Category Archives: Tennis

Murray and Djokovic to miss Davis Cup quarter-finals

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Davis Cup: Serbia vs Great Britain
Tasmajdan Stadium, Belgrade
15-17 July

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, two of the best tennis players in the world set to miss the Davis Cup quarter-finals.

World No.1 Novak Djokovic had pulled out of the tie after his shock Wimbledon third-round exit to America’s Sam Querrey. It was the Serbian’s earliest exit from a grand slam event in nine years.

Djokovic hinted at an injury at the time, but refused to elaborate on the matter.

It remains unclear why he pulled out for his national team in his home town after significant exploits with the squad, having made their breakthrough together and winning the 2009 Davis Cup.

Meanwhile, Murray will sit out the knockout stage event due to lingering effects from his victory in Wimbledon, but has reportedly flown to Belgrade to cheer on his Great Britain teammates.

This was the first time in three years Murray misses a Team Great Britain fixture in the Davis Cup. In his place is Kyle Edmund, who will pitted up against the experienced Janko Tipsarevic in the first rubber on Friday.

“He’s gutted not to be playing,” the team captain, Leon Smith, said. “He loves Davis Cup, he loves this team, he loves his team-mates plus all the support staff we’ve got.”

“All of us are really pumped by the fact that he wants to come out and support the team from the sidelines; it gives us a big boost.”

He also defended Murray’s decision to withdraw.

“Quite rightly he has to look after his body and his mind. He’s got his eyes set on getting some rest and really making a big push for the Olympics, US Open and beyond.”

“I fully understand if he doesn’t end up coming, but if he does it just gives everyone a boost to see your number one player, role model and current Wimbledon champion sitting there.”

Andy Murray victorious at Wimbledon after Raonic rout

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Andy Murray is Wimbledon champion for the second time after a quick dismantling of sixth seed Milos Raonic in the Gentlemen’s singles grand final.

The Scotsman was playing in his 11th grand slam final as he breezed past Raonic despite the Canadian’s famed strong serve, winning the match by 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2) to claim his third Grand Slam title.

Raonic went into the match with 137 aces, but it took him five games to add a 138th. On the other hand, the world No2 served brilliantly and returned just as well, effectively neutralizing the sixth seed’s most potent weapon.

25-year-old Raonic had beaten Roger Federer earlier in the semi-final, but could only win 67% of his points, 20% less than Murray. His aces was also limited to just eight, a relatively low amount compared to an average of 22.8 in his previous six matches.

Two hours and 48 minutes was all the time that Murray needed to seal his victory, earning him the £2m prize money of the tournament.

Murray’s repeat of his 2013 triumph also makes him the first British man to win multiple Wimbledon men’s singles titles since Fred Perry in 1935.

“I’m proud to have my hands on the trophy again,” Murray said after the match. “I’ve had some great moments here, but also some tough losses. The win feels extra special because of the tough losses.”

The crowd had been expectant and raucous as Murray fought on to victory; among them a man who had put himself on morphine having been in hospital for more than a month with a crushed pelvis, just so he could see the Scot in action.

“Hopefully he’s OK and gets back on the morphine,” Murray said. “Obviously that’s amazing and hearing those stories makes me feel happy and proud. They’re all the things I’m trying not to hear during the tournament because there is a lot of pressure and stress.”

“But the support that I had throughout the two weeks, especially today was amazing. It really helps.”

Murray will now turn his attention to assist team Great Britain in the defense of their Davis Cup title. They will be facing off against Serbia at an advantage after Novak Djokovic rules himself out of his national team.


Djokovic grand slam dominance cut short by Sam Querrey

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Wimbledon Men’s Singles Round Three

All England Club

Sam Querrey wins 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), advances into Round Four

Novak Djokovic’s campaign for a calendar slam has been thwarted by America’s Sam Querrey, who won a series of aces to oust the all-winning Serbian from this year’s third Grand Slam event.

Querrey, the No. 28 seed in Wimbledon, only managed to get past the third round here once, in 2010.

Winning after rain had suspended play on Friday evening, Querrey said: “It’s incredible, especially to do it here at Wimbledon.”

“I’m so ecstatic, so happy. I played the break points well and every time he had a break point I was able to come up with a big serve.”

Djokovic was almost a shadow of his major-winning self as his opponent smashed 31 aces past him and persisted for the best win of his career yet.

It was a further testament to Querrey’s achievement as the Serb had already won the Australian and French Open titles this year, and was on the verge of becoming only the second man to win five successive major titles.

But there was a moment of sportsmanship as the unchallenged World No. 1 conceded defeat. Asked if he was healthy, he replied:

“Not really. But it’s not the place and time to talk about it. The opponent was playing on a very high level and he deserved to win.”

“I had my chances maybe in the fourth set, serving for the set,” he added. “In the tie-break, I was leading. Just wasn’t feeling the ball as well as I wished. But that’s sport.”

Even down by two sets, many would expect the 29-year-old to muster a comeback as he had done here the year before to beat South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in Round Four.

While it may pale in significance against other sporting upsets (Leicester City’s Premier League win, Iceland beating England in the Euros) this year, Djokovic’s early exit would certainly be able to keep other top players, such as Andy Murray and Roger Federer on their toes.



Dominic Thiem stuns Roger Federer at Stuggart

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Austrian youngster Dominic Thiem pulled off a surprise victory against Roger Federer in Stuggart by 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4.

They met in a rain-interrupted Mercedes Cup semi-final in Tennis Club Weissenhof. Early on, Federer had threatened to end the game early after he pulls even in the second set despite being 5-0 down.

In the subsequent tiebreaker, Federer, playing on his favourite grass surface, squandered one match point with a smash into the net. He then wasted another as tried to serve and volley behind a second serve but was passed by an impeccable return.

Thiem then won the set with a smash. He went on the win the match as Federer delivered a backhand wide on Thiem’s second match point.

“I can’t believe it. To beat Federer on grass is a dream,” said Thiem after the match. “You need a little bit of luck to beat him on his best surface. I’m the happiest person on the Earth now.”

Earlier, Thiem had won against Federer on clay in the third round of the Italian Open before Federer took a month off due to a back injury. With three ATP titles already under his belt, he reached his first grand slam semi-final at the French Open, and leapfrogged to No7 in World Rankings.

His current encounter against Philipp Kohschreiber in the final was as it ties at 6-6 in the first set. The match delayed till Monday due to rain after the first set.

Indeed, the weather had not been ideal in Stuggart Thiem’s match against Federer either. It was twice interrupted by rain for 30 minutes; the second delay came immediately after Thiem broke for 4-3 in the third set.

On the other hand, Federer has not won a title this calendar year. There were injury issues that plagued the serial grand slam winner, first a knee surgery after the Australian Open, flu in the States and a back injury that forced him out of the French Open. But the 34-year-old remains optimistic.

“Any match you lose is disappointing. But to lose when you have match point means it was a close one,” he conceded. “We both had our chances throughout. After coming back from 0-5 in the second, it was tough to lose the tie-break.”

“It was a tough match for both of us,” Federer added. “I could have played better at some of the bigger moments. At the same time, Thiem came up with some really good shots when he needed them. It’s just unfortunate. It’s just a matter of working hard and maybe things will go my way next time.”