World Tennis News | What Are The Professional Players Doing During Self-Isolation?

The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted so many people across the globe in both their health and professional life. While most people are luckily enough to be able to work from home, professional tennis players, like most people involved in sport, have seen all their tournaments either cancelled or postponed until further notice.

In the tennis, the three remaining Grand Slam tournaments of 2020 have been disrupted, the French Open has currently been re-scheduled to September, the Wimbledon Championships have been cancelled (the first time since World War Two) and the US Open maybe re-scheduled for later in the year. This summer’s grass-court season has also been cancelled and there will be no professional tournaments happening elsewhere in the world as both the men’s and women’s professional tours are suspended until at least mid-July.

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So what are the professional players doing to keep active during self-isolation ? Former British and World number one Andy Murray challenged fellow professionals and tennis fans to try his 100 volley challenge. Murray took to his Instagram with wife Kim to complete the challenge in his back garden – Totally Tennis performance players Liam and Isla Hignett rose to the  challenge, see their video on our Facebook and Instagram

Tonight (17th February) Murray and current world number one Novak Djokovic will be live on Instagram (6pm BST) to answer any questions. Got a question? Comment on Murray’s Instagram post for a chance to be featured. Djokovic himself challenged his fans to try some acro yoga with a partner, he demonstrated the move with is wife Jelena on his Instagram page and they also completed Murray’s volley challenge.

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Meanwhile another former World Number One and 20-time singles champion Roger Federer gave his fans a social media tennis lesson. Federer took to Twitter and Instagram to offer his followers a solo drill to improve their volley skills, he tested his reflexes hitting the ball more than 200 times – the video has already been viewed over 3 million times. Federer asked his fans to video themselves in a hat and recreate his drill with the hashtag #tennisathome and then he shared a selection on his feed. Fellow champion Serena Williams took up Federer’s challenge posting her volley video to her page.

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The ATP Tour has been forced to suspend the 2020 Tour so the rankings have been frozen until it’s resumed, Djokovic still sits in the No. 1 spot but the frozen weeks will not count towards his reign.

If you need some inspiration to keep you occupied while in self-isolation check out the #AtHomeWithTheHignetts series with some challenges and fun games demonstrated by Liam and Isla Hignett – click HERE to see more.

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World Tennis News | Djokovic Wins Seventh Australian Open Title

Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic have taken the first Grand Slam titles of the 2019 season at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Djokovic won his 15th major and seventh Australian Open title defeating Rafael Nadal in the final 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. It was a second Grand Slam title for twenty-one year old Osaka who now also becomes world number one after she defeated Petra Kvitova in the final 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 6-4. Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert won the men’s doubles final 6-4, 7-6(1) and Samantha Stosur and Shuai Zhang claimed the women’s doubles title 6-3, 6-4.

In sad news for British Tennis former number one Andy Murray announced before the start of the tournament that he plans to retire after Wimbledon in the summer after a year of injuries if he makes it that far. The three-time Grand Slam champion, who is still struggling to recover from his hip surgery of twelve months ago, lost his first-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4, 7-6, 7-6, 6-2.

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Information and photos used with courtesy of www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/

 

World Tennis News: French Open 2017

The second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open played at Roland Garros in Paris  will run from 28th May until Sunday 11th June. The world’s premier clay court title has so far eluded world and British number one Andy Murray but he will be looking to add this trophy to his cabinet this year. He kicks off his 2017 campaign against Andrey Kuznetsov from Russia in their first round encounter. Murray who recently turned 30, is competing in the same half of the draw as 2015 champion Stanislas Wawrinka, who he beat in the 2016 semi-finals.

 

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Fellow British number one and seventh seed Johanna Konta faces 109th seed Hsieh Su-wei from Taiwan in her first round match. Having lost in the first round in 2015 and 2016 Konta will be looking to progress further this year as the only female Brit in the draw after Heather Watson lost in the third round of qualifying on Friday against Richel Hogenkamp 6-0, 6-3.

Defending champion and second seed Novak Djokovic, who is playing his first tournament since engaging tennis legend Andre Agassi as his new coach, is in the same half as nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal. Defending women’s champion Garbine Muguruza will open proceedings against Francesca Schiavone who won in 2010, in shock news top seed Angelique Kerber from Germany lost against Russia’s Ekaterina Makanrova 6-2, 6-2.

Photo used with courtesy www.lta.org.uk/major-events/grand-slams/french-open/

 

World Tennis News: Shock Defeat for Murray Knocked Out at Australian Open

With nemesis Novak Djokovic knocked out of this year’s Australian Open in round two by  Denis Isthmian in the Rod Laver Arena. if looked like 2017 might be the year that World Number One Andy Murray would win his first title in Melbourne. Enter his fourth round opponent Misha Zverev from Germany who destroyed Murray’s dream with his aggressive play, a shock defeat that has stunned the tennis world. Ranked 50th in the world, Zverev won in four sets 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 at the Rod Laver Arena and will now face Roger Federer or Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals.

Murray dropped serve eight times and Zverev capitalised on this rare drop of form sending Murray packing. Not a great start to to the season for British number one Murray who will undoubtedly go away on reflect on his earliest defeat at this Grand Slam event since 2009 as well as his loss to the lowest-ranked player in a Grand Slam since the Melbourne event back in 2006. In other news fellow Brit Dan Evans was also knocked out in the fourth round by twelfth seed Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 2-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

Fourth seed Stanislas Wawrinka is through to the quarter-finals after beating Andreas Seppi in a close match 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 and will play Tsonga. In the bottom half of the draw the fourth round clashes see ninth seed Rafael Nadal face sixth seed Gael Monfils, third seed Milos Raonic take on thirteenth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, eighth seed Dominic Thiem play eleventh seed David Goffin and fifteenth seed Grigor Dimitrov pitted against unseeded Isthmian (who defeated Djokovic).

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In the women’s event British number one Johanna Konta defeated world number one Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1 to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open. Ninth seed Konta will now play Ekaterina Makanrova in her next match, also through to the last sixteen are world number one and defending champion Angelique Kerber,  Serena Williams, Barbora Strycova, Karolina Pliskova, Daria Gavrilova, Jennifer Brady, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Coco Vandeweghe, Garbine Muguruza and Sorana Cirstea. Venus Williams will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarter finals after both players won their matches earlier today. Williams defeated Mona Barthel 6-3, 7-5 and Pavlyuchenkova beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-3.

In other shock news defending champions and second seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares were locked out in the first round of this men’s doubles event by unseeded American pair Sam Query and Donald Young 6-3, 7-6. Top seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut from France are through to the quarter final stage.

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

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: Arise Sir Andy

What a great start to 2017 for World and British number one Andy Murray as he became Sir Andy Murray when his knighthood was announced in the Queen’s annual New Years honours list.

Murray, who was previously awarded the OBE in 2012 spoke to BBC sport about his new title saying, “It sounds strange. Obviously it’s a big honour.” he added, “It’s great recognition for my results of the last few years and it’s obviously a very nice way to finish 2016 or start 2017, but I’m more than happy just being known as Andy, that’s fine by me.”

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While good things were happening off court the news wasn’t so good on court as Sir Andy only managed a disappointing third place finish at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship held in Abu Dhabi over the New Year period. A surprise first round defeat against David Goffin from Belgium 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 was thankfully followed by a win in his final match of 2016 beating Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-3, 7-6 (8-6). The annual exhibition event was won for a fourth time by Rafael Nadal, a nice end to an injury stricken year for the Spanish player.

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Staying in the Middle East and the bad news continued as Murray then competed in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open held at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha. Top seed Murray lost to closest rival Novak Djokovic in a tense and close final 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, a result that signalled an end to his 28 consecutive ATP Tour matches winning streak. This was the 36th meeting between the pair, Murray won their last encounter at the ATP Tour Finals in November, an important victory that kept him at world number one and stopped Djokovic regaining the top position.

Murray and Djokovic are now preparing for the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of 2017 season which starts in Melbourne on 16th January. Murray is looking to add this elusive title to his growing collection and Djokovic is once again the defending champion having defeated Murray in last years final and four times previously.

First photo used courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/. Second photo and information sourced from www.bbc.com/sport/tennis

World Tennis News: ATP World Tour Finals

The ATP World Tour Finals started this afternoon at the O2 in London where the world’s top eight singles and doubles pairs will be in action for the next seven days. World number one, British number one and current Olympic champion Andy Murray will be action tomorrow against Marin Cilic and he also faces Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori in the John McEnroe Group.

Novak Djokovic, who is playing in the Ivan Lendl Group, is looking to take the world’s top spot back from Murray by the end of the tournament. He played his first match today beating Dominic Thiem, who replaced Rafael Nadal in the competition, 6-7, 6-2, 6-0. He will also play Milos Raonic and Gael Monfils in this group. Djokovic is attempting to win the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the fifth year running and for a sixth time overall equalling Roger Federer’s record. Overall victory will see him claim back the World Number One title.

Four time finalists and third seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan beat sixth seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 7-6(3), 6-0 earlier today in the Group Edberg/Jarryd opening match. Also in the group are Murray’s brother Jamie and his doubles partner Bruno Soares from Brazil who are current Australian and US Open champions , they will play Treat Huey and Max Mirny in their first match. Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez are competing in the Fleming/McEnroe group along with Raven Klaassen/Rajeev Ram, Henri Kontinven/ John Peers and Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.

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Find out ticket information here – keep up-to-date with all the news and results from the O2 here.

Information and photos used courtesy of www.barclaysatpworldtourfinals.com/en