Tennis News: Taylor Townsend seemingly cheats and Rafael Nadal injury update

  • Townsend awarded a point she shouldn't have received
  • Nadal discusses injury update
Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Taylor Townsend should know better. She has been playing professional tennis since 2010 and playing the sport her entire life. She should understand that tennis, even on a professional level, can come down to being honest about where a ball lands and who wins a point. She also should know the rules and when someone breaks them.

In the first round of the Miami Open, Townsend, ranked No. 72 on the WTA tour, was playing Italy's Lucia Bronzetti in the third set with Townsend serving and up 5-4. The score was 30-love when Bronzetti hit a lob that Townsend ran back for and, after realizing the ball was going to be out, Townsend let the ball go. The issue was her racket clearly touched the ball before it hit the court. Bronzetti should have won the point and Townsend should have admitted to hitting the ball.

What made matters worse was that the chair umpire refused to cede the point to the Italian even though Townsend's racket obviously touched the ball. The American went on to win the game and, therefore, the match. But there is a big difference between 30-15 and 40-love. Townsend not playing fair and saying the ball touched her racket constitutes cheating.

Taylor Townsend appears to cheat and Rafael Nadal doesn't know when he will return

If Simona Halep was originally banned for four years for taking a substance without her knowing, Townsend should at least be disqualified for cheating on a point when she had to know the ball hit her racket. The issue is the umpire let it go too. Maybe Townsend and the umpire should both be out of the tournament.

Speaking of being out of tournaments, Rafael Nadal has been out of several of them this year. After making a comeback from a hip injury he suffered in the 2023 Australian Open, Nadal started 2024 by playing at the Brisbane International. But he hurt his hip there as well. That so far is the only ATP-sanctioned event that Nadal has played this year, though he did participate in the Netflix Slam exhibition.

Talking to the media before the recent Rafael Nadal Foundation Awards, the tennis great gave an update as to when he might return. He said, "I will do my best to try to start the clay season, which is my goal, I am working for that and striving for that goal, but I don’t dare to say anything about what might happen because lately it has been difficult for me to make predictions, unfortunately." All of that means is that 2024 will almost certainly be Nadal's last year playing professional tennis.

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