Andy Murray Capable Of Staging Another Successful Comeback, Says Former Tennis Greats - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray Capable Of Staging Another Successful Comeback, Says Former Tennis Greats

Tim Henman recently had a hitting session with Murray and Boris Becker explains why Wimbledon needs him in their tournament this year.

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Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray is ‘hitting the ball well’ as his comeback to the tour gains momentum, according to Tim Henman.

 

The former world No.1 has been sidelined from action since the Davis Cup finals in November due to what was initially diagnosed as bruising around the pelvic area. Although Murray has since said his slow recovery from the problem could be linked to the hip resurfacing surgery he underwent last year. It is believed that the discomfort he has been experiencing in recent time in the groin area is related to soft tissue growing around his metal hip. The medical term is called heterotopic ossification, which is defined as an abnormal growth of bone in the non-skeletal tissues.

Despite admitting a couple weeks ago that he may be forced to undergo another operation to correct the issue, for the moment it appears that Murray will not be taking that option. Instead, he is hoping for a return to the tour in the near future. All tournaments on the ATP Tour have been suspended until the end of April due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Something Henman believes could be a blessing in disguise.

“In the grand scheme of things, this just gives him a bit more time keep getting fitter, stronger and faster,” Henman told The Glasgow Times.
“I was with Andy earlier in the week in London and watched him practice and he’s really hitting the ball well and he’s building his strength up all the time.
“The fact that things have been delayed, in the context of what he’s been through, I don’t think it’s too serious..”

Since the 2017 Wimbledon Championships, Murray has only been able to play singles in 15 tournaments on the ATP Tour (including one at Challenger level). The majority of his absence was due to a troublesome hip injury, which he underwent two surgeries on within as many years.

“He’s been out for so long, although he’s obviously had his moments where he’s been back playing, but it’s really been two-and-a-half years so if he’s got to wait another six weeks or so, I don’t think it’s the end of the world for him.” Henman stated.
“It’s very difficult for everyone because there’s so much uncertainty but you have to take that cautious approach so no tournaments for six weeks. It’s very sad for those events affected, the players, the fans, the sponsors and everyone else but it’s really out of everyone’s control.”

Elaborating further, the former world No.4 believes nobody should be writing Murray off just yet. Henman never won a major title during his career, but is still regarded as one of Britain’s greatest players in the Open Era. Winning 11 ATP title from 28 finals and earning just over $11.6 million in prize money. He is also a six-time grand slam semi-finalist.

“He’s 32-years-old and he’s not getting any younger and that’s where it’ll be hard because time isn’t on his side. But it’s amazing to come back and win a tournament on the tour – to win Antwerp like he did last year was an incredible achievement and I think he can get back playing even better than that.” He commented on Murray.
“To compete over seven matches over five sets like he’ll need to do to win grand slam titles will be very, very difficult but as I’ve seen time and time again with Andy, if you say to him he can’t do something, he certainly likes to prove people wrong.”

‘Wimbledon needs Andy’

Sir Andy Murray of Great Britain is pictured during day four of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen’s Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

Also weighing in on the likelihood of a triumphant return, Boris Becker has told The Mirror that he believes Murray still has what it takes to challenge the best in the world. Last year he scored wins over top 20 players Matteo Berrettini and Stan Wawrinka.

“He has to be patient – which is very tough when you have missed so much tennis.” Said Becker.
“He has to build up his physical condition again but he can only do that by getting on the practise courts and playing in tournaments.
“The more tournaments he plays, the more he will play the top guys on a regular basis.”

The German said he hopes to be seeing the Brit playing at his home grand slam later this year. Which is scheduled to get underway on June 29th, but that could potentially change due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

“I think Andy needs Wimbledon – and Wimbledon needs Andy just as much.” Becker stated.
“It is always more fun when the home fans have a favourite to get behind – and as a great Wimbledon champion, Andy is a big part of the tournament.
“I would say we really missed him last year, although he did play doubles.
“We all want to see him in the singles this year because it would be good for the championships.”

So far in his career, Murray has won 46 ATP titles and spent 41 consecutive weeks as world No.1. He is the only player in the Open Era to have won back-to-back Olympic gold medals in singles.

It is unclear as to what tournament Murray may start his return.

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Fabio Fognini Hits Out At ‘Inexplicable’ Disqualification From Barcelona Open

The world No.27 has protested his innocence after losing his temper over a call made by an official.

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Italy’s Fabio Fognini describes the decision to kick him out of the Barcelona Open on Wednesday as a ‘shock’ and has vowed to look further into the matter.

 

The 33-year-old was taking on Spanish qualifier Bernabe Zapata Miralles in the second round of the tournament where he was trailing the match 0-6, 4-4. After losing his temper, the world No.27 is said to have been verbally abusive towards a lines official and was subsequently defaulted from the match for his behaviour. The incident occurred over a line call decision which Fognini didn’t agree with.

On court, he tried to protest his innocence by telling the umpire ‘I didn’t say anything’ but it failed to overturn the decision. Leaving Fognini fuming as he broke his racket on purpose.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, the Italian continued to protest his innocence in the match and said he would ‘investigate’ the matter. It is unclear what he is referring to but players are allowed to make an appeal against any fine if they feel it is unjust.

“I’m really surprised with the ATP, especially the chair umpire and the supervisor, because I was here to play tennis, I was here to fight in the match, and even if I was losing, doesn’t matter,” he said. “But what they did to me was something inexplicable, so I’m going to investigate it, but nothing more, I paid for something that I didn’t do, that’s the first and clearest thing that everybody has to know.”

Zapata Miralles said he was initially unaware of what was going on in his clash with Fognini as he was focusing on closing out the match. Barcelona is only the seventh ATP main draw he has played in so far in his career.

“I was on the other side of the court, I wasn’t listening to be honest,” Tennis Majors quoted the 24-year-old as saying afterwards. “When I saw the referee on the court, I asked the umpire what’s going on. But I was focused on my work on the court, I was thinking on the next point, the next game, on things I had to focus on.”

Fognini has never previously been defaulted from a tennis match but he is no stranger to controversy. At the 2017 US Open he was fined $24,000 for insulting a female chair umpire and at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships he was heard saying ‘I wish a bomb would explode on this club.’ He later apologised for his remarks.

Zapata Miralles will play compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta in the third round.

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Matteo Berrettini beats Marco Cecchinato in all-Italian match in Belgrade

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Number 2 seed Matteo Berrettini beat Marco Cecchinato 6-4 6-3 after 1 hour and 21 minutes in an all-Italian match to advance to the quarter finals at the Serbia Open in Belgrade. 

 

Berrettini broke serve three times and saved all three break points he faced showing that he is returning to his best form after an abdominal injury, which forced him ahead of his fourth-round match at the Australian Open. 

Berrettini saved three break points in the fourth game before earning his first break at 30 in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Berrettini dropped just five points in his final three service games to win the first set 6-4. 

Berrettini went up a set and a break at 15 and never looked back in his next service games. He sealed the match 6-3 with his third break in the ninth game. 

This year Berrettini earned three top 15 wins to lead Italy to the ATP Cup in Melbourne. Last week he lost his opening match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. 

“Confidence is something that goes away, it comes back. For sure I know that is my level. I know that I can play that kind of tennis. I work hard to be there, to be in good shape. It was obviously a shame. I work hard to be there, to be in good shape. It obviously was a shame. I was sad about my injury, but I know that I can play well on clay, on grass and on hard-court”, said Berrettini. 

Berrettini set up a match against Serbia’s Filip Krajnovic, who eased past Nikola Milojevic 6-1 6-1. Berretini defeated Krajinovic in their only previous head-to-head match in the Budapest final in 2019. 

“It’s going to be very tough. He is top 10, he is a huge champion. He is very tough to play against. I played him once in the final of an ATP Tour event and he beat me, so I know how to play. It’s going to be very tricky, very tough, but I will give my best playing on my court. We see how it goes”, said Krajinovic. 

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Felix Auger Aliassime battles back to beat Lorenzo Musetti in Barcelona

Felix Auger-Aliassime reached the third round in Barcelona, where he will meet Denis Shapovalov.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime (@BATennisCom - Twitter)

The Canadian needed three sets and over two hours to get the win and set up a third round encounter with his good friend Denis Shapovalov.

 

Felix Auger Aliassime needed two hours and five minutes to beat the Italian Lorenzo Musetti 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 hitting nine aces in the win and setting up his next match with fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

“It’s not always easy, to be honest, now I’m sitting here, I am happy that I won but things were difficult at some point in the match, I was facing breakpoints in the second set again and things got tight so trying to stay calm, trying to find solutions that was the main goal, I mean there was some ups and downs but in the end, I’m happy with the way the match ended, sometimes your not playing your best tennis but you gotta believe and have courage and fight through”.

The Italian got off to a great start earning a breakpoint in the opening game of the match but the Montreal native was able to save it and hold serve. At 1-1, the world number 20 was under pressure once again but hung in to save the breakpoint.

The Canadian got his first breakpoint of the match at 2-1 but this time it was the Italian who would do a good job of saving it. The very next game the world number 87 went back to work trying to get the early break and this time he was able to pull it off with a superb lob to take a 3-2 lead.

He would serve out the first set to take it 6-4 and a comeback was required if the Canadian didn’t want to be upset at the hands of the Italian.

The world number 87 kept it going in the beginning of the second set earning more breakpoints in the opening game but the Canadian would save both and hold serve.

The very next game the number 10 seed would set up two breakpoints with a stunning forehand winner and would break for the first time in the match to take a 2-0 lead.

The next game the Canadian struggled on serve and the Italian earned two more breakpoints and broke right back to go back on serve. At 3-2 the Montreal native would have another chance to break but the world number 87 would save it again.

At 4-3 the Italian started to get tight and the world number 20 earned three more chances to break and this time would break through to take a 5-3 lead and serve out the second set to send it into a decider.

Clearly the momentum was with the Canadian and he would earn three more breakpoints in the opening service game of the third set and broke to take a 1-0 lead.

After consolidating the break he would earn three more breakpoints and break once more to go up a double break. At the changeover Musetti called for the trainer and took a medical timeout to have work on his lower back.

The Canadian didn’t give in and after holding serve once again he would earn more breakpoints and break one more time and would serve out the match to win the decider with a 6-0 bagel.

As mentioned this win sets up a match with Denis Shapovalov on Thursday with both players meeting a total of four times and each player has two wins.

After the match Auger Aliassime spoke about the matchup and gave Ubitennis his thoughts.

“I feel like we played quite a lot lately and the past year so It’s always a challenge to play him, hopefully, I can play a good match, we can have a great battle but it’s always a tough task so I’ll try to rest and get ready as good as I can for the match tomorrow”.

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