‘I Don’t Think He Can Survive Seven Matches’ - Ivanisevic Dismisses Andy Murray’s Grand Slam Chances - UBITENNIS
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‘I Don’t Think He Can Survive Seven Matches’ – Ivanisevic Dismisses Andy Murray’s Grand Slam Chances

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Andy Murray (image via chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Despite gaining momentum on the court in recent weeks Andy Murray has ‘no chance’ of winning another grand slam in the future, according to Goran Ivanisevic.

The British former world No.1 is currently ranked just outside the top 100 at the end of what has been a roller-coaster season. After announcing that he may be forced to retire from the sport in January due to injury, Murray underwent hip resurfacing surgery to prolong his career. A procedure that involves inserting a metal rod into his joint. During what has been a slow and steady comeback, the Brit scored a breakthrough in October by winning the European Open in what was his first title since 2017.

Whilst there have been glimmers of Murray at his top form, former Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic believes it will not be enough for him to triumph in the majors. Although he believes he will still be a threat to others on the tour.

“A Slam? No chance. But he can make some surprises, he can go far but to win I don’t think that he can survive seven matches – best-of-five,” Ivanisevic told reporters ahead of his appearance at the Champions Tennis tournament at the Royal Albert Hall.
“It’s only about health – if he’s healthy and the hip is okay I don’t think that anyone wants to play against Andy next year. He’s a great competitor and when he steps on the court, he wants to win. He’s not good for the opponents.
“It’s going to be good. I don’t know what ranking, it’s tough to say no, but if he’s healthy he can be up there.”

Backing up Ivanisevic is former US Open finalist Greg Rusedski, who will also be making an appearance at the Royal Albert Hall. Murray is one of only two players outside of the Big Three to have won multiple grand slam titles in the past decade. The other is Stan Wawrinka.

“Andy, I think I agree with Goran. He’ll do well at the Slams and I think that he’ll be competitive, but to win a major that is hard enough when you’re healthy,” Rusedski weighed in on the debate.
“He’s the only British man to win an ATP tour event this year as well, that just shows what an amazing competitor he is and his desire to actually come back.
“Most people, wouldn’t be accomplishing what he’s done. It’s up there, from an emotional point of view and a satisfaction point of view, with his major trophies.”

Throughout his comeback, Murray has been grounded when it comes to his expectations for the future. Earlier this month, he said he was relieved to be entering into the 2020 with no hip issues and downplayed his chances in the upcoming Australian Open. A tournament he is a five-time runner-up at.

“I was asked what would be a success in Australia, and I don’t know how I’ll perform.” he said.
“I’m not expecting to win the tournament, but if I can play a five-set match and get through and have no ill effects on the hip … that’s success.”

However, Tim Henman notes that those dismissing Murray’s grand slam hopes could motivate him more. Describing him as ‘somebody who loves to prove people wrong.’ Henman will be alongside Murray in his first tournament of 2020 after being appointed captain of the British team in the ATP Cup.

Murray ended 2019 with a win-loss record of 13-8.

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open

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Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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