Andy Murray to not play for US Open due to injury

After weeks of uncertainty and indecision, Andy Murray has decided to not undergo a hip surgery for his damaged right hip and rely best on an extended period of rehabilitation and rest to solve the problem. As a consequence, Murray will be unable to play again this season.

In a statement released on September 6, 2017 Murray stated, “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to compete in the upcoming events in Beijing and Shanghai, and most likely, the final two events to finish the season in Vienna and Paris due to my hip injury which has been bothering me the last few months. Having consulted with a number of leading hip specialists over the last week, along with my own team, we have decided that this is the best decision for my long-term future.”

Coincidentally, all three major winners from 2016 including Murray, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka have finished their 2017 seasons post Wimbledon, enduring and playing through pain during the grass court season.

The high rate of absence in the men’s draw for the US Open is giving more grounds to the debate of tennis as a sport needs to address the intensity its seasons. But in spite of this, the Association of Tennis Professionals insisted that injuries reported to the physiotherapists have shown no dramatic increase in the numbers.

News Source: Telegraph, Tennis Magazine 

Image Source: Getty images

US Open: Kei Nishikori upsets Andy Murray

Andy Murray had a perfect start to the Wednesday quarter-final match. He took the first set 6-1 in just 35 mins but midway through the second set Kei Nishikori dominated the world number two on Arthur Ashe Stadium and won the match in a grueling five-setter 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 that lasted for three hours and 57 mins. It was only the second time in the nine meetings when Nishikori stunned Murray.
The change of events took place for Murray when it started raining and the retractable roof was closed. In the post-match interview, Andy Murray said, “I think definitely under the roof he was able to dictate more of the points.” Another distraction came for Murray during the fourth set, break-point opportunity at 1-1, 30-40, when the stadium sound system interrupted the play. Murray lost the next seven games after that.
Nishikori kept his calm and took the opportunity to up his game and brought in confidence whereas Murray was clearly in distress.Many players are of the opinion that playing under the roof slows down the condition which hampers the play of big servers.
Japan’s Nishikori, the runner-up at the 2014 US Open, will now face Stan Wawrinka in the semi-final clash. Wawrinka defeated 2009 champion Del Potro 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. In the other men’s semi-final match Novak Djokovic will face France’s Gael Monfils.

US Open: Williams sisters’ showdown hopes come to an end

Day eight of US Open saw the hopes of Williams sisters’ semi-final clash at Flushing Meadows come to an end. 6th seeded Venus Williams lost to  Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) early on Arthur Ashe stadium. The 36-year old Venus Williams failed to convert match point to reach the quarter-final and a potential semi-final clash with sister Serena Williams.
Pliskova needed five match points to  reach her first ever Grand Slam quarter-final. She will face 18-year old Croatian Ana Konjuh, who stunned 4th seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, and also reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final.
Followed by her elder sister’s match, Serena took on Arthur Ashe and displayed her usual dominance and entered the quarter-final. She defeated Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-3. Serena overtook Roger Federer’s record highest Grand Slam match victories with her 4th round win. She will face 5th seeded Romania’s Simona Halep in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
In the men’s draw Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Del Potro and Kei Nishikori were through to the quarter-final. Tonight in men’s quarter-final match-ups Novak Djokovic will take on 9th seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils will face Lucas Pouille, a French set-up.

The Djoker has the last laugh at Melbourne

Melbourne: Novak Djokovic crushed Andy Murray 7-6(5) 6-7(4) 6-3 6-0 to clinch his fifth Australian Open grand slam title. This was the Serbian’s eight grand slam title overall which includes two Wimbledon and one U.S Open titles.

Djokovic took his record to five wins out of five at the Australian Open finals as his love affair for the hard court continued in front of a capacity crowd at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday. Meanwhile, for Murray, it was yet another defeat in a grand slam final.

“I’ve had, thankfully many great moments on the court in grand slams. I think every grand slam win is special in its own way. I can’t really compare,” he said. “This tournament by far has been my most successful tournament in my life, in my career. I enjoy playing here, enjoy coming back” said Djokovic after the game.

The first two sets were tie breakers as both players battled it out for two and half hours cancelling each other out. The first two sets took a toll on both the players, especially Djokovic, as he appeared to have a thigh problem early on in the third set. Djokovic lost energy and pace as he barely moved for a couple of shots in the third set giving Murray the advantage. Murray got distracted by this development as Djokovic surprisingly regained his lost energy to clinch the third. The fourth set was a breeze for the Serbian as the match which looked pretty exciting early on turned out to be a rout.

The Serbian recently gave birth to his first child with his wife Jelena and he considered this title extra special.

“I think it has deeper meaning, a more intrinsic value now to my life because I’m a father and a husband. As my life progresses, there are circumstances, situations, events that define these beautiful moments” he told a news conference.


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Photo: Filip Singer/European Pressphoto Agency


Wimbledon – Federer, Djoko advance as Murray bows out

London: Roger Federer fought back to make it a step closer to what will be his 8th Wimbledon title as he came back to inflict a stunning victory over fellow countryman Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4. The 4th seeded Federer had last tasted glory here back in 2012, also his last Grand Slam. However, home favourite Andy Murray on the other hand fell to a shock defeat to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in his run to defend his title as he lost out 1-6, 6-7, 2-6.

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Dimitrov will have to fight world no.2 Novak Djokovic who too had a hard time to set his foot in the semis; Cilic leading two sets to one before the Serbian pulled back the last two in a dominating fashion. The scoreline read 6-1, 3-6, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2. Nadal-slayer Nick Kyrgios’ dream run came to an end as Milos Raonic pulled back from a set down to win it 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 with the Canadian firing 39 aces to seal the tie.

Quite contrary to the men top seeds were the case for women that have only Simona Halep among the top 5 seeds remaining in the tournament. Serena Williams and Li Na had both failed to make it even to the 4th round that saw the shock defeat of Maria Sharapova in the hands of Samantha Murray; another wild card entry from Britain. The home favourite lost just a single game to register a 6-1, 6-0 victory against the former Wimbledon champion. Halep now faces Eugenie Bouchard to seek a place in the finals while Lucie Safarova faces Petra Kvitova in the other, an all Czecch semi-final.

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It’s been a mixed story for the Indians at this edition of Wimbledon as old horse Leander Paes along with Radek Stepanek brushed past a gritty challenge from Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau winning 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-5 to set up a quarter-final date with D. Nestor and N. Zimonjic. Leander’s fortunes with Cara Black in the mixed doubles section however wasn’t that good as though leading by a set, the Indo-Zimbabwe pair fell to the American pair of Eric Butorac and Timea Babos 6-1, 2-6, 3-6.

Dominating their presence in the first game, Sania Mirza and Cara Black failed to hold up to their initial success as they crashed out in the 2nd round to the unseeded Russian and Czech pair of Anastasia and Lucie Safarova 6-2, 6-7(7), 4-6. Pairing with Romanian Horia Tecau however, Sania Mirza won in straight sets 6-3 6-3 against a weak challenge put up by Mate Pavic of Crotia and Serbian BojanaJovanovski in their opening match. The Indo-Romanian pair is seeded 6th.

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Eighth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan’s Aisamul Haq Qureshi bowed down 7-6, 6-7, 3-6, 5-7 against Canadian-American pair VasekPospisil and Jack Sock after play resumed after initially suspended for bad weather. Seeded 7th in the mixed doubles section, Bopanna partnering Czech Andrea Hlavackova put up a spirited performance as they saved all three break points to advance defeating local pair Colin Fleming and Jocelyn Rae in straight sets to win 6-4, 7-5.

Somdev Devvarman earlier fell to yet another 1st round defeat, his 10th in the last 13th tournaments to bow out 6-4 3-6 3-6 6-3 3-6 to 15th seed Jerzy Janowicz.

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‘British’ & Proud

Clockwise: Andy Murray, Chirs Fromme, Kevin Pietersen, Rory McIlroy
Clockwise from the top: Andy Murray, Chirs Fromme, Kevin Pietersen, Rory McIlroy

Ever since the summer of 2005, the English Isles have been looking for a reason to go berserk over sports once again. That fabled June, the English cricket team accomplished one of the greatest feats the game of cricket had ever seen – dismantling a full-strength Australia. For the first time, children were seen adorning the ‘Flintoff’ jersey more than a ‘Beckham’ and the English chants began to roar. English, mind you.

That summer England welcomed players lost to international boundaries into their squads, television sets and victory celebrations with open arms. Cricketing prodigy Kevin Pietersen and some Andrew Strauss were South African’s they said. ‘Not from their mother’s side’, echoed London. Simon Jones was Welsh. ‘Isn’t that England too?’ claimed the optimist. Come 2013, England are having their moment on top of the sporting pinnacle. But how much of English is there?

First off, Britain was dancing to the merry chants of the British and Irish Lions squad wreaking havoc in Sydney with their splendid win over Australia in the recently concluded rugby test series. In their 37-man squad, only 10 were Englishmen. The Lions were led by a Welshman in Sam Warburton. The jubilation across the Iles belonged to London. For the people in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Dublin this victory was a cruel reminded of how the English monarchy still refused to identify their demands for sovereignty. However, the modern-day sports blogger will boast on how the Lions brought a much needed unity in the region. (Perhaps, some members of the British Parliament should encourage the IRA to read more of those posts.)

Last week, Scot Andy Murray (patronised as Britain’s saviour), lifted the coveted trophy in South-West London, emulating Fred Perry’s conquest in 1936. So moved was the crowd at Wimbledon, that the banners proudly fluttered ‘Sir(?) Andy Murray, Thank you.’ In the midst of it all, Virginia Wade was forgotten.  Many of the headlines around the world have blared out sentiments like “Andy Murray wins Wimbledon, ends 77-year British drought” and “Inspired Murray ends 77 years of British hurt.” However, let’s not forget that 2013 may mark the first time a British ‘man’ has won in 77 years, but the last time a Brit won a singles title at their home Grand Slam tournament was actually just 36 years ago. In 1977, the popular Englishwoman Virginia Wade finally put a crucial win at the end of a frustrating “try-try-again” story even longer than Andy Murray’s. Yet, even the Queen must have forgotten that she presented the trophy to Wade, or else David Cameron wouldn’t have streamed his tears on Twitter, apparently in awe of Murray.

Britain still has a lot to celebrate for. Whether it is South-African born Chris Fromme leading the centennial Tour de France, or the long awaited return of ‘England’s best batsman’ in Natal-born and raised KP, the English chants of ‘Come on!’ will surely be heard all around. England without doubt has one of the best sporting crowds who view every game with the same zeal and passion as they do the last one.

Whether it’s Murray, Fromme, Pieterson or even Rory McIlroy, everyone in Abbey Road to Buckingham Palace will say that all of them are well and truly British, and ever so proud to be one. This Kingdom is definitely ‘United’ and it is the common sports-lover who can be held responsible for it.

Djokovic creates history: Bags third Australian Open Crown

Novak Djokovic created Australian Open history by winning the grand slam for the third time in a row, defying wounded Andy Murray at a bruising battle of defences. In a match filled with frustrations and angst, Murray’s bid to claim back-to-back grand slam titles ended in disappointment. The 25-year-old claimed his sixth grand slam label and his fourth Melbourne Park trophy with a 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-2 win over world No. 3 Murray.

Sundays win consolidated Djokovic’s position as the No. 1-ranked player in the world, while Roger Federer and Andy Murray fall second and third, as released in the ATP rankings on Monday. Nine other players have won back-to-back titles but were unable to win three in a row, making Djokovic the first man in the Open era to craft this particular record.Picture3_crop_exact

“I love this court,” said glowing Djokovic in a post-match conference at the Rod Laver Arena. “It’s definitely my favorite Grand Slam. It’s an incredible feeling winning this trophy once more.” The thrilling competition went on for three hours and forty minutes until the Serb broke through and took the last two sets to victory. The world number one’s frustration at failing to convert his chances, coupled with irritation with his footwear, allowing the Scot (Murray) to take the lead in the match. He had three chances to leap into a 2-0 lead but Djokovic held on to take it to another tie-break, which was tight until Murray threw in just his third double fault of the tournament at 2-2.

Murray had to call a medical time-out for blisters at the change of ends while Djokovic controlled his nerve; this led the former to lose focus on his game. It was all Djokovic needed to level the match and the momentum appeared to swing further in his favour. The momentum was with the top seed and he needed no second invitation as he set up three break points for a 5-3 lead. Following which, Murray saw the match slip away from him as he dropped his serve once more on a double fault in the next set, allowing Djokovic to establish a 4-1 lead.

Murray had been eyeing his own name in the history books as the first man ever to hold the Olympic, US Open and Australian Open titles simultaneously but instead suffered his fifth defeat in six grand slam finals. But being gracious in defeat, he remarked that his opponent’s record here has been incredible and only few people have been able to do what he’s done to be a well-deserved champion.

Six-time Grand Slam champion, Boris Becker summarised the match in an interview with, “The better man won the match. Once Djokovic won that second set he just started to find another level and Djokovic was the aggressor, he took more risks and more chances.” Without any margin for error, Novak Djokovic truly stepped up his game and outplayed the Scotsman as he completed his 21st consecutive win in Melbourne and gained revenge for his defeat to Murray in the US Open final last September.