Kei Nishikori has withdrawn from next month's Australian Open and the inaugural ATP Cup as he continues to recover from elbow surgery.

The world number 13 went under the knife in October and has not played since his third-round exit at the US Open in August.

Nishikori was due to represent Japan in the ATP Cup in Perth but follows Yoshihito Nishioka in withdrawing from the team.

"Unfortunately I have to pull out of the ATP Cup and the Aussie Open," Nishikori said in a statement on his 30th birthday.

"Today, together with my team, we have made this decision as I am still not 100 per cent ready/healthy to compete at the highest level.

"This decision was not taken lightly as Australia is one of my favourite places to compete. Together with my team I will keep working hard to be back on court as soon as possible. Thanks for all the support."

Nishikori reached the Australian Open quarter-finals for the fourth time in 2019 after winning the Brisbane International.

The former world number four and 2014 US Open runner-up also recorded quarter-final appearances at the French Open and Wimbledon this year.

Andy Murray will miss the Australian Open as a precautionary measure after suffering an injury setback.

Murray feared his career may be over when he withdrew from the first grand slam of 2019 in Melbourne due to a long-term hip injury.

The three-time grand slam champion underwent career-saving hip resurfacing surgery last January and made his comeback only five months later.

Murray won the European Open in October and was expected to play in his first major singles tournament for a year next month, but is taking no chances.

"I've worked so hard to get myself into a situation where I can play at the top level and I’m gutted I’m not going to be able to play in Australia in January," said the 32-year-old, who will also miss the ATP Cup.

"After the AO this year, when I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to play again, I was excited about coming back to Australia and giving my best, and that makes this even more disappointing for me.

"Unfortunately I've had a setback recently and as a precaution, need to work through that before I get back on court competing."

Murray last month revealed he opted not to take any risks with a "bit of an issue" after only playing once for Great Britain in their run to the Davis Cup semi-finals.

Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley said: "I know how excited Andy was about coming back to compete in Australia in January, and how disappointed he is not to make it for 2020,

"Andy's last match at the Australian Open was a five-set roller coaster [against Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round this year] that none of us who witnessed it will ever forget. His determination and iron will was on display for all to see, and it's that fighting spirit that has driven him to come back from a potentially career-ending injury to achieve the results he has this year.

"Although we will miss him in January, we wish him all the very best for his recovery and look forward to seeing him back on court very soon."

It was a decade dominated by the 'Big Three' and they delivered on multiple occasions on the biggest stages.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic dominated the decade in men's tennis, winning 33 of the 40 grand slams on offer.

Djokovic claimed 15 of those, while Nadal (13) and Federer (five) built on what they had started in the early-to-mid 2000s.

And, when they matched up in deciders, the trio of greats produced some epic finals.

The women's decade was far more varied despite Serena Williams' dominance – the American winning 12 majors since 2010 – as they too delivered some enthralling deciders.

We take a look at some of the best major finals of the decade.

 

2012 Australian Open: Novak Djokovic bt. Rafael Nadal 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 7-5

In arguably the most gruelling grand slam final ever, Djokovic outlasted Nadal in a five-set thriller in Melbourne.

The all-time greats produced an epic battle that lasted five hours and 53 minutes – the longest slam final in history.

Nadal needed a comeback in the fourth-set tie-break just to stay alive in the decider, famously dropping to his knee in celebration after getting to a fifth.

But the Spaniard would cough up a break lead in the final set as Djokovic claimed an incredible win for his fifth grand slam crown.

2014 Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic bt. Roger Federer 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 5-7 6-4

A Federer-Djokovic final at the All England Club always delivers.

This one looked set to be a little more straightforward as Djokovic led two-sets-to-one and held a 5-2 advantage in the fourth.

However, Federer reeled off five straight games to force a decider.

Both players had their chances in the fifth set but Djokovic took his to clinch the title.

Federer finished with 75 winners and 29 unforced errors, while Djokovic had 68 and 27 respectively in a match he described as the "best quality grand slam final" he had played in.

 

2017 Australian Open: Roger Federer bt. Rafael Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3

This was quite the occasion as two of the best ever went head to head in a grand slam final for the first time since 2011.

Its importance was also highlighted by the fact Federer held 17 majors to Nadal's 14 heading into the match, and can be understood even more greatly at the end of 2019 now that the pair are on 20 and 19 respectively.

As expected, the pair produced in front of an adoring Melbourne crowd.

After a to-and-fro battle to begin the final, Federer came from 3-1 down in the deciding set, having taken a medical time-out after the fourth.

2017 French Open: Jelena Ostapenko bt. Simona Halep 4-6 6-4 6-3

A stunning run at Roland Garros was completed in fine fashion – with an incredible comeback.

The unseeded Ostapenko may have accepted her run to the final was an achievement enough after the Latvian fell a set and 3-0 down to the tournament favourite.

Ostapenko may have levelled the match, but she then found herself 3-1 behind in the decider.

But, she produced another response, her first WTA Tour title coming at the French Open.

 

2019 Australian Open: Naomi Osaka bt. Petra Kvitova 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-4

Ostapenko may have delivered a huge comeback, but Osaka's ability to keep her cool against Kvitova at Melbourne Park earlier this year was even more impressive.

The Japanese star's maiden major win had been overshadowed by Williams' outburst at Flushing Meadows just months earlier and it seemed a potential second major title had been thrown away.

Osaka took the first set and led 5-3 with three championship points in the second, only to somehow drop the set altogether.

That would be enough to break even the greatest, let alone a 21-year-old on one of the sport's grandest stages.

Instead, Osaka composed herself, closing out an amazing victory for her second major title.

2019 Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic bt. Roger Federer 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3)

A history-making decider lasted just under five hours and, once again, Federer was left to rue a missed chance against Djokovic at the All England Club.

Djokovic saved two championship points in the fifth set as the two greats went to a final-set tie-break – the first in singles at Wimbledon. 

The Serbian edged it to win a 16th grand slam title, as not even 94 winners from the Swiss superstar were enough

Federer won 14 more points, hit 40 more winners and created 13 break points to eight, but was beaten.

Novak Djokovic led the way in a decade of dominance in men's tennis but it was a very different story in the women's game, as 20 different players claimed grand slam titles.

Djokovic won all but one of his 16 majors in the previous 10 years, with Rafael Nadal adding 13 to his tally to move just one adrift of Roger Federer's record haul of 20.

Only six men were grand slam champions in the past decade; Federer on five occasions, Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray securing three apiece and Marin Cilic winning the 2014 US Open.

It has been much more difficult to predict which women will land the big prizes in the game, summed up by the fact there were four different winners in 2019.

Ash Barty and Bianca Andreescu claimed maiden major titles, while Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep won their second to prevent Serena Williams from matching Margaret Court's record total of 24.

We look back at how the leading lights have measured up in the 2010s and take a glimpse at what might unfold in the next 10 years.

 

RAFA CLOSING IN, SWEET 16 FOR DJOKOVIC

Nadal won three of the four majors in 2010 and added another two this year, further trimming Federer's advantage.

World number one Nadal only failed to win the French Open twice in the decade, while Djokovic was a six-time Australian Open champion and scooped a quintet of Wimbledon crowns.

Federer has been stuck on 20 grand slam triumphs since going back-to-back in Australia in 2018, with the most recent seven won by either Djokovic or Nadal.

Not since Wawrinka's success at Flushing Meadows in 2016 has a player other than Nadal, Djokovic or Federer won a men's grand slam singles title. 

 

SERENA WINS A DOZEN, BUT SHORT OF COURT

Williams confirmed her status as one of the all-time greats by winning a further 12 major singles titles since the turn of the decade.

The 38-year-old has remained on 23 since defeating her sister, Venus, when she was pregnant in the 2017 Australian Open final.

Williams has lost all four major finals since the birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia, including the past two against Halep and Andreescu at Wimbledon and in New York respectively.

Angelique Kerber claimed three grand slams in the 2010s, while Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Li Na, Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova, Halep, Garbine Muguruza and Osaka won two apiece.

 

ONUS ON NEXT GEN MEN TO STEP UP

While there had been concerns over what was to come with so many legends heading towards, or already in, the twilight of their careers, exciting talent has emerged in both the men

While there were concerns over what was to come with so many legends heading towards, or already in, the twilight of their careers, exciting talent has emerged in both the men's and women's game.  

Canadian teenager Andreescu capped a breakthrough season by winning the US Open, while world number one Barty is only 23 and the likes of Halep still have plenty of time on their side.

With Federer aged 38, Nadal 33, Djokovic 32 and Murray - hoping to work his way back up the rankings after recovering from hip surgery - also in his 30s, there will be a changing of the guard in the next decade.

Stefanos Tsitsipas gave another example of his huge potential by winning the ATP Finals title, while Dominic Thiem has been beaten by Nadal in the past two French Open finals.

Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov will also be hoping to come of age in the 2020s.

A record 71million Australian Dollars in prize money will be on the line at next month's Australian Open in Melbourne.

Men's and women's singles champions will each collect 4.12m AUD following an increase of 13.6 per cent on the 2019 purse.

Players losing in the first round of the singles main draw will earn 90,000 AUD, up 20 per cent, while semi-finalists will take home 1.04m AUD – an increase of 13 per cent.

"We have long been committed to improving the pay and conditions for a deeper pool of international tennis players, in fact since AO 2007 prize money has more than tripled from 20m AUD to the 71m AUD for 2020 we are announcing today," Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said on Tuesday.

"This year, as we do every year, we worked with the tours to establish the weighting for prize money increases round-by-round, and we pushed to reward players competing early in the tournament in both singles and doubles. 

"We strongly believe in growing prize money at all levels of the game and we will continue to work with the playing group to create viable career paths in the sport and enable more players to make more money."

Novak Djokovic will be eyeing a record-extending eighth Australian Open crown when he returns to defend his title at Melbourne Park.

Meanwhile, Japanese star Naomi Osaka is the defending champion in the women's singles.

 

Roger Federer joked he may never retire from tennis as he continues to focus on extending his career for as long as possible.

World number three Federer turned 38 in August and has just rounded off a hugely successful tour with Alexander Zverev.

The 20-time grand slam winner won four titles this season, while he missed out on glory at Wimbledon after losing in an epic final against Novak Djokovic.

Federer has recently invested in Swiss-based shoe company On Running, but he insists his business venture is not a sign he is set to stop playing the sport he loves. 

"I've been asked all week about how retirement is going to be and when it is going to come, I think they all needed to know," Federer said during his appearance on the Today Show.

"But no, this is not about retirement. On [the company] doesn't want me to retire, they want me to play as long as possible and that is my goal. I will never retire!"

Federer did acknowledge, however, that he is looking forward to the freedom his eventual retirement will bring, considering the impact tennis has on the rest of his life.

"I like my sweets, desserts, time off," he said. "I start my planning for the year around where I'm going to go on vacation with my family, and that's where I'll be in a couple of days, on the beach, so I can't wait.

"Actually, when I had my knee issues in 2016 and I was rehabbing for almost eight months, I felt like that could be my life after [retirement].

"Of course I was never as busy but it was just nice to be able to have schedules with friends – lunch on Wednesdays, dinners on Fridays, let's have a good time on the weekends together with another family. I’m really looking forward to that."

Federer's tour included matches against Zverev in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Ecuador. The pair were due to play in Colombia too, but a curfew in Bogota meant the exhibition was called off.

"It was absolutely crazy," Federer said of the tour. "We played in four cities, almost in front of 100,000 people and Mexico City, had 42,000 people, double of Arthur Ashe Stadium here in New York.

"Breaking those records, doing it with Zverev, it's not something I ever thought I would do."

Stefanos Tsitsipas believes he is "really close" to winning a grand slam after his ATP Finals success on Sunday.

The Greek, 21, became the youngest player to win the ATP Finals since 2001 after a thrilling 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-4) victory over Dominic Thiem in London.

Tsitsipas, a semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year, feels a major success is not far away, with Wimbledon a goal.

"For sure Wimbledon is the tournament that has a lot of tradition. I think most of the players if you ask would want to win Wimbledon, but for me any grand slam would be great," he told a news conference.

"I feel like my game is getting better over time. I believe I'm really close on being crowned a grand slam champion. I know these are strong words that I say but I do feel like I belong to be there.

"I'm competing against some of the best players in the world and the amount of effort and the amount of work I put [in] every day deserves to have an outcome like this."

While Tsitsipas and Thiem reached the final in London, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic won two grand slams each in 2019.

The 'Big Three' of Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer have won 55 grand slams since 2003, including the past 12, and Tsitsipas is aware of the huge challenge awaiting the next generation.

"The thing that we have, the 'Big Three' dominating in the grand slams the last couple of years makes it really difficult for us because someone needs to get the job done to defeat them [in the] early rounds because once they get deep into a tournament they tend, as we saw, over the years to get better and play better, feel better," he said.

"For me, that's a really difficult task to do, for players to be able to beat them in these grand slams because it's a best-of-five format and this gives them more chances to stay in the match.

"It's not a best of three. If things were best of three it could have been much more different when it comes to grand slam champions over the years.

"So, that's an issue because they have been sharing how many grand slams? I don't know, 60 something?

"And for the young guys, it's all about time. I don't know. We'll either have to beat them or wait for them."

Tennis twins Mike and Bob Bryan – the most successful doubles pair of all time – are to bring their careers to an end following the 2020 US Open.

The identical twin brothers from California have won 118 career doubles titles as a team, including 16 grand slams as well as an Olympic gold medal.

However, their last slam success came at the 2014 US Open, with the duo having won 18 trophies since then.

They will turn 42 in April and – having slipped down the doubles rankings to 27th – have decided to call time on their playing careers at Flushing Meadows, where they have won five titles, next year. 

"We took the last few months off to try and get our minds right and get our bodies and minds fresh and make this decision," Mike Bryan told USOpen.org.

"We feel it's the right time. It's just a perfect time to go. We feel like we can still be competitive and win, but at 42, we're really appreciative of getting so much longevity out of our careers.

"We feel like you can't play forever, so we just wanted to make the decision and go into next year knowing that we can see the finish line and play as hard as we can, but also appreciate being on tour, playing together and giving back to the fans a little bit."

The brothers – who have spent 438 weeks at the top of the world rankings – were the dominant force in doubles tennis from the early 2000s up until 2015, with their grasp having loosened in recent years.

Roger Federer has stuck by his decision to withdraw from the inaugural ATP Cup in order to focus on rest and time with his family ahead of the 2020 season.

Federer was set to lead Switzerland at the new 24-team event, which will take place in Australia in January.

However, the 38-year-old confirmed at the end of October that he would not be taking part in the competition, with Switzerland subsequently withdrawn from contention as a result.

After skipping the Paris Masters, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer will now look to finish his season on a high in the ATP Finals in London.

He faces world number five Dominic Thiem on Sunday, having lost in the semi-finals to eventual winner Alexander Zverev in 2018.

Ahead of the event, Federer explained he has no regrets about deciding to not push his body too much early on in 2020, allowing him to spend more time with his wife and children.

"Something had to give, that was the ATP Cup," Federer said on media day at the O2 Arena.

"I just felt I was going to be very happy to play but it wasn't that level of importance for me. That was that.

"Normally I don't take these kinds of decisions like this but I kind of got into that situation having to take a decision after Wimbledon. 

"With my wife we try to come up with a really good schedule for the kids. We wanted to be in the same place for a long time. I don't think it's contradictory at all."

Federer conceded he is taking something of a risk by not playing in a warm-up tournament before the Australian Open, but is confident his experience will allow him to cope with the physical demands of heading straight back into a grand slam.

"At the end of the day I think with age and experience I can be confident about what I do in training," Federer said. 

"I'll travel to Melbourne early to make sure I give myself the best chance to get ready. I believe I can be ready, I don't think I need a tonne of matches always, especially on the hard courts.

"Maybe I'm a bit more dependent on the draw earlier on in the Australian Open. The key is health."

After facing Thiem, Federer will also go up against Matteo Berrettini and Novak Djokovic – who was recently dethroned as world number one by Rafael Nadal – in the group stage in London.

Twenty-time grand slam champion Roger Federer has confirmed he will play the French Open next year.

The 38-year-old returned to Roland Garros in 2019 after a three-year absence, reaching his first major semi-final since the 2018 Australian Open.

Federer, whose lone French Open title came a decade ago, has already confirmed his intention to participate at next year's Olympics and has also now revealed the second major of the year will be part of his schedule for 2020 too.

"I will play the French Open," he told CNN.

"I probably won't play much before that because I need some time away from it.

"I need some time with the family – we need a vacation, we need a break, especially if I'm playing the Olympics.

"I will probably play the French, Halle [Open], Wimbledon, Olympics and then maybe Cincinnati [Masters] and the US Open."

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