November 28, 2015

Easy Victories for Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka set up an All-Swiss Semifinal at the US Open

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

(September 9, 2015) One of the men’s US Open semifinals on Friday will be an all-Swiss affair. On Wednesday, both Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer made quick work of their opponents to advance.

No. 2 Federer moved into his 38th major semifinal, his 10th at the US Open, with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 victory over 12th seed, Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Federer’s dominance showed in the statistics. The 17-time major winner hit 50 winners to Gasquet’s 8, hit 16 aces with no break points against.

Federer was asked about if he is surprised that he’slaying at such a high level at his age of 34.

“A little bit,” he said. “I mean, a little bit to the extent where it’s nice to play this way. And maybe at my age to run through, you know, five opponents the way I have done here at the US Open, I don’t consider that normal, to be quite honest, even though I expect it in some ways for myself to come out and play well.

“I’ve played so well over the last one-and-a-half years. I don’t feel like I’m as old as I am. I still feel young. So it’s nice to get rewarded with the hard work and, you know, that actually I’m able to play sort of fun tennis, I maybe call it for myself. Aggressive, pick it up, you know, like half volley it, move in, serve and volley, cut the points short, and if I want to, if I want to, extend the rallies.

“But it feels like on my terms. Then if you win this way, it’s a great feeling.”


Fifth seed Wawrinka broke a string of four string of four straight losses to 15th seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 win. The match was moved over to Louis Armstrong Stadium as the women’s matches ran late due to an 85 minute rain delay during the second women’s quarterfinal and rain was expected in the evening.

Wawrinka broke  the 6′ 8″ Anderson’s serve five times. He hit 25 winners, and made just 15 errors to Anderson’s 42.

“I felt I did a good job of resetting myself and getting ready for this next match,” Anderson said. “Wasn’t meant to be today. Stan didn’t make it easy.” The South African upset third seed Andy Murray on Monday.

“It was really tough out there. Was maybe a little bit nervous just with the occasion and a lot of waiting around, switching courts. Obviously something that you deal with, but just getting out there and everything seemed to be going pretty quickly.

“I thought conditions were, you know, quite quick and quite live, especially compared to my last match out there. One poor serve game in the first set and I wasn’t really making too many inroads on his serve.”

“Yeah, for sure the best match of the tournament for me,” Wawrinka said. “I was really happy the way I play. I was focused on doing what I wanted on the match. I was trying to be really aggressive on the return and make him play a mix or some slice, some aggressive play from the baseline.”

How does Federer feel about playing his countryman Wawrinka?

“I think a lot comes through practice for Stan, because he’s worked very hard throughout his career. It took him a while to figure out exactly what his possibilities were. I don’t think he was a guy who always, you know, had enough confidence.

“I always thought he was a better player than he actually was, but somehow something was holding him back maybe. I think only once when he really started to break through and he had some big wins — I recall a big win for him when he beat Hewitt in the fifth deciding match in Davis Cup in Sydney. Beat him on the grass two sets to one down. Came back and won it. Played unbelievable tennis at the end.

“Then I think in practice he started working to hit the ball harder consistently, and today he can consistently bring the power on forehand, backhand, and serve almost anybody when he gets hot.

“I’m happy he found that level of play. Two slams, got Davis Cup, Olympic gold. Has a complete career. Won a Masters 1000. Has everything he ever wanted. He has had a wonderful career.

“Looking forward to playing him, because he definitely is a big test and a big challenge for me. He beat me in straights at the French, so I hope I can do better this time.”

“I think the past three years, for sure, I get closer to him,” Wawrinka said. “My level improved a lot. I’m playing better tennis. So I was always really close from him, if we look Wimbledon last year.

“I will for sure need to play my best tennis. He’s playing really well so far. He loves to play. He know how to play. He had some amazing match. It’s going to be a big challenge. I think I’m ready.”

In the other men’s semifinal, No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia will face-off against defending champion No. 9 Marin Cilic of Croatia.



Kevin Anderson Upsets Andy Murray to Reach US Open Quarterfinals


(September 7, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Andy Murray lost for the first time before a major quarterfinal since 2010 when the third seed was toppled by 15th seed Kevin Anderson 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (0) in the fourth round of the US Open on Monday.

“Obviously something that is disappointing to lose because of that (record)” Murray said of the loss. “Obviously that’s many years’ work that’s gone into building that sort of consistency. To lose that is tough.

“Also to lose a match like that that was over four hours, tough obviously after a couple of tough matches earlier in the tournament, as well, it’s a hard one to lose, for sure.”

The 6’8” South African who his 81 winners broke a 0 for 7 string of losing in the fourth round of majors. Most recently at Wimbledon to Novak Djokovic, whom he led by two sets to none.

“Sitting here having played the match and winning it, it’s hard to describe how I’m feeling,” Anderson said in press. “I felt I played one of the best matches of my career. To do it at this stage, at this round, obviously to get through to the quarters the first time in a slam definitely means a lot to me.”

“I was playing against an excellent player,” Murray said. “He served extremely well. And I would say, you know, the service game I played at 4-1, I was up 40-Love in the second set, got broken there. Then that was really around the time when I was starting to get the momentum a bit back on my side.

“I obviously broke him straight after that, held serve, then had breakpoints the next game. You know, maybe if I’d held serve there at 40-Love, I might have been able to snatch that second set but obviously didn’t. Then fought hard through to the end.”

Anderson will face Stan Wawrinka next. The world No. 5 bested American Donald Young 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

“It’s going to be just a tough matchup in my next round, Anderson said. “I mean, it’s definitely not going to be any easier than it was today. As I was saying, I think Stan is a terrific player. Especially at majors he’s really stepped it up, I think one of the people you really have to watch out for.

“I’m just so pleased to get through the quarters for the first time here. Got tomorrow to prepare. Right now it’s nice to think about from today’s match. It really meant a lot to me. There’s a lot of good feelings here.”

The South African holds a 4-3 record against the Swiss.

Roger Federer straight setted the last American man in the singles draw, No. 13 John Isner 7-6 (0), 7-6 (6), 7-5. The first set tiebreaker was the first time that Isner has ever been shutout.

Federer will play world No. 12 Richard Gasquet, who defeated No. 6 Tomas Berdych 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.

As for his match-up against the Frenchman, Federer said: “I’m not sure if I’ve seen maybe Gasquet play as well as he has right now. I really like the way he played in Wimbledon, and also now here. I haven’t seen that much. But the match I saw that he played against Stan and Novak at Wimbledon was impressive. He had a good attitude. He was fighting. Good shot selection. I don’t know, it was nice, you know.

“Now he’s backing it up. I’m sure he gained confidence from Wimbledon. That’s why I expect it to be tougher than maybe in previous years against him or previous times. I know he can play much better at Davis Cup. I know I played very well, as well. Still I expected him to be tougher there, because I beat him in straight sets. I don’t know, he kind of went away. In Dubai, of course, he was injured. That doesn’t count. I don’t remember when I played him the last times.

“I feel like this could be one of the tougher Gasquets I’ve played in previous years, so I expect it to be difficult.”

Two of the women’s quarterfinals match-ups are set. It will be No. 2 Simona Halep against No. 20 Victoria Azarenka, and No. 5 Petra Kvitova versus No. 26 Flavia Pennetta. Halep defeated 24th seed Sabine Lisicki 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-2, fifth seed Kvitova stopped qualifier Johanna Konta 7-5, 6-3, 20th seed Azarenka topped Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-3, 6-4 and 26th seed Flavia Pennetta defeated 22nd seed and 2011 champion Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-4.


Great Britain Clinches Place in Davis Cup Semifinal


By Ros Satar

(July 19, 2015) LONDON, UK – In a rollercoaster race to the finish, Andy Murray overcame the worst possible start in the fourth rubber to clinch Great Britain’s place in the Davis Cup quarter-final against France.


From the outset though, it looked as though the crowds would be getting their money’s worth as a sluggish looking Murray floundered early against a far fresher looking Gilles Simon at the start of the first set.


The Frenchman seemed completely impenetrable on his serve, attacking well and out maneuvering Murray at every turn as he quickly consolidated an early break before wrapping up the first set.


While it was imperative that Murray got off to a quick start, getting broken in the first game of the second set was not in the plan, and there was many a furrowed British brow, as he struggled to stay with the Frenchman who was getting the better of the ling rallies, and at one stage reduced Murray to sink to his knees in despair. Even when he did get the break back, the Brit looked too exhausted to even bring forth a fist-pump, despite the crowd willing him on, yet somehow he consolidated.


Even in the tie-break, it looked as through the French were running away with it, with a 4-1 lead, but a couple of lacklustre points from Simon put Murray right back in it. Leveling the set saw a bit of a reaction, but there was still an awfully long way for him to go.


Murray was on the attack though, racing through the third set now that the momentum was shifting towards this side of the English Channel. But a bad slip after being broken at the start of the fourth set put the French at a disadvantage. Simon had already taken a tumble when his knee gave way as he landed from a serve, but after rolling his ankle, his movement was impaired as the fourth set got away from him completely. That being said, it took Murray four match points to wind up the tie 4-6, 7-6(5, 6-3, 6-0 and for Great Britain to win 3-1.


Of course once again the doubles was the pivotal point, no matter how many times team captains want to play it down, and at one stage it must have felt as though the entire tie was France versus The Murray family.


French team captain Arnaud Clement said: “It was every time a little push from the British team, a little bit more solid. A lot of sets during this weekend, just can see one or two points are missing and maybe can change but it was always in the same for the British team. So it’s just the British was a little bit more solid than us, and deserve this win.”


Leon Smith said: “It’s incredible how he find a way to dig as deep as he can. It is phenomenal what he finds within himself, a set and a break down and that tiebreak, 4-1 down but he fights and he fights and he fights and after a couple of those long brutal rallies, to be able to get up and serve again, ready for the next point. I was sitting there thinking this is why he does the hard work, those moments when he digs into his dark places of training and he finds a way to do it because his legs and his heart have been conditioned to do it, and he does it better than anyone. I have nothing but immense respect.”


For Murray it will be another tough battle to go deep at the US Open, and then face two if not three vital matches, if Britain are to keep their hopes of a place in their first Davis Cup final since 1936.


He said: “The memories that you have from those matches, like playing Glasgow earlier in the year, I mean I’m sure the whole team would agree the atmosphere was absolutely unbelievable there. You don’t get that in any other event, so you have a lot of memories from the Davis Cup and that’s one of the reasons you’re passionate to play.”


Great Britain will now play host to Australia, who fought back from 2-0 down against Kazakhstan in September, following the US Open.


Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.




Brits Serve Up a 2-1 Lead Going into Last Day of Davis Cup Quarterfinal

By Ros Satar

(July 18, 2015) LONDON, UK – Great Britain gave themselves the best chance of advancing in the Davis Cup since the 1980’s after they beat the French to set up a 2-1 lead going into the final day.


Although Britain had nominated doubles specialists Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot, there was a widely held consensus that in order for the Brits to give themselves the best possible chance, Andy Murray had to play.


Yet he himself had said that he would have to be very honest with the team about how he felt after a long European swing, which saw him win his first titles on clay, Queen’s and then bowing out at the semi-final stage of Wimbledon.


His older brother Jamie had the best success of his career to date, making the Wimbledon men’s doubles final with his Australian partner John Peers. He, along with Inglot had paired up in Glasgow earlier in the year, but lost to the Bryan Brothers in a close affair against the United States.


Right down to the wire, the decision was made that the Murray brothers would face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Nicolas Mahut in Saturday’s pivotal rubber, and early on it looked as though this might not be the wisest choice, as Andy Murray was broken in the opening game of the match, the French not relinquishing the advantage.


The second set was a much tighter affair between the sides, with the Brits finally earning their first break point to hit the front for the first time in the match, and with a far more boisterous crowd than yesterday, the atmosphere was electric as Britain leveled.


There was drama to come through, as the court has had very little time to recover to be ready for the tie, and over the course of the two days the players have been taking tumbles. The younger Murray had already tweaked his groin in his first match, and an awkward slip rendered him face down in the grass, not to mention some embarrassingly painful looking manipulation afterward.


Yet as the pair battled through a tense tie-break to secure a 2-1 lead, Murray minor was leaping around pumped and getting the crowd behind him. It must have worked as the brothers quickly notched up a 5-0 lead, with the French registering a game on the board, and even pushing Jamie’s serve to a break point, before the doubles specialist stole the day with the final winner on match point – final score 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-1


It was a subdued Arnaud Clement who met with the press to defend his choices, and of course he can field Richard Gasquet in place of Gilles Simon tomorrow for the fourth rubber, leaving Tsonga to face James Ward if it comes to a fifth rubber.


Definitely not subdued was Jamie Murray whose confidence after his Wimbledon run spilled over as he made the most of being chief speaker after today’s result.


He said: “I think the crowd were great from first to the last point. Obviously that tie-break proved critical. I don’t really even remember much about it to be honest other than Andy getting that serve back and Mahut diving, and turning round and seeing Andy six feet off the ground. But you know, that’s the thing [about] home support – it’s brilliant to have it and I think as long as we’re playing home ties, everyone that’s coming to watch us should be there and cheering as loud as they can and trying to help the players, because it does really help us to perform as best we possibly can.”


Andy now has to try and get himself in gear for the earlier start on Sunday, especially with mixed reports about weather closing in, although no one wants this to push through into next week.


He said: “Got to make sure tonight conserve as much energy as possible, go back, recover properly. Get a good night’s sleep and hopefully come out tomorrow and feel good when I get up. Obviously right now after that match, it’s hard not to feel good.


“But I’ve also played matches where you do have a massive high, a massive adrenalin rush during the match and in the evening you can feel quite fatigued as well. I’ve been through that before. Just deal with whatever cards I’m dealt tomorrow when I wake up and hopefully play a good match.”


The final day starts with Murray facing either Richard Gasquet or Gilles Simon in the fourth rubber, and if it comes down to a fifth and decisive rubber, James Ward will face Tsonga.


Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.


Andy Murray Levels Great Britain versus France Davis Cup Tie at 1-1

Tsonga Murray 8814

By Ros Satar

(July 17, 2015) LONDON, UK – It was always going to be a tough ask for James Ward to tackle France’s highest ranked singles player (mind you, they are all stacked one after the other in the rankings).


With the fans kitted out in red and blue T-shirts, it was les Bleus who took first blood, as Gilles Simon edged past Ward in the first two sets with a single break, just having to up the level of intensity a little.


The third set was a runaway though by French standards as Simon closed out the first rubber comfortably under two hours, 6-4, 6-4, 6-1.


The Frenchman is no stranger to these courts this year, having reached the semi-finals here earlier this year, before going on to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.


Ward had no option really but to praise his some-time hitting partner as ‘crafty’. He said: “He hits the ball very flat and moves very well, so even if guys are serving well, he returns well, he makes a lot of balls. And he’s pretty crafty, he puts the ball in places that are not always easy to attack from.”


The disappointment was evident in his body-language as he admitted that he and tea, captain Leon Smith had agreed upon tactics for the game, that just hadn’t worked out well today.


Ward said: “The guy moves very well, and even when I feel like I’m being aggressive, you can’t go too much because he gets a lot of balls back. And as I say it was very windy, it was moving around a lot there, so to time the ball perfect is very difficult. Sometimes you’re more worried about getting the ball in than trying to go for a winner and close to the line because the margins are small.”


So it was left to Andy Murray to level the tie, with a competitive first set just edged as Jo-Wilfred Tsonga went off the boil, spraying some wild forehands generously around the court.


There was a hope for the French though, as Tsonga broke at the start of the second set, and as the pair battled into a second set tie-break it looked again as though the French had the upper hand.


A strong fight-back from Murray saw them swap set points between them until finally an unforced error from Tsonga put the Brits in a commanding 2 set to love lead. From there it seemed to get away from Tsonga very quickly, with a nervy serve out by Murray at the end to level the tie.


He said: “I thought I did well. I mean the atmosphere helps. The crowd was great today, especially the important moments and yeah I was happy with the job I did today. I didn’t feel like I played amazing. I played some good shots at important times but it was very tough conditions today. It was extremely windy on the court today and swirling around a lot so it wasn’t easy to play very well.”


It remains to be seen what possible permutations come out for either teams for what is sure to be the pivotal doubles rubber on Saturday.

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.


French Pull Surprise at Davis Cup Draw Versus Great Britain


Tsonga Murray 8814

By Ros Satar

LONDON, UK – The BNP Paribas offices in Central London played host to the draw ceremony for the Davis Cup quarter-final tie between Great Britain and France


France perhaps pulled off the biggest surprise of all by announcing that the French No. 1 and No. 2 would be Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, leaving Wimbledon semi-finalist Richard Gasquet off the side.


The British team were predictably in good spirits, laughing at in-jokes, and explaining away the strength in depth that the French have got, and always acknowledging that at any time, team captain Arnaud Clement could change his mind.


James Ward has the task of starting the whole tie off, and with a close history between his coach and Simon’s, the pair probably know their games inside out.


“I know him better than the other guys, I practice with him a lot so he knows my game just as well as I know his. I just need to stay aggressive and try and play my game and not worry too much about him, and yeah see how we get on.”


Simon agreed when asked in the French team’s press conference, adding: “I know what to expect, it will be hard but I think it will be a good match.”


The main focus of course is on Murray, who admitted yesterday that it had taken a few days to get over the Wimbledon semi-final loss to Roger Federer. But within the banter of the team, he was able to put his finger on what to expect when he plays the second rubber on Friday.


“He’s an explosive player, he can serve big, he can get to the net quickly, he can be dangerous,” he said. “The things that I’ll look for is to try and play a very consistent match from start to finish. If his level drops at times where he makes a few errors, try to capitalize on that, but he’s a tough tough guy to beat on this surface.”


There is always the option of adding Andy to the doubles mix, instead of Dominic Inglot who had to struggle to get fit in time for Wimbledon, and a lot will now depend on how that first rubber kicks off.


But one thing was clear – this was a team effort, and not a chance for Andy only to fill any hole in his trophy cabinet.


He said: “I wouldn’t say winning this year is the chance of the lifetime because we’re playing against a great team. It’s not like this is an amazing opportunity because the draw has opened up, this is an easy match or we have an easy path through to the final. It is extremely tough tie, beating the States was hard as well, and yeah it’s an opportunity obviously, but opportunity of a lifetime for me personally, no I don’t agree with that at all.”


As part of the team effort, the team are altogether in a hotel, fostering the team spirit we have seen when they greet the press for these draw conferences. Equally, the French team are just as motivated after their loss to the Swiss last year in the final.


The tie will start on Friday – James Ward v Gilles Simon followed by Andy Murray versus Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The doubles is expected to be Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot versus Nicolas Mahut and Richard Gasquet, with the reverse singles on Sunday starting with Murray versus Simon.


Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.


Fighting talk from the French and the British ahead of the Davis Cup Quarterfinal



By Ros Satar

LONDON, England – Arnaud Clement fields a team of players who believes can handle any surface thrown at them, as he prepares to face Great Britain at home at Queen’s club for the quarter-final of the Davis Cup.


The team comprising of Wimbledon semi-finalist Richard Gasquet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon, Nicholas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert met with the press ahead of the draw, to talk about their preparations.


Last year’s finalists may be more traditionally associated with the clay of Roland Garros, but their players are no slouches on the grass, as team captain


Arnaud Clement explained: “You know for our team, to play on grass, hard court, indoor court or clay court it’s almost the same. My players are good on all surface and reach finals and won tournaments on all the surface all over the world so for us, I think they chose grass because it’s the best surface for Great Britain.”


He may have some early injury worries, as Gilles Simon was spotted limping off court an hour before the press conference, although he played down questions about his condition joking that he was in great shape and had not wanted to play anymore.


Conditions have veered between bouts of rain and sun making the rested courts at Queen’s probably a little slick.


Gasquet, who bowed out to eventual champion Novak Djokovic after a five set quarter-final against recently crowned French Open champion Stan Wawrinka gave himself a well-earned rest ahead of the tie.


He said: “I stopped three days and started again yesterday. I’m feeling great. I like to play on grass and playing well. And I’m in great shape now and ready for the weekend.”


With two of the British team also in the latter stages of the tournament, team Captain Leon Smith was quick to point out that no matter how much match research and planning he or Clement had done, it would all come down to the three days, saying: “The players are so well known. Anyway you can plan as much as you want but it will be much more down to what happens on the day and trying to react. These guys are trying to do the most important part, which is playing. It’s going to be up to us to do the best as possible on the day.”


That being said, the nature of Andy Murray’s defeat at the hands of Roger Federer on perhaps a flawless day of serving still was weighing heavy on his mind.


He said: “I still thought about it most days, yeah. I did say at the time, the guy served over 80% the first and third set. That’s won’t happen to me for the rest of the year.


“You have to look at the match and see what’s happened and analyse it a little bit and look at the tournament as a whole, and Queen’s as well and think about those things and see what I can do better in the future. It doesn’t take one day, there’s a lot of preparation goes into those events and you need to take your time. When you are finished you need to analyse what’s gone right and wrong and things you can do to improve in the future.”


There was far less bravado from the British side, but their camaraderie and results over the past few ties have helped make them a formidable unite when combined.


Murray continued: “I would say in the last couple of years, everyone’s played their part and all of the matches that have been played, obviously James has won some big singles marches. Even though Jamie and Dom didn’t get the win in Glasgow, they played a great match against the Bryan bros and I think over the last couple of years we’ve had some great performances and I think this is our level now, as a team, and this weekend is going to be a tough ask against four top grass court players. They’re all really really good players, it’s going to be a tough challenge for us but we have an opportunity win it with playing our best level.”


The draw will take place on Thursday, with play starting at Queen’s Club London on Friday.


Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.




Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer Reach Wimbledon Final with Straight Set Victories

228 Federer Djokovic-001

(July 10, 2015)

It will be a repeat of last year’s Wimbledon Gentlemen’s final on Sunday when No. 1 Novak Djokovic faces No. 2 Roger Federer. Both men had straight set wins in their respective semifinals on Friday.

Two-time winner Djokovic defeated No. 21 seed Richard Gasquet 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-4 to book a spot in his fourth Wimbledon final and his 17th major championship final. Seven-time Wimbledon titlist Federer bested 2013 champion Andy Murray 7-5, 7-5, 6-4.

“The first set was really close,” said Djokovic who played the first semifinal of the day. “I thought Richard played some really good tennis, especially from the backhand side. It was really difficult for me at times to play any kind of ball to his backhand side because he was really going for it, especially down the line. He made a lot of winners. He used the chipped backhand, slice variety as well.”

“Winning the first set tiebreak was psychologically very helpful for the rest of the match.”

“I tried to do my best,” Gasquet said.  “I did a good first set.  I did some great backhand.

“But, of course, I would like to do a little bit better then after that.  I tried to be aggressive.  I try my best.  I did a good match.  It was tough to do better.  Sometimes I did mistakes in the tiebreak, of course.  Some backhand I could put on the court.

“It was 2‑All, then it was 7‑2 very fast after that.  It wasn’t good.  He never miss on some returns.  He serves well.  That’s why he’s No. 1 in the world.”

The second semifinal of the day provided stunning hitting and rallies of the highest quality by both players. Despite the straight-set score the match was extremely close.

“Andy’s been playing very well for the season,” Federer said to the BBC after the match. “There is so much expectation riding on the match. I’m unbelievably happy. I played so well in the biggest occasion today.

“I’ve been serving very well for the entire tournament. I wasn’t broken against one of the best returners. I kept the pressure up and went for my shots. I mixed it up like I usually do and kept pushing forward and staying focused. It all worked out really well.”

“He served fantastic, apart from the first game where I had the chance there,” Murray said. “Didn’t really have any opportunities. Then, you know, that puts pressure on you.”

“Obviously I got broken right at the end all of the sets. But I didn’t actually play a bad match. Played pretty well.”

“Today I was clearly able to play very well from the start,” Federer elaborated.  “The beginning was always going to be an important part of the game.  I had to save breakpoint first, then I was able to start rolling on my serve.  Played a great game to break.

“So, I mean, definitely one of the best matches I’ve played in my career.  I don’t know, the first set, I don’t remember point by point, but it was definitely really, really solid.”


The win puts the Swiss in his 10th final at the All-England Club, 26th Grand Slam final, which will make him the oldest finalist at 33, since 39-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1974. He is seeking a record 8th Wimbledon title and 18th major.

“Doesn’t matter whether it’s No. 8 or No. 1,” Federer said, “Wimbledon finals is always a big occasion.”

Federer on playing Djokovic in the final: “Well, I mean, it’s great to play Novak anywhere these days, you know, because he’s a great player.  He’s had great success, unbelievable success actually, throughout his career.  But especially now the last few years, he’s been unbelievably dominant, especially on the hard courts, then he improved on the grass.  On the clay, he’s one of the best, if not the best.

“He’s become very match‑tough.  He always shows up.  It’s tough to beat him.  You know, he’s been very injury‑free.  He’s been good for the game.

“For me, I don’t really think about the match we played against each other last year.  I just remember it was unbelievably thrilling.  The crowd really got into it.

“I’m just happy personally for myself to be back in a finals.  Whoever that’s going to be against, it’s always a big occasion.  That is Novak, the world No. 1, it obviously adds something extra.”

“I need to keep it up for one more match,” Federer said, “to really make it the perfect couple of weeks.”

The Serb, who comes into the final as the defending champion, will be playing in his fourth Wimbledon final.


Djokovic, Federer and Murray Advance to Wimbledon Semis, Wawrinka Knocked out in Five Sets by Gasquet


(June 8, 2015) Top three seeds Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray reach the semifinals of Wimbledon easily on Wednesday with straight set wins. Richard Gasquet spoiled a potential “top four” party in the last four, when he upset No. 4 Stan Wawrinka in five sets 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9.

For the Frenchman, this will be his third major semifinal. “I’m the worst,” Gasquet said with a grin, “when you see Federer, Djokovic and Murray and me. There is something, I want to enjoy it.”

Gasquet will face off against Djokovic, who reached his 27 Grand Slam semifinal, defeating U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. It was the world No. 1’s 650th win on tour and 50th at Wimbledon.

“I came out with the right intensity, moved well all over the court, tried to get as many returns back in play,” said Djokovic. “I didn’t allow Marin to come back to the match. It was a close game when I was serving for the set. I think that helped my confidence to feel better afterwards.”

“It was great to watch them go backhand-to-backhand today,” said Djokovic about the Wawrinka – Gasquet match. “Some great points, great exchanges.”

Djokovic discussing his match-up against Gasquet said, “the experience of being in these final stages of Wimbledon many times is going to help me.” The Serb is 11-1 against Gasquet.

Andy Murray reached his 150th match won at a Grand Slam on Wednesday when he stopped Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. For the Canadian Posposil, it was his first appearance in a major quarterfinal.

Murray said of the win: “I needed to (step up) because at times, (he) was serving really well, (which) made it very difficult for me. Then I just managed to, at a few key moments, come up with some good shots. Third set was tricky, as well, because I had a bunch of break points. When you don’t take them, obviously you start to think about that a little bit. Overall, it was a good match.”


Murray will face Roger Federer for place in the final. Federer bested Gilles Simon, the 12th seed 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 to reach his 10th Wimbledon semifinal and 37th major semifinal overall, to keep his hopes of winning a record eighth title at the All-England Club alive.

Federer won his last major at Wimbledon in 2012 when he defeated Murray, but then about a month later, Murray defeated Federer for the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics.

“We both like to look back at that summer,” said Federer. “Me, not so much at the Olympics; him, probably not so much at Wimbledon.”

Federer is 12-11 against Murray and is 9-0 in Wimbledon semifinals.

“I’m very happy to be in the semis again,” said Federer. “The road is long getting here. But still I feel like I’m fresh and I’ve got energy left in the tank for hopefully a great match with Andy and then we’ll see. But I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s been good so far. I felt like I played a very solid last year or so, especially on the grass I’ve done very well. I’m happy to keep it up here now. This is obviously now crunch time when you want to show if your game’s really up to par.”


Djokovic, Murray and Nadal Reach French Open Fourth Round with Straight Set Wins

(May 30, 2015) Top seeds Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal earned straight-set victory to reach the fourth round of the French Open on Saturday.

No. 1 Novak Djokovic, seeking the only major he has yet to win defeated young Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Djokovic currently on a 25 match win streak hit 34 winners in the one hour and 49 minute match.

“I think that tennis needs players like Thanasi, who is a teenager, but still able to come out on center court and play with courage and play with power and believe in himself,” Djokovic said. He’s one of this group of three, four young players that are, you know, starting to be more and more consistent and make couple of big wins in their careers and that are obviously expected to do very well from the tennis world. Now, we didn’t have that many young successful players under 20 year olds in last six, seven years, so I think it’s quite refreshing for tennis and it’s pretty good to see that. I thought he served well. He played pretty well. I made the three breaks each set, and that was enough for the win.”

“Great experience for me to play on such a nice court against No. 1 in the world and one of the greatest players of all time,” said the the Australian ranked 84th in the word. “I wasn’t too nervous going into the match. Felt like I served all right. I played all right. Just wasn’t quite enough.”

Next up for Djokovic will be No. 20 Richard Gasquet of France. Gasquet came back against Kevin Anderson 4-6, 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-4

Third seed Andy Murray remained unbeaten on clay this season reaching the fourth round defeating Nick Kyrgios 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.

“Definitely coming into the tournament, I mean, is the best I have played on clay,” Murray said. “The results would obviously suggest that. Never won a clay court tournament, never been to the final and had many wins against any of the top guys, you know, for a while on the clay. Obviously in Madrid, I managed to do that against Kei (Nishikori), Milos (Raonic), and against Rafa(el Nadal), played some very good matches there. I think winning the tournament and changing my schedule helped a lot. I never played any of the smaller events on the tour, on clay, and getting my first win on clay helped, for sure. I feel that that was a good decision from me and my team there. And then also physically, as well. I gave myself time to get used to the surface, and a surface I struggled with my back for a few years and gave myself a proper training period, built it up slowly, and made a few changes to the way that I preferred for this clay court season. That was, I think, they are the things that I have changed and the things that have helped me.”

“Murray, I think he’s one of the best defenders of the game at the moment,” Kyrios said. “Yeah, obviously matchup is key thing in tennis, but today I wasn’t near 100%. Not to take anything from him. He played unbelievable. I don’t think he served well, but he made a lot of returns and he just does what he does best: that’s make a lot of balls and mix up the game. He was too good.”

Murray with try to reach the quarterfinals when he takes on Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

Jeremy Chardy upset 17th seed David Goffin 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

“He’s so confident, he didn’t lose a match on clay court,” Chardy said about playing Murray. “I play against him in Rome. I play a good match, but still I lost 3 and 3. Yeah, after he beat me, he pull out from Rome to be fresh for Roland Garros, and I think for him it’s a big goal. So it will be a really tough match. In the past we always say Andy doesn’t like to play on clay court, but now I think everybody change and he like more now to play on clay.”

Rafael Nadal won his 69th career match at Roland Garros to move into the round of 16, besting 120th-ranked Andrey Kuznetsov 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 and extending his winning streak at Roland Garros to 38.

The sixth seeded Spaniard will face 22-year-old American Jack Sock next.

On playing Sock in the round of 16, Nadal said: He’s a great player, no? He’s playing fantastic, winning very tough matches against very difficult opponents like (Grigor) Dimitrov, Pablo Carrena (Busta), and today against (Borna) Coric. He has an amazing forehand, good serve, very good serve, and then he’s a player that can play very aggressive and is dangerous, no? I know I have to be very solid. I know I have to play aggressive, try to don’t let him to hit the forehand in positions, because I am going to be in big trouble. I gonna try.”

In a battle of young guns of the ATP World tour, Sock overwhelmed 18-year-old Borna Coric with his forehand with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 win.

Coric said: “He just played way too good today. He was serving too big. His forehands were very heavy and I was struggling to cope with that. I couldn’t stay close to the line. You know, yeah, he was just playing too good. I mean, it was maybe the combination that I didn’t play great. That’s for sure. But I think that the first thing was that he played too good.”

“It was a good day for me, for sure,” Sock said. “I was fortunate enough to play great tennis. And, you know, once again, things I was looking to do, serving forehand and dictate a lot of points, like I said yesterday or a couple days ago, I was able to do that very well today. In general, I think he plays pretty far behind the baseline and kind of lets the opponent maneuver the ball a little bit. He’s a great defender, makes a lot of balls, and is very quick. I usually feel pretty good when I’m hitting a lot of forehands, especially from the left side of the court, and able to move the ball around and dictate play. I was able to do that today fortunately.”

Ninth seed and reigning U. S. Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia had a straight forward 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory over No. 23 Leonardo Mayer of Argentina.

The round of 16 is set for the men:

Novak Djokovic vs Richard Gasquet

Rafael Nadal vs Jack Sock

Andy Murray vs Jeremy Chardy

David Ferrer vs Marin Cilic

Kei Nishikori vs Teymuraz Gabashvili

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Tomas Berdych

Stan Wawrinka vs Gilles Simon

Roger Federer vs Gael Monfils