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and 2017 winner Serena Williams, who is back on court after giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia, has sadly withdrawn from this year’s event.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

It was a great day for British Tennis as Andy Murray led out Great Britain’s team at the Rio Olympics opening ceremony. Flag bearer and reigning Olympic Men’s singles champion Murray will be hoping to replicate his success at the 2012 London event four years ago where he won Gold and silver with Laura Robson in the Mixed Doubles.

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In the singles Murray is into the third round after beating Viktor Troicki from Serbia 6-3, 6-2 in his first round match and then Argentina’s Juan Monaco 6-3, 6-1 in round two, he will next face Fabio Fognini from Italy. It wasn’t such good news for Murray in the doubles as he and big brother Jamie were knocked out of Rio 2016 after losing to Brazilian pair Thomaz Bellucci and Andre Sa 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (16-14).

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In more British player news,  British number one Johanna Konta beat Stephanie Vogt 6-3,  6-1 in round one and France’s Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-3 in the round two followed by eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6, 7-5, 7-5, she will now face Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the quarter finals. Both Kyle Edmund and Heather Watson won their first round matches defeating Jordan Thompson (Australia) 6-4 6-2 and Shuai Peng (China) 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 respectively but then were both knocked out in round two.

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Konta and Watson also competed in the women’s doubles beating Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic and Aleksandra Krunic 6-2, 6-1 in round one but then lost in the second round to H Chan/Y Chan. The mixed doubles starts today and will see Jamie Murray/Konta in action but as yet Andy Murray/Watson have not qualified

In shock news men’s world number one Novak Djokovic was beaten in the first round  of the men’s singles by Juan Martin del Potro from Argentina 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-2), an emotional Djokovic left the court in tears at the end of the match. He then lost for a second time in the doubles with partner Nenad Zimonjic 6-4 6-4 against Brazilian duo Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares (Jamie Murray’s usual partner).

There was more shocks in the women’s event as world number one and defending Olympic champion Serena Williams was knocked out of the singles in the third round by Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) 6-4, 6-3. The bad luck continued from Sunday for Williams when her and her sister Venus were knocked out of the Women’s doubles by Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova (Czech Republic).

Keep up-to-date with all the British team Olympic news by visiting  www.teamgb.com

Information via www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/ and photos used courtesy of www.teamgb.com

Tennis Talk: Second Wimbledon Title For Murray

British number one Andy Murray thrilled tennis fans ensembled in SW19 and the millions watching on TV around the world when he picked up his second Wimbledon title on centre court yesterday. Murray, 27 beat Canadian Milos Raonic in three sets 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2) to win his second Wimbledon title and his third Grand Slam.

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As the crowd went wild an emotional Murray wept into his towel as the result sank in and then vowed that he would enjoy this one more than his first title in 2013, even coach Ivan Lendl raised a rare smile from his position in the players box. Top seed and world number one Novak Djokovic made a surprise early exit from the tournament and Raonic defeated third seed Federer in the semi’s so it was left to a replay of the Queen’s club final to close out this year’s Wimbledon men’s singles event. On route to the final Murray beat fellow Brit Liam Broady in the first round 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 followed by a three set defeat of Yen-Hsun Lu in round two 6-3, 6-2, 6-1. Next up were two Australians opponents, John Millman and Nick Kyrgios whom he beat 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 and 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 respectively. His first real challenge of the tournament came against twelfth seed Jo-Wilfred Tsonga who took him to five sets with Murray forced to step up in the fifth set to secure the victory 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1. His semi-final win against tenth seed Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 secured his place in the final.

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It was a great tournament for Team GB all round as along with Murray picking up the prestigious men’s singles title on final’s Sunday, Heather Watson won her first ever Grand Slam title in the Mixed Doubles with partner Henri Kontinven, Gordon Reid won the inaugural Men’s wheelchair singles event and Jordanne Whiley won her third consecutive Wimbledon women’s wheelchair doubles title.

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After a very disappointing loss in the first round of the women’s singles Watson became the first woman to win a Wimbledon doubles title since Jo Durie in 1987. She and Kontinven, who comes from Finland, beat Colombian Robert Farah and German Anna-Lena Gronefeld 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 in the final that followed Murray on Centre Court. Earlier that day Reid picked up his second Wimbledon title after he beat current Paralympic champion Stefan Olson from Sweden 6-1, 6-4 out on court seventeen which attracted a larger crowd worthy of a more prominent court. The previous day along with partner Alfie Hewett, Reid had won the men’s wheelchair doubles title. Top seeds Whiley and partner Yui Kamiji beat second seeds Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot 6-2, 6-2 to win their title also out on court seventeen.

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In the women’s singles event top seed and defending champion Serena Williams won her seventh Wimbledon title with a straight-set victory over German Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3 which also gave her an impressive twenty second Grand Slam singles title. Williams then won her sixth women’s doubles title later that afternoon with sister Venus again on Centre Court. They won the match and claimed their 14th Grand Slam trophy by beating Timea Babos and Yaroslavl Shvedova 6-3, 6-4.

The men’s doubles was an all French affair as top seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut defeated fellow countrymen Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 to win the title.

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Photos used courtesy of www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/ and www.wimbledon.com/

World Tennis News: French Open Update

British number one Andy Murray stormed into the quarter finals of this year’s French Open yesterday after beating America’s John Isner in straight sets. A rain break interupted play for an hour during the second set but Murray returned to the court and won the match 7-6 (11-9), 6-4, 6-3. World number two Murray, 29 will now face Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the last eight. On route to the last eight Murray defeated Ivo Karlovic 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) in round three and Mathias Bourgue in five sets 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in round two after his five set win against Radek Stepanek in the first round.

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Defending champion and third seed Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Viktor Troicki in four sets 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 6-2 to also reach the last eight and will play Albert Ramos-Violas from Spain in his quarter-final match. World number one and top seed Novak Djokovic plays his fourth round match today against Roberto Bautista-Agut from Spain on the Philippe-Chatrier Court as does David Goffin who faces thirteenth seed Ernests Gulbis. On the Suzanne-Lenglen Court seventh seed Tomas Berdych plays eleventh seed David Ferrer and Marcel Granollers faces Dominic Thiem.

Serena Williams, top seed in the Women’s dram will play seed eighteenth Elina Svitolina today in her fourth round match and her sister Venus who is ninth seed faces eighth seed Timea Bacsinszky. Agnieszka Radwanska from Poland also plays today against Tsvetana Pironkova from Bulgaria. Fourth seed Garbine Muguruza won her fourth round tie against thirteenth seed and 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-4 and will now play American Shelby Rogers. Irina-Camelia Begu lost to Rogers 6-3, 6-4 in their fourth round encounter._89830153_murray-2

In other French Open news, nine time champion Rafael Nadal was forced to pull out of this years event due to a a wrist injury after progressing to the third round with a straight-sets victory against Facundo Bagnis that gave him his 200th Grand Slam victory. Australian Open Doubles champions and fourth seeds Jamie Murray and Brazilian partner Bruno Soares lost against sixteenth seeds Marcin Matkowski and Leander Paes 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4) in the third round. British number one Johanna Konta and fellow Brits Laura Robson and Naomi Broady all lost in the first round and Heather Watson was defeated by Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-3 in round two. Murray is the only male British still standing after Kyle Edmund lost in straight sets against Isner and Bedene lost in the third round against Djokovic 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.

Info and photos sourced and used courtesy of www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/. Read more about the French Open here .

World Tennis News: Murray Runner-Up Again

British number one Andy Murray had his Australian Open title dreams quashed again this year in the final by Novak Djokovic. World number one Djokovic put on a powerful display beating Murray in three sets 6-1, 7-5, 7-5 (7-3) to become six-time Australian Open champion and a fifth final defeat in Melbourne for Murray. Serbian Djokovic now has an impressive eleven Grand Slam titles to his name, equalling tennis legends Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg.

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It wasn’t all doom and gloom for British tennis as Murray’s brother Jamie was crowned Australian Doubles champion with his new partner Bruno Soares, the pair beat Daniel Nestor and Radek Stepanek 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the final. Soares made it two titles in twenty-four hours when he won the Mixed Doubles title with partner Elena Vesnina defeating Horia Tecau and Coco Vandeweghe 6-4, 4-6 (10-5).

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British number one Johanna Konta made history making it to the quarterfinals where she was defeated by new champion Angelique Kerber. German Kerber upset world number one Serena Williams in the final to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, denying Williams a twenty-second title and the chance to draw level with Steffi Graf as the most decorated Grand Slam champion of the Open era.

Photos used courtesy of http://www.bbc.com and www.ausopen.com

 

World Tennis News: US Open Week Two Round-up

It’s been a busy week at the US Open with disappointment in the British camp and a shock defeat for Serena Williams in the women’s event. In the men’s event British number one Andy Murray crashed out of the US Open in the fourth round losing to fifteenth seed Kevin Anderson in four sets 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6. However, Roger Federer continued his current run of good luck served beating Stan Wawrinka to set up the final against World Number One Novak Djokovic. In the all Swiss semi-final second seed Federer beat Wawrinka 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 to reach tommorrow’s final without dropping a set. Top seed Djokovic defeated defending champion Marin Cilic in three sets 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 to book his place in the final.

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In the men’s doubles, eighth seeds Britain’s Jamie Murray and his Australian partner John Peers narrowly missed out on their first Grand Slam men’s doubles title after they were beaten in the final by twelfth seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut from France 6-4, 6-4. The Murray brothers will now head to Glasgow for next week’s Davis Cup semi-final against Australia.

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World number one Serena Williams’s hopes of securing a calendar Grand Slam were dashed by Italy’s Roberta Vinci in their semi-final encounter. Vinci, playing her first Grand Slam semi-final, caused a massive upset beating Williams in three sets 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Britain’s Jo Konta was beaten in the fourth round by Czech player Petra Kvitova 7-5, 6-3. Tonight’s all Italian final will make history when Vinci plays Flavia Pennetta, the first time two Italians have been in a Grand Slam final since the Open era began in 1968.

In the Women’s doubles, top seeds Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza face fourth seeds Casey Dellacqua/Yaroslava Shvedova  in the final. Fourth seed Hingis won the Mixed Doubles title with partner Leander Paes beating unseeded USA’s pairing Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sam Querrey 6-4, 3-6, 10-7.

Photos used courtesy of www.bbc.com/sport/0/tennis

World Tennis News: Federer Wins Cincinnati Masters

After a thrilling match against Grigor Dimitrovwhich he won 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, British number one and second seed Andy Murray reached the last eight in the Cincinnati Masters last week. He then defeated Richard Gasquet in the quarter finals 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 but lost against an on form Roger Federer in the semis 6-4, 7-6 (8-6). Federer went on to win his seventh Cincinnati Masters title beating top seed and world number one Novak Djokovic 7-6 (7-1), 6-3. Rafael Nadal lost in round three 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) against Feliciano Lopez.

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World number one Serena Williams won the women’s event beating third seed Simona Halep from Romania 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).

Photo used courtesy of www.bbc.com/sport/tennis