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JACK NICKLAUS: TIGER WOODS WILL “SLAP IT AROUND” AGAIN

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t’s the question we seemingly ask ourselves every few years when Tiger Woods has an injury.

Will he ever play again, will he be the same, how many times will he play – is this truly the end?

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His latest injury does look a nasty one, after the 43-year-old overturned his car after reportedly speeding on his way to an event on 23 February.

Of course @TigerWoods nailed the Happy Gilmore swing on the first try.

Watch the full video of #TeamTaylorMade trying to recreate Happy’s iconic move here: https://t.co/JiXe458oBB pic.twitter.com/tj825tdZaW

— TaylorMadeGolfEurope (@TaylorMadeTour) September 6, 2021
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But Jack Nicklaus believes Woods will play again, and told the Washington Post he expects him to be able to “slap it around”.

The record 18-time major champion told the paper: “I know Tiger. What he did at Torrey Pines [winning the 2008 U.S. Open] on a broken leg, what does that tell you? He’ll still be able to slap it around, and if he can putt, he’ll be all right.

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“I don’t know if he can reach his old level, but I do expect him to play again.”

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Woods has posted glimpses into his recovery on his social media channels after the crash, where he is said to have been driving at more than twice the 45mph limit before he had to extricated from his vehicle.

Woods has posted an image of himself alongside his dog and rehab partner, saying that the development of his course is going quicker than his recovery with the caption: ‘Man’s best friend.’

In May, he told Golf Digest his recovery was one of his most painful experiences due his previous injuries.

He told them he suffered open fractures in his tibia and fibula, injuries to his foot and ankle, and trauma to the muscle and soft tissue of the leg.

A crash report, released with Woods’ consent, later revealed he was knocked unconscious and suffered a laceration to the front of his jaw and bruised his ribcage along with fracturing his right tibia and fibula.

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Naomi Osaka responds to critics in latest Instagram Q&A: ‘IDGAF anymore’

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Star tennis player Naomi Osaka recently slammed her critics during a Q&A session she held on Instagram Stories for her fans.

 

 

Osaka, 24, revealed she does not care anymore about the comments of her critics after one of her fans told her to play at the Australian Open as if she has something to prove.

“Respectfully, I don’t have anything to prove,” the four-time Grand Slam champion said. “Before my first Slam, I was told I had potential, but probably not going to capitalize on it. After my first Slam, I was told I got lucky, and I was a one hit wonder. After my second Slam, I was told that I could be great but I was unsure. After my third and fourth Slams, I was told I will only be good on hard courts.” “Moral of the story – people are always going to have something to say and IDGAF [I don’t give a f*ck] anymore,” she added.

Osaka also shared some stories during the Q&A session, including the funny behind-the-scenes moment referred to as the “shoe incident,” Sportskeeda reported.

“For the life of me, I couldn’t put on the heels I was supposed to wear for the [Australian Open] trophy picture last year,” Osaka said. “Spent 20 minutes trying to find new shoes, came back this year and found out it’s now being referred to as the shoe incident.”

When asked about her biggest achievement in tennis, Osaka revealed that being asked to be the final torchbearer at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 was “something I am going to remember and be so grateful for the rest of my life.”

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The Osaka-born tennis star was slapped with a $15,000 fine last year after she failed to show up at a Roland Garros press conference, citing the importance of mental health for athletes as the reason. Days after being fined, Osaka announced that she would not participate in that year’s French Open, NextShark previously reported.

Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open to take care of her mental health inspired gymnast Simone Biles, who decided not to compete in the gymnastics team final at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

The World’s No. 14 female singles tennis player plans to approach this new year with a different mindset and not focus on results or rankings.

“I only really have one major goal this year, and it’s completely unrelated to results and stuff like that,” Osaka said on Jan. 4, according to The Washington Post. “For me, I just want to feel like every time I step on the court… I’m having fun. I can walk off the court knowing that even if I lost, I tried as hard as I could… I just need to find a way to enjoy the game again because that’s the reason why I was playing in the first place.”

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Australian Open Day 1: Naomi Osaka, Rafael Nadal speed into second round

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The Australian Open is underway notably without men’s No. 1 player Novak Djokovic, who was deported after an appeal to have his visa reinstated was shot down. Now the attention turns to the tennis action and on Day 1 there were a handful of upsets on the women’s side, including to the two highest-ranking Americans.

 

 

Osaka, Nadal advance in returns
Naomi Osaka moved into the next round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Camila Osorio. She won the first five games of the match as she looks to defend her Australian Open crown. The four-time Grand Slam singles champion also won in 2019.

Osaka, 24, showed off a bit of a superstition in the opening match by avoiding stepping on the “Melbourne” signage on the court. She had 19 winners to Osorio’s five and an 83% win percentage on the first serve. Osaka is seeded 13th after sliding in the rankings while taking time off last year. She withdrew from the French Open and skipped Wimbledon before early exits at the Tokyo Olympics and U.S. Open.

Osaka will face American Madison Brengle in the second round.

Rafael Nadal, seeded sixth in the men’s draw, also advanced in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 against Marcos Giron. Nadal missed the end of the 2021 season with a foot injury. He won the Summer Set title in Melborne two weeks ago, his first tournament win in Australia since the Australian Open in 2009.

Nadal, 35, is tied with Djokovic and Roger Federer for most major singles titles in men’s tennis history. Each player has 20 and Nadal is the only one of them in the draw. Djokovic did not meet the country’s strict COVID-19 vaccination criteria that created an 11-day saga. Federer is currently injured.

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Nadal will face Yannick Hanfmann, who won in straight sets, in the second round.

Women’s draw: Top seeds advance
Ash Barty, the No. 1 ranked player on the women’s side, had little trouble advancing through with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Lesia Tsurenko. Barty will face Lucia Bronzetti of Italy next.

It took Barty only 54 minutes to get through as the Australian seeks her first Australian Open title. She faced game points in only the third game and saved them with a forehand winner and ace.

Men’s draw: American scores upset
American Sebastian Korda pulled off the biggest upset of the men’s draw on the first day. He took down No. 12 seeded Australian Cameron Norrie, 6-3, 6-0, 6-4.

Korda will face Frenchman Corentin Moutet in the second round. Moutet dropped the first set of the tournament, but bounced back to win the next three against fellow countryman Lucas Pouille.

Alexander Zverev, seeded third, won 7-6 (3), 6-1, 7-6 (1) against Daniel Altmaier. He was the only top-five men’s player to hit the court on the Grand Slam’s first day.

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Rafael Nadal: ‘I spent four days in bed and then three more days …’

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He made a smooth start to his 2022 Australian Open campaign, but Rafael Nadal has revealed he was “destroyed physically” during his battle with Covid-19 ahead of the tournament.

 

 

The sixth seed kicked off his season-opening Grand Slam with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over American Marcos Giron in just under two hours on Rod Laver Arena on Monday.

The 2009 Australian Open champion broke twice in the first set, once in the second and twice again in the third to progress to the second round.

It was his fourth win in Melbourne this year as he won the Melbourne Summer Set title last week, which is a welcome return to action for the former world No 1 as he struggled with illness and injury the past few months.

After missing the latter half of the 2021 season due to a foot injury, Nadal made his comeback at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition event in Abu Dhabi in December, but tested positive for Covid-19 after the tournament and was laid low for some time.

“Sometimes you are a little bit more tired – I don’t know because of it or because I haven’t been on the Tour for the last six months,” he said.

“The symptoms haven’t been nice. I spent four days in bed and then three more days destroyed physically.

“After that, I started to feel a little bit better, I had a negative PCR after the ninth or 10th day and then I had one or two practices at home, then I came here.”

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Although he is used to many comebacks due to injury and delighted with return to action, Nadal admits there was “a lot of doubt”.

He continued: “It has been a very challenging [few] months.

“Not only the last six months have been tough, obviously being out of the competition, but since the last lockdown in 2020.

“Everyone knows that I have an important injury in my foot at the beginning of my career… after those two months being at home, when I came back, it was very challenging.

“It’s honestly been very tough in moments with a lot of doubts, but here I am and I can’t be happier to be back in Australia. It’s fantastic for me.

“When you come back from injuries things are always difficult and you need to go day by day.

“You need to accept the mistakes and you need to forgive yourself when things are not going the proper way.

“At the beginning, things are going to be difficult, you will not have the best feeling sometimes on the court, but staying positive and playing with the right energy… and winning matches helps.”

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