September 5, 2015

Murray in a Hurry Quickly Advances to Australian Open Third Round

(January 21, 2014) Andy Murray extended his record against Australians to 10-0 by taking down Marinko Matosevic 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

“I think he fought hard up until the end,” Murray said. Obviously after a tough start for him, he definitely hung in, you know, went a couple of breaks up in the second set. He came back, you know, made it tight sort of end of the second set. You know, there was a lot of long, close games. Even the third set, as well. I just said to him that he fought well. Yeah, he wished me luck. There’s not loads you say at the net straight after a match. There’s only a few seconds.

Murray, who is friends with Matosevic, commented about playing in front of the partisan Australian crowd.

“It was a fun atmosphere to play today. Even if not everyone was supporting me.”

Commenting on her perfect record against Australians, Murray said “I’m sure I won’t be able to hold on to the record with the fantastic players you’ve coming through”

“I played well today,” the Scot said. “The conditions change the way the court plays significantly. It bounces a lot higher. Using variety, using higher balls, you get a lot of success with that; whereas when it’s very cold you don’t get so much success with it. So when the temperature’s like this, I quite like it.”

The three-time Australian Open finalist won the match in 102 minutes with 21 winners and only 12 unforced errors.

The World No. 6 will play Portugal’s Joao Sousa in the third round. Sousa led 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 1-0 when No. 32 seed Martin Klizan retired from the match.

More to follow

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Serena Williams and Roger Federer Both Begin Quest for 18th Major

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(August 27, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS – A pair of 17-time major champions made the first step in their mutual quests for an 18th major on Tuesday night. No. 2 seed Roger Federer and No. 1 Serena Williams both took out opponents in straight sets at the US Open.

The 33-year-old Swiss Federer led off the night session with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4) vwin over No. 76 Marinko Matosevic of Australia. With six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan cheering him on in his courtside guest box, Federer pulled off the shot of the night – between the legs shot, facing backwards to the net, which hit his opponent in his lower back.

Federer admitted that Jordan, now 51, was a childhood idol of his. In an interview with ESPN, Jordan said that he knew nothing about tennis and said that Federer is a good athlete and that he played basketball.

“It’s just amazing having Michael here,” Federer said after the match. “Growing up he was my big sporting idol. … Having him here is unbelievably special and the collaboration is unique, so I love it.”

“He was just my hero of all sports,” Federer said in his news conference. “That’s what he was for me growing up. Besides Edberg and Becker being my tennis idols, I had Jordan as my all sports idol. I don’t remember having a Jordan jersey, as such, really. I just remember when I was younger, in Germany it was really big on the German TV stations. I think every Sunday they had unbelievable big NBA highlights. That’s where I saw him doing all his moves. I wasn’t necessarily a Chicago Bulls fan or anything like that. It’s just I was into him, into like the incredible athlete, you know, just being that guy who was carrying basketball at the time. So I guess that’s what inspired me.”

While Federer was entertaining an idol of his with his play, Serena Williams was defeating a player who idolizes her. Williams played almost flawlessly in dispatching 18-year-old fellow American Wild Card Taylor Townsend 6-3, 6-1.

The two-time defending US Open champion, soon-to-be 33-year-old Williams made only 8 unforced errors in a match which lasted less than an hour.

Townsend discussed her appreciation of Williams in press: “I think I appreciate the fact that, number one, she loves the game so much. I think for anyone who’s watched her career progress, we have seen the ups and downs. She’s come through a lot of adversity. I think the most roaring time for me when I was watching her play was when she won that Australian Open, when everyone was completely doubting her, no one said she would win, she was totally out of shape, she was this, that, everything in the book. She literally fought and she beat Sharapova 1-0, 2-0, something ridiculous. But I’ve never seen someone so intense and so, like, driven to win, you know? I gained so much respect for her. Moving forward, I’ve just seen her love the game even more. The older she gets, the more she enjoys being out there and playing. I think her perspective has changed, having fun with what she’s doing. I think the wins are just making it even better.”

“I think it was an interesting match,” Williams said. “I thought she played really well. She started out super strong. She did a good job.”

“I think Taylor is a really great player. I believe she does everything well. She’s one of the few players that can come to the net and volley, as well as she has unbelievable hand speed with her racquet. She’s really unbelievable.”

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Aussies Bounced Out of Cincinnati

Sam Stosur

Sam Stosur

By Dave Gertler

(August 13, 2014) MASON, OHIO – The last three Australians left in the singles draw at the Cincinnati Masters all played their second-round matches on Wednesday, with Sam Stosur and Marinko Matosevic both bowing out to their American opponents in straight sets. Lleyton Hewitt also succumbed to the grinding baseline play of Italian Fabio Fognini.

 

Stosur and Serena Williams added another encounter to their storied rivalry, the Aussie receiving warm support from the crowd as she battled to stay in both sets, at times out-hitting her world No.1 opponent. In a match lasting almost two hours, where neither player dropped their serve, and Williams needed to come from behind in both tie-breaks to eventually win through to the next round. “She was up in both of the breakers,” said Williams, “I think it was just a great match, to be honest. She served unbelievable, and I was like, I can’t lose serve because she’s just serving great.”

 

Both players brought their big serves to the table, particularly Serena, who served 12 aces. “Really good quality match,” said Stosur, “I’m really pleased with the way I played. I’m disappointed when you have those couple of set points and don’t go through and at least win that set to take it into three. But I gave myself every chance to try and get through that one.  She came up with some really great stuff when it really counted.”

 

While Stosur was facing last year’s women’s runner up, Marinko Matosevic had to contend with the men’s runner up from last year, in a slightly less competitive 3-6, 6-7 loss to the American John Isner. That left Lleyton Hewitt in a familiar position as the last Australian in the singles draw.

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Hewitt would drop the first set against Fognini 6-1, before going up a break in the second set, a lead that he would ultimately relinquish, allowing Fognini back into the second set, which he won 6-4. “The second set I fought hard, I was up a break in the second set but couldn’t consolidate,” said Hewitt. The 33-year-old Australian served 9 double faults, saying, “I just didn’t hit my serve well today, especially early on,” said Hewitt, “He makes you play a lot of balls as well. He’s a confidence player, and when he’s hitting ball well, he’s tough to beat. He moves well, as well.”

 

Serena Williams’ next opponent will be Flavia Pennetta, while Isner faces No.8 seed Andy Murray. Fabio Fognini will face Yen-Hsun Lu, who had an upset victory over 4th seed Tomas Berdych. Also through to the round of 16, Roger Federer, who beat Canadian Vasek Pospisil 7-6, 5-7, 6-2 in 2 hours for his 300th win at a Masters Series 1000 event.

 

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney covering the Western & Southern Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his Twitter updates from the tournament on @TennisNewsTPN, follow him on his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .

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Matosevic Gets Home Support in Win over Seppi

Marinko Matosevic

Marinko Matosevic

By Dave Gertler

(January 8, 2014) SYDNEY – Twenty-eight-year-old Australian Marinko Matosevic has had a confident second round win over world No.25 Andreas Seppi in front of an appreciative Grandstand Court crowd, on the 6th day of the Apia International tennis tournament in Sydney.

Matosevic made the most of Seppi’s inconsistent forehand, attacking it frequently, as well as hitting a total of 7 aces in two sets. It was a convincing win for the world No. 56 Matosevic, who broke Seppi once in each set, 6-3, 6-4 in 71 minutes.

Crowd support had been a big factor in his first round win over Florian Mayer, yet Matosevic was underwhelmed by the energy on Grandstand Court today. Candid in press, he said, “The crowd was a little dead today. I played an unbelievable point to break him in the second set.  We had like a 20 shot rally. He came in, I’ve lobbed him, and I had like a few little claps.” After the crucial point he was referring to, Matosevic had raised his hands in the air to energize the crowd.

“I tried to get them going.  I was like, Come on, guys.  It was one of the best points this tournament has ever seen. If that doesn’t get them going, I don’t know what will.” Quickly rescinding this tongue-in-cheek claim, he said, “I was just kidding about the greatest point. It was good a good point, though.”

Matosevic’s quarterfinal opponent was decided on an outside court between qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky and French 6th seed Julien Benneteau, on a day featuring mostly men’s matches here at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre. Stakhovsky was dialed into the form that has now seen him win five consecutive matches in Sydney, taking the match 6-3, 6-2.

Needing only to get past world No.99 Stakhovsky to reach a likely semifinal against defending champion Bernard Tomic, Matosevic said, “I don’t really look forward.  I’ve done that before.  Every tennis player has looked ahead and then you lose. So I’m just concentrating, you know, like the old cliché, one match at a time.  As soon as you think ahead, that’s when you lose.”

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney covering the Australian summer of tennis for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his Twitter updates from the tournament @TennisNewsTPN, follow him on his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .

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