Andy Murray Survives Nishioka Scare To Win First Grand Slam Match In 20 Months - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray Survives Nishioka Scare To Win First Grand Slam Match In 20 Months

Andy Murray saved match point as he won his first grand slam match for 20 months at the US Open.




Andy Murray (@AustralianOpen - Twitter)

Andy Murray continued to defy the odds as he came back from two sets down to beat Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(4) 6-4.


The Brit used his champion instincts and fighting qualities as he came back from two sets down to seal an incredible first round win at the US Open.

Seemingly down, out and tired, Murray managed to create his own energy and outsmart Nishioka as he edged to victory.

His first grand slam win in 20 months means he plays Felix Auger-Aliassime or Thiago Monteiro next.

This was Murray’s first grand slam match since what he’d thought was his last when he lost in the first round at the Australian Open to Roberto Bautista Agut in 2019.

Just like that day, the Brit was facing a player that wasn’t going to give him too many errors in Yoshihito Nishioka.

This proved to be the case in the early stages of the match, with some punishing rallies from both men as they defended the court with some outstanding angles.

However the key difference was that Murray was up against a faster, sharper player in Nishioka, who’s court-coverage was rapid.

It was a decisive element as Nishioka broke in the seventh game with a thumping smash as he looked to take the match to the 2012 champion.

While Nishioka had the speed to cover the net quickly, Murray didn’t and this meant some of his aggressive shot making had ben missing.

A comfortable hold secured the opening set for the world number 49, 6-4 in 48 minutes.

If Murray looked slow with his footwork in the first set, then he looked even slower in the second set as Nishioka continued to punish Murray with some incredible angles and some aggressive shot-making.

Nishioka’s speed forced Murray into 19 unforced errors in the second set as he went 4-0 down in the second set.

There were positives towards the end of the set for the three-time grand slam champion as he began to finish points off at the net and dictate play with his backhand to get one of the breaks back.

However once again Nishioka held firm as he surged into a two sets to love lead.

The third set was started with a similar pattern as Murray lacked urgency and consistent power in his game as Nishioka broke straight away.

However as we all know by now the Brit never gives up and that resilience paid off half way through the third set as Nishioka started to think about the finishing line. A double fault from Nishioka gave the former champion hope as the set was level at 3-3.

As both players slowly raised their quality of play, chances were missed by both men to avoid a tiebreak.

The Brit dug in deep when it really mattered and in the tiebreak forced a couple of unforced errors to seal the third set 7-6(5). Murray started to show his fighting qualities and even with no crowd let out a huge roar.

In the fourth set both players started to create a lot more combinational play on their service game allowing a lot easier service games, limiting opportunities for their opponent.

Murray had a clear game-plan of being aggressive on his serve and only creating opportunities on return when necessary. A grittier and more defiant Murray had now entered the match.

The Brit almost ruined it all in the twelfth game after missing a simple volley but having saved match point, forced yet another tiebreak with some clutch body serves. Again, Murray dominated proceedings in the tiebreak and once again proved why he is one of the greatest fighters in tennis.

This score-line was the same one after four sets against Bautista Agut in his last grand slam match and was hoping this time it wouldn’t end in heartbreak.

At the start of the fifth set it was looking like it was going to after a double fault handed Nishioka the break for a 3-2 lead. An immaculate lob though in the following game secured the break back.

In a set full of momentum changes, Murray eventually prevailed with some aggressive return positioning and incredible angles. The comeback was complete in 4 hours and 39 minutes, proving how incredible the Brit is continuing to defy the odds.

An emotional Murray pondered on what this win means 20 months after seeing a retirement video at the Australian Open in 2019.

After the match, Murray explained the key to the comeback, “Once I got to two sets down I had to start putting the afterburners on and managed to get through,” Murray said in his on-court interview.

“I had to start striking the ball a little bit better. I was hitting the ball a little bit late, tentatively and then I went the other way and made too many unforced errors. I couldn’t get the balance right. I think at the end I started to get the balance right a bit more.

“I think I served well at the end but not so much at the beginning. I had to make a few changes (during the match) that’s for sure. I’ve seen in a couple of his matches that when he had gone up, guys have come back at him and broken back. So I tried to make as many balls as I could in that game and try to turn it around.”


Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat

The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.




The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.


On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.

Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”

Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.

“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.

Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.

The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.

Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”

Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.

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Spanish Veteran Feliciano Lopez Addresses Future On The Tour

23 years after he played his first main draw match on the ATP Tour, Lopez says his longevity in the sport has been achieved with the help of of some luck.




Feliciano Lopez of Spain is pictured during the semi-final of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

Feliciano Lopez has dismissed any speculation that he could retire in the coming weeks after saying he is taking life on the Tour in his stride.


The 39-year-old Spaniard is currently the second oldest player in the world’s top 200 after Roger Federer, who is a year older than him. Lopez made his ATP Tour debut at the 1998 Barcelona Open which was before the birth of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. In June he became the 10th active player to record his 500th win on the Tour.

Currently ranked 111th in the world, some are starting to wonder how much longer Lopez will continue playing. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 9-19 with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open which was held on the grass. It was in Mallorca where he defeated Karen Khachanov who is the only top 30 player he has beaten so far in 2021.

I play year-by-year, the last 6-7 years have been like this, a tennis player at that age cannot think about extending his career. After turning 30 I have been lucky, I have obtained the best results of my career,” Lopez told reporters on Friday.
It is not very common for players my age, at (almost) 40 years to continue playing in the best tournaments.” He added.

Throughout his career, Lopez has impressively played in a record 78 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the 2002 French Open. During that period he has reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament on four occasions.

“I don’t play to break records, what makes me most excited is to continue playing Grand Slams. For me, maintaining that record (78 consecutive Grand Slams played) is very nice, but more to follow. Being competitive,” he commented on the milestone.
“It is difficult for someone to overcome it because it is 20 years in a row without missing a great one. I have had continuity and enormous luck. Those of my generation are practically all retired.”

Away from the court, the former world No.12 is the current tournament director of the Madrid Open. Making him one of a few players historically to both be playing on the Tour and managing a tournament at the same time. Recently it was confirmed that Madrid will continue hosting it’s combined event until at least 2030 following a renewed agreement between the city council and the Madrid trophy promotion.

Lopez has won a total of seven ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $18M in prize money.

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ATP Moves Closer To Staging Five More 12-Day Masters 1000 Events After Board Approval

Changes are coming to the men’s Tour which includes a brand new ‘profit-sharing formular’ for players.




Masters tournaments in North America, Europe and Asia are set to be expanded over the coming months after the ATP Board recently approved some ‘key aspects’ of their strategic plan.


In a letter issued to players, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said an agreement has been reached concerning a variety of topics, which include the expansion of various Masters 1000 events. It is understood that the plan is for Rome, Madrid, Canada, Cincinnati and Shanghai to be increased to 12-day events instead of just one week. Putting them more in line with Indian Wells and Miami. reports that under the new structure, ATP 250 events will also take place during the second week of those tournaments and they could receive a subsidy from the ATP Tour, provided by extra fees paid by the Masters tournaments.

Masters 1000 events are the third highest-ranked category events in men’s tennis after Grand Slams and the ATP Finals in terms of prize money and ranking points on offer. The series was first introduced back in 1990 but it wasn’t until 2009 that the name ‘Masters 1000’ was born. The number represents how many ranking points the winner receives.

Besides the proposed changes to the Masters series, the Board has also given a green light to “a new Profit-Sharing formula” and “long-term prize money levels.” The prize money increase is reportedly said to be 2.5 percent of a base level, plus a bonus pool with a 50 percent share of the collective profit of the Masters events.

“This represents significant progress for our sport and the way our player and tournament members operate under the equal partnership of the ATP Tour. It is only through the spirit of this partnership, transparency, and alignment of interests that we can truly maximise your potential and switch our focus to the competition we face in the border sports and entertainment landscape,” Gaudenzi wrote in his letter to players.

Part of the plan also include making changes to ATP Media, who are in charge of broadcasting the events. At present it is currently jointly owned by the Tour and each of the Masters 1000 events. However, in the future it has been proposed that those tournaments trade in their ownership rights for shares in ATP media. Exact details about this process have not been publicly disclosed and it is unclear if all of the tournaments would agree to such a move.

The ATP also wants to create a ‘Tennis Data Innovations’ which will be an independent entity.

All of these proposed changes are still subject to further agreement around additional matters. The ATP have been working on details of their strategic plan for the past 18 months.

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