Andy Murray follows Kei Nishikori into third round at Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray follows Kei Nishikori into third round at Wimbledon



Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori advanced to the third round at Wimbledon. Murray took a comfortable 6-3 6-2 6-1 win over Yen Hsun Lu on Centre Court. Kei Nishikori rallied from a set down to beat Julien Benneteau 4-6 6-4 6-4 6-2.

Thirty-two year-old Lu, who returned from elbow injury last month, got an early break to 15 in the opening game of the match after a poor drop-shot from Murray and held his serve in the second game to open up a 2-0. Lu raced out to a 3-1 lead but Murray broke back to 30 in the sixth game with a drop-shot to draw level to 3-3. The 2013 Wimbledon champion got another break in the 8th game to love as Lu made two forehand errors and saved two break points to hold his serve completing his comeback from 1-3 down by winning his fifth consecutive game.

In the second and third sets Murray broke serve five times, hit 23 winners and dropped just 11 points on serve.

Murray got an early break in the first game of the second set. Lu saved two break points in the fifth game to hold his serve for 2-3. Murray got a double break in the seventh game to take a 5-2 lead and held his service game to 15 to seal the second set.

Murray broke serve to love at the start of the third set and consolidated the break to 15 to hold his service game with an ace. The Dunblane star got the double break in the third game to 15 to race out to a 3-0 lead. Lu held his first service game of the third set to get his first game on the scoreboard for 1-4. Murray broke serve for the third time in the set in the final game of the match to clinch the third set 6-1 as Lu made a double fault on the match point.

Murray, who won his fifth Queen’s title on grass two weeks ago, will take on John Millman, who beat Benoit Paire.

“The first set was tough. There were a lot of close games. I managed to hang on at the end of the first and then settled down towards the end of the second, and was hitting the ball much better in the third and feel more comfortable. If you can win matches easily it does help because you can rest. It has been a good start. I will just try and do my best, work hard, keep my head down and hopefully have a good tournament”, said Murray.

Kei Nishikori rallied from a set down to beat Julien Benneteau 4-6 6-4 6-4 6-2 setting up a third round against Kuznetsov.

Benneteau, who used protected ranking after being plagued by a serious injury, was the first to earn a break point in the second game of the opening set. Both players were on serve at 4-3 when the match was interrupted for 15 minutes due to a rain delay. In the 10th game the Frenchman got the only break of the first set at deuce to take the first set 6-4.

The first six games of the second set went on serve until Nishikori got the only break to take a 4-3 lead with a backhand winner.

The Japanese player got a double break in the fifth and seventh games of the third set to race out to a 5-2 lead: Benneteau got one of the two breaks back and consoldated his break to win his second consecutive game for 4-5 but Nishikori served out for the set to 15 on his second set point with an ace. Nishikori got a double break in the first and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead to close out the match with a backhand winner. Nishikori hit 47 winners to 22 unforced errors.

Nishikori will face Andrey Kuznetsov, who beat Gilles Muller 6-3 6-4 6-4. Kuznetsov did not face a break point and hit 42 winners to 8 unforced errors. Nishikori and Kuznetsov tied 1-1 in their previous two head-to-head matches.


Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream



Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid



Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon



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Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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