2015/03/06

Davis Cup in Glasgow: Communication Key for Courier

(March 5, 2015) GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – While it was a jolly British team, joking amongst themselves who took to the round of interviews first, it was an altogether more thoughtful Unites States team that offered their thoughts after the Davis Cup first round draw was made.

 

Donald Young will be the first to face the home crowds in Andy Murray’s old stomping grounds, and having scored a famous victory over Murray during his 2011 post-Australian Open final walkabout, Young has hardly troubled the Brit since, but after being pulled in last year in San Diego to replace an injured John Isner, this time he was picked in his own right. His results over the past month have lent some much-needed consistency to his play, and this in turn has given him some confidence.

 

Leading the news conference questions, Young said: “I feel more comfortable and confident than last year. Last year was my first time competing in Davis Cup. I had a ton of nerves starting the match off. It will be a tough match either way because Andy is a great player, but I feel like I am playing well and I look forward to seeing what happens.”

 

With Isner having made some measure of James Ward, as they play the second rubber, he acknowledged that the Brits have chosen a surface and speed to perhaps dull his chances as well as making the transition for Murray a little easier.

 

He said: “It may neutralise my serve a little bit. But I’m happy with the court. The British team chose it, we have no control.”

 

Of course he is the favourite to steam through and put the pressure back on the Brits. While Murray played down his chances of partnering with his elder brother Jamie, Bob and Mike Bryan know that a match up between them and the Murrays is what the Saturday crowd will really want. But while Jamie Murray’s consistent play earned him a spot back in the Davis Cup side over stalwart Colin Fleming, it is Dominic Inglot who has the upper hand so far over the Bryans.

 

Bob said: “Dom Inglot has the hot hand, he’s played us well in the last couple of matches so we’re prepared for him.” Mike agreed, adding, “He’s aggressive, he’s a big guy – not really lob-able. He’s all over the net. He plays with a lot of power, which is the kind of the new age of doubles, the power game. So you’ve got to find a way to break him, which is tough. You know if I was the coach, it would tough to leave a guy who has a hot hand off the team so he’s got a tough decision.”

 

Above all though Courier knows that his communication with the team will be key – something he feels he has learned to improve in every tie.

Courier said: “I think, from my experience with Donald on the bench in San Diego now, we have some communication that we can rely on because we’ve been through a match and the fire together. It’s important he and I are comfortable together because these guys need to feel comfortable because they’re used to playing their whole lives without someone sitting next to them talking to them during the match.

“It’s important that I stay out of their or get in their way when I need to interject and do it at the right times, and that’s a judgment call based on experience.

“Now Donald and I have some, John, Bob and Mike and I have a lot of experience in that realm so far, so I’m feeling more comfortable, I hope they are.”

The time for talking though is now over, and come 1pm in UK time Young will walk out to a ferociously passionate crowd and a home hero in every sense of the word.

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist and a writer at Livetennis.com.

Order of Play for the tie:

Friday, March 6 – 1:00 p.m.   

Singles A: Donald Young (USA) vs. Andy Murray (GBR)

Singles B: John Isner (USA) vs. James Ward (GBR)

Saturday, March 7 – 1:00 p.m.                      

Doubles: Bob and Mike Bryan (USA) vs. Jamie Murray/Dominic Inglot (GBR)

Sunday, March 8 – 1:00 p.m.                         

Singles C: John Isner (USA) vs. Andy Murray (GBR)

Singles D: Donald Young (USA) vs. James Ward (GBR)

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Davis Cup in Glasgow – Can the US overturn Britain’s home advantage?

(March 4, 2015) GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – The pre-draw news conference was really a tale of two confident captains and cautious players, as the teams readied themselves for the Davis Cup World Group first round, as Great Britain plays host to the USA.

 

British Team Captain Leon Smith did a lot of the talking, between dispensing with any discussion about the possible ramifications of Andy Murray’s support for the Scottish Referendum, Yes vote at the eleventh hour, preferring to concentrate on the tennis, but Courier was quick to acknowledge that they were aware of the situation.

 

“We obviously know there’s some political undercurrent here as well, we’re aware of that. I think it just adds a little bit of intrigue and it’s another wrinkle of the element in this competition. We know what it means to everyone to play for their country and maybe a little extra special for Andy and Jamie playing here in Scotland. For us it is business but we’re also aware of that extra little wrinkle.”

 

As much as Smith believed that the US had not used their advantage to its full effect last year, US Captain Jim Courier knows the power his players have to inflict the same result on the hosts.

 

Courier continued: “There’s something beautiful for a player to be able to silence a crowd with a shot if you’re the foreign player and I’m sure Andy and James experienced that in San Diego with us last year, and we’d like to experience it here an there’s something magnificent about that and there’s obviously something incredible when you get the crowd behind you and you’re playing at home. It’s a very different feeling for sure but there’s beauty in both sides.”

 

While US No. 2 Sam Querrey is out with an injury, and more pressing matters as the star of Millionaire Matchmaker in the US, the American No. 1 John Isner is ready to do battle after the disappointment of pulling out injured from his home tie last year.

 

Isner said: “I wasn’t able to compete which was tough to swallow and for me, I’ve played more road matches than home matches so its tough to miss a home match. The venue was beautiful, the crowd was great. It was tough to sit back and watch, but I’m here, I’m healthy and I’m ready to go and ready to help our country this time.”

 

Donald Young is the US No. 2 on this occasion and despite a little tendonitis, he is ready to build on his Davis Cup debut last year. Courier had nothing but praise for his second pick, stating that while Isner and the Bryan brothers were certainties, it was down to either Young or Steve Johnson, who has been speeding up the rankings, in the running.

 

Courier explained: “The second spot was in play this past month in February, and Donald really performed well, semis of Memphis, finals in Delray Beach and Sam suffered a back injury which really took him out of the running, so it came down to Donald and Steve and Donald outperformed and earned the spot.”

 

The draws for the tie will take place on Thursday, and the first singles rubbers will be played on Friday with the often decisive doubles rubber on Saturday and the reverse singles on Sunday. Things could come down to a fifth rubber and the British hero of the hour last year in San Diego, James Ward is ready.

 

Ward said: “Obviously it gave me a lot of confidence to push on for the rest of the year and the probably the biggest moment of my career winning that away from home in such a big tie. As Andy said it’s a completely different tie, Querrey’s not here. Playing John is going to be a different match altogether on a different surface so we’ll see what happens on Friday.”

 

He continued: “I’m looking to play well on Friday and get the win there so it doesn’t come down to it.”

 

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist and a writer at Livetennis.com.

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Lucky Loser Borna Coric Stuns Andy Murray to Reach Dubai Semis

Borna Coric

Borna Coric

(February 26, 2015) DUBAI, UAECroatian teenager and lucky loser Borna Coric upset world No. 3 Andy Murray 6-1, 6-3 on Thursday to become the youngest player ever to reach the Dubai Tennis Championships semifinals.

The 18-year-old was beaten in the qualifying rounds, but received a place in the main draw when 2014 semifinalist Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to illness.

“I was just trying to maintain the level and stay in the rally as long as I can, which I was doing really good, you know. I was also running very good,” said Coric currently ranked No. 84.

“I think I was really lucky with Kohlschreiber pulling out. That’s the life. Sometimes you’re going to get lucky. Maybe next tournament I will have match point and I’m not going to take it. That’s tennis. One week you gonna play good, you gonna be lucky, and it’s those kind of days for you to take opportunities.”

Last year Coric stunned Rafael Nadal in Basel, and caught the eye of Novak Djokovic, who has since practised with him both in Australia and Dubai.

“I try to help him because I see, in a way, myself through him,” said Djokovic. “I’ve never felt that way when I practice with somebody as I felt with him. It’s like playing myself. Very similar game. Great fighting spirit, disciplined, focused, committed, confident, very young but confident, which is important.”

“He didn’t make many errors,” said Murray. “He played very solid and he moved well, made a lot of balls, made it tough. I made way too many mistakes from the beginning of the match right through to the end, early in rallies, rushing points. I don’t think I’m being wrong in saying that I made a lot of basic errors, especially early in the rallies. I don’t know exactly why that was the case.”

Murray made 55 errors with only 15 winners.

Novak Djokovic stopped Turkish qualifier Marsel Ilhan 6-1, 6-1.

“He lacks a little bit of experience and confidence on being in the big stadium. That’s where I used my opportunity from the start,” said Djokovic. “I made double break, and I felt like I was in control of the match. I didn’t allow him to get into the groove. So it was a good performance.”

Roger Federer was on court for only 20 minutes as Richard Gasquet retired with a back injury after losing the first set 6-1.

“I think I played well. I served well,” he said. “Then again, you know, the test was so short that it’s tough to judge on a 20-minute match. But I think I was hitting the ball well again like yesterday. I felt able to play aggressive and do what I was hoping to do, so I was very pleased, actually.”

Tomas Berdych was stretched to three sets winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 Sergiy Stakhovsky.

“I think especially in the second set, end of the second set, he come up with some great shots,” said Berdych. “But that’s how it is. You know, you have to know how to deal with those situations. Again, it’s very good that I handled the third set how I did, two breaks.”

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] M. Ilhan (TUR) 61 61
[2] R. Federer (SUI) d R. Gasquet (FRA) 61 ret. (lower back pain)
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) d [3] A. Murray (GBR) 61 63
[4] T. Berdych (CZE) d S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 63 46 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) d [1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 76(6) 26 10-8
[2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) d R. Lindstedt (SWE) / M. Matkowski (POL) 46 75 10-7
[4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) d [Q] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) 64 75
A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d J. Chardy (FRA) / L. Rosol (CZE) 61 62

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2015

CENTRE COURT start 2:30 pm
[4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) vs [2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU)

Not Before 5:00 pm
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [4] T. Berdych (CZE)
D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)

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Top Four Seeds Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Berdych Reach Dubai Quarters

Djokovic thumbs up-001

(February 25, 2015) DUBAI, UAEThe four top seeds moved into the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Wednesday, with wins for Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych.

Djokovic defeated Andrey Golubev 6-1, 6-2.

“More comfortable than yesterday, that’s for sure,” said Djokovic. “Basically I didn’t have as much pressure from the opponent’s serve as I did last night. Having one match under my belt helped to feel a bit more comfortable to move around on the court quicker, and I tried to take away the time from my opponent today. I tried to be aggressive, step in.”

223 Dubai Federer in press-001

No. 2 Federer beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-3. At 1-4 down in the first set, Federer won 20 straight points.

“I’m very happy how the match went,” said Federer. “I think it was a good quality match from my side. I think Fernando played well for spells, but I think I was quite consistent. Fernando is a shot maker and he takes it out of your racquet sometimes. So I’m still very, very pleased the way I played out here tonight.”

 

Murray in press-001

Murray had an easy time with Joao Sousa winning 6-0, 6-2 in 57 minutes.

The Scot won the first eight games against Sousa, giving up just 10 points in the opening set.

“I thought I just picked the right shots and played the right way when he was struggling,” said Murray. “I didn’t give him any free points. I didn’t make, you know, just sort of needless errors. He was getting more frustrated because he couldn’t get any free points and then was going for more and more shots and obviously making more errors because of it.”

 

Berdych2

Tomas Berdych worked hard to claim his 500th career singles victory with a 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-0 win over Simone Bolelli.

“It was a hard day in the office,” said Berdych. “Yeah, it was not easy at all, but then in the end after two sets which were very close, then I took my chances and started to play finally my game and get a bit more to the rhythm, start to serve better. So I need to take the positives from the match, which was definitely the third set. It’s another win.”

Turkish qualifier Marsel Ilhan, had the upset of the day, a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over sixth seed Feliciano Lopez.

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Djokovic, Murray and Berdych Advance in Dubai

Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 24, 2015) Dubai UAEThe top seeds advanced into the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Tuesday, with wins for Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych.

 

This week not only is Djokovic, looking for a fifth Dubai title, he is aiming for his 50th career singles crown. The 8-time major champion defeated Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4.

 

“Well, first match since Australian Open final, so still looking for that rhythm on the court,” said Djokovic. “But I managed to stay mentally tough. Patient in rallies, I thought. As soon as we get through the rally, I have a better chance of winning. He’s a very flashy player, aggressive, goes after his shots. I just utilized my opportunities.”

 

Andy Murray held off a game Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-5.

“I made him work very hard I think on his service games. That was something I wanted to try to do from early on in the match,” said Murray. “I think the end of both sets I didn’t serve so well, but apart from that I didn’t give him any opportunities really. I thought I played a fairly high quality match.”

 

Tomas Berdych stopped Jeremy Chardy 7-6(2), 6-4. Chardy had a chance to serve out the first set, but failed.

“Some of the things were a little bit on my side that I made it complicated a bit more than usual, but the outcome, it’s important that I won the last point of the match and get through it,” said Berdych. “Not every day it’s going to be perfect.”

 

Sixth seed Feliciano Lopez and seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut both won, but eighth seed David Goffin was upset 6-2, 7-5 by wild card Marcos Baghdatis. The Cypriot defeated the Belgian for the second time this year, winning the in second round of the Australian Open.

Rising ATP star lucky loser Borna Coric survived Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. He’ll face Baghdatis next.

DUBAI RESULTS – TUESDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – First Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d V. Pospisil (CAN) 64 64
[3] A. Murray (GBR) d G. Muller (LUX) 64 75
[4] T. Berdych (CZE) d J. Chardy (FRA) 76(2) 64
[6] F. Lopez (ESP) d [Q] J. Ward (GBR) 64 64
[7] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d D. Thiem (AUT) 63 62
[WC] M. Baghdatis (CYP) d [8] D. Goffin (BEL) 62 75
[Q] M. Ilhan (TUR) d [WC] A. Zverev (GER) 61 76(4)
S. Bolelli (ITA) d [Q] L. Pouille (FRA) 63 63
S. Stakhovsky (UKR) d L. Rosol (CZE) 46 61 64
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) d M. Jaziri (TUN) 57 63 63
F. Verdasco (ESP) d G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 75 61

Doubles – First Round

[2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) d [WC] R. Federer (SUI) / M. Lammer (SUI) 64 76(12)
J. Chardy (FRA) / L. Rosol (CZE) d S. Bolelli (ITA) / A. Seppi (ITA) 60 61
R. Lindstedt (SWE) / M. Matkowski (POL) d [LL] A. Golubev (KAZ) / D. Istomin (UZB) 76(11) 36 10-6
SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2015

CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
J. Sousa (POR) vs [3] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 4:00 pm
[4] T. Berdych (CZE) vs S. Bolelli (ITA)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs A. Golubev (KAZ)
F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

COURT 1 start 3:00 pm
[7] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs R. Gasquet (FRA)
[Q] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) vs R. Klaasen (RSA) / L. Paes (IND)
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs R. Bautista Agut (ESP) / J. Sousa (POR)

COURT 2 start 3:00 pm
S. Stakhovsky (UKR) vs D. Istomin (UZB)

COURT 3 start 3:00 pm
[WC] M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs [LL] B. Coric (CRO)

Not Before 4:00 pm
[3] V. Pospisil (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)
[Q] M. Ilhan (TUR) vs [6] F. Lopez (ESP)

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USA and Great Britain Name Teams for Davis Cup First Round Tie in Glasgow March 6-8

USDavisCup

(February 24, 2015) The oldest rivalry in the history of Davis Cup will continue the weekend of March 6-8, when Great Britain plays host to the United States in Glasgow, Scotland for a first round tie in the Emirates Arena.

On Tuesday both countries named their teams. Team USA will consist of world No. 20 John Isner, No. 45 Donald Young, and the world’s No. 1 doubles team of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan.

World No. 3 Andy Murray will lead Great Britain’s team in his native Scotland which includes his brother Jamie, James Ward and Dominic Inglot.

Great Britain’s Captain Leon Smith said: “From a selection point of view we’ve been able to choose our strongest possible team which is of course spearheaded by Andy Murray who is significantly ahead of where he was 12 months ago. The tie will be a huge deal for him personally as he returns to play in Scotland for the first time since winning Wimbledon in 2013. In James Ward we have somebody who has already proven himself against the US Davis Cup team, and I’d back him again to put in another excellent performance after some consistent recent form has seen him on the verge of cracking the top 100 for the first time. I’ve selected our top two doubles players in Jamie and Dom, and again they’ve showed real consistency this year to earn their place in the team. As a group, all the guys deserve this opportunity and I know we’re all excited to get together in Glasgow and get the tie underway.”

Last year, Murray carried his team to a 3-1 victory over the U.S. in the first round last year in San Diego.

For the best of five series, play begins each day at 1 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET). Friday, March 6, will include two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Saturday’s schedule features the pivotal doubles match. And the final day of play on Sunday features the two “reverse singles” matches, when the No. 1 players square off followed by the No. 2 players meeting each other in the final match. All matches are best-of-five sets until one nation clinches the tie. A revised schedule for Sunday may take place if a team clinches in the third or fourth match.

In the Davis Cup competition dating back to 1900, the U.S. is 11-8 all-time against Great Britain

The winner of this tie advances to the World Group Quarterfinal, July 17-19, and will play either France or Germany. Should the U.S. defeat Great Britain, it will travel to Germany or host France. The losing nation will compete in the World Group Playoff, Sept. 18-20, for the right to play in the World Group in 2016.

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Novak Djokovic Wins 5th Australian Open Crown for 8th Major Title

Djokovic

(February 1, 2015) Novak Djokovic won his fifth Australian Open on Sunday with a 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-0 victory over Andy Murray in 3 hours and 39 minutes. The world No. 1 now has 8 major titles tying him for eighth on the all-time list with Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Ken Rosewall and Fred Perry.

The Serb has won four out of the last five Australian Opens. He now joins Roy Emerson as the only men to win five Melbourne titles and the first to do it in the Open Era.

Djokovic closed out the match winning the last nine games.

Great Britain’s Murray has now lost four Australian Open finals, three to Djokovic (2011, 2013, 2015) and one to Roger Federer (2010).

“I’m so grateful to be standing here as a champion for the fifth time, and to be in the elite group of players… Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and all the legends of our sport,” Djokovic during the trophy presentation.

“I had amazing support again here,” said the four-time runner-up Murray. “It’s been my most consistent Grand Slam of my career. I haven’t been quite able to win, but the support I’ve received here has been amazing. I’ll try and come back next year and hopefully have a slightly different outcome in the final.”

“Novak has won five times here now. There’s no disgrace obviously in losing to him. So, yeah, a lot of positives for me to take from it.”

The first two sets took two hours and 32 minutes, saw break leads vanish for both men. Djokovic broke Murray in the fourth game of the first set, but Murray returned the break to get even. Djokovic broke serve in the eighth game and served for the set, but the Scot put the set back on even terms.

The set eventually went to a tiebreaker, with Murray taking a 2-1 mini-break lead. Djokovic won 5 out of the next 6 points to swing the tiebreaker in his favor.

The second set saw Djokovic save a set point in the 10th game. Murray dominated the second set tiebreaker.

The match was interrupted in the second set during the seventh game when someone protesting Australia’s refugee policies ran on the court and was removed by security.

The pendulum of momentum made its final swing towards Djokovic, when he broke Murray’s serve at love in the eighth game of the third set. Murray showed his displeasure by throwing his racquet and yelling into a towel.

“There were a lot of turning points in the match. As I think everybody predicted, it was going to be a big battle,” Djokovic said. “Of course, Grand Slam finals for both of us, regardless of the record that I have here, and him playing also three times the final not winning a title, regardless of that, we both knew that, you know, we have equal chances to win it. Very similar match to the Australian Open final in 2013 when we played over two hours the first two sets. Tonight two and a half hours the first two sets. Very physical. Very exhausting. We both of course went through some tough moments physically. You could see that I had a crisis end of the second, beginning of the third. Just felt very exhausted and I needed some time to regroup and recharge and get back on track. That’s what I’ve done. I started hitting ball and trying to be a little bit more aggressive coming to the net, shortening the points. I got a very important break of serve at 2-Love for him in the third that got me back in the match mentally, as well. It was a cat-and-mouse fight. It always is. We always try to outplay the opponents with the groundstrokes, with the long rallies, a lot of variety in the games: spin, flat, slice, dropshots. I think both went out with the full repertoire of the shots we have. I hope everybody that watched it enjoyed the finals. From my side it was definitely very exhausting. Just glad that I believed it all the way through. Saved some breakpoints at 3-All in the third set and managed to make that break and win the third. After that I felt huge relief. I felt I could swing through the ball. I felt the momentum was on my side and I wanted to use that. At this level very few points can turn things around on the court as we could see tonight.”

“Obviously had opportunities in the first three sets,” Murray said. “Then the fourth set, I mean, obviously I need to watch it back to see if I played badly. I mean, he was just ripping everything. Returns he was hitting on the baseline, this far from the line all the time. Once he got up a break, he just loosened up and was just going for his shots. I couldn’t recover. So the fourth set wasn’t as frustrating to me. The third set was frustrating because I got a bit distracted when he, like, fell on the ground after a couple of shots. It appeared that he was cramping, and then I let that distract me a little bit. That’s what I’m most disappointed about, not so much the fourth set because I think, especially at the end of it, he was just going for everything, and it was going in. But the third set was more frustrating for me.”

Djokovic appeared to have an issue with his leg in the third set, which looked as though it distracted Murray.

“I have no idea what the issue was,” Murray commented. “He obviously looked like he was in quite a bad way at the beginning of the third set and came back unbelievable at the end of that set. Then obviously the way he was hitting the ball in the fourth and moving was impressive. So, yeah, I don’t know exactly what the issue was for him.

“If it was cramp, how he recovered from it, that’s a tough thing to recover from and play as well as he did at the end. So, yeah, I’m frustrated at myself for letting that bother me at the beginning of the third set, because I was playing well, I had good momentum, and then just dropped off for like 10 minutes and it got away from me. So that’s the most frustrating thing because I thought I obviously had opportunities in the first set. I couldn’t quite get them. I managed to sneak the second. Then obviously was that break up in the third”

 

“I think it has deeper meaning, more intrinsic value now to my life because I’m a father and a husband,” the Serb said of the win. “It’s the first Grand Slam title I won as a father and a husband. Just feel very, very proud of it.

“I try to stay on the right path and committed to this sport in every possible way that I have had in the last couple of years and try to use this prime time of my career really where I’m playing and feeling the best at 27. This is why I play the sport, you know, to win big titles and to put myself in a position to, you know, play also for the people around me. I know how much sacrifice they put in in my own career, and I try to thank them and not take anything for granted. As my life progresses, there are circumstances, situations, events that define these beautiful moments. Getting married and becoming a father in the last six months was definitely something that gave me a new energy, something that I never felt before. And right now everything has been going in such a positive direction in my life. I’m so grateful for that. So I try to live these moments with, you know, all my heart.”

Murray’s ranking will move up to No. 4 in the world when the rankings are released on Monday.

 

 

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Tale of the Tape – Novak Djokovic Versus Andy Murray in the Australian Open Final

head_to_head_murraydjokovicTPN

2015 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 14 MEN’S NOTES

Sunday 1 February

 

 

Singles Final

 

 

  1. 1 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (SRB) v NO. 6 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 3,100,000 2000
Finalist 1,550,000 1200

 

Who has the advantage?
For 4 out of the past 7 years, the man who played his semifinal second has been the one who won the final, so recent history would suggest that Djokovic has the slight advantage in winning the 2015 Australian Open title.

 

No. 1 v No. 6
This is just the 2nd Open Era meeting between a No. 1 seed and No. 6 seed in the Australian Open final after the 1979 final, when No. 1 Guillermo Vilas defeated No. 6 John Sadri. The last meeting between a No. 1 seed and No. 6 seed at a major was at the 2009 US Open, when No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro defeated No. 1 Roger Federer. This is just the 5th Grand Slam final meeting between a No. 1 seed and a No. 6 seed in the Open Era.
The No. 1 seed has reached the final here for the 4th consecutive year. Rafael Nadal’s loss to Stan Wawrinka in the final here last year was the first defeat for a Top seed in the Australian Open final since 1995 (No. 2 Andre Agassi d. No. 1 Pete Sampras) and ended an 8-match winning streak for the No. 1 seed in Australian Open finals.

Hard court heroes
Murray could equal Ivan Lendl in 5th place on the list for most Open Era hard court titles if he wins the title here. Djokovic, meanwhile, is looking to close the gap on Andre Agassi in 2nd place.

.                                                        Hard court title leaders (Open Era)

Player

Hard court titles

Roger FedererAndre Agassi 57
46
Novak Djokovic 37
Pete Sampras 36
Ivan Lendl 26
Andy Murray 25

ATP Rankings update…

Regardless of the outcome of the final, Djokovic will still occupy the No. 1 position in the ATP Rankings when they are published on Monday 2 February. Murray has climbed to 4th in the rankings by reaching the final and will climb to No. 3 if he goes on to win the title.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 15-8

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

 

Murray is bidding to end a 4-match losing streak against Djokovic and defeat the Serb for the first time since the 2013 Wimbledon final.

 

It will be the 5th meeting between these 2 players in a Grand Slam final which puts them in joint-3rd position on the all-time leaderboard for most match-ups in a Grand Slam final along with Andre Agassi v Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl v Mats Wilander.

 

                                                Most head-to-heads in Grand Slam finals

Head-to-head Grand Slam final meetings
Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal 8
Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal 7
Andre Agassi v Pete SamprasIvan Lendl v Mats Wilander

Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray

55

5

 

This is the 3rd Australian Open final to feature Djokovic and Murray, which extends their lead for the most match-ups in the Australian Open final ahead of Jim Courier v Stefan Edberg (2) and Johan Kriek v Steve Denton (2).

 

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 a 13-6 win-loss record against Murray on a hard court.

 

Road to the Final

DJOKOVIC Time^ Time^ MURRAY
d. (Q) Aljaz Bedene 63 62 64d. Andrey Kuznetsov 60 61 64 1:491:24 1st round2nd round 2:131:42 d. (Q) Yuki Bhambri 63 64 76(3)d. Marinko Matosevic 61 63 62
d. No. 31 Fernando Verdasco 76(8) 63 64 2:21 3rd round 2:06 d. Joao Sousa 61 61 75
d. Gilles Muller 64 75 75d. No. 8 Milos Raonic 76(5) 64 62

d. No. 4 Stan Wawrinka 76(1) 36 64 46 60

2:082:00
3:30
Round of 16Quarterfinals
Semifinals
3:322:05

3:26

d.   No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov 64 67(5) 63 75d. Nick Kyrgios 63 76(5) 63

d. No. 7 Tomas Berdych 67(6) 60 63 75

total time on court 13:12 ^Scorecard time 15:04 total time on court

 

 

 

DJOKOVIC                                      v                                       MURRAY

 

27                                           Age                                           27

6’2”/1.88m                                   Height                                   6’3”/1.90m

1                                    ATP Ranking                                    6

72,444,489                      Career Earnings (US$)                      34,190,080

48                                         Titles                                         31

186-33                      Career Grand Slam Record                      140-33

7 titles                        Best Grand Slam Result                        2 titles

49-6                          Australian Open Record                          39-9

612-141                               Career Record                               487-151

398-82                          Career Record – Hard                          338-95

8-1                                    2015 Record                                    6-0

8-1                               2015 Record – Hard                              6-0

23-8                          Career Five-Set Record                           17-6

3                          Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          7

175-102                        Career Tiebreak Record                        141-90

4-1                             2015 Tiebreak Record                            2-2

                                                                                

  • 4-time champion DJOKOVIC is looking to become the second man in history to win 5 or more Australian Open titles. Roy Emerson is the only man who has won more than 5 titles in Melbourne.

 

Australian Open title leaders (all-time)

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

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to win his 8th Grand Slam title and move into equal-8th place with Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall on the all-time list for most major titles.

 

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 BorgRod Laver
7. 10 Bill Tilden
8= 8 Andre AgassiJimmy Connors

Ivan Lendl

Fred Perry

Ken Rosewall

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to win his 8th Grand Slam title. He has a 7-7 win-loss record in his 14 previous Grand Slam finals and a 4-0 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 v. Andy Murray??

 

  • Djokovic won his 7th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last year, defeating Roger Federer in the final. He is a 4-time Australian Open champion having won the titles here in 2008 (d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga), 2011 (d. Andy Murray), 2012
    (d. Nadal) and 2013 (d. Murray).

 

  • Djokovic also won the titles at 2011 Wimbledon and the 2011 US Open, defeating Nadal on both occasions. He has never won Roland Garros despite reaching the final there twice – in 2012 and 2014, losing to Nadal both times.

 

  • Djokovic is in 8th place on the list for the most Grand Slam match-wins in history with a 186-33 win-loss record. The leading all-time performers are as follows:

 

Most Grand Slam match-wins (all-time)

Rank Player Win-loss
12 Roger FedererJimmy Connors 281-46233-49
3 Andre Agassi 224-53
45 Ivan LendlRoy Emerson 222-49217-48
67

8

Pete SamprasRafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic

203-38191-26

186-33

910 Stefan EdbergKen Rosewall 178-47174-32

                                                                               Note: active players in bold

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to record his 50th match-win at the Australian Open and close the gap on Stefan Edberg in 2nd place on the list for most Australian Open match-wins in the Open Era.
Player Win-loss
Roger Federer
Stefan Edberg
    75-12
56-10
Novak DjokovicAndre Agassi    49-648-5
Ivan Lendl        48-10
Rafael NadalPete Sampras     45-945-9

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to become the 17th 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 2013. The Top seed has won the title here in 6 of the last 9 years.

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to extend his 9-match winning streak against Top 10 opposition. He has not lost to a Top 10 player since losing to Federer in the semifinals at 2014 Shanghai-1000. He has dropped just 3 sets in his last 8 matches against Top 10 players – one set to Kei Nishikori in the semifinals at the 2014 ATP World Tour Finals and 2 sets to Stan Wawrinka in the semifinals here.

 

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

 

  • By reaching the final here Djokovic has equalled Stefan Edberg and Federer in first place for the most Australian Open final appearances.

 

                                            No. of Australian Open final appearances (Open Era)

Novak Djokovic 5
Stefan Edberg 5
Roger Federer 5
Andre Agassi 4
Andy Murray 4
Ivan Lendl 4
Mats Wilander 4

 

  • Djokovic has reached his 15th Grand Slam final and moved into equal-8th place on the all-time list of most appearances in Grand Slam finals.

 

1 Roger Federer 25
2 Rafael Nadal 20
3 Ivan Lendl 19
4 Pete Sampras 18
5 Rod Laver 17
6= Bjorn Borg 16
Ken Rosewall 16
8= Andre AgassiNovak Djokovic 1515
Jimmy Connors 15
Roy Emerson 15
Bill Tilden 15

 

  • Last year here, Djokovic’s streak of 14 consecutive Grand Slam semifinal appearances was ended by Wawrinka in 5 sets in the quarterfinals. It is his last 5-set loss. He has a 23-8 Tour-level win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 4-2 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Melbourne Park.         

 

  • Djokovic won 7 titles in 8 finals in 2014 and in so doing finished the year with a prize money haul of $14,269,462. It was the 4th straight year he had earned over $12 million. He finished the year ranked No. 1 for the 3rd time after winning his 3rd consecutive ATP World Tour Finals crown.

 

  • At the Grand Slams in 2014, as well as reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and winning the title at Wimbledon, Djokovic lost to Nadal in the final at Roland Garros and to Nishikori in the semifinals at the US Open.

 

  • Djokovic warmed up for the 2015 Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Doha (l. Ivo Karlovic).

 

  • 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.

 

  • 3-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win the Australian Open title after losing 3 finals. He finished as runner-up here in 2010 ( Roger Federer), 2011
    (l. Djokovic) and 2013 (l. Djokovic). Marat Safin is the only player to lose 2 or more Australian Open finals before winning the title.

No. of Australian Open final appearances before winning first title (Open Era)

Player
No. of Australian Open final appearances before winning the title
Years
Andy Murray 4?? Lost 2010, 2011, 2013
Marat Safin 3 Lost 2002, 2004. Won 2005

 

  • If Murray wins the title for the first time on his 10th 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

10??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 end a 5-match losing streak against players ranked No. 1. He has not defeated a world No. 1 since defeating today’s opponent in the final at 2013 Wimbledon. He has a 2-8 win-loss record against players ranked No. 1 at the Grand Slams – as well as defeating Djokovic at 2013 Wimbledon, he also defeated No. 1 Nadal in the semifinals at the 2008 US Open.

 

  • By reaching his 4th Australian Open final, Murray has moved into joint-4th place on the list for most Australian Open finals reached in the Open Era.

 

Player No. of AO finals
Novak DjokovicStefan Edberg

Roger Federer

5
Andre AgassiIvan Lendl

Andy Murray

Mats Wilander

4

 

  • 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 8 – US Open 2008, 2012, Australian Open 2010-11, 2013, 2015, Wimbledon 2012-13

 

  • Murray is the only Briton to reach 4 Australian Open finals. Fred Perry is the only other British man to reach multiple finals at the Australian Open, winning in 1934 and finishing a runner-up in 1935:

 

British Players in the Australian Open final (all-time)

Year Player Opponent Result
1915 Gordon Lowe Horace Rice Won 46 61 61 64
1920 Algernon Kingscote Eric Pockley Won 64 60 63
1929 Colin Gregory Richard Schlesinger Won 62 62 57 64
1934 Fred Perry Jack Crawford Won 63 75 61
1935 Fred Perry Jack Crawford Lost 26 64 64 64
1977 John Lloyd Vitas Gerulaitis Lost 63 76 57 36 62
2010 Andy Murray Roger Federer Lost 63 64 76
2011 Andy Murray Novak Djokovic Lost 64 62 63
2013 Andy Murray Novak Djokovic Lost 67(2) 76(3) 63 62
2015 Andy Murray Novak Djokovic ??

 

  • By reaching his 8th Grand Slam final, Murray has equalled Ken Rosewall and Guillermo Vilas in joint-13th place for the most Grand Slam finals reached in the Open Era. Only 3 active players have reached more Grand Slam finals than Murray – Roger Federer (25), Rafael Nadal (20) and today’s opponent (15).

 

  • Murray is a 2-time Grand Slam champion. He won the 2012 US Open title (d. today’s opponent) and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013 (d. today’s opponent).

 

  • Murray has a 2-5 win-loss record in his previous Grand Slam finals:

                                            

                                             Murray’s record in Grand Slam finals

Grand Slam Final Result
2008 US Open l. Roger Federer 62 75 62
2010 Australian Open l. Roger Federer 63 64 76(11)
2011 Australian Open l. Novak Djokovic 64 62 63
2012 Wimbledon l. Roger Federer 46 75 63 64
2012 US Open d. Novak Djokovic 76(10) 75 26 36 62
2013 Australian Open l. Novak Djokovic 67(2) 76(3) 63 62
2013 Wimbledon d. Novak Djokovic 64 75 64
2015 Australian Open v. Novak Djokovic

 

  • Murray is bidding to become the first No. 6 seed to win a Grand Slam title since Juan Martin del Potro won the 2009 US Open. Just two No. 6 seeds have won the title here – Petr Korda in 1998 and Andre Agassi in 2001.

 

  • Murray’s semifinal victory over Berdych was his 2nd win in his last 6 matches against Top 10 players at the Grand Slams. He has a 4-6 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition at the Australian Open compared with 0-3 at Roland Garros, 6-5 at Wimbledon and 5-5 at the US Open.

 

  • If Murray wins today he will take sole occupancy of 8th place on the list for the most Australian Open match-wins in the Open Era. He is currently level with Wayne Ferreira (39-14) with a 39-9 win-loss record here.

 

Most Australian Open match-wins (Open Era)

Player Win-loss record
1.    Roger Federer 75-12
2.    Stefan Edberg 56-10
3.    Novak Djokovic 49-6
4= Andre Agassi   Ivan Lendl 48-548-10
6= Rafael NadalPete Sampras 45-945-9
8= Wayne FerreiraAndy Murray 39-1439-9
10. Andy Roddick 38-11

*Players at the 2015 Australian Open in bold

 

  • Murray is the leading British man in history in terms of Grand Slam match-wins with a 140-33 win-loss record.

 

  • Murray is on a 5-match winning streak in 5-set matches. The last time he lost a 5-set match was against Novak Djokovic in the semifinals at the 2012 Australian Open. He has a 1-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Melbourne Park.

 

  • Last year here Murray reached the quarterfinals, falling to Federer 63 64 67(6) 63. He is contesting his 10th straight Australian Open and 36th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2014 he reached the semifinals at Roland Garros (l. Nadal) and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon (l. Grigor Dimitrov) and the US Open (l. today’s opponent). It was the 4th straight year he had reached the quarterfinals at all Grand Slams in a calendar year. [NB He missed 2013 Roland Garros with a back injury.]

 

  • Also in 2014, Murray won 3 titles – at Shenzhen (d. Tommy Robredo), Vienna (d. David Ferrer) and Valencia
    (d. Robredo). He saved 5 match points in both of his finals against Robredo. The Valencia final was the longest ATP final in 2014 at 3 hours 20 minutes.

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup, where he won all 3 of the singles matches he played against Benoit Paire, Jerzy Janowicz and Marinko Matosevic in straight sets.

 

  • Murray is coached by 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo. His fitness trainer is Matt Little and his physio is Mark Bender.

**Statistics provided by the International Tennis Federation

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Serena Williams Win Sets Up Australian Open Final Against Maria Sharapova

(January 29, 2015) For the first time since 2004, the Australian Open women’s final will feature No. 1 versus No. 2. Top seed and five-time Australian Open winner Serena Williams will take on 2008 champion Maria Sharapova for the title on Saturday.

Both women won straight set matches on Thursday to advance. Williams won a slugfest of big serves and hard groundstrokes against 19-year-old Madison Keys in a battle between Americans 7-6 (5), 6-2. Williams was pushed by Keys at the very end, needing nine match points to close the contest. Sharapova had a much easier time against Russian countrywoman No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-2.

For the 33-year-old Williams, she is seeking her sixth Australian Open title and 19th major. She last won the Australian Open in 2010. Sharapova will be trying to claim her second Melbourne title and sixth Grand Slam title.

“She (Keys) pushed me really hard the first set ……. and I had to really dig deep mentally to get through that,” said a coughing Williams who has been ill for several days. “It was a little frustrating, I had like nine or 10 match points and couldn’t close it out. That doesn’t happen so much. She played like she didn’t have anything to lose.”

“I think she’s going to be winning this tournament very soon and lots of other Grand Slams,” said Williams to ESPN.

A total of 25 aces were hit during the match – 13 for Williams, 12 for Keys. Williams hit 19 winners to 16 unforced errors to Keys 27 winners to 39 unforced errors.

“I was impressed by her ability to stay in the match,” Said Williams. She never let up at all till the end. I think that is a really great quality to have.

“Well, I was just happy to get through it today. And I think I was able to serve big when I needed to. So that really helped me out a lot.”

“I’m really happy to have gotten this far in a tournament,” Keys said. “It’s my first one. Just looking forward to having more. Hopefully have a couple where I’m with the trophy at the end of the week.”

“I think I handled the moment pretty well. I definitely had a good start, so nerves didn’t totally play into that. I thought I handled myself pretty well in that last serving game of mine. But, I mean, she played really well. She served really well. It was pretty much impossible for me to break her serve. So, you know, great job to her today.”

“I think this week has definitely more shown to me, more than anyone else, that I can play the top players and I can do well against them. I can play the No. 1 player in the world in a pretty close match. So I think for me that’s inspiration for every time I’m on a practice court to keep working, keep getting better so I can have more and more weeks like that.”

 

Sharapova was pleased with her decisive win on Thursday. “I’m definitely happy. Like today, I thought I played solid. I did everything I had to do. I wasn’t afraid for it to become a physical match. You know, I think it was important to really stand my ground in the first few games, which I did well, even though I was behind, especially the first and second one. But, yeah, those key moments are really important. Yeah, definitely happy I was able to win really solid today.”

The No. 2 player’s road to the final had one major bump – she saved two match points in the second round of the tournament coming back to beat No. 150 Russian qualifier Alexandra Panova.

“It’s been a strange road for me to get to the finals, but I’m happy,” said Sharapova. “Came from behind in a few, really behind in one – saving match points. I felt like I was given a second chance. I just wanted to take my chances.”

Williams is 16-2 against Sharapova, with her last loss to the Russian coming in 2004. Williams has won the last 15 straight matches against Sharapova. Regardless who wins the final, Williams will remain in the top spot after the tournament.

“Everyone’s expecting me to win, “Williams said to ESPN. But I have to win. I’m glad No. 1 and No. 2 are in the final and I think it will be a good match.”

“Maria is playing great,” Williams said in her post-match news conference. “She’s in the tournament only because she’s a fighter and only because she refuses to give up. So, yeah, it’s a new match. She has nothing to lose, once again. She has only things to gain. And I feel that way, too. I feel I don’t. I’ve won this tournament several times. I don’t have to go out there and have another title. I want it, but it’s not life or death for me. I think that helps me he relax. So, yeah, she absolutely has nothing to lose, and I have nothing to lose, so it will be fun.”

Asked about what about Williams’ game give her trouble, Sharapova responded: “I think her power and her aggressiveness, I think that’s always made me a little bit too aggressive, maybe going for a little bit more than I had to. You know, she’s great at making players hit that shot that you don’t necessarily have to go for. You know, maybe going for a little too much, going on the line. It’s been a really difficult matchup for me, but, you know, I am a competitor. If I do play her, I will go out and I will do everything I can to try to change that result around.”

“I think my confidence should be pretty high going into a final of a Grand Slam no matter who I’m facing against and whether I’ve had a terrible record, to say the least, against someone” said the 27-year-old. “It doesn’t matter. I got there for a reason. I belong in that spot. I will do everything I can to get the title.”

“I’ve had many great memories on Rod Laver Arena. I’ve hopefully set myself up for another good one.”

“I think it’s great for women’s tennis,” Williams remarked about No. 1 versus No. 2. “I think it’s good for me and Maria. I’m excited. Like I said, I love playing her. I look forward to it. I didn’t expect to get to the finals of this tournament when I first got here because I wasn’t playing great. So I’m happy to be here. Yeah, I’m just happy, like I said, to get past the quarterfinals of a slam. Fourth round actually, outside the Open.”

No. 6 Andy Murray advanced to his fourth Australian Open final defeating No. 7 Tomas Berdych 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.

On the court there was obvious tension during this night match due to one of Andy Murray’s coaching team switching over to Berdych’s in the off-season.

There were profanities being yelled between the players on the court and during the first set of the match it appeared that Murray’s fiance Kim Sears was caught on camera cursing at Berdych.

“Obviously losing in the finals is disappointing. But making four finals is a very, very difficult thing to do,”Murray said. “And, yeah, I’m proud of my record here. I’ll go in with best tactics possible, prepare well – I literally couldn’t have done anything more to put myself in a better position come Sunday.”

Murray, who has been coached by former No. 1 player Amelie Mauresmo since June, had come under scrutiny for his choice of a female coach.  After the match on Thursday night he paid tribute to female coaches: “A lot of people criticized me working with her,” said Murray. “And I think so far this week we’ve showed that women can be very good coaches as well.”

“Madison Keys, who reached the semis here and had her best tournament, is also coached by a woman, Lindsay Davenport, and I see no reason why that can’t keep moving forward like that in the future.”

Murray will play the winner of the Novak Djokovic –  Stan Wawrinka match in Sunday’s final.

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2015 Australian Open Day 11 Men’s Match Notes and Previews

AustralianOpenLogo

2015 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 11 MEN’S NOTES

Thursday 29 January

Semifinals Bottom Half

 

 

  1. 6 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v NO. 7 TOMAS BERDYCH (CZE)

Head-to-head: Berdych leads 6-4

2005     Basel                            Carpet (I)           R16      Murray              64 26 64

2006     Adelaide                       Hard (O)            R16      Berdych            76(2) 46 61

2010     Roland Garros              Clay (O)            R16      Berdych           64 75 63

2011     Paris-1000                     Hard (I)             QF        Berdych            46 76(5) 64

2012     Dubai                           Hard (O)            QF        Murray              63 75

2012     Monte Carlo-1000          Clay (O)            QF        Berdych            67(4) 62 63

2012     US Open                      Hard (O)           SF        Murray             57 62 61 76(7)

2012     ATP World Tour Finals   Hard (I)             RR        Murray              36 63 64

2013     Madrid-1000                  Clay (O)            QF        Berdych            76(3) 64

2013     Cincinnati-1000              Hard (O)            QF        Berdych            63 64

 

An 11th career meeting between the 2 players, and their 3rd at a Grand Slam. Murray won their only previous meeting at a hard court major at the 2012 US Open.

 

Berdych is one of just 8 players to hold a positive Tour-level win-loss record against Murray where multiple matches have been played along with Novak Djokovic (15-8 win-loss record against Murray), Rafael Nadal (15-5), Roger Federer (12-11), Mario Ancic (3-2), Milos Raonic (3-2), Arnaud Clement (2-1) and Fernando Gonzalez (2-1).

 

Murray is one of just 2 of the current Top 10 players Berdych has a positive win-loss record against along with Marin Cilic, who also has a 4-6 win-loss record against Berdych.

 

Murray has spent 1 hour 36 minutes longer on court than Berdych in reaching the semifinals here.

 

Possible final head-to-heads

Wawrinka Djokovic Raonic
Murray 8-6 8-15 2-3
Berdych 5-10 2-17 1-3

 

 

MURRAY                                        v                                       BERDYCH

 

27                                           Age                                           29

6’3”/1.90m                                   Height                                   6’5”/1.96m

6                                    ATP Ranking                                    7

31                                         Titles                                         10

139-33                      Career Grand Slam Record                      108-45

2 titles                        Best Grand Slam Result           Finalist 2010 Wimbledon

38-9                          Australian Open Record                         34-11

486-151                               Career Record                               494-262

337-95                          Career Record – Hard                         303-163

5-0                                    2015 Record                                    9-1

5-0                               2015 Record – Hard                              9-1

17-6                          Career Five-Set Record                           17-8

7                          Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          2

141-89                        Career Tiebreak Record                       162-141

2-1                             2015 Tiebreak Record                            4-0

                                                                               

 

 

 

Road to the Semifinals

MURRAY Time^ Time^ BERDYCH
d. (Q) Yuki Bhambri 63 64 76(3)

d. Marinko Matosevic 61 63 62

2:13

1:42

1st round

2nd round

1:54

2:03

d. Alejandro Falla 63 76(1) 63

d. (Q) Jurgen Melzer 76(0) 62 62

d. Joao Sousa 61 61 75 2:06 3rd round 1:51 d. Viktor Troicki 64 63 64
d. No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov 64 67(5) 63 75

d. Nick Kyrgios 63 76(5) 63

3:32

2:05

Round of 16

Quarterfinals

2:01

2:13

d. Bernard Tomic 62 76(3) 62

d. No. 3 Rafael Nadal 62 60 76(5)

total time on court 11:38 ^Scorecard time 10:02 total time on court

 

  • 3-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is bidding to reach the final here for the 4th 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
Stefan Edberg

Roger Federer

5
Andre Agassi

Novak Djokovic

Ivan Lendl

Mats Wilander

4

 

  • Murray is bidding to reach his 8th 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 7 – US Open 2008, 2012, Australian Open 2010-11, 2013, Wimbledon 2012-13

 

  • Murray is bidding to equal Ken Rosewall and Guillermo Vilas in joint-13th place for the most Grand Slam finals reached in the Open Era with 8. Only 3 active players have reached more Grand Slam finals than Murray – Roger Federer (25), Rafael Nadal (20) and Novak Djokovic (14).

 

  • Murray is bidding to become the first No. 6 seed to reach a Grand Slam final since Juan Martin del Potro won the title at the 2009 US Open. The last No. 6 seed to reach the final here was Andre Agassi in 2001.

 

  • Murray has won just one of his last 5 matches against Top 10 players at the Grand Slams. He has a 3-6 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition at the Australian Open compared with 0-3 at Roland Garros, 6-5 at Wimbledon and 5-5 at the US Open.

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win the Australian Open title after losing 3 finals. He finished as runner-up here in 2010 ( Roger Federer), 2011 (l. Djokovic) and 2013 (l. Djokovic). Marat Safin is the only player to lose 2 or more Australian Open finals before winning the title [see Preview page 2].

 

  • Murray has reached his 15th 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 5 times, Roland Garros twice, Wimbledon 5 times and the US Open 3 times. He has a 7-7 win-loss record in Grand Slam semifinals and a 3-1 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 ??

 

  • By reaching his 15th Grand Slam semifinal, Murray has overtaken Mats Wilander (14) and taken sole occupancy of 12th place on the list for most Grand Slam appearances in the last 4. The only active players with more semifinal appearances than Murray are Roger Federer (36), Novak Djokovic (24)* and Rafael Nadal (23). [*NB Written prior to Djokovic’s quarterfinal match against Milos Raonic on Wednesday night].

 

  • By reaching his 5th Australian Open semifinal, Murray has moved into joint-5th position on the table for most semifinal appearances here in the Open Era.

 

Australian Open semifinals reached (Open Era)

Player No. of AO semifinals
Roger Federer 11
Stefan Edberg 8
Ivan Lendl 7
Andre Agassi 6
Novak Djokovic??*

Andy Murray

5??

5

Pete Sampras

Mats Wilander

5

5

*Djokovic could reach his 5th Australian Open semifinal (written prior to his quarterfinal match against Milos Raonic)

 

  • If Murray wins today he will move into equal-8th place with Wayne Ferreira on the list for the most Australian Open match-wins in the Open Era.

 

Most Australian Open match-wins (Open Era)

Player Win-loss record
1.    Roger Federer 75-12
2.    Stefan Edberg 56-10
3= Andre Agassi

Ivan Lendl

48-5

48-10

5.    Novak Djokovic 47-6 (prior to Djokovic’s quarterfinal match on Wednesday)
6= Rafael Nadal

Pete Sampras

45-9

45-9

8.    Wayne Ferreira 39-14
9= Andy Murray

Andy Roddick

38-9

38-11

*Players at the 2015 Australian Open in bold

 

  • Murray is the leading British man in history in terms of Grand Slam match-wins with a 139-33 win-loss record.

 

  • Murray is on a 5-match winning streak in 5-set matches. The last time he lost a 5-set match was against Novak Djokovic in the semifinals at the 2012 Australian Open. He has a 1-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Melbourne Park.

 

  • Last year here Murray reached the quarterfinals, falling to Federer 63 64 67(6) 63. He is contesting his 10th straight Australian Open and 36th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2014 he reached the semifinals at Roland Garros (l. Nadal) and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon (l. Grigor Dimitrov) and the US Open (l. Djokovic). It was the 4th straight year he had reached the quarterfinals at all Grand Slams in a calendar year. [NB He missed 2013 Roland Garros with a back injury.]

 

  • Also in 2014, Murray won 3 titles – at Shenzhen (d. Tommy Robredo), Vienna (d. David Ferrer) and Valencia
    (d. Robredo). He saved 5 match points in both of his finals against Robredo. The Valencia final was the longest ATP final in 2014 at 3 hours 20 minutes.

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup, where he won all 3 of the singles matches he played against Benoit Paire, Jerzy Janowicz and Marinko Matosevic in straight sets.

 

  • Murray was one of 6 Grand Slam champions 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. His fitness trainer is Matt Little and his physio is Mark Bender.

 

  • BERDYCH is bidding to reach his 2nd Grand Slam final. He reached the final at a major for the first time at 2010 Wimbledon (l. Rafael Nadal).

 

  • Berdych’s best result at a major is finishing runner-up at 2010 Wimbledon. He defeated Roger Federer in the quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before losing to Nadal in the final. He has been a permanent fixture in the Top 10 since 5 July 2010.

 

  • Berdych is looking to become the first Czech player to reach the Australian Open final since Petr Korda in 1998 and the 3rd Czech man in the Open Era to reach the final here.

 

         Czech men in Australian Open final (Open Era)

Player Year
Ivan Lendl 1983, 1989-91
Petr Korda 1998
Tomas Berdych?? 2015??

N.B. Slovakia’s Miloslav Mecir reached the 1989 Australian Open final under the flag of Czechoslovakia.

  • If he wins today, Berdych will become the 4th Czech man to reach multiple Grand Slam finals in the Open Era.
Player No. of Grand Slam finals reached
Ivan Lendl 19
Jan Kodes 5
Tomas Berdych?? 2??
Petr Korda 2

 

  • If Berdych reaches the final here for the first time on his 12th Australian Open appearance, he will set a record for the most Australian Open appearances before reaching the final:

 

Tomas Berdych?? 12??
Kim Warwick 10
Lleyton Hewitt 9
Petr Korda

Stanislas Wawrinka

9

9

Thomas Enqvist

Thomas Johansson

8

8

 

  • Berdych is looking to become the first No. 7 seed to reach a Grand Slam final since Andre Agassi at the 2005 US Open and the first No. 7 seed ever to reach the final at Melbourne Park. Czech Jan Kodes is the only No. 7 seed to win a Grand Slam title, at 1970 Roland Garros. Berdych has been seeded at every Grand Slam event he has played since the 2005 US Open.

 

  • By reaching the last 4 here, Berdych has reached multiple semifinals at the same Grand Slam event for the first time. Last year here Berdych reached the semifinals (l. Stan Wawrinka) to complete a set of Grand Slam semifinal appearances. He was the 2nd Czech man in the Open Era after Ivan Lendl to complete the feat.

 

  • By reaching the last 4 here, Berdych has become just the second Czech man to reach the Australian Open semifinals multiple times after Ivan Lendl who reached the last 4 here in 1983, 1985, 1987-91.

 

  • By reaching his 5th Grand Slam semifinal, Berdych has taken sole ownership of 3rd place on the list of most Grand Slam semifinals reached by a Czech player. Ivan Lendl heads the list with 27 Grand Slam semifinal appearances ahead of Jan Kodes (6) and Berdych (5).

 

  • By defeating Nadal 62 60 76(5) in the quarterfinals here, Berdych ended a 17-match losing streak against Nadal – the joint-worst losing streak in the Open Era. The 6-0 second set was just the 3rd bagel Nadal had suffered at a Grand Slam and the 13th of his career overall.

 

  • Berdych’s victory over No. 3 Nadal in the quarterfinals here ended a 4-match losing streak against Top 6 opposition. It was his first victory over a Top 6 player since defeating No. 3 Ferrer in the quarterfinals here last year. He has a 2-7 win-loss record against Top 6 players at the Australian Open.

 

  • Berdych has reached a Grand Slam semifinal without dropping a set for the 2nd time. He also reached the last 4 without dropping a set at 2010 Roland Garros.

 

  • Berdych has reached the semifinals here for the loss of 51 games. This is the 3rd fewest games he has lost through the first 5 matches at a Grand Slam after dropping just 43 games in reaching the semifinals at 2010 Roland Garros and 48 games in reaching the last 4 at the 2014 Australian Open. He dropped 96 games in reaching his first Grand Slam final at 2010 Wimbledon.

 

  • Berdych has won 4 of his last 5 five-set matches. His only loss in this time came against Gael Monfils at 2013 Roland Garros. He has played just one 5-set match at Melbourne Park, losing to Federer from 2-sets-to-love up in the round of 16 in 2009.

 

  • Berdych warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final at Doha (l. David Ferrer).

 

  • In 2014 Berdych won 2 titles to take his career tally to 10. He ended a 16-month title drought by winning at Rotterdam (d. Marin Cilic) and also won at Stockholm (d. Grigor Dimitrov). 6 of his 10 career singles titles have come on a hard court.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2014 Berdych reached the semifinals at the Australian Open, the quarterfinals at Roland Garros (l. Ernests Gulbis) and the US Open (l. Cilic), and lost in the 3rd round at Wimbledon (l. Cilic).

 

  • This is Berdych’s 12th consecutive Australian Open appearance and his 46th consecutive Grand Slam. He is in joint-7th place for the most consecutive Grand Slam appearances in the Open Era having played at every major since making his debut at the 2003 US Open [see Preview page 4].

 

  • Berdych started working with Dani Vallverdu, who previously worked with Andy Murray, ahead of the 2015 season. His fitness coach is Azuz Simcich and his physio is Per Bastholt.
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