August 23, 2016

Milos Raonic Withdraws from Olympic Games

Milos Raonic 1

From Tennis Canada: (July 15, 2016) Milos Raonic announced on Friday that he has decided to withdraw from competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my withdrawal from participation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” said Raonic. “After much deliberation with my family and coaches, I am making this decision for a variety of health concerns including the uncertainty around the Zika virus. This was a difficult, personal choice and I do not wish for it to impact the decision of any other athlete heading to the Games. I would like to thank Tennis Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee for their ongoing support. I am very proud to have competed for Canada at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, and on the world stage at several Davis Cup events. I look forward to cheering on Team Canada this summer.”

“We fully respect Milos’ decision as we are sure this is not one he made easily,” said Kelly Murumets, president and CEO, Tennis Canada. “Milos represents Canada proudly week after week around the world and we look forward to future opportunities for him to join Team Canada again on the court.”

Pending invitation by the International Tennis Federation and Canadian Olympic Committee approval, Tennis Canada will nominate Daniel Nestor to replace Raonic in the men’s doubles draw to partner with Vasek Pospisil.

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Andy Murray Wins Second Wimbledon Title

(July 10, 2016) Andy Murray won his second Wimbledon title on Sunday with a 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(2) victory over No. 6 seed Milos Raonic. The world No. 2 has become the first British man since Fred Perry 1934-6 to win multiple Wimbledon titles.

Raonic, Canada’s first player in the Wimbledon final had no answers to in trying to break Murray’s serve. Murray was a wall which Raonic could not penetrate making only 12 unforced errors in the entire match. Raonic was broken once in the match, in the seventh game of the first set.

“This one’s going to sting,” Raonic said of the loss.

Murray, who last won the title back in 2013, was very emotional about the victory, was in tears in his chair after the match. During the trophy presentation, the Scot talked about his feelings.

“Last time, I was so relieved. I felt, just so much stress and pressure and didn’t really get the chance to enjoy it as much,” he said.

“This is the most important tournament for me every year,” Murray said in his on-court interview. I’ve had some great moments here and also some tough losses. The wins feel extra special because of the tough losses. I’m proud to have my hands on the trophy again.

“I played really good stuff today. Milos has had a great few weeks on the grass and had some unbelievable wins. His match against Roger in the semis was a great, great match. He is one of the hardest workers out there, always trying to improve and get better.”

“It’s been a phenomenal two weeks and a phenomenal week just before that at Queen’s,” said the 25-year-old Raonic. I keep plugging away every single day to give myself chances. There’s nothing I want more than to be back here.”

Just three weeks ago, in the Queen’s Club tournament Murray beat Raonic in three tough sets.

Murray is now 7-3 against Raonic.

 

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2016 Wimbledon Men’s Final Tale of the Tape: Andy Murray vs. Milos Raonic

88 RaonicAndy Murray bh

2016 WIMBLEDON

DAY 13 MEN’S NOTES

Sunday 10 July

Singles Final

 

 

2 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v NO. 6 MILOS RAONIC (CAN)

 

(Seed) Player Country Age Ranking Best Wimbledon performance Best Grand Slam performance
(2) Andy Murray GBR 29 2 W  13 W US Open 12, Wimbledon 13
(6) Milos Raonic CAN 25 7 FR 16 FR Wimbledon 16

 

2016 Wimbledon sees the 130th staging of The Lawn Tennis Championships, which began in 1877 with Britain’s Spencer Gore defeating compatriot William Marshall 61 62 64 for the inaugural title. This is the 49th staging of The Championships in the Open Era, the first being in 1968 when Australia’s Rod Laver defeated countryman Tony Roche 63 64 62. 2016 Wimbledon is the 194th Grand Slam tournament of the Open Era.

 

Prize money and ATP Ranking points

 

Today’s champion receives £2,000,000 in prize money, while the runner-up collects £1,000,000. In total, the men’s singles prize fund at 2016 Wimbledon is £10,856,000, a 5.1% increase on 2015. The winner is also awarded 2000 ATP Ranking points, with the runner-up receiving 1200.

 

ATP Rankings update

 

Murray will remain at No. 2 in the rankings regardless of the result of the final. If Raonic wins the title, he will rise to No. 5 when the ATP Rankings are released on Monday 11 July:

 

Projected rankings

Position Player ATP Ranking points
1. Novak Djokovic 15040
2. Andy Murray 9395/10195
3. Roger Federer 5945
4. Rafael Nadal 5290
5. Stan Wawrinka 4720
6. Kei Nishikori 4290
7. Milos Raonic 4285/5085
8. Tomas Berdych 3490
9. Dominic Thiem 3175
10. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2995

 

No. 2 v No. 6

 

The last time the No. 2 seed faced the No. 6 seed in the final at a Grand Slam was at 2009 Wimbledon when No. 2 Roger Federer defeated No. 6 Andy Roddick in 5-sets.

 

Raonic is bidding to become the first No. 6 seed to win Wimbledon since Michael Stich defeated Boris Becker in 1991 – the only occasion in the Open Era that a No. 6 seed has defeated the No. 2 seed in a Grand Slam final.

 

The last No. 6 seed to win a Grand Slam title was Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open (d. Federer). The last time a No. 2 seed won a Grand Slam title was at the 2013 US Open, when No. 2 Rafael Nadal defeated No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

 

Grand Slam Final debut

 

Raonic is looking to become the 38th man in the Open Era to win their first Grand Slam title in their maiden final. The last man to win a Grand Slam title in their maiden final was Marin Cilic at the 2014 US Open.

 

Murray is making his 11th appearance in a Grand Slam final – but this is the first time he has faced an opponent other than Federer or Djokovic at this stage.

 

Match-win leaders

Raonic is looking to close the gap on Murray in 3rd place on the list for the most match-wins in 2016 so far:

Most wins in 2016*

Rank Player Win-loss
1. Dominic Thiem 48-13
2.

3.

4.

5.

Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray

Milos Raonic

Kei Nishikori

46-4

39-6

37-8

36-11

             *through 2016 Wimbledon semifinals; Players in bold are still active at 2016 Wimbledon

Raonic is also aiming to tie Murray at the top of the list for most grass court wins in 2016 so far:

Most grass court wins in 2016*

Rank Player Win-loss
1. Andy Murray 11-0
2=

 

 

 

Roger Federer

Steve Johnson

Gilles Muller

Milos Raonic

10-3

10-3

10-4

10-1

             *through 2016 Wimbledon semifinals; Players in bold are still active at 2016 Wimbledon

 

Most titles in 2016

 

Murray is one of the 7 men to have won multiple titles this year. In total, 24 male players have won at least one title this year – including Raonic who won at Brisbane.

 

Most titles in 2016

Novak Djokovic             6          Doha, Australian Open, Indian Wells-1000, Miami-1000, Madrid-1000, Roland Garros

Dominic Thiem              4          Buenos Aires, Acapulco, Nice, Stuttgart

Stan Wawrinka             3          Chennai, Dubai, Geneva
Roberto Bautista Agut   2          Auckland, Sofia

Pablo Cuevas               2          Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo

Andy Murray                 2          Rome-1000, Queen’s

Rafael Nadal                 2          Monte Carlo-1000, Barcelona

 

2016 Wimbledon match stats so far…

 

Player Aces Double Faults 1st serve points won 2nd serve points won Break points saved Service games win-loss
Andy Murray 52 6 78% 57% 19/27 85-8
Milos Raonic 154 28 83% 59% 22/27 116-5

 

Head-to-head: Murray leads 6-3

2012            Miami-1000                        Hard (O)           R32      Murray             WO

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

2012            Toronto-1000                     Hard (O)           R16      Raonic              WO

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

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

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

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

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

2016            Australian Open               Hard (O)           SF        Murray             46 75 67(4) 64 62

2016            Monte Carlo-1000              Clay (O)            QF       Murray              62 60

2016            Queen’s                             Grass (O)         FR        Murray              67(5) 64 63

 

A 10th career meeting for Murray and Raonic. Murray is on a 5-match winning streak against Raonic, and has won both of their meetings at a Grand Slam, including at the Australian Open this year in the only 5-set match the pair have contested. Murray also won their only meeting on grass, in the final at Queen’s this year.

 

This is the first time that the finalists at Queen’s have met in the Wimbledon final since 1988. That year Stefan Edberg defeated Boris Becker in the Wimbledon final to avenge his loss to Becker in the final at Queen’s.

 

                          MURRAY                                       v                                        RAONIC

 

29                                          Age                                          25

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

2                                    ATP Ranking                                    7

37                                         Titles                                          8

171-39                     Career Grand Slam Record                      57-21

52-9                             Wimbledon Record                             16-5

2 Titles                       Best Grand Slam Result     2016 Wimbledon Finalist

591-171                              Career Record                              244-111

101-17                         Career Record – Grass                         28-14

39-6                                  2016 Record                                  37-8

11-0                            2016 Record – Grass                            10-1

23-7                          Career Five-Set Record                          8-5

9                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

168-103                      Career Tiebreak Record                       155-93

11-5                           2016 Tiebreak Record                           20-6

 

Road to the Final

MURRAY Time   Time RAONIC
d. (WC) Liam Broady 62 63 64

d. Yen-Hsun Lu 63 62 61

1:43

1:40

1st round

2nd round

1:54

1:58

d. Pablo Carreno Busta 76(4) 62 64

d. Andreas Seppi 76(5) 64 62

d. John Millman 63 75 62 2:11 3rd round 2:16 d. No. 27 Jack Sock 76(2) 64 76(1)
d. No. 15 Nick Kyrgios 75 61 64

d. No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 76(10) 61 36 46 61

1:43

3:54

Round of 16

Quarterfinals

3:03

2:32

d. No. 11 David Goffin 46 36 64 64 64

d. No. 28 Sam Querrey 64 75 57 64

d. No. 10 Tomas Berdych 63 63 63 1:58 Semifinals 3:25 d. No. 3 Roger Federer 63 67(3) 46 75 63
         
total time on court 13:07 (IBM time) 15:04 total time on court

 

  • 2013 champion MURRAY is bidding to win his 2nd Wimbledon – and 3rd Grand Slam – title.

 

  • Murray is bidding to become the first British man to win multiple Wimbledon titles since Fred Perry, who won the title here from 1934-36.

 

  • Murray is bidding to win his 2nd Wimbledon title and become the 12th male player to win multiple Wimbledon titles in the Open Era after Roger Federer (7 titles), Pete Sampras (7), Bjorn Borg (5), Boris Becker (3), Novak Djokovic (3), John McEnroe (3), Jimmy Connors (2), Stefan Edberg (2), Rod Laver (2), Rafael Nadal (2) and John Newcombe (2).

 

  • Murray is bidding to become the 21st man in the Open Era to win 3 or more Grand Slam titles. If he wins, Murray would join Arther Ashe, Jan Kodes and Gustavo Kuerten in winning 3 Grand Slam titles in the Open Era.

 

  • Murray is bidding to end a 3-match losing streak in Grand Slam finals. Just 3 men in the Open Era, Murray included, have lost more Grand Slam finals in a row:

 

Player No. of consecutive Grand Slam final defeats
Ivan Lendl 4 – 1981 Roland Garros, 1982 US Open, 1983 US Open, 1983 Australian Open
Andy Roddick 4 – 2004 Wimbledon, 2005 Wimbledon, 2006 US Open, 2009 Wimbledon
Andy Murray 4 – 2008 US Open, 2010 Australian Open, 2011 Australian Open, 2012 Wimbledon

 

  • Murray is bidding to avoid becoming the first man in the Open Era to lose in the final of the first 3 Grand Slam events of the calendar year. Jimmy Connors is the only man in the Open Era to lose 3 Grand Slam finals in one year – at the Australian Open (l. Newcombe), Wimbledon (l. Ashe) and US Open (l. Manuel Orantes) in 1975. Rafael Nadal is the only man in the Open Era to lose 3 consecutive Grand Slam finals – falling to Novak Djokovic in the final at 2011 Wimbledon, the 2011 US Open and the 2012 Australian Open.

 

  • Murray, who has a 2-8 win-loss record in Grand Slam finals, is looking to avoid losing his 9th Grand Slam final. Just 2 men in the Open Era have lost more Grand Slam finals than Murray.

 

Most Grand Slam finals lost (Open Era)

Ivan Lendl 11
Roger Federer 10
Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray

8
8

 

  • Murray is just the 8th different man in the Open Era to reach the first 3 Grand Slam finals in a calendar year. Rod Laver (1969), Bjorn Borg (1978, 1980 and 1981), John McEnroe (1984), Ivan Lendl (1986), Jim Courier (1993), Roger Federer (2006, 2007 and 2009) and Novak Djokovic (2015) have also achieved the feat.

 

  • If Murray, who has a 171-39 win-loss record at the majors, wins today he will take sole ownership of 10th place on the list for most Grand Slam match-wins in history ahead of Ken Rosewall. He is the leading British man of all-time in terms of Grand Slam match-wins.

                                                     All Grand Slams (all-time)

Rank Player Win-loss
1
2
Roger Federer

Jimmy Connors

307-51

233-49

3 Andre Agassi 224-53
4

5

6

Ivan Lendl

Novak Djokovic

Roy Emerson

222-49

223-35

210-48

7

8

Pete Sampras

Rafael Nadal

203-38

200-30

9

10=

Stefan Edberg

Ken Rosewall

Andy Murray

178-47

171-34

171-39

 

  • By reaching his 11th Grand Slam final, Murray has taken sole ownership of the record for 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
Andy Murray 11 – US Open 2008, 2012, Australian Open 2010-11, 2013, 2015-16, Wimbledon 2012-13, 2016, Roland Garros 2016
Fred Perry 10 – US Championships 1933-34, 1936, Australian Championships 1934-35, French Championships 1935-36, Wimbledon 1934-36

 

  • By reaching his 11th Grand Slam final, Murray has equalled Stefan Edberg, John McEnroe and Mats Wilander in 14th place on the list 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 (27), Rafael Nadal (20) and Novak Djokovic (20).

 

  • By reaching his 3rd Wimbledon final, Murray has equalled Stefan Edberg, John Newcombe and Andy Roddick in 10th place on the Open Era list for most Wimbledon finals reached.

 

  • If he wins today, Murray will close the gap on Novak Djokovic in 6th place on the Open Era list for most Wimbledon match-wins.

 

Wimbledon Win-loss*

Jimmy Connors                         84-18

Roger Federer                          84-11

Boris Becker                             71-12

Pete Sampras                           63-7

John McEnroe                          59-11

Novak Djokovic                         54-9

Andy Murray                            52-9    

Bjorn Borg                                51-4

Stefan Edberg                           49-12

Goran Ivanisevic                       49-14
Ivan Lendl                                 48-14

              *Through the semifinals at 2016 Wimbledon

  • In 2013, Murray became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years – since Perry in 1936 – after defeating Djokovic 64 75 64 in the final. The triumph, on his 8th Wimbledon appearance, saw him go 2nd on the list for the most attempts before winning the Wimbledon title behind Goran Ivanisevic (14).

 

  • Murray won his first Grand Slam title at the 2012 US Open, becoming the first British man to win a Grand Slam title since Perry at the 1936 US Championships. He defeated Djokovic 76(10) 75 26 36 62 in the final.

 

  • Murray is on a 6-match winning streak in 5-set matches. He has a 23-7 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall and a 4-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Wimbledon.

 

  • Murray is on a 11-match winning streak having warmed up for Wimbledon by winning his 5th Queen’s title (d. Milos Raonic), becoming the first man to win 5 titles at the tournament. 7 of his 37 career singles titles have come on grass.

 

  • Murray’s 1st round win over Liam Broady was the first all-British men’s meeting at a Grand Slam since the 2006 US Open when Tim Henman defeated Greg Rusedski in the 1st round. It was the first at Wimbledon since 2001 when Barry Cowan defeated Mark Hilton in the 1st round and Tim Henman defeated Martin Lee in the 2nd round.

 

  • Murray has won 2 singles titles in 2016. As well as winning the title at Queen’s, he also won Rome-1000
    (d. Djokovic). In Grand Slam play this year he reached the final at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros, losing to Djokovic on both occasions. He was the first British man since Bunny Austin in 1937 to reach the Roland Garros final.

 

  • By reaching the 2016 Roland Garros final, Murray joined Jim Courier (won Australian Open and Roland Garros, lost Wimbledon and the US Open) and Fred Stolle (won Roland Garros and the US Open, lost Australia and Wimbledon) as the only 3 men in history to have won 2 of the 4 Grand Slam titles and finished as runner-up at the other 2.

 

  • Murray helped Great Britain to reach the Davis Cup World Group quarterfinals for the 3rd straight time earlier this year. He won both of his singles matches and combined with his brother Jamie to win the doubles in the first round tie against Japan. He has been named in the Great Britain team to face Serbia in the quarterfinals in Belgrade on 15-17 July.

 

  • Murray will defend his singles gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event. He will play in the singles and doubles event (with his brother Jamie). It will be his 3rd Olympic Games after 2008 Beijing and 2012 London.

 

  • Murray reunited with Ivan Lendl, an 8-time Grand Slam champion and a finalist here in 1986 and 1987, at 2016 Queen’s. His assistant coach is Jamie Delgado, who played at Wimbledon 23 times (at any level).

 

  • RAONIC is bidding to become the first Canadian man in history to win a Grand Slam title. He would become the 55th different man to win a Grand Slam title in the Open Era and the 150th different man to win a major title in history.

 

  • Raonic is the 2nd Canadian player – man or woman – to reach a Grand Slam final after Eugenie Bouchard, who finished runner-up at 2014 Wimbledon.

 

  • Raonic is bidding to become just the 4th man in the Open Era to win his first grass court title at Wimbledon. Michael Stich (1991), Andre Agassi (1992) and Novak Djokovic (2011) are the only men to have won their first grass court title here.

 

  • Raonic is looking to become the first player outside of the ‘Big Four’ (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic and today’s opponent) to win Wimbledon since 2002, when Lleyton Hewitt won the title here. He is also the first player outside those 4 to reach the final here since 2010, when Nadal defeated Tomas Berdych.

 

  • Raonic’s compatriot Denis Shapovalov has also reached the boys’ final here. The last time a nation had representation in both the men’s final and the boys’ final at Wimbledon was in 2009 when USA’s Andy Roddick finished runner-up in the men’s event and Jordan Cox finished runner-up in the boys’ event.

 

  • The last time a nation had representation in both the men’s final and the boys’ final at a Grand Slam was at 2014 Roland Garros when Spain’s Nadal won the men’s event and Jaume Munar finished runner-up in the boys’ event. The last time a man and boy from the same nation won a Grand Slam was at 2002 Wimbledon when Lleyton Hewitt won the men’s event and Todd Reid won the boys event for Australia.

 

  • Raonic is bidding to win the Wimbledon title on his 6th appearance here. Arthur Ashe, Stefan Edberg, Jan Kodes and Richard Krajicek all won Wimbledon on their 6th appearance here.

 

  • Raonic is the looking to become the first non-European title winner at Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002. The last non-European man to win a Grand Slam title was Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open. Roddick was the last non-European finalist here in 2009; Kei Nishikori was the last non-European Grand Slam finalist at the 2014 US Open.

 

  • Raonic plays here at No. 6 – his highest seeding at Wimbledon. His highest Grand Slam seeding came at the 2014 US Open, where he was seeded No. 5.

 

  • Aged 25 years 196 days, Raonic is bidding to become the youngest man to win Wimbledon since Djokovic (aged 24 years 42 days) in 2011. He would be the youngest man to win a Grand Slam title since Djokovic (24 years 252 days) at the 2012 Australian Open.

 

  • Raonic is looking to record back-to-back match-wins against Top 3 opposition for the first time. By defeating No. 3 Federer in the semifinals here, Raonic ended a 5-match losing streak against Top 3 opposition. He has a 5-23 win-loss record against Top 3 opposition overall and a 1-4 win-loss record against Top 3 opposition at the majors.

 

  • Raonic has defeated a Top 10 player on grass for the first time to improve his win-loss record against Top 10 opposition on grass to 1-4.

 

  • Raonic sits in 2nd place on the list for the most tiebreaks won at Tour-level in 2016.

 

Tiebreaks won at Tour-level in 2016

John Isner 22-17
Milos Raonic 20-6
Gilles Muller 18-11
Dominic Thiem 18-13
Sam Querrey 17-11

 

  • Last year here, as No. 7 seed, Raonic fell to Nick Kyrgios in the 3rd round. This is his 6th straight appearance at Wimbledon and his 22nd appearance at a Grand Slam overall.

 

  • By defeating Goffin in the round of 16 here, Raonic recorded his first career comeback from 0-2 down. He also defeated Federer in 5 sets in the semifinals to record his second 5-set match-win at Wimbledon and improve his win-loss record in 5-set matches to 8-5.

 

  • By reaching the final here Raonic has recorded his best Grand Slam performance. His previous best result at a major was reaching the semifinals at 2014 Wimbledon (l. Federer) and at the 2016 Australian Open (l. today’s opponent).

 

  • Raonic’s 2016 highlights also include winning his 8th career title at Brisbane, where he defeated Federer in the final, and finishing runner-up at Indian Wells-1000 (l. Djokovic). He lost in the round of 16 at Roland Garros (l. Albert Ramos-Vinolas).

 

  • Raonic will compete in the singles and doubles (with Vasek Pospisil) at the Olympic Tennis Event this summer after the ITF announced the Rio 2016 entries on 30 June.

 

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

 

  • Raonic added 3-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe to his coaching team at 2016 Queen’s. He also works with former world No. 1 Carlos Moya, who reached the round of 16 here in 2004, and Ricardo Piatti. His fitness trainer is Dalibor Sirola and his physiotherapist is Claudio Zimaglia.

 

****Statistics provided by the ITF and Grand Slam Media

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Milos Raonic Rallies Past Roger Federer; Will Play Andy Murray for Wimbledon Title

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

(July 8, 2016) No. 6 Milos Raonic became the first Canadian to reach the Wimbledon final when he rallied past seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in his semifinal on Friday.

Federer, who seemed to be in control of his service games in the fourth set, making headway into Raonic’s service games, but on the cusp of reaching a tiebreak, blew a 40-0 lead, hit toe double faults in a row, to be broken for the set and the momentum switched to Raonic, who never let it go.

“This one clearly hurts, because I felt I could have had it. So close,” said Federer. “It was really so, so close.”

Federer fell flat on his face, literally and figuratively in the fifth set and Raonic sprinted to a 4-1 lead and never looked back.

“I was able to finish,” Federer said, commenting about the fall. “But I don’t slip a lot. I don’t ever fall down. It was a different fall for me than I’ve ever had.”

He admitted in press that after slipping on the grass that he did not feel the same afterwards.

As for the 25-year-old Raonic, he survives and advances. “I sort of persevered,” he said.  “I was sort of plugging away.”

Two years ago, The Swiss beat the Canadian in the semifinals.

“Two years ago, I bottled up all the difficulties I had on court and never got it out,” Raonic said. “I was quite more vocal and a lot more positive on court.”

“I was struggling through many parts of the match,” he continued. “He gave me a little opening towards the end of the fourth. I made the most of it.”

“You’re playing who Roger is today,” Raonic added, “not who he’s been the past few years.”

 

Raonic will be joined in the final by 2013 champion and second seed Andy Murray. The Scot reached his third Wimbledon final and third major final of the year easily passing 10th seed Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. This will be the 11th major final of Murray’s career.

It will be the first major final where he won’t face either Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer. Murray is 2-8 in major finals.

“Obviously, first time I’ll play a Slam final against someone that isn’t Roger or Novak. So, yeah, that’s different,” Murray said to media. “But you never know how anyone’s going to deal with the pressures of a Slam final. So just have to go out there and concentrate on my side. Do what I can to prepare well for it and see what happens.”

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Roger Federer Rallies From Two Sets Down To Reach 11th Wimbledon Semifinal

(July 6, 2016) Roger Federer kept his hopes alive of winning a record eighth Wimbledon title when he rallied from two sets down and saved three match points to beat ninth seed Marin Cilic 6-7(4), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-3 to reach the semifinals on Wednesday on Centre Court. It was a little revenge for the Swiss who was destroyed by Cilic in the 2014 U.S, Open semifinals.

“Well, a lot happened out there,” Federer said to the BBC about the tenth time in his career coming back from a two-set deficit. “I knew I was in so much trouble in the third, and then again in the fourth.”

“I’m really, really pleased and just ecstatic I was able to come through somehow.”
The win for the third seeded Federer marks the 11th time he’s reached the semifinals of the All-England Club, tying Jimmy Connors and he also claims a record 307th match victory at a major, passing Martina Navratilova at 306. He also equaled Jimmy Connors with number of match wins at Wimbledon at 84.

This will be the 17-time major champion’s 40th major semifinal.

“I fought. I tried. I believed, and in the end I got it done, and so it’s great on so many levels,” Federer said to media.

Federer will face No. 6 seed Milos Raonic in the final four. The Canadian stopped the run of 28th seed American Sam Querrey, who upset Novak Djokovic in the third round, 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
Also advancing to his second Wimbledon semifinal was No. 10 Tomas Berdych beating No. 32 Lucas Pouille 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-2.

2013 Wimbledon winner and No. 2 Andy Murray held off No. 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (10), 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1 for the last spot in the final four on Centre Court.

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Andy Murray Nets Record Fifth Queen’s Club Title on First “Father’s Day”

(June 19, 2016) LONDON – Was Sunday’s match Andy Murray versus Milos Raonic or John McEnroe vs Ivan Lendl? There was a moment…

Leading a set and serving at 3-1 in the second set, Raonic blasted (yet another) first serve and followed it in to the net, where he hit a perfectly formed classical backhand volley deep to Murray’s sideline. Murray immediately raised his arm and Hawkeye was consulted. It was out, by a centimeter or two. A few seconds and a couple of passing shots later, Murray was serving at 2-3 and holding for 3-3, and not long after that it was set-all.

Old-timers were ready with the historical analogy: it was just such a volley that cost McEnroe his only career chance at the French Open title! And he was playing Lendl! And leading by two sets and a break!

All week, Queen’s Club has been playing up the historical potential of this year’s tournament. Eight players have won the title four times: Ritchie, Wilding, Emerson, McEnroe, Becker, Roddick, and…Murray. If Murray wins this year, he’ll break the record. The press areas are adorned with posters of each of the eight players, lest we forget.

Where it seems clear Raonic can use McEnroe’s help is on covering the net. He has, of course, tremendously long arms (sleeve-watchers noted that he’d skipped the one-arm compression sleeve for this match, but it was notable that if he didn’t win the point on the first volley Murray was often readily able to pass him.

Murray broke again in the first game of the third set and held that advantage to 5-3. Raonic saved two championship points with fine serves, and then Murray fashioned a third with another of those passing shots. On the final point, Raonic came in – and couldn’t get his attempted volley over the net.

So Murray has his record-breaking fifth title and a nation hoping that Lendl’s reappearance in the player’s box bodes good things for a few weeks hence. Raonic, in congratulating him, wished him something he felt was more important: his first happy Father’s Day.

By Wendy M. Grossman

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Victoria Azarenka to Play Svetlana Kuznetsova in Miami Open Final

(March 31, 2016) A pair of former Miami Open winners and two-time major champions have reached the women’s final. Svetlana Kuznetsova, a 2006 winner of the Miami Open held off Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-3. 2009 and 2011 Key Biscayne winner, 13th seed Victoria Azarenka gained a little revenge from the Australian Open by beating No. 2 Angelique Kerber. Kerber beat Azarenka in the quarterfinals of Melbourne and went on to beat Serena Williams in the final to capture her first major title.

Kuznetsova knocked out eight-time champion Serena Williams in the fourth round of Miami and survived four straight three-set wins to reach the semifinal.

The 30-year-old Russian at No. 19 in the world has become the lowest ranked finalist since 2005, when No. 38 Kim Clijsters won the Miami title.

Should Kuznetsova win the title, she would return to the top ten. She talked about her tournament so far.

“I just take match by match and I just go,” she said. “It’s one more match. I’ll play with another amazing opponent. I had great wins this week, but one match, it’s a lot. It’s almost like everything. It’s great, you know.

“I start really well playing in Sydney, and then Australian Open didn’t happen to me to play good there. But I still felt I was in good level. Then I kind of mess up with Fed Cup and all that results. It was not good for me.

“I didn’t feel going in that good shape going to the U.S. swing. I was not feeling confident at all. After I had a loss in Indian Wells I tried to work a lot and training every morning a lot just to get confidence back, get my fitness.

“I’m doing better. I’m appreciate, I am blessed I have my body to play so many years and to win against good players, top players. It’s great when things come together. Either way, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s a great week. I’m really pleased and happy the way I fight through all these tournaments and weeks and players.”

On-court after the match, the former French Open and U.S. Open champion said she was happy wrapping up the match in straight sets.

“I am happy that I could hang in there and never let my hands down,” said Kuznetsova.

“I’m happy I’m still able to play against the best in the world. I was praying to finish it in two sets so I would have a little more time to rest.”

 

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

Azarenka advanced during the Thursday night session, improving her record this year to 21-1, not dropping a set during the tournament. Should the Belarusian win, she’d become only the third woman player to win the Indian Wells – Miami double in the same year.

Both Azarenka and Kerber produced hard-hitting shots with very exciting rallies. Azarenka had her serve broken, serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set but won the next two games to close it.

Azarenka broke the German’s serve seven time during the match, hitting 29 winners and only making 16 unforced errors.

“Vika, she is doing amazing,” Kuznetsova said about potentially playing her in the final. “She is extremely prepared. Playing really confident taking all her chances.”

Azarenka is 4-4 against Kuznetsova in head-to-head competition. The last time they faced each other was in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open. Azarenka won the match and went on to win her second straight Melbourne crown.

Kei Nishikori photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

Kei Nishikori photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

On the men’s side of the draw, No. 6 Kei Nishikori survived five match points to beat No. 16 Gael Monfils 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) to advance to the semifinals on Thursday. He’ll face No. 24 seed Nick Kyrgios who surprised No. 12 Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6(4).

Nishikori was down 4-5, 0-40 before fighting off the Frenchman.

“I was up a break and I had many chances to break again, you know, second time,” said the top player from Japan.

“You know, I just try to focus when I lost the game for 4-All. Actually, I knew something like that was going to be happen, so I was kind of ready and like 50/50.

“But when I was down 4-5, Love-40, I thought, All right, that’s it. Especially the last couple games I wasn’t serving well, so that was — I thought it’s going to be tough to come back. I tried to play one point at time. Yeah, I thought I have to hit the ball to win the points, and I did.

“The tiebreak I was try to be focus again. I saw he was down a little bit, so try to be focus again. Yeah, did pretty good in tiebreak.”

“Then I think at 3-4 I really raise my level,” Monfils said. “I think I start to be very aggressive, start to go for it, and still had the strong feeling that I can make it.

“At the end, I think I push very hard. Then definitely I have opportunity it close it out, but actually Kei played strong. He fought well.

“Actually, I think in the breaker he was just better than me.”

Kyrgios talked about playing Nishikori next: “Obviously Kei is one of the greatest players in the world at the moment. He has an unbelievable return of serve, moves unbelievably fast, hits big from the baseline, doesn’t have many weaknesses.

“When I played him in Shanghai I didn’t really do too much wrong. I played a great match the whole time and he just played a really well in the big moments. I definitely had chances.

“I know what my game plan is going to be. It’s going to be a tough match, but I’m looking forward to it. He’s a great guy.”

For his efforts in Miami, the young Australian’s ranking will move into the top 20.

MIAMI OPEN RESULTS – MARCH 31, 2016
Women’s Singles – Semifinals
[13] V. Azarenka (BLR) d [2] A. Kerber (GER) 62 75
[15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d [19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 75 63

Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [16] G. Monfils (FRA) 46 63 76(3) – saved 5 m.p.
[24] N. Kyrgios (AUS) d [12] M. Raonic (CAN) 64 76(4)

Men’s Doubles – Semifinals
[5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d [4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 63 63
R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) d T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 64 62

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, APRIL 01, 2016
STADIUM start 1:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [15] D. Goffin (BEL)
WTA – M. Gasparyan (RUS) / M. Niculescu (ROU) vs [4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ)

7:00 pm
ATP – [24] N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)
WTA – [3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) vs [8] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN)

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Novak Djokovic Three-Peats at BNP Paribas Open

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(March 20, 2016) Novak Djokovic destroyed Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0 to win his third straight and a record fifth BNP Paribas Open title on Sunday.

He now has a 17-match win streak at Indian Wells with the three-peat. His record in the desert is 46-6. The world No. 1 improves his record on the year to 22-1.

Raonic admitted that a few games into the match he was hampered by an injury. He took a medical time out after the first set.

Djokovic broke the hard-hitting Canadian’s serve five times during the 77-minute match.

This marks Djokovic’s 27th Masters 1000 title. He is now tied with Rafael Nadal for the all-time lead.

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

Raonic had a medical issue which began a few games into the match.

Despite the loss the 25-year-old Raonic was upbeat about his tournament performance:

“There is a lot of positives to take away. Right now it’s very disappointing, but at the end of the day, until two weeks ago I didn’t do any side-to-side movement and I didn’t play any points and all these kind of things.

“To be here playing in one of the 12 most important tournaments in our year in the final is great progress forward. I look to sort of keep that going forward and, you know, trying to be healthy and trying to get better every day.”

“I need to work harder (to beat Djokovic),” he said. “I need to execute better. My way that I go about things, I think I’m on the right track. I think it’s about putting the things, putting the things together, being effective, which today I wasn’t able to do.

“I think I have it within me, but obviously I need to reach a lot deeper to find that execution.”
Raonic is 14-2 on the year having won the Brisbane International beating Roger Federer in the final. This was Raonic’s third Masters 1000 final.

“I’m just glad to be able to raise the level of my game as the tournament progresses, and that’s something that I have been doing in the last two years particularly on the big events,” Djokovic said.

“I have been managing to win most of the big matches against top 10 players. You know, obviously I have a certain routine and certain preparation for these big matches that works for me, again. Everybody is different. But I have been — I will try to follow that kind of routine and get myself in that state of mind where I’m able to get the best out of myself when it’s most needed.”

 

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Djokovic Beats Nadal to Reach Indian Wells Final

316Djokoviclofhvolley-001

(March 19, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – Novak Djokovic continued his winning streak against Rafael Nadal beating him 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Saturday to reach the BNP Paribas Open final for the third straight year in a row.  He has now beaten the Spaniard six times in a row, with his last loss coming in the 2014 French Open final. The world No. 1, whose streak in Indian Wells is up to 14 in a row will going be going for a record fifth title and a “three-peat” on Sunday when he faces Milos Raonic for the title. Raonic defeated David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to reach his third Masters1000 final.

Djokovic has now lifted his record over Nadal to 25-23.

In the first set Djokovic and Nadal exchanged breaks of serve before getting to the tiebreaker. Djokovic raced out to a 5-2 lead, thanks to three straight errors by the 14-time major champion.

In the second set, Nadal held off Djokovic until the sixth game when the Serb broke serve to go up 4-2 and holding serve for 5-2.

In the eighth game, Nadal fought off five match points before a forehand long gave the match to Djokovic.

“It could have gone either way, the first set, but I managed to stay composed and serve well in important moments and just believed that I can win,” Djokovic said.

“We had a very long first set. It went over an hour and ten minutes, I think. It’s not the first time. I know it’s very physically demanding when I get to play Nadal.

“I think I have had a couple of break points 4-3-up first set and didn’t use that. He had his chances, as well. He had 5-4, set point.

“So it was quite even coming into tiebreak. You know, tiebreak I was 5-2 up; came back to 5-All with some great defense and great points. Then I just served well and hung in there. You know, I made him play an extra shot.

“So I think, you know, 5-All, 6-5, those points, you know, in the tiebreak, I mean, have decided a whole set, because more or less if you look at the first set it was quite even.”

Nadal

“I think I played well for a set and a half; then I think he played well the last,” Nadal said. “I played bad again with my serve on 3-2, and then he finished playing well the last two games. Played at high level.

“I had my chances in the first set. I felt for a moment that I was competing at the highest level possible. At the beginning of the tiebreak and at the end of the first set with some Love-15 that I had, I made a few mistakes with my forehand. That’s the only thing.

“I believe that with a little bit more of confidence with my forehand at the end of that first set will be a better chance.”

“Today was closer than the last couple of times against the best player of world, so was a very positive week for me,” Nadal continued.

“That’s the way. I gonna try to follow this way to keep going with this level. If I am able to play weeks in a row at this level, then you start to think about the chances to compete for everything.”

In the other semifinal, the Canadian Raonic hit 10 aces in his win against the Belgian, raising his 2016 record to 14-1. Raonic won the Brisbane title, beating Roger Federer in the final.

“Milos is probably playing the best tennis that he has ever played,” Djokovic said. “I think looking at his performances this year, winning in Brisbane, playing semis of Australian Open, and then coming back off injury and playing already in finals here, it’s quite impressive.

“His serve was phenomenal before the start of this season, but this season it seems like he has improved even more, especially the second serve. He’s going for it more. He’s not giving you the same look.

“That’s a very strong weapon that — an advantage that he possesses in his game that he obviously tries to leverage in the matches. I’m aware that it’s gonna be very tough to return his serve, but if I manage to neutralize his serve, get many returns back in play, I think I have a good chance from the baseline.

“I also need to have decent first-serve percentage in, because I don’t want him to, you know, take the advantage of my second serves and, you know, start stepping in too much.

“Yeah. I saw he’s aggressive, trying to take the initiative from the first shot off his serve, which is natural because his serve goes 140 miles and gives him a lot of easy shots.

“Yeah, I will try to prepare myself tactically, analyze his game with my team. You know, we are playing finals, so I’ll try to also use the experience that I have had playing in many Masters Series finals in this tournament, as well. If I’m not mistaken, he’s going for his first.

“But, you know, even though he hasn’t played too many Masters finals, he’s still very strong mentally. He’s very calm on the court. He’s very composed. He’s showing, I would say, mental character virtues that are characteristic, I would say, for maybe some more experienced and older players.”

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

“Definitely have been playing higher level this year, but I think also when I have had those difficult moments or let’s say some kind of crisis throughout matches, I have found solutions better,” Raonic said.

“Against Novak it’s a difficult matchup. I think that I have added good things to my tennis that can help me in that aspect. It’s going to be important to control the center of the court; obviously be the one that’s moving less. I think I’m going to have to do a better job of stepping up like I did in that third set with forehands earlier on and not being content with just putting it through. Not expecting sort of the match to be given to me.”

“I have obviously a big challenge ahead of me, but I have been pretty good this year at finding solutions.”

Djokovic is 5-0 against Raonic.

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Nadal Survives Zverev; Wawrinka Ousted at BNP Paribas Open

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

(March 16, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – No. 5 Rafael Nadal came back from 2-5 down and a match point at 3-5 in third set to take down up-and-coming  18-year-old German No. 58 Alexander Zverev 6-7(8), 6-0, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

Zverev had a match point at 5-3 in third, but he hit a forehand olley into the net and never recovered from his mistake. The Spaniard lost only two points in his Last two service games to close the match.

“I had match point, so I think I did well there. On match point I sucked, so that was it,” Zverev said.

“I missed probably the easiest shot I had the whole match. That’s what happened.”

“I think it was a great match. I mean, Rafa did what he does best; he was fighting. I mean, he’s known for that. So, you know, I still had chances to win. I had an easy shot at match point and I missed it.”

“Look, in the last three weeks I lost 7-5 in the third to Berdych; 6-4 in the fifth to Berdych; and 7-5 in the third with match point to Nadal. So I know how tough losses feel right now.

” Look, I mean, I think it was a great match. I mean, Rafa did what he does best; he was fighting. I mean, he’s known for that. So, you know, I still had chances to win. I had an easy shot at match point and I missed it.

“I’m out and he’s in the quarterfinals.”

“Very happy for the victory, obviously,” Nadal said. “I have been fighting during the whole match. First set I had big chance with not a difficult forehand down the line that I missed. So that first set probably will be the key, if I was able to hit that forehand right place, no?

“But after that, I think I played a great second set. But at the beginning, sometimes when win a set that easy is dangerous for the beginning of the next one, no?

“The beginning of the third he played aggressive, and I think I stopped a little bit the rhythm, so I was in trouble, no?

“Was a great victory. You know, it’s obvious that I played against a great player, a player who was serving unbelievable, at the beginning especially. He served well whole match apart from some double faults.

“”But you think when somebody is serving with that speed in the second serve, some double faults are the normal thing, no?

Is a great victory, as I said before. I’m very happy about it. I am especially happy about the mentality on court, the spirit of fight during the whole match, believing that I can win a match during the whole time even in the tougher situations.”

Nadal talked about the adjustments he needed to make against Zverev.

“Well, beginning of the match he was serving over 133 first serves and second serves over 120.

“I was trying to return inside the court, as I did every day, but with the second serve 120 miles with a lot of spin, 124, 123, 120, was impossible, no?

“At the beginning when that happened I was in a little bit of trouble, because I felt like I cannot lose my serve, because if I lose my serve and he was serving that way, is impossible. So I felt a little bit the pressure at the beginning.

“But then I think I returned really well during the whole match, no? First serve. Second serve I decided to go back three, four meters behind the baseline, because from inside he was — he’s young, ready to take the risks, and if the opponent wants to take the risk on the second serve and he’s having success, it’s difficult to make something, no?

“”I decided to go back and tried to put more balls in, and I think worked well. I think I had enough breaks to win the match.

“Negative thing is I lost my serve twice in the third, something that cannot happen, especially after having the break back. But that’s it. No, no, no, the match was tough. I think any player can win, and is true he had a big chance with match point and that volley.

“Sorry for him. I think at the same time, I deserve victory like this after couple of loses with big chances to win, too.”

Belgian’s David Goffin, ranked 18th in the world, stunned third seed Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (5) to reach the quarterfinals of Inidan Wells on Wednesday. The victory for Goffin ended a 14- match losing streak against top 10 players.

Wawrinka came back from 0-4 down in the second set to 4-4. Goffin served for the match at 5-4, but failed to close and Wawrinka won the next three games to even the match at a set all. In the third set, Goffin against served for the match and could not hold. The match went on to tiebreak. Wawrinka hit a crucial overhead out at 5-5 to give Goffin match point which capitalized on.

There were 13 breaks of serve in the match.

“I was struggling with my serve and it was difficult with the heat,” Goffin said in press. “In the third, it’s tough to fight again with the heat and with the level of Stan. The tiebreaker is like you flip a coin.”

“Well, not too great day, not too great level,” Wawrinka said smiling. “I didn’t have the rhythm yet. Was a match without brain, let’s put it that way.

“Have some tough time to focus, have some tough time to find what I wanted to play and stay calm. Still try to fight. Got lucky to come back twice. Had the chance to finish the tiebreak. I didn’t, and quite simple.”

“I think he got a bit tired and nervous also,” Wawrinka continued. “He start to miss easy shots. Gave me the chance to come back. Can lose quickly, eh?

“Two time I come back. I had the chance in the third set to finish it also at 5-5 to break him again. I didn’t. I didn’t.

“But in general, he deserved to win. You know, it was the time of. Should have finish before.”
Goffin will play No. 10 seed Marin Cilic, who defeated No. 8 Richard Gasquet, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2. Another upset saw No. 12 Milos Raonic beat No. 6 Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-6 (7).

“A match where you sort of say you felt great but you went out there and you tried to put the pieces together, Raonic said.

“I got ahead a few service games. He served well. He got ahead. I served well. That was pretty much only one point that I would sort of have played differently. Maybe just be a little bit sharper in the second serves in the beginning service games.

“Other than that, it was all good.”

Top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic advanced easily. Williams defeated defending champion Simona Halep 6-4, 6-3.

“It feels really good to get that win,” Williams said. “She obviously has been in good form the past couple years. So, yeah, I feel really good just to get under there and buckle down and to win that.

No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who will move up to No. 2 in the rankings, defeated Petra Kvitova 6-2, 7-6 (3) to reach the semifinals. She’ll face Serena Williams in the semifinals.

Asked about returning to No. 2 in the world, Radwanska said: “It’s always a good feeling to be back in this position. I wasn’t long last time, but I think that was a few years ago. It’s always good to be back in that position. Now it’s difficult to be No. 1.

“There is always opportunity, but it’s not about one or two tournaments. To be No. 1 you really have to play the whole season very good, and obviously catch Serena. But she is also playing very good tennis and she will want to play good and be there at No. 1.

“Well, I will try my best, and now I have the opportunity that I’m definitely not really defending much points till the grass, so, well, that’s definitely my spot that I can do that. We’ll see if I can.”

Williams said of the match-up: “She knows how to play in big stadiums and big matches, big games.

“Obviously she does everything so well, including running, and this is a good surface for her because it’s a slow surface. I think I expect there will be a lot of long rallies.

“Honestly, I will be ready. I really like Aga on and off the court. I think she’s super exciting to watch on the court, and off the court I think she’s really one of the nicest people.

“Regardless, I think it will be a really good matchup. Whoever wins will go into the final.”

Novak Djokovic defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.

“I’m actually glad to have a match like this with not much complications,” Djokovic said.

“I think we both started to play well on our service games, and he was 30-Love on that game when I broke him. Then he missed four first serves. I managed to step in and return very well on those four second serves that I got and just used the opportunity.

“You know, after that I was feeling more comfortable also on the return games even though Feliciano is a very difficult player to play against. He’s left handed and he has a big first serve and he can hit angles, comes to the net, so very strong, physically moves well.

“But I was very solid. I didn’t allow him to come to the net too many times. It was a good performance.”

Kei Nishikori beat John Isner 1-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5) plays Nadal in the quarterfinals.

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