Andy Murray Reiterates Desire To Explore Future Opportunities In Football - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray Reiterates Desire To Explore Future Opportunities In Football

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Andy Murray playing in a 2011 charity football match (zimbio.com)

One day Andy Murray could swap the tennis courts for a football pitch as the former world No.1 ponders what to do beyond his career as a professional player.

 

Growing up Murray played both tennis and football. As a teenager, he had a trial to play for Rangers F.C, before opting to switch his focus towards tennis. His grandfather, Roy Erskine, was a former footballer who made 46 appearances in the Scottish football league. Murray could have followed in the footsteps of Erskine, but felt he was more ‘naturally gifted’ at tennis.

“After a lot of deliberation, I decided tennis was the sport I was more naturally gifted at and decided to move to Spain to pursue a career in that, which thankfully turned out to be the right decision.” The former Wimbledon champion told FIFA.com.

Still, Murray’s passion for football is high. Previously, he had hinted at the possibility of one day working in the sport. At the start of the year, he told The Times that he would be interested in exploring potential coaching opportunities if any arises. A statement he has repeated in his latest interview with the governing body of the sport.

“I have no idea [what to do in football] – I just find the sport really interesting,” he explained.
“I love reading, watching and talking about football, so, if I wanted to do something that wasn’t tennis that I thought I was passionate enough about, I’d maybe look at doing something in football.
“I’m a huge fantasy football fan, so I’d probably quite fancy myself as a manager – but it’s completely different doing it in real life, definitely not as easy as everyone thinks.”

Praise for Ronaldo and Zidane

Murray has also given his opinion about who he thinks is the best player and coach in football this season. His comments coincide with the upcoming Best FIFA Awards, which will take place in London on October 23rd. The 30-year-old has named Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo as his player of the year.

“He won La Liga and the Champions League, and scored a crazy amount of goals in both competitions to help his team get there,” Murray said about the Portuguese forward.

As for the best coach, Murray has picked former French international player Zinedine Zidane. Zidane has been the coach of Real Madrid since 2016, recently guiding the team to their 33rd La Liga title.

“It’s difficult to look past Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid: league winners, Champions League winners and also the first club to win the latter back-to-back.” Murray pointed out.
“That kind of performance doesn’t happen by accident and takes a special kind of manager to be able to motivate your players week in, week out to sustain that level of performance.”

For now Murray’s focus remains on tennis. He is currently sidelined from the tour due to a hip injury with no return date currently set.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the line-up at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna

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Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the line-up at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. The Greek star will play in the Austrian capital for the second time in his career. 

 

Tsitsipas will face 2017 ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in the first round. The Greek player will be looking to avenge his defeat against his Bulgarian opponent, who took the win in three sets 6-7 6-4 6-4 in their previous head-to-head match at last year’s edition of the Vienna tournament. 

Tsitsipas will be aiming to win his third title this season following his triumphs in Monte-Carlo and Lyon. 

Number 2 seed Alexander Zverev will play in the Erste Bank Open main draw for the second time. This year Zverev won two Masters 1000 titles in Madrid and Cincinnati and the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.

Matteo Berrettini will open his campaign against Alexei Popyrin. The Italian star is the third seed and has a good chance to qualify for the ATP Finals in Turin. This year Berrettini won two titles in Belgrade and Queen’s and reached two finals at the Madrid Masters 1000 and Wimbledon. 

Hubert Hurkacz holds the final qualifying spot for Turin in ninth place with 2955 points, 110 points ahead of Jannik Sinner, who won his fourth title this season in Antwerp following his previous wins in Melbourne, Washington and Sofia. The 20-year-old Italian star also finished runner-up to Hurkacz in his first Masters 1000 final in Miami. 

Sinner has become the first Italian player in history to win four ATP titles in the same season and is the youngest player to win five ATP Tour titles since 19-year-old Novak Djokovic claimed the Estoril trophy in 2007. Sinner will face a tough first round match against Reilly Opelka. 

Sinner dropped just a total of eight games against Lloyd Harris in the semifinal and Diego Schwartzman in the final. 

The line-up also features another Masters 1000 chmpion Cameron Norrie, who won at Indian Wells and is currently ranked 11th in the ATP Race to Turin with 2795 points ahead of this year’s US Open semifinalist Felix Auger Aliassime (2330 points). 

Andy Murray will play in Vienna for the third time in his career as a wild card. Murray won the Austrian tournment twice in 2014 and 2016. He will take on Hurkacz, who won his previous head-to-head matches against the British player in Cincinnati and Metz. Murray beat Frances Tiafoe in a marathon match after 3 hours and 45 minutes in Antwerp last week. 

Kevin Anderson got through to the qualifying round to secure his spot in the main draw. The 2018 Vienna champion will face Alex De Minaur, who won two titles in Antalya and Eastbourne. The top first-round matches are: Diego Schwartzman against Fabio Fognini, Gael Monfils against Lorenzo Musetti, Daniel Evans against Carlos Alcaraz. 

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Ann Li clinches her first WTA Tour title in Tenerife

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Ann Li clinched her first WTA Tour title with a 6-1 6-4 win over 19-year-old Spanish player Camila Osorio after 1 hour and 10 minutes at the Tenerife Ladies Open.

 

Li reached her second final after her first title match against Anett Kontaveit at the Grampians Trophy in Melbourne last winter was not played just before the Australian Open. 

Li converted five of her ten break points and hit 15 winners. Osorio earned her first break in the opening game. Li bounced back by winning six consecutive games with three breaks of serve. The 21-year-old US player hit 8 winners to 6 unforced errors. Li broke Osorio at love with a forehand return winner in the first game of the second set. Osorio got the break straight back in the second game. Li earned the decisive break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out the win with a forehand overhead for 6-4 in the 10th game.

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Aslan Karatsev claims his second title this season at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow

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Aslan Karatsev claimed claimed his second ATP Tour title of the season at the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow after his 6-2 6-4 win over 2014 and 2015 Moscow Kremlin Cup champion Marin Cilic in the final after 77 minutes. 

 

Karatsev has kept alive his hopes of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. The Russian player is currently 13th in the ATP Race to Turin with 2280 points, 675 points behind ninth-placed Hubert Hurkacz, who holds the last qualifying spot for Turin. Karatsev reached the semifinals at the Australian Open as a qualifier and won his first title in Dubai last March. 

Karatsev earned an early break in the opening game of the first set. He did not face a break point and dropped just one point on his first serve. 

Karatsev converted his second break point in the seventh game of the second set. He saved a break point before serving out the second set 6-4 in the 10th game. He had never advanced to the third round in his previous appearances at the Kremlin Cup. 

“It is a dream come true. It is a tournament where I have played in qualifying at and now I am winning the tournament. Thank you for all your support. It was a nervous final game. I hit a double and then on break point there was that long rally, but I managed to win it in the end. First of all, I would like to dedicate the win to my parents, my mother and my father, all my relatives and my friends”, said Karatsev.

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