RG: Murray stops a red hot Verdasco for his 13th straight major Quarters - UBITENNIS
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RG: Murray stops a red hot Verdasco for his 13th straight major Quarters




TENNIS RG – Andy Murray has once again put himself in contention for another major title. Despite the clay courts of Roland Garros not being his favourite surface, one would not have figured that to be the case with his comprehensive victory over Fernando Verdasco in straight sets 6-4 7-5 7-6(3). Cordell Hackshaw

Interviews, Results, OOP, Draws from the Roland Garros

Andy Murray (7) has once again put himself in contention for another major title. Despite the clay courts of Roland Garros not being his favourite surface, one would not have figured that to be the case with his comprehensive victory over Fernando Verdasco (24) in straight sets 6-4 7-5 7-6(3). With this win, Murray has now reached an impressive 13th consecutive major quarterfinal. Having missed this tournament the last two years due to injury, Murray looked far more comfortable on the Suzanne Lenglen court than Verdasco, a known clay court specialist. There was not much to separate the two by the numbers. However, it was clear that Murray had a game plan against the Spaniard especially since he has a 9-1 record coming into this match. Verdasco on the other hand often looked lost and bewildered as he was unable to gain any real advantage over his opponent in the match.

Verdasco served to open the match with an easy service hold at love to go up 1-0. This would be just about the easiest service game he would have of the match as Murray constantly had him under pressure. Verdasco had his chances on the Murray’s serve as the players traded breaks in the early stages of the set. However, they remained on serve until the crucial 9th game when Verdasco deviated from the task of holding serve and saw Murray serving for the set at 5-4. Murray held easily to take the set 6-4. The second set was almost a repeat of the first as at the crucial moment in the set, the 11th game, Verdasco again surrendered his serve. It was as though Verdasco was unable to concentrate at these big moments in the match and Murray sensing this vulnerability, seized the opportunities to his advantage. He now led 6-4 7-5.

That magnificent form that saw Verdasco easily dismissing Gasquet in the 3rd round was not present on this day against Murray. Murray was showing his brilliance in nearly all areas of the court and was simply too good for the Spaniard. “[H]e had played I think very deep, very good shots, very good control, close to the lines…I played short, many shots. He was able to step in, and he did it pretty well.” Verdasco surmised after the match. In the 3rd set, Murray took the early lead 3-1 and had break points to go up 4-1. In that pivotal 5th game, Verdasco saved 5 break points to hold serve. It seemed as though the Spaniard was going to fight his way back into the match as he later broke Murray in the 8th game to get back on serve. This was after some high drama between the Spaniard and the chair umpire Pascal Maria who asked Verdasco to serve again when an incorrect call was made on his serve. Verdasco refused claiming that Murray did not have a play on the ball and so the call was not a hindrance. Verdasco was adamant on this point and sat down refusing to serve again as it was game point. Eventually Murray conceded the point to move things along.

The players stayed on serve from here on end and the set was going to be decided in the tiebreaker. Murray took the early lead in the breaker 3-1 but Verdasco equalized the matter at 3-3 with some monster forehands. It looked like he was about to take charge of the set but it was not to be. Verdasco became erratic on the forehand wing again and Murray was up 5-3. Showing his superior defensive and offensive skill, Murray closed out the match with a forehand smash 6-4 7-5 7-6(3) in about 3 hours. Murray had this to say about his performance, “I felt defensively I did a good job and offensively today. I was going to need to do that, because against him, you know, like I say, he has a big game, so he can make you do a lot of running and you need to try to, yeah, to combat that sometimes playing good offense and sometimes by defending properly.” Murray will play the last Frenchman in the draw, Gael Monfils (23) in the quarterfinals and mentioned this about the matchup, “I’m looking forward to the match, the quarterfinals of a slam. I don’t care whether no one in the crowd wants me to win or everyone wants me to win. I will fight just as hard to try and get the right outcome.”


Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claim their first ATP Finals title in London



The French team formed by Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed their first men’s doubles title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in 70 minutes at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London ending the 2019 ATP season on a high note with back-to-back titles in Paris Bercy and London. They remained unbeaten during the whole week at the ATP Finals in London winning all five matches in straight sets.


Herbert and Mahut fended off all four break points they faced scoring their ninth consecutive match win. The French doubles specialists have become the first team to win the doubles ATP Finals title without dropping a set since Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in 2015.

Herbert and Mahut fended off break points in the third game of the match before earning the only break of the opening set in the next game. The Frenchmen saved a break point in the sixth game before breaking serve in the seventh game.

They have become the French team to win the ATP Finals doubles title since Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro, who triumphed in Shanghai in 2005.

Herbert and Mahut have won 15 doubles titles as a team during their career. This year they became the eighth men’s doubles team to complete the career Grand Slam at last January’s Australian Open and also won the Rolex Paris Masters in front of their home fans.

Last year they came within one point of winning the ATP Finals title against Mike Bryan and Jack Sock after holding a match point.

“Thank you Nicolas for sharing the court, for having so much enjoyable moments and giving me so much joy, when I am with you on the court. You played an unbelievable final, so thank you for that”, said Pierre Hugues Herbert.


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Jannik Sinner wins his third ATP Challenger in Ortisei



Jannik Sinner won the ATP Challenger in Ortisei adding another title to his impressive collection of trophies he lifted during a memorable 2019 season.


The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion beat world number 173 Sebastian Ofner from Austria 6-2 6-4 in 1 hour and 6 minutes in the final of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Sudtirol at the Tennis Center in Ortisei.

Sinner won his third ATP Challenger title in 2019 after his previous wins in Bergamo and Lexington. He also reached the final in Ostrava. During the tournament the 18-year-old player from San Candido beat Lucas Miedler in the first round, Roberto Marcora in the second round, Federico gaio in the quarter final and Antoine Hoang in the semifinal without dropping a set.

Sinner will improve his ranking to his career-high at world number 78 in the ATP Ranking becoming the sixth best ranked Italian player after Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Sonego, Marco Cecchinato and Andreas Seppi.

Sinner broke serve in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner missed two game points in the seventh game. The Austrian player faced another break point after his third double fault. In the next game Sinner saved the first break point he faced. Sinner closed out the first set 6-2 after two backhand errors from Ofner in the eighth game.

Sinner went up a break to open up a 2-0 lead, but Ofner broke back in the fourth game and held on his serve to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner saved three break points in the seventh game to take a 4-3. Sinner converted his fourth break point in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and served out the win with two consecutive aces.

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Tomas Berdych: It Is Up To Others To Decide My Legacy

The former top-10 player spoke with reporters for the first time since officially retiring from the sport



Tomer Berdych (far left) among group of recently retired player's attending special presentation at The 2019 ATP Finals

LONDON: Tomas Berdych has said his future plans is ‘to not have a plan’ after officially retiring from tennis on Saturday at the age of 34.


The former Wimbledon runner-up joined a series of other former players to celebrate their careers in a special on-court presentation at the ATP Finals. Also present was Radek Stepanek and David Ferrer. News of Berdych’s decision to walk away from the sport surfaced earlier this week after a Czech newspaper spoke with his father Martin.

Speculation has mounted in recent months about Berdych’s future in the sport after struggles with injury issues concerning his back and hip. He hasn’t played on the tour since the US Open. Overall, he has only managed to play 22 matches this season. Winning 13 of them.

“I was able to train, practice, prepare, and then you get to the tournament, and then I play three games, the problem came back.” Berdych explained during a press conference about his decision.
“You put all the negative stuff on the one side, and then the positive is to go on court, fight, win the match, and there was no chance to achieve that. There is really no point to continue.”

Playing in the shadows on the Big Four contingent, the Czech still managed to establish himself as a household name. Albeit on a smaller scale. As of this week, he is ranked as the 11th highest-earning player on the ATP Tour in history with more than $29 million in prize money. His achievements include winning 13 ATP titles and spending 794 consecutive weeks in the top 100. At his peak, he was fourth in the world rankings and finished seven seasons inside the top 10.

Like any other player, it hasn’t always been a smooth journey for Berdych. One example was during the 2012 Australian Open where he was booed off the court after defeating Nicolas Almagro during what was a bad-tempered encounter. However, fortunately, most of his career has been free from controversy.

“Do I have any regrets? No, I think even the bad things or the negative experience that I went through or I experienced or I have done, I think they were there for the reason. I think without them, I wouldn’t be as good as I was.” Berdych stated.
“I think even the bad ones were there for a reason.”

Now he has stepped away from the sport for good, what does the future have in store? According to the Czech, he is in no intention of rushing into anything else soon. Although he admits that it may not be tennis-related.

“The plan is actually not to have any plans. The last 15, 20 years was so hectic and so demanding that I just need to just to breathe out easily after all those years.”

As the chapter closes on the career of one of the Czech Republic’s most successful male players in the Open Era, he leaves the sport with high respect from both his fans and fellow rivals. As for his legacy, he says that it is not for him to decide.

“I think I’m not the correct one to judge that. I was trying to do the best I possibly can, and I think this is something that you created with your achievement and with your behavior.” He concludes.

Berdych’s career in numbers

2 – number of Davis Cup titles won
4 – highest ATP ranking achieved
13– number of ATP titles
53 – number of wins over top 10 players
342 – number of losses on the ATP Tour
640 – number of wins on the ATP Tour
2002 – the year he turned pro
2019 – the year he retired
29,491,328 – career prize money (in US dollars)

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