Murray Plans To Play Both US, French Open

Andy Murray of Britain reacts on a point against James Duckworth of Australia during their men’s singles first round match at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane on January 1, 2019.
Saeed Khan / AFP

 

 

Andy Murray is hoping of making a return to Grand Slam tennis at both the US and French Open later this year.

The three-time Grand Slam champion has been out of action since November with a pelvic injury, but will return in an all-British tournament hosted by his brother Jamie Murray this week.

Murray will face Liam Broady at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton on Tuesday.

The Battle of the Brits gives Murray the chance to get some competitive action under his belt ahead of the planned August resumption of the ATP tour before two Grand Slams come in quick succession.

The US Open is set to take place behind closed doors from 31 August, with the French Open starting on 27 September.

Some leading players, including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, have questioned whether they will head across the Atlantic to play at Flushing Meadows.

However, Murray is happy to return to New York for his first Grand Slam since the 2019 Australian Open, even if it means limiting the number of his team who can travel with him.

“Playing the Grand Slams would be my priority,” said the Scot. “The schedule is tricky and I understand the reason why it is like that.

“I don’t mind what the situation is, providing it is safe.

“If I was told I could take one person with me, for example, you can make that work. I’d probably go with a physio and some coaching could be done remotely.”

Murray is yet to draw up a schedule of which events he will play in preparation for the Slams, but is hoping an extended layoff will help his body fully recover from a number of serious injuries.

The 33-year-old had career-saving hip surgery in 2019, before his latest long-term injury layoff.

Murray had been planning a return in March before the coronavirus pandemic brought the tour to a halt.

“My hip has been feeling better for probably the past three or four weeks,” he added.

“Right now, I feel a little bit more confident because I’ve had more training under my belt, more practice. In March time, I’d only been practising for four or five weeks since I’d had the issues.”

 

 

-AFP

Beating Federer’s 20 Slams Record Not Important, Says Nadal

Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates victory against Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien during their men’s singles match on day two of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 21, 2020.
John DONEGAN / AFP

 

World number one Rafael Nadal insisted Tuesday that matching or beating Roger Federer’s record 20 Grand Slam titles is not important and he was “super happy” with his tennis career regardless.

The Spaniard launched his campaign to equal the Swiss great’s mark by dropping just five games in a 6-2, 6-3, 6-0 annihilation of Bolivian Hugo Dellien in the Australian Open first round.

The Mallorcan, the first man to be world number one in three different decades, can not only match his great rival’s achievement but also become the first man in the Open era to win all four Majors at least twice if he lifts the trophy again at Melbourne Park.

It is a big ask for the 33-year-old Nadal, who has only won the title once before in Australia, against a tearful Federer in 2009, with four runner-up finishes to his name.

“I don’t care about 20 or 15 or 16. I just care about trying to keep going, keep enjoying my tennis career,” said Nadal.

“It’s not like 20 is the number that I need to reach. If I reach 20, fantastic. If I reach 21, better. If I reach 19, super happy about all the things that I did in my tennis career.

“I am very satisfied with my tennis career because I give it all most of the time,” he added. “That’s the only thing that matters.”

The Australian Open is the only Major Nadal has failed to win more than once, having claimed 12 titles at Roland Garros, four at the US Open and two at Wimbledon.

He has been a finalist in Melbourne four times since winning but has struggled to get over the line, something that baffles him.

“I have been a break up twice in the fifth set and I lost. Another time I have been injured in a final, of course, against a great opponent,” he said on why he had not been able to convert in Australia.

Main goal 

Nadal, in a pink sleeveless shirt and matching shoes, was in total charge against the world number 73 Dellien, storming to a 5-0 lead in the opening set before the Bolivian held serve, then against the odds broke, before the Spaniard served out the set.

Underdog Dellien was broken in the sixth game of the second set but hit back again to break Nadal for the second time in the match before the top seed again rallied to restore control with some sizzling forehands down the line.

Nadal raced 3-0 up in the third set as his physicality and power shone through.

The Spaniard next plays either Argentine Federico Delbonis or Portugal’s Joao Sousa and said he never looked further ahead than the next match.

“I think about Sousa or Delbonis, that’s all. I think about my practice tomorrow, try to follow up the level of tennis that I played in the third set,” he said.

“That should be my main goal. I need to play at my highest level if I want to keep going in the tournament.

“If I am able to reach my highest level, that’s the thing that I have to worry about.

“If I am able to play at my highest level, normally I am able to produce some good chances.

“If not, impossible.”

AFP

Osaka Suffers WTA Finals Injury Heartbreak For Second Year Running

 

Two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka withdrew from the season-ending WTA Finals with a shoulder problem on Tuesday, the second straight year she has been forced out due to injury.

Osaka, who retired during last year’s edition of the lucrative year-ender with a hamstring injury, had been due to play world number one Ashleigh Barty later on Tuesday.

“I’m disappointed to have to withdraw from the Finals,” Osaka said. “It has been a great event in Shenzhen, and it’s the biggest WTA event of the year.”

“This is not how I wanted to end this tournament or my season. I look forward to getting healthy and hope to be back here in Shenzhen next year,” she added.

Osaka had started the $14 million round-robin tournament with a tough three-set victory over Petra Kvitova on Sunday to extend her winning streak to 11 matches after titles in Beijing and Osaka.

She had been determined to make amends for a disappointing WTA Finals debut last year, when her winless campaign ended with her retiring in tears against Kiki Bertens due to a hamstring injury.

World number 10 Bertens will replace Osaka for the remaining matches and plays Barty in Red Group action on Tuesday.

I Fought Like Hell, Says US Open Runner-Up Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev of Russia returns a shot during the fourth set of his Men’s Singles final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day fourteen of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 08, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

 

Daniil Medvedev said the energy of the New York crowd helped instigate the stunning fightback that saw him fall just short against Rafael Nadal in a five-set classic in Sunday’s US Open final.

The Russian fifth seed dropped the first two sets to Nadal in his first Grand Slam final but charged back to force a decider, almost erasing a double break deficit in the fifth set before going down 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4.

“First of all I just want to congratulate Rafa, 19th Grand Slam title is something unbelievable, outrageous,” Medvedev said.

“What you’ve done for tennis in general, it’s amazing for our sport. Thank you and congrats again.”

Medvedev has experienced a love-hate relationship with fans at Flushing Meadows after an obscene gesture in a third-round match prompted loud boos, to which the Russian later responded with a taunt of his own.

But the 23-year-old won the crowd over during his run to the final, where he was attempting to become the youngest Grand Slam champion since Juan Martin del Potro won the US Open in 2009.

“To be honest in my mind, I was already thinking, ‘What do I say in the speech, it’s going to be in 20 minutes,” Medvedev recalled, having fallen two sets behind to Nadal.

“I was like I have to fight for every ball, and it went further but it didn’t go my way. I know earlier in the tournament I said a bad thing, and now it’s a good thing.

“It’s because of your energy that I’m here in the final. I mean, tonight is going to always be in my mind because I played in the biggest court in the tennis world.

“You guys were pushing me to prolong this match because you want to see more tennis. Because of you guys, I was fighting like hell.

“It’s electric. You were booing me for a reason. I can also change because I am a human being and I can make mistakes. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.”

AFP

Federer, Nadal And The All-Time Men’s Grand Slam Winners

Nadal Wins Five-Set US Open Final Thriller, 19th Grand Slam
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates with the 2019 US Open championship trophy. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP

 

Here are the all-time Grand Slam men’s win leaders after Sunday’s US Open final:

Roger Federer (SUI) 20

Australian Open: 6 (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018)

French Open: 1 (2009)

Wimbledon: 8 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017)

US Open: 5 (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

Rafael Nadal (ESP) 19

Australian Open: 1 (2009)

French Open: 12 (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019)

Wimbledon: 2 (2008, 2010)

US Open: 4 (2010, 2013, 2017, 2019)

Novak Djokovic (SRB) 16

Australian Open: 7 (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019)

French Open: 1 (2016)

Wimbledon: 5 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019)

US Open: 3 (2011, 2015, 2018)

Pete Sampras (USA) 14

Australian Open: 2 (1994, 1997)

French Open: 0

Wimbledon: 7 (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000)

US Open: 5 (1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002)

Roy Emerson (AUS) 12

Australian Open: 6 (1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967)

French Open: 2 (1963, 1967)

Wimbledon: 2 (1964, 1965)

US Open: 2 (1961, 1964)

AFP

Calm Before The Storm? Halep Stands Between Serena And Court Landmark

This combination of pictures created on July 11, 2019, shows US player Serena Williams (L) celebrating a win during the 2019 Wimbledon Championships in Wimbledon, on July 9, 2019, and Romania’s Simona Halep reacting after winning a point during the 2019 Wimbledon Championships in Wimbledon, on July 11, 2019.

 

Serena Williams’s place among the legends of tennis is assured but her mission will not be accomplished unless she at least equals Margaret Court’s record haul of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

The 37-year-old American gets a third chance in a year to go level with the controversial Australian when she plays another former world number one Simona Halep in the Wimbledon final on Saturday.

Aside from the one-on-one rivalry on court, both women have a member of the royal family rooting for them — Williams’s friend Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Halep favouring Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

Those attending the final anticipating a long drawn out duel may be disappointed – the last time the climax to the women’s singles went to three sets was in 2012 when Williams beat Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.

Williams will hope for a happier ending than being out-played both by Angelique Kerber in last year’s Wimbledon final and Naomi Osaka in the US Open final where a spectacular meltdown torpedoed her cause, leading her to eventually consult a therapist.

Williams claimed after her semi-final romp over unseeded Czech Barbora Strycova that the Court landmark is not on her mind.

“I thought about it this morning,” she said.

“I actually didn’t think about it since because it’s really not about 24 or 23 or 25.

“It’s really just about going out there and giving my best effort no matter what.

“No matter what I do, I will always have a great career. I just kind of let it go this morning. I feel really calm about it.”

Her claiming to be calm — she attributes this to digging into her memory and recalling how she felt when she beat sister Venus in 2002 for her first Wimbledon title — will reassure her coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

The 49-year-old Frenchman is more forthright over the reason why Williams has returned to the tour after giving birth to her daughter Olympia.

It is chasing down 76-year-old Court’s landmark set between 1960 and 1973.

‘Stronger Mentally’

“That’s why she came back to playing tennis after having a baby and so many medical complications,” he said.

“The effort she’s put in, I’ve never seen something like this.

“You have no idea how hard she worked to come back to that level, and she came back for that, so it will probably mean a lot if she makes it.”

Williams’s campaign has been something of a rollercoaster.

Sublime against Strycova — who had ousted four seeds on her way to the semi-finals — she wobbled badly against compatriot Alison Riske in the previous round.

Calmness was not the adjective to describe her emotions during the Riske match and even she admits her serenity on Thursday could be replaced by a contrasting demeanour come Saturday.

“It’s a day-to-day basis with me,” she said.

“We all know that. I’m far from perfect.”

Halep, the first Romanian woman to play in the Wimbledon final, has the weaponry to upset Williams.

However, she will want her serve to be more reliable than it was in the early stages of her ultimately easy semi-final win over Elina Svitolina.

The 27-year-old has won just one of the four Grand Slam finals in which she has appeared — last year’s French Open.

But she has shown already she can deal with a partisan crowd having beaten 15-year-old Coco Gauff on Monday.

The size of the challenge confronting her is reflected in having won just one of her 10 previous meetings with Williams, although she has regularly taken her to three sets.

“Of course, I respect a lot what she has done and what she’s doing. But now I feel stronger mentally facing her.

However, for Halep it is not about being the latest player to deny Williams equalling Court’s landmark.

“I’m desperate to win Wimbledon more than to stop her.”

Martina Navaratilova, who holds the record of nine women’s Wimbledon singles titles, says Halep’s hopes of getting Williams involved in long rallies to tire her out are likely to be dashed.

“You can’t get to the big points because Serena is always ahead,” she told the BBC.

“It’s the weapon of mass destruction I call it — the Serena serve.”

Nadal Beats Federer To Reach 12th French Open Final

Spain’s Rafael Nadal (R) hugs Switzerland’s Roger Federer (L) after winning their men’s singles semi-final match on day 13 of The Roland Garros 2019 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 7, 2019. PHOTO: Philippe LOPEZ / AFP

 

Defending champion RafaelNadalpowered past Roger Federer in the French Open semi-finals on Friday, to move within one victory of a record-extending 12th Roland Garros title after handing his oldest rival his worst Grand Slam defeat in 11 years.

The 33-year-old produced a masterful performance to get past Federer 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in the last four on Court Philippe Chatrier and set up a final clash with either world number one Novak Djokovic or Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem on Sunday.

It will beNadal’s 12th appearance in the championship match, which he has never lost before.

“It’s incredible to play with Roger here,” saidNadal.

“Congratulations to him — to be at his level at 37, it’s incredible. I say thank you to the Parisian fans because it’s magnificent for me to be in another final.

“It’s always a pleasure to play with him. It’s always a difficult match against him.”

The third seed now has a stunning 92-2 win-loss record on the Paris clay, having beaten Federer for the sixth time in as many French Open meetings despite difficult, windy conditions.

Nadalalso leads his overall head-to-head against Federer 24-15, and 14-2 on clay after ending a run of five straights losses to the 37-year-old.

A tally of just nine games meant it was Federer’s heaviest defeat in a Grand Slam match since managing only four againstNadalin their famously one-sided 2008 Roland Garros final.

Nadalmade only 19 unforced errors, crushing 33 winners as Federer struck 25, although that amount could easily have been doubled against any opponent other than the 11-time champion.

The defeat leaves Federer still waiting for the first victory over Nadalon clay since 2009 in Madrid.

Topsy-turvy start

A topsy-turvy start saw the Spaniard race through the first three games before Federer broke back as the wind played havoc with the players’ serves from one end.

ButNadalgrabbed a 4-2 advantage in a marathon sixth game as Federer, looking to become the oldest Grand Slam finalist since Ken Rosewall at the 1974 US Open, dumped a forehand into the net.

The crowd were roaring on Federer as he saved a set point, but gasped in appreciation of a raspingNadal backhand winner which clinched the opening set.

The Swiss turned on the style to take the first two games of the second set, only to be broken straight back asNadalcurled a trademark forehand up the line.

Federer was throwing everything he had atNadal, but the indomitable left-hander was simply too strong.

The key moments came towards the end of the second set, when second seedNadalmanaged to hold under severe pressure to level at 4-4, before putting the pedal down to break despite having trailed 40-0.

The defending champion confidently served out the set to love to move one step closer to the final, where he will look to lift the trophy for a third successive year.

Federer’s chances were slipping away quickly, and he received a warning after angrily hitting the ball into the upper reaches of Philippe Chatrier after a flick off the net chord helpedNadalbreak in game three of the third set.

Another break in Federer’s next service game effectively signaled the end of the contest, and Nadalwrapped up an impressive victory as his rival fired a return long.

AFP

Djokovic Feared His Best Days Were Behind Him

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts after beating Spain’s Rafael Nadal in their men’s singles semi-final match on the twelfth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships on July 14, 2018. Photo: ANDREW COULDRIDGE / POOL / AFP

 

Novak Djokovic is the overwhelming favourite to secure a fourth Wimbledon title on Sunday but he admits he feared his best days were behind him when his career nose-dived over the last year.

The 31-year-old former world number one won the last of his 12 majors at the 2016 French Open when he completed the career Grand Slam.

And after a shattering quarter-final exit at this year’s Roland Garros, which saw his world ranking slump to its lowest in 12 years, the Serb even considered sitting out Wimbledon where he has been champion in 2011, 2014 and 2015.

However, on Saturday, Djokovic was the big-hitting, chest-pumping star of old as he defeated old rival Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11/9), 3-6, 10-8 in an epic semi-final to book a Sunday title showdown with Kevin Anderson.

“Yes, there were moments of doubt, of frustration, disappointment, where you’re questioning whether you want to keep it going,” said Djokovic back in a Slam final for the first time since finishing runner-up at the 2016 US Open.

It was at Wimbledon last year where his troubles started.

An elbow injury forced a retirement in his quarter-final and he sat out the rest of 2017.

He was then knocked out of the Australian Open in the last 16 in January by Hyeon Chung, then ranked at 58.

Taro Daniel, the 109-ranked Japanese player, stunned in him in Indian Wells before Benoit Paire, at 47 in the rankings, knocked him out in Miami.

In what was becoming a familiar tale, Martin Klizan, at 140, ousted him in Barcelona before there were signs of life with a run to the final at Queen’s Club on the eve of Wimbledon.

“I managed to overcome challenges and obstacles, get myself to the final of a Slam,” added Djokovic.

“Obviously if you told me that six months ago, I would take it right away.

“But did I truly believe that I can get back on the level? Yes, I mean, it’s hard for me to play tennis and not believe that I can be the best in what I do.”

At Wimbledon this year, he has battled unruly crowds, claiming elements of Centre Court were “unfair” to him in his win over home hope Kyle Edmund, and bizarre scheduling.

Seeded at a lowly 12, he suffered the indignity of being exiled to Court Two for his second round.

He will take a 5-1 career record over 32-year-old Anderson into Sunday’s final.

His only loss was in 2008, while he has twice defeated the big-serving South African in two of his trophy-winning campaigns at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2015.

Anderson is the first South African man since Brian Norton in 1921 to reach the Wimbledon final.

He is also just the third African to reach this stage after Norton and Jaroslav Drobny who represented Egypt when he made the championship match in 1952 and 1954.

“I really hope that it’s a source of inspiration for kids,” said Anderson after his 6-hour 36-minute epic semi-final win over John Isner, the second longest singles match ever played at a Grand Slam.

The 2017 US Open runner-up had knocked out eight-time champion Roger Federer in the quarter-finals, also in five sets, saving a match point along the way.

The Florida-based Johannesburg-born player has spent 21 hours on court getting to the final.

Sunday’s final may not be easy on the eye, however, with Anderson having fired 172 aces so far while boasting the fourth fastest serve at 140mph (225.3 km/h).

“I don’t know if I’ll be the clear favourite in that one. I think we’re quite even,” insisted Djokovic.

“He’s definitely playing the tennis of his life. He’s coming off from two epic marathon five-set wins. I don’t think he has much to lose.

“He’s going to come out with big serves and big tennis. Hopefully I’ll be able to weather the storm.”

AFP

Sharapova Named In India Luxury Housing Fraud Probe

Maria SharapovaFive-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova is under investigation by Indian police for cheating and criminal conspiracy after the collapse of a luxury housing project that she endorsed, a lawyer said Tuesday.

The firm behind the development is alleged to have taken millions of dollars from homebuyers before the project folded.

Piyush Singh, a lawyer representing one of the buyers, told AFP that police had filed initial charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy against Sharapova as part of a wider case against the firm Homestead Infrastructure Development.

The 30-year-old tennis star travelled to India in 2012 to launch the luxury high-rise apartment complex — named Ballet by Sharapova — which prospective buyers were told would house a tennis academy, a clubhouse and a helipad.

The website of the project quotes Sharapova as saying her goal was to “make the owners feel like they own something special and different”.

“Any celebrity who endorses any product technically becomes an agent for that company. No one would have invested in the project if Sharapova’s name was not there,” said Singh.

The project in Gurgaon — a satellite city of the capital New Delhi — was supposed to be ready in 2016 but, Singh said, construction work was abandoned after builders collected millions from homebuyers.

Police were not immediately available for comment on the case, which is being heard in a Delhi court.

Calls to the developers also went unanswered. Sharapova has not commented on the case.

The former world number one made almost $30 million in 2015, according to Forbes, with $23 million of that coming from endorsements like the project in Gurgaon.

She has had a stop-start season since her controversial return to the game in April, following a 15-month doping ban.

AFP

Sharapova Reaches First Final Since Drugs Ban

Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return against Magda Linette of Poland during their women’s singles second round match at the WTA Tianjin Open tennis tournament in Tianjin on October 12, 2017.  STR / AFP

Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova crushed Peng Shuai 6-3, 6-1 at the Tianjin Open on Saturday to reach her first final since serving a 15-month doping ban.

The 30-year-old Russian, playing on a wildcard in the seventh tournament of her comeback, hit top gear as she swept aside the Chinese third seed in one hour, 18 minutes.

In front of a large home crowd, a businesslike Sharapova broke four times and conceded zero breaks of her own before wrapping up the semi-final with a clinical crosscourt forehand.

In Sunday’s final — her first since she won the Italian Open in May 2015 — she will be the red-hot favourite against 102nd-ranked Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, who beat qualifier Sara Errani 6-1, 6-3.

Sharapova has had a stop-start and injury-hit season since her controversial return at Stuttgart in April, following her ban for using the banned substance meldonium.

The statuesque former world number one reached the Stuttgart semis but she retired in the Italian Open second round and also withdrew from her second-round match at Stanford.

Sharapova missed Wimbledon qualifying because of injury and she wasn’t offered a wildcard to the French Open, but she reached the US Open last 16 on her return to Grand Slam tennis.

She has cut a swathe through the limited draw in Tianjin, beating Irina-Camelia Begu, Magda Linette, Stefanie Voegele and Peng without dropping a set.

Sharapova, one of the world’s highest-earning female athletes, will now expect to win her 36th career title and end a trophy drought of more than two years, the longest since her debut win in 2003.

By contrast Sabalenka, 19, is gunning for her first WTA title after a run to the Tianjin final that included wins over China’s Duan Ying-Ying and Lin Zhu.

Sharapova, currently ranked 86th, has also been handed a wildcard for next week’s Kremlin Cup in Moscow, which she will play for the first time since 2007.

AFP

Rafael Nadal Happy Despite US Open Defeat

US Open, Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal, French OpenRafael Nadal says he was happy with his effort and prospects going forward this season despite suffering a shock fourth-around loss at the US Open to Frenchman Lucas Pouille.

The fourth-seeded Spaniard felt that he squandered an opportunity to do something special at flushing meadows this year with his 6-1 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 defeat prolonging the 14-time grand slam title winner’s quarter-final drought at major tournaments.

Playing his third consecutive five-set match, Pouille, has shown that his quarter-final advance earlier this season at Wimbledon was no fluke.

Meanwhile, top seed Novak Djokovic, has edged out unseeded Briton, Kyle Edmund, gobbling up a large serving of points in a 6-2 6-1 6-4 romp that put him into the quarter-finals.

Djokovic had a second-round walkover as Czech Jiri Vesely withdrew due to injury, and was leading 4-2 in his third-round match when Russian, Mikhail Youzhny retired with a leg ailment making it six days since his last full match.

Djokovic’s victory put him into the last eight against ninth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Novak Djokovic Reacts To French Open Win

Novak Djokovic, French OpenFrench Open champion, Novak Djokovic, has described his victory as one of the most beautiful in his career and says being a part of the Federer/Nadal era has been a career boost.

Novak Djokovic joined the tennis greats on Sunday when he downed second seed Andy Murray 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 to claim his maiden French Open title.

Djokovic is only the third man after Don Budge and Rod Laver to hold the four majors at the same time, and the eighth man to triumph at Wimbledon and the French, U.S. and Australian Opens.

For Andy Murray, reaching the French Open final was a bonus, but he was in no mood to look for silver linings in the aftermath of yet another grand slam reverse at the hands of Novak Djokovic.

It was his fifth loss in seven blue riband finals against the Serbian world number one, and his eighth out of 10 finals in all.