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and 2017 winner Serena Williams, who is back on court after giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia, has sadly withdrawn from this year’s event.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/

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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.

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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/

Tennis Talk: Great Day For British Tennis In Melbourne

British number ones Andy Murray and Johanna Konta have made tennis history today by being the first pair of British players to be Grand Slam singles semi-finalists since 1977. Both players are through to the final four in their respective singles competitions after winning their quarter finals matches at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

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Forty-seventh seed Konta continued her fantastic run of form beating Zhang Shuai from China in straight sets 6-4, 6-1 and will now face seventh seed Angelique Kerber tomorrow in their semi-final encounter. Two time Grand Slam winner Murray defeated eighth seed David Ferrer from Spain in a long four-set match 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-3 to reach his sixth Melbourne semi-final. Second seed Murray will play on Friday against either Gael Monfils or Milos Raonic.

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Konta and Murray have now matched the achievement of semi-finalist and now tennis commentator Sue Barker and runner-up John Lloyd, who both reached the last four at the Australian Open thirty-nine years ago. Konta is the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since 1983 when Jo Durie made the last four at the US Open.

Also through to the last four in the men’s event are world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer who will face each other on Friday. In the women’s event defending champion Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova to book her semi-final place and will play against Agnieszka Radwanska.

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In other British tennis news Jamie Murray and his Brazilian partner Bruno Soares are through to the Men’s Doubles semi-finals. It’s a great day to be a British Tennis fan!

Information and first two photos sourced from www.bbc.com. Last photo used courtesy of www.lta.org.uk

World Tennis News: Australian Open First Week Update

The first week of the first Grand Slam of the 2016 season has finished with not many surprises. British number one and current world number two Andy Murray dropped his first set of this year’s Australian Open in his third round match against beat J Sousa from Portugal  6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. In his first two rounds in Melbourne Murray defeated both opponents in straight sets, Germany’s A Zverev 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 in the first round followed by Sam Groth from Australia 6-0, 6-4, 6-1 in round two. Murray will now face another Australian Bernard Tomic in round four tomorrow to book his place in the last eight, also playing at the Rod Laver Arena tomorrow for a place in the quarter-fianals is France’s Gael Monfils versus Andrey Kuznetsov from Russia, Stan Wawrinka from Switzerland is up against Canadian Milos Raonic and Spain’s David Ferrer will compete against American John Isner. Britain’s Kyle Edmund went out in round one after a tough five-set match losing to Damir Dzumhur from Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 and he was joined by teammate Aljaz Bedene who lost to America’s Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

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World number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic was up against it in his fourth round match against France’s Gilles Simon, eventually winning in the five sets in the match that lasted well over four hours 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 4-6 6-3, he will now face Japan’s Kei Nishikori. Joining Djokovic in the last eight is four-time champion Roger Federer who defeated David Goffin from Belgium 6-2, 6-1, 6-4, he will play Tomas Berdych.

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British number one Johanna Konta, 24 is looking to book her Grand-slam quarter final place after she defeated her tennis heroine Venus Williams 6-4, 6-2 in her opening round match last Tuesday and then beat Zheng Saisai 6-2, 6-3 in round two and Czech Republic’s Densia Allertova 6-2, 6-2 in the third round. She will now face twenty-first seed Ekaterina Makarova from Russia. Also looking for a place in the last eight is America’s Madison Keys who faces Shuai Zhang, Victoria Azarenka from Belarus versus Czech Barbora Strycova and the all-German tie of seventh seed Angelique Kerber against Annika Beck. British number two Heather Watson bowed out in the first round after she was beaten by Hungary’s Timea Babos in a close match.7-6 (7-4), 7-5, 7-5

The women’s quarter finals are already shaping up with old rivals Serena Williams (USA) facing Russia’s Maria Sharapova and Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska up against Carla Suarez-Navarro from Spain.

In the Men’s doubles seventh seeds Jamie Murray (UK) and Bruno Soares (Brazil) face fellow Brit Dominic Inglot and his Swedish partner Robert Lindstedt in round three. British pairing of Konta and Watson were knocked out by teammates Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith in round two 6-2, 6-3 who were then beaten in round three 6-3, 6-4 by Yuang-Jan and Hao-Ching Chan.

Photo of Andy Murray used courtesy of www.ausopen.com and Johanna Konta used courtesy of www.bbc.com

 

World Tennis News: Australian Open 2016

Tomorrow sees the start of the first Grand Slam of the 2016 calendar, the Australian Open in Melbourne. British number one Andy Murray, who is second seed in the Men’s singles draw, is looking to add this title to his ever growing collection. Recently voted as the BBC’s Sports Personality of The Year, Murray faces eighteen year old Alexander Zverev from Germany in his first round match on Tuesday, encouragingly he beat him 6-3, 6-4 in the Hopman Cup last week. Murray says he will withdraw from the event if his wife Kim gives birth to their first child during the tournament. Fellow British players Dan Evans, Kyle Edmond and Aljaz Bedene are also playing in the tournament.

World number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic reached fifteen finals of the sixteen tournaments he competed in last season and won eleven titles, including three Grand Slam’s Wimbledon, the US Open and his fifth Australian Open. Djokovic will open his defence of the title against Chung Hyeon of South Korea tomorrow. Third seed Roger Federer will also play tomorrow against Nikoloz Basilashvili from Georgia.

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Defending women’s champion Serena Williams who has twenty-one Grand Slam titles, has been plagued by a knee injury but will face Camila Giorgi from Italy tomorrow to start her 2016 campaign. Williams is looking to equal Steffi Graf’s Grand Slam record of twenty-two singles titles. Fifth seed Maria Sharapova who withdrew from the Brisbane International last week with an arm injury faces Japan’s Nao Hibino in her first round match.

New British number one Johanna Konta will face her childhood heroine seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams in the first round of the women’s singles. British number two Heather Watson faces Hungary’s Timea Babos in the first round tomorrow. Watson will be coached on a short-tem basis in Melbourne by Great Britain’s Fed Cup captain Judy Murray, after she and her coach Diego Veronelli parted ways in December.

British number one doubles player Jamie Murray and his new partner Bruno Soares from Brazil won the Apia International in Sydney in their final warm-up ahead of the Grand Slam with a straight-set victory over Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea 6-3, 7-6 (8-6). This was only the pairs second tournament playing together after Murray ended his partnership with former partner John Peers.

_87559343_murray_watson_rexIn other Australian Open build up news, Murray and Watson paired up to represent Great Britain in last weeks Hopman Cup. Even though they thrashed the German team they missed out on a place in the final in Perth due to other teams results. Nick Kyrgios secured the Hopman Cup for Australia Green by beating Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3 6-4 to give his team a 2-0 victory over Ukraine in Perth.

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Info and photos sourced from www.bbc.com

Photo of defending champions Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams used courtesy of www.ausopen.com

 

World Tennis News: Djokovic Defeats Murray to Win Australian Open

British number one Andy Murray had to settle for runner-up for the fourth time today as World Number one Novak Djokovic won his fifth Australian Open title at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. The win in four sets 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-0 gave Djokovic his eighth Grand Slam title in a packed arena .

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(source:www.bbc.com/sport/tennis)

This years champions were

Men’s Singles – Novak Djokovic

Women’s Singles – Serena Williams

Men’s Doubles – Simone Bolelli (ITA) / Fabio Fognini (ITA)

Women’s Doubles – Bethanie Mattek-Sands (US) / Lucie Safarova (CZE)

Mixed Doubles – Martina Hingis (SWI) / Leander Paes (IND)

Novak Djokovic

(source:www.ausopen.com)

World Tennis News: Serena Wins Sixth Australian Open title

Top seed Serena Williams has won her sixth Australian Open title today at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne after beating World Number Two Maria Sharapova in the final 6-3, 7-6 (7-5). This latest Grand Slam title, Williams 19th puts her ahead of both Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert and kept her eleven-year record of consecutive wins against Sharapova intact. The match which was disrupted due to rain was completed in under two hours and Sharapova did try and fight back in the second set saving match points but the strong serving Williams powered through despite leaving the court to be ill at one point to finish victorious and collect the trophy.

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In the Men’s event, British Number One and sixth seed Andy Murray defeated Tomas Berdych in their semi-final encounter on Thursday 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 to reach his fourth Australian Open final tomorrow where he will face World Number One Novak Djokovic. In a five set dramatic match Djokovic defeated defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka yesterday 7-6 (7-1), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 to book his place in his fifth Australian Open final. Head-to-head Djokovic has beaten Murray previously in both the 2011 and 2013 finals in Melbourne and will hope to do the same tomorrow (match commences 08.30am GMT).

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In other news, British junior player Katie Swan, 15 finished as runner-up in the Australian Open girls’ final after losing to Slovakia’s Tereza Mihalikova 6-1, 6-4 missing out on a junior Grand Slam title. The young player from Bristol joins Laura Robson who finished in second place in 2009 and 2010 finals as girls runner-up in Melbourne.

Photos courtesy of http://www.bbc.com/sport