TENNIS – Andy Murray rallied from a set down to overcome Gilles Muller with 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 at the Aegon Championshps at the Queen’s Club in London. Murray had to fight hard until the tie-break of the second set before taking control of the match in the third set. Diego Sampaolo
Thirty-two-year-old Muller converted his chance to break serve for 3-1 in the first set en route to closing it out with 6-3 after 32 minutes with a series of serves and groundstrokes. The player from Luxemburg saved a break point in the second set which came down to the tie-break with no break points. The match changed in the tie-break where Murray got an early mini-break with a forehand down the line.
Murray got an early break with a forehand down the line to clinch the decisive set after 1 hour and 56 minutes. Murray fired 13 aces to Muller’s 8.
“He started well and I didn’t quite know what to do on the return game. When I started to return better, he seemed more anxious to come into the net and I was able to get myself into the rallies. It’s a good win for me. I started to read his serve a bit better at the end of the tie-break and that was when the match changed”, said Murray
In the semifinal Murray will face Viktor Troicki who beat John Isner 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 in on hour and 12 minutes. Troicki cpmverted on one of his 11 break points and did not face any break points. Isner had to save three break points in the first set before losimg the tie-break with 8-6. In the second set Isner saved seven break points before Troicki converted on his 8th break point chance in the 8th game for 5-3.
Murray won their previous match in the Vienna semifinal last year
Kevin Anderson edged Guillermo Garcia Lopez 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 after a very tight match in the first quarter final The match was decided by just a few points. The first set came down to the tie-break without a single break. Garcia Lopez got the mini-break but Anderson broke back at 5-3 with a volley backhand and earned a set point at 6-5. Garcia Lopez saved the set point and took the 7-6 lead. Anderson drew level with a service winner. Anderson earned a second set point before closing out the set with a forehand volley.
In the first game of the second set Garcia Lopez brought up his only two break points of the match but Anderson saved them with a forehand volley and a service winner. Anderson earned two match points on Garcia Lopez’s serve at 6-5. The South African player converted his first match point to wrap up the match after 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Anderson will take on Gilles Simon who fought back from a set down to knock out Milos Raonic with 4-6 6-3 7-5 and reach his third semifinal of the year. Raonic got the only break of the first set at 1-1 en route to winning the first set with 6-4. Simon saved three break points at 2-2 in a 12-minute fifth game of the second set before breaking serve for 4-2. The third set went on serve until 5-5 when Simon got the break. He closed out the match on the fifth match point after 2 hours and 18 minutes.
(VIDEO) Novak Djokovic Makes Tearful Tribute To Mentor Kobe Bryant After Australian Open Win
The world No.2 pays his respect to ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time’ on the Rod Laver Arena.
World No.2 Novak Djokovic shed tears following his quarter-final win over Milos Raonic after paying tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
The 16-time grand slam champion took to the Rod Laver Arena wearing a green zip-up top. On the top right of his jacket with Bryant’s initial along with the numbers 8 and 24. The jersey numbers Bryant worn throughout his 20-year NBA career with the LA Lakers. A love heart was also placed under the numbers on Djokovic’s top.
“’I don’t know what we could say. It really caught us by surprise.” An emotional Djokovic said during his on-court interview with John McEnroe on Tuesday.
‘He was one of the greatest athletes of all time, he inspired myself and many other people around the world. I had that fortune to have a personal relationship with him over the last 10 years.’
‘When I needed some advice and support, he was there for me. He was my mentor, my friend, it’s just heartbreaking to see what has happened to him and his daughter. It’s unbelievable.’
Bryant was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. As an athlete, he achieved numerous milestones. Including being named the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also a two-time Olympic gold medallist and played in 18 All Star Games.
Just days before Bryant’s death, Djokovic spoke about their friendship during an interview with ESPN. Praising him for the support he received during his elbow injury and fall in the rankings during 2017 and the start of 2018. Reflecting on the conversations the two have had, he said he received some ‘valuable guidance.’
“Kobe has been one of my mentors,” Djokovic told ESPN. “I’ve had several phone conversations with him and also of course when we see each other live in the past couple of years. When I was going through the injury with my elbow and struggling to mentally and emotionally handle all of these different things that were happening to me and dropping in the Rankings and then having to work my way up, he was one of the people who was really there for me to give me some very valuable advice and guidelines to kind of believe and trust in myself, trust the process that I’ll be back.”
Djokovic will play Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
The tribute can be watched below (from 00:30 to 01:40)
Dominic Thiem reaches his first quarter final at the Australian Open
Dominic Thiem eased past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 50 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open. Thiem has extended his winning streak to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Monfils.
He fought back from two sets to one down to beat Australia’s Alex Bolt in the second round, but he won eight of his past nine sets to advance to the quarter finals.
Thiem got two breaks in the first set and never faced a single break point in the entire match. The Austrian player converted his fourth break point after three deuces, as Monfils missed a backhand volley wide. Thiem started the third set with an early break in the first game, as Monfils hit an inside-out forehand wide from the middle of the court wide. Thiem won his next service games and held his final game at love.
Thiem will face Rafael Nadal in a re-match of last year’s Roland Garros final.
“I think that I played my best match so far at this year’s Australian Open. It’s a very good feeling. The score looks way easier than the match was. I think I was lucky to make an early break in each set and I was managing to hold my serve well. I am so happy because I am in the quarter final here for the first time”, said Thiem.
Alexander Zverev tops Andrey Rublev to set Australian Open quarter final against Stan Wawrinka
Alexander Zverev beat his friend Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the first time in his career and his third at Grand Slam level.
Zverev broke serve once in each set. The German player has not dropped a set at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.
Zverev ended Rublev’s 15-match winning streak. Rublev had not lost a match since October, winning four matches at the Davis Cup last November and back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.
In the opening set Zverev earned his first break at 3-3, as Rublev hit a forehand into the net. He held his serve to consolidate the break and wrapped up the first set after 29 minutes, when Rublev hit a crosscourt backhand wide.
Zverev started the second set with an immediate break in the first game of the second set and closed it out with a hold at love with an ace after 29 minutes.
Zverev broke serve for the third time in the match in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4, when Rublev made a groundstroke error, and sealed the win with a forehand volley.
“It feels amazing. I played some great matches against some great opponents. This is Andrey’s first loss of the season, having won two tournaments and getting through to the fourth round with unbelievable tennis. I have known Andrey since we were ten years old. I think he will be top 15, top 10 very soon. I am just happy and I hope I can continue”,said Zverev.
Zverev will face Stan Wawrinka in the quarter final. The German star beat Wawrinka twice in their previous two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.
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