three-time Pro Bowler Beckham was sidelined with a torn ACL in 2020 and made 17 catches for 232 yards and zero touchdowns in six games for the Browns this season, before signing for the Los Angeles Rams.

For Landry, the exit of his friend is something that remains difficult to accept.

"It definitely was something that hurt. It stung. It still does," Jarvis said in quotes reported by the Akron Beacon Journal.

Mayfield's own form has been under scrutiny as he battles several injury complaints. Already contending with a left shoulder issue that may require surgery down the line, Mayfield has a sore foot and now a contusion on his right knee.

He threw for only 73 yards as the Browns were hammered 45-7 by the New England Patriots over the weekend but Landry leapt to the defence of his teammate.

"He's a tough man, and he's doing all the things necessary to make sure that he can be out there with us," Landry said. 

"As playmakers, when the ball's in the air, we're doing our best and understanding and knowing that it's the situation where he's got to get healthy, but we're still out here making plays with each other, for each other, and he always gives his best. 

"That's all you can ask for."

Landry has himself had issues this season, missing four games due to a knee sprain.

"I haven't been able to get the ball so much, either," he said. 

"But at the end of the day I've been able to [make the most] with the opportunities I'm given. 

"Yeah, I'm battling some things, but on Sundays I always give everything I have. And that will never change."

The Browns (5-5) are fourth in the AFC North and face the winless Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Stephen Curry and the NBA-leading Golden State Warriors sent a message after crushing the championship-chasing Brooklyn Nets 117-99 on Tuesday.

Boasting Kevin Durant and James Harden, the Nets are dreaming big in their pursuit of a maiden title, but the star-studded franchise were reminded how far they must go after Curry torched Brooklyn with 37 points on the road.

Curry tallied his fifth career game with 35-plus points in less than 30 minutes – the most by any player since the three-point era (1980).

The two-time MVP reached 2,900 career three-pointers after making nine shots from beyond the arc at Barclays Center.

 

It marked Curry's 37th career game with nine three-pointers or more – no other player is in the 10-36 range as the high-flying Warriors improved to 12-2.

In his reunion with former team the Warriors, where he won two titles, Durant put up a season-low 19 points.

It was the first time this season Durant did not score at least 20 points in a game, shooting six-of-19 from the field as Harden led the Nets (10-5) with 24 points.

 

George dazzles in LA

Paul George maintained his red-hot form in the absence of injured star team-mate Kawhi Leonard, scoring 34 points and collecting nine rebounds to go with four assists and two steals as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the San Antonio Spurs 106-92. San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (26 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists) narrowly missed out on a triple-double.

 

Philadelphia's slide continues

The Philadelphia 76ers were left to pick up the pieces following a fifth consecutive defeat, a 120-85 rout at the Utah Jazz (9-5). Missing MVP runner-up Joel Embiid and fellow All-Star Ben Simmons, the 76ers were simply no match for the Jazz in Utah as last season's Eastern Conference top seeds slipped to 8-7. Philadelphia have lost five straight games for the first time since December 2017.

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez is set to chase a title in a fifth weight class after the WBC approved his request to challenge Ilunga Junior Makabu for the cruiserweight championship.

Canelo etched his name in the history books courtesy of a brutal 11th-round knockout of previously unbeaten IBF holder Caleb Plant in their blockbuster unification showdown on November 6 – the Mexican superstar becoming the first undisputed super middleweight champion.

After sweeping the division with his WBC, WBC and WBO belts, plus the IBF crown, Canelo (57-1-2) is looking to make the step up to become a five-division champion.

Canelo has never competed at cruiserweight, but the 31-year-old is now in line to meet Congolese champion Makabu (28-2), who has won nine consecutive fights dating back to 2016.

"I know ... what he has done with the heavyweights he spars with, and that is why we asked for the fight," Reynoso told ESPN Deportes.

"We know that [Makabu] is strong, but Canelo can beat him. ... Many may say that it is crazy, but they also said that it was crazy when Canelo was junior middleweight champion and we were looking for middleweights, super middleweight, light heavyweights.

"I have a lot of confidence in Canelo. He is very strong and has many qualities, and I know that he is going to win that fight."

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said there has never been any basketball player like Stephen Curry after his stellar performance in the rout of the Brooklyn Nets.

Curry reached 2,900 career three-pointers after making nine shots from beyond the arc in a 37-point display in Tuesday's 117-99 demolition of the championship-chasing Nets.

The haul marked Curry's 37th career game with nine three-pointers or more, but also helped the NBA-leading Warriors improve to 12-2 against the star-studded Nets, considered among the title favourites.

Two-time MVP Curry, who also had seven rebounds and five assists, tallied his fifth career game with 35-plus points in less than 30 minutes – the most by any player since the three-point era (1980).

When asked what makes Golden State's offence so great, Kerr responded: "Steph Curry… I'm not kidding. There's never been anyone like him. He's an offense by himself.

"He's going to pull defenders with him 35 feet from the hoop and it's a matter of putting smart people around him, like Draymond [Green] and Andre [Iguodala].

"The fact that Steph can be dominant on and off the ball is what makes him unique. There's nobody in the league now or, as far as I'm concerned, ever who had that combination of on-ball skill and pick-and-roll dominance, with the off-ball game of Reggie Miller or Rip Hamilton. That combination has never been seen."

The Warriors' exceptional start to the new season has fuelled hype about their own championship credentials, having won NBA titles in 2015, 2017 and 2018 before missing the playoffs in the past two campaigns.

Curry played down their title hopes but said Golden Stave have "championship DNA" and revealed he is motivated by their past two seasons of disappointment.

"It's always motivation coming off the last two years that we've had," Curry told ESPN after the game. "My injury two years ago, Klay [Thompson] being out for two years, us scrapping and clawing trying to get a playoffs spot last year.

"Coming in healthy this year, we wanted to set our own narrative and our own agenda. That's just playing Warrior basketball. We have so many talented guys, we can go through 11-12 with Klay and Wise [James Wiseman] who haven’t even been available yet.

"It's going to be a great year for us to keep building, have that chip on our shoulder. We have championship DNA but it's been two years since we've been able to prove it. We've got to take every opportunity to get there."

Thompson has resumed five-on-five practice in further good news for the Warriors, as he seeks to return after Achilles and ACL injuries, which meant he has not played in the NBA since June 2019.

Anett Kontaveit will face two-time grand slam champion Garbine Muguruza in the WTA Finals decider after outlasting Maria Sakkari 6-1 3-6 6-3.

Kontaveit – the most in-form player on the WTA Tour – was pushed by fourth seed Sakkari in Tuesday's semi-final at the year-ending championship but fought hard to reach the biggest final of her career.

Having entered the Guadalajara showpiece on the back of three titles and 19 wins in 20 matches, eighth-seeded Estonian star Kontaveit maintained her momentum with her Tour-leading 48th win of the season.

Kontaveit will now go head-to-head with former world number one and sixth seed Muguruza in a repeat of their group-stage meeting, which the latter claimed in straight sets.

The first set was straightforward for Kontaveit, who broke twice as she dominated on serve against Greece's Sakkari.

But Sakkari – who trumped Aryna Sabalenka to reach the semi-finals at the expense of the top seed – remained composed, breaking at the end of the second set to force a decider.

After trading breaks early in the third, Kontaveit eventually prevailed as she looks to avenge her loss to Muguruza in Wednesday's title showdown.

Kontaveit is now a perfect 7-0 in semi-finals this year and the 25-year-old WTA Finals debutant stands on the cusp of a third straight trophy and fifth overall, which would tie world number one Ash Barty for the most this year.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 

Kontaveit – 26/33
Sakkari – 15/32

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 

Kontaveit – 6/3
Sakkari – 9/3

BREAK POINTS WON 

Kontaveit – 4/8
Sakkari – 2/2

Khris Middleton is poised to return when NBA champions the Milwaukee Bucks face the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday after missing eight games following a positive COVID-19 test.

Middleton has not played for the Bucks since the October 31 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs due to coronavirus.

The Bucks have a 3-5 record in Middleton's absence, but the two-time All-Star has returned to practice and expects to play midweek.

"I've been working out the last couple of days here while guys were on the road," Middleton – a champion with Milwaukee last season – told reporters after Tuesday's practice.

"In practice, I felt good. But everybody knows game shape is a totally different ballgame. I can't wait to see how I feel tomorrow."

Milwaukee have opened their championship defence 6-8 and will hope Middleton's return can help lift them ahead of five straight home games.

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said: "I think it's underrated what he does for us defensively, underrated what he does for us on the boards, his communication, his leadership.

"Everybody's going to talk about the scoring and the shooting and all those things. I don't want to undervalue or underestimate those, but I think he really is a complete player and he's a great leader."

Middleton averaged 20.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists across the Bucks' title-winning 2020-21 season.

He has started the new season averaging 20.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.

Tiger Woods can pick his role for the 2022 Presidents Cup in Charlotte, insisted United States captain Davis Love III.

Woods captained Team USA to Presidents Cup glory over the Internationals in Melbourne in 2019, but the future of the 15-time major champion remains uncertain following a serious car crash in February.

The 45-year-old is recovering after suffering a comminuted open fracture in his right leg, which required emergency surgery, while also sustaining additional injuries to his foot and ankle as a result of the single-vehicle incident in California.

Woods missed this year's Ryder Cup, with the American superstar yet to play an official event since the postponed 2020 Masters in November last year.

Love said he would be more than happy to have Woods serve as one of his assistants at Quail Hollow next year – the Presidents Cup will start on September 20.

"It would have been a great captaincy for Tiger to continue on," Love said on Tuesday. "At the time we were discussing it, he said, 'No, I'm playing really good. I'm gonna make the team, and I enjoyed Australia being playing captain, but I want to be a player on the team.'

"So his role is whatever his role wants to be. If Tiger calls me up and says, 'Hey, you're kicked out, I'm taking over' -- that's Tiger's role.

"If he wants to be an assistant, you know ... I would hope that he comes back and starts playing and can make that a goal, to be on the team."

On Woods' involvement during the Ryder Cup, Love added: "It took us a while to get him to the point where he would engage. Obviously he had a rough start to the year, but once we got him in the loop, he was a big help and a lot of fun for the Ryder Cup and for the team.

"Obviously the guys were going to see him down there in South Florida all summer. He can do whatever, and I know he'll be a big part of it."

Love continued: "Tiger went from a guy we didn't know to now he's a leader and an inside guy. So he has good information on some of the players that we don't know.

"He was really helpful in captains' picks. I think for me, in '16 [when Love was Ryder Cup captain and Woods was an assistant] and then as an assistant captain, he's very helpful in strategy and pairings. He's a tactician. He watches a lot more golf than I do, so he has a lot of information."

Giannis Antetokounmpo hinted that his next challenge may not be with NBA champions the Milwaukee Bucks.

Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to their first NBA title in 50 years last season, earning the Finals MVP award after a dominant series averaging 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists against the Phoenix Suns.

The two-time NBA MVP had reiterated his commitment to the Bucks in December when he signed a super-max five-year, $228million contract extension, the largest in league history.

However, the 26-year-old suggested his future may be away from Milwaukee.

"One challenge was to bring a championship here and we did," Antetokounmpo told GQ. "It was very hard, but we did. Very, very hard. I just love challenges. What's the next challenge? The next challenge might not be here.

"Me and my family chose to stay in this city that we all love and has taken care of us – for now. In two years, that might change.

"I'm being totally honest with you. I'm always honest. I love this city. I love this community. I want to help as much as possible."

Antetokounmpo's agent Alex Saratsis tried to water down the comments, clarifying that they were about his ambition not switching teams.

"I don't think it's, 'I'm thinking about leaving the Bucks'," Saratsis said. "But I think he's genuinely like: 'Okay, I have reached the pinnacle. The next challenge is, let's repeat'.

"But what happens if you do repeat? What's the next challenge? What is that next barrier? When you think about it from a basketball perspective, by the age of 26, this kid has accomplished everything. So sometimes you're going to have to manufacture what those challenges are."

Antetokounmpo is averaging 26.5 points, 11.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game across 13 games this season, with the Bucks sitting 6-8.

Athens-born Greek star Antetokounmpo joined the Bucks as the 15th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

San Francisco Giants boss Gabe Kapler and Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays were named Managers of the Year for 2021 in MLB.

Kapler scooped National League (NL) honours after leading the Giants to a franchise-record 107-win season and the best winning percentage (66.0) since 1913.

The 46-year-old guided the Giants to their first NL West title since 2012, dethroning the Los Angeles Dodgers before losing to their rivals in the NL Division Series (NLDS).

Prior to Kapler – who signed a contract extension through to 2024 – the only other Giants manager to win the award was Dusty Baker in 1993, 1997 and 2000, having held off Milwaukee Brewers skipper Craig Counsell and former St Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt.

Cash, meanwhile, became the first American League (AL) manager to receive the award in back-to-back seasons.

Tampa Bay's Cash – in his seventh season as manager – beat out Baker of the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais.

The Rays clinched back-to-back AL East title for the first time in franchise history with a record 100 victories before falling to the Boston Red Sox in the AL Division Series (ALDS).

The Los Angeles Chargers could be without both Joey Bosa and Jerry Tillery for their clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers after both were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Edge rusher Bosa is once again leading the way for the Chargers with 5.5 sacks so far this season, while defensive tackle Tillery has 2.5 sacks and three tackles for loss in 2021.

They would each be significant losses for a Chargers team looking to right the ship after three losses in their past four games and for a defense that ranks 19th in the NFL with 5.59 yards per play allowed.

However, the Chargers pair are not the only players who could miss Sunday's primetime matchup due to being in coronavirus protocol.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was absent for their 16-16 tie with the Detroit Lions after he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, on which he was joined by safety Minkah Fitzpatrick after he tested positive for coronavirus.

Discussing the quarterback position on Tuesday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said: "We're going to build our plan around getting Mason [Rudolph, backup QB] ready to play.

"We're going to highlight his talents and skills relative to the opponents that we're intending to play. We're going to build that plan, work that plan. We've got a young offensive unit, and we'll let that lead us throughout the week.

"If we get to a point in the week where Ben has an opportunity to get to a moving train, that's exactly what he'll do. He'll be capable of executing the game plan."

The Chargers (5-4) are a game behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West, while the Steelers (5-3-1) trail the 6-3 Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.

Pittsburgh have won four of their past six meetings with the Chargers.

Zion Williamson moved a step closer to returning to NBA action on Tuesday as he was cleared for contact by the New Orleans Pelicans.

Williamson is entering his third year as a professional but has so far seen his hugely promising career hindered by injury.

The former first overall draft pick did not make his NBA debut until January in the 2019-20 campaign after tearing his meniscus in his rookie preseason.

Relatively minor issues limited Williamson to 61 games last season, but he has not yet featured in 2021-22 due to a right foot fracture, for which he had surgery in the offseason.

Despite understandable concerns about the forward's durability, Williamson has excelled against NBA opposition.

After 22.5 points per game in his rookie year, he improved to 27.0 last season and will return on a streak of scoring 20 in 15 straight games. Before Tuesday's games, that was tied with Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant for the longest such active streak in the league.

When that return will be remains uncertain, but the Pelicans brought positive news in their latest release.

"The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that forward Zion Williamson has been cleared to participate in contact drills, beginning with one-on-one workouts and progressively working towards full team workouts," the team said.

"Williamson, who underwent imaging on his fractured right foot on Thursday [Nov. 11], was medically cleared by Dr. Richard Ferkel of Southern California Orthopedic Institute and Dr. Scott Montgomery of Ochsner Health.

"Williamson will undergo further medical imaging on November 24, which will determine his availability for full team workouts.

"Additional updates will be provided on his anticipated return to play timetable accordingly."

New Orleans are a miserable 2-13 in Williamson's absence this year. Only once (1-14 in 2004-05) in franchise history have they had a worse record through 15 games.

Since the 2019 NBA Draft, the Pelicans are now 40-45 (47.1) with Williamson and 23-51 (31.1) without him.

Early NBA Rookie of the Year frontrunner Evan Mobley could miss up to a month of action after suffering an elbow sprain.

Mobley – the third overall draft pick – has settled seamlessly into the professional environment with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Immediately installed into the Cavaliers' starting line-up, Mobley has averaged 14.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steals through 15 games.

The former USC forward leads all rookies in minutes (506), points (219) and rebounds (120). He ranks joint-fourth in the entire league for dunks (32).

But Mobley's momentum will be slowed now by a spell on the sidelines following an injury sustained in Monday's defeat to the Boston Celtics.

"Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley left Monday night's game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse against Boston in the third quarter with a right elbow injury and did not return to action," a Cavs statement read on Tuesday.

"Initial examination postgame and an MRI administered today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health confirmed a right elbow sprain.

"Mobley will now undergo a period of treatment and rehabilitation and his return to play will be approximately two-four weeks. His status will be updated as appropriate."

Monday's game was the second of back-to-back encounters against Eastern Conference rivals the Celtics, which produced mixed results for Mobley.

The rookie played a huge role in a comeback win in their first meeting, scoring 12 fourth-quarter points as Cleveland recovered from 19 down.

However, on Monday, Mobley endured by far the worst shooting performance of his young NBA career prior to exiting injured.

He made zero of 11 field-goal attempts, scoring only a single point from the free throw line. He did add nine rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

No other player in the NBA this season has attempted as many as 11 field goals in a game without making any.

Jannik Sinner capitalised on an unexpected ATP Finals opportunity by beating Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets on his debut.

Matteo Berrettini's withdrawal due to injury meant Sinner stepped in as a late replacement for his fellow Italian, and the 20-year-old rose to the occasion with a 6-2 6-2 victory in Turin.

Daniil Medvedev is already assured of a place in the semi-finals, and Sinner could join the defending champion in qualifying from the Red Group following a commanding bow at the Pala Alpitour.

The first alternate raised the roof on home soil, with Hurkacz unable to break his serve as the seventh seed from Poland suffered back-to-back defeats to prop up the group.

Sinner, a winner of four titles in a stellar season, broke twice in each set and won 74 per cent of points behind his first serve as he took centre stage soon after he might have been a spectator.

The world number 11 said: "I knew around 5[pm] that I would play. I was ready to go on court. It is an incredible feeling playing here in Italy with thousands of people cheering for you, and I am trying my best. I will enjoy the moment. I played well and felt good in the warm-up. It was an incredible match."

Sinner could move into the last four if he beats Medvedev or if Alexander Zverev is beaten by Hurkacz on Thursday.   WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 

Sinner – 17/11
Hurkacz – 14/14

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 

Sinner – 5/0
Hurkacz – 4/0

BREAK POINTS WON 

Sinner – 4/6
Hurkacz – 0/5

Luka Doncic has travelled with the Dallas Mavericks for their upcoming road trip despite an ankle injury.

Mavs superstar Doncic injured his left ankle in the closing stages of Monday's win over the Denver Nuggets, in which he had 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

Losing Doncic for an extended period would represent a significant blow to Dallas, who have relied on the Slovenian for 23.7 per cent of their points this season – the sixth-highest share of any individual in the league.

But reports on Tuesday brought positive news for fans of Jason Kidd's 9-4 team.

ESPN said Doncic's injury was considered "not too serious", while it was reported the player was part of the Mavericks' travelling party as they embark on a four-game road trip.

Doncic would appear unlikely then to feature against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, but Dallas play the same team again on Friday ahead of a double-header at the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers have eliminated Doncic and the Mavericks from the playoffs in the first round in each of the past two seasons.

However, Doncic has scored an outstanding 33.5 points per game across those two series, contributing to a career average against the Clippers of 31.4 points (regular season and playoffs).

He has contributed 24.9 points, 7.9 assists, 8.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals through 13 games so far this year.

Garbine Muguruza came out on top in an all-Spanish encounter with Paula Badosa to put herself within a match of winning a maiden WTA Finals title.

The highest-ranked player left in the competition, former world number one Muguruza triumphed 6-3 6-3 over the Indian Wells champion on Tuesday in Guadalajara.

Muguruza, who made the semi-final stage back in 2015, is hoping to become the first Spanish player to win the event, and will face Maria Sakkari or Anett Kontaveit in the final.

She took the first set in 36 minutes, taking two of the three break points she was offered as she set the tone for a dominant performance.

Badosa struggled again on serve early in the second set, giving Muguruza the chance to nose ahead.

To Badosa's frustration, three break points went begging in the third game as she missed the opportunity for an immediate response, and Muguruza never looked likely to offer up another opening as she claimed to a convincing win, reaching a fifth final of the season.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 

Badosa – 20/30
Muguruza – 17/21

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 

Badosa – 3/6
Muguruza – 2/3

BREAK POINTS WON 

Badosa – 0/3
Muguruza – 3/11

Jannik Sinner will replace Matteo Berrettini in the ATP Finals, meaning Daniil Medvedev has to prepare for a different opponent than planned.

Medvedev made it two wins from two in Turin as he fought to a 6-3 6-7 (3-6) 7-6 (8-6) victory over Alexander Zverev on Tuesday.

That win sealed the defending champion's place in the semi-finals, and he will now aim to maintain his momentum when he returns to the court for his final group game.

However, he will not face Berrettini as initially scheduled, after the Italian world number seven was forced to withdraw with an injury he sustained against Zverev on Sunday.

Berrettini had to retire from that match, and compatriot Sinner will replace him.

Sinner's first match will be against Hubert Hurkacz in a repeat of the Miami Open final – the Pole claiming his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title on that occasion.

Hurkacz lost his first match of his debut Finals, going down to Medvedev, who was made to work harder against Zverev.

"Definitely one of the matches to remember," Medvedev said after his win over the German. "When you win 8-6 in the tie-break in the third...

"It was 4-2 for him, so I was like okay, he serves a few aces, it's done. I made it 6-4, and I was like okay, that's my moment now. 

"Just an amazing feeling. Not actually much to say about the match, just amazing.

"Sometimes that's how tennis is. You just try to do your best. Sometimes luck is on your side, sometimes not. Sometimes it's more than just luck. I just try to do my best, and I'm really happy the past seven matches went in my favour."

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