Andy Murray's Queen’s Fairy-Tale Continues Thanks To Mammoth Effort From Lopez - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray’s Queen’s Fairy-Tale Continues Thanks To Mammoth Effort From Lopez

The former world No.1 has also provided an update concerning his hunt for a partner in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon.

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LONDON: In his first competitive tournament since undergoing hip resurfacing surgery, Andy Murray has booked a spot in his first doubles final on the ATP Tour since 2013.

 

After what has been a rain-interrupted week at the Fever-Tree Championships, the former world No.1 had to do double duty at the Queen’s Club with partner Feliciano Lopez on Saturday. Who also secured a place in the final of the singles competition earlier in the day. Resuming their quarter-final match against Dan Evans and Ken Skupski, the duo triumphed 6-4, 7-6(3).

No longer than 20 minutes after that victory, the Murray-Lopez team was playing once again on the court. The challengers were third seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers. Facing a tough test, the two battled to a 7-5, 6-7(5), 10-7, victory. Battling back from a 0-3 deficit in the second set.

It was a Murray forehand passing shot at 5-5 in the second set that rewarded them the break for a chance to serve for a place in Sunday’s final. However, they were unable to do so as Kontinen and Peers hit back once again. Forcing the clash into a 10-point decider. Continuing to ride the rollercoaster, Murray and Lopez broke their opponents serve twice in the tiebreaker on route to winning.

“It was a good match. We obviously had some chances to finish it in the second set.” Murray said afterward.
“I played a bad service game. It was an unbelievable effort from Feliciano. He’s played a lot of tennis in the last couple of games. He’s not young anymore.
“I’m very happy to be in the final.”

Murray’s success wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t with the help of his Spanish counterpart, who contested three matches within a five-hour period today. Lopez’s two doubles matches followed his 239-minute three-set win over Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime.

“I think the first hour after my singles I still had the energy from the singles match that I won, and I was so happy,” Lopez commented during his press conference.
“So I put this energy into the beginning of the doubles match. The match that we couldn’t finish yesterday and the first set of the semis after.’
“Then after one hour, I start to feel a little bit more tired, obviously, because I played a lot and it’s late, and it’s getting cold so my body is a little bit more sore.”

Room for improvement

Now with three competitive matches under his belt, Murray is keen to improve further on the tour as he builds up towards a return to the singles competition one day. Which could be as early as September in Glasgow at a Challenger named in honor of the Murray family.

“I think I returned well today. And then there were a few balls that I picked up which maybe I wouldn’t have done in the first match. I was maybe a bit more either slower or a bit more apprehensive to move to some of those balls, but I thought I picked up some good ones today.” He analyzed.
“But there are definitely things I could do better. I could have served a bit better. Maybe I didn’t volley as well as I did in the first match. You know, hopefully, those things will improve. But it was pretty good.”

One example of the Murray legacy is the fact either him or his brother Jamie has contested a final at Queen’s every year since 2013.

The former world No.1 is set to play in only the fifth doubles final of his entire career on the ATP Tour. Murray has contested 12 doubles tournaments since 2015, but none since 2017.

“ I think things have probably got a little bit better maybe with each match, as well. Definitely, on the return side of things, that’s probably the thing I was most happy with today. And, yeah, I didn’t expect to be playing in the final, no, that’s for sure.”

Progress on the Mixed doubles front

Beyond Queen’s, Murray is still on the hunt for a mixed doubles partner to play alongside at Wimbledon. Earlier this week, the Brit admitted that he was experiencing difficulty in finding somebody. Triggering a series of responses from players on social media. Murray had originally asked French Open champion Ash Barty, who declined in order to focus on the singles.

“We chatted briefly about it this morning with the guys, because my coach had a few messages from players and then a few people have said stuff online, but I haven’t actually spoken to anyone since.” He said.
“Ideally, try and find someone who is, you know, a quality doubles player. That’s the most important thing.”

One person to express her interest is Maria Sharapova. Who posted a tweet hinting that she would like to team up with the three-time grand slam champion. However, Murray said he was unaware if the Russian has contacted his team. The two haven’t always seen eye-to-eye. Murray once criticized officials for rewarding wild cards to player’s penalized for doping. Sharapova served a 15-month ban after testing positive for meldonium.

“I haven’t given it a whole lot of thought. But at the time I said what I felt. I still feel the same way about those things, and that’s never going to change.” Murray replied when asked if that would be an issue if a partnership between the two occurs.

Before Murray ponders who his partner will be, his focus will be on Sunday’s final. He and Lopez will play Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram.

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Year-End No.1 Not A Priority For Rafael Nadal, Says Murray

Murray spoke about his rival as he gives a update on his current form.

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Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray believes rival Rafael Nadal is not focusing on the prospect of ending the season as world No.1.

 

Murray spoke about the big three during an extensive interview with The Times. A group compromising of Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. The Brit is currently on the comeback from hip resurfacing surgery and recently reached the quarter-finals of the China Open. His best run on the ATP Tour so far this season. Currently ranked 289th in the world, Murray admits that he still has a way to go to the top. However, the 32-year-old is drawing inspiration from some of his rivals.

“If I do get up there, I’m not going to be focusing on ranking targets. You look at what Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal] and I guess Novak [Djokovic], to a certain extent, are doing to give themselves a chance to play longer.” Murray told The Times.
“Right now, Rafa could be fighting to finish number one in the world and it’s not a priority for him. I would like to be competitive in the big events against the best players. I’m not there yet, but I’m closer than I was a month ago, and much closer than a couple of months ago,” he said.

Nadal is currently closing in on the world No.1 spot despite not playing since winning the US Open. On Monday Djokovic’s lead over him will be reduced to 320 points after the Serbian lost in the third round of the Shanghai Masters. Then on November 4th he is guaranteed to return to the top spot before the ATP Finals. Even more significant is that Nadal has no ranking points to defend for the rest of the season compared to 1600 for Djokovic.

Murray’s comments on Nadal echoes what the Spaniard has previously said. During the US Open in September, the king of clay stated that returning to the top was ‘not his main goal’ with his health being top priority.

“I don’t compete for it. I just do my way. If I am able to be No.1 doing it my way, great. But I always say the same: today is not my main goal.” He explained.
“Of course, it’s great to be in that fight. But for me personally, it’s not really a fight. I just try be competitive the weeks that I need to compete, or the weeks that I want to compete.’
“With my age and with my goals, I cannot lose energy or time to follow the No.1. I need to think about my career in a different way.
‘For me, my main goal is play as long as possible and compete, being competitive. Sometimes if you need to follow the No.1, you are going to lose years of your career.”

Nadal is set to return to action in November at the Paris Masters. Meanwhile, Murray returns to the court tomorrow at the European Open where he will play Kimmer Coppejans in the first round.

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Danil Medvedev beats Stefanos Tsitsipas in Shanghai semifinal to reach his sixth consecutive final

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Danil Medvedev reached his ninth final this year and his sixth consecutive title match after beating Greek Next Gen star Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 after 1 hour and 38 minutes in the semifinal of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

 

The 23-year-old Russian player has now beaten his 21-year-old Greek rival in all their five head-to-head matches. Medvedev has reached his third Masters 1000 final after finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal and winning the Cincinnati final last August. In an impressive hard-court season Medvedev lost the US Open final in five sets against Rafael Nadal and won the indoor tournament in St. Petersburg. Since losing to David Goffin the Moscow player has won 28 of his last 31 matches. He has become the 16th player in the Open Era to reach six consecutive finals.

Medvedev hit 25 winners to 18 unforced errors and saved four of the five break points.

Tsitsipas earned three break points at 4-4 in the opening set. Medvedev saved them with two serves and a forced error from Tsitsipas. The first set came down to the tie-break where both players stayed neck and neck until 5-5. The first 10 points of the tie-break went on serve. Medvedev got the decisive mini-break in the 11th game, when Tsitsipas made a forehand error. Medvedev closed out the first set after a backhand error from Tsitsipas.

In the second set Tsitsipas wasted game points at 1-1. Medvedev got the break in the third game of the second set with a backhand down the line winner. He consolidated the break by holding his serve with three service winners. Tsitsipas broke back at 15, when Medvedev was serving for the match. Medvedev broke for the second time in the 11th game with a forehand return before sealing the win in the 12th game with three service winners. Medvedev has become the 13th player since 1990 to reach three consecutive Masters 1000 finals.

“I think it’s a great achievement. I am proud of myself. Hopefully I can get the win tomorrow. It’s actually quite crazy. Here I had a lot of opportunities. to lose sets. I was close to losing a lot of them, especially with Vasek Pospisil with five set points. I think that’s also the confidence and the dynamic I am going through”, said Medvedev.

Tsitsipas was bidding to reach his second consecutive final after finishing runner-up to Dominic Thiem in Beijing.

 

 

 

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Alexander Zverev beats Roger Federer in Shanghai to reach his eighth Masters 1000 semifinal

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Alexander Zverev battled past Roger Federer 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 in 2 hours and 4 minutes to reach his eighth Masters 1000 semifinal and the first since Shanghai last year.

 

The German star has moved up to seventh in the ATP Race to London after reaching two consecutive semifinals in Beijing and Shanghai and has a good chance to qualify for his third consecutive ATP Finals.

Zverev hit 43 winners (including 17 aces) to 23 unforced errors and faced three just three break points in the entire match. He dropped his serve twice and broke four times.

Zverev did not convert five match points in the final stages of the second set.

Zverev dropped three points in his service games and hit 11 winners to 6 unforced errors. The Hamburg native earned a break at 3-2 and held his next service games to close out the first set with four service winners in the ninth game after 27 minutes.

Both Federer and Zverev traded breaks in the second and third games of the second set and held their serve in the next seven games to draw level to 5-5. Zverev broke serve in the 11th game with a forehand winner, when Federer was serving in the 11th game. Zverev wasted three match points on serve in the 12th game and was broken by Federer, who drew level to 6-6 to set up a tie-break.

Federer saved match points at 5-6 and 6-7 in the tie-break and closed out the second set with an ace.

Zverev held at 15 in the first game with a service winner in the first game and broke serve in the second game after a forehand error from Federer.

Zverev held serve at love in the third game to build up a 3-0 lead. He earned two break points in the fourth game, but Federer saved them. The Swiss player fended off another break point at 1-4 with a forehand winner. Zverev held serve at love to build up a 5-2 lead.

Zverev closed out the match with a hold at 15, as he was serving for the match in the ninth game, to set up a semifinal against either Dominic Thiem or Matteo Berrettini.

Zverev adds to his ATP Race to London ranking with 2615 points to take seventh place ahead of  Roberto Bautista Agut.

“Finally starting to kind of play the way I should play, I was really playing really defensive the whole year, and I was not with a lot of confidence. He will always find a way. He will always make it tricky for you like he did today with me, and always got to play your best tennis to have a chance. I knew if I am going to keep playing the way I played the first two sets, I am going to have a chance in the third set as well”, said Zverev after the match.

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