2014/07/25

Novak Djokovic Reaches Second French Open Final

 

(June 6, 2014) No. 2 Novak Djokovic advanced to his second French Open final on Friday defeating 18th seed Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. For the 27-year-old Djokovic it will be his 13th major tournament final appearance. Djokovic has won 6 Grand Slam titles and is hoping to complete a career Grand Slam, should he capture the Roland Garros title. Djokovic lost in the 2012 final to Rafael Nadal.

In the opening set in the third game, Djokovic dug out of 15-40 and saved two break points to hold for 2-2. The critical game in the first set came in the next game as Djokovic needed four break point chances, but broke the Latvian’s serve for 3-2. Djokovic went on to win the next three games to close out the first set 6-3.

In the second set, both men held to form until the eight game when a Gulbis double fault gave Djokovic a break point chance which he took for a 5-3 lead when Gulbis sent a forehand shot long. Djokovic took the set 6-3 on his third set point.

In the third set Djokovic saved break points in the second and sixth games, but in the eighth game, Gulbis, making his first appearance in a major semifinal, finally took advantage to take a 5-3 lead to serve for the set. During the set Gulbis appeared to be stretching his back as though it were bothering him. The 18th seed captured the third set with an ace to send the match into a fourth set.

Djokovic broke Gulbis’ serve to go up 2-0 but is broken back at 15 to get back on serve. In frustration, Djokovic broke his racquet.

The set stayed even until the eighth game, when the Serbian broke the Latvian’s serve to go up 5-3. Djokovic closed the match out on his serve 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

“First two sets went well,” Djokovic said.  “I thought I played well, very solid, putting a lot of returns back in the court, serving at the high percentage.”
“Then suddenly midway through the third set started to feel physically fatigued a little bit, and you could feel that.  You could see that both me and him, we struggled on the court.

“It happens, you know.  It happens in the tournament, and important thing for me is that I realize what’s going on.  It’s nothing serious.  I’m going to have now two days of recovery and get ready for the final.”

“Difference in the match was, first of all, I’m not used to play these kind of big matches,” Gulbis said.  “It’s just normal I felt extra nervous and extra tense.
“I can take one positive side out of the match:  that I could still win a third set feeling that nervous and that extra tired, and I saw that he was feeling the same.  So it’s not only me.
“That’s one thing what I take for the future.  I take it out of this match.  Was a good thing.”

Djokovic will play  8-time champion Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s final.

More to follow…

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Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray Beat the Darkness to Move into Roland Garros Semifinal

Rafael Nadal

(June 4, 2014) Rafael Nadal  and Andy Murray booked their spots in the French Open semifinals on Wednesday.

Nadal rebounded from a first set loss to dismantle fellow Spaniard Davis Ferrer 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1, wining 13 out of the last 14 games for the win.

No. 7 Andy Murray beat not only 23rd seed Gael Monfils of France and the French crowd, but the sunset in a topsy-turvy match 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0 in three hours and 15 minutes, which ended in almost complete darkness.

For Murray this will be his second time in the final four of the French Open when He plays Nadal on Friday. Murray lost to Nadal in the semis in 2011.

Murray dominated the first two sets and then the tide turned on in this cast the wind blew.

“I could see that the wind was not blowing as hard as it used to in the two first sets,” Monfils said of his comeback. “In the second set I was thinking, ‘Well, I hope the wind is gonna calm down.’ This is what happened.”

Monfils’ confidence grew as well as his crown support in the third and fourth sets. The 27-year-old Scot Murray totally dominated the fifth set, keep his opponent to a mere 6 points won in the final set.

“I didn’t win the first game when I was in a position to win it, and then I rushed it,” admitted the Frenchman to media. “I tried my forehand and my shots were out, and then it went very fast.”

For Rafael Nadal, his road to the final 8 was an easy one, not facing one seeded player. Ferrer started out playing aggressively, but came up short on drive and shot execution.

After dropping the first set, the 8-time French Open winner’s game went into overdrive, winning 18 of the next 23 games on the second show court, Suzanne Lenglen before darkness could fall.

“I am rather happy to have been able to turn the situation around,” said Nadal in his post-match interview. “I managed to pull through. Even though it was complicated, I managed to find solutions during the second set.”

“Today I was not good enough for this match,” said Ferrer. “I lost my focus. I was too slow, and I think I didn’t play the game of a Top 10. This is why I’m sad. It’s my attitude, my behavior on the court.”

Nadal will play Andy Murray for a place in the final. Nadal holds a 14-5 head-to-head record against the Scot.

“He can play very well on all the surfaces,” said Nadal in press. “It’s nothing new that he plays very well on clay. It’s not the first time he’s in semi-finals of Roland Garros. He’s a candidate to win Roland Garros.”

 

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Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray Move into Third Round of French Open

 

 

(May 29, 2014) Four-time defending champion Rafael Nadal put down one of the up-and-coming young guns of the men’s tour Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 on Thursday. The victory ups the world No. 1′s record at the French Open to 61-1, the lone loss coming in 2009.

At times, Thiem displayed his promise with all out shots, but Nadal’s stability and  experience was too much for the 20-year-old.

“It was a dangerous match, dangerous opponent today,” Nadal said to reporters “I am happy with the way I resisted. When I had to play long points I did well. When I had to attack and move him, I think I did well.”

Nadal emphasized that his young opponent will have chances in the furture at the major tournaments.

Nadal is trying to become the first man to win five straight French Open titles. He has won the tournament 8 times.

Fifth seeded David Ferrer of Spain, Seventh seeded Scotland’s Andy Murray, and 12th seeded Richard Gasquet of France also advanced to the third round  of Roland Garros in straight sets.

Andy Murray overpowered Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.

“It was a good serving performance today, especially when I was down in games,” Murray said. “In the game I got broken right at the end, it was not down to my serving, really. I just missed a few other shots. I was just trying to make sure that my intensity was there every moment, especially at the beginning of the sets. I managed to get ahead early in all of them, and that helped.”

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The Ultimate Match Campaign Launched with Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic

(May 22, 2014) In a brand new social media driven campaign by HEAD, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic find themselves playing the “Ultimate match” at a little girl’s birthday party. The video showcases the players racquets “HEAD Graphene Racquet Series.”

 

The video published on May 22, 2014 on HEAD’s YouTube channel will be followed up by 30 second TV spot will air on Eurosport during the second week of the French Open. The movie trailer like spot will direct viewers to the campaign website www.head.com/G which hosts additional information about the story, HEAD products and the innovative technology Graphene. Fans around the world will have the opportunity to participate in an online sweepstake and show their creativity to win special prizes.

 

Created by the Berlin-based agency Aimaq von Lobenstein, the films have been produced by Czar Berlin, directed by Johannes Schroeder and produced by Birke Birkner.

 

 

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Rafael Nadal Battles Past Andy Murray in Rome

 

(May 16, 2014) Rafael Nadal rebounded from losing the first set 6-1 and going 2-4 down in the third set to defeat Andy Murray 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 to advance to semifinals on the Italian Open on Friday.

Murray dominated Nadal early moving out to 5-0 lead, taking the first set 6-1 with aggressive play from the Scot.

Nadal broke serve early in the second set to even the match and send the match to a third set. This marked the third straight match in Rome that the world No. 1 was pushed to three sets.

The third set saw both men exchange breaks to open the set, with Murray eventually taking a 4-2 lead. The world No. 1 broke right back and broke Murray again in the 11th game and closed out the match on his serve.

Both men engaged in long hard-hitting rallies throughout the match. Murray who had back surgery back in September said it was a positive performance.

“I’m getting close to getting back to where I want to be, and that’s pleasing with a couple of big months ahead,” The seventh seed Murray told press. “Tonight was probably the best I’ve hit the ball for a while, and the best I’ve felt physically since the surgery.”

“I really didn’t feel like I was playing bad in the first set. Probably tactically (it was) not good but inside the energy was really good,” Nadal said. “Tonight I didn’t have any negative thoughts for the whole match. I closed the match at the first opportunity.”

“The physical part is really good, the mental part too, and my tennis is going to be there sooner or later,” Nadal added. “This was one of my best matches in a while.”

“I saw Andy playing well again so victory means a lot. These wins give me a lot of power and make me feel alive.”

Nadal will face Grigor Dimitov for a spot in the final on Saturday.

On the other side of the draw, Novak Djokovic had to fight of a game David Ferrer. Djokovic who is back from a wrist injury won 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. He’ll face Milos Raonic n his semifinal.

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA
Rome, Italy
May 12-18, 2014
Red Clay/Outdoors

Results – Friday, May 16, 2014

WTA Singles – Quarterfinals
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. Zhang Shuai (CHN) 61 63
(10) Sara Errani (ITA) d. (2) Li Na (CHN) 63 46 62
(6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 64 64
(11) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (13) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) 64 36 64

WTA Doubles – Quarterfinals
(2) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. (5) Black/Mirza (ZIM/IND) 62 63
(8) Goerges/Groenefeld (GER/GER) d. (3) Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) 75 76(3)
(4) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. Erakovic/Parra Santonja (NZL/ESP) 64 64
Medina Garrigues/Shvedova (ESP/KAZ) d. Dellacqua/Jans-Ignacik (AUS/POL) 64 61

RESULTS – FRIDAY, 16 MAY 2014

ATP Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [7] A Murray (GBR) 16 63 75
[2] N Djokovic (SRB) d [5] D Ferrer (ESP) 75 46 63
[8] M Raonic (CAN) d J Chardy (FRA) 63 57 62
[12] G Dimitrov (BUL) d [15] T Haas (GER) 62 00 ret. (right shoulder)

ATP Doubles – Quarterfinals

[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d T Haas (GER) / R Stepanek (CZE) walkover
R Haase (NED) / F Lopez (ESP) d [3] I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) 63 62
G Dimitrov (BUL) / L Rosol (CZE) d M Cilic (CRO) / S Gonzalez (MEX) 46 64 10-8
SCHEDULE – SATURDAY,  MAY 17, 2014

CENTRALE start 12:00 noon
WTA – [6] J Jankovic (SRB) vs [10] S Errani (ITA)
Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [8] M Raonic (CAN) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 4:30 pm
WTA – [1] S Williams (USA) vs [11] A Ivanovic (SRB)
Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [1] R Nadal (ESP) vs [12] G Dimitrov (BUL)
After Suitable Rest – R Haase (NED) / F Lopez (ESP) vs G Dimitrov (BUL) / L Rosol (CZE)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon

WTA – A Medina Garrigues (ESP) / Y Shvedova (KAZ) vs [4] K Peschke (CZE) / K Srebotnik (SLO)
ATP – [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [6] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB)
After Suitable Rest – WTA – [8] J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER) vs [2] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA)

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Nadal and Djokovic Tested by Opponents, Move into Quarterfinals

 

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(May 15, 2014) Both top seeds on the men’s side of the Italian Open passed three-set tests on Thursday.

No. 1 Rafael Nadal gave up a 5-3 lead in the first set to lose the set in a tie break, but then won 12 out of the last 13 games to stop Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(4). 6-2, 6-1. Two-time Rome winner Novak Djokovic overcame a first set loss to defeat No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Nadal recovered from a set and a break down to reach the quarterfinals in a two hour and 44 minute match.

“I played with passion and motivation even if the feeling was not perfect,” said the Spaniard. “That’s always very good news, because when you have a lot of opportunities during the match, you keep fighting, trying to find solutions. That always means that you really want to win.”

Next up for the 7-time Rome champion is Andy Murray, who celebrated his 27th birthday with a victory over Jurgen Melzer.

It’s a positive match to play because you play against one of the best player of the world after two tough days,” said Nadal. “I don’t know how he has changed his play. I know he has a complete game but I have to focus on myself.”

The last time Nadal faced Murray was back in the fall of 2011 at the Tokyo Open.

“I was trying to spin the ball too much and the court wasn’t getting that necessary bounce that I was looking for,” said Djokovic to press, “but then I started to be a little bit more aggressive and open up the court. It worked well.”

The world No. 2, who has returned from a right wrist injury which forced him out of last week’s Madrid Open, will face David Ferrer for a spot in the semifinals.

“(Ferrer) has had an incredible career overall, but especially on clay,” said Djokovic. “It’s going to be a big challenge and we’ll see where my game is.”

Thirty-six year-old Tommy Haas had the upset of the day as he defeated No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. Wawrinka said to media that he had back injury which came during his opening match.

“I couldn’t move too well,” the Swiss said. “It’s really nothing serious. It’s just painful and I need some rest, maybe a few days.”

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA
Rome, Italy
May 12-18, 2014
Red Clay/Outdoors

Results – Thursday, May 15, 2014
WTA Singles – Third Round
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 61 62
(2) Li Na (CHN) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 63 61
(3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 64 61
(6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (12) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 62 63
(11) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (8) Maria Sharapova (RUS) 61 64
(10) Sara Errani (ITA) d. (Q) Petra Cetkovska (CZE) 64 76(3)
Zhang Shuai (CHN) d. (Q) Christina McHale (USA) 62 46 62

Doubles – Second Round
WTA Medina Garrigues/Shvedova (ESP/KAZ) d. (1) Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng (TPE/CHN) 64 63
(2) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. Jurak/Moulton-Levy (CRO/USA) 61 60
(3) Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) d. (WC) Jankovic/Kleybanova (SRB/RUS) 75 64
(8) Goerges/Groenefeld (GER/GER) d. Huber/Raymond (USA/USA) 64 64
Dellacqua/Jans-Ignacik (AUS/POL) d. Niculescu/Zhang (ROU/CHN) w/o (Zhang: shoulder injury)
Erakovic/Parra Santonja (NZL/ESP) d. Mladenovic/Pennetta (FRA/ITA) 76(5) 60

Singles – Third Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [14] M Youzhny (RUS) 67(4) 62 61
[2] N Djokovic (SRB) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) 46 62 61
[15] T Haas (GER) d [3] S Wawrinka (SUI) 57 62 63
[5] D Ferrer (ESP) d E Gulbis (LAT) 62 63
[12] G Dimitrov (BUL) d [6] T Berdych (CZE) 67(3) 62 62
[7] A Murray (GBR) d [PR] J Melzer (AUT) 76(1) 64
[8] M Raonic (CAN) d [11] J Tsonga (FRA) 76(5) 64
J Chardy (FRA) d I Dodig (CRO) 63 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals

[6] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d [4] D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) 46 63 10-7

Doubles – Second Round

[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) 75 61
T Haas (GER) / R Stepanek (CZE) d [7] L Kubot (POL) / R Lindstedt (SWE) 62 67(1) 11-9
R Haase (NED) / F Lopez (ESP) d [8] T Huey (PHI) / D Inglot (GBR) 76(2) 62

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 16 MAY 2014

CENTRALE start 12:00 noon
WTA – [10] S Errani (ITA) vs [2] N Li (CHN)
Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [15] T Haas (GER) vs [12] G Dimitrov (BUL)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [5] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – [1] S Williams (USA) vs S Zhang (CHN)
Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – [1] R Nadal (ESP) vs [7] A Murray (GBR)

GRANDSTAND start 12:00 noon

ATP – [8] M Raonic (CAN) vs J Chardy (FRA)
Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – [13] C Suarez Navarro (ESP) vs [11] A Ivanovic (SRB)
Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA – [6] J Jankovic (SRB) vs [3] A Radwanska (POL)
After Suitable Rest – [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs T Haas (GER) / R Stepanek (CZE)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon

WTA – A Medina Garrigues (ESP) / Y Shvedova (KAZ) vs [PR] C Dellacqua (AUS) / K Jans-Ignacik (POL)
ATP – R Haase (NED) / F Lopez (ESP) vs [3] I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA)
After Suitable Rest – [5] C Black (ZIM) / S Mirza (IND) vs [2] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA)
After Suitable Rest – M Cilic (CRO) / S Gonzalez (MEX) vs G Dimitrov (BUL) / L Rosol (CZE)

COURT 2 start 2:00 pm

WTA – [4] K Peschke (CZE) / K Srebotnik (SLO) vs M Erakovic (NZL) / A Parra Santonja (ESP)
[8] J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER) vs [3] E Makarova (RUS) / E Vesnina (RUS)

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Djokovic Fends Off a Strong Murray Challenge to Reach Miami Semis

 

By Kevin Ware

(March 26, 2014) Wednesday’s quarterfinal match between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray was undoubtedly going to provide a good test for both heading into the clay season. For Djokovic, it would provide a test of his newfound confidence after winning Indian Wells. For Murray, it would provide a much-needed gauge for the status of his game as well as his fitness.

In the end, Djokovic won in straight sets 7-5, 6-3. But it would be safe to say that each player got what they needed from this encounter.

Conditions were windy at the start of the match, and picked up slightly throughout the match. Djokovic initially handled the conditions best, hitting cleanly with depth from both sides. and effectively his serve. Conversely, Murray started loosely with shanks on his forehand wing and backhands into the net.

Fortunately for Murray, his stellar defense was on full display, saving him in many of the longer rallies. And any questions of fitness after his back issues in the R16 were answered as Murray sprinted from sideline to sideline in pursuit of Djokovic’s shots: with no sign of his signature grabbing at his back or legs.

The first real signs of trouble for Murray came in the fourth game. His only double fault of the first set gave Djokovic his first break point of the match. Murray fended off that break point, and then another, before winning the game with a spectacular forehand crosscourt shot that the replay showed kissed the outside of the line.

Djokovic faced his first break point of the match in the eleventh game after back-to-back double faults. The break was saved by an untimely forehand unforced error from Murray: one of his 29 unforced errors on the day. Novak held with an ace, forcing Murray to hold to force the tiebreak.

Controversy followed, however, in the twelfth game when a strong Djokovic return on the Murray serve set up an easy volley at the net. Replays on the stadium’s monitors showed Djokovic reaching over the net. Murray, who’d initially questioned the chair, saw his suspicions confirmed. He argued for the point, but to no avail.

Djokovic came to the net with Murray, and admitted reaching over to hit the volley. He wasn’t aware of any rule against doing so, and thought he’d won the point. “I thought that it’s allowed, to cross, you know, the racquet on his side without touching the net. That’s why I thought I won the point. I did not know that the rule is that I’m not allowed to cross the net.”

Murray, who was clearly distracted by the chair’s refusal to grant him the point, lost the next three points to lose the service game at love and with it, the set. “He (the umpire) said, yes, he was over the net, but he was in line with the net, so I didn’t understand really.”

In spite of the controversy, Murray acknowledged that it was only one game. He declined to give it any more credit than due, focusing instead on his missed chances in the second set. “I mean, it maybe had a slight bearing on that game, but I was still up a break in the second set.”

That break came in the fifth game when, in spite of two well-placed aces, Djokovic was broken for the first time in the match. Instead of making the most of this opportunity, Murray played a loose game and was broken again to level at 3-all. Novak played well enough, but Murray was hurt by two ill-timed double faults (five in total) and few more unforced errors.

After leveling the set, Djokovic wasted little time in closing out the match. He won the final three games at love, sealing the win with a forehand down the line passing shot. It wasn’t his best tennis, but Djokovic certainly forced Murray to play at the highest level from the very first point.

“I expected him to play well, to be a little bit more aggressive. I watched him play against (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga, and he was stepping in on the second serve, coming to the net. He did that few times successfully today.”

“Winning the first set, obviously it gave me the certain kind of relief and confidence, and then in the second, even when I was broken, I felt like I still have chances and I still, you know, believe that I could win in straight sets.”

For his part, Murray was pleased about his performance. “I think my game is just about there. It’s not far off. I had many opportunities today like 30-All games and Love-30 (games) on his serve, and I didn’t serve so well when I went ahead in the second set.”

Even with the first-set controversy, there were positives Murray could take from this loss. “I would have liked to have done that better, but I was hitting the ball better from the back of the court. I was playing aggressive. I was taking the ball early. I was trying to come forward a bit. My game is not far from where I want it to be.”

Kevin Ware is in Key Biscayne covering the Sony Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.

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“Big Four,” Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Murray Advance to Sony Open Quarters

 

(March 25, 2014) No. 1 Rafael Nadal, No. 2 Novak Djokovic, No. 5 Roger Federer and No. 6 Andy Murray all reached the Sony Open quarterfinals on Tuesday while No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka and No. 4 David Ferrer were upset.

Nadal had no problems dismissing Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-2. Nadal only lost only three points during the match has dropped a total of only nine games in the three matches played so far at the Sony Open.

“First three matches I was able to find the right rhythm on court, playing aggressive, playing with no mistakes, so today was a little bit strange match,” Nadal said.

“I am sorry for Fabio.  I think he felt a little bit, I don’t know how to say, but he felt a little bit close to the hip, something from yesterday.  So was not easy for him to play that match.

“But anyway, I think I managed well the situation.  The wind, it was hard tonight, and I was manage to do well.  So I think I played the right match.”

Novak Djokovic pushed past Tommy Robredo 6-3, 7-5. In a bit of good sportsmanship, Djokovic gave back a point which was called out, which was indeed in.

“I mean, for me, it’s something as normal,” Djokovic said about giving the point back.  “I don’t want to talk about the nice gesture that I have done.  I don’t like to talk about myself, you know.  I let everybody else to judge.

“But for me that’s something that is absolutely normal if I am not able to ‑‑ if I judge that I couldn’t win the point, that I had no chance to get that ball back in the court, or if I see the ball is good, I’m going to tell him to challenge it or that it’s very close.

“For me it’s something that is part of the sport and fair play that, you know, I think I expect everybody else to do the same.  Of course, not everybody else is the same, but for me that’s something that’s normal, just a normal, natural reaction.”

Djokovic will play Andy Murray next in the quarterfinals. Murray beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-1.

“Andy is a defending champion,” Djokovic said of a potential match-up with Murray.  “He won a couple of Grand Slams, Olympic gold medal, and obviously he’s the player who can, you know, play big‑time tennis on a big stage.”

Murray who had back surgery last year, appeared to be some pain during his win over Tsonga, despite winning easily in 73 minutes.

“My game is getting there.  I mean, the last six sets I played have been very high‑level tennis.  Again, very few errors and aggressive tennis.  You know, coming forward, taking my opportunities to hit winners, and come to the net when I had the chance.

“Yeah, I’m playing better each match, and I hope that continues.  You know, last couple of weeks have been difficult for obvious reasons.  But, you know, hopefully I’m coming out the other side of that now and keep playing better.”

“It was sore, but I still moved well throughout the rest of the match, which is a good sign.  Was probably moving better at the end of the match than I was at the beginning, so that’s probably a good sign.”

Roger Federer only needed needing 49 minutes to defeat No. 9 seed Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-2. Federer hit 25 winners during the match to Gasquet’s 8.

“I think I played well.” Federer said. “I served well.  I made my returns I had to and stayed aggressive, so I didn’t let him just make errors.  I forced him to do stuff.  It was a good match for me.”

Federer will play Kei Nishikori who saved 4 match points before upsetting fourth seed David Ferrer 7-6 (7), 2-6, 7-6 (9).

“He had obviously a very difficult match with Ferrer, but a great one which everybody watched in the locker room and the player restaurant,” Federer said.  It was one of those thrilling end to the matches, you know, into the tiebreaker with match points saved.  It had the whole drama.

“Either one could have won, but in tennis always one guy’s got to win.  Kei did a good job getting it done at the end.  I only played him twice but practiced with him many times, so we know each other well so there are no real secrets out there.

“Clearly I think it’s an advantage at this point now that I had a quick match today and he had a really brutal match against Ferrer.  Can I take advantage of it?  Can he recover quickly?  We will see tomorrow.

“But I’m sure we will see him out on the court, and he will give it everything he has.  He always has.”

In another upset on the day, No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov stopped three seed Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals.

Also advancing to the quarterfinals were Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych who eliminated the last American man, John Isner 6-3, 7-5

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Andy Murray Moves into Round of 16 of the Sony Open

Andy Murray smiling

(March 23, 2014) Defending champion Andy Murray moved into the round of 16 at the Sony Open on Sunday.

The No. 6 ranked Murray maintained his perfect record against Feliciano Lopez at 9-0 dismissing the Spaniard 6-4, 6-1. Murray who is looking to defend his title from last year and claim his third crown at the Sony Open.

Murray, who just announced a mutual split with his coach Ivan Lendl last week, had his former coach in his box in the stands on Sunday. Murray worked with Lendl for two years and the partnership lead to the Scot winning an Olympic Gold medal in 2012, along with US Open in the same year and Wimbledon in 2013.

Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl Agree to Part Ways

“We’re back together again. It was only a four- or five-day split,” Murray joked after the match. “No, it’s a shame he won’t be watching many more of my matches from the stands.”

Murray’s mother Judy and admirer of Lopez’s form has been calling him “Deliciano” for the past few years. Murray led off the match by breaking the Spaniard’s serve and really never had to look back.

“It’s not always that easy to feel comfortable against him because there is not loads of rhythm with the way he plays,” Nurray said of his opponent’s game.

“But I moved well; returned well.  Yeah, it was obviously a more comfortable scoreline than the other day.”

Murray will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga next after the Frenchman came back for a 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-5 victory over Marcos Baghdatis. He was when two points away from defeat at 5-1 down in the second set tiebreak.

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Fashion Statements in Notes and Quotes at the Sony Open

 

Fashion statements

 

(Match 20, 2014) On Thursday at the Sony Open some of the players were asked about their “fashion” and “style” on and off-court. Here is what some of them had to say.

Serena Williams

The world No. 1 sported Miami Dolphins colors on court on Thursday. The 17-time major champ is a co-owner of the NFL team.

Actually, we’re playing ‑‑ Nike and I wanted to pay homage to my team that I co‑own, so it was like, We should totally do the Dolphin colors.  Just have something really fun for Miami.  You know, Dolphins are great, so just, Go Dolphins, go Fins.

 

Djokovci inpress

Novak Djokovic

The World No. 2 was asked about his inspiration in designing his outfits.

You mentioned Andre Agassi.  I mean, he definitely revolutionalized the fashion in tennis.  He was the first one to dress differently and to have some kind of statement on the court.

Well, I have been through a process in my career, as well.  I had different dragons and wings on my shirts (smiling).

But I’m at a different stage right now.  Of course I’m very much involved in giving ‑‑ trying to give my input as much as I can to design my own clothes.  I’m fortunate to have a really good team of people and designers from Uniqlo Company who represents me the last two years.

There is various, I will say, inspirations behind the certain designs for different periods of the year depending on color of the surface, depending on the time of the year, depending where we go, color of Serbian flags, so forth and so forth.

So there are different sources of inspiration we are trying to put into the design and kind of create something that looks nice on the court.

 

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

The Swiss No. 2 and 17-time major champ had a question posted to him about his process of picking out colors and styles and if he had any fashion advice.

Well, normally, look, it’s great to see fans wearing the RF cap, you name it, or Nike in general.  It’s like a tag of approval maybe in a way that they enjoy what I’m wearing.  They feel like they’re connected to me, which I do feel is the case.

The hard part is deciding today what I’m going to wear for US Open next year.  It’s kind of hard, you know, sometimes to put myself in the right mind and mindset to know, Am I going to like, you know, stripes in one‑and‑a‑half years?  I’m not sure, you know.

Right now I maybe do, but maybe one‑and‑a‑half years maybe not so cool.  That’s the hard part when we work together with Nike.  But I really enjoy the process, and it’s nice to be part of it rather than just getting stuff and then not liking or loving stuff.

It has that element where you can be part of it.  My advice probably is you’ve got to make sure you wear the clothes and not the clothes wear you.  It’s quite simple in a, way but don’t wear something you totally feel uncomfortable with, but, you know, take some chances.  Play around a bit.

I felt very uncomfortable in suits when I was younger, so what I just started doing was wearing suits when I was going to dinner.  I used to overdress a little bit so I got used to wearing suits.  Now wearing a suit is like wearing a track suit for me.  So it’s all good.

 

Murray in press

Andy Murray

Andy Murray was asked how players showcase through fashion and individual styles.

This is a tough question for me.  I don’t really know how to answer it (smiling).

To be honest, I mean, I just like wearing on the court what’s comfortable.  So long as the products work well, then that’s the most important thing for me.

I mean, adidas, the way they work is they tend to have their ‑‑ they have their own colors, so all of the players wear a fairly similar kit; whereas some of the other companies, you know, it’s more sort of individual.

So you see that player’s sort of style or what they like a little bit more.

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