World Tennis News: Australian Open 2018 Preview

The first Grand Slam of the 2018 tennis season, The Australian Open will be played in Melbourne from 15th – 28th January. The world’s top players will be in action at the newly upgrade Melbourne Park battling it out on court to lift the first Grand Slam trophy of the year.

o_redevelopment_pre_08012018_05Defending Men’s champions Roger Federer will be back in action this year, hoping to win his sixth Australia Open championship title. Seven time champion and 2017 winner Serena Williams, who is back on court after giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia, has sadly withdrawn from this year’s event. Williams played her first match since giving birth at the beginning of September on 30th December at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi. After losing that exhibition match against current French Open Champion Jelena Ostapenko 2–6, 6-3, [5–10] she decided to withdraw from the Australian Open

After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be.” Williams said, “Even though I am disappointed about it, I’ve decided not to compete in the Australian Open this year. 

Former champion (2009) Rafael Nadal is back at the top of the World rankings and looking to win another Grand Slam title after losing to Federer in last year’s final. Six time champion Novak Djokovic will also be biting at Federer’s heels for another crack at the title. The Women’s event is wide open after Williams withdrawal but there are plenty looking to talk their place on the podium.

In disappointing news for patrotic tennis fans British number one and former World number one Andy Murray, who is actually in Melbourne after hip surgery in the city, will not be competing this year. His subsequent post-op recovery and rehabilitation will see him off court in competition mode for some time, maybe even until the summer’s grass court season. Murray, who has now dropped to 16th in the world rankings, has been dogged with injury since last year’s Wimbledon Championships when he last won a competitive match.

99513070_murray_insta.jpgMurray, pictured with his coach Jamie Delgado, after his hip surgery this week in Melbourne (Source: Andy Murray Official Instagram page)

Murray said in an interview with the BBC, “I’m not finished playing tennis yet. I’m going to be competing at the highest level again,” he added, “I’m very optimistic about the future – the surgeon is very happy about how it went.”

British interests now lies elsewhere with eyes trained on British number one and tenth seed Johanna Konta who has enjoyed success in both her previous Australian Open campaigns. Konta, who was forced to retire from the quarters in the Brisbane International last week due to hip problems, is in Sydney where she hoped to defend her 2017 Sydney International title. Things didn’t go to plan for the defending champion who was beaten in the first round by Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 7-5 to in a repeat of last year’s final.


British No.2 Kyle Edmund also got to the quarters of the Brisbane event but has withdrawn from this week’s Auckland Open to assess his ankle injury ahead of the Australian Open. Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares who were runners-up at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha and are now in Adelaide to compete for Team International in the World Tennis Challenge ahead of the Australian Open where they won the doubles title in 2016.

For a full player line-up, schedules and all the latest news ahead and during the tournament visit

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World Tennis News: Australian Open 2017

This week saw the start of the first Grand Slam of 2017, the Australian Open in Melbourne that runs from 16th until 29th January. World and British number one Andy Murray is top seed in this years Men’s singles draw and he is looking to add this title, that has so far eluded him even though he’s been in the final five times) to his ever growing collection. Standing in his way is defending champion Novak Djokovic who beat Murray in the 2016 final to claim his sixth Australian Open crown.


In the first round Murray beat Illya Marchenko from the Ukraine in three sets 7-5, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to set up a second round clash with Russian Andrey Rublev which he also won 6-3, 6-0, 6-2. He will now face thirty-first seed Sam Querrey from America in the third round on Djokovic beat Fernando Verdasco in the first round and now faces Denis Isthmian in round two.

World number nine Rafael Nadal, who hasn’t won a Grand Slam title since 2014, defeated Florian Mayer from Germany 6-3, 6-4 ,6-4, he now faces Marcos Baghdatis. Four time champion Roger Federer has progressed to the third round after beating Jurgen Melter 7-5,  3-6, 6-2, 6-2 and Noah Rubin 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).

In other British players news, Dan Evans beat Facundo Bagnis from Argentina 7-6 (10-8), 6-3, 6-1 and then pulled off a shock four set defeat of seventh seed and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-3, he will now face either twenty-seventh seed Bernard Tomic from Australia or Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic. Kyle Edmund beat Columbian Santiago Giraldo in his first round match 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 but Aljaz Bedene lost in round one against Victor Estrella Burgos in four sets 7-6 (9-7), 7-5, 0-6, 6-3.

_93646919_evans_rex_2Dan Evans celebrating his shock victory against Marin Cilic

In other shock news Australian Nick Kyrgios, seeded fourteenth, was knocked in round two after he was beaten by Italy’s Andreas Seppi. Tempestaous Kyrgios (who received warnings from the umpire) lost his two set lead against the fifty-ninth seed and crashed out of his home tournament after losing the five-set marathon 1-6, 6-7 (1-7), 6-4 , 6-2, 10-8.

Defending women’s champion Angelique Kerber from Germany didn’t have an easy start to this year’s tournament after dropping a set in her first round match against Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 and will now play Kristyna Pliskova in the next round. Six-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams is hoping to win her 23rd Grand Slam singles title in Melbourne and get her 2017 campaign off to a good start beating Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-3.

British number one and ninth seed Johanna Konta who made it to the semi-final last year beat Kirsten Flipkens from Belgium 7-5, 6-2 in round one and will next play against Japan’s Naomi Osaka. In her first round singles match Heather Watson beat eighteenth seed Samantha Stosur from Australia 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 but lost in the doubles first round with fellow Brit Naomi Broady against Italy’s Karin Knapp and Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5). Brady lost in the singles against Daria Gavrilova 6-3, 4-6, 5-7.


Defending Men’s Doubles champions Brit Jamie Murray and partner Bruno Soares from Brazil are second seeds in this year’s competition, they face USA pairing of Query and Donald Young in the first round.
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Tennis Talk: Davis Cup Victory

A very tired but determined Andy Murray give it his all to win his singles match yesterday to seal Great Britain’s victory against France in the Davis Cup tie at Queen’s Club. British number one Murray who won all his matches over the three days beat Gilles Simon in the four-set match 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-0 in an energy zapping three and half hours on court.

2015-dcqf-murraydubs-700x300-gettyMurray was definitely the star of the show winning his singles against the big serving Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday 7-5, 7-6(10), 6-2, beating Tsonga and partner Nicolas Mahut in the doubles on Saturday with older brother Jamie 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-1 and then yesterday’s epic victory against Simon, who had previously beaten James Ward 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 on the first day of play.

2015-dcqf-murraybrothersdoubles-400x300The team are into the last four of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas for the first time since 1981 and will now face Australia in the semi-final in September at a location in the UK that will be announced at a later date. The Australian team, who booked their place in the semi-finals after beating Kazakhstan recovering from being 2-0 down to come back and win, will feature the likes of Lleyton Hewitt, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis.2015-dcqf-doubles-400x300-getty

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World Tennis Update: Poland win the Hopman Cup

Despite British Number ones Andy Murray and Heather Watson winning their final fixture against Australia 3-0 in Group B, the Great Britain team were knocked out of the Hopman Cup in Perth as Poland progressed to the final over defending champions France to face the USA. Watson won her first singles match of the tournament against Casey Dellacqua 6-3, 6-4 and Murray kept up his unbeaten singles record defeating Marinko Matosevic 6-3, 6-2 and together the pair won their final Mixed Doubles match against Dellacqua/Matosevic 7-5, 6-1 to end the event on a positive note.


A win over Australia for British number ones Murray and Watson (

In Saturday’s final Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska beat Serena Williams in three sets 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1 but the USA’s John Isner levelled things for the USA team defeating Jerzy Janowicz 7-6(10), 6-4, The Polish pair pulled victory out of the bag winning the Mixed Doubles match 7-5, 6-3 and lifting the trophy for their country.


Poland’s Janowicz and Radwanska win the Hopman Cup for Poland (

In other tennis news. Murray’s older brother Jamie and his Australian doubles partner John Peers beat Alexandr Dolgopolov and Kei Nishikori to win the Brisbane International men’s doubles title, winning 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in the final that lasted just over an hour. This victory gives the duo their fifth title (12th ATP men’s doubles for Murray since 2004) and the pair kept a clean sheet en route to the final not losing a single set on their way to the overall victory.


Doubles winners in Brisbane, Brit Jamie Murray and partner John Peer from Australia (

In the men’s singles event in Brisbane, top seed Roger Federer secured his 1,000th career victory beating Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4 in the final to win the Brisbane International title. World number two Federer becomes only the third man in tennis history, after Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl, to secure 1,000 ATP wins. In the Women’s event top seed and World Number two Maria Sharapova beat fellow former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3 to lift the winners trophy and claim her 34th career title too.


Federer wins his 1,000th ATP tournament (

Both the tournaments in Perth and Brisbane act as warm-ups for the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open which starts next Monday 19th January. The rest of the men’s top players were in Doha competing in the Qatar Open which was won by Spain’s David Ferrer. Seeded fourth Ferrer beat Czech Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-5 in the final. Both World number one Novak Djokovic and number three Rafael Nadal suffered shock defeats in the event with Djokovic losing against Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 in the quarter-finals and Nadal bowing out in the first round defeated by Germany’s Michael Berrer ranked 127th in the world 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.


Venus Williams win the ASB Classic in New Zealand (

Over in New Zealand seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus William’s beat number one seed Caroline Wozniacki to win the 2015 ASB Classic in Auckland. Williams won the match in three sets 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to claim victory after she was runner-up last year and that she would return and win in 2015.


World Tennis News: Hopman Cup

British number ones Andy Murray and Heather Watson are in action in Perth, Australia this week as part of their Australian Open warm-up representing Great Britain in the International Mixed Doubles team event, the Hopman Cup. A line-up of some of the World’s best players are competing at the Perth Arena hoping to win the title for their respective country. France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Alize Cornet won the title in 2014 and Cornet is defending the title this year with new partner Benoit Paire.


The eight teams are competing in two groups in the initial round robin stages and each tie consists of a men’s and women’s singles match and a mixed doubles match. Four teams are competing in each group with Eugenie Bouchard/Vasek Pospisil (Canada), Lucie Safarova Adam/Pavlasek (Czech Republic), Flavia Pennetta/Fabio Fognini (Italy) and Serena Williams/John Isner (USA) all competing in Group A. Murray/Watson (GBR) are playing in Group B with home team Casey Dellacqua/Matt Ebden (Australia), Cornet/Paire (France) and Agnieszka Radwanska/Jerzy Janowicz (Poland).

Thumb-Team-GBWatson/Murray make up team GB (

On day one, the opening Group A matches saw the Canadians take on the Czech’s with Safarova beating Bouchard 6-0, 6-4 and then Pospisil defeated Pavlasek 7-6(5) 6-2 to even the score. The Czech’s won the fixture 2-1 after winning the doubles 6-4, 6-2. In Group B, the Polish team beat the Australians 3-0. Radwanska beat Dellacqua 6-2, 6-3, Janowicz defeated Ebden 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 and Radwanska/Janowicz won the doubles against Dellacqua/Ben Mitchell 8-6.


Defending champion Alize Cornet is looking to lift the trophy again for France this year (

In GB’s first group B match on day two, Murray beat France’s Paire 6-2, 7-5 but Watson lost to Cornet 6-2, 6-2 to level the scorecard in the singles and then British pair won the fixture 2-1 overall after defeating Cornet/Paire 6-4, 2-6, 10-8 in the doubles. Tomorrow they face Poland and then the Australians on Friday with Group winners progressing to Saturdays final. The American team beat the Italians 3-0 with Williams beating Pennetta 0-6, 6-3, 6-0, Isner winning against Fognini 7-5, 5-7, 7-6(4) and the American duo winning the doubles 6-2, 2-6, 11-9.

Great-Britain-570x457Watson/Murray win for Great Britain (

Today the Italians suffered their second straight defeat against the Czechs which sees them unable to progress any further in the competition. In the Women’s singles, Safarova beat Pennetta 7-5, 6-3, Pavlasek beat Fognini 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the men’s to win the fixture and remain unbeaten in their group. Safarova/Pavlasek (CZE) then defeated Pennetta (ITA)/Mitchell (AUS) 8-6 in a doubles match. Neighbouring countries Canada played the USA and in a shock result Bouchard defeated Williams for the first time in her career 6-2, 6-1 and then Pospisil defeated Isner 6-3, 7-6(4) to secure the fixture for the Canadians.


Williams lost to Bouchard in todays Canada vs. USA fixture (