Tag Archives: Andy Murray

Australian Open: Mischa Zverev ousts Andy Murray in 4th round

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Mischa Zverev, ranked 50th in tennis men’s World rankings, has ousted World No.1 Andy Murray in a surprising win at the 4th round of the Australian Open.

It was Murray’s earliest defeat in Melbourne since 2009, and the lowest-ranked player he has lost to at a Grand Slam since the 2006 Australian Open.

The Scotsman dropped serve eight times in the match that lasted three hours and 33 minutes, losing 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 at the Rod Laver Arena.

Zverev, had played with an attacking style that he used to great effect against Murray, serve-volleying 119 times and winning 65 points at the net, while dismantling the Briton’s second serve. While Murray ended the match with an impressive 71 winners to 28 unforced errors, it was not enough as he found himself pressured incessantly.

Murray started strongly and found himself lead 4-1 in the first set, but Zverev got the break back with a return winner and would not give the world number one a place to rest. The German continued with another break in game nine and moved ahead with a delicate drop volley, before seeing out the set.

Murray levelled at a set all with a rasping winner after again being pegged back twice, but from midway through the third set it was clear that Zverev was in command — taking five straight games to move two sets to one and a break up, and despite one nervous smash into the net — managed to serve his way to a great win.

“It was kind of easy to stay aggressive but it was tough to stay calm,” said the German. “I was expecting to maybe double fault in the last game but somehow I made it.”

Could this be the long awaited return of Roger Federer?

Zverev’s next opponent, Roger Federer, made it through to the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam after a five-set showdown against tournament fifth seed Kei Nishikori.

The Swiss maestro last won a grand slam in 2012 at his favoured Wimbledon grass court, but has since struggled. Injury forced him of the world’s top 10 for the first time in 734 weeks last November, and arrived in Melbourne ranked 17th — his lowest position since May 2001.

While he is the oldest man to grace a grand slam quarter-final since 9-year-old Jimmy Connors at the 1991 US Open, the elimination of tournament favourites Novak Djokovic and Murray would very well throw the competition out for his taking.

 

Andy Murray celebrates world No.1 rank with Paris Masters

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Great Britain’s Andy Murray celebrated his ascension to world number one by beating American John Isner 6-3, 6-7(4-7), 6-4 to win his first Paris Masters title.

After double-faulting on the first point of the first game, Murray soon brought his a-game, breaking for a 4-2 lead, and showing watertight defence to close the door on Isner.

Murray managed only six points on his opponent’s serve in the set, but that was enough to take it in 35 minutes. The unseeded Isner continued to put pressure on Murray, showing an increasing deftness at the net to take the second set to a tie-break.

And the 31-year-old had too much for the Scot in the decider, serving imperiously to take the breaker 7-4.Twice in Isner’s first two service games of the third set Murray saw break points snatched away by his opponent’s huge serve.

But Murray was not to be denied, and he finally forced a break at 5-4, firing in a rapid backhand that Isner could only dig into the net, to take the third set and the match.

The victory brought Murray his sixth ATP title, in a memorable 2016 where he also added his second Olympic and Wimbledon titles on his way to the top of the rankings this year.

He will be officially confirmed as Britain’s first singles number one since computerised rankings were introduced in 1973.

Murray’s place as the new leader in men’s tennis had been confirmed by Milos Raonic’s withdrawal from Saturday’s semi-final with a leg injury, but the hype around his accomplishment did nothing to knock his concentration.

He now heads to the season-ending World Tour Finals as top seed for the first time.

However, should previous number one Novak Djokovic wins every match at the Finals he could reclaim the top ranking he held for 122 weeks.

Djokovic ready to defend World No1 rank as Murray closes in

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Novak Djokovic is ready to defend for his status as world number one even as second-placed Andy Murray prepares for next week’s Paris Masters looking to overtake the Serb.

Murray, 29, won his third title in as many weeks after defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Vienna Open final on Sunday. He could top the ATP rankings next week if he wins the Paris Masters event and Djokovic fails to reach the final.

On the other hand, 12-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic collected his latest major title after completing the career Grand Slam with a first French Open title in June, but suffered a slump since.

He only managed to pick up just one more title in Toronto before losing early at both the Wimbledon and the Olympics, and missed the chance at collecting another Grand Slam title after a bruising defeat by Stan Wawrinka in the US Open final.

“Winning the French Open this year has brought a lot of joy to me but on the other hand has taken away a lot from me, as well,” said Djokovic.

“I felt a little bit exhausted, I must say, and maybe less motivated. So I had to kind of rediscover that feeling of being on the court and keep pushing myself.”

“I guess it took a little bit of time, more time, and I’m in a better state of mind at the moment than I was some months ago. It makes me want to go on court and fight for every point because there is something to win at the end.”

For Murray, it was a remarkable year with seven titles – the most in a season in his career.

“I get a step closer with every win but it’s still a long way from here,” he said. “From two to one seems a small jump in a way but it’s the hardest one to make. To go from 100 to 50 is more spots but is a lot easier.”

“I was thinking more about how you are going to win the match rather than what it would mean if you did win it but it’s nice to win my seventh tournament. A lot of them have come in the last few months. After the Australian Open I struggled a little bit but the last few months have been very good.”

Kei Nishikori ousts Andy Murray to reach US Open semi-finals

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Japan’s Kei Nishikori fought back to defeat world No.2 Andy Murray in the quarter-finals of the US Open.

Murray had claimed two sets to one but eventually lost 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the space of three hours 57 minutes.

Nishikori will now face either Juan Martin Del Portro or No.3 Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals.

“It was too exciting on the court, but I tried to stay calm,” said Nishikori, whose best finish in New York was as the runner-up in 2014.

“In the beginning I didn’t start well – he has a great return – but I finished well. The rain delay helped me to change tactics. I tried to hit a few more drop-shots than usual today and it worked really well.”

He began with a near-bagel as he overpowered Nishikori in just 35 minutes, but Nishikori managed to level the game soon after with a number of drop shots.

The third set featured five breaks of serve, and the most crucial came at 4-all to Nishikori.

The 26 year old was serving 30/40, 4-4, when he tried another drop shot but floated it wide to give Murray the break.

After a hold to start the fourth, it looked like Murray would, at last, seize control of the quarter-final contest and continue his stellar stretch into the semi-finals. Since losing in the Roland Garros final, the Brit had gone 26-1 and reached seven consecutive finals.

But Nishikori held on. At 1-0, during a break-point opportunity for Murray, a loud noise in Arthur Ashe Stadium caused a halt to a point.

Murray emerged flustered after the disturbance, and Nishikori took advantage, firing off six straight games to even the match and force a deciding fifth set.

In the decider, “Clutch Kei” showed how he has achieved a higher winning percentage in matches that go to a decider than anyone in the Open Era.

Calm even after he broke Murray for a 6-5 lead in the fifth, he merely walked to his chair and prepared to hold, and reach the semi-finals at the US Open.