World Tennis News: Federer Wins 6th Australian Open Title

Roger Federer has joined a select group of players after winning his 20th Grand Slam title with his five-set victory over Marin Cilic to claim the Australian Open crown. He becomes the first male player to join Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf who have all won over twenty of more major singles titles.

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Swiss number one Federer, 36 won his sixth Australian Open title after beating Cilic in yesterday’s final in Melbourne 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 3-6. 6-1. With the Australian summer temperature’s soaring the final was played under the roof of the Rod Laver Arena in the air-conditioning amid some controversy as it’s an outdoor tournament.

Federer told BBC Sport, “It’s a dream come true and the fairytale continues.” he added, “I’ve won three slams now in 12 months. I can’t believe it myself.”

Over in the Women’s event it was a dream come true for Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark who won her first Grand Slam title as well as regaining her World Number One  position. Second seed Wozniacki beat Simona Halep from Romania in the final 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 6-4 to finally win her first major title after forty-three attempts.

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Six-time champion Novak Djokovic, who was defending his 2017 title, was beaten in the quarters by Chung Hyeon from Korea 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 7-6 (7-3). Hyeon became the first Korean to qualify for a Grand Slam quarter-final. Fellow 2017 champion Serena Williams took the decision not to compete in this year’s event after having her first child near the end of 2017.

British number two Kyle Edmund played his best Grand Slam event to date before his hopes were dashed by eventual runner-up  Cilic who defeated him in straight sets 6-2, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 in their semi-finals encounter. British number one Andy Murray was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a hip operation and fellow British number one Johanna Konta, who was ninth seed, had a shock second round defeat by American Bernarda Pera 6-4 7-5, this win was only Pera’s second win at Grand Slam level.

Over in the doubles, Mate Pavic celebrated becoming a double champion after winning both the Men’s and Mixed titles with his respective partners. In the Men’s event Pavic and partner Oliver Marach beat eleventh seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah from Columbia 6-4, 6-4 while in the Mixed him and partner Gabriela Dabrowski beat Rohan Bopanna and Timea Babos 2-6, 6-4 [11-9]. It was not all disappointment for Babos however as she had already won the Women’s title with partner Kristina Mladenovic. The duo beat the Russian pairing of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

Information used courtesy of BBC Sport and photos from ausopen.com/

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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 www.ausopen.com

Photos and information used courtesy of www.ausopen.comwww.lta.org.uk and www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/ Featured image used courtesy of www.ausopen.com/news-media/

Tennis Talk: Bad News for Team GB

The Aegon GB Team were defeated  in their latest Davis Cup by BNP Paribas fixture playing on the indoor clay courts at Le Kindarena in Rouen last weekend. The team, who were without World Number one Andy Murray who is out due to injury, were beaten in the quarter-finals convincingly by France 4-1 .

The team of Jamie Murray, Dom Ingot, Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans were once again captained by Leon Smith. On the opening day the team did not win a single set (for the first time since they were defeated by Argentina in 2008), Edmund lost against World Number seventeen Lucas Rouille 7-5, 7-6(6), 6-3 and Evans was beaten by Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.

France v Great Britain - Davis Cup World Group Quarter-Final: Day Two

On the second day Nicolas Mahut and Julien Benneteau beat Murray and Ingot in the doubles 7-6 (9-7), 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 to take an unassailable 3-0 lead. The final two dead rubbers were played on the final day, Edmund lost against Chardy 6-4, 6-4 but Evans beat Benneteau 6-1, 6-2. This final victory give Team GB one point but it wasn’t enough to make any difference, it is the first time the team have failed to make the semi-finals in three years.

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France will now face Serbia in the semi-finals, Team GB are however assured of a place in the 2018 World Group.

Photos used with courtesy of www.lta.org.uk

 

 

Tennis Talk: Team GB Win Latest Davis Cup Tie

Team GB join Belgium, Serbia, USA, France and Australia in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas after they beat Canada 3-2 in this weekend’s fixture at the TD Place Arena in Ottawa.

It was all square after the first day of play with Team GB’s Dan Evans beating reigning junior Wimbledon champion Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 and Canadian Vasek Pospisil defeating Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(3). Day two saw Britain’s Jamie Murray and Dominic Ingot beat Canadian pairing of Daniel Nestor and Pospisil in a tough four set clash 7-6(1), 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 6-3 giving Team GB a 2-1 lead going into the final day of singles matches.

Evans lost against hard hitting Pospisil 7-6(3), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5)so it was all square with the scores back level at 2-2. The fate of Team GB lay in the hands of Edmund who was playing against Shapovalov. In a bizarre moment of madness Shapovalov was defaulted for unsportsmanlike conduct after striking the ball at the umpire and Edmund, who was already two sets in the lead, won the match 6-3, 6-4, 2-1 and overall victory for the British players.

Canada v GB: Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group First Round - Day 3

Third seeds Team GB will now travel to France in April to compete in the quarter-finals against the host nation who are sixth seeds. In a shock defeat top seeds Russia were knocked out by eighth seeds Serbia who now face Spain, Italy will play Belgium and Australian take on Team USA.

For more information about the Davis Cup visit www.daviscup.com. Photo used with courtesy of www.lta.org.uk

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.

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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.

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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.
Featured image used courtesy of www.ausopen.com. All other images used courtesy of www.bbc.com/sport/live/tennis/

World Tennis News: Second Title for Murray in China

British number one Andy Murray has won his second title in China in Shanghai just a week after securing the China Open title last Sunday. Murray beat Roberto Bautista Agut from Spain in the final 7-6 (7-1), 6-1 to claim his sixth title of 2016 and his third ATP Shanghai Rolex Masters crown.

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This win has edged Murray nearer to the world number one spot as he is now just 915 points behind Novak Djokovic. Bautista Agut beat Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 in the semi-final much to the Serb’s annoyance who reached in an angry manner throwing his racket and ripping his shirt.

Murray beat Gilles Simon from France in his semi-final match 6-4, 6-3 after beating David Goffin in the quarters 6-2, 6-2. In the run up to the last eight Murray defeated Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-2 and Lucas Pouille 6-1, 6-3. Fellow Brit Kyle Edmund was also competing in Shanghai defeating Argentinian Federico Del Bonis in the first round 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 but lost against third seed and current US Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka in round two 6-3, 6-4.

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In other British Tennis News, women’s number one Johanna Konta may miss the season closing WTA Finals after she was forced to withdraw from the Hong Kong Open after the first round with an abdominal strain. Konta may yet have a a reprieve if Serena Williams, who has not played since the US Open in September, withdraws.

Information and photos sourced from www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/

 

 

 

Tennis Talk: Davis Cup Disappointment for Team GB

Defending Davis Cup by BNP Paribas champions Team GB were beaten by Argentina in this weekend’s semi-final 3-2  held at The Emirates Arena in Glasgow. This victory has secured Argentina’s place in the Davis Cup final against Croatia, who defeated France, that will be held from 25th – 27th November in Croatia.

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British number one, current Wimbledon and Olympic champion Andy Murray faced a re-run of the Rio Olympic final against Juan Martin del Potro. In this latest encounter del Potro was the victor beating Murray in a intense five-set match 6-4, 5-7, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 and Argentinan number one Guido Pella beat Kyle Edmund 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to give the South America team an important 2-0 lead at the end of day one.

Murray teamed up with his brother Jamie, who is the current Australian and US Open doubles champion, on day to fight back in the doubles rubber and despite family tragedy with the death of their grandfather (Andy missed the funeral on Friday due to his singles match) they  won in four-sets against del Potro and Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Great Britain v Argentina: Davis Cup Semi Final 2016 - Day Two

There was everything to play for on Day three with Team GB trailing 2-1, Murray beat Pella in their singles match 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 to level the score. Dan Evans was under incredible pressure in the final singles contest which saw Mayer win in four sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 and seal the overall victory for Argentina.

Team GB’s six-match run is over but captain Leon Smith told the BBC how proud he is  of how far the team has come, “It feels rough. We have had great times in Davis Cup and when you reflect back on it we have had a hell of a run.” he added, “Our team is in much better shape than it was a few years ago. Next year is another opportunity to continue building the team.”

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The team will find out later this week who they face in the first round of next year’s competition that will take place in February 2017. Argentina have been announced as top seeds with Croatia as second in the world group, Team GB are third seeds. The draw will take place on 22nd September in London at 1pm local time.

Photos and info used courtesy of www.lta.org.uk