ATP World Tour: Murray Beats Raonic To Reach Final

Andy Murray, Olympics, Zika VirusBritain’s Andy Murray battled back from a set and a break down to beat Milos Raonic and book his place in the final of the ATP World Tour finals in London.

Murray looked out of sorts in the opening set and first three games of the second, but he then rallied and eventually prevailed 5-7 7-6 7-6 in a tournament-record three hours and 38 minutes.

The result extended his winning run to a career-best 23 matches, sealed his first appearance in the final at the O2 Arena and ensured he remains on course to end the season as world no 1.

Andy Murray had admitted before the match that Milos Raonic will be a tough opponent to beat.

Murray crushed Stan Wawrinka 6-4 6-2 on Friday to book his place in the last four and ahead of Saturday’s game.

Murray entered the clash with an 8-3 head 2 head record against Raonic, who has lost the past seven meetings against the Briton, including five this season.

Wawrinka To Face Paire In Japan Open Final

wawrinkaTop seed, Stan Wawrinka, would face unseeded Frenchman, Benoit Paire, in the final of the Japan Open in Tokyo.

French Open Champion, Wawrinka served strongly to beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-4 7-6 to reach his fourth final of the year.

Paire upset home favourite, Kei Nishikori, 1-6 6-4 6-2, to reach his first ATP Tour 500 final.

Nishikori came into the tournament as defending champion and looked set for successive titles, as he coasted through the first set.

Paire needed a medical timeout to reinforce strapping on his ankle, and the patch-up helped as he found a second win against an increasingly-nervous second seed.

The 26-year-old now has the chance to add to a Maiden Tour title won in Bastad earlier in 2015.

Wimbledon 2015: Serena Williams Beats Garbine Muguruza In Final

Serena-WilliamsSerena Williams has defeated Garbine Muguruza, 6-4,6-4, in Wimbledon ladies singles final.

The world number one defeated her Spanish opponent to win her 6th title at SW19 and 21st Grand Slam title.

Williams is on course for a calender Grand Slam after wining the Australian and French Open title.

“It Feels So Good”

Williams withstood a late fightback from 20th seed Muguruza, to come through in one hour and 23 minutes.

After receiving the trophy she said:  “It feels so good holding the trophy. I have to give thanks to Jehovah God for the day. I just really relied on His strength.

“Garbine! She played so well I didn’t even know it was over because she was fighting so hard in the end…

“Congratulations! Don’t be sad. You will be holding this trophy very, very soon believe me. You are a great champ.

Serena-Williams-holding-Wimbledon-trophy
Serena Williams says it feels good holding her sixth wimbledon title trophy

“I am just happy it was such a great match”.

She will head to the US Open next month, aiming to complete the first calendar year Grand Slam of her career.

Williams thrashed Maria Sharapova to reach the final, extending her winning run against Sharapova to 17 matches over 11 years with a 6-2, 6-4 victory.

Muguruza, who is 21-years-old, was playing in her first Grand Slam final and took a 4-2 lead, before giving the top seed a mighty scare by battling back from a set and 5-1 down with two breaks of serve.

She became the first Spanish woman to reach the Wimbledon final since 1996 when she beat Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

In the men’s championship, Roger Federer defeated Andy Murray in the semi-final match on Friday to book a place in the final.

Serena Williams Through To Wimbledon Final

Serena WilliamsWorld number one, Serena Williams thrashed fourth seed Maria Sharapova to set up a Wimbledon final against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.

The American extended her winning run against Sharapova to 17 matches over 11 years with a 6-2, 6-4 victory.

Williams could win a sixth Wimbledon and 21st major title on Saturday, when she can also complete a ‘Serena Slam’ by holding all four grand slam titles.

Garbine Muguruza became the first Spanish woman to reach the Wimbledon final since 1996 when she beat Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

The 20th seed showed no early nerves in the biggest match of her career, powering through the first set and moving 3-1 ahead in the second.

Radwanska fought back to take the second set with a run of six successive games.

The day, however, belonged to the young Spaniard who clinched victory with a swinging forehand volley.

Muguruza is capable of pushing Williams in the final as the young Spaniard stunned Serena in the French Open second round in 2014.

However, a grand slam final will be a different proposition and much will depend on how the 21-year-old handles the pressure of her first major final.

Wimbledon: Federer Looking Forward To Murray Clash

FedererWorld number two, Roger Federer, is looking forward to his Wimbledon semi-final match up against home favourite Andy Murray.

The seven-time Wimbledon champion insists that the Brit is ‘in full flight’ as he bids for a third grand slam win.

Andy Murray, however, says he is not flattered with the praises from his opponent Roger Federer but he will rather focus on the game ahead.

The third seed described his 6-4 7-5 6-4 Wimbledon quarter-final victory against Vasek Pospisil as ‘a good match’.

Murray did not give up a single break point in the match, and maintained his high level when the roof was closed after a rain delay.

Djokovic Wary Of Gasquet Threat

Ahead of the other semi final showdown, World number one, Novak Djokovic, has credited Richard Gasquet for the improvement that has led to the duo facing off in the semi-finals at Wimbledon on Friday.

The world number one ousted Marin Cilic in straight sets to set up a clash with Gasquet, who overcame Stan Wawrinka in a five-set thriller.

Djokovic believes Gasquet’s fitness has helped him to complete his game.

Wimbledon: Federer Cruises To Semis, To Face Murray

federerSeven-time champion, Roger Federer edged out Gilles Simon 6-3 7-5 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of Wimbledon.

The Swiss second seed was broken for the first time in 68 service games this year near the end of the second set.

But that was virtually the only blip for the 33-year-old as he won in one hour and 34 minutes.

He will face Andy Murray who enjoyed a 6-4 7-5 6-4 win over Vasek Pospisil of Canada in the semis.

Federer leads their head-to-head with 12 wins to Murray’s 11, but Murray won the last of their duels on grass when the Scotsman picked up gold for Great Britain in straight sets at the 2012 London Olympics.

Wimbledon: Nadal, Wawrinka, Serena, Sharapova, Djokovic Get Set

WimbledonIn tennis, Rafael Nadal is aiming to turn his season around and Stan Wawrinka is chasing his third grand slam at Wimbledon which begins on Monday.

Nadal is down to number 10 in the seeding, but says he is feeling confident despite a string of injuries that have plagued his game over the last 12 months.

For Wawrinka, he is one of the few who has been able to challenge the dominance of the big four claiming two grand slams in the last 18 months, in Australia and most recently in France.

He is, however, playing down his achievements.

Serena, Sharapova Talk Chances

Meanwhile, Serena Williams heads into the 40th Wimbledon since Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win a grand slam, knowing that she can mark his achievement with another victory at SW19.

Williams has won five championships at Wimbledon and she attributed her success to his huge influence.

One of her main rivals for the title will be Maria Sharapova, who famously beat the American in the final as a 17-year-old in 2004.

The Russian believes Serena is the player to beat at the tournament.

Djokovic Expects Tricky Tie Against Kohlschreiber

Wimbledon Champion, Novak Djokovic, says facing Philip Kohlschreiber in the opening round will be a tricky test.

The world number one is bidding for a third Wimbledon title and will start play on centre court on Monday.

He goes into the match without any competitive warm up game.

Djokovic reached the final of the French Open three weeks ago, but suffered a shock loss against Stanislas Wawrinka and he admitted the defeat was hard to swallow.

Australian Open: Serena Williams Beats Sharapova To Win 19th Grand Slam

Serena WilliamsSerena Williams won her sixth Australian Open and 19th career Grand Slam with victory over bitter rival Maria Sharapova on Saturday.

The American world number one earned a hard-fought 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) on the way to making history as one the greatest tennis players of all time.

She is now second only to Steffi Graf on the all-time Open-era Grand Slam winners’ list, having overtaken 18-time major champions, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.

“Standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen, I went on the courts with just a ball and a racquet and hope and that’s all I had,” said Williams.

“I’m just so excited to have this title,” she added, revealing that she had been “throwing up” during a rain delay in the first set.

The American has been battling a cold all tournament and was coughing during the match.

Sharapova could have overtaken Williams if she had beaten the American on Saturday but she believes she remains on the path to closing the gap.

“Yes, I haven’t won against her many times, but if I’m getting to the stage of competing against someone like Serena, I’m doing something well,” said Sharapova, who has a 16-match losing streak record against the American.

At 33 and now the oldest woman to win the Melbourne title, Serena Williams still wants to win at Roland Garros.

Djokovic Knocks Out Wawrinka To Reach Fifth Australian Open Final

Djokovic of Serbia hugs Wawrinka of Switzerland after winning their men's singles semi-final match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in MelbourneNovak Djokovic has reached his fourth Australian Open  final in the past five years with a five-set victory over Stan Wawrinka, the man who dumped him out of Melbourne Park in 2014.

Wawrinka had downed Djokovic 9-7 in the fifth set when the pair met in the quarter-finals in Melbourne en route to breaking the stranglehold of tennis’ Big Four in 2014 but the Serb prevailed Friday 7-6 (1) 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-0 this time.

During a courtside interview, Djokovic said, “As it was the case in the last two years we played five sets and I was ready for the battle.

“We pushed each other to the limit. Stan is a quality player. He made my life very complicated on the court.”

Wawrinka, however, could not explain his feelings after the match.

“Describe the match? Strange. Not the best, for sure,” said Wawrinka, who fell to 1-17 against top-ranked players.

The world number one faces old friend, Andy Murray, on Sunday, with the Briton looking to win his first Melbourne Park title in his fourth final.

“Andy and I go back to when we were 12 years old, that’s when we first played each other,” Djokovic said.

“We’ve known each other a long time, it’s nice to play another grand slam final against him.”

Djokovic is unbeaten in finals at Melbourne Park, claiming his first Grand Slam title there in 2008 and winning three straight years from 2011 before his run was ended in the 2014 quarter-finals by Wawrinka.

Djokovic has equaled the record shared by Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg for most Australian finals in the Open era. He has won all four of his previous finals, including two against Murray.

US Open: Serena Williams, Djokovic Into Semi Final

serena-williamsSerena Williams recovered from a slow start to brush aside Flavia Pennetta and power her way into the semi-finals of the US Open.

Serena found herself 3-0 down in a matter of minutes but was hugely impressive thereafter in a 6-3 6-2 victory over Italian, Pennetta.

The five time US Open champion said she “had a lot of fun” and is one of only two top-10 seeded players left in the tournament alongside 10th seed Caroline Woznaicki

“I’ve had a tough year in the majors,” added Williams. “I’ve gone down to some great players outside of the top 10 so you can never underestimate anyone. We’re all fighting really hard and we all deserve to be here.”

She then praised Pennetta, who had never beaten her in five previous meetings, for her resilience. “I felt she was playing really well, I don’t feel I was doing too much wrong (in the first three games).

“I just said to myself that if she keeps it up then she absolutely deserves the win and I just tried to do a little better. I had a lot of fun today, I really enjoyed it and I’m so happy to have won”.

Williams has not lost more than three games in any set yet, in this tournament, and will be a big favourite to beat surprise semi-finalist Ekaterina Makarova.

In other games decided at Flushing Meadows, Kei Nishikori defeated third seed Stan Wawrinka in a five-set thriller to make a Grand Slam last four for the first time.

Nishikori came through his second successive four-hour match to win 3-6 7-5 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (5-7) 6-4.

The 10th seed had beaten Milos Raonic in the fourth round in five sets in a match that finished at 2.26am local time, which is the joint latest finish in US Open history.

His victory over Wawrinka makes him the first Japanese man in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam semi-final after an epic four hours and 15 minute encounter with the Swiss Australian Open champion.

Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova also made it into her first ever Grand Slam semi-final – beating two-time finalist Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-2.

Azarenka was not at her best in losing to 17th seed Makarova and received a warning after smashing her racquet.

Andy Murray said he was disappointed that Novak Djokovic proved physically stronger in their US Open quarter-final.

Murray lost to top seed Djokovic 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 6-4 over three hours and 32 minutes at Flushing Meadows.

US Open: Federer, Sharapova Cruise Into Next Round

US OpenFormer champions, Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, enjoyed straight sets wins at the US Open on a day that brought some notable exits.

Federer beat Australia’s Sam Groth 6-4 6-4 6-4 to reach the third round and will play Spain’s Marcel Granollers next.

Fifth seed, Sharapova also progressed, reaching the fourth round with a 6-2 6-4 win over Sabine Lisicki and will meet Caroline Wozniacki in a tasty fourth-round clash.

Two-time champion, Venus Williams and second seed Simona Halep were, however, knocked out of the US Open in their third round matches.

Venus lost 6-0 0-6 7-6 (7-5) to Italy’s Sara Errani.

Having twice come back from being down a break in the third set, Williams had a chance to serve out the match, but Errani, who had not won more than three games in a set against Williams in three previous meetings, showed great fighting spirit to force a tie-break.

Williams was, however, undone by too many unforced errors as she had 52 in all.

Thus, the Italian would play Mirjana Lucic-Baroni next, after the Croatian qualifier beat Romania’s Halep 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

Sixth seed, Angelique Kerber, was also a major casualty as she was beaten 6-1 7-5 by Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic .

Meanwhile, Andy Murray must return to his least favourite court in grand slam tennis for his third-round match against Andrey Kuznetsov at the US Open on Saturday.

Murray, who is seeded eighth, will again take to the second show court during the afternoon heat, having suffered cramp in the same circumstances in his opening game at the Louis Armstrong Stadium.

While Arthur Ashe Stadium, where he impressively dispatched Matthias Bachinger in round two, ranks second only to Centre Court in the Scot’s affection, Louis Armstrong has been a place of unremitting struggle.

It was on Armstrong, on Monday, where Murray was hit by a severe bout of cramp during his match against Robin Haase that could easily have led to defeat.

A 2010 defeat by Stan Wawrinka not withstanding, the good news for Murray is that he usually wins in the end, but drama can normally be guaranteed on Flushing Meadows’ second stage.

US Open: Murray Struggles To Beat Haase In First Round

Andy Murray progressed to the second round of the US Open with victory over Robin Haase in four sets despite struggling with a bout of cramp.

Murray seeded eighth, won 6-3 7-6 (8-6) 1-6 7-5 in three hours and eight minutes inside a sweltering Louis Armstrong Stadium.

He made his way through the first two sets in comfortable fashion but began to feel the strain when Haase won nine straight games in the third and fourth sets.

Haase, the world number 70, had looked capable of handing the Scot his first opening-round defeat at a Grand Slam since 2008 when he won nine straight games.

But despite cramping, and choosing not to sit down at the changeovers, Murray twice recovered from a break down in a wildly unpredictable fourth set that saw both men ailing in the New York heat.

“I started cramping at the beginning of the third set, at the front of my quad and then in my forearm,” said Murray.

“It was not particularly comfortable and I just tried to hang around as long as possible and managed to get through.

“I was in a good position at 2-0 up but I didn’t know whether to go for it at the beginning of the third set or conserve energy and go for it in the fourth.

“It wasn’t easy for Robin either.”

Murray had come back from two sets down to beat Haase at Flushing Meadows in 2011, a year after he had lost to Stan Wawrinka on the same court in what was his last Grand-Slam defeat before the quarter-final stage.

The Scot goes on to face German qualifier, Matthias Bachinger, who beat Radek Stepanek 6-3 6-2 6-2.

In the women singles, second seed, Simona Halep, had to come back from a set down to defeat Danielle Collins 6-7 (2-7) 6-1 6-2 in the first round of the US Open.

Collins threatened to cause a major upset at Arthur Ashe Stadium when she dominated the opening-set tie-break against the French Open finalist.

But Halep, who served seven double faults, managed to turn things around and win the next two sets comfortably to set up a second-round meeting with Jana Cepelova, who defeated Maria Teresa Torro Flor 2-6 7-5 6-1.

Sixth seed, Angelique Kerber, was also pushed to three sets before coming through to clinch a 6-2 3-6 7-5 win against Ksenia Pervak, who may have closed out the upset if not for her 56 unforced errors.

Agnieszka Radwanska, who is seeded 4th had a much easier route through to round two as she thrashed Sharon Fichman 6-1 6-0 in just 47 minutes.