Andy Murray To Re-Enter Top 10 Within ‘Six To Nine Months’ If Fully Fit, Says McEnroe - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray To Re-Enter Top 10 Within ‘Six To Nine Months’ If Fully Fit, Says McEnroe

The seven-time grand slam champion shares his thoughts on Murray’s chances in the new season.

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Former world No.1 John McEnroe has backed Andy Murray to emulate rivals such as Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in staging a strong comeback in 2019.

Murray, who is currently ranked 259th in the world, returned to the tour in June following a 11-month hiatus. The Brit was sidelined from action due to a hip injury, which required surgery in January. During his comeback this year, Murray played in a total of six tournaments. Out of those events, his best result was a run to the quarter-finals of the Washington Open. Overall, he achieved a win-loss record on the tour of 7-5 before deciding to end his season early in September to train.

Despite his slow comeback, McEnroe believes Murray has the ability to rise back to the top. So far in his career, the 31-year-old has spent 41 weeks as world No.1 and won 45 ATP titles. He is a three-time grand slam champion and a two-time Olympic gold medallist.

“He was able to be one of the best players of the last 10 years and winning majors by his athletic ability,” McEnroe said of Murray during an interview with The Daily Mail.
“If he’s at 100 per cent or close to it I would expect he would be in the top 10 within six to nine months. But if he’s at 80 per cent, that’s a totally different person.
“Looking at what Federer did at 36, looking at Nadal. Djokovic suddenly was the old Djokovic this year, so I’m sure he looks at those guys and thinks: ‘I should be able to do something akin to that.”

Since ending his season, Murray has been training across the Atlantic in America. Spending time in Philadelphia before going to Florida. Last month he said that he was ‘getting better each day’ in a special video made for the Brisbane International. Brisbane is set to be the first tournament he will play in 2019.

“I’m feeling physically a little bit better every day,” Murray said in the video.
“It’s obviously been a tough year with the hip injury and the surgery, but I’m getting closer. I’ve been practising already for a few days and I’ve still got a couple of months to get myself in the best shape.”

Testing times for Edmund

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In Murray’s absence, Kyle Edmund has occupied the position as the highest ranked British player in the men’s game. The 23-year-old reached his first grand slam semi-final at the Australian Open before winning his maiden ATP trophy at the European Open in October. Edmund, who coached by Fredrik Rosengren, is currently ranked 14th in the world.

“I think it’s realistic that he can be in the top 10, but he’ll be feeling pressure early on in the season and his ranking will drop out of the top 20 if he doesn’t do well there,” said McEnroe. “He has to handle that emotionally, knowing there’s a full year ahead.”

Throughout the season Edmund has been hampered by periods if ill-health. In November he underwent surgery to remove his tonsils, which was found to be infected. Solving the mystery of why he continued to suffer from illness.

Ironically, it wasn’t illness that cut his season short. Edmund withdrew from his final tournament of the year, the Paris Masters, due to a left knee injury after a scan discovered a small amount of fluid.

Like Murray, Edmund will also start his season in Brisbane.

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Nick Kyrgios sets up Round of 16 match against Borna Coric

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Two-time Miami semifinalist and this year’s Acapulco champion Nick Kyrgios cruised past Dusan Lajovic 6-3 6-1 after 57 minutes. Kyrgios will face Borna Coric in the Round of 16. 

The Australian player hit 12 aces and fended off six of the seven break points he faced. Lajovic, who upset Kei Nishikori in the previous round, wasted three break points at the start of the match and dropped his serve at 1-2 after a backhand error. Kyrgios hit a forehand down the line winner to break serve for 5-1. Lajovic got one break back to claw his back to 3-5, but Kyrgios hit four winners to seal the opening set 6-3. Kyrgios broke three times in a row and sealed the win in the seventh game 6-1 on his first match point to secure his spot in the fourth round, where he will face Borna Coric, who came back from one set down to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 6-3 after 2 hours and 36 minutes.

Kyrgios leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Coric. The Australian player beat his Croatian rival in the Estoril quarter final in 2016 and in Cincinnati 2018. Coric edged Kyrgios in three sets in Cincinnati 2016.

“Borna is an unbelievable competitor and one of the best players in the world. He knows how to win matches and is an unbelievable player. He moves incredibly well and I know he won’t give me a single point. I am not going to think about it right now though. I have a day off tomorrow”, said Kyrgios.

Chardy came back from 2-4 down in the first set before winning the tie-break 7-2. Coric broke serve at the start of the second set to open up a 3-0 lead and saved four break points. The Croatian player sealed the second set 6-2 with a break at 15 in the 8th game. Coric reeled off three games in a row including 12 of the final 14 points from 3-3 to close out the third set 6-3.

 

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John Isner continues his title defence with straight-set win over Albert Ramos Vinolas

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Defending champion John Isner battled past Albert Ramos Vinolas 7-5 7-6 (8-6) to reach the fourth round at the Miami Open.

Seventh seed John Isner was broken in the opening game but he saved the next four break points he faced in the match and hit 16 aces. The US player broke back on his second opportunity in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Isner got another break in the 12th game to clinch the first set 7-5.

Isner saved two break points in the fifth game of the second set to hold serve for 3-2. Both players held on their service games to set up a tie-break. Isner rallied from 5-6 down by winning three consecutive games to take the tie-break 8-6.

“I did a lot of things well today. I played a good first set, event though I did not start it off well. In the secondi t was not quite as clean. I will talk to my coach and try to iron things out, but I am into the Round of 16 of a big tournament and I am happy”, said Isner.

Isner set up a fourth round match against Kyle Edmund, who beat Milos Raonic 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 34 minutes. The British player got a break in the fifth game of the first set and in the ninth game of the second set.

Roberto Bautista Agut beat Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-4. The Spanish player got an early break to build up a 3-0 lead. Fognini broke back in the ninth game to claw his way back to 4-5, but the Spaniard broke again in the 10th game to seal the opening set 6-4. Fognini earned an immediate break in the first game of the second set, but Bautista broke straight back. Fognini went un a break in the fifth game. The Italian player saved a break-back point chance in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, but Bautista Agut fought back by winning the the final four games to seal the second set 6-4.

 

 

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‘You’re A F***ing Disgrace’ – Nick Kyrgios Erupts At The Miami Open

Another tournament, another on-court controversy involving the former top 20 player.

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Nick Kyrgios (photo by Chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios is in line for another hefty fine after blasting the umpire following his doubles match with partner Taylor Fritz.

Kyrgios, who is no stranger to either controversy or fines, completely lost his cool after being edged out of the doubles. Losing 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 8-10, to Guido Pella and Joao Sousa. Throughout the match there was a series of dubious line calls that infuriated the Kyrgios team. Something the racket-smashing 23-year-old complained to the umpire about seconds after the clash.

“What the f**k is wrong with you?” Kyrgios shouted at the umpire. “You’re a f**king disgrace. F**king disgrace.”

Continuing to unleash his rage on the court, Kyrgios interacted with the crowd. Asking them  ‘Do you think that’s alright, yes or no?’ The outburst was caught on camera by one fan, who uploaded in onto his Twitter account.

‘Just give me the answer. He’s a disgrace. ‘I come out and give 100% and I have to deal with idiots like him. Does he get fined for his mistakes? It’s rubbish, man.’ Kyrgios said.

It is not the first time the world No.33 has raised eyebrows for his actions. He previously served a brief ban from the sport in 2016 for unsportsmanlike conduct during the Shanghai Masters. Meanwhile, last June he was fined more than $17,000 for making a lewd gesture during the Fever-Tree Championships in London.

The controversy is a stark contrast to Kyrgios’ opening match in the singles. Taking on Alexander Bublik, he prevailed 7-5, 6-3, with the help of a fairly disciplined and mature performance. He is already a two-time semi-finalist in Miami and has won more matches (11) at the tournament than any other Masters 1000 event.

“I know he’s a player who tries to keep things on his own terms… kind of reminds me of me a little bit,” he said of Bublik. “He just needs to play those bigger points with a little more discipline. Strange me saying that…
“I thought he was going to put me on a couple of highlight reels. I knew he was trying to at some stage. I knew I had to be the disciplined one of the two today.”

Kyrgios will return to the Miami Court’s on Sunday when he play’s Dusan Lajovic in the third round.

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