June 25, 2016

The Man with the Silver Bowl – Behind the Scenes at The Queen’s Club Draw

By Wendy M. Grossman

1-Queens Club draw Ceremony Wendy Grossman Tennis Panorama News

(June 11, 2016) LONDON, England – “Don’t look,” cautioned the man bearing the silver bowl.

Tennis conspiracy theorists always think tournament draws are fixed. Sometimes – for example, the 1996 US Open, when the players threatened to boycott unless the draw was remade – there are good reasons. In that case, the seedings had been announced after the draw had already been announced, and because they didn’t strictly follow the rankings, there were legitimate questions asked about whether the tournament was favoring American stars. A 2011 study of ten years of men’s and women’s singles Grand Slam draws found that the other Slams did indeed seem to produce random draws, but that that the US Open draws showed anomalies.

More common claims are that the draw is fixed to ease one or another player’s path or that the placing of seeds 3 and 4 is fixed in order to keep a particular pairing apart until the final. Every time a new draw for one of the majors is announced, you’ll find someone in a tennis discussion forum complaining that Roger Federer always gets an easy draw and Rafael Nadal a hard one, or  Novak Djokovic a tough road and Nadal an easy one…or some variation of that with whatever players the poster cares about.

Others would just like to tinker with the rules governing how draws are made. Over the years people have suggested that the semifinal pairings should always be 1-4 and 2-3, or that the entire draw should be remade before the quarter-finals to rebalance the gaps left by defeated seeds. Another favorite suggestion is that the majors should go back to seeding 16 players instead of 32, the rule until 2001. Doing so, the argument goes, would make the early rounds a little more tantalizing. I incline toward this latter idea myself, but it’s unlikely to happen because seeding 32 players was a concession Wimbledon made as part of a settlement of player complaints. The Spanish players were offended by the All-England’s habit of revising the seeding list to take into account past results on grass, which sometimes dropped the Spaniards out of the seeding list. This, they felt, was unfair: sure they often lost in the early rounds, but, they reasoned, they got no reverse consideration at the French Open, where they could be expected to do well but Pete Sampras was still top seed despite his habit of losing in the first two rounds.

2-Queens Club draw Wendy Grossman - portraits

Back to the man with the silver bowl. We are in the Presidents’ Room at Queen’s Club, surrounded by oil portraits, one of which is a dead ringer for Kaiser Wilhelm (it’s actually the Rt Hon Lord of Dalkeith, the club president from 1874 to 1879). The room is full of journalists and various people involved with running either the club or the tournament. (You can easily tell them apart. The people involved with the club are dressed for a cocktail party; tournament staff are wearing sponsored sports stuff; and the journalists look like they’ve been dragged in off the street.) At the front, next to a populated head table is a large screen with a blank 32-slot draw, and a load of numbered plastic tokens. We are introduced to three people who together have bid £250,000 (to be given to a children’s charity) for the right to be here today. Also on hand: Marin Cilic, the 2012 champion of this event. All of this, including the presence of a player, is fairly standard, though the exact mechanics vary.

The ritual begins with slotting the name of the top seed – Andy Murray – on line number 1 and second seed Stan Wawrinka on line 32. Next, the tokens for 3 and 4 are placed in the bowl and Queen’s man in the grey suit asks one of the dignitaries to pick one. This is where “Don’t look!” comes in. The one that is drawn – fourth seed Richard Gasquet – is placed on line 9, and the other, McEnroe-enhanced third seed Milos Raonic, on line 24. That settles the projected semifinal pairings. Next, the tokens for seeds 5 to 8 are placed in the bowl, and the man bowl is offered to three different people to fill the quarterfinal spots. Finally, the rest of the tokens are placed in the bowl, and the man goes around offering it to various people in the audience, even soliciting volunteers. Each person draws out one of the remaining numbers and the team at the front places it in the next empty line of the draw. There are tokens for qualifiers, whose names won’t be known until tomorrow (assuming the rain delay ends in time). These will also be drawn randomly to fill the empty spaces left for them.

As they go, the on-screen board fills in and profiles of the players and their match pairings pop up alongside. Some of the matches sound much tastier than the first round at Wimbledon will be. Cilic, interviewed, noted that the cut-off for the main draw this week was 44, which he thinks is the highest for any tournament on the tour. Murray, seeking his record-breaking fifth title here this year, draws Nicolas Mahut in the first round. Definitely a tough one: Mahut has grass cred. Besides being, famously, the loser in 2010’s three-day first-round Wimbledon encounter with John Isner, he’s a former finalist here who might have won the title but for an unlucky netcord, and recently the world’s number one doubles player. Other first-round contests that catch the eye: Nick Kyrgios versus Raonic sounds like an old-style serving contest; John Isner will have to contend with just-back Juan Martin del Potro; and Cilic faces Feliciano Lopez, the good-on-grass Spaniard who has troubled plenty of players here over the years.

Most draws, while not attended with quite as much ceremony, are pretty much like this: public events, with at least one player, some press, and various others in attendance. While it might be possible to fix the draw somewhere sometime, the intent is to make the process transparent and trustworthy. Conspiracy theorists should look elsewhere.

 

Queen’s Club Draws

Related articles:

A Look at the History of Queen’s Club with CEO Andrew Stewart

Keeping the Queen’s Club Grass Courts Perfect; Meet Graham Kimpton

Approach Shots: Getting to Know Tennis Umpire Ali Nili

Share

Novak Djokovic Wins French Open Title to Complete “Career Grand Slam” and win Fourth Straight Major Title

Djokovic thumbs up-001

(June 5, 2016) Novak Djokovic became the first man since Rod Laver won a calendar Grand Slam in 1969 to win four straight major titles, winning the French Open on Sunday over Andy Murray 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday to complete a career Grand Slam. Djokovic is just the third man to hold all four majors titles at the same time which includes Don Budge 1938 and Rod Laver in 1962 and 1969.

The title gives No. 1 Djokovic his 12 major titles, tying him with Roy Emerson on the all-time list, behind Roger Federer with 17, Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras with 14. The Serb is the eighth man to complete a career “Grand Slam” joining Don Budge, Fred Perry, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. The 29-year-old is now 12-11 in major finals.

“It’s a thrilling moment,” said Djokovic. “One of the most beautiful I have had in my career. “It’s incredibly flattering to know that Rod Laver is the last one that managed to do that. There are not many words that can describe it. It’s one of the ultimate challenges that you have as a tennis player. I’m very proud and very thrilled. It’s hard for me to reflect on what has happened before and what’s going to happen after. I’m just so overwhelmed with having this trophy next to me that I’m just trying to enjoy this moment.”

“Perhaps the greatest moment of my career.”

After completing the victory, Djokovic took a page out of former Roland Garros champion Gustavo Kuerten’s book, by drawing a heart in the clay and laying on his back inside it to celebrate.

“The most important thing for me is that I wrote down that heart, like Guga did,” Djokovic said after the match. “He gave me the permission to do this. The most important is that I felt the love, and drawing a heart means I will remain on this court with you every day.”

“This is Novak’s day,” Murray said during the trophy ceremony. “Winning all four Grand Slams at once is a great achievement. This is something that is so rare in tennis. What he’s achieved the last 12 months is phenomenal. I’m proud to be part of it today.”

Djokovic has now won 28 matches in a row in major tournaments dating back to last year’s French Open final.

His collection of majors: 6 Australian Opens, 1 Roland Garros, 3 Wimbledons and two U.S. Opens.

The French Open crown marks his 65 title, which puts him at number six on the all-time list behind Jimmy Connors (109), Ivan Lendl (94), Roger Federer (88), John McEnroe (77) and Rafael Nadal (69).

Djokovic is now halfway through a calendar Grand Slam, winning the Australian and French Opens. The last time a man won the first two majors in a year was Jim Courier in 1992.

 

Share

Tale of the Tape – Novak Djokovic Versus Andy Murray for Roland Garros Title

2016 Roland Garros
Men’s Day 15 Preview
Sunday 5 June
Final

NO. 1 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (SRB) v NO. 2 ANDY MURRAY (GBR)

2016 Roland Garros marks the 115th edition of the French Championships and the 86th tournament since the event became international in 1925. It is also the 193rd Grand Slam tournament of the Open Era, the first of which was 1968 Roland Garros, making this the 49th French Open.

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 for 2016 Roland Garros is €12,032,000, a 15.6% increase on 2015. The winner is also awarded 2000 ATP ranking points, with the runner-up receiving 1200.

ATP rankings update

Djokovic and Murray will remain at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, when the ATP rankings are updated on Monday 6 June. Here’s how the rest of the Top 10 will look on Monday.

1    Novak Djokovic
2    Andy Murray
3    Roger Federer
4    Rafael Nadal
5    Stan Wawrinka
6    Kei Nishikori
7    Dominic Thiem
8    Tomas Berdych
9    Milos Raonic
10    Richard Gasquet

No. 1 v No. 2

The last time the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds met in the Roland Garros final was in 2014, when No. 1 Rafael Nadal defeated No. 2 Djokovic. It is the 9th time the Top 2 seeds have met in the Roland Garros final in the Open Era, with the No. 2 seed holding a 6-2 win-loss record against the No. 1 seed in finals here. The only victories for the No. 1 seed over the No. 2 seed here came in 1978, when No. 1 Bjorn Borg defeated No. 2 Guillermo Vilas, and 2014, when No. 1 Nadal defeated No. 2 Djokovic.
This the 4th consecutive meeting between the Top 2 seeds at a Grand Slam. The last time the No. 2 seed defeated the No. 1 seed in a Grand Slam final was at the 2013 US Open, when Nadal defeated Djokovic.
The last time the No. 1 seed played the No. 2 seed in a Grand Slam final when neither player had won that Grand Slam before was at 1984 Roland Garros, when No. 2 Ivan Lendl beat No. 1 John McEnroe.

2016 leaders
Djokovic is in 1st place while Murray is in 5th place for the most Tour-level match-wins in 2016.

Most wins in 2016
Novak Djokovic    43-3
Dominic Thiem         41-11
Kei Nishikori        32-10
Rafael Nadal         29-8
Andy Murray        28-5

Murray is in joint-3rd place for most clay court wins in 2016 with an 18-2 win-loss record this year. Djokovic is in 6th place with a 15-2 win-loss record on clay so far this year.

Most clay court wins in 2016
Dominic Thiem        25-6
Rafael Nadal        21-4
Pablo Carreno Busta    18-11
Andy Murray         18-2
Pablo Cuevas        17-6
Novak Djokovic    15-2

Djokovic tops the list for the most titles won this year with 5. Murray, meanwhile, is bidding to win his 2nd title of 2016 and join the 5 men to have won multiple titles this year.

Most titles in 2016
Novak Djokovic        5         Doha, Australian Open, Indian Wells-1000, Miami-1000, Madrid-1000
Dominic Thiem          3          Buenos Aires, Acapulco, Nice
Stan Wawrinka             3           Chennai, Dubai, Geneva
Pablo Cuevas            2            Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo
Rafael Nadal             2           Monte Carlo-1000, Barcelona

Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 23-10
2006    AMS Madrid        Hard (I)        R16    Djokovic    16 75 63
2007    AMS Indian Wells    Hard (O)    SF    Djokovic    62 63
2007    AMS Miami        Hard (O)    SF    Djokovic    61 60
2008    AMS Monte Carlo    Clay (O)    R16    Djokovic    60 64
2008    AMS Toronto        Hard (O)    QF    Murray        63 76(3)
2008    AMS Cincinnati        Hard (O)    FR    Murray        76(4) 76(5)
2009    Miami-1000        Hard (O)    FR    Murray        62 75
2011    Australian Open    Hard (O)    FR    Djokovic    64 62 63
2011    Rome-1000        Clay (O)    SF    Djokovic    61 36 76(2)
2011    Cincinnati-1000        Hard (O)    FR    Murray        64 3-0 ret. (right shoulder injury)
2012    Australian Open    Hard (O)    SF    Djokovic    63 36 67(4) 61 75
2012    Dubai            Hard (O)    SF    Murray        62 75
2012    Miami-1000        Hard (O)    FR    Djokovic    61 76(4)
2012    Olympic Tennis Event    Grass (O)    SF    Murray        75 75
2012    US Open        Hard (O)    FR    Murray        76(10) 75 26 36 62
2012    Shanghai-1000        Hard (O)    FR    Djokovic    57 76(11) 63
2012    ATP World Tour Finals    Hard (I)        RR    Djokovic    46 63 75
2013    Australian Open    Hard (O)    FR    Djokovic    67(2) 76(3) 63 62
2013    Wimbledon        Grass (O)    FR    Murray        64 75 64
2014     Miami-1000        Hard (O)    QF    Djokovic    75 63
2014    US Open        Hard (O)    QF    Djokovic    76(1) 67(1) 62 64
2014    Beijing            Hard (O)    SF    Djokovic    63 64
2014     Paris-1000        Hard (I)        QF    Djokovic    75 62
2015    Australian Open    Hard (O)    FR    Djokovic    76(5) 67(4) 63 60
2015     Indian Wells-1000    Hard (O)    SF    Djokovic    62 63
2015    Miami-1000        Hard (O)    FR    Djokovic    76(3) 46 60
2015    Roland Garros     Clay (O)    SF    Djokovic    63 63 57 57 61
2015    Montreal-1000        Hard (O)    FR    Murray        64 46 63
2015    Shanghai-1000        Hard (O)    SF    Djokovic    61 63
2015    Paris-1000        Hard (I)        FR    Djokovic    62 64
2016    Australian Open    Hard (O)    FR    Djokovic    61 75 76(3)
2016     Madrid-1000        Clay (O)    FR    Djokovic    62 36 63
2016     Rome-1000        Clay (O)    FR    Murray        63 63
Djokovic has won 12 of his last 14 matches against Murray. His only losses in that time came in the finals at 2015 Montreal-1000 and 2016 Rome-1000. Djokovic has a 9-7 win-loss record against Murray in Tour-level finals.

Djokovic has a 7-2 win-loss record against Murray at the Grand Slams, and a 4-2 win-loss record against Murray in Grand Slam finals. The only player Djokovic has beaten on more occasions than Murray at a Grand Slam is Roger Federer (defeated 9 times).

It will be the 7th meeting between these 2 players in a Grand Slam final which puts them in joint 2nd position on the all-time leaderboard for most match-ups in a Grand Slam final.

Most head-to-heads in Grand Slam finals (Open Era)
Head-to-head    Grand Slam final meetings
Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal    8
Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray    7
7
Andre Agassi v Pete Sampras
Ivan Lendl v Mats Wilander    5
5

Murray and Djokovic are the closest Grand Slam finalists by age. Murray is just 7 days older than Djokovic. The previous closest Grand Slam finalists in terms of age were Guillermo Vilas and Jimmy Connors who met at the 1977 US Open when Vilas was 16 days older than Connors.

Djokovic has a 4-1 win-loss record against Murray on a clay court.

The winner of this final will enter the list for the most attempts to win Roland Garros. Djokovic will go top of the list for the most attempts before winning the title here if he wins, while Murray will go joint-6th in the list with Albert Costa if he wins the title here:
Attempts to win Roland Garros (Open Era)
Novak Djokovic    12??
Andre Agassi
Andres Gomez
Roger Federer
Stan Wawrinka    11
11
11
11
Thomas Muster    10
Albert Costa
Andy Murray    9
9??

DJOKOVIC    v    MURRAY

29    Age    29
6’2”/1.88m    Height    6’3”/1.91m
99,673,404    Career Earnings (US$)    45,157,463
1    ATP Ranking    2
64    Titles    36
11 titles    Best Grand Slam result    2 titles
220-34    Career Grand Slam Record    165-38
54-11    Roland Garros Record    34-8
729-149    Career Record    580-170
176-43    Career Record – Clay    98-40
43-3    2016 Record    28-5
15-2    2016 Record – Clay    18-2
27-8    Career Five-Set Record    22-7
4    Comebacks from 0-2 Down    9
200-112    Career Tiebreak Record    165-102
12-2    2016 Tiebreak Record    8-4

Road to the Final
DJOKOVIC    Time        Time    MURRAY
d. Yen-Hsun Lu 64 61 61
d. (Q) Steve Darcis 75 63 64    1:30
2:17    1st round
2nd round    3:41
3:34    d. (Q) Radek Stepanek 36 36 60 63 75
d. (WC) Mathias Bourgue 62 26 46 62 63
d. Aljaz Bedene 62 63 63    2:02    3rd round    1:56    d. No. 27 Ivo Karlovic 61 64 76(3)
d.  No. 14 Roberto Bautista Agut 36 64 61 75
d.  No. 7 Tomas Berdych 63 75 63
d. No. 13 Dominic Thiem 62 61 64    3:11
2:06
1:48
Round of 16
Quarterfinals
Semifinals    2:40
3:24
2:35    d.  No. 15 John Isner 76(9) 64 63
d. No. 9 Richard Gasquet 57 76(3) 60 62
d. No. 3 Stan Wawrinka 64 62 46 62

total time on court     12:54    (IBM time)      17:50    total time on court

•    DJOKOVIC is bidding to win his first Roland Garros title and become the 3rd man in history to complete a non-calendar year Grand Slam. Only Don Budge and Rod Laver have held all 4 Grand Slam titles at the same time.

•    Budge completed his non-calendar year Grand Slam at 1938 Roland Garros before going on to win the calendar Grand Slam by winning all 4 major tournaments in a single year in 1938. Laver won all 4 majors in 1962 and 1969 – his win at the 1962 US Open completed his set of major titles.

•    Djokovic is looking to become just the 8th man – and 2nd oldest – in history to complete the career Grand Slam after Andre Agassi, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Federer, Rod Laver, Nadal and Fred Perry. He is one of 11 men to have collected 3 of the 4 major titles in the Open Era.
Career Grand Slam achievers
Player    Completed at…    Age^
Don Budge    1938 Roland Garros     22 years 357 days
Rod Laver    1962 US Open    24 years 32 days
Rafael Nadal    2010 US Open     24 years 101 days
Fred Perry    1935 Roland Garros    26 years 15 days
Roger Federer    2009 Roland Garros    27 years 203 days
Roy Emerson    1964 Wimbledon    27 years 244 days
Novak Djokovic    2016 Roland Garros??    29 years 14 days
Andre Agassi    1999 Roland Garros    29 years 38 days
^ Age as at the end of the tournament

•    Of the 7 men to possess a career Grand Slam, 4 of them ‘completed the set’ at Roland Garros: Perry in 1935, Budge in 1938, Agassi in 1999 and Federer in 2009.

•    Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam title that Djokovic has not won. He has won 11 Grand Slam titles – at the Australian Open in 2008 (d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga), 2011 (d. Andy Murray), 2012 (d. Nadal), 2013 (d. Murray), 2015
(d. Murray) and 2016 (d. Murray), Wimbledon in 2011 (d. Nadal), 2014 (d. Federer) and 2015 (d. Federer) and the US Open in 2011 (d. Nadal) and 2015 (d. Federer).

•    Having won the 2016 Australian Open, Djokovic is looking to become the first man in 24 years to hold the first 2 legs of the calendar Grand Slam.
Australian Open-Roland Garros double
1933        Jack Crawford
1938        Don Budge
1953        Ken Rosewall
1956        Lew Hoad
1962        Rod Laver
1963        Roy Emerson
1967        Roy Emerson
1969        Rod Laver
1988        Mats Wilander
1992        Jim Courier

•    Djokovic is looking to avoid becoming the first player in history to lose their first 4 Roland Garros finals. Federer is the only other player in history to have lost 4 Roland Garros finals (2006, 2007, 2008, 2011) but he won the title in 2009.

•    Djokovic is bidding to become only the 4th player in the Open Era (after Federer, Goran Ivanisevic and Ivan Lendl) to win a specific Grand Slam tournament after having lost their first 3 finals at that Grand Slam event. No other players in the Open Era have lost more finals before winning the title at any one Grand Slam.
No. of final appearances at one Grand Slam event before winning first title (Open Era)
Player    No. of appearances in the final at any one Grand Slam before winning the title    Years
Roger Federer    4 Roland Garros finals    Lost 2006, 2007, 2008. Won 2009
Goran Ivanisevic    4 Wimbledon finals    Lost 1992, 1994, 1998. Won 2001
Ivan Lendl    4 US Open finals    Lost 1982, 1983, 1984. Won 1985

•    Djokovic has an 11-8 win-loss record in his 19 previous Grand Slam finals and a 0-3 win-loss record in Roland Garros finals.
Djokovic’s record in Grand Slam finals
Grand Slam    Final Result
2007 US Open    l. Roger Federer 76(4) 76(2) 64
2008 Australian Open    d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 46 64 63 76(2)
2010 US Open    l. Rafael Nadal 64 57 64 62
2011 Australian Open    d. Andy Murray 64 62 63
2011 Wimbledon    d. Rafael Nadal 64 61 16 63
2011 US Open    d. Rafael Nadal 62 64 67(3) 61
2012 Australian Open    d. Rafael Nadal 57 64 62 67(5) 75
2012 Roland Garros    l. Rafael Nadal 64 63 26 75
2012 US Open    l. Andy Murray 76(10) 75 26 36 62
2013 Australian Open    d. Andy Murray 67(2) 76(3) 63 62
2013 Wimbledon    l. Andy Murray 64 75 64
2013 US Open    l. Rafael Nadal 62 36 64 61
2014 Roland Garros    l. Rafael Nadal 36 75 62 64
2014 Wimbledon    d. Roger Federer 67(7) 64 76(4) 57 64
2015 Australian Open    d. Andy Murray 76(5) 67(4) 63 60
2015 Roland Garros    l. Stan Wawrinka 46 64 63 64
2015 Wimbledon    d. Roger Federer 76(1) 67(10) 64 63
2015 US Open    d. Roger Federer 64 57 74 74
2016 Australian Open    d. Andy Murray 61 75 76(3)

•    Djokovic has reached his 6th consecutive Grand Slam final and taken sole ownership of 3rd place on the list for the most consecutive major finals reached in the Open Era. Roger Federer is the only man in the Open Era have reached 6 or more consecutive Grand Slam finals.

Player    Consecutive Grand Slam finals
1    Roger Federer    10 – 2005 Wimbedon – 2007 US Open
2    Roger Federer    8 – 2008 Roland Garros – 2010 Australian Open
3    Novak Djokovic    6 – 2015 Australian Open – 2016 Roland Garros
4    Rafael Nadal    5 – 2011 Roland Garros – 2012 Roland Garros

•    Djokovic has reached his 20th Grand Slam final and moved into equal-2nd place with Rafael Nadal on the all-time list of most appearances in Grand Slam finals, behind Roger Federer (28).

•    Djokovic has reached his 4th Roland Garros final and moved into equal-6th place on the list for most appearances in the Roland Garros final in the Open Era.

•    Djokovic is bidding to record his 28th straight Grand Slam match-win and record his longest Grand Slam winning streak. He has not lost a Grand Slam match since he was defeated by Stan Wawrinka in the 2015 Roland Garros final. He also won 27 straight Grand Slam matches when winning the titles at 2011 Wimbledon, the 2011 US Open and the 2012 Australian Open, and finished runner-up at 2012 Roland Garros.

•    Djokovic is bidding to record his 55th match-win at Roland Garros and close the gap on Guillermo Vilas in 3rd place on the list for most Roland Garros victories in history.

All time win-loss at Roland Garros
Rafael Nadal                                   72-2
Roger Federer                                 65-16
Guillermo Vilas                                58-17
Novak Djokovic                             54-11
Ivan Lendl                                        53-12
Jaroslav Drobny                           53-14

•    Djokovic is bidding to become the first top seed to win the title here since Rafael Nadal in 2014. The No. 1 seed has won the title at Roland Garros on just 2 occasions in the last 14 years, with Nadal triumphing as top seed here in 2011 and 2014. Overall, in the 84 French Championships played since seeding began here in 1925, the top seed has won the title 26 times.

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

•    By winning his round of 16 match here against Bautista Agut, Djokovic became the first player to surpass $100m in career prize money.

•    By defeating Darcis in the 2nd round, Djokovic recorded his 50th match-win at Roland Garros. He is one of just 3 players to have recorded 50 match-wins at each of the Grand Slams in the Open Era after Federer and Serena Williams. Djokovic has a 54-11 win-loss record here compared with 57-6 at the Australian Open, 52-8 at Wimbledon and 57-9 at the US Open.

•    Djokovic has a 5-2 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Roland Garros and a 28-8 Tour-level win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.

•    Last year here Djokovic reached his 3rd Roland Garros final (l. Wawrinka 46 64 63 64). He also reached the final here in 2012 and 2014, losing to Nadal on both occasions. Djokovic is making his 12th straight appearance at Roland Garros and his 46th consecutive appearance at a major.

•    Djokovic has played 3 clay court events in the lead up to this year’s Roland Garros. He won the title at Madrid-1000
(d. Murray), reached the final at Rome-1000 (l. Murray) and lost in the 2nd round at Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Jiri Vesely) – his earliest Tour-level defeat since losing to Grigor Dimitrov in the 2nd round at 2013 Madrid-1000.

•    Djokovic has won 5 titles so far this year. As well as winning at Madrid, he won Doha (d. Nadal), the Australian Open, Indian Wells-1000 (d. Milos Raonic) and Miami-1000 (d. Kei Nishikori) – to extend his streak of winning at least 2 titles every year since winning his first at 2006 Amersfoort (d. Nicolas Massu).

•    12 of Djokovic’s 64 career singles titles have come on clay, compared with 49 on hard court and 3 on grass.

•    Djokovic won his 2 singles rubbers to help Serbia defeat Kazakhstan 3-2 in March and reach the Davis Cup quarterfinals. Serbia will play Great Britain in Belgrade on 15-17 July.

•    Djokovic is coached by 3-time Roland Garros semifinalist Boris Becker. He has also been coached by Marian Vajda since June 2006. His wider team includes physios Miljan Amanovic and Gebhard Phil-Gritsch.

•    MURRAY is attempting to become the 2nd British man in history to win the Roland Garros title after Fred Perry, who won the title here in 1935. Murray is just the 3rd British man to reach the final here since the event became international in 1925:
British men in the final of the French Championships (since 1925)
Year    Player    Final result
1935    Fred Perry    d. Gottfried von Cramm 63 36 61 63
1936    Fred Perry    l. Gottfried von Cramm 60 26 62 26 60
1937    Bunny Austin    l. Henner Henkel 61 64 63
2016    Andy Murray    v Novak Djokovic

•    Murray is bidding to become the 3rd British player – man or woman – in history to win Roland Garros. As well as Perry in 1935, Sue Barker won the Roland Garros women’s title in 1976.
•    If Murray wins today he will become the 9th man in history to win 3 of the 4 Grand Slam titles and finish as runner-up at the 4th. Murray, who has won the US Open and Wimbledon, has finished runner-up at the Australian Open on 5 occasions.
Winning 3 Grand Slam titles and runner-up at 4th
Player     Missing Grand Slam title    Runner-up appearances
Ken Rosewall    Wimbledon    4 (1954/1956/1970/1974)
Novak Djokovic    Roland Garros???    3 (2012/2014/2015)
Ivan Lendl    Wimbledon    2 (1986-87)
Jean Borotra    US Open    1 (1926)
Jack Crawford     US Open     1 (1933)
Frank Sedgman    Roland Garros    1 (1952)
Lew Hoad    US Open    1 (1956)
Stefan Edberg    Roland Garros    1 (1989)

•    If Murray loses today he will join 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 is bidding to become the 21st man in the Open Era to win 3 or more Grand Slam titles. He is also looking to become the 16th man in the Open Era to win at least 3 of the 4 Grand Slam titles.

•    Murray is a 2-time Grand Slam champion, having defeated today’s opponent in the final on both occasions. He became the first British male Grand Slam winner since Fred Perry won the 1936 US Open at the 2012 US Open, before becoming the first British man in 77 years to win the Wimbledon title in 2013.

•    Murray is bidding to become the 2nd man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after coming back from 0-2 down in his opening round match. Pat Rafter is the only man in the Open Era to have won a Grand Slam after coming back from 0-2 down in his opening round match – defeating Hicham Arazi 46 46 63 63 61 in the first round at the 1998 US Open before going on to win the title.

•    Murray is bidding to become the 2nd man in the Open Era to win the Roland Garros title having been extended to 5-sets in both his 1st and 2nd round matches after Gaston Gaudio in 2004. It is the 2nd time Murray has been extended to 5-sets in both his 1st and 2nd round matches at a Grand Slam, having also played 2 five-set matches in the opening 2 rounds at the 2005 US Open.

•    Murray is bidding to defeat a No. 1 ranked player at a Grand Slam for the 3rd time in his career. His only wins over No. 1 players at the majors came against Rafael Nadal in the semifinals at the 2008 US Open and against today’s opponent in the 2013 Wimbledon final. He has 0-3 win-loss record against players ranked No. 1 at Roland Garros and a 2-11 win-loss record against players ranked No. 1 at the Grand Slams overall.

•    Since he defeated today’s opponent in the 2013 Wimbledon final, Murray has won just 2 of his last 15 meetings against players ranked No. 1. His only wins in that time came in defeating Djokovic to win the titles at 2015 Montreal-1000 and at 2016 Rome-1000.

•    Having defeated No. 1 Djokovic in the final at Rome-1000, Murray is bidding to record successive match-wins over players ranked No. 1 for the 3rd time in his career. He recorded 4 straight wins over No. 1 opposition from 2006-2009, defeating Roger Federer at 2006 AMS Cincinnnati and 2008 Dubai, and Rafael Nadal at the 2008 US Open and 2009 Rotterdam. He also defeated No.1 opposition in back-to-back matches by defeating Federer at both the 2012 Olympic Tennis Event and 2012 Shanghai-1000.

•    By reaching his 10th Grand Slam final, Murray has equalled Fred Perry for the most appearances in a Grand Slam final by a British man (since the Challenge Round was abolished at Wimbledon in 1922):

Player    Appearances in a Grand Slam final
Fred Perry    10 – US Championships 1933-34, 1936, Australian Championships 1934-35, French Championships 1935-36, Wimbledon 1934-36
Andy Murray    10 – US Open 2008, 2012, Australian Open 2010-11, 2013, 2015-16, Wimbledon 2012-13, Roland Garros – 2016

•    By reaching the final here, Murray has equalled Boris Becker in 12th place on the list for the most Grand Slam finals reached in the Open Era with 10. Only 3 active players have reached more Grand Slam finals than Murray – Roger Federer (27), Rafael Nadal (20) and today’s opponent (20).
•    By reaching the Roland Garros final for the first time, Murray has become the 10th man in the Open Era to reach the final at all 4 Grand Slam events. He is the 3rd oldest to achieve the feat:

Age to complete the set of Grand Slam final appearances (Open Era)
Player    Completed at…    Age^
Jim Courier    1993 Wimbledon    22 years 321 days
Rafael Nadal    2010 US Open    24 years 101 days
Andre Agassi    1995 Australian Open    24 years 275 days
Roger Federer    2006 Roland Garros    24 years 307 days
Novak Djokovic    2012 Roland Garros    25 years 19 days
Stefan Edberg    1991 US Open    25 years 232 days
Ivan Lendl    1986 Wimbledon    26 years 121 days
Andy Murray    2016 Roland Garros    29 years 21 days
Rod Laver*    1969 US Open    31 years 31 days
Ken Rosewall*    1971 Australian Open     36 years 73 days
^ Age as at the end of the tournament
* Also reached all 4 Slam finals in the pre-Open Era

•    Murray is bidding to record his 166th Grand Slam match-win today and close the gap on John McEnroe (167) in 9th place on the Open Era list for most victories at the majors. By reaching the semifinals here, Murray overtook Boris Becker (163) to take sole ownership of 10th place on the Open Era list.

•    Murray is bidding to extend his record for the most Roland Garros match-wins by a British man in history:

Most Roland Garros match-wins by a British man (all-time)
Player    Win-loss record
1.    Andy Murray    34-8
2.    Fred Perry    28-5
3.    Bunny Austin    23-6
4.    Patrick Hughes    21-6
5=   Billy Knight
Bobby Wilson    19-10
19-9

•    Murray is on an 11-match winning streak – his longest Tour-level winning streak on clay. His previous longest winning streak on clay was winning 10 matches in a row in winning the titles at 2015 Munich and 2015 Madrid-1000 before conceding a walkover due to fatigue against David Goffin in the 2nd round at 2015 Rome-1000.

•    Murray has never played more than 2 five-set matches at the same Grand Slam event. As well as contesting 2 five-set matches here, Murray also contested 2 five-set matches at the 2005 US Open (d. Andrei Pavel in the 1st round, l. Arnaud Clement in the 2nd round) and at 2014 Roland Garros (d. Philipp Kohlschreiber in the 3rd round,
d. Gael Monfils in the quarterfinals).

•    Murray’s win over Stepanek in the 1st round was his 9th career comeback from 0-2 down – putting him in joint-3rd place on the Open Era list for the most 0-2 comebacks with Vitas Gerulaitis, Todd Martin and Roger Federer. Only Aaron Krickstein and Becker have achieved more 0-2 comebacks at Tour-level in the Open Era with 10.

•    Murray’s win over Bourgue was his 10th 5-set match-win in his last 11 five-set matches. His only 5-set defeat in that time came against today’s opponent in the semifinals at 2015 Roland Garros. Murray has a 7-2 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Roland Garros and a 22-7 five set win-loss record overall.

•    By reaching the final here, Murray has recorded his best Roland Garros performance. His previous best performance here was reaching the semifinals in 2011 (l. Nadal), 2014 (l. Nadal) and 2015, when he lost to today’s opponent 63 63 57 57 61 in a match that was played over 2 days due to rain. This is his 9th Roland Garros appearance.

•    Murray warmed up for Roland Garros by winning the title at Rome-1000 and reaching the final at Madrid-1000
(l. today’s opponent) and the semifinals at Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Nadal). Also in 2016 Murray reached his 5th Australian Open final, losing to today’s opponent.

•    Murray plays here seeded No. 2 – his highest seeding at Roland Garros. He has now been seeded No. 2 at all 4 Grand Slam events.

•    Murray reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles as top seed at 2005 Roland Garros (l. Marin Cilic).
•    In March, Murray helped defending champions Great Britain reach the Davis Cup World Group quarterfinals for the 3rd year in a row. He won both of his singles matches in the first round tie against Japan in Birmingham, defeating Taro Daniel and Nishikori to help Great Britain defeat Japan 3-1. Great Britain plays Serbia in the quarterfinals in Belgrade on 15-17 July.

•    Murray is coached by former ATP pro Jamie Delgado.

*Statistics courtesy of the ITF

Share

Serena Williams Reaches French Open Final Versus Muguruza; Djokovic To Face Murray for Title

 

(June 3, 2016) The world’s top tennis players Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic are seeking to make their own histories this weekend at Roland Garros.

Serena Williams advanced to her fourth French Open final besting Kiki Bertens 7-6(7), 6-4. The 34-year-old will take on 22-year-old Spaniard Garbine Murguza in Saturday’s women’s final. Should Williams win, she’ll tie Steffi Graf for most major titles in the Open Era at 22.

Djokovic has reached his fourth Roland Garros final in five years defeating up-and-comer No. 13 Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. The Serb is looking complete a career Grand Slam. The French Open title would complete the set.

Djokovic will face off against No. 2 Andy Murray who reached his first Roland Garros final beating defending champion Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. Murray is the first British man since 1937 to reach the final.

Murray won his last encounter against Djokovic, on clay at the Italian Open.

“I’m extremely proud,” said Murray on-court. “I never expected to reach the final here.”
“I’d always struggled on the clay and then in the past two years I’ve had some of my best results. I hope I can put on a good match for the crowd on Sunday.

“I knew today if I wanted to win I was going to have to play one of my best clay-court matches. Stan’s record here the past two years has been unbelievable. He was playing better every match here. I played one of my best matches today. I’m looking forward to the final now.”

This will be a rematch of the Australian Open final.

“I’m sure that it’s going to be a final with a lot of emotions and a lot of exchanges from the baseline, because we have similar styles of game,” Djokovic said. “I know his game, he knows mine.”
“It’s another Grand Slam title up for grabs for both Andy and myself,” Djokovic said. “One thing I know I can expect when I get on the court with him is it’s going to be a very physical battle.”
This will be Djokovic’s 20th major final and Murray’s 10th.

If Djokovic wins on Sunday, he be the eighth man to win all majors in a career joining Don Budge, Fred Perry, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal.

 

“The first set wasn’t easy,” Williams said of Bertens in French during her on-court interview. “I needed to play better because she was playing very well, but I’m very happy to win today.”

Williams had to fight off two set points in the first set.

Bertens became the first Dutch woman since 1977 to reach the semifinals.

Serena Williams is in her 27th major final going up against Muguruza on Saturday. The two met in the final of last year’s Wimbledon. The American has a 3-1 record against the Spanish woman. The lone loss came in the second round of Roland Garros.

Serena leads No. 4 seed Muguruza 3-1 in their head-to-head, but Muguruza’s lone win came here in Paris, when the Spaniard stunned the top seed in the second round in 2014.

Muguruza moves up to No. 3 in the world by reaching the final. She’ll jump to No. 2 in the world, if she wins the title.

Share

Roland Garros – Top Seeds Williams and Djokovic Dominate in Opening Wins; Murray Survives in Five

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(May 24, 2016) Top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic had easy opening victories at Roland Garros on Tuesday. Williams, the defending champion going for her fourth Paris title destroyed No. 77 Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 6-0 in 42 minutes. The 21-time major champion hit 25 winners and made only five unforced errrors.

Sister Venus also advanced in straight sets. The ninth seed defeated No. 82 Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4).

Djokovic is seeking to win his first French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam. The Serb defeated No. 95 Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-4, 6-1, 6-1. Also reaching the second round easily was nine-time champion Rafael Nadal who blasted past Sam Groth 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.

No. 2 seed completed his first round match which was held over due to darkness, surviving qualifier and former Top 10 player 37-year-old Radek Stepanek 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.

“It’s unbelievable what he’s doing,” said Murray in an on-court interview. “He had an extremely bad injury last year and was our for eight or nine months. At 37 years old and coming out and fighting like that, playing that way, is unbelievable. I don’t expect to be doing that myself at that age! I’m just glad I managed to get through.”
Australian Open champion and third seed Angelique Kerber was the biggest upset on the day. The German suffering from a left shoulder injury lost to No. 58 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands. 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Bertens is fresh off winning a title over the weekend in Nürnberg, where she was a qualifier.

Another major surprise on the women’s side saw No. 5 Victoria Azarenka lose to No. 118-ranked Karin Knapp when she was forced to retire with a knee injury down 6-3, 6-7(6), 4-0.

2010 French Open champion, unseeded Francesca Schiavone lost to Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-4. It was announced on court that Schiavone was retiring, but she set the record straight during her news conference.

“Roland Garros announced my retirement but I didn’t.”

“So you can stand up all of you and go back to work in the office because I didn’t say that. I will announce when I will want to stop.”

 

More to follow…

Share

Novak Djokovic Could Face Rafael Nadal in the Semifinals of Roland Garros

 

(May 20, 2016) The French Open men’s and women’s singles draws were made in Paris on Friday and No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 4 seed, nine-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal could be on a collision course to meet in the semifinals. Nadal moved into the No. 4 seed position when No. 3 Roger Federer withdrew from the tournament on Thursday.

Djokovic comes into Roland Garros seeking the only major tournament he has not won. He’s looking to become the eight man to have a “career slam,” winning each of the four major title at least once. Should the Serb win the French Open, he would hold all four major championships at the same time.

Djokovic has lost in the final of the French Open three out of the past four years. He will begin his quest for the Roland Garros crown against No. 100 in the world Lu Yen-hsun in, while Nadal will play big serving Australian, Sam Groth.

On the other side of the men’s draw, a pair of two-time major champions could meet in the other semifinal – No. 2 Andy Murray and No. 3 seed and defending champion Stan Wawrinka. Murray will play a qualifier in the first round, while Wawrinka will face-off against

The top seed in the women’s draw, Serena Williams is going after her 22nd career major, which would tie her with Steffi Graf on the all-time list, the most in the Open Era. She’s coming off her first tournament win in nine months, winning the Italian Open trophy last weekend on the clay courts of Rome.

A hurdle for the American could come in the quarterfinals, where she is projected to meet No. 5 seed and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka. Williams may also have play 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round and reigning Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber in the final four. Williams lost to the German in the Melbourne final.

Williams will open against No. 76 Magdalena Rybarikova.

Williams is the defending champion and is going after her fourth Roland Garros trophy.

In the bottom half of the women’s draw, No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska could play fourth seed Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals.

Play begins on Sunday, May 22.

Men’s draw

Women’s draw

Share

Andy Murray Gives Himself a Birthday Present While Serena Williams Wins Fourth Rome Title

Andy Murray fh

(May 15, 2016) Andy Murray gave himself a gift for his 29th birthday – a Rome Masters Series 1000 title. The Scotsman beat No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 for his 12 Masters title on Sunday.

Joining Murray in the winners circle was No. 1 Serena Williams who won the women’s singles title over Madison Keys 7-6(5), 6-3 in the first All-American women’s clay court final since Serena beat her sister Venus in the 2002 French Open final.

This was Williams’ fourth Rome title, first tournament win of 2016 and first championship title since she won the Cincinnati event last August.

Serena gets ready for bh 3112016

“It feels great,” Williams said. “So it’s not like I was playing every week. So that’s kind of how I look at it. But it feels great to win a title, especially on clay.”

Murray’s victory makes him the first British male player since 1931 to win the Italian Open. He has also secured the No. 2 seed at the upcoming French Open, which begins on May 22.

The Scotsman now is 22-5 in 2016, ending the Serb’s 17-match winning streak against Top 10 opponents.
“”It’s mostly great players have won this event, so I’m very proud to have my name on the trophy,” Murray said. “Today against Novak is nice. I know he didn’t play his best today. But there were still some tough moments for me in the second set. I saved the break points well and held strong. And overall it was a great week for me. I didn’t lose a set.”

“I had a long couple of weeks, especially the last couple of days,” Djokovic said. “I knew it’s going to be very hard for me, an uphill ride against Andy today, who was playing throughout the week at a very high level. To compete with him in long exchanges and rallies that we do have in our encounters, they require a lot more energy and better performance from my side which didn’t happen.

“Not taking anything away from Andy’s win. On the contrary, I think he deserved to win and deserved to win the entire tournament, because he was the best player. He was the player that played in the best form throughout the entire tournament.”
Serena Williams spoke to the crowd in Italian during the trophy presentation. This was her 70th career title.

The Bryan Brothers won their fourth Rome title and 36th Masters 1000 level, defeating Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock.

“We’re sharing a room this week,,” said Bob Bryan. [Mike] fell asleep around 2:30, 2:45 a.m., because he started snoring. We drank so much coffee last night that I was wired. It was a 12-hour turnaround. Our bodies don’t turn around quickly anymore.”

“The rain delay definitely helped us,” Mike Bryan said. “Our coach [David Macpherson] was back in the locker room, where we had about 15 minutes, and he said, ‘Fire it up!’ We were kind of flat in the first set and weren’t playing with a lot of energy. We had a late match and Bob went to bed at 4 a.m. in the morning. So we were kind of dazed and confused. We were bouncing around in the second set. We played a good Match tie-break, which can go either way.”

This was the Bryan Brothers 112 tournament victory together as a team.

Share

Djokovic Survives Test From Nadal to Reach Italian Open Semis; Serena Williams Dominates

Djokovic celebrates win-001

(May 13, 2016) Novak Djokovic came back from a break down in both sets and set points down in the second set to fight off Rafael Nadal 7-5, 7-6(4) to reach the semifinals of the Italian Open on Friday in Rome. The dramatic match lasted almost two-and-a-half hours. The world No. 1 has now beaten the 14-time major champion seven straight times and has raised his record to 26-23 over the current No. 5. The Serb has now won 15 straight sets against the Spaniard.

Nadal grabbed opening breaks of serve in both sets and had five set points in the second set  serving at 5-4, but Djokovic kept coming back from adversity.

“I held my nerve at the clutch moments,” Djokovic said in an interview after the match. “Even though I had nervy beginnings to both sets, with some good games and good play in the crucial moments, I managed to win. It’s a straight-sets win, but it feels like we played five sets.

“Winning against Nadal is the ultimate challenge on clay courts and one of the toughest challenges we have in sport. I have to be very pleased with the way I handled myself in the big moments today. I won against one of my biggest rivals on his preferred surface. We must not forget he’s in form. He won Monte-Carlo and Barcelona and has played well the past couple of weeks. That gives me confidence for the rest of this tournament.”

Djokovic said that it was special to be on court playing against Nadal.

Nadal said that he was not disappointed and felt that he played well against the best player.

Djokovic will face-off against Kei Nishikori in his semifinal on Saturday. The sixth seed Nishikori beat 13th seed Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-5.

No. 2 seed Andy Murray moved into the final four with a 6-1, 7-5 win over David Goffin. Murray will play French lucky loser Lucas Pouille for s spot in the final on Saturday. Pouille advanced when Juan Monaco withdrew with a left hip injury.

On the women’s side, No. 1 ranked Serena Williams, getting a little revenge from her loss in Miami, when she demolished Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-0 in 51 minutes. She’ll play Irina-Camelia Begu next who beat Misaki Doi 6-2, 7-6 (3).

On the bottom half of the draw, Garbine Muguruza beat Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-2 and will play Madison Keys, who defeated Barbora Strycova 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 13, 2016
Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] S. Williams (USA) d [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 62 60
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 75 62
I. Begu (ROU) d M. Doi (JPN) 62 76(3)
M. Keys (USA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 64 46 63

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 64 62
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 76(4) 63
[4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) 64 64
[7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 62 64

Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [5] R. Nadal (ESP) 75 76(4)
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [12] D. Goffin (BEL) 61 75
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [13] D. Thiem (AUT) 63 75
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [PR] J. Monaco (ARG) w.o. (hip)

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) 63 64
[6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) d P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB) 63 64
[8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) d P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) 64 76(4)
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) 46 75 10-8

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – [3] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs M. Keys (USA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs I. Begu (ROU)

Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [13] D. Thiem (AUT) or [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)
ATP – [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon
WTA – [4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)

Share

Djokovic, Nadal Rally for Wins in Rome; Federer Loses

Novak Djokovic

(May 12, 2016) Novak Djokovic had to rally from a bagel set down to stop No. 37 Thomaz Bellucci 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 while an ailing Roger Federer lost to 15th seed Dominc Thiem 7-6 (2), 6-4 in Rome on Thursday.

For No. 1 Djokovic, it was the first time he was at the losing end of a “bagel” set since the 2012 Cincinnati final when he lost to Federer.

The third seeded Federer withdrew from the Madrid Open last week with a back injury said that wasn’t concerned about losing, but was happy to get to get in two matches on clay at the Italian Open. The French open begins on May 22nd and the Swiss said that despite the pain from the injury he hopes to be able to play the year’s second major.

Seven-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal fought off Nick Kyrgios 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4 to advance to quarterfinals and second seed Andy Murray held off a second set charge to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-4.

Besides Federer losing, a couple other upsets on the men’s side included 12th seed David Goffin, destroying 8th seed Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-0 in 49 minutes, defending French Open champion Stan Wawrinka lost to Juan Monaco 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 and lucky loser Lucas Pouille knocked out ninth seed David Ferrer 6-4, 6-1.

On the ladies’ side of the tournament, Serena Williams rebounded from 3-5 down in the first set best U.S. countrywoman qualifier Christina McHale 7-6 (7), 6-1.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 12, 2016
Women’s Singles – Third Round
[1] S. Williams (USA) d [Q] C. McHale (USA) 76(7) 61
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d J. Ostapenko (LAT) 61 64
[11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 57 75 62
[9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d D. Gavrilova (AUS) 62 26 63
I. Begu (ROU) d D. Kasatkina (RUS) 61 64
M. Doi (JPN) d J. Konta (GBR) 46 75 62
M. Keys (USA) d T. Babos (HUN) 76(2) 63
B. Strycova (CZE) d E. Bouchard (CAN) 61 60

Women’s
Doubles – Second Round

A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d [2] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) 63 64
[3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d [WC] C. Giovine (ITA) / A. Moratelli (ITA) 63 62
[4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / S. Errani (ITA) 64 61
[5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) 76(4) 16 10-7
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [6] Y. Chan (TPE) / A. Groenefeld (GER) 26 76(1) 10-8
R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d [8] J. Goerges (GER) / Ka. Pliskova (CZE) 64 63

 

Men’s Singles – Third Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d T. Bellucci (BRA) 06 63 62
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d J. Chardy (FRA) 60 64
[13] D. Thiem (AUT) d [3] R. Federer (SUI) 76(2) 64
[PR] J. Monaco (ARG) d [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 67(5) 63 64
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d N. Kyrgios (AUS) 67(3) 62 64
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [11] R. Gasquet (FRA) 61 64
[12] D. Goffin (BEL) d [8] T. Berdych (CZE) 60 60
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [9] D. Ferrer (ESP) 64 61

Men’s Doubles – Second Round
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB) d [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) 36 76(3) 14-12
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [7] A. Peya (AUT) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 64 16 10-8

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)

Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [12] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [5] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)

Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – [13] D. Thiem (AUT) vs [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)

GRANDSTAND start 12:00 noon
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [PR] J. Monaco (ARG)

Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – I. Begu (ROU) vs M. Doi (JPN)

Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – M. Keys (USA) vs B. Strycova (CZE)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon
ATP – [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
ATP – O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) vs [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP)
ATP – [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
WTA – [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
WTA – [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs [4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE)
WTA – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)

Share

Novak Djokovic Wins Madrid for Record 29th Masters Title

 

(May 8, 2016) Novak Djokovic won his second Madrid Open title on Sunday beating Andy Murray 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 for a record 29th Masters title and 64th career ATP World Tour title. The world No. 1 is now tied with Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg for sixth place for titles won in the Open Era.

This win raises the Serb’s record against the Brit to 23-9, victorious in 12 of the last 13 matches.

“This came at the right time,” Djokovic said. “I had an amazing opening four months of the season. Then an early exit in Monte-Carlo, but it happened for a reason, because I needed some time to really recharge my batteries. Three weeks was more than enough to get some freshness and new breath and get ready for Madrid. I came here early, got used to the conditions, and played a really fantastic tournament that will definitely serve as a great confidence boost before Rome and the French Open.”

“I started very well,” Djokovic explained. “Played terrific tennis in the first set. Couple of close games in the second, beginning of the second set, and then I made some unforced errors and double faults in the game when I dropped my serve in the second set. I couldn’t get back.

“He started serving very well, especially down the T and deuce side. Very precise and very strong, and he was backing that serve up with aggressive first shots, and then just about an hour it was split sets.

“Then the match really could have gone either way, but we exchanged some breaks of serves early in the third. Then when it seemed like I was closing out the match and having a match point at 5-2, he came up with some big serves again. The last game obviously got myself out of some trouble with some good serves, with some good forehands, but was very, very close. Very close.”

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

“I obviously fought hard today,” Murray said. “Yeah, disappointed because from like two games, like 2-All to 4-2, 5-2, I was making him work hard in the second set and then beginning of the third and then at the end of the third set.

“I just think I’m definitely moving better. That’s for sure. It makes a huge difference. Like I said, on the other surfaces it’s a massive strength of mine, a big part of my game, and for a number years I didn’t move well on the clay. It was a hindrance, and that makes you uncomfortable. If you took Ivo Karlovic’s serve away he would feel uncomfortable going on the court. For me, take my movement away.

“When I was having the problems with my back it was difficult for me when stepping on the court; whereas now my body feels great. I feel like I’m moving a lot better. So I’m not going on the court sort of a little bit nervous or apprehensive. I believe I can play well on clay now.

“There was a period there – if you watch it back – the game I got broken [in the third set], I made three unforced errors in that game. That was disappointing. Then obviously the last game I don’t know how many break point chances I had, but must have been six or seven.

“Both of us were pretty clinical on the break points up until the last game for me. That’s why he’s No. 1 just now. He fought very hard in that game and served well when he was a bit nervous. At the end he came up with some big serves and got himself some free points and did well.”

 

“Then the match really could have gone either way, but we exchanged some breaks of serves early in the third,” noted the world No. 1. “Then when it seemed like I was closing out the match and having a match point at 5-2, he came up with some big serves again. The last game obviously got myself out of some trouble with some good serves, with some good forehands, but was very, very close. Very close.”

“I’m very pleased that I have developed a great rivalry with somebody that I’ve known since very long time and somebody that I have a very good and friendly relationship with on and off the court,” Djokovic said.

 

Since Murray did not defend his Madrid title from last year, he will slip to No. 3 in the world on Monday. Roger Federer will move up to No. 2.

In the men’s doubles final Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau won their first Masters 1000 title as a team, beating defending champions Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea 6-4, 7-6(5). It was their 12th trophy overall.

“They are a great team, and also friends,” Rojer said. “It’s never easy to play these matches and it’s difficult for all four guys.”

“I want to thank my partner for having another great week,” said Tecau. “We were struggling for a few weeks, couldn’t win a lot of matches… It feels great to play well together and get another title.

“We’ve been chasing this one for almost three years. We’re really excited to get this one because it comes after having a few early exits in Masters 1000 events this year. So it means a lot to us.”

Share