February 11, 2016

Fed Cup World Group II R1: Belarus fends off spirited fight from Canada

Françoise Abanda

Françoise Abanda

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

(February 7, 2016) QUEBEC CITY – It came down to the finish line, but Belarus pulled off the 3-2 win against Canada in their Fed Cup World Group II first round encounter played in Quebec City. Starting the day tied at one, Françoise Abanda gave an early 2-1 lead to the host team, before Aliaksandra Sasnovich won her second match of the week to force a deciding doubles match. The local duo of Gabriela Dabrowski and Carol Zhao then lost to more-experienced Sasnovich and Olga Govortsova to send Belarus into the World Group I play-offs. It was Zhao’s first ever match in Fed Cup.

While Canada is technically ranked higher in the ITF nations ranking, Belarus started off the weekend as clear favorites, despite the last minute withdrawal of their top player Victoria Azarenka. Both Govortsova and Sasnovich are ranked in the top 100 of the WTA rankings, while Canada had no players ranked in the top 300. Nevertheless, Aleksandra Wozniak, a former top 30 player coming back from injury, and Françoise Abanda, a former junior top 5 player, both have had inspired Fed Cup performances in the past.

First up were Govorstova and Abanda. Right from the start, Govortsova, showed better form than in her loss yesterday to Wozniak. The Belarussian would take control of the points early, keep Abanda on the move and finish off at the net, a fruitful strategy which gave her an early 4-2 lead. But errors then started to creep in, while Abanda took advantage of weaker second serves. The Canadian reeled off the last four games and won all eleven points on the Belarussian’s second serve to get the first set 6-4.

A similar story happened in the second set, when Abanda again came back from a 2-4 deficit to win 6-4, hitting spectacular winners, especially on the backhand side. After the match, the Canadian was especially proud to keep her aggressive tennis with a lower unforced error count, which was her downfall on Saturday. “I have an aggressive game, but my goal after yesterday was to cut down on the errors. I was calmer, more serene and more confident.” Her final stats were impressive, hitting 31 winners to 27 unforced errors, a notable improvement from her 43 errors from Saturday.

Asked about their similar game style, Govortsova agreed: “She seemed to like my game; she was comfortable with my shots. She would hit just as hard as I did.” Coming back from injury and having played only one match since October, Govortsova confirmed she was now healthy, but wasn’t feeling match tough: “I feel like I didn’t close out so many games. I haven’t played enough matches recently.” The Belarussian played herself a pretty clean match with even numbers of winners and unforced errors (24), but really struggled with her serve, hitting 9 doubles faults and getting broken six times.

All eyes were now focused on Aleksandra Wozniak to wrap up the win for the host nation. Playing in her 50th Fed Cup match, the Canadian gave a stellar performance on Saturday to defeat Govortsova and had experience on her side against 21-year-old Sasnovich. Both players started off the match solidly on their serve, as the first nine games were won by the server. Up 5-4, Sasnovich then requested a medical time out for what seemed like pain in her left thigh. This seemed to break Wozniak’s serving rhythm, as she started off with a double fault. Few points later, the feisty Sasnovich would wrap up the set 6-4.

This seemed to start a series of serving woes for both players, as four breaks decided the first seven games of the second set. Down 4-3, Wozniak saved four break points to level at 4-4 to the delight of the crowd, who could sense a possible comeback. But Sasnovich, who had lengthily discussed the emotional importance of playing for her country all week, played spirited tennis to hold easily and fend off a game point on Wozniak’s serve to wrap up the match 6-4, 6-4 on a forehand return winner.

The final doubles match was played between Gabriela Dabrowski, the top ranked doubles player in Canada, and her partner Carol Zhao, a top NCAA player, against Govortsova and Sasnovich, who was sent in last minute after her inspired play of the weekend. Right away, the Belarussians showed that they were more powerful off the ground, attacking the Canadians from all corners of the court. More crafty, both Dabrowski and Zhao tried to vary their shots and strategies, but too often were stuck with incomplete volleys. The duo from Belarus took an early 3-0 lead and never looked back, winning the set 6-2.

The different strategy from the Canadians started paying off in the second set, where they started serving better and finishing off more volleys. Despite going down an early break, the local pair stayed with the Belarussians until the end, when Sasnovich, the star of the weekend, served for the match and the tie at 5-4. Solid, as she was in her three matches, she served it easily, giving her country the win.

Belarus will now be looking to book a spot in the World Group I for the first time since the change in structure in 2005. On the other hand, Canada will go back to defending their slot in the World Group II for the first time since 2013. Both ties will be played on April 16-17; draws and venues should be announced later this week.

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Fed Cup Canada vs Belarus: Wozniak does it again

Wozniack 8

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

(February 6, 2016) QUEBEC CITY – Canada and Belarus will head into Day 2 of their Fed Cup World Group II first round match-up in Quebec City deadlocked at  1-1. After Aliaksandra Sasnovich defeated François Abanda 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, Olga Govortsova failed to followed suit, losing to a resurgent Aleksandra Wozniak 6-2, 6-2.

On paper, a lot separated Abanda, ranked 343rd in the world, to Sasnovich 99th . The Canadian, who had seen her ranking drop dramatically in the past year, had struggled with consistency in 2015. Her game, which is based on power and athletic abilities, can often derail into series of unforced errors due to intensity gaps. Nevertheless, she often played inspired tennis in Fed Cup in the past, seemingly inspired by the exuberant crowds and patriotic aspect of the competition.

Not much separated both players at the start of the first set. As expected, Abanda slipped into the role of the aggressor, moving Sasnovich around with heavy hitting from both sides. The Belarusian, who has had a lot of success in the past on indoor fast surfaces, went for a more conservative approach. After both players traded multiple breaks at the start of the match, Abanda got her first opening when, up 4-3, she was up 15-30 on Sasnovich’s serve. After three loose errors from the Canadian, the Belarussian held for 4-all and never looked back, wrapping up the set 6-4 in 41 minutes.

Abanda’s game seemed to settle in the second set, as she took an early 3-0 lead with more control on her aggressive tennis. On the other side of the net, the Belarusian struggled to move past her passive game style, giving the Canadian time to whip up multiple winners. The story continued until, after 35 minutes, the local player reeled off the last four points on two return winners and two double faults to level the match at one set apiece, winning the second 6-2.

The start of the third set saw both players finding their range simultaneously, giving the crowd higher quality tennis. While Abanda continued to put a lot of pressure on Sasnovich, the Belarusian decided to step up the aggression and move the Canadian around. Both players traded blows until 2-all, when Abanda took at 40-15 lead. Similarly to the first set, the Canadian couldn’t convert multiple game points and gave away a crucial break. This sent the momentum Belarus’ way, and after breaking again at 5-3, Sasnovich gave Belarus a 1-0 lead, concluding the 2-hour affair 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

Asked on what made the difference in such a close match, Sasnovich replied: ”I played for my country, I played for my parents, I played with my heart”. For Abanda, she tried to see the positive in a close defeat to a top 100 player: “It was only a few key pressure points that made the difference. I want to play aggressive and I did. I have plenty more matches to go this year and some high objectives for myself, starting with tomorrow”.

The level of pressure on Abanda’s shoulders was relieved a bit by Aleksandra Wozniak, who leveled the tie by playing like her former top 30 self in a 6-2 6-2 win over Olga Govortsova. Flawless from the get-go, the Canadian confirmed her spot as the best Canadian player in the history of Fed Cup competition as she dismissed the highest ranked player of the weekend convincingly. Wozniak, now ranked outside of the top 800 in the world following one year away from the courts due to a major shoulder injury, controlled the match from the baseline in an impressive showing of aggressive-but-clean tennis.

“I’m so excited to be back playing Fed Cup, in front of the best fans in the world!”, she claimed in her post-match interview. ‘We had a great week of preparation and playing at home, it gives you that extra energy that is so important.’

Asked on what made Fed Cup special, she replied: “I never say no to Fed Cup and to represent my country. It’s a privilege. Tennis is such an individual sport, when you have the chance to play as a team, as a family, it’s special.” This may be seen as a comment directed to top Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, who has decided to skip Fed Cup this weekend to focus on her singles career. Wozniak, earlier this week, had mentioned that “everyone has a busy schedule, it then only becomes a personal choice.”

All with therefore be decided in the second and final day of the tie. Abanda is set to play first against Govortsova, while Wozniak will follow against Sasnovich. A doubles match will be played; teams would most likely be decided last minute, but Canadian players Dabrowski and Zhao, winners of the most recent PanAm games, were seen practicing on site following the singles matches. Play will start at 12pm EST at the Peps in Laval University, Quebec City.

 

 

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Fed Cup Canada vs Belarus: Out of sight, in everyone’s mind

Wozniack 5

Aleksandra Wozniak

Fed Cup Canada vs Belarus: Out of sight, in everyone’s mind.

by Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

(February 5, 2016) QUEBEC CITY It seems  as though year after year, the biggest story of the Canadian Fed Cup events in Quebec City lies more in who doesn’t show up than who does. Last year, it was Eugenie Bouchard, who was yo-yoing between presence and absence for weeks before deciding to skip the World Group I encounter against the Czechs (Canada lost 0-4). This week, all eyes were on Victoria Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion and former No. 1, who had originally confirmed her intentions to show up in Canada but went MIA for most of the week. After a lot of uncertainty from the Belarus team captain over the week, it was confirmed at the draw ceremony held earlier today that Azarenka would not play this weekend in the World Group II first round between Canada and Belarus.

No official reasons were given for Azarenka’s absence, but a tweet from the Belarussian earlier this week was often brought back to the table: two simple emoji, one with an apparent fever and the other with a sad face. Both the press and public showed disappointment at Azarenka’s absence, and one may expect a lower crowd turnout at the Peps at Laval University.

While the Canadian team publicly stated that Azarenka’s absence doesn’t change anything for their preparation, they must be quite elated that their chances, which were very slim, got a bit better. Indeed, when highest-ranked Canadian Bouchard announced that she would skip the event to focus on playing tournaments to qualify for the Olympics (Bouchard later withdrew from her planned event in Rio played in two weeks), Canada had lost their only player ranked in the WTA top 300 singles rankings. With Belarus coming in with three players in the top 100 with Azarenka (14th), Olga Govortsova (74th) and Aliaksandra Sasnovich (99th), the hill seemed pretty steep.

All isn’t lost for Canada, as both Francoise Abanda and Aleksandra Wozniak, who are scheduled to play singles this weekend, have had inspired performances in Fed Cup in the past. At the same time last year, Abanda, who turned 19 on Friday, was on the rise and seen as one of the most promising junior players in the world. In Fed Cup, she played inspired tennis against Romania, beating top 50 player Begu and losing closely against Dulgheru. But a series of injuries and disappointing loses has seen the young Canadian drop more than 200 places in the ranking in the past 12 months. Nevertheless, she is talented, hits with a ton of power, and is passionate about playing for her country.

This is something Aleksandra Wozniak can relate to. The former top 25 player is trying yet another comeback from injury, as she was derailed off the courts for almost a year between September 2014 and August 2015. Through the past ten years, Wozniak has been a staple of the Canadian team: she is the player with the most ties played (34), most singles wins (31) and most overall wins (38) in the history of the country. A player who is usually pretty stoic and composed on court, she has always expressed more emotion when playing for her country, including in an emotional three set win against Slovakia on the same courts in April 2014. Canadian Captain Sylvain Bruneau will be hoping his players recapture some of that patriotic magic over the weekend.

Singles matches will start on Saturday with both Wozniak and Abanda looking to put their careers back on track, while Govortsova and Sasnovich, who both have had good success on indoor and fast surfaces, will be the clear favorites. Reverse singles and a possibly decisive doubles match will be played on Sunday and matches will start both days at noon Eastern Time.

 

Schedule: World Group II 1st Round – Canada vs Belarus.

 

Saturday February 6th, 12pm EST.

Françoise Abanda (CAN) vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)

Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) vs Olga Govortsova (BLR)

 

Sunday February 7th, 12pm EST

Françoise Abanda (CAN) vs Olga Govortsova (BLR)

Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)

Gabriela Dabrowski/Carol Zhao (CAN) vs Olga Govortsova/Vera Lapko (BLR)

 

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Novak Djokovic Wins 6th Australian Open Title for 11th Major Title

(January 31, 2016) Novak Djokovic captured his sixth Australian Open title on Saturday night defeating No. 2 Andy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6(3) in 2 hours and 53 minutes. For Djokovic this is his 11th major title placing him in a tie for fifth place on the all-time list with Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver. His sixth title in Melbourne equals Roy Emerson’s record.

Djokovic is a perfect 6-0 in Australian Open finals, while Murray is now 0-5, four of them to No. 1 Djokovic.

Djokovic has now captured the last three major titles, going back to Wimbledon, and four of the last five.

“I don’t take anything for granted, even though I won last four out of five Grand Slams, played five finals, it’s phenomenal,” said Djokovic. “No doubt that I’m playing the best tennis of my life in the last 15 months.”

“The fact that I managed to make history tonight and equal Roy Emerson’s six Australian Open titles. Very honored to be mentioned alongside legends of our sport by Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver, win as many Grand Slams as they did.

“You know, I can’t lie and say I didn’t think about it. Of course it was in back of my mind. Coming into the court I knew that I have a chance to make the history. Of course it served as a great motivation, as a great imperative to play my best.

“I tried not to think about it too much, but it was there as an encouragement, as a positive feedback, and a goal.”

As for the runner-up Murray, his next challenge will be fatherhood. The Scot’s wife is expecting their first child in the next two weeks, so he was on his way back home after the festivities.

During the trophy presentation he tearfully addressed his wife Kim: “You’ve been a legend the last two weeks. Thank you so much for all your support. “I’ll be on the next flight home.”

“I’m proud I got into this position – just quite looking forward to get home now.”

“I saw some of the stats just at the end of the match,” Murray said. “He won 25 more points than me, 26 more points. I had 25 or 26 more unforced errors.

“You know, I think I didn’t hit my forehand particularly well at the beginning of the match. I started to hit it better in the third set. But, yeah, that was it.”

Djokovic’s next mountain to climb is to win the French Open, the only major he has never captured.

“Very hungry” (to win Roland Garros). But wolf needs to eat a lot of different meals to get to Paris. Paris is a dessert.”

 

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Tale of the Tape: Novak Djokovic Versus Andy Murray

(January 30, 2016) Defending champion and No. 1 Novak Djokovic will take on No. 2 Andy Murray for the Australian Open title on Sunday. This will be the fourth time both men have met in the Melbourne final, with Djokovic winning all three of the previous times. here is a look at the head-to-head records and statistics of both men. Statistics provided by Grand Slam Media and the Australian Open Men’s information team.

1 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (SRB) v NO. 2 ANDY MURRAY (GBR)

At stake for the finalists, in addition to the prestige of the Australian Open title, is the following:

 

 
AUD$
ATP Ranking Points
Champion 3,400,000 2000
Finalist 1,700,000 1200

 

Who has the advantage?
For 5 out of the past 8 years, the man who played his semifinal second has been the one who won the final, so recent history would suggest that Murray has the slight advantage in winning the 2016 Australian Open title.

 

No. 1 v No. 2
This is first time the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have met in the Australian Open final since No. 1 Djokovic defeated No. 2 Rafael Nadal in 2012. It is the 9th time the Top 2 seeds have met in the Australian Open final in the Open Era, with the No. 1 seed holding a 5-4 win-loss record against the No. 2 seed in finals here. Andre Agassi was the last No. 2 seed to defeat the No. 1 seed in the Australian Open final, defeating Pete Sampras in 1995.

The is the 3rd consecutive meeting between the Top 2 seeds at a Grand Slam. The last time the No. 2 seed defeated the No. 1 seed in a Grand Slam final was at the 2013 US Open, when Nadal defeated Djokovic.

Hard court heroes
Djokovic will equal Agassi in 2nd place on the list for most Open Era hard court titles if he wins the title here. Murray, meanwhile, is looking to take sole ownership of 5th place ahead of his former coach Ivan Lendl.
Hard court title leaders (Open Era)

Player

Hard court titles

Roger Federer 60
Andre Agassi 46
Novak Djokovic

Pete Sampras

45

36

Ivan Lendl 26
Andy Murray 26

ATP Rankings update…

Regardless of the outcome of the final, Djokovic and Murray will still occupy the No. 1 and No. 2 positions in the ATP Rankings when they are published on Monday 1 February.

Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 21-9

2006     AMS Madrid                  Hard (I)            R16      Djokovic           16 75 63

2007     AMS Indian Wells         Hard (O)           SF        Djokovic           62 63

2007     AMS Miami                   Hard (O)           SF        Djokovic           61 60

2008     AMS Monte Carlo          Clay (O)           R16      Djokovic           60 64

2008     AMS Toronto                Hard (O)           QF       Murray             63 76(3)

2008     AMS Cincinnati             Hard (O)           FR        Murray             76(4) 76(5)

2009     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           FR        Murray             62 75

2011     Australian Open          Hard (O)          FR        Djokovic          64 62 63

2011     Rome-1000                   Clay (O)           SF        Djokovic           61 36 76(2)

2011     Cincinnati-1000             Hard (O)           FR        Murray             64 3-0 ret. (right shoulder injury)

2012     Australian Open          Hard (O)          SF        Djokovic          63 36 67(4) 61 75

2012     Dubai                           Hard (O)           SF        Murray             62 75

2012     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           FR        Djokovic           61 76(4)

2012     Olympic Tennis Event    Grass (O)         SF        Murray             75 75

2012     US Open                      Hard (O)          FR        Murray             76(10) 75 26 36 62

2012     Shanghai-1000              Hard (O)           FR        Djokovic           57 76(11) 63

2012     ATP World Tour Finals  Hard (I)            RR       Djokovic           46 63 75

2013     Australian Open          Hard (O)          FR        Djokovic          67(2) 76(3) 63 62

2013     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         FR        Murray             64 75 64

2014     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           QF       Djokovic           75 63

2014     US Open                      Hard (O)          QF       Djokovic          76(1) 67(1) 62 64

2014     Beijing                          Hard (O)           SF        Djokovic           63 64

2014     Paris-1000                    Hard (I)            QF       Djokovic           75 62

2015     Australian Open          Hard (O)          FR        Djokovic          76(5) 67(4) 63 60

2015     Indian Wells-1000         Hard (O)           SF        Djokovic           62 63

2015     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           FR        Djokovic           76(3) 46 60

2015     Roland Garros             Clay (O)           SF        Djokovic          63 63 57 57 61

2015     Montreal-1000               Hard (O)           FR        Murray             64 46 63

2015     Shanghai-1000              Hard (O)           SF        Djokovic           61 63

2015     Paris-1000                    Hard (I)            FR        Djokovic           62 64

 

Djokovic has won 10 of his last 11 matches against Murray. His only loss in that time came in the final at 2015 Montreal-1000. Djokovic has a 7-6 win-loss record against Murray in Tour-level finals.

 

Djokovic has a 6-2 win-loss record against Murray at the Grand Slams, and a 3-2 win-loss record against Murray in Grand Slam finals. The only player Djokovic has beaten on more occasions than Murray at a Grand Slam is Roger Federer (defeated 9 times).

 

It will be the 6th meeting between these 2 players in a Grand Slam final which puts them in 3rd position on the all-time leaderboard for most match-ups in a Grand Slam final.

 

                                                Most head-to-heads in Grand Slam finals (Open Era)

Head-to-head Grand Slam final meetings
Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal 8
Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal 7
Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray 6
Andre Agassi v Pete Sampras

Ivan Lendl v Mats Wilander

5

5

 

This is the 4th Australian Open final to feature Djokovic and Murray – the joint-most head-to-heads in any one Grand Slam final in the Open Era after Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal, who played each other in the final at Roland Garros 4 times in 2006-08 and 2011. There has only been multiple match-ups in the Australian Open final here on 2 other occasions – Jim Courier v Stefan Edberg (1992-93) and Johan Kriek v Steve Denton (1981-82).

 

Murray and Djokovic both feature on the list for most Australian Open finals reached in the Open Era. By reaching the final here, Djokovic has set a new record for the most finals reached here in the Open Era.

 

Player No. of AO finals (Open Era)
Novak Djokovic

Stefan Edberg

Roger Federer

Andy Murray

6

5

5

5

Murray and Djokovic are the closest Grand Slam finalists by age. Murray is just 7 days older than Djokovic. The previous closest Grand Slam finalists in terms of age were Guillermo Vilas and Jimmy Connors who met at the 1977 US Open when Vilas was 16 days older than Connors.

 

Djokovic has an 18-7 win-loss record against Murray on a hard court.

 

Djokovic leads each of the members of the big 5 – Federer (23-22), Murray (21-9), Nadal (24-23) and Stan Wawrinka (20-4) in their previous meetings.

Road to the Final

DJOKOVIC Time   Time MURRAY
d. Hyeon Chung 63 62 64 1:55 1st round 2:07 d. Alexander Zverev 61 62 63
d. (WC) Quentin Halys 61 62 76(3) 1:40 2nd round 1:31 d. Sam Groth 60 64 61
d. No. 2 Andreas Seppi 61 75 76(6) 2:21 3rd round 2:38 d. No. 32 Joao Sousa 62 36 62 62
d. No. 14 Gilles Simon 63 67(1) 64 46 63

d. No. 7 Kei Nishikori 63 62 64

d. No. 3 Roger Federer 61 62 36 63

4:32

2:07

2:19

Round of 16
Quarterfinals

Semifinals

2:30

3:20

4:03

d. No. 16 Bernard Tomic 64 64 76(4)

d. No. 8 David Ferrer 64 64 75

d. No. 13 Milos Raonic 46 75 67(4) 64 62

         
total time on court 14:54 (IBM time) 16:09 total time on court

 

DJOKOVIC                                      v                                       MURRAY

 

28                                          Age                                          28

6’2”/1.88m                                  Height                                  6’3”/1.91m

1                                    ATP Ranking                                    2

94,251,218                     Career Earnings (US$)                     42,435,316

60                                         Titles                                         35

213-34                     Career Grand Slam Record                     159-37

10 titles                       Best Grand Slam Result                       2 titles

56-6                         Australian Open Record                        45-10

697-146                              Career Record                              558-165

460-86                         Career Record – Hard                        380-107

11-0                                  2016 Record                                   6-0

11-0                             2016 Record – Hard                              6-0

26-8                          Career Five-Set Record                          19-7

4                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         8

191-111                      Career Tiebreak Record                      158-100

3-1                            2016 Tiebreak Record                            1-2

                                                                                

  • 5-time champion DJOKOVIC is looking to win his 6th Australian Open title and equal Roy Emerson’s record for most Australian titles.

Australian Open title leaders (all-time)

Player
Titles won
Years
Roy Emerson 6 1961, 1963-67
Novak Djokovic 5 2008, 2011-13, 2015
Andre Agassi 4 1995, 2000-01, 2003
Jack Crawford 4 1931-33, 1935
Roger Federer 4 2004, 2006-07, 2010
Ken Rosewall 4 1953, 1955, 1971-72

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to become the 10th man in history to win 6 titles at any Grand Slam event. Nadal tops the table with 9 Roland Garros titles.

                                               Most titles at the same Grand Slam tournament

Player Grand Slam Titles Years
Rafael Nadal Roland Garros 9 2005-08, 2010-2014
Richard Sears US Championships 7 1881-87**
William Renshaw Wimbledon 7 1881-86, 1889
Bill Larned US Championships 7 1901-02, 1907-11**
Bill Tilden US Championships 7 1920-25, 1929
Pete Sampras Wimbledon 7 1993-95, 1997-2000
Roger Federer Wimbledon 7 2003-07, 2009, 2012
Roy Emerson Australian Championships 6 1961, 1963-67
Bjorn Borg Roland Garros 6 1974-75, 1978-81
Novak Djokovic Australian Open 6?? 2008, 2011-13, 2015, 2016??

                                               ** Challenge round played through 1911 at US Championships

  • Djokovic is bidding to become the first man to win 3 consecutive Grand Slam titles since he achieved the feat when he won 2011 Wimbledon, the 2011 US Open and the 2012 Australian Open.

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to win his 11th Grand Slam title and move into equal 5th place with Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver on the all-time list for most major titles. He has won titles at the Australian Open in 2008 (d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga), 2011
    (d. Andy Murray), 2012 (d. Nadal), 2013 (d. Murray) and 2015 (d. Murray); at Wimbledon in 2011 (d. Nadal), 2014
    (d. Federer) and 2015 (d. Federer); and at the US Open in 2011 (d. Nadal) and 2015 (d. Federer).

 

All-time Grand Slam men’s singles titles

1. 17 Roger Federer
2= 14 Rafael Nadal
Pete Sampras
4. 12 Roy Emerson
5= 11 Bjorn Borg

Rod Laver

7= 10 Novak Djokovic

Bill Tilden

9= 8 Andre Agassi

Jimmy Connors

Ivan Lendl

Fred Perry

Ken Rosewall

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to win his 7th consecutive Tour-level title. He won the titles at the 2015 US Open, 2015 Beijing, 2015 Shanghai-1000, 2015 Paris-1000, the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals and 2016 Doha.
  • Djokovic is bidding to become the first player to successfully defend the Australian Open title since he achieved the feat in 2013 having won the event here in 2012.

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to become the 18th 1 seed to win the Australian Open title in the Open Era. The last Top seed to win the title here was Djokovic himself in 2015. The Top seed has won the title here in 7 of the last 10 years.

 

  • Djokovic is the only male Serbian Grand Slam champion and also the only Serbian man to appear in a Grand Slam final.

 

  • Djokovic has an 10-8 win-loss record in his 18 previous Grand Slam finals and a 5-0 win-loss record in Australian Open finals.

                                             Djokovic’s record in Grand Slam finals

Grand Slam Final Result
2007 US Open l. Roger Federer 76(4) 76(2) 64
2008 Australian Open d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 46 64 63 76(2)
2010 US Open l. Rafael Nadal 64 57 64 62
2011 Australian Open d. Andy Murray 64 62 63
2011 Wimbledon d. Rafael Nadal 64 61 16 63
2011 US Open d. Rafael Nadal 62 64 67(3) 61
2012 Australian Open d. Rafael Nadal 57 64 62 67(5) 75
2012 Roland Garros l. Rafael Nadal 64 63 26 75
2012 US Open l. Andy Murray 76(10) 75 26 36 62
2013 Australian Open d. Andy Murray 67(2) 76(3) 63 62
2013 Wimbledon l. Andy Murray 64 75 64
2013 US Open l. Rafael Nadal 62 36 64 61
2014 Roland Garros l. Rafael Nadal 36 75 62 64
2014 Wimbledon d. Roger Federer 67(7) 64 76(4) 57 64
2015 Australian Open d. Andy Murray 76(5) 67(4) 63 60
2015 Roland Garros l. Stan Wawrinka 46 64 63 64
2015 Wimbledon d. Roger Federer 76(1) 67(10) 64 63
2015 US Open d. Roger Federer 64 57 74 74
2016 Australian Open v Andy Murray???

 

  • Djokovic is on a 14-match winning streak in Tour-level matches. He hasn’t lost a match since he was defeated by Roger Federer in the round-robin at the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals. He still went on to win the title there as well as at Doha. His longest winning streak came in 2011, when he won 43 matches in a row.

 

  • Djokovic is on a 20-match Grand Slam winning streak. He has not lost a Grand Slam match since he was defeated by Wawrinka in the 2015 Roland Garros final. His longest Grand Slam match-winning streak is 27, which took in the titles at 2011 Wimbledon, the 2011 US Open and the 2012 Australian Open, and a runner-up finish at 2012 Roland Garros.

 

  • Djokovic has reached his 5th consecutive Grand Slam final and moved into joint-3rd place on the list for the most consecutive major finals reached in the Open Era. Just 2 different men in the Open Era have reached 5 or more consecutive Grand Slam finals.

 

  Player Consecutive Grand Slam finals
1 Roger Federer 10 – 2005 Wimbledon – 2007 US Open
2 Roger Federer 8 – 2008 Roland Garros – 2010 Australian Open
3= Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal

5 – 2015 Australian Open – 2016 Australian Open

5 – 2011 Roland Garros – 2012 Roland Garros

 

  • Djokovic has reached his 19th Grand Slam final and moved into equal-3rd place with Ivan Lendl on the all-time list of most appearances in Grand Slam finals.

 

1 Roger Federer 27
2 Rafael Nadal 20
3= Novak Djokovic

Ivan Lendl

19

19

5 Pete Sampras 18
6 Rod Laver 17
7= Bjorn Borg 16
  Ken Rosewall 16

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to record his 57th match-win at the Australian Open and take sole ownership of 2nd place on the list for most Australian Open match-wins in the Open Era.

 

Player Win-loss
Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic

Stefan Edberg

80-13
56-6

56-10

Andre Agassi 48-5
Ivan Lendl 48-10

                                                            

  • Djokovic’s victory over Simon in the round of 16 here extended his 5-set match-winning streak to 6-matches. He hasn’t lost a 5-set match since he was defeated by Wawrinka in the quarterfinals here in 2014. He has a 26-8 five-set win-loss record and a 5-2 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Melbourne Park.

 

  • Djokovic has won 16 of his last 17 Tour-level matches against Top 10 opposition. His only defeat in that time came to No. 3 Roger Federer in the round-robin at the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals. He has won 13 of his last 14 matches against Top 10 opposition at the Grand Slams, with his only defeat in that time coming against No. 9 Stan Wawrinka in the 2015 Roland Garros final.

 

  • Last year here Djokovic won his 5th Australian Open title, defeating Murray 76(5) 67(4) 63 60 in the final. This is his 12th Australian Open and his 45th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the majors in 2015, Djokovic won the titles at Wimbledon and the US Open, defeating Federer on both occasions to take his major total to 10. He also reached the final at Roland Garros, losing to Wawrinka. He became the 3rd player in the Open Era to reach all 4 Grand Slam finals in a calendar year after Rod Laver (1969) and Federer (2006-07, 2009).

 

  • Djokovic won 11 titles in 15 finals in 2015 and in so doing finished the year with a prize money haul of $21,592,125. He finished the year ranked No. 1 for the 4th time after winning his 4th consecutive ATP World Tour Finals crown.
  • Djokovic warmed up for the 2016 Australian Open by winning his 60th career singles title at Doha (d. Nadal).

 

  • Djokovic started working with 2-time Australian Open champion Boris Becker in 2014. He has also been coached by Marian Vajda since June 2006. His wider team includes physios Miljan Amanovic and Gebhard Phil-Gritsch.

 

  • 4-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 4 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Roger Federer here in 2010, and to today’s opponent in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Federer and Ivan Lendl are the only players to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title in the Open Era.

No. of final appearances at one Grand Slam event before winning first title (Open Era)

Player
No. of appearances in the final at any one Grand Slam before winning the title
Years
Andy Murray 5 Australian Open finals?? Lost 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015
Roger Federer 4 Roland Garros finals Lost 2006, 2007, 2008. Won 2009
Ivan Lendl 4 US Open finals Lost 1982, 1983, 1984. Won 1985

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win the Australian Open title after losing 4 finals. Marat Safin is the only player to lose multiple finals at the Australian Open before winning the title, having lost the final in 2002 and 2004 before winning the title in 2005.

 

  • Murray is looking to avoid becoming only the 2nd man in the Open Era to lose 5 Grand Slam finals at any one major. Lendl is the only man in the Open Era who has lost 5 finals at any one Grand Slam event – falling in 1982-84 and 1988-89. He won the US Open in 1985-87.

 

  • If Murray wins the title for the first time on his 11th Australian Open appearance, he will set a record for most Australian Open appearances before winning the title.

 

                    Number of Australian Open appearances before winning the title (Open Era)

Andy Murray??

Petr Korda

Stan Wawrinka

Thomas Johansson

Ivan Lendl

Marat Safin

11??

9

9

8

7

7

 

  • Murray is bidding to become the first British man to win the Australian Open since Fred Perry defeated Jack Crawford in 1934.

 

  • Murray is bidding to become the 21st man in the Open Era to win 3 or more Grand Slam titles. He is also looking to become the 16th man in the Open Era to win at least 3 of the 4 Grand Slam titles.

 

  • Murray is bidding to defeat a No. 1 ranked player at a Grand Slam for the 3rd time in his career. His only wins over No. 1 players at the majors came against Rafael Nadal in the semifinals at the 2008 US Open and against today’s opponent in the 2013 Wimbledon final. He has 0-4 win-loss record against players ranked No. 1 at Melbourne Park and a 2-10 win-loss record against players ranked No. 1 at the Grand Slams overall.

 

  • Murray has lost 11 of his last 12 matches against players ranked No. 1. His only victory in that time came against today’s opponent in the final at 2015 Montreal-1000.

 

  • Murray is bidding to become the 5th reigning Davis Cup champion to win the subsequent Australian Open men’s singles title in the Open Era. Djokovic was the last player to achieve the feat, winning the 2010 Davis Cup with Serbia followed by the 2011 Australian Open. The feat has been achieved on 4 occasions in the Open Era:

 

Davis Cup Champion Australian Open men’s singles champion*
Serbia – 2010

USA – 1992

Sweden – 1987

USA – 1969

Novak Djokovic – 2011

Jim Courier – 1993

Mats Wilander – 1988

Arthur Ashe – 1970

*Each won at least one live singles rubber in winning the previous year’s Davis Cup Final

 

  • Murray won 11 rubbers in Davis Cup last year to help Great Britain win Davis Cup for the first time since 1936. He was the first man to win 8 live singles rubbers in one year since the introduction of the World Group in 1982. Great Britain defeated Belgium 3-1 in the Final in Ghent.

 

  • Murray is a 2-time Grand Slam champion, defeating today’s opponent for each of his major victories. He won the 2012 US Open title and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013. He is contesting his 11th straight Australian Open and 40th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • By reaching the final here, Murray has closed the gap on Fred Perry for the most appearances in a Grand Slam final by a British man (since the Challenge Round was abolished at Wimbledon in 1922):

 

Player Appearances in a Grand Slam final
Fred Perry 10 – US Championships 1933-34, 1936, Australian Championships 1934-35, French Championships 1935-36, Wimbledon 1934-36
Andy Murray 9   – US Open 2008, 2012, Australian Open 2010-11, 2013, 2015-16, Wimbledon 2012-13

 

  • By reaching the final here, Murray has taken sole ownership of 13th place on the list for the most Grand Slam finals reached in the Open Era with 9. Only 3 active players have reached more Grand Slam finals than Murray – Roger Federer (27), Rafael Nadal (20) and Novak Djokovic (19).

 

  • Murray is looking to win his 46th match at Melbourne Park and take sole ownership of 6th place on the Open Era list for most Australian Open match-wins. He is currently level with Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal on 45 wins at Melbourne Park.

 

  • Murray and brother Jamie are the first brothers to reach the finals in both the men’s singles and men’s doubles events at a Grand Slam since Reggie and Laurie Doherty at 1906 Wimbledon. Laurie Doherty won the singles Challenge Round that year while Reggie and Laurie Doherty finished runners-up in the men’s doubles final. Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares will play Daniel Nestor/Radek Stepanek in the doubles final on Saturday.

 

  • By defeating Raonic in 5-sets in the semifinals here, Murray improved his win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open to 2-3. The only other 5-set match he has won here came in 2013 when he defeated Federer in the semifinals. He has won 7 of his last 8 five-set matches, with his only defeat in that time coming to Djokovic in the semifinals at 2015 Roland Garros. He has a 19-7 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Murray has come from 0-2 down to win a 5-set match on 8 occasions. The last time he came back from 0-2 down to win a match was against Adrian Mannarino in the 2nd round at the 2015 US Open.

 

  • Murray is the leading British man in history in terms of Grand Slam match-wins with a 159-37 win-loss record. He sits in 11th place on the list for the most Open Era Grand Slam match-wins behind Boris Becker (163-40).
  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2015, Murray reached the semifinals at Roland Garros (l. today’s opponent) and Wimbledon (l. Federer). He fell to Kevin Anderson in the round of 16 at the US Open – the first time he had lost before the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam since the 2010 US Open.

 

  • Also in 2015, Murray won 4 titles including his first titles on clay at Munich (d. Philipp Kohlschreiber), where he became the first British player to win a Tour-level clay court title since Buster Mottram at 1976 Palma, and Madrid-1000 (d. Nadal). He also won the title at Queen’s (d. Anderson) and Montreal-1000 (d. today’s opponent).

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup. He won 2 of his 3 singles matches in Perth, defeating Kenny de Schepper and Alexander Zverev, but losing to Nick Kyrgios.

 

  • Murray is coached by 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo.

 

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Angelique Kerber Upsets Serena Williams to Win Australian Open Title

Kerber

(January 30, 2016) A point away from being knocked out in the first round 13 days ago, No. 7 seed Angelique Kerber came back to win her match against  Misaki Doi and on Saturday surprised No. 1 seed and six-time champion Serena Williams 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to claim her first major title, the 2016 Australian Open.

The last Australian Open Champion to save a match point on the way to the title was 2014 champion Li Na.

Williams came into the final as an overwhelming favorite to win her 22nd major and equal Steffi Graf for the most in the Open Era. Williams had not lost an Australian final before Saturday.

Conversely, with the victory, Kerber became the first German to win a major since Graf. Coming into Melbourne, Kerber was the only member of the Top Ten yet to reach a major final. The win gave Kerber her first win over a No. 1 player. She was 0-8 previously.

Kerber is the first lefthander to win the Australina Open since Monica Seles in 1996.

“I had goosebumps. My whole life I’ve worked hard. To say ‘I am a Grand Slam champion’ is crazy,” Kerber said during the trophy ceremony. “My dream has come true tonight”

A gracious Williams crossed over the net to congratulate Kerber at the end of the match, giving her a big hug. “Congratulations Angie,” Williams said. “You were the best player this tournament. I really hope you enjoy this moment. You truly deserve it.”

Kerber was consistent through the match hitting 25 winners to 13 errors. She made Williams run from corner to corner. Williams had 46 errors and 47 winners but her powerful serve was broken five times by the 28-year-old. This was only Kerber’s second victory over Williams, with the first one coming in Cincinnati in 2012. Williams leads the head-to-head record at 5-2.

“I was actually really happy for her,” Williams said in her post-match news conference. “She’s been around a really long time. We’ve had a number of matches. I’ve beaten her a lot.

“She played so well today. She had an attitude that I think a lot of people can learn from: just to always stay positive and to never give up.

“I was really inspired by that. So, honestly, she’s a really good girl. If I couldn’t win, I’m happy she did.”

“I was missing a lot off the ground, coming to the net,” said the 34-year-old. “She kept hitting some great shots actually every time I came in. I think I kept picking the wrong shots coming into it.

“But, honestly, it’s something to learn from, just to try to get better.”

“I had really crazy two weeks,” kerber said to media. “I mean, with the first round where I was match point down, and then with the win over (Victoria) Azarenka in the quarters. I never beat her.

“And now to play against Serena, what was a really honor to play against her in a Grand Slam final. It was my first final. You know, I was really looking forward. I was really excited.

“I knew before that I beat her once in Cincinnati, that I really must go out there to try to beat her again because she will not give it to me. It was a really great match from both of us.

“Yeah, really it’s a special moment for me.”

 

“I was trying to stay relaxed until the last point,” Kerber said. “The first set I played very well. The second set she was serving much better. The third set every game was really close.

“I mean, the game to 3-2, it was like 10 minutes, I think. You know, I was trying really to focusing on myself because when I was up 5-2, I was sure the match is not over yet, you know.

“Then like 5-3, 5-4, and she was serving, so I was just telling myself, Okay, you breaked her before few times, so you can do it again. Just play point by point.

“When I hit the match point, I was just try to hoping to return the ball over the net. Just hoping, yeah, that I can make the ball and just going for it if I have the chance.

“Yeah, when the ball was out from her, I was just, yeah, so happy. I mean, it’s amazing.”

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Andy Murray Rallies to Reach Fifth Australian Open Final

(January 29, 2016) No. 2 Andy Murray rallied from two sets to one down to beat No. 13 Milos Raonic 4-6, 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2 to reach his fifth Australian Open final. He’ll play defending champion Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday. Murray has lost to No. 1 Djokovic in three previous finals.

The Canadian Raonic began the match by breaking Murray’s serve at love. Raonic made the hold stand to win the first set 6-4. In the second set Murray broke serve in the 12th game to capture the second set 7-5. The third set saw both men stand toe-to-toe into the tiebreak. Raonic jumped to a 5-2 lead in the tiebreak and closed it out 7-4.  In the fourth set Murray took Raonic’s serve in the seventh game and saved four break points in the next few games to prevent Raonic from getting back into the set.

Raonic took a medical time out in the fourth set for an upper right leg injury and was visibly hampered in his movement on the court after that.

Raonic was broken to open the fifth set and broke his racquet in anger and frustration. Murray ran up a 4-0 score and did not have to look back.

Raonic made 78 unforced errors in the four-hour and three-minute match.

Murray goes into the final against 10-time major winner Djokovic with a 9-21 record, having lost 3 finals to the No. player. The will be the Scotsman’s ninth major final.

In his on-court interview he talked about what he needs to do to beat the world No. 1: “I need to keep my game plan very well, not have any lapses in concentration and just play the best I can.” 

“He loves playing on this court, we’ve played a bunch of times here. Hopefully it can be a different result.”

Asked about his injury, Raonic said: “Just a difficulty to push off my leg with my adductor midway through the third set. That’s what it was.

“It’s unfortunate. Probably the most heartbroken I felt on court, but that’s what it is.”

“Five finals is a great achievement,” Murray said. “You can’t take that away from me. I should be happy about that. There’s very few players that will have made five Australian Open finals, so I have to be proud of that achievement.

“Obviously when you get to the final you’re disappointed if you don’t win. But, I mean, I’ve obviously played very good tennis here. I’ve given myself many opportunities to reach the finals. Seven straight quarterfinals, as well.

“I have a very good shot on Sunday if I play my best tennis, like I said. I need to do it for long enough to have a chance. I’m aware of that. I don’t think many people are expecting me to win on Sunday. I have to just believe in myself, have a solid game plan, and hopefully execute it and play well.

“But, you know, the previous disappointments, it’s one tennis match. Doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past really. It’s about what happens on Sunday. People like to read into what’s happened in the past, but Stan beat Rafa in the final here. I don’t know, I don’t think he’d ever won against him in like 13 attempts. When he beat Novak here, the same thing, as well.

“There’s no reason it’s not possible for me to win.”

Earlier in the day,  No. 1 seeds  Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (1), 6-3 to win the women’s doubles crown. The team has now won three straight majors and 36 consecutive matches.

 

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Tale of the Tape: Andy Murray Versus Milos Raonic

Rod Laver Arena

Andy Murray and Milos Raonic will meet in the semifinals of the Australian Open on Friday night inn Melbourne. Here is a look at their head-to-head records.

 

2 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v NO. 13 MILOS RAONIC (CAN)

Head-to-head: tied 3-3

2012     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           R32      Murray             w/o (knee)

2012     Barcelona                     Clay (O)           QF       Raonic              64 76(3)

2012     Toronto-1000                Hard (O)           R16      Raonic              w/o (ankle)

2012     US Open                      Hard (O)           R16      Murray             64 64 62

2012     Tokyo                           Hard (O)           SF        Raonic              63 67(5) 76(4)

2014     Indian Wells-1000         Hard (O)           R16      Raonic              46 75 63

2014     ATP World Tour Finals Hard (I)             RR       Murray              63 75

2015     Madrid-1000                 Clay (O)            QF       Murray              64 75

 

Murray and Raonic have split their previous meetings at 3 each and are also level in their previous hard court meetings, having won 2 each. They have met at a major just once before, Murray winning in straight sets on his way to his first Grand Slam title at the 2012 US Open.

 

Murray and Raonic are bidding to ensure their respective nation has representation in both the men’s singles and men’s doubles finals at this year’s Australian Open. Murray’s brother Jamie and Raonic’s countryman Daniel Nestor have both reached the men’s doubles final here. The last time there was a British man in both the singles and doubles finals at a Grand Slam was at 2012 Wimbledon when Andy Murray finished runner-up in the men’s singles and Jonny Marray won the men’s doubles title. The last time British men reached the singles and doubles finals here was in 1935 when Fred Perry finished as runner-up in the singles and Perry and Patrick Hughes finished as runner-up in the doubles. The feat has never been achieved by Canadian players.

 

Possible semifinal head-to-heads

  Djokovic Federer
Murray 9-21 11-14
Raonic 0-5 2-9

 

MURRAY                                       v                                        RAONIC

 

28                                          Age                                          25

6’3”/1.91m                                  Height                                  6’5”/1.96m

2                                    ATP Ranking                                   14

35                                         Titles                                          8

2 titles                        Best Grand Slam Result                   2 semifinals

158-37                     Career Grand Slam Record                      48-19

44-10                        Australian Open Record                         19-5

557-165                              Career Record                              216-103

379-107                        Career Record – Hard                         159-64

5-0                                   2016 Record                                   9-0

5-0                              2016 Record – Hard                              9-0

18-7                          Career Five-Set Record                          6-4

8                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

158-99                       Career Tiebreak Record                       139-88

1-1                            2016 Tiebreak Record                            4-1

 

Road to the Semifinals

MURRAY Time   Time RAONIC
d. Alexander Zverev 61 62 63

d. Sam Groth 60 64 61

2:07

1:31

1st round

2nd round

1:26

2:55

d. Lucas Pouille 61 64 64

d. Tommy Robredo 76(6) 76(5) 75

d. No. 32 Joao Sousa 62 36 62 62 2:38 3rd round 1:46 d. No. 21 Viktor Troicki 62 63 64
d. No. 16 Bernard Tomic 64 64 76(4)

d. No. 8 David Ferrer 64 64 75

2:30

3:20

Round of 16

Quarterfinals

3:44

2:17

d. No. 4 Stan Wawrinka 64 63 57 46 63

d. No. 23 Gael Monfils 63 36 63 64

         
total time on court 12:06 (IBM time) 12:08 total time on court

 

  • 4-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is bidding to reach the final here for the 5th time and move into joint-2nd place on the list for most Australian Open finals reached in the Open Era.

 

Player No. of AO finals
Novak Djokovic*

Stefan Edberg

Roger Federer*

Andy Murray??

5

5

5

5??

*The winner of the Djokovic v Federer semifinal will reach their 6th Australian Open final

 

  • Murray is bidding to reach his 9th Grand Slam final and close the gap on Fred Perry for the most appearances in a Grand Slam final by a British man (since the Challenge Round was abolished at Wimbledon in 1922):

 

Player Appearances in a Grand Slam final
Fred Perry 10 – US Championships 1933-34, 1936, Australian Championships 1934-35, French Championships 1935-36, Wimbledon 1934-36
Andy Murray 8      – US Open 2008, 2012, Australian Open 2010-11, 2013, 2015, Wimbledon 2012-13

 

  • Murray is bidding to take sole ownership of 13th place on the list for the most Grand Slam finals reached in the Open Era with 9. Only 3 active players have reached more Grand Slam finals than Murray – Roger Federer (27*), Rafael Nadal (20) and Novak Djokovic (18*). [*Written before the Djokovic v Federer semfinal.]

 

  • Murray is looking to win his 45th match at Melbourne Park and tie Pete Sampras and Nadal in joint-6th place on the Open Era list for most Australian Open match-wins.

 

  • Murray and brother Jamie are bidding to become the first brothers in the Open Era to reach the finals in both the men’s singles and men’s doubles events at a Grand Slam. Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares will play Daniel Nestor/Radek Stepanek in the doubles final on Saturday.

 

  • Murray has a 1-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open. The only 5-set match he has won here came in 2013 when he defeated Federer in the semifinals. He has won 6 of his last 7 five-set matches, with his only defeat in that time coming to Djokovic in the semifinals at 2015 Roland Garros. He has an 18-7 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Murray has come from 0-2 down to win a 5-set match on 8 occasions, including in his most recent 5-set match against Adrian Mannarino in the 2nd round at the 2015 US Open.

 

  • Murray has reached his 6th Australian Open semifinal and moved into joint-4th position on the table for most appearances in the last 4 here in the Open Era.

 

              Australian Open semifinals reached (Open Era)

Player No. of AO semifinals
Roger Federer 12
Stefan Edberg 8
Ivan Lendl 7
Andre Agassi

Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray

6

6

6

Pete Sampras

Mats Wilander

5

5

                                            

 

  • Murray has reached his 18th Grand Slam semifinal and extended his record for the most Grand Slam semifinal appearances by a British man ahead of Fred Perry (13 semifinals). Murray has reached the semifinals at the Australian Open 6 times, Roland Garros 3 times, Wimbledon 6 times and the US Open 3 times. He has an 8-9 win-loss record in Grand Slam semifinals and a 4-1 semifinal win-loss record here:

 

                                            Murray’s Grand Slam semifinal appearances

Grand Slam Opponent Result
2008 US Open Rafael Nadal d. 62 76(5) 46 64
2009 Wimbledon Andy Roddick l. 64 46 76(7) 76(5)
2010 Australian Open Marin Cilic d. 36 64 64 62
2010 Wimbledon Rafael Nadal l. 64 76(6) 64
2011 Australian Open David Ferrer d. 46 76(2) 61 76(2)
2011 Roland Garros Rafael Nadal l. 64 75 64
2011 Wimbledon Rafael Nadal l. 57 62 62 64
2011 US Open Rafael Nadal l. 64 62 36 62
2012 Australian Open Novak Djokovic l. 63 36 67(4) 61 75
2012 Wimbledon Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. 63 64 36 75
2012 US Open Tomas Berdych d. 57 62 61 76(7)
2013 Australian Open Roger Federer d. 64 67(5) 63 67(2) 62
2013 Wimbledon Jerzy Janowicz d. 67(2) 64 64 63
2014 Roland Garros Rafael Nadal l. 63 62 61
2015 Australian Open Tomas Berdych d. 67(6) 60 63 75
2015 Roland Garros Novak Djokovic l. 63 63 57 57 61
2015 Wimbledon Roger Federer l. 75 75 64
2016 Australian Open v Milos Raonic ???

 

  • Murray has lost in the semifinals here once before, falling to Djokovic in 5 sets in 2012. He is contesting his 11th straight Australian Open and 40th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Murray has reached his 18th Grand Slam semifinal and moved into joint-10th place with Boris Becker on the Open Era list for most Grand Slam semifinals reached. Federer (39 semifinals), Djokovic (29) and Nadal (23) are the only active players to reach the last 4 at a Grand Slam on more occasions than Murray.

 

  • By reaching the semifinals here, Murray and Johanna Konta ensured Great Britain had male and female representation in the semifinals at a Grand Slam for the first time since the 1977 Australian Open when Sue Barker and John Lloyd reached that stage.

 

  • Murray is the leading British man in history in terms of Grand Slam match-wins with a 158-37 win-loss record. He sits in 11th place on the list for the most Open Era Grand Slam match-wins behind Boris Becker (163-40).

 

  • Murray won 11 rubbers in Davis Cup last year to help Great Britain win Davis Cup for the first time since 1936. He was the first man to win 8 live singles rubbers in one year since the introduction of the World Group in 1982. Great Britain defeated Belgium 3-1 in the Final in Ghent.

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 4 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Federer here in 2010, and to Djokovic in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Federer, at Roland Garros, and Ivan Lendl, at the US Open, are the only players to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title in the Open Era.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2015, Murray reached the semifinals at Roland Garros (l. Djokovic) and Wimbledon (l. Federer). He fell to Kevin Anderson in the round of 16 at the US Open – the first time he had lost before the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam since the 2010 US Open.

 

  • Also in 2015, Murray won 4 titles including his first titles on clay at Munich (d. Philipp Kohlschreiber), where he became the first British player to win a Tour-level clay court title since Buster Mottram at 1976 Palma, and Madrid-1000 (d. Nadal). He also won the title at Queen’s (d. Anderson) and Montreal-1000 (d. Djokovic).

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup. He won 2 of his 3 singles matches in Perth, defeating Kenny de Schepper and Alexander Zverev, but losing to Nick Kyrgios.

 

  • Murray was one of 3 Grand Slam champions through to the semifinals from the 7 to start in the men’s main draw here. Murray won the 2012 US Open title (d. Djokovic) and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013 (d. Djokovic).

 

  • Murray is coached by 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo.

 

  • RAONIC is bidding to become the first Canadian man in history to reach a Grand Slam final.

 

  • Raonic is looking to become just the 2nd Canadian player – man or woman – to reach a Grand Slam final. Eugenie Bouchard is the only other Canadian player in history to reach a Grand Slam final – at 2014 Wimbledon.

 

  • Raonic is bidding to reach the final on his 6th Australian Open appearance. Boris Becker is the only man in the Open Era to reach the Australian Open final on his 6th appearance here.

 

  • Raonic is looking to become the first non-European male finalist at the Australian Open since Fernando Gonzalez finished as runner-up in 2007. The last non-European man to reach a Grand Slam final is Kei Nishikori at the 2014 US Open.

 

  • Raonic is bidding to become the first player ranked outside the Top 10 to reach the Australian Open final since No. 38 Jo-Willfried Tsonga in 2008. The last player ranked outside the Top 10 to reach a Grand Slam final was No. 11 Kei Nishikori and No. 16 Marin Cilic, who faced each other in the 2014 US Open final.

 

  • Aged 25 years 35 days, Raonic is bidding to become the youngest player to reach the Australian Open final since Novak Djokovic (aged 24 years 252 days) in 2012.

 

  • Raonic is bidding to defeat a Top 2 player for the 2nd time in his career. He has a 1-12 win-loss record against Top 2 opposition overall, with his only victory coming against No. 2 Roger Federer in the quarterfinals at 2014 Paris-1000. He has lost all 3 of his career meetings with Top 2 players at the Grand Slams in straight sets.

 

  • If he wins today Raonic will extend his 9-match Tour-level winning streak to 10 and record his best Tour-level winning streak. He has not lost a match at Tour-level since losing to No. 7 Rafael Nadal in the 3rd round at 2015 Shanghai-1000. By defeating Monfils in the quarterfinals here he equalled his best Tour-level winning streak of 9 straight wins in 2012, which took in a singles victory in the Davis Cup first round, the San Jose title and a run to the semifinals at Memphis.

 

  • Raonic is looking to become the first man to reach the Australian Open final having won a pre-Australian Open warm-up tournament since Stan Wawrinka in 2014. A warm-up winner has gone on to reach the Australian Open final on just 3 occasions since Doha champion Federer went on to win the title here in 2006.

 

  • Raonic is looking to become only the 4th No. 13 seed to reach a Grand Slam final. A No. 13 seed has reached a Grand Slam final on 3 occasion – Pat Rafter at the 1997 US Open, Andre Agassi at 1999 Roland Garros and Alex Corretja at 2001 Roland Garros.

 

  • By defeating No. 21 seed Troicki, No. seed 4 Wawrinka and No. 23 seed Monfils here, Raonic has defeated 3 seeded players at a Grand Slam for the first time. The only other time he has recorded back-to-back match-wins over seeded opposition at a major was in beating No. 22 Michael Llodra and No. 10 Mikhail Youzhny at the 2011 Australian Open.

 

  • By reaching the semifinals here, Raonic has become the first 13 seed to reach the last 4 at a Grand Slam since David Nalbandian at the 2003 US Open. He is the first No. 13 seed to reach the semifinals at the Australian Open since seeds were introduced.

 

  • By reaching the semifinals here, Raonic has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the semifinals as No. 8 seed at 2014 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer). He became the first Canadian man to reach a Grand Slam semifinal after Robert Powell at 1908 Wimbledon.

 

  • By reaching the semifinals here, Raonic has become the first Canadian man to reach the Australian Open semifinals. Bouchard is the only other Canadian player – man or woman – to reach the semifinals here, falling at this stage in 2014. Raonic and Bouchard are the only Canadian players to reach multiple Grand Slam semifinals.

 

  • Raonic warmed up for the Australian Open by winning his 8th career title as No. 4 seed at Brisbane, avenging his defeat to Federer in the 2015 final with his 2nd career victory over the Swiss. All 8 of Raonic’s career titles have come on a hard court.

 

  • The Australian Open is Raonic’s most successful Grand Slam in terms of matches won. He has a 19-5 win-loss record here, compared to 11-5 at the US Open, 10-5 at Wimbledon and 8-4 at Roland Garros.

 

  • By reaching the semifinals here, Raonic has recorded his best Australian Open performance. His previous best Australian Open result was reaching the last 8 here last year as No. 8 seed (l. Novak Djokovic). This is his 6th Australian Open appearance and his 20th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2015, Raonic reached the 3rd round at both Wimbledon (l. Nick Kyrgios) and the US Open (l. Feliciano Lopez). He missed Roland Garros with a right foot injury, which required surgery in May 2015.

 

  • Raonic’s best result in 2015 was winning the title at St. Petersburg (d. Joao Sousa). He also finished as runner-up at Brisbane (l. Federer) and reached the semifinals at Indian Wells-1000 and Rotterdam. He ended his season after Shanghai-1000 in October due to a hip injury.

 

  • Raonic reached a career-high ranking of No. 4 in May 2015 after reaching the quarterfinals at Madrid-1000 (l. today’s opponent). He finished the year in the Top 20 for the 4th straight year and plays here at No. 14.

 

  • Raonic became the first Canadian to be seeded in the men’s singles at a Grand Slam event in the Open Era at 2011 Roland Garros. He plays here seeded No. 13 – his lowest Grand Slam seeding since 2013 Wimbledon.

 

  • Raonic has played Davis Cup since 2010 and helped Canada reach the quarterfinals last year. Canada will face France in the 1st round in Guadeloupe on 4-6 March.

 

  • Raonic was born in Montenegro but moved to Canada in 1994. He started playing tennis aged 8.

 

  • Raonic started working with former world No. 1 Carlos Moya at the 2016 Australian Open. Moya finished runner-up here in 1997 before going on to win Roland Garros in 1998. He is also coached by Riccardo Piatti.

 

 

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Novak Djokovic Beats Roger Federer to Reach Sixth Australian Open Final

Djokovic thumbs up-001

(January 28, 2016) No. 1 seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic defeated former winner Roger Federer 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to reach his sixth Australian Open final. This marks the 17th straight tournament final, the world No. 1 has reached since last January.

The victory gives Djokovic the edge in his head-to-head record against Federer for the first time at 23-22.

Djokovic started out dominant in the first set, winning it in 22 minutes. The 10-time major winner continued his mastery over his Swiss opponent in the second set in 32 minutes.

Federer came back to win the third set, hitting 18 winners past Djokovic. Federer earned a break of serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. After the conclusion of the third set, tournament organizers closed the roof on Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic took control of the fourth set breaking Federer in the eighth game, holding serve in the ninth for game, set and match.

“Definitely I’ve played unbelievable the first two sets but that’s what is necessary against Roger,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview. “He’s been playing on a very high level at this tournament and he dropped only one set.

“I came out with the right intensity and executed everything perfectly. The two-set lead was comforting, but it was a battle in the end. At the end of the day, it’s important that your convictions are stronger than your doubts.”

“I’ve seen Novak play this well before,” Federer said. “It’s tough when it’s from the start because obviously you got to try to stop the bleeding at some point, you know. Because he returns very well, like Andre Agassi. He can get one or two sets all of a sudden. Those sets run away very quickly.

“Before you can really sometimes do something, you know, 45 minutes a lot of tennis is being played and it’s tough to get back into it. I found a way. Started to play better myself. Made a bit of a match out of it, which was nice.

“But still disappointed obviously that it didn’t go better tonight.”

Djokovic completed the two-hour and 19-minute match with 33 winners against the No. 3 seed.

Djokovic will play either No. 2 Andy Murray or No. 13 Milos Raonic for a chance to win Melbourne title number six and major title number 11.

“I’m going to enjoy my two days off,” Djokovic said. “I think it’s good for me at this stage. I’ve played a lot of tennis. Actually it’s going to serve me well for my recovery. Tomorrow’s match is going to be interesting to watch. Being in the finals and watching the other semifinals, of course it’s quite a joyful feeling.

“Whoever wins, I’m going to be ready for the great battle.”

 

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Serena Williams Reaches Seventh Australian Open Final

Serena Williams after winning (1 of 3)

(January 28, 2016) Serena Williams has reached her seventh Australian Open final with a decisive 6-0, 6-4 victory over Agnieszka Radwanska.

Under a closed roof in Rod Laver Arena, due to rain in Melbourne, No. 1 Williams needed only 21 minutes to win the first set over the fourth seed. Williams dominated with 18 winners in the first set. The 21-time major winner broke the Pole’s serve to start the match and was never tested in the set.

The second set was much closer. The American took a break lead at 2-1, but Radwanska broke to get back on serve in the fifth game for 3-3.

Williams seized the moment in the ninth game breaking to serve for the match at 5-4. The six-time Australian Open champion closed out the match with three aces and a volley winner in 64 minutes. Radwanska is still winless against Williams at 0-9.

“I’m really excited to be in another final, it really blows my mind,” Williams said on-court after the match.

“I think she started unbelievable, with such a power and speed,” Radwanska said. “I was just standing there kind of watching her playing.

“Well, I had my little chance in second set, especially when it was 4-All. But otherwise just too good.” “I think I played well in the beginning, especially in the first set,” Williams said. “I was able to do everything that I needed to do. I was really hitting just all the right shots, making little to no errors, which is kind of hard to play like that. But it was good.

“She started playing better. It was good for me mentally as well because I was able to recover and do well again.” “I’ve always said that when I’m playing at my best, it’s difficult to beat me. Have I played at my best my whole career? I don’t know. But I’ve been definitely trying to put in a lot of work and trying to get there.”

The 34-year-old Williams will face Angelique Kerber in her seventh Australian Open final. Kerber defeated Great Britain’s Johanna Konta 7-5, 6-2 in 82 minutes.

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The 28-year-old German Kerber, the seventh seed, survived a match point in the first round to reach her first major final.

Kerber began her match 3-0, with a two-break lead, then Konta won the next four straight games. Kerber held steady and broke Konta’s serve in the eleventh game and held for the set.

The second set saw Kerber take another two-break lead at 5-1, but the German held her nerve to close the match.

Konta was the first British woman to reach a major singles semifinal since Jo Durie in 1983. Konta, making her Australian Open main draw debut will see her ranking move from 47 to the Top 30.

Williams talked about the match-up against Kerber:

“She took out a really tough opponent in Victoria (Azarenka). You can’t underestimate Kerber. She’s beaten me before, too, and pretty good. I know that she brings a lot, you know, to the game.

“Her being lefty definitely helps out as well. I haven’t played any lefties yet. But we’ll see. I think if I do play her, it will be a really good match. It definitely won’t be easy.

“She’s been very consistent this year already. She’s proven that she wants to take her game to the next level. I know she was talking about she wants to do better in the slams this year. To start out with a potential final already tells you that if she puts her mind to something, she’s going to do it.”

“I must play my best tennis to have a chance against her, but I will try to give everything, I have nothing to lose,” Kerber said.

Should Williams win the final, she would tie Steffi Graf at 22, for the most number of majors in the Open Era.

Williams  who is 5-1 against Kerber, is 6-0 in Melbourne finals.

 

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