Nick Kyrgios Ruins Andy Murray’s Queen’s Comeback

Britain’s Andy Murray plays a shot to Australia’s Nick Kyrgios during their first round men’s singles match at the ATP Queen’s Club Championships tennis tournament in west London on June 19, 2018. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

 

Andy Murray endured a frustrating return from his injury nightmare as the former world number one was beaten 2-6, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 by temperamental Australian Nick Kyrgios in the Queen’s Club first round on Tuesday.

Murray gave an encouraging display in his first competitive match in 11 months after finally recovering from the hip problem that required surgery in January.

But the 31-year-old Scot couldn’t secure a fairytale comeback as Kyrgios recovered from first set accusations of ‘tanking’ (losing without trying to win) to knock out the five-time winner of the Wimbledon warm-up event.

Finally back on the court for the first time since a Wimbledon quarter-final defeat against Sam Querrey 342 days ago, Murray had low expectations of his return after several aborted comeback attempts.

But the two-time Wimbledon champion, whose ranking has plummeted to 156, will have taken heart from the way he competed, even if there were signs of rust in his shot-making and movement at times.#

Murray reacts to a lost point during the game. Photo: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Kyrgios has been accused of tanking in the past when matches have slipped away with little effort.

And just days after the world number 21 almost beat Roger Federer in Stuttgart, he sabotaged himself with a series of bizarrely loose shots in the first set.

Former British player Andrew Castle, commentating on the match for the BBC, said: “This is a tank from Kyrgios.

“He’s just hitting the ball as hard as he can. That’s fine but don’t expect us not to call it because it is.”

Kyrgios returns to Murray during the match. Photo: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Despite that helpful contribution from his good friend, Murray gradually ran out of steam and Kyrgios found his composure to seal his first win over the Scot at the sixth attempt.

“I was thinking how great it was to see Andy back. I asked if he is was okay at the end of the match and he was,” Kyrgios said.

“He came out really good and I kind of expected that. Regarding my own style, I’ve been entertaining since I was kid.

“I’ve got bad and good things but I’m never going to change.”

Watched by wife Kim and mum Judy, Murray was given a rousing reception as he walked onto the court and responded with a bashful wave to the crowd.

Murray had described his protracted rehabilitation, which featured only two exhibitions outings since Wimbledon last year, as the toughest spell of his career — a painful period of absence he said had reaffirmed his love for the sport.

Murray (L) shakes hands with Kyrgios after the match. Glyn KIRK / AFP

Cathartic

All the demons from those anxious medical updates and gruelling hours in the gym could finally be exorcised as Murray traded ground-strokes with Kyrgios from the baseline before capping the first point of his return with a cathartic forehand winner.

When Kyrgios tried an optimistic half-volley from the baseline, Murray scampered to the net to meet with a superb winner that proved his desire remains as strong as ever.

Murray’s returns were driving Kyrgios to distraction — not that he needs much excuse to lose focus — and a double fault gave the three-time Grand Slam champion the first break for a 4-2 lead.

With Kyrgios apparently complaining about his fitness and blasting a series of wild second serves, Murray finished the first set with ease.

Even when Kyrgios broke twice in the first game of the second set, the 23-year-old still didn’t seem happy, muttering “Am I wasting my time” while dropping his own serve.

Murray took advantage, recovering from 4-2 down to force a tie-break, but a suddenly focused Kyrgios took the break to force a deciding set.

Inevitably labouring as the match passed two and a half hours, Murray refused to surrender to his aching body and dug deep to save two match points at 4-5.

But fatigue finally got the better of him when a tired double fault handed Kyrgios a win that leaves Murray to concentrate on building his stamina ahead of next month’s Wimbledon.

AFP

Lopez So Happy His Wait For Queen’s Title Is Over

Spanish veteran, Feliciano Lopez claimed the biggest title of his long career when he battled back to beat Marin Cilic 4-6 7-6(2) 7-6(8) in a nerve-wracking final of the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club on Sunday.

The 35-year-old, who suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the 2014 final when he held a match point against Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, this time saved one in a tense tiebreak shootout before toppling the Croat.

Fourth seed Cilic also saved two match points, but at the third time of asking crowd favourite Lopez could finally celebrate a sixth career title after Cilic pulled a forehand into the tramlines.

Lopez, yet another male player who appears to be getting better with age, is the oldest winner of the prestigious Queen’s Club championship in the professional era.

He did it by defeating Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Grigor Dimitrov and Cilic — ranked three, 14, 11 and seven in the world rankings.

The match was decided in an epic tiebreak with both players showing remarkable grasscourt skills.

Cilic brought up match point with an ace but Lopez saved it when he cut off the Croat’s attempted pass with a stretching volley. Lopez then had a match point only for Cilic to snuff it out with his 22nd ace of the match.

Lopez performed miracles to scramble a point at 7-7 and serve for the match but Cilic responded with a nerveless volley after an exchange of blows from the baseline.

A 19th ace for Lopez brought up another match point and this time Cilic could not reply.

Afterwards, Lopez said he was so happy to finally win the trophy especially with his parents watching in the crowd. The Spaniard – who is now back up to 25th in the world rankings – added that it was the best preparation for Wimbledon which starts next Monday.

Kyrgios Retires At Queen’s Club Championship

Photo: Wikimedia

Nick Kyrgios has suffered an injury setback just two weeks before the start of Wimbledon as he was forced to retire during his first round match at the Queen’s Club championships in London.

The talented Australian Maverick slipped awkwardly on the grass at the back of the court during a rally at 4-4 in the first set against American Donald Young, succumbing to what appeared to be a recurrence of a recent problematic hip injury.

His withdrawal may have just been a precaution with Wimbledon so close, but it was another blow to the 22-year-old, who had been struggling with hip and shoulder problems which had forced him to pull out of the Italian Open.

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Andy Murray Wins Fifth AEGON Championships Title

Andy Murray, Tennis, AEGON ChampionshipsWorld second best tennis player, Andy Murray, on Sunday evening defeated Milos Raonic to win the AEGON championships title.

The 29-year-old Scottish made a stirring comeback from a set and a break down to beat Raonic 6-7 6-4 6-3 in the final of the competition.

He is now the first man to win the Queen’s Club title five times, after overtaking the likes of John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Roy Emerson.

McEnroe was courtside for the final in his role as coach to Raonic, with the American’s old adversary Ivan Lendl in the opposite corner after returning to Murray’s camp this week.