Queen's Club: Murray through to the quarters - UBITENNIS
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Queen’s Club: Murray through to the quarters

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TENNIS – Andy Murray edged passed Fernando Verdasco 7-5 6-4 at the Aegon Championships at the Queen’s Club in London to get through to the quarterfinal where he will face Gilles Muller who beat defending champion Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 7-6(5) . Murray is bidding to win his 4th title at Queen’s Club. Diego Sampaolo

 

Murray scored his 11th win in 12 matches against Verdasco. In their previous match on grass, Murray had to rally from two sets down to beat the Spaniard in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon 2013.

Murray seized control of the 1st set after Verdasco double faulted twice in his opening service game giving the Scotsman break point opportunity. Murray then converted with a forehand winner. However, Verdasco broke back in the 7th game. However, at 6-5 Murray broke serve for the 2nd time and on his third set point, claimed the opening set.

Verdasco did not convert any of the 4 break points he had very early on in the 2nd set against Murray and soon came to regret this as he would never see another for the rest of the set. In the 10th game, serving to stay in the match, Verdasco again double faulted twice. Luck was not favouring Verdasco on this day as two aces he hit during this game were ruled as lets. Eventually, Verdasco was broken when he hit his backhand wide giving Murray the match 7-5 6-4.

Muller beat defending champion Dimitrov 6-4 7-6(5). Dimitrov double faulted at 5-4 in the 1st set and was broken handing Muller the set. Dimitrov fended off a break point at 2-1 in the 2nd set with a backhand winner down the line. That break in the 1st set would be the lone break of the entire match as both players remained on serve in the 2nd set.

In the pivotal tie-break, Muller double faulted for the 1st time and went down 0-3.  The Luxembourger won 6 of the next 7 points bringing up match points with a searing forehand winner down the line for 6-4.  Dimitrov saved the first match point with his serve but Muller converted his second opportunity with his forehand to qualify for the first time in his career for the quarterfinals at Queen’s.

Since winning this event last year Dimitrov has not reached a final since then.

“I don’t think I am playing bad tennis at the moment. I am just doing a lot of good things on the court which really don’t discourage me to play. It’s a tough loss for me but I give credit to Gilles”, said Dimitrov.

John Isner battled past last year’s finalist Feliciano Lopez in three tie-break sets with 7-6(5) 6-7(9) 7-6(4). The 1st set went on serve until the tie-break where Isner was the first to get the mini-break at 5-4 with a down-the line passing shot. He capitalised on this opportunity to take the set. In the 2nd set, Lopez earned a break point at 3-3 but was unable to convert and again a tie-break was needed to decide the set. After trading mini-breaks 4 times, Lopez got the decisive break for 10-9 with his backhand. The Spaniard served it out to level the match.

Breaking serve in this match became mission impossible as no one broken through 36 service games. In the final set tiebreaker, Isner got the early mini-break and closed out the breaker 7-4 points.

Viktor Troicki overcame Marin Cilic 6-7(8) 6-2 6-3 in a re-match of last week’s semifinal in Stuttgart where Troicki won in the tie-break of the 3rd set. Toicki will meet Isner in the quarterfinals. The winner of this match will face either Murray or Muller in the semifinals.

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Thomas Musters Hints At Conflict With Thiem After Sudden Axe From Team

The unexpected move by Thiem has left more questions than answers.

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Australian tennis legend Thomas Muster has seemingly suggested that a difference in opinion was behind his sudden departure from Dominic Thiem’s team after just two weeks.

 

On Saturday the world No.5 unexpectedly confirmed that the former world No.1 has left his team. Exactly 18 days after Thiem said during a press conference at the ATP Cup that the two have arranged a ‘working relationship.’ The announcement followed Thiem’s four-set win over Taylor Fritz in the third round of the Australian Open.

“We ended our working relationship,” He told Austrian reporters at the Australian Open. “It did not fit. It’s easy like that. It is just about work. We get along well personally, and we said in the beginning, if anything is not all right we will tell each other.”

Questions are left remaining about what the exact reason for the two to go their separate ways. Especially given their short period spent working together. Both have been coy on the subject, but Muster has shed some light during an interview with Eurosport.

Speaking with fellow former world No.1 Becker, Muster said he was initially expecting to be working with Thiem for a two-year period. Adding to the mystery, the 52-year-old fuelled further speculation when he gave a cryptic insight about the two-time French Open finalist. Who had previously said that his career was to emulate and surpass Muster’s career achievements.

“To be honest, I have seen myself in this role for the next two years.” He told Becker.
“Why he chose differently…l I know why, but I don’t want to say the details.’
“It’s like this. There are houses which look nice from the outside, wonderfully from the outside, but you rarely know who lives inside.”

Speaking about Thiem’s performance on the court, Muster believes there are still areas of his game that requires further improvement. Last year the 26-year-old won five titles on the ATP Tour, including his first at Masters level. Something that was only matched by Novak Djokovic.

“He’s a fine guy and likes to learn a lot,” he told Eurosport.
“But he has also got some shortcomings, he has to work on if he wants to be at the top. He has improved a lot, but he to catch up in the technical, physical and foremost in the mental area.”

Muster isn’t the only former professional with a view that Thiem needs to improve. Mats Wilander recently called on the tennis star to improve his attitude on the court.

Thiem will play fifth seed Gael Monfils in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday.

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Injury-Stricken Juan Martin Del Potro Suffers New Blow And An Uncertain Future

There is more bad news for fans of the former world No.3 and his hopes of a return to tennis.

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Hopes of Juan Martin del Potro returning to the tour in the coming weeks have ended after it was announced that he will undergo further surgery on Monday.

 

The former US Open champion hasn’t played a competitive match since June after fracturing his right kneecap at the Fever-Tree Championships in London. The same one he also hurt towards the end of the 2018 season. Shortly after his mishap the Argentine underwent surgery in Barcelona in an attempt to fix the issue and have been undergoing rehabilitation ever since.

Unfortunately for the former top-five player, the surgery hasn’t been a success with him continuing to have pain in the region. In an official press release published on Sunday, it was confirmed that the issue is affecting the Argentine in everyday tasks such as walking up a flight of stairs. As a consequence, Del Potro will have yet another operation on his knee in Miami.

“We want to update you that after long weeks of inter consultations in Argentina, Europe and the United States, most doctors have come to the conclusion that a new intervention in the right knee of Juan Martin del Potro is necessary.” A statement reads.
“After analyzing the options, Delpo trusted Dr. Lee Kaplan to perform the surgery scheduled for Monday, January 27th in Miami.”
“We hope that this is the definitive solution to eliminate the pain that not only has prevented Delpo from playing tennis, but also making it difficult for him to perform daily activities.”

Speculation over the future intentions of the 31-year-old started earlier this week when he withdrew from the Delray Beach Open. The tournament were where he was set to make his comeback next month.

During his rehabilitation, Del Potro has sought various treatments. Including types of diets, training and trips to specialists. All of which failed to deliver the desired outcome and forced him to undergo surgery.

“Thank you for your patience and for understanding that these past weeks we have taken our time before communicating his next steps. The situation is never easy when it comes to the physique of an athlete and, more importantly, the health of a person.” Team del Potro said.

The latest revelation has cast concerns over Del Potro’s future career. Who at one stage said he was unsure if he would be able to continue playing due to his knee injury (prior to his first surgery). It is the latest setback for the injury-stricken player who have also been forced to undergo four wrist surgeries.

So far in his career, Del Potro has won 22 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as third in the world last year.

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Milos Raonic reaches the Australian Open quarter finals for the fifth time in his career

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Milos Raonic beat Marin Cilic 6-4 6-3 7-5 to advance to the quarter final at the Australian Open for the fifth time in his career and for the second consecutive year. The Canadian player has advanced to the quarter final for the tenth time in his career at Grand Slam level.

 

Raonic saved an early break point with a big serve and hit a backhand down the line to force an error to break in the 10th game closing out the first set 6-4.

The former Wimbldon finalist and eight-time ATP Tour champion hit a backhand return winner in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead in the second set.

Cilic brought up two set points on Raonic’s serve in the 10th game of the third set, but Raonic fended them off with three serves. Raonic got a break in the 11th game at 15 and sealed the win on his first match point with an ace.

“It feels pretty good. I have got to say. I can’t complain about it and I am just happy with how things are going. I am happy I have another chance to play in two days here and it’s been an exciting tournament for me so far, but hopefully there are more exciting things ahead. I did a lot of things really well, and I had the idea of how I wanted to play. I was happy I could execute and live up to that”, said Milos Raonic in the post-match interview.

 

 

 

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