Andy Murray crushes David Goffin at the BNP Paribas Masters - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray crushes David Goffin at the BNP Paribas Masters

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Andy Murray in action at the 2015 BNP Paribas Masters in Paris (imasge via AFP)

Andy Murray breezed into the last eight of the BNP Paribas Masters after thrashing world No.16 David Goffin 6-0, 6-1.

 

The encounter was a dress rehearsal for both men ahead of next months Davis Cup final. Great Britain will face Belgium at the Flanders Expo in Ghent, Belgium. Being the highest ranked players for both of their countries, it is expected that the two will battle against each other for the Davis Cup title.

The biggest factor to infuriate Murray didn’t occur on the court. It was during the change over when a ball kid accidently threw a ball at him.

The British No.1 went off guns blazing as as he dominated the Belgian at the start of the match by winning 12 out of the first 14 points of the match to change to a 3-0 lead after just seven minutes. The powerful shots fired from Murray’s racket proved too much for Goffin to manage as he at times struggled to return them. The aggressive start from the 2nd seed was stopped in the fourth game as Goffin got his first game on the scoreboard with a forehand crosscourt shot. Nevertheless, Murray remained the dominant player on the court as he produced a spectacular backhand winner to break the world No.16 for the second time to lead 5-1. Serving for the opening set Murray produced a below-par game to hand his Belgian rival a break point opportunity, but Goffin was unable to convert as the Brit battled back to deuce. Murray took the set after winning a 24-shot rally thanks to an unforced error from Goffin, his 12th of the match. Throughout the opening set Murray lost just one point behind his first serve and produced 10 winners.

Murray continued his attacking play in the following set as he recovered from 0-40 down to break Goffin with a spectacular forehand shot as the Belgian glared towards his camp watching him. The trouble for the Belgian was the speed of Murray’s returning. As soon as Goffin finished his service motion, the ball was already back to him. The at times fragile serve from the Belgian played into the hands of Murray as he charged to another break point chance in the third game of the second set to lead by a set and 3-0. The Brit easily converted the point after a shot into the net from from Goffin.  Despite trailing to Murray, Goffin kept on fighting. In the fifth game of the second set he fended off four break points before succumbing to the fifth as Murray broke for a chance to serve for the match. The task was easy for the Brit as he produced a sublime backhand down the line on his first match point to grab the victory.

During his outstanding 52-minute match, Murray produced 8 aces, 22 winners, 8 unforced errors and won 90% of his first service points. The straightforward win by Murray is Goffin’s heaviest defeat since the 2013 Rotterdam Open where the Belgian lost 6-0, 6-0 to Jarkko Nieminen.

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Lost Shoes Fails To Stop Cameron Norrie From Becoming First Brit To Win Indian Wells

Heading into the biggest final of his career, the Brit and his team launched a search party to find the missing pairs of shoes.

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Image via https://twitter.com/BNPPARIBASOPEN

Cameron Norrie has capped off his breakthrough run at the BNP Paribas Open by fighting back from a set down to win his first Masters 1000 title at the age of 26.

 

Norrie, who had never won a main draw match at the tournament until this year, beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, to become the first ever player from Britain to win the tournament. Going one step further than Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski who have all settled for runner-up in the past. In the final Norrie broke his opponent five times and hit 10 winners past him. It is the second time this year he has beaten Basilashvili on the Tour following their meeting in Rotterdam.

“What an incredible week I’ve had here,” said Norrie. “It was just a strange match. It was over quite quickly, and then the last kind of set I was expecting it to be longer. He made a couple errors towards the end.’
“I still don’t really know what I’m experiencing. It was an amazing couple weeks and I’m so happy with how I treated all the occasions, all the big moments, all the matches. I’m so happy, so pleased to win my biggest title.”

The triumph occurs during what has been a breakthrough season for the 26-year-old who is a former No.1 American collegiate player. Indian Wells was his sixth Tour final of 2021 and he has now won 47 matches. The only other player to reach six finals this year on the men’s Tour is Novak Djokovic.

Heading into the title match in Indian Wells, Norrie encountered a peculiar setback to his preparations after three pairs of his shoes went missing. Something which also happened to compatriot Andy Murray during the tournament.

“Every day I left my shoes on top of the locker. I think someone, I don’t know who it was, maybe someone from the cleaners or something last night, came through and they threw the three pairs of shoes that I had away,” he said.
“I looked all day. I had everyone looking. I don’t know what the people have against the Brits with stealing the shoes, but I didn’t manage to get them back.
“Yeah, it was just difficult. Luckily, I didn’t have a wedding ring attached [unlike Murray],” he added.

Norrie admitted the incident did partly distract him during what was the biggest final of his career because the new shoes ‘felt a bit heavy.’

“A couple times I was just thinking about it, probably not the best thing. You don’t want to be thinking about your shoes. At one point I said, All right, these are the shoes I got, I’m just going to focus on what I can control right now. I wore them in a little bit, and it came good in the end.”

Looking ahead to the coming weeks, Norrie is now in with a shot of qualifying for the year-end ATP Finals in Turin. He has moved to tenth in the race with 2830 points. Although one of those players ahead of him, Rafael Nadal, will not be playing in the event due to injury. This time last year Norrie was ranked outside the top 50.

“I’m playing Vienna, Paris, and Stockholm, the last three events indoors. It would be nice to make it (to the ATP Finals), but I’m going to keep going, keep taking care of what I can and handling what I can. We’ll see how it goes,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to the indoor season. I really like the courts. I’ve never really made a deep run in one of those tournaments, but I always play well. I always lose tight matches. Hopefully those can swing in my favor this year.”

Norrie has made his top 20 debut this week and is currently ranked 15th in the world.

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‘Nothing Is Impossible’ – Paula Badosa Eyes WTA Finals Spot After Clinching Indian Wells Title

The former teenage tennis prodigy aims to end her season on a high after a fairytale run in the Californian desert.

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Paula Badosa - image via https://twitter.com/BNPPARIBASOPEN

Spain’s Paula Badosa outlasted Victoria Azarenka in a marathon encounter to win the biggest title of her career to date at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.13 battled on the court for more than three hours before prevailing 7-6(5), 2-6, 7-6(2), over the two-time champion. Throughout the rollercoaster final Badosa had to battle back against Azarenka, who at one stage served for the match during the third set. Overall, she saved 10 out of 17 break points faced and won 52% of her service points. Badosa closed out the match by winning five out of the nine points played with outright winners in the final tiebreaker.

“It was a really tough match. I think it was a really good one, as well, because she played at an amazing level. I think I had to rise high level every set. In the final third set I think I played my best. It was the only option if I wanted to win, so I’m really proud of it,” said the new champion.
“It was like a roller coaster mentally, emotionally. It was my first final in a 1000. I had a lot of emotions,” she added.

Badosa has become the first Spanish woman in history to win the Indian Wells title and only the second in history to ever contest a final after Conchita Martinez. Her run to the trophy saw her impressively defeat four top 20 players en route, as well as Azarenka. Earlier in the tournament she defeated Coco Gauff, Barbora Krejčíková, Angelique Kerber and Ons Jabeur.

“The first thing that I’ve learned this week is that nothing is impossible. If you fight, if you work, after all these years, you can achieve anything,” she said.
“Sometimes you have tough moments. In my case I have been through tough moments. I never stopped dreaming. That’s what kept me working hard and believing until the last moment.”

The 23-year-old was widely tipped to be a star of the women’s game at a young age after lifting the French Open girls’ title back in 2015. However, that expectation weighed heavily on her shoulders with transitioning to the pro Tour proving to be a stern challenge. It wasn’t until four years after winning the junior Grand Slam title that she cracked the top 100. Since then, she has been rapidly rising on the Tour.

Badosa is not the first and probably won’t be the last teenage prodigy to be bombarded with high expectations from a young age. Asked to offer advice to others in a similar situation, she stressed the importance of having a support team.

“People think that when you’re a good junior, next year you have to be a top-20 player or top-10 player. You have a lot of expectations. People wait a lot of you, put a lot of pressure on you,” she commented.
“I think the key is to have a good team and to work day by day, to not listen a lot, and to make it simple. Sometimes we complicate things.”

Now with the Indian Wells title under her belt, Badosa has a serious shot of being able to qualify for next month’s WTA Finals in Mexico which will only feature the eight highest-ranked players in the race. She is currently eighth in the race.

“I wasn’t even thinking about that at the beginning of the week,” Badosa said of the season-ending event.
“I think I started thinking about that when I was maybe in the quarterfinals or something like that. I didn’t want to see it, but I start thinking about it. At the beginning it was impossible for me to think about that. When I saw the draw, it was a really tough one. It was tough for me to think I could win this tournament.”

Indian Wells is only the second WTA title Badosa has won in her career after the Serbian Open back in May. She will rise to a ranking high of 13th on Monday.

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Cameron Norrie Eyes Grand Slam Breakthrough Following Indian Wells Run

The Brit hopes his performance at the Masters 1000 event will help him break new ground in the future.

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Image via Indian Wells Twitter

Cameron Norrie hopes his run at the BNP Paribas Open will set him on course for future success at the Grand Slams where he is yet to reach the second week.

 

The world No.26 has broken new territory by reaching his first ever Masters 1000 final at Indian Wells and is only the fourth man from his country to do so at the tournament. He sealed his place in the final on Saturday with a 6-2, 6-4, win over Grigor Dimitrov in just under 90 minutes. Dimitrov is the third seed Norrie has beaten in the tournament after Roberto Bautista Agut and Diego Schwartzman.

Norrie’s unprecedented run has also sealed his spot in the world’s top 20 next week for the first time in his career. He will also overtake Dan Evans to become the new British world No.1. The new milestones occurs during what has been a breakthrough season for the 26-year-old who has reached the final at five other tournaments, winning his maiden title at the Los Cabos Open in Mexico.

However, in the Grand Slams Norrie is yet to make his mark. Out of 16 main draw appearances, he has managed to reach the third round four times with three of those occurring this year. His combined win-loss records at major tournaments currently stand at 12-16.

“I’ve had some opportunities there to make the second week of a slam, but it’s not gone my way,” Norrie said during his press conference on Saturday.
“It’s all been great learning for me. Hopefully with these results I can put myself in a higher seeding there, then maybe have some more chances.
“I’ve faced some pretty decent players this year in the third round [at the slams].
“Those experiences have been great for me, those big matches.”

However, the losses he suffered at Grand Slams this season has been to high-profile names. He was defeated by Rafael Nadal at both the Australian Open and French Open. Then at Wimbledon he fell to Roger Federer. The only exception was at the US Open where he lost to Spanish rising star Carlos Alcaraz Garfia who went on to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas and reach the quarter-finals.

“I’ve been playing a lot of big matches this year, which has helped. I feel like I am used to the big moments and the big matches,” Norrie said. “I’m feeling more and more comfortable and I feel like I am playing on my terms in key moments.”

Now on the verge of becoming the first British player in history to win the Indian Wells title, Norrie takes on Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili in the final. A player who he thrashed 6-0, 6-3, in Rotterdam earlier this year.

“I’m looking forward to the match and really looking forward to going out and enjoying it again,” he said.

Norrie was born is South Africa and grew up in New Zealand. He attended University in Texas where he became the No.1 college player in America. He has represented Great Britain since 2013.

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