Andy Murray battles back from the brink of defeat to edge past Benoit Paire in Monte-Carlo - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray battles back from the brink of defeat to edge past Benoit Paire in Monte-Carlo

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Andy Murray came back from a set and a double break down at 0-3 in the second set to battle past Benoit Paire 2-6 7-5 7-5 in 2 hours and 33 minutes on Court Rainier III and advance to the quarter finals at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. Paire hit 47 winners but he ended the match with 52 errors and double faulted when he was serving for the match and on Murray’s first match point.

 

Murray made two double faults to trail 0-3 in the second set. Murray clawed his way back into the match by getting one break back for 2-3. Paire got another break point at 4-2 but Murray held his serve for 3-4 before breaking serve to draw level to 4-4. Murray took the lead for the first time in the match by holding his serve for 5-4. Paire held serve to 30 and forced the game to deuce in the 11th game. At 5-6 40-0 Paire double faulted to force the game to deuce. Murray served out on the second set point to force the match to the decider.

Murray had to save a break point to hold his serve in the eighth game. Paire got the chance to serve for the win after converting his third break point chance in the ninth game of the third set at 5-4. The Frenchman made two double faults when he was serving for the match at 5-4 30-15 allowing Murray to break straight back to draw level for 5-5. Murray earned two match points at 6-5 and sealed the win as Paire made another double fault after 2 hours and 32 minutes.

Murray claimed a confidence-boosting win after losing in the third round in two consecutive tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.

“Hopefully I can start to play a little bit better. Every win is important right now at the start of the clay season to get a feel for what is going well and what isn’t. He gave me an opportunity in the middle part of the second set when he started to make a few mistakes. It wasn’t my best match, but I fought as hard as I could right to the end and managed to get the win. I think he played extremely well and I was a bit slow. I have never played him before and he has  a difficult game to figure out”, said Murray.

In the quarter finals Murray will face milos Raonic who overcame the loss of the second set to edge past qualifier Damir Dzumhur 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-5) on the Court des Princes in 2 hours and 32 minutes. Murray and Raonic will meet again f. or a re-match of last January’s Australian Open semifinals.

Raonic claimed his second win over Dzumhur this year after beating the Bosnian player in the quarter final in Miami. Raonic has reached the quarter finals in Monte-Carlo for the third consecutive year. Dzumhur beat last year’s Monte-Carlo finalist Tomas Berdych in the second round.

Raonic got his first break in the sixth game as Dzumhur hit his backhand long and held his next service games comfortably to take the first set 6-3.

Raonic faced the first break point of the match in the fourth game of the second set but he saved it. Dzumhur got his first break in the sixth game for 4-2. Raonic broke straight back in the next game. Dzumhur broke again to clinch the second set forcing the match to the third set. Raonic saved a break point in the third set. The match was decided by the tie-break Dzumhur fought back from 3-5 to 5-5 but Raonic won the final two points to claim a hard-fought match.

“I wish I was a bit more efficient, but it’s the way the match plays out. I think he has been playing great. He has had great results this week. I had to really dig deep, find a way and thankfully a few things came together and I was able to get there”, said Raonic.

 

 

 

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Gael Monfils Joins Forces With Former Long-Time Coach Of Dominic Thiem

Will the Frenchman return to his best form with the help of his new mentor?

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Tennis star Gael Monfils will start the 2021 season with a new team setup after confirming the appointment of a new coach.

 

The former US Open semi-finalist has paired up with the renowned Gunther Bresnik who is best known for his time spent working alongside Dominic Thiem for over a decade until their split in 2019. Thiem is now coached by Nicolas Massu. Bresnik is the former Davis Cup captain of Austria and has worked with numerous top names such as Ernests Gulbis, Jerzy Janowicz, Boris Becker and Henri Leconte.

Monfils has been training with Bresnik during the off-season but only now has it been confirmed that the two have formed an agreement to work together. However, over the coming weeks Monfils will be guided by another Austrian. Co-coach Richard Ruckelshausen will work with the world No.11 in Australia and has been appointed as the captain of the French ATP Cup team.

“I’ve known Gaël for a long time,” Bresnik told krone.at on January 9th. “With Ernests Gulbis and Stefan Lochbihler’s son, he worked on his shape here in Spain (during the off-season).”

The 34-year-old will be looking to get back on top form following what was a roller-coaster 2020. Monfils started last year by winning 16 matches within a three-month period. However, following the pause in tennis due to the COVID-19 pandemic he struggled to regain that form. Ending the season with three consecutive first round losses.

Monfils had been working with Liam Smith. The upcoming Australian Open will be his 54th appearance in a Grand Slam main draw. He has only reached the quarter-finals at the Melbourne major once which was back in 2016.

So far in his career Monfils has won 10 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as sixth in the world.

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Andy Murray won’t travel to Australia

Andy Murray will miss next month’s Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago.

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Andy Murray (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Andy Murray has made it official, he won’t be making the trip down under after working with Tennis Australia to find a viable solution to make it work.

 

“We’ve been in constant dialogue with Tennis Australia to try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn’t make it work.”

Murray was scheduled to fly to Australia with one of charter flights but due to a positive Covid test wasn’t able to make the flight and put his tournament in jeopardy.

Although he missed the chartered flights there was still a small chance he would play but had to workout an agreement with Tennis Australia to make it work. However it didn’t work and was gutted with the news.

“I want to thank everyone there for their efforts, I’m devastated not to be playing out in Australia. It’s a country and tournament that I love.”

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‘If I knew, I Wouldn’t Come’ – Victor Troicki Slams Hard Quarantine In Melbourne

Troicki, who will head the Serbian ATP Cup team next month, says his career has been thrown into ‘chaos.’

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Former top 20 player Victor Troicki says his ‘Grand Slam is failing’ after implying that he felt that he was misled about the quarantine rules ahead of the Australian Open.

 

Troicki, who is currently ranked 202nd in the world, is among 72 players who have been placed in a strict quarantine where they are not allowed to leave their room for a 14-day period. Those affected have all been deemed as a ‘close contact’ of somebody who tested positive for COVID-19. A series of positive tests was detected on flights en route to the country.

34-year-old Troicki travelled to Australia from Doha after successfully qualifying for the Australian Open with wins over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Ulises Blanch and Jurij Rodionov. This year’s two qualifying tournament’s took place in the Middle East due to the pandemic.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t come,” Troicki told Sportski Zurnal earlier this week.
“Total chaos, horror as far as everything is concerned. I’m locked up for 14 days, I can’t leave the room. No training, nothing. My Grand Slam is failing, I can’t get ready for five sets in the room.”

In recent days there has been some dispute over whether players knew about the conditions regarding going into a strict quarantine. Carlos Martinez, who is the coach of Daria Kasatkina, told UbiTennis that players were initially under the impression that sections of a plan would have to be isolated if there was a positive case and not the entire plane. Ultimately the decision was up to the Australian health authorities.

“Tennis Australia was doing a great job in my opinion. The only thing that was a bit unclear was about the quarantine when somebody gets infected on the plane. They were talking like they were going to make sections inside the plane so if they found somebody in a section (who tests positive) they would isolate those people,’ said Martinez.
“But in the end the government didn’t want to do this and they preferred to isolate all on the plane because it was safer for everyone.”

Amid the debate over whether Troicki and his peers knew the full story or not, Spain’s Paula Badosa has become the first Australian Open player to contract the virus during quarantine. She had previously criticised the procedure before later apologising.

As for Troicki, he says the current situation is creating ‘chaos’ in his career.

“All preparations are failing,” he said. “Two weeks of lying in bed, it is certain that I will have to get back in shape for the next month and a half. All this is creating chaos in my career.”

Troicki is the team captain of the Serbian ATP Cup team. The tournament will start a week prior to the Australian Open on February 1st.

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