Injury Forces Murray To Shelve Pre-Season Training

Andy Murray of Britain/ AFP

 

Britain’s Andy Murray has cancelled his training block in Miami because of a groin injury that has left him unable to practise on the court, according to a report on Thursday.

The former world number one suffered a bruise to his pelvic bone during Britain’s Davis Cup campaign in Madrid last month, The Times newspaper said. He played one singles match before missing the rest of the event.

Murray’s Grand Slam comeback at next month’s Australian Open, which starts on January 20, is apparently not in doubt, however.

The three-time Grand Slam champion, ranked 126 in the world, will likely receive a wild card to compete in Melbourne.

The Scot, 32, is due to travel to Australia in late December to prepare for the new ATP Cup team competition, which starts on January 3.

Earlier this year he broke down in tears, saying the 2019 Australian Open could be his last tournament but he returned to the court after hip resurfacing surgery and beat fellow veteran Stan Wawrinka in the final of the European Open in October.

Murray has signed up to play in Montpellier in the week immediately following the year’s first Grand Slam, suggesting he does not expect to reach the latter stages in Melbourne.

AFP

Davis Cup: Murray Leads Britain To Opening Win

Great Britain’s Andy Murray returns the ball to Netherlands’ Tallon Griekspoor during the singles tennis match between Great Britain and the Netherlands at the Davis Cup Madrid Finals 2019 in Madrid on November 20, 2019. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

 

The Davis Cup has a new format but Andy Murray’s love of a comeback remains intact after the Scot battled from behind to beat Tallon Griekspoor on Wednesday as Great Britain edged past Holland.

Murray came from a set down and then trailed 4-1 in the decider in Madrid before beating the spirited Griekspoor, ranked 179 in the world, 6-7 (7/9), 6-4, 7-6 (7/5).

“I’ve found a way to win matches many times in my career when I’ve not been playing well,” Murray said. “You can draw on that a little bit.”

A scrappy victory gave Great Britain the lead in their opening Group E tie and while Dan Evans lost the second singles rubber to Robin Haase, Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski finished the job in the doubles.

Rafael Nadal won his 26th consecutive Davis Cup singles match later on Wednesday as Spain booked their place in the quarter-finals with a 3-0 victory over defending champions Croatia.

Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, cruised past Yoshihito Nishioka to help Serbia beat Japan by the same scoreline.

Murray had given short shrift on Tuesday to those he believes have been too quick to criticise the revamped Davis Cup, which for the first time is featuring all 18 World Group countries competing for the trophy across a single week in one venue.

And in what will be music to the ears of the organisers, among them Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique, Murray was full of praise for the atmosphere inside the Caja Magica’s cosy Stadium 3.

“The atmosphere was brilliant,” Murray said afterwards. “That was the one concern I had about the event, about it being on neutral ground, but it was great.”

British fans have been second only to Spanish in terms of tickets sold so far and the strong attendance for Murray’s opener inside the tournament’s smallest court, with a capacity of 2,500, has not been consistent across other morning matches.

– Biggest attraction –

Murray, along with Nadal and Djokovic, is one of the competition’s biggest attractions this week and Britain’s prospects of progressing to the quater-finals look good ahead of Thursday’s tie against Kazakhstan.

It remains to be seen whether Murray plays or is rested against the Kazakhs but he was given a stiff workout by the 23-year-old Griekspoor, who was a surprise pick in the Dutch team ahead of Botic Van de Zandschlup.

“About an hour before the match it changed,” said Murray. “I didn’t know much about his game.”

But Murray again dug deep, his experience and resilience proving the difference as Griekspoor lost his nerve and then the match.

Haase outlasted Evans 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4 while Jamie Murray and Skupski held on for a 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) win over Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer.

Djokovic enjoyed a more comfortable start as he cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Nishioka in a straightforward win for Serbia against Japan.

Serbia will play France on Thursday to decide who goes through as winners of Group A.

“It’s probably one of the biggest challenges we can have in this competition, playing against France, one of the most successful nations in Davis Cup, and definitely one of the strongest teams,” Djokovic said.

Nadal saw off Croatia’s Borna Gojo 6-4, 6-3 and then helped Spain win the doubles rubber alongside Marcel Granollers.

Argentina could have secured progress by beating Germany but lost all three matches as Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Guido Pella and Jan-Lennard Struff overcame Diego Schwartzman to establish an unassailable advantage. Germany will advance if they beat Chile on Thursday.

Canada are already through and will meet Australia in the last eight on Thursday, after Leyton Hewitt’s team beat Belgium 2-1.

Murray Makes Britain’s List For Davis Cup

Andy Murray/ AFP

 

Andy Murray has been selected for Britain’s Davis Cup squad 24 hours after winning his first tournament since 2017.

Former world number one Murray clinched his first ATP Tour title for over two years on Sunday when he beat Stan Wawrinka in the European Open final in Antwerp.

It was only the sixth singles event the 32-year-old Scot has competed in since returning from the hip resurfacing operation he had in January.

GB captain Leon Smith on Monday named four of his five-man team, with two-time Wimbledon champion Murray alongside his brother Jamie, Dan Evans and Neal Skupski.

The group will compete in the new-format Davis Cup in Madrid next month as Murray looks to emulate his star role in Britain’s 2015 victory in the competition.

“I’m delighted to name our first four players to represent GB for the Davis Cup Finals,” Smith said.

“Dan is playing some of the best tennis of his career and firmly deserves his place back inside the world’s Top 50.

“It’s been absolutely fantastic to see Andy back competing again, headlined by his incredible win in Antwerp yesterday.

“Jamie and Neal have been gaining much momentum as a team with impressive semi-final runs at Cincinnati, US Open, Beijing and Shanghai.

“We are in a good positions with improved strength and depth in our team and will be naming the fifth player in the next couple of weeks.

“We are looking forward to bringing our best tennis to the group phase.”

The Davis Cup will have a round-robin stage before the group winners and the next two top teams advance to the knockout stages.

The tournament takes place on the hard courts of La Caja Magica in Madrid from November 18-24.

The ties themselves will have two singles matches and one doubles, all of which will be best-of-three tie-break sets.

Great Britain are in Group E with Holland and Kazakhstan, who they face on November 20 and 21 respectively.

AFP

Murray Wins First ATP Title Since 2017

Britain’s Andy Murray reacts as he plays against Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka during their men’s single tennis final match of the European Open ATP Antwerp, on October 20, 2019 in Antwerp. JOHN THYS / BELGA / AFP

 

Andy Murray won his first ATP title since March 2017 on Sunday with a battling 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Stan Wawrinka in the Antwerp final.

Former world number one Murray, rebuilding his game after career-saving hip surgery earlier this year, fought back from a set and 3-1 down against fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka to claim his 46th career title.

AFP

Murray Reaches First Semi-Final Since 2017 After Copil Win

British Andy Murray returns a shot during the Men’s singles first-round match against Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium, at the European Open ATP Antwerp tennis tournament, on October 15, 2019 in Antwerp.
ERIC LALMAND / BELGA / AFP

 

Former world number one Andy Murray reached his first semi-final since the 2017 French Open with a battling three-set win over Romania’s Marius Copil in Antwerp on Friday.

The 32-year-old British star, steadily rebuilding his career after major hip surgery earlier this year, defeated qualifier Copil 6-3, 6-7 (7/9), 6-4.

“I feel OK, it’s more how you pull up the following day,” said Murray, who is two wins away from a first title since Dubai in March 2017.

“The good thing about the indoor matches is that the points are fairly short so it doesn’t take as much out of you as on some of the slower courts outside.”

READ ALSO: Eintracht Frankfurt Deny Leverkusen Chance To Top League With 3-0 Win

Murray, now ranked a lowly 243 in the world, had the chance to wrap up the quarter-final when he had a match point in the second set tiebreak.

He eventually sealed victory after more than two and a half hours on court with an ace for his third win in three meetings against the 92nd-ranked Copil.

Murray goes on to face France’s world number 70 Ugo Humbert who put out Argentine fifth seed Guido Pella 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

Italian teenager Jannik Sinner became the youngest ATP semi-finalist in five years when he defeated Frances Tiafoe of the United States 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Sinner, 18, is the youngest to make the last four on tour since 17-year-old Borna Coric at Basel in 2014.

“I think I played good today once more. It was not easy in the end. I was shaking a little bit,” said Sinner, the world number 119.

The teenager fired 10 aces past the 53rd-ranked Tiafoe, saving four of five break points as he backed up his defeat of French top seed Gael Monfils in the second round.

Sinner, who was ranked 778 this time last year, can make the world top 100 next week.

However, he faces a daunting semi-final against three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka after the former world number three got past fellow 34-year-old Gilles Simon of France 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-2 in his quarter-final.

Sinner, who lost to Wawrinka at the US Open this year, will become the youngest ATP finalist since Kei Nishikori at Delray Beach in 2008 if he downs the experienced Swiss on Saturday.

AFP

Australian Open: Andy Murray To Make Grand Slam Return

Andy Murray of Britain leaves the court after losing against Fabio Fognini of Italy in their men’s singles match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on October 8, 2019.
HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP

 

Andy Murray will make his Grand Slam return at the Australian Open in January, a year after career-saving hip surgery, tournament organisers announced Tuesday.

The British three-time major winner has been slowly working his way back to fitness and is now ranked 289th, up from 503rd just a week ago.

The 32-year-old won his opening match at the Shanghai Masters on Monday, beating Argentine qualifier Juan Ignacio Londero in three sets, following a quarter-final appearance in Beijing last week.

With his confidence seemingly growing by the day, Australian Open organisers said the former world number one had committed to extending his comeback into the majors in January.

“Confirmed: Andy Murray will return to compete at the #AusOpen in 2020,” they tweeted.

The official Australian Open website said Murray “will return to the main draw with a protected ranking of number two and restored physical powers”.

World number one Novak Djokovic said it was “pleasantly surprising” to see Murray back following hip-resurfacing surgery.

“Regardless of his ranking currently, he is a great champion and one of the greats of this game,” the reigning Australian Open champion said at the Shanghai Masters.

“If he’s healthy, you can definitely expect him to play at the highest level very soon.

“I wish him that, it’s great to see him back.”

Murray has made the final five times at Melbourne Park, losing four times to Djokovic and once to Roger Federer.

However, arguably his most heartbreaking moment at the season-opening Grand Slam came not on the court but at an emotional press conference before this year’s tournament.

Murray broke down in tears describing how the pain in his right hip, which had been operated on six months earlier, had become unbearable.

“I can play with limitations. But having the limitations and the pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training,” he said, later revealing that even walking his dog had become an ordeal.

Tributes flowed for the well-liked Scot, with Billie Jean King calling him “a champion on and off court”.

Players also farewelled him in an emotional video screened on centre court after he lost an epic five-setter to Roberto Bautista Agut, with most believing his Grand Slam career was over.

“It was a very emotional Australian Open for him and for many tennis fans,” Djokovic added on Tuesday.

“But it seemed like it was too early to goodbye and it’s great to have him back.”

‘Much improved’ 

Murray said after his win over Londero in Shanghai that his movement on the court felt like it was steadily improving.

“In the beginning I didn’t necessarily feel good, but last couple of weeks have been I think much improved,” he said.

In 2013, Murray became the first British man to win Wimbledon for 77 years, ending the nation’s obsession with finding a champion to follow in the footsteps of Fred Perry.

He repeated the feat in 2016, adding to a glittering career that also includes the 2012 US Open, two Olympic gold medals and 45 ATP crowns.

Australian Open organisers hope there will be another blast from the past if Belgium’s Kim Clijsters can meet her goal of taking to the court again in January after an absence of more than seven years.

A crowd favourite in Melbourne, the 36-year-old retired to have a family but made a surprise announcement last month that she was making a comeback in 2020.

Clijsters has won four Grand Slams, including the 2011 Australian Open.

AFP

Djokovic Tops ATP Rankings As Murray Climbs Over 200 Places

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts following a point against Belgium’s David Goffin in their men’s singles semi-final match at the Japan Open tennis tournament in Tokyo on October 5, 2019./AFP

 

Former world number one Andy Murray climbed over 200 places in the new ATP rankings released on Monday while Novak Djokovic extended his lead over Rafael Nadal at the top. 

Scotsman Murray, who is on the comeback trail after career-saving hip surgery, reached the quarter-finals of the China Open where he lost to eventual winner Dominic Thiem.

The run lifted the 32-year-old 214 places from 503 in the world to 289.

He can climb into the top 250 if he beats Juan Ignacio Londero later on Monday in the first round of the Shanghai Masters where Murray is a three-time champion.

Djokovic’s win in Tokyo at the weekend means the Serb is at number one for the 271st week of his career, one more than Ivan Lendl and trailing only Roger Federer (310) and Pete Sampras (286).

Djokovic heads to Shanghai as defending champion while Nadal, his closest pursuer 1,140 points behind, has had to pull out with a wrist injury he picked up during last month’s Laver Cup.

Thiem’s victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas in Beijing sees the Austrian close to just 50 points behind the Russian Daniil Medvedev.

ATP Rankings as of October 7:

1. Novak Djokovic (SRB) 10,365 pts

2. Rafael Nadal (ESP) 9,225

3. Roger Federer (SUI) 7,130

4. Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 4,965

5. Dominic Thiem (AUT) 4,915

6. Alexander Zverev (GER) 4,185

7. Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 3,630

8. Kei Nishikori (JPN) 3,040

9. Karen Khachanov (RUS) 2,945

10. Roberto Bautista (ESP) 2,575

11. Gael Monfils (FRA) 2,375

12. Fabio Fognini (ITA) 2,280

13. Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 2,221

14. David Goffin (BEL) 2,190 (+1)

15. Borna Coric (CRO) 2,130 (-1)

16. Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 1,995

17. John Isner (USA) 1,895 (+2)

18. Kevin Anderson (RSA) 1,780

19. Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 1,719 (+1)

20. Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 1,670 (+1)

AFP

Murray Worries Over China Open Crowds, Atmosphere

Andy Murray of Britain reacts during his men’s singles second-round match against Cameron Norrie of Britain at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on October 2, 2019. LEO RAMIREZ / AFP

 

 

Andy Murray expressed disappointment about crowds at the China Open tennis, where some of the best players in the world have competed in front of swathes of empty seats.

Poor attendances have been in the sporting headlines because of sparse turn-out at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

And at the ongoing China Open in Beijing, the biggest matches have played out to rows of unoccupied seats at the cavernous Diamond Court, the main arena.

“I think as the tournament goes on you tend to get better crowds towards the end of the week,” Murray said after his last-16 match on Wednesday.

“Last couple of days in terms of atmosphere it’s been not as good as you would like,” added the former number one, 32, who is on the comeback trail from career-saving hip surgery.

The three-time Grand Slam champion praised the tournament as a whole, but said: “I don’t know if I’m complaining about it, but I’d like it to be bigger crowds and nicer atmospheres.

“That normally comes as the week goes on,” added the Briton.

The China Open did not immediately comment on Murray’s remarks when approached by AFP.

At last week’s inaugural Zhuhai Championships in southern China, a senior ATP official said that the country would not be given more and bigger tournaments until it produced “top” players.

AFP

China Open: Murray Reaches Quarter-Final

Andy Murray of Britain hits a return during his men’s singles second round match against Cameron Norrie of Britain at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on October 2, 2019. LEO RAMIREZ / AFP

 

Exhausted Andy Murray battled into a singles quarter-final for the first time in a year on Wednesday — and then immediately grabbed a snooze.

The former world number one outlasted fellow Briton Cameron Norrie 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (4/7), 6-1 over nearly three gruelling hours in hot and hazy Beijing.

The 32-year-old, now ranked a lowly 503, will play top seed Dominic Thiem or Chinese wildcard Zhang Zhizhen in the last eight of the China Open on Friday.

On the mend after a career-saving hip operation in January, Murray looked all in afterwards, and walked gingerly in and out of the post-match press conference.

Blowing out his cheeks several times, the three-time Grand Slam champion said he had slept in the 90 minutes between his victory and talking to reporters.

“I’m tired, I just had a sleep before coming. I mean, I’m really tired,” he said.

To save his creaking body from more punishment, Murray said that he switched tactics in the deciding third set.

“I decided if I want to win I have to go and take risks and come to the net, try and finish the points quicker, which I did,” he said.

Murray defeated US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday for his biggest scalp since his return to singles tennis in mid-August.

The hard-fought triumph over 69th-ranked Norrie means he reaches the last eight in singles on the ATP Tour for the first time since Shenzhen in September last year.

Murray showed several flashes of irritation as the first set against Norrie went to the tie break, chuntering away in the direction of his coaching team courtside.

But he regained his composure and captured the set thanks to an untimely double fault by his compatriot.

The 24-year-old Norrie broke Murray’s serve in the sixth game of the second set and Murray was struggling, bending over between points with his hands on his knees to catch his breath.

He shook his head as he slumped red-faced in his seat at 5-2 down.

He displayed the battling qualities which took him to number one in 2016 to somehow surge back, only to lose the second set on the tie break.

But he somehow wrestled back the initiative in the decider, breaking Norrie’s first service game on the way to a trademark gritty victory.

Also into the quarter-finals was Russian fourth seed Karen Khachanov, a 7-6 (7/0), 7-6 (7/5) winner over France’s Jeremy Chardy.

In the women’s draw, the 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys was a surprise loser to unseeded fellow American Jennifer Brady.

Teenage US Open champion Bianca Andreescu reached the last 16 with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) victory over Belgium’s unseeded Elise Mertens.

AFP

Andy Murray Battles Into China Open Last Eight

Andy Murray of Britain hits a return against Alex de Minaur of Australia during their men’s singles second round match at the Zhuhai Championships tennis tournament in Zhuhai in China’s southern Guangdong province on September 26, 2019. STR / AFP

 

Andy Murray won two ATP Tour singles matches in a row for the first time since major hip surgery to battle into the China Open quarter-finals on Wednesday.

The former world number one outlasted fellow Briton Cameron Norrie 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (4/7), 6-1 over nearly three gruelling hours and will play top seed Dominic Thiem or Chinese wildcard Zhang Zhizhen next.

The 32-year-old Murray, now ranked a lowly 503, is stepping up his comeback from a career-saving operation in January — and was at his vintage fighting best here.

On Tuesday, in hot and hazy Beijing, he defeated US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini for his biggest scalp since his return to singles tennis in mid-August.

The three-time Grand Slam winner says he no longer has pain in his hip and it is a matter now of building up fitness so he can play several matches in a row at tournaments.

AFP

Zhuhai Championship: Murray Crashes Out Of Last 16

Andy Murray of Britain hits a return against Alex de Minaur of Australia during their men’s singles second round match at the Zhuhai Championships tennis tournament in Zhuhai in China’s southern Guangdong province on September 26, 2019. STR / AFP

 

Andy Murray’s bid to win a first singles title since major hip surgery ended prematurely with defeat by 31st-ranked Alex de Minaur on Thursday at the Zhuhai Championships.

The young Australian defeated the former world number one 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 and will play fourth seed Borna Coric from Croatia on Friday in the last eight.

The 32-year-old Murray on Tuesday won his first ATP Tour singles match since career-saving surgery in January with a three-set victory over American Tennys Sandgren.

Having enjoyed a day’s rest, he started with intent against De Minaur but failed to get his serve firing consistently and clocked up two double faults as he surrendered his second service game.

But the Briton, number one in the world in 2016 but now a lowly 413, broke back twice and sealed the first set when the Australian seventh seed fired long.

The 20-year-old De Minaur burst back in the second set however and Murray looked to be fading physically, the match going into a deciding set.

Murray will play the China Open in Beijing next week as he ramps up his return, but admitted to AFP this week that he does not expect to recapture the form that brought three Grand Slams.

Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas meanwhile had trouble breathing and quit his opening match before the deciding set.

The 21-year-old Greek was the strong favourite against unseeded Adrian Mannarino of France and took the first set 6-3.

But he appeared to labour badly after that, bending over several times on court and putting his hands on his knees.

He lost the second set 7-5 and retired soon after, looking red in the face and burying his head in his hands.

“I’m very sorry to all the fans who came to see me play tonight in Zhuhai,” said the world number seven.

“I was trying my best but unfortunately I had to retire as I was struggling to breathe out on court.”

AFP

ATP Tour: Andy Murray Records Significant Victory Since Surgery

Andy Murray of Britain serves to Tennys Sandgren of the US during their men’s singles first round match at the Zhuhai Championships tennis tournament in Zhuhai in China’s southern Guangdong province on September 24, 2019. STR / AFP

 

Andy Murray ground out his most significant victory since major hip surgery with a 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-1 win over Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday at the Zhuhai Championships.

This was the former number one’s first triumph in a singles match on the ATP Tour since the 32-year-old had a career-saving operation in January.

A three-time Grand Slam winner but now ranked 413 in the world, the Briton has competed mostly in doubles since and recently played singles on the lower-level Challenger Tour.

He faces seventh seed Alex de Minaur of Australia in the second round in southern China after coming through a physically demanding test lasting more than two and a half hours.

Murray looked exhausted at the end, slumping in his chair and puffing out his cheeks.

There were glimpses of Murray at his best as he sealed the first set in 41 minutes after the 69th-ranked Sandgren planted a backhand wide.

Murray, finally free of hip pain and now attempting to build up his creaking body for the rigours of elite tennis, gave a subtle fist-pump.

Murray squandered match point in the second-set tie break as Sandgren forced a deciding set.

But the American folded in the third, seemingly affected by a foot injury which required extensive strapping with him 3-0 down in the decider.

Victory was a small measure of revenge for Murray, who lost to the 28-year-old last month in his second singles tournament since his return.

After Zhuhai, the China Open in Beijing and the Shanghai Masters, Murray will return to Europe to compete in Antwerp, making it a testing next month on the long road to rehabilitation.

Prior to facing Sandgren in Zhuhai, Murray told AFP that it would be “naive” and “silly” to think he will ever return to being the player that surged to number one in 2016.

AFP