2015/05/28

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray Advance to Roland Garros Third Round

 

 

(May 28, 2015) No. 1 Novak Djokovic  had to take a medical time out for a right groin injury, but easily reached the third round of the French Open on Thursday beating Gilles Muller 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.

As the Serb was about to serve for the second set, Djokovic called for a medical time out.

“I slipped a lot and felt pain in the right leg,” Djokovic said. “But I’m not worried about it.”

“Thankfully it’s nothing major,” Djokovic told media. “So it’s not concern for the next match, which is the most important thing, obviously. Wasn’t pleasant with the conditions that were changing today, and I think a little bit of heavier conditions made the court a little bit more wet and it was pretty slippery. So I think that’s when it happened, I made a couple of slides that were quite, I’d say, unusual, you know, with change of directions. And it happened in those dynamic movements, jammed the hip a little bit. Thankfully it’s nothing serious, really. It’s going to be fine.”

Djokovic will take on Thanasi Kokkinakis in the third round. Kokkinakis saved three match points in a dramatic five-set win over fellow Australian Bernard Tomic, the 27th seed, 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 8-6.

“I need to play my game,” said the Australian teen in regard to playing Djokovic. “Not a lot changes. Obviously he’s barely lost this year so it’s going to be a tough task for sure, but I’m not going to change my game plan. I am going to try and do what I do well, and hopefully it works against him.”

Kokkinakis who recently turned 19, became the first teenager to reach the third round on the men’s side since Ernests Gulbis did it in 2008. Another teen joining the Australian in the third round is 18-year-old Borna Coric who toughed out a victory over 18th seed Tommy Robredo 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Coric will play American Jack Sock who took out Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 6-1, 7-6(4).

No. 3 seed Andy Murray defeated Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

In a moment of levity after the match, former tennis player Fabrice Santoro did an on-court interview with the Scotsman Murray while wearing a traditional Scottish kilt.

Murray looked stunned and admitted that he did not know what to say and laughed. Murray who was married in April wore a kilt during the ceremony.

Murray is now 12-0 during clay court season. He’ll face off against young Australian Nick Kyrgios in the third round.

Fifth seed Kei Nishikori became the first player to reach the fourth round as his opponent Benjamin Becker withdrew from the tournament because of a muscle tear in his right shoulder.

 

 

May 28, 2015 Results Men’s Singles French Open

Men’s Singles – Third Round

[5] Kei Nishikori (JPN) d. Benjamin Becker (GER) W/O (right shoulder)

Men’s Singles – Second Round

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. Gilles Muller (LUX) 61 64 64
[3] Andy Murray (GBR) d. Joao Sousa (POR) 62 46 64 61
[6] Rafael Nadal (ESP) d. Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 64 63 61
[7] David Ferrer (ESP) d. Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 62 63 61
[9] Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Andrea Arnaboldi (ITA) 76(3) 61 61
[15] Kevin Anderson (RSA) d. Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) 57 64 64 64
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) d. [16] John Isner (USA) 64 46 63 63
[17] David Goffin (BEL) d. Santiago Giraldo (COL) 63 46 75 62
Pablo Andujar (ESP) d. [22] Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 61 76(5) 36 36 64
[23] Leonardo Mayer (ARG) d. Jerzy Janowicz (POL) 64 64 67(1) 61
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) d. [27] Bernard Tomic (AUS) 36 36 63 64 86 – saved 3 M.P.
[29] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d. Kyle Edmund (GBR) W/O (stomach)
Simone Bolelli (ITA) d. [31] Viktor Troicki (SRB) 62 64 63
Jack Sock (USA) d. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 67(2) 76(4) 61 76(4)
Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) d. Jurgen Melzer (AUT) 61 57 76(0) 75

 

Women’s Singles – Second Round
(1) Serena Williams d. Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) 57 63 63
(4) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 67(4) 64 62
Julia Goerges (GER) d. (5) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 64 76(4)
(10) Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP) 46 64 64
Andreea Mitu (ROU) d. (12) Karolina Pliskova 26 76(5) 64
(16) Madison Keys (USA) d. Belinda Bencic (SUI) 60 63
(17) Sara Errani d. Carina Witthoeft (GER) 63 46 62
Francesca Schiavone (ITA) d. (18) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 67(11) 75 108 (saved 1mp)
(23) Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. Tereza Smitkova (CZE) 62 60
(27) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 62 63
(30) Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) d. Ana Konjuh (CRO) 62 60
Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) d. (32) Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 06 61 64
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Danka Kovinic (MNE) 63 75
Irina Falconi (USA) d. (Q) Sesil Karatantcheva (BUL) 36 61 62
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. Heather Watson (GBR) 62 64
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) d. Denisa Allertova (CZE) 63 76(2)

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Murray, Sharapova Advance as Venus Williams Falls at Roland Garros

(May 24, 2015) Third seed Andy Murray and second seed Maria Sharapova had straight set wins on day two of the French Open, while former finalist and the oldest woman in the draw, 15th seed Venus Williams lost along with four other seeds on Monday in Paris.

Making her 18th appearance in Paris, Venus Williams’ Roland Garros was ended in the first round by American countrywoman Sloane Stephens 7-6(5), 6-1. Stephens became just the second American to ever defeat both Serena and Venus Williams at a major. Stephens beat Serena in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open.

After the loss, Venus declined to speak to media. She did issue a statement which said that Stephens “just played better than me today.”

Williams said that she will be turning her focus to grass-court season.

“I have a little while now between tournaments and so now I’ll just get ready for the grass at Wimbledon.”

She is facing a potential fine for not having a news conference.

“Obviously it’s a tough first round of a Grand Slam,” Stephens said. “So going into it I knew I was going to have to just come out and be really solid and play my tennis. I did that today. That was good.”

“I didn’t really know what to expect. I mean, obviously she’s a great player and a great champion. I knew I was just going to have to get out there and do my best.”

Defending champion Sharapova defeated Kaia Kanepi 6-2, 6-4 in her first round match. Sharapova nursing a cough during the match, declined an on-court interview, which lead to spectators booing her as she left the court.

“But it’s just the way it is. I’m getting over it, and hopefully it will pass by soon,” she said.

Andy Murray stretched his unbeaten streak during the clay court season to 11, with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 win over Argentina’s Facundo Arguello, who reached the main draw as a lucky loser.

The Scot talked about the windy conditions on court.

“I felt like it was difficult. The start was very windy on the court and cold, so it was quite slow conditions. I found it difficult at the beginning. Then I felt, you know, when the wind died down a bit in the second and third set, I felt that the level of tennis was better.”

Besides Venus Williams, four other seeds made exits on Monday including No. 11 Feliciano Lopez who lost to Teymuraz Gabashvili and former Wimbledon finalist No. 14 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 against Annika Beck.

Others who bowed out were No. 30 Adrien Mannarino and No. 22 Barbora Strycova.

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2015 French Open Men’s Contender Profiles – Fast Facts with Jack Cunniff

(May 23, 2015) Profiles of the top Men’s Singles contenders for the 2015 French Open. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

 

 

Novak Djokovic

2015 Record: 35-2

Grand Slam Record: 187-33

French Open Record: 42-10

French Open Best Result: RU (2012, ‘14)

Fast Fact: Djokovic’s 42 match wins at Roland Garros are the most in the Open Era among men who have never won the title.

 

Roger Federer

2015 Record: 25-5

Grand Slam Record: 281-46

French Open Record: 61-15

French Open Best Result: Won (2009)

Fast Fact: By winning Istanbul, Federer ended a streak of 11 straight claycourt events that he had lost.

 

Andy Murray

2015 Record: 31-5

Grand Slam Record: 140-34

French Open Record: 23-7

French Open Best Result: SF (2011, ‘14)

Fast Fact: Murray hasn’t lost prior to the quarterfinals in a Grand Slam event since the 2010 U.S. Open (3R, Wawrinka).

 

Tomas Berdych

2015 Record: 32-9

Grand Slam Record: 108-46

French Open Record: 17-11

French Open Best Result: SF (2010)

Fast Fact: Since the 2014 U.S. Open, Berdych has reached the quarterfinals in 14 of his last 15 events (l. to Andujar, 1R Valencia).

 

Kei Nishikori

2015 Record: 31-7

Grand Slam Record: 41-22

French Open Record: 5-4

French Open Best Result: 4R (2013)

Fast Fact: In 2015, Nishikori has a winning record (7-6) when losing the opening set of the match.

 

Rafael Nadal

2015 Record: 25-9

Grand Slam Record: 191-26

French Open Record: 66-1

French Open Best Result: Won (2005-08, 2010-14)

Fast Fact: Nadal is attempting to win his 6th consecutive French Open, which would give him the longest Grand Slam title streak of any man in the Open Era.

 

David Ferrer

2015 Record: 32-7

Grand Slam Record: 124-49

French Open Record: 36-12

French Open Best Result: RU (2013)

Fast Fact: In the opening round of the French Open, Ferrer will attempt to win his 300th career claycourt match.

 

Stan Wawrinka

2015 Record: 22-8

Grand Slam Record: 87-39

French Open Record: 20-10

French Open Best Result: QF (2013)

Fast Fact: Since starting the year 14-1, with two titles, Wawrinka has since compiled an 8-7 record, reaching the semifinals in one of six events.

 

Marin Cilic

2015 Record: 4-6

Grand Slam Record: 63-27

French Open Record: 13-8

French Open Best Result: 4R (2009, ‘10)

Fast Fact:   Dating back to 2014, Cilic has lost 9 of his last 13 matches.

 

Grigor Dimitrov

2015 Record: 18-10

Grand Slam Record: 23-18

French Open Record: 3-4

French Open Best Result: 3R (2013)

Fast Fact: Dimitrov has lost his opening round match only twice since the start of 2014 (2014 Cincinnati, 2014 Roland Garros), the same amount of opening round losses as Federer, and one fewer than Nadal.

 

Feliciano Lopez

2015 Record: 14-11

Grand Slam Record: 76-53

French Open Record: 8-14

French Open Best Result: 4R (2004)

Fast Fact: The 2015 French Open marks Lopez’ 53rd consecutive appearance in a Grand Slam event, placing him fourth all-time in the Open Era (trailing Federer, Wayne Ferreira, and Stefan Edberg).

 

Gilles Simon

2015 Record: 20-10

Grand Slam Record: 58-35

French Open Record: 13-9

French Open Best Result: 4R (2011, ‘13)

Fast Fact: Six of Simon’s last 10 matches at Roland Garros, including his last three losses, have gone to five sets.

 

Gael Monfils

2015 Record: 19-8

Grand Slam Record: 68-33

French Open Record: 25-9

French Open Best Result: SF (2008)

Fast Fact: Monfils has earned seven wins in Grand Slam events over Top Ten opponents, five of those have come at Roland Garros.

 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

2015 Record: 6-5

Grand Slam Record: 84-28

French Open Record: 20-7

French Open Best Result: SF (2013)

Fast Fact: Since defeating four consecutive Top Ten opponents (Djokovic, Murray, Dimitrov, Federer) to win the 2014 Canadian Open, Tsonga has compiled a 12-11 match record, and has gone 0-7 vs. Top Twenty.

 

Kevin Anderson

2015 Record: 19-12

Grand Slam Record: 33-24

French Open Record: 9-5

French Open Best Result: 4R (2013-14)

Fast Fact: Anderson has lost to a higher ranked opponent in 9 of his last 10 Grand Slam events (l. to Baghdatis, 2013 U.S. Open).

 

John Isner

2015 Record: 18-12

Grand Slam Record: 39-27

French Open Record: 8-6

French Open Best Result: 4R (2014)

Fast Fact: Isner is the only payer other than Djokovic to force Nadal into a fifth set at Roland Garros.

 

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Andy Murray Beats Rafael Nadal to Earn Madrid Masters Title

Andy Murray with Madrid trophy

(May 10, 2015) Andy Murray defeated Rafael Nadal on clay for the first time in his career on Sunday, 6-3, 6-2 to win his second Madrid Open. Just six days ago Murray claimed his first career clay tournament in Munich.

For Murray it was his 10th Masters Series title, first on clay and 33rd overall career tennis title.

Murray is undefeated since getting married on April 11 to his long-time girlfriend Kim Sears.

After his victory, Murray signed the TV camera glass with the words “Marriage Works.”

“Obviously the tennis has gone well (since the marriage),” Murray said. “You’re happy and that helps your performances on the court.”

“Today I was just more consistent, Murray said of the match. “In the second set Rafa was starting to play better at the beginning and the middle part. But I stayed strong in that period of the match and he started to make some mistakes at the end that he wouldn’t normally make. That obviously helped me finish the match.

“I wasn’t expecting this a couple of weeks ago, so when things are unexpected, it feels nicer. I didn’t feel like I put too much pressure on myself the last couple of weeks, which is a good thing. But obviously to win a Masters 1000 on clay is a step in the right direction. It’s something I had never done before. So that’s good progress there.”

“For me it was obviously a very tough match, you know winning against Rafa on clay is extremely difficult, one of the hardest things in tennis,” Murray added. “From my side it was a very good performance. I’m sure Rafa feels he could have played much better. But from my side, I couldn’t have done much more.”

“This wasn’t the game I wanted to play, but I tried to the very end,” Nadal explained. “Still, it was a very important and positive week for me, I recovered sensations that I hadn’t felt in a long time.”

“I’ve pushed Rafa on the clay a few times,” Murray said. “This (win) obviously gives me confidence.”

“I’ve played a couple good matches [this week], especially yesterday’s match,” Nadal said. “It’s one of the best matches I have played in a long time. So I cannot leave Madrid not happy. I have to leave happy and just delete what happened today. I will just stay with the good things that happened this week, and there are a lot of them, more good than bad. I will try to recover the good feelings in Rome. I think I’ve made a step forward and I’m playing better. My game is better.”

With the loss, Nadal’s ranking will fall to No 7 as of Monday. Murray’s ranking remains at No. 3. Both men will play the Rome Masters this week.

Petra Kvitova won the women’s title on Saturday beating Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-2. The world No. 4 ended the 27-match unbeaten of Serena Williams on Friday.

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Andy Murray Wins First Clay Court Title

Andy Murray fistpump

(May 4, 2015) Andy Murray won his clay court title on Monday in a very tight contest over Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (4), 5-7, 7-6 (4) in the rain-delayed final of the BMW Open in Munich.

For the world No. 3, it’s the Scot’s 32nd career ATP title. He became the first British man to win a title on clay since Buster Mottram won Palma in 1976.

“It means a lot to have won,” said Murray. “It was my first final on the clay, having lost a few semi-finals at Roland Garros, Rome and Monte-Carlo. We played a very high standard match. I just managed to hang on at the end.

“He served unbelievably well. I had very few chances when I was returning. We may even play one another in Madrid on Wednesday. Philipp is a superb competitor and fought right to the end. It is nice to have won my first clay title and I hope to win another one soon.

“The tournament is extremely nice. It has had very good crowds since the beginning of the week and it is nice to play in a club. There is obviously a lot of tennis fans here. We were unlucky with the weather and when it is like it has been it is difficult for everybody. I enjoyed the week.”

“It was a great atmosphere and a great crowd,  said the two-time Munic champion Kohlschreiber of his home country. “We both gave everything. It was so close, but at the end there has to be one winner. Unfortunately, for me, it was Andy. It was a fantastic game.

“It was a very special moment for me, in front of a home crowd. I think I pushed Andy to the limit. We had some unbelievable points. I think, for the spectators who came, it was one of the best Munich finals.

“Munich is always very special. It is my best tournament on the tour. I love playing here and on the clay. This gives me a lot of confidence for the future.”

Both men head to Madrid to compete in the Madrid Open.

 

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Munich Final Postponed Until Monday Due to Rain

Murray with bag-001

(May 3, 2015) The BMW Open final in Munich between Andy Murray and Philipp Kohlschreiber was postponed by rain Sunday with Kohlschreiber leading 3-2.

This is Murray’s first final on and first under coach Jonas Bjorkman, as his main coach Amelie Mauresmo is pregnant.

The rain-plagued tournament saw Friday’s quarterfinals washed out by rain and postponed to Saturday, when both the quarterfinals and semifinals were played.

SCHEDULE – MONDAY, 4 MAY 2015

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[1] A. Murray (GBR) vs [5] P. Kohlschreiber (GER) 23

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
[1] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [WC] A. Zverev (GER) / M. Zverev (GER) 11

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Novak Djokovic Beats Andy Murray for Fifth Miami Title

 

NovakDjokovicLockerroomwithtrophyTPN-001

(April 5, 2015) Novak Djokovic won his fifth Miami Open title on Sunday to become the first player to complete an Indian Wells – Miami Open double three times. With Djokovic’s 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-0 victory over Andy Murray, he became the first player ever to win the Indian Wells – Miami double in back-to-back years.

“Well, it’s obviously nice and flattering to hear that I have achieved another record,” Djokovic. “Of course I do pay attention of that. Any kind of achievement that goes into history books I’m hugely proud of and I appreciate it very much, because I work hard for it and I do cherish it.

“Again, it’s not something that obviously takes away my discipline. It just allows me to motivate myself even more. Just going to try and keep the same routine and mindset so far which helped me to achieve all these results.”

World No. 1 Djokovic broke Murray five times in the over two-and-a-half hour match in which he won his 22nd Masters Series crown. It is the 27-year-old Serb’s fifth Miami tournament victory.

“It was just very tough, brutal conditions for both of us,” Djokovic said about the hot conditions on the court.

“First set was really up and down for both of us, and we tried to stay mentally tough, both of us, and kind of hang in there, battle, and wear down the other player physically.

Mubadala World Tennis Championship

“There were lots of exchanges, a lot of long rallies. I was expecting that coming into the match, but one thing is to really expect and the other is to really experience it and really go through it on the court.

“So wasn’t easy, but as I said, it was the same for both players. I played a good tiebreak; managed to hang in there. Wasn’t really a great tennis display. A lot of unforced errors.

“But in these conditions you just want to try to stay with the other player and extend the punching exchange and try to wait for the opportunities. I did have some opportunities in the beginning of the second set where I maybe could have gotten the break and maybe win the match in straight sets, but he came back. He played better in the second.

“Then the third the beginning was, again, important part. First two games were pretty long. I managed to win those. After that, I felt like he was getting tired. That’s where the momentum was on my side.

“But generally it was just a physical battle between the two of us that play similar game. You know, we haven’t served that well, so we haven’t had that many free points, as a matter of fact. With first or second serve we needed to earn every single point, to work for it.

“That’s why this particular match was very tough.”

“I struggled physically,” Murray said. “I mean, yeah, I played very well for a couple of sets. Maybe I could have done a little bit better in the tiebreak in the first set.”

“I feel like when I play well against Novak the matches tend to be pretty physical, long, grueling matches. It’s tough, but, I mean, that’s what part of being a professional athlete is, is dealing with those different conditions and making those adjustments.”

Asked about what makes Djokovic difficult to play against Murray said: “He serves well, he runs well, he moves exceptionally well. Physically he’s in great shape; he hits the ball well off both sides.

“So, yeah, he does most things on the tennis court well. That’s why he’s the No. 1 player in the world just now.

“In terms of game‑wise, I feel like in a couple of the matches we played this year I feel like I’ve been able to hang with him, but just not quite for long enough unfortunately.

“Yeah, I need to try to work out why that is. Like I say, I can’t do loads more than what I’m doing to get myself in the best condition possible.”

For Djokovic, it’s his seventh straight win over the Brit, raising his overall head-to-head record to 18-8. Murray who will be getting married in Scotland on Saturday, will move up in the rankings on Monday to world No 3.

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Djokovic and Murray to Meet in Miami Open Final

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(April 3, 2015)Sunday’s Miami Open men’s final will feature a battle between a pair who have won multiple times in Key Biscayne when No. 1 Novak Djokovic takes on Andy Murray.

Djokovic, who will be going for his fifth Miami crown, moved past hard-serving John Isner in Friday night’s semifinal 7-6(3), 6-2. Murray, who will be attempting to capture his third Miami Open title, defeated Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4.

Djokovic outserved Isner 10 aces to nine. Djokovic never faced a break point. After a very tight first set, Djokovic broke Isner’s serve twice in the second set. Isner lost 70 percent of his second-serve points.

“I didn’t quite have my legs underneath me like I did yesterday maybe for whatever reason,” Isner said. Conditions, it was a little bit more humid out there tonight. I didn’t have quite as much pop on the ball as maybe I had earlier in the tournament. I needed a lot of pop in order to make a match like that closer. I just didn’t quite have it tonight.”

 

“I created a lot of opportunities for myself in the first set, even though there was only one break point and it was actually a set point,” Djokovic said.

 

“I thought I made him work for his serves games a lot from the beginning. I thought that that has influenced a little bit his physicality. I think towards the end of the first and beginning of the second set he already felt a business exhausted, and I wanted to use the opportunity and the early break in the second to open the door for me.

 

“That’s when I felt like I could start swinging through, and played a great second set.”

 

Despite the loss, Isner had a good fortnight in Miami, beating three top 11 players in succession – Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori en route to the semifinals

 

“Novak is the best in the world,” Isner said. “He’s so good. It was a good two weeks for me. I’m playing better. I have to build on this, and I will.”

 

‘He’s No. 1 in the world for a reason. I had to play pretty close to my best to beat him, and I don’t think I did that tonight.”

 

Mubadala World Tennis Championship

This will be the Scot’s 13th Masters Series final and fourth Miami final.

“I felt like I served well,” said Murray. “It was tricky from one end of the court. We’re basically serving right into the sun at that time of day, so I had to take a little bit off the serve. On the second serve it was very tough to see.

“But I thought when I was behind in games, like the last game, for example, I came up with some big serves and was able to dictate a lot of the rallies from the baseline as well. I was moving him around a lot. That was good.”

Murray’s win has evened up his record against the Czech 6-6.

“Andy changed the game plan a bit,” Berdych said. “He starts to play much more aggressive in those last two matches that he played to me. I think that he’s been doing that pretty well. I think that’s the only reason.

 

“So, you know, I’m just going to need some time to put myself ‑‑ prepare better for the next time I’m going to play him.

Now I know what to expect and just be more ready for it.”

 

“Well, I thought I obviously started both sets well,” Murray said of the early breaks in each set. “Yeah, that was really the difference, to be honest. We played some good points. I thought throughout the match I thought it was a pretty clean match.

Yeah, I felt like I just played a bit better than him. That was the difference.”

Murray on playing Djokovic in the final: Novak obviously started the year extremely well obviously winning Australia, and then also last week, too. He’s come through a couple of tough ones so far in this event.”

 

As for Djokovic on playing Murray: “The fact that I won I think last six, seven matches that we played against each other, especially the one just recently in Indian Wells, gives me confidence and maybe a slight mental advantage.

 

“But we’re talking about small margins. That’s always the case when we play against each other. Very few points, details can decide a winner. We have very similar games. We already played twice this year, and of course in a big match in Australian Open final which was very, very physical, very close.

 

“I expect a battle, long rallies, and I know what is expecting me on the court. I know his game pretty well, as well as he knows mine.”

Djokovic leads in head-to-head clashes with Murray 17-8

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Serena Williams Wins 700th Match; Will Face Simona Halep in Miami Open Semis

(April 1, 2015) Serena Williams overcame some inconsistent play to earn her 700th career win in defeating Sabine Lisicki 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-3 to earn a spot the semifinals of the Miami Open on Wednesday.

Her 700th win puts the American in a very select club which has only eight members.

“I didn’t know I had 700 wins,” noted the 19-time major champion.

“So now I’m like I just want to keep going, doing the best that I can. Just staying positive and winning as much as I can.”

“I grew up playing tennis. I think my destiny was to play tennis,” Williams said. “I saw a picture where I was in a stroller on the tennis court.”

The seven-time Miami Open champion has now won 16 straight matches in Key Biscayne.

Williams made 51 unforced errors on the day, had some problems with the sun and served well below her usual efforts.

“I know today wasn’t my best day,” Williams said. “I just told myself, I’m not serving the way I normally serve and hitting the way I normally would hit, so at this point all I can do is just fight and try to give 200% instead of 100%.

“At the start of the third set it was definitely a little bit of a natural reaction. Obviously I don’t want to lose, or at least I want to try to do the best I can. She had a lot of momentum going into the third set after winning the second set, so I just wanted to stay strong, and basically hold my serve.”

 

Williams will battle No. 3 Simona Halep for a place in the final. The Romanian defeated American Sloane Stephens 6-1, 7-5.

“I look forward to it because I didn’t get to play her last time,” said Williams. “I was really disappointed to not be able to play and just not even be close to 100%.

“So, you know, I look forward to it this time. I’m just happy to be in the semis and still be alive somehow.”

Simona Halep

Simona Halep

“It will be a very nice match,” Halep said after he win. “I have to try everything. She is No. 1 in the world. She’s the best player. I have nothing to lose.”

“I have just to play aggressive like I did today at the beginning the match. I think this is the most important thing to have to the chance against Serena.

“So I just want recover my body until tomorrow and to be ready it hit the balls.”

No. 9 Andrea Petkovic will face No. 12 Carla Suarez Navarro in the other semifinal on Thursday.

Andy Murray fistpump

In men’s action, two-time Miami champion world No. 4 Andy Murray advanced to the men’s semifinals by rallying past unseeded youngster Dominic Thiem 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Murray will play No. 8 Tomas Berdych next.

“At the beginning of the match I didn’t return well, especially returning his first serve,” said the Scot. That put me in sort of a defensive position a lot when he was serving. I ended up doing quite a lot of running there.

“Returned the second serve well, but everything he made a first serve I was returning short and he was dictating all of the points.

“I thought on my own serve was doing fine. I just played one bad game, and my return game let me down a bit in the first set.

“Then, again, the second set I went up and I was creating quite a lot of opportunities, which was good, but just not quite finding the right shot.

“I think in the third set the difference was really my returning. Returned his first serve extremely well. I put him on the back foot. When I was returning the first serve well I was able to dictate points when he was hitting his first serve, and on his second, and then on my first serve as well.

“So when you’re sort of able to control 75% of the points, makes a huge, huge difference. That’s the most pleasing part for me.”

It was a career week for the 21-year-old Thiem who reached his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal.

“Before this week I would have given a lot for the quarterfinals, but now of course in the first moment I’m a little bit disappointed, especially I won the first set,” said the Austrian. “I played a good match.

“But, yeah, I will leave Miami positive for sure and with a good feeling for the clay court season.”

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Andy Murray Reaches 500th Win Mark with Victory Over Kevin Anderson at Miami Open

(March 31, 2015) Andy Murray became the ninth player on the ATP World Tour to win 500 career matches with his victory over Kevin Anderson 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the Miami Open quarterfinals.

The Scot is the 46th player in the Open era with 500 or more wins and the first British player to accomplish this feat.

“It’s nice I think obviously for me the fact that it happened here,” said the two-time Miami Open champion. “It’s just fitting just because I have spent so much time training here and working to get better and to improve. That was nice.

“Yeah, I hope I’ve still got a lot more wins in me. To get to 500 is good. It’s not an easy thing to do at my age. It’s nice. Hopefully I can keep going.”

“I hope for me this isn’t the end and I can keep trying to progress,” he added. With each win you get closer to going past a great player.

“You know, the people that are ahead of me have all done pretty amazing things in the sport, so that’s what’s nice about it. And, yeah, it gives me ‑‑ also feels like it gives me motivation, as well, for some reason.

“I don’t know why, but getting to 500, yeah, it gives me motivation to go on and try and win more. When you look at the list of players and the wins that certain guys have got, it gives you something to aim at, as well.”

No. 3 seed Murray will face off against 21-year-old Dominic Thiem, who reached his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal with a win over No. 28 Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-5.

“He had his best year on the tour last year,” Murray said. “He’s a very talented guy. He’s strong. I know him fairly well. I practice with him quite a bit. He’s very hard worker. Very good attitude. Very respectful guy. He’s got a very good career ahead of him.

“So I expect tomorrow will be a tough match. He struggled a little bit the beginning part of the year. He changed racquets. “You know, always takes a few months to get used to that. Obviously this week he’s played very well again.”

Also advancing to the quarterfinals were No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 4 Kei Nishikori, No. 6 David Ferrer, No. 8 Tomas Berdych, and Juan Monaco.

Djokovic survived a test from Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7, 7-5, 6-0. Dolgopolov was a point a way from a 7-6, 4-0 lead. Berdych advanced when Gael Monfils retired from the match with a hip injury in the second set.

 

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