Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer Reacts To The Return Of Andy Murray - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer Reacts To The Return Of Andy Murray

The two tennis titans has hailed the upcoming comeback of the former world No.1.

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Andy Murray (photo by Chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Spanish king of clay Rafael Nadal has said he is ‘surprised’ to hear that Andy Murray plans to return to competitive tennis later this month in London.

 

The three-time grand slam champion has entered into the doubles draw at the Fever-Tree Championships alongside Spain’s Feliciano Lopez. It will be Murray’s first match since the Australian Open after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery in a bid to continue his career. Earlier this year, the 32-year-old admitted that he may be forced to retire from the sport due to persistent injury.

“I am really excited to return to the match court for the first time since my surgery,” said Murray. “Queen’s has always been a special place for me and it’s the perfect place to return. It’s where I won my first ATP match, my first title in Britain and on grass, and it’s been my most successful tournament overall. I’m not yet ready to return to the singles court, but I’ve been pain-free for a few months now. I’ve made good progress in training and on the practice court, and this is the next step for me as I try to return to the tour.”

Murray’s announcement is one that has caught 11-time French Open champion Nadal off guard. Who describes the upcoming comeback as ‘good for tennis.’ The Spaniard leads his rival 17-7 in their head-to-head. However, their last meeting was back in 2016 at the Madrid Open when Murray triumphed in straight sets on route to the final.

“Being honest for me, it is a little bit surprising that he has announced (his return), that quick.” Nadal told reporters in Paris on Tuesday.
“I always thought that he will find a way to try to be back, because still young and still very passionate about the game. I’m happy to see that he gonna play again.”

It was during the Australian Open where many feared that Murray would play his last match after an emotional press conference. Following his first round loss to Roberto Bautista Agut, a video was played in the Melbourne tennis stadium. Showing numerous players paying tribute to the British player. It was shortly after those tributes, that Murray vowed to do all he can to return.

“He was in that moment and it just hit him. I think after we realized he wasn’t sure (about retirement), we were all hoping he would come back.” Said 20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer.
“There is two ways to look at it. It’s number one for his health, and we want Andy to be healthy, more so than being a tennis player. But if he can play tennis on top of it, that’s a super bonus.
And I think all of us top guys would be thrilled to see him back on the tour.”

Two-time French Open finalist Alex Corretja has urged Murray to take his return slowly. The Spaniard was his coach for three years between 2008-2011. During their collaboration, Murray featured in three grand slam finals and won six Masters 1000 titles.

“In my opinion, he needs to take it slowly, but he is the one that knows his body of course.” Corretja told Eurosport.
“He is back this quickly because he is very strong physically. He’s been working so hard for the last 15 years and that’s why now he’s able to come back sooner than expected.’
“The dedication he has for his conditioning is amazing – he spends hours and hours looking after his body. It’s unbelievable news and I’m very happy for him, for his fans and for the game of tennis.”

The Fever-Tree Championships in London will get underway on June 17th.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career

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Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.

 

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.

 

Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.

 

“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati

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David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.

 

Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”

 

 

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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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