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TENNIS

Nadal wins in Denmark on Davis Cup return

Danes Mikeal Torpegaard and Frederik Nielsen were unable to keep pace with their Spanish rivals on Friday in Odense.

Nadal wins in Denmark on Davis Cup return
Rafael Nadal was very popular with the crowd in Odense on Friday. Photo: Frank Cilius/Scanpix
Rafael Nadal shrugged off his recent struggles to give Spain a 1-0 lead in their Davis Cup Group One relegation play-off against Denmark with a straight sets win over Mikael Torpegaard.
 
Nadal will end the season without a Grand Slam title for the first time in 10 years after losing for the first time in a major from two sets up against Fabio Fognini on his last outing at the US Open.
 
However, the 14-time Grand Slam champion was far too good for the world number 909 despite a patchy performance to win 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
 
“Especially on this surface that is fast I had to be aggressive. I had some problems, especially in the first set, but I am happy to get the victory and the first point,” Nadal told Spanish TV channel Teledeporte.
 
The 29-year-old hasn't played a Davis Cup tie since 2013 and his country has suffered in his absence with three consecutive defeats to Germany, Brazil and Russia propelling them out of the World Group.
 
Nadal was also critical of the appointment of Gala Leon Garcia as Spain's Davis Cup captain and didn't play during her short-lived reign, but has returned with 1994 Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez now in charge.
 
“The last couple of years I had some injuries during the Davis Cup matches, but we have to accept we are in the second division now and fight back,” he added.
 
World number eight, David Ferrer, who is also making his Davis Cup return after a three-year absence, defeated Frederik Nielsen 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 in Friday's second rubber.

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FOOTBALL

Tennis courts and golf courses to reopen in Denmark

Danes will be able to take up their tennis rackets and golf clubs again after the country's two biggest sports associations announced that outdoor sports with no physical contact can resume again.

Tennis courts and golf courses to reopen in Denmark
Tennis will be one of the first sports to restart. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix
The Sports Confederation of Denmark and the country's other sports association DGI announced that they had agreed new guidelines for restarting group sports with the Danish Health Authority, in a press release issued on Tuesday. 
 
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“This is the first sign of sport opening up, and we are really pleased that the health authorities have given us guidelines so that some activities can start up again,” Charlotte Bach Thomassen, chair of the Danish sports association DGI, said. 
 
“Of course, joining together in sports clubs must be safe from a  health point of view, so it is important to be aware that in many sports associations you will not be able to meet physically.” 
 
 
DIF chairman Niels Nygaard told Ritzau that the announcement did not mean any organisation would be required to restart activities they did not regard as safe. 
 
“These are voluntary associations where there are differences from association to association and sport to sport,” he said. “Our recommendations are not a requirement for associations to start activities. They can do it if it can be done under safe conditions, and if they have doubts about whether it can be done, then they shouldn't do it.”
 
According to the joint press release, group sports can now restart if: 
 
  • they take place outside 
  • participants can keep a distance of two meters from others
  • participants pay special attention to hand hygiene
  • rackets, clubs or other props are frequently cleaned
  • participants cough or sneeze into your elbow or a paper towel
  • participants stay home if they have a fever, cough or muscle soreness. 
  • shared facilities such as clubhouses and dressing and shower facilities are not used 
 
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