Albert Ramos-Vinolas Stuns Andy Murray To Reach First Quarterfinal in Monte Carlo - UBITENNIS
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Albert Ramos-Vinolas Stuns Andy Murray To Reach First Quarterfinal in Monte Carlo

Joshua Coase



Albert Ramos-Vinolas produced a huge upset in Monte Carlo in the third round, knocking out the world number one Andy Murray 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 to secure the biggest win of his career.


The Spaniard, enjoying a career-high ranking of 24 this week, struggled in the first set, not holding serve once as Murray made every return of serve into play. Neither player played particularly well in the early exchanges, with the Brit winning just 47% of points behind his first serve, but he was able to get over the line. It was a complete contrast for the Spaniard in set number two, he never looked like dropping serve and only made four unforced errors, frustrating the top seed as he levelled at one set all. Leading 4-0 in the final set it looked as though the world number one was going to survive, but Ramos-Vinolas refused to give in and despite some setbacks closed out the match to reach the quarterfinals in Monte Carlo for the first time.

Having been broken in the first game of the match against Gilles Muller yesterday, the Brit was eager to make a better start this morning on Court Rainier III. In what was the players first meeting, getting the first hold proved to be a tough task for the world number one as Ramos-Vinolas moved into a 15-30 advantage. Murray outlasted his opponent in a 24 shot rally to move to 30-30 before squandering a couple of game points as both players traded brutal groundstrokes from the back of the court. The top seed was able to hold on the third opportunity to take the first game.

His opponent’s opening service game was a marathon, lasting just under 11 minutes. A sublime drop shot from the Brit followed by a forehand error from Ramos-Vinolas brought up a break point for Murray, but a backhand down the line winner following a poor drop shot helped the Spaniard save that chance. A daring forehand from from the world number 24 caught the back of the line to save a second break point before the 29-year-old squandered a game point of his own. Ramos-Vinolas battled hard to save two more break points but was not to deny the former semifinalist here on a fifth occasion as he ripped a backhand winner to move 2-0 in front.

What followed in the next few games were four successive breaks of serve. First Ramos-Vinolas hit back after some poor errors from the world number one, closing with an inside out forehand down the line winner. Murray then responded and capitalised on his first chance to break with a backhand winner, but then played a terrible service game to go down 0-40. His opponent squandered one opportunity but did not miss the next, finishing with a cross court forehand winner. After suffering that disappointment the Brit bounced back and was far more aggressive with his court positioning and ball striking, breaking the Spaniard once again to stay in front.

After finally managing to hold serve for the first time since the opening game, that was the chance to breakaway which Murray needed as he broke Ramos-Vinolas yet again, closing with a backhand cross court, his 18th winner of the match so far, to seal the opening set 6-2 after 48 minutes.

Murray recovered from 0-30 down in his opening service game of the second set to hold but could not prevent the Spaniard from getting his first hold of his own in the match before breaking the Brit’s serve in the next game, seeing Ramos-Vinolas take control for the first time in the match.

Things got even better for the world number 24 after a double fault from Murray put the Brit in all kinds of trouble on serve down two more break points. Ramos-Vinolas only needed the one as he moved further ahead, moving into a 5-2 lead. The Spaniard was unable to take his first set point when serving for it, but after a defensive lob from the world number one went wide Ramos-Vinolas deservedly sealed the second set 6-2 to force a decider.

In the final set the world number one raised his level and capitalised on a lull in his opponent’s play, securing an immediate break after the Spaniard went wide with a forehand cross court. Murray quickly established a 3-0 advantage and the scoreline pressure proved telling on Ramos-Vinolas, as three unforced errors saw the world number 24 fall 0-40 down. A second double fault in the game proved incredibly costly for the 29-year-old as he fell even further behind.

It looked as though the world number one had the match in the bag at this stage, but Murray’s concentration dropped as he fell 0-40 down on serve. The Brit saved two of the three break points, but could not prevent the Spaniard from getting a game back. Ramos-Vinolas then staved off three break points on his own serve to escape with a hold before breaking once again to close the gap to just one game behind.

Ramos-Vinolas held to love to level at four games all and came mightily close to earning the right to serve for the match. The Spaniard did brilliantly to bring up three break points at 0-40, but Murray demonstrated why he is world number one, resisting everything which the world number 24 threw at him, taking five points in a row to move 5-4 in front. A 40-0 lead on serve then evaporated for Ramos-Vinolas and it looked to be curtains, but the 29-year-old stood firm and eventually converted on his fifth game point to level the scores once again.

The world number one’s intensity dropped in the 11th game and resulted in the Brit facing two break points yet again. This time Murray could not escape, going long with a forehand to hand the chance to Ramos-Vinolas to serve for the match. The Spaniard got a little tight when 30-0 became 30-30 before a match point passed the 15th seed by, but the 29-year-old held his nerve to secure the biggest win of his career.


Liam Broady On Why He Wore Rainbow Laces During His Australian Open Match

Following his first round defeat, the Brit spoke about why he believes it is important to speak out in support of the LGBT community.




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It is sometimes the small gestures which go a long way and Liam Broady showed that during his first round match at the Australian Open.


Taking to the John Cain Arena for his night-time clash against Nick Kyrgios, the qualifier embarked upon a situation he had never experienced before with a boisterous crowd cheering on their home player. At times the atmosphere resembled that a football match with fans drinking beer and chanting Christiano Roinaldo’s ‘siu’ celebration. The reason as to why they were doing that particular chant was unclear.

Broady ended up falling 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, to Kyrgios who will next play the formidable Daniil Medvedev. Throughout the match the world No.128 was wearing rainbow laces and he did so for a special reason.

“I just kind of wanted to send the support. I know obviously within men’s tennis — is it a taboo? I don’t think it’s really a taboo, but I’ve seen questions before about why there aren’t any openly gay men on the tour, and I just wanted to kind of voice my support in that kind of general area,” Broady explained during his press conference.
“And the LGBTQ community, I mean, a lot of those guys have given me a lot of support throughout my career and have been there since day one, so I kind of wanted to give a thank you in my own sort of way.”

The Rainbow Laces initiative was created by LGBT charity Stonewall and initially marketed specifically towards football’s Premier League before later expanding into other sports. The idea is to get players to wear rainbow laces in order to raise awareness of LGBT representation within sport.

Tennis is renowned for having some of the most formidable LGBT athletes over the years with the likes of pioneers such as Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova who were among some of the first to speak openly about their sexuality. However, on the men’s Tour it is somewhat different. There are currently no openly gay players and only a small handful in the past. Although most of those players, such as Brian Vahaly, came out after retiring from the sport.

“I saw that the first openly gay footballer just came out in Australia (Josh Cavallo) a month or two ago. And it’s difficult, right? I mean, it’s a big thing to do and at the end of the day in the 21st century, it’s pretty rubbish that people don’t feel like they can be openly gay. It’s quite sad, really,” Broady continued.
“Hopefully I will help raise awareness for it and if there are people in the locker rooms and you kind of, you don’t want to force them to come out, you know, especially if they don’t want to. It’s their choice.’
“So you just got to try and support in the way you can and just let them know that everything’s okay.”

It is not the first time the 28-year-old has spoken out about LGBT rights. In 2018 he criticized Margaret Court who likened gay-rights activists to Adolf Hitlef in terms of what she claims is ‘propaganda.’ Court has a history of making anti-LGBT remarks despite insisting that she has nothing against gay people.

Broady says he doesn’t personally know of any gay player on the Tour. Although if there was, he assumed that it would be known because the sport is a ‘pretty leaky ship’ when it comes to having private details revealed online.

On Monday the Australian Open will launch their first ever Pride Day at the tournament.


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Australian Open: Pablo Carreno Busta Through But Fabio Fognini Stunned

Busta has booked his place in the second round at Melbourne Park for the sixth year in a row.




Pablo Carreno Busta - image via

On day one of the Australian Open, Spanish ace Pablo Carreno Busta sealed an efficient straight-sets win to take his place in the second round.


The Spaniard was no match for Argentinian qualifier Tomas Etcheverry coming through 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2).

The 30-year-old from Giron sailed through the opening set that included two breaks in the fourth and sixth game.

Etcheverry, who won three matches to qualify for the Australian Open, improved in the second set.

However, it wasn’t enough as Carreno-Busta flicked through the gears breaking his younger opponent in the third and seventh game to seal the set.

In the third, the 2017 and 2020 US Open semi-finalist took an early break of serve, only to be pegged back by Etcheverry who forced a tie-break.

It wasn’t to be for the 22-year-old though as Carreno-Busta turned up the heat with some big groundstrokes to move into round two.

Next up for the world number 21 is Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor who thrashed a poor Fabio Fognini in straight sets.

The out of sorts Italian was beaten 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.

Having lost in the first round of the US Open in September, the former world number world number is nine is in danger of slipping outside the top 40.

Having shown much promise to win a first Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo back in 2019, the husband of former US Open champion Flavia Pennetta, looks desperately short of motivation and confidence.

Fognini is yet to go beyond the fourth-round of a major, and at 34 time is running out for him to mine the potential that made him one of the sports best juniors growing up alongside Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.

Elsewhere, former Australian Open star Lucas Pouille, was knocked out in round one by fellow Frenchman Corentin Moutet.

Wildcard Pouille has endured a glut of injuries since making the semi-finals at Melbourne Park three years ago.

The 27-year-old has now fallen to 159 in the world. 

Pouille made a bright start to take the opening set 6-3, but his lack of fitness and confidence soon showed, as he lost the following sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

Czech Jiri Vesley, also slumped out to American wildcard Stefan Kozlov 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

He will face seventh seed Matteo Berrettini next.

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Cameron Norrie Puzzled By Australian Open Defeat

It was a bad day at the office for the British number one.




Cameron Norrie ad Indian Wells 2021 (Credits: @BNPPARIBASOPEN on Twitter)

Cameron Norrie is finding it hard to pinpoint where it all went wrong for him in his first round match at the Australian Open.


The 12th seed could only win seven games against Sebastian Korda as he crashed out 6-3, 6-0, 6-4, after just over 100 minutes of play. It is the third time in four appearances that Norrie has fallen in the first round at Melbourne Park but last year he did manage to reach the third round. Against his American rival, he hit 29 unforced errors compared to 23 winners and was broken five times.

I had a week off to prepare, prepared as well as I could, and I was just slow, I was missing routine backhands, which I never miss,” Norrie said during his press conference.
“I honestly can’t put a finger on it. I just need to get better and improve. Lots to work on.’
“Any time I had a chance to kind of come back, he (Korda) served his way out of it. And on the bigger points he was much better than me. I didn’t play well in any big points today.”

It has been a far from smooth start to 2022 for the 26-year-old who also suffered disappointment at the ATP Cup earlier this month. In the team tournament he lost all three of his singles matches to Alexander Zverev, Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Zverev is the only one of the trio currently ranked higher than him.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of Norrie’s latest defeat is the fact he seemed perplexed about why he played the way he did. Asked by one journalist if he was possibly suffering any lingering affects from catching COVID-19 during the festive period he replied ‘No, I think I prepared as well as I can, and I felt fine physically, fine mentally.’

Norrie was one of the breakthrough stars last year on the ATP Tour when he raced up the world rankings. He featured in six Tour finals across three different surfaces and won the biggest title of his career at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The stellar season earned him a place at the ATP Finals as a reserve and he even played two matches following the withdrawal of Stefanos Tsitsipas due to injury.

“I don’t know why I played the way I did today. I was feeling good physically,” he said. “Yeah, I played a lot of matches (last year) but this is what we (tennis players) are paid to do and just not good enough. I just need to raise my standards, practice, matches, and execute a lot better.”

Of course, credit has to be given to Korda, who is making his debut at Melbourne Park. The American had a far from ideal preparation for the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19 which forced him to withdraw from two warm-up events.

21-year-old Korda has now beaten a top 20 player on six separate occasions. He will play France’s Corentin Moutet in the second round.

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