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Playing through pain as U.S. Open nears

Thu., Aug. 25, 2011

Novak Djokovic is nearly perfect in 2011: 57-2 with nine titles, including Wimbledon and the Australian Open. Most people figure he’s the favorite when the U.S. Open starts next week in New York, despite the right shoulder pain that prompted him to quit during his last tuneup match. Considering the ailments and other issues hampering top players lately, it probably would be appropriate if Djokovic is less than 100 percent. “I am confident that I can recover and be ready,” he said. Run down a list of the sport’s stars before today’s draw in New York, and each is bothered by something: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams. At least they’re in the U.S. Open field. Two-time reigning champion Kim Clijsters withdrew because of injury. – AP


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