Andy Murray pledges to play in Belgium amid growing terror threat - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray pledges to play in Belgium amid growing terror threat

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Andy Murray (image via The Daily Mail)

Shortly after his straight sets dismissal of David Ferrer in his first match at the ATP World Tour Finals, Andy Murray has spoken about the increasing uncertainty regarding security at the upcoming Davis Cup final.

Murray will lead the British team in their bid to win their first Davis Cup title since 1978. In the final they will play Belgium in their home country, a place which has seen increasing anti-terror operations. Following the multiple terror attacks in Paris on November 13th, Belgium has become central in the investigation with a series of anti-terror raids across the country. The New York Times has reported that the suspected mastermind behind the attacks was Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian national who fought in Syria for the Islamic State.

The recent developments in Paris and Belgium, has sparked concerns about the security situation for the upcoming Davis Cup finals in Ghent, will take place in less than two weeks time. Murray spoke about the recent security issue in Europe as he vows to continue playing as normal.

“I do think the best thing we can do is live our normal lives, not change too much, because then the terrorists is winning”. The world No.2 said.
“I don’t want to live my life in fear every time I step onto the tennis court”.

The Davis Cup isn’t the only tennis tournament, which has seen an increase in security. On Sunday the organizers of the ATP World Tour finals announced stricter security measures, including an increase in police and the ban of all food and drink being brought into the venue.

Murray also spoke about the potential players that could be selected for the British Davis Cup team by captain Leon Smith. Smith has a tough task after two Brits, Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund, won Challenger titles over the weekend. There is also James Ward, who has been an instrumental player for the British Davis Cup team in recent time. Despite the tricky task for his captain, Murray remains level headed about who may potentially join him.

“Obviously it’s a good path to be in. I think it’s the same kind of position as the Belgians really. They have three guys capable of playing the second singles, as well, with Darcis and Coppejans probably being the best clay court players, but Bemelmans with a slightly different game style”. Murray said.

The British team could also have another player to pick from, Aljaz Bedene. Bedene is a former Slovenian player who switched his nationality to British earlier this year. According to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Bedene is ineligible to play for Great Britain because he played for Slovenia. The British No.2, who is currently ranked 45th in the world, is arguing that the new rule came into effect after he submitted his paperwork to play for Great Britain. He will find out tomorrow if his appeal has been successful. Speaking about Bedene’s appeal to the ITF, Murray is critical of the speed of the process.

“My view is that the process has taken such a long time that it is awkward timing now”. Murray said in reference to the upcoming Davis Cup final.
“It isn’t his (Bedene) fault that it’s taken such a long time”. Murray added.

Murray will have the chance this week of securing his place as world No.2 at the end of the year for the first time in his career. The 28-year-old honestly said that it isn’t a goal for him, however, he would be ‘delighted’ if he did.

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Tales From Novotna Shaped Barbora Krejcikova’s View On Wimbledon

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Newly crowned Wimbledon champion Barbora Krejcikova says she started to view the Grand Slam as the most prestigious event in tennis after working with the late Jana Novotna. 

Krejcikova, who defeated Jasmine Paolini to claim her second major title at The All England Club, was the last player to be coached by the former tennis star before she passed away at the age of 49. Novotna is former world No.2 who won 24 WTA titles during her career. However, she is best remembered for crying on the shoulder of the Duchess Of Kent after losing the 1993 Wimbledon final to Steffi Graf before finally clinching the trophy five years later. 

“When I was 12, I wrote (in her notebook) that in the future I would like to win the French Open. So it was quite a big dream for me to win the French Open,” Krejcikova said during her press conference.

“To be honest, maybe things shifted a little bit when I met Jana and when she was telling me all the stories about Wimbledon, about the grass, how difficult it was for her to win the title and how emotional she was when she actually made it.

“I think since then I started to see Wimbledon as like the biggest tournament in the world.”

Krejcikova, who also won the 2021 French Open, credits her former mentor for helping her rise in the sport. It all began in 2014 when she turned up at Novotna’s apartment with a letter asking for help. She had just finished competing on the junior circuit and was looking for advice about what to do next. Novotna agreed to mentor her compatriot and they worked together until 2019. The year Novotna died of ovarian cancer. 

“I’m dreaming about her a lot,” the world No.25 said of her former coach.

Now their names are on the same board at SW19 that lists the women’s champions. Something that gives Krejcikova mixed emotions. 

“The only thing that was going through my head was that I miss Jana a lot. It was a very emotional moment to see me on a board right next to her.” She said.

“I think she would be proud. I think she would be really excited that I’m on the same board as she is because Wimbledon was super special for her.”

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(VIDEO) Steve Flink, Ubaldo On The Wimbledon Women’s Final: ‘The Better Player Won But Did Inexperience Play A Part?’

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Hall of Famer Steve Flink joins Ubitennis to analyse the Wimbledon women’s final after Barbora Krejcikova beat Jasmine Paolini in three sets.

The Czech held her nerve to clinch only her second win over a top 10 player this year and follow in the footsteps of her late mentor Jana Novotna. It is only the second Grand Slam title Krejcikova has won and her first since the 2021 French Open.

Meanwhile, Paolini can still draw positives from what is a stellar season for her. She is projected to rise to a ranking high of No.5 on Monday as a result of her latest run. However, did inexperience cost her in today’s final? 

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‘The Best Day Of My Life’ – Barbora Krejcikova Ousts Paolini To Clinch Maiden Wimbledon Crown

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Barbora Krejcikova has followed in the footsteps of her late coach Jana Novotna by capturing the Wimbledon title after beating Jasmine Paolini.

The Czech 31st seed battled her way to roller-coaster a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, win on Center Court to capture her second major title and her first since the 2021 French Open. Making her the first female player to win different Grand Slam tournaments whilst representing the Czech Republic in the Open Era. It is only the second time in 2024 she has beaten somebody currently ranked in the top 10.

Krejcikova’s triumph at The All England Club featured a total of 28 winners against 37 unforced errors. Overall, she broke Paolini two times in what was their first main draw meeting on the WTA Tour.

“I don’t have any words right now, it’s just unbelievable, it’s definitely the best day of my tennis career and also the best day of my life.” Said the new champion.

“It’s super difficult to explain what I’m feeling right now.”

In the first Wimbledon final to feature two women over the age of 28 since 1977, Krejcikova got off to a dream start by winning eight out of the first nine points played in the match against a nervous Paolini. The Czech was twice on the verge of breaking again for a 3-0 but the Italian battled hard to hold serve. Triggering a big cheer from the full capacity Center Court crowd. 

However, Krejcikova continued to be in control of proceeding with some heavy hitting and defensive skills. Back-to-back Paolini errors handed her another break to move ahead 4-1. Storming through the remainder of the first set, Krejcikova closed it in 35 minutes with a deep forehand shot her rival returned into the net. An impressive start by somebody who was facing a top 10 player for only the third time this year.

The Paolini comeback started after she briefly left the court for a comfort break. Increasing her intensity and aggressiveness, the world No.7 claimed three straight games at the start of the second frame to bring herself back into title contention. Meanwhile, Krejcikova was suddenly the one making mistakes, as well as struggling with her ball toss at times. Illustrated best when she hit a forehand wide to hand Paolini the second set.

Heading into the decider, both players stood firm behind their serve early on before a fatal double fault from Paolini handed the Czech a decisive break as she moved to a game away from victory. She closed the match out in dramatic fashion by surviving a four-deuce game where she saved two break points, failed to convert two match points before finally sealing victory with a serve to the Paolini backhand that was returned out. 

“I would like to congratulate Jasmine and her team, she had a great two weeks, it was a great final and we were fighting for every point.” Said Krejcikova. 

“In the end, I was the lucky one but it has been amazing what she’s been able to achieve in just a short period, so again congratulations.”

Krejcikova was the last player to be mentored by 1998 champion Novotna before her death from ovarian cancer at the age of 49. In 2014 she visited Novotna’s apartment with her family and presented a letter of introduction, outlining her desire to find a mentor.  

“Coming to Jana, knocking on her door, giving her the letter.. everything that happened during that moment just changed my life.” She reflected.

“It changed my tennis life. During the period when I finished juniors, I didn’t know what I should do. I didn’t know if I should play pro or go the way of education. 

“Jana was the one who told me I had the potential and that I should definitely turn pro and try to make it. Before she passed away she told me to go and win a slam. I achieved it already in Paris in 2021. It was an unbelievable moment for me. I never dreamed I’d win the same trophy as Jana did in 1998.”

There are also plenty of positives for Paolini, who never won a main draw match at Wimbledon until this year. She has become the first Italian woman to reach the title match. Her breakthrough comes during a season where she won her first WTA 1000 title in Dubai and then reached the final of the French Open.

“The last two months have been crazy for me. I want to thank my team and my family. They always support me and I wouldn’t be here without them,” the runner-up said. 

“Today I am a little bit sad. I try to keep smiling because I have to remember today is still a good day, I made the final of Wimbledon. 

“I remember as a kid watching the final and cheering for Federer. It’s been a beautiful two weeks and I want to thank everyone who made it possible.”

Krejcikova has become only the sixth woman in the Open Era to win their maiden Wimbledon title after turning 28. She is also the second-lowest-ranked player to lift the trophy since the ranking system was introduced in 1975. The lowest-ranked player to do so was Marketa Vondrousova last year. 

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