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Six of world’s top 10 to play in Qatar

Despite the loss of world number one Naomi Osaka through injury, six of the women’s top 10 players descend on Doha this week for the Qatar Open. Australian Open champion — and the sport’s new superstar — Osaka withdrew last week due to a back injury, leaving a big hole to fill for tournament organisers, which they have done with a strong field including three former world number ones. Simona Halep is now the top seed and the Romanian will be joined by the Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova and Germany’s Angelique Kerber as the top seeds.

Australian Open champ Osaka is Asia’s 1st No. 1 in tennis

Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka is the first player from Asia to top the men’s or women’s tennis rankings — and the youngest woman to make her debut at No. 1 in nine years. “I feel like I’m literally just still learning,” the 21-year-old Osaka said. Simona Halep’s 48-week stay atop the WTA rankings ended Monday as she slid to No. 3 after a fourth-round loss to Serena Williams, one year after getting to the final at Melbourne Park.

Naomi Osaka’s rise spells trouble for Serena Williams and points to golden age for women’s tennis

Complete dominance by one team or individual is rarely popular, since inevitably such a situation breeds jealousy, resentment and boredom. Women’s tennis meanwhile has veered between both of these extremes over the last 15 years – an era that can be broadly split into two sections. Or when Williams has been absent a series of understudies have grappled unconvincingly to take centre stage.

The Latest: Djokovic beats Nadal for 7th Australian title

Novak Djokovic has won his record seventh Australian Open championship and a third consecutive Grand Slam title by beating Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in the final at Rod Laver Arena. The No. 1-ranked Djokovic raised his major trophy total to 15, behind only Roger Federer’s 20 and Nadal’s 17. Djokovic improved to 7-0 in finals at Melbourne Park with a remarkably dominant and mistake-free performance against Nadal.

Osaka embraces pressure, eyes ‘Naomi Slam’

Newly-minted Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka said she was not satisfied with back-to-back majors Sunday and hoped to complete a “Naomi Slam” after her success at Melbourne Park. Japan’s Osaka becomes the first Asian to hold the top ranking after downing Czech Petra Kvitova in a tight final on Saturday night and adding the Australian crown to the US Open title she won last year. While her maiden Grand Slam was marred by losing finalist Serena Williams’ umpire-baiting histrionics and boos from the Flushing Meadows crowd, Osaka was allowing her follow-up success in Melbourne to soak in.