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Murray makes winning return to Wimbledon – highlights & report

  • Posted: Jul 04, 2019
Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details

Andy Murray’s Wimbledon return began in ideal fashion as the Briton and his partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert thrilled the home fans with a late-night comeback win in the men’s doubles.

Murray and Frenchman Herbert won 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-0 against Marius Copil of Romania and France’s Ugo Humbert.

The first-round match finished at 21:22 BST on Thursday in front of a sizeable crowd under Court One’s new roof.

“It was great to get the win and a nice atmosphere,” said Murray, 32.

“I was a little bit nervous at the start but we got better as match wore on.”

Fittingly, it was Murray who clinched the match with an overhead volley, warmly embracing Herbert before breaking out into a beaming smile as he took the acclaim of the jubilant British fans.

Scot Murray and Herbert will play Croatian sixth seeds Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor next, with Murray’s older brother Jamie and fellow Briton Neal Skuspki potential third-round opponents.

Murray and Skupski were forced off court because of the light when they led 6-2 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 against Croatia’s Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek of Slovakia.

Murray revels in Wimbledon comeback

Two-time singles champion Murray pulled out on the eve of the tournament 12 months ago, hampered by the pain in his hip which eventually led to a resurfacing operation in January.

He broke down in an emotional news conference at the Australian Open earlier that month, fearing the operation might force him to retire from an illustrious career which has also brought him a US Open title and two Olympic gold medals.

But here he was – 723 days since his last appearance when he lost in the 2017 quarter-finals to American Sam Querrey – rid of the pain and heavy limp which hampered him before he had the operation with Royal surgeon Sarah Muirhead-Allwood in January.

The former world number one returned to competitive action in the doubles at Queen’s in June, going on to win the title alongside Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

Murray described the feat as “mental”.

At Wimbledon, he has linked up with Herbert – a doubles expert who has won all four Grand Slam titles – in the men’s event, and is playing with American 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in a blockbuster partnership in the mixed.

The pair started slowly in a first set where Murray struggled to land a first serve, which contributed heavily to his team’s low first-serve percentage of 45%.

But they grew in rhythm and understanding as the match wore on, breaking six more times as their service games improved to complement their sharp play around the net.

With his wife Kim among the crowd, Murray began to enjoy himself and showed glimpses of his best shot-making with a couple of stunning backhand winners.

Darkening skies meant the new roof came into use for the second time before the fourth set began at 20:50, the brief break not halting the progress of Murray and Herbert as they raced away with the match.

“That’s the one thing that’s nice about the five-set doubles format, you have time to work things out,” Murray said.

“Whereas with the sudden death deuce, like when I played with Marcelo Melo in Eastbourne last week, we didn’t have any time to get used to each other.

“Here I think that was the case, and we got better as the match went on.”

‘Jamie is the number one son’ – Andy jokes about mum watching his brother

Murray’s match had not been assigned to a court as Wimbledon organisers waited to see how the day’s play on Centre Court and Court One panned out before making a decision.

And once Murray’s mixed doubles partner Williams edged past 18-year-old Slovenian qualifier Kaja Juvan, it was announced the returning Briton would shortly appear on Court One.

That drew raucous cheers when the news was delivered over the public address system, with another cacophony of noise when Murray walked out at about 18:45 and those reactions continuing throughout the match until it came to the conclusion which virtually everyone watching wanted.

But one person was not able to watch the match live – Murray’s mother Judy, who was watching eldest son Jamie’s match on court 18.

“Jamie is the number one son,” joked Murray. “He used to get all the good presents. I got like the hand-me-downs always since we were young, so I’m used to that!

“Obviously when the schedule is like that, she can’t watch both. She can’t be in two places at once.

“There’s many times here when she’s been watching Jamie’s doubles, rushed over to watch my singles. Vice versa.

“Maybe they can do my mum and dad a favour and put us on at slightly different times.”

‘An irresistible pair’ – analysis

BBC tennis commentator Peter Fleming

Copil and Humbert certainly started out as a confident pair. They were terrific in the first set.

But Murray and Herbert managed an early break in the second and, from then on, they were an irresistible pair.

In the end, Copil and Humbert had no answer.

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Murray & Herbert Finish Strong In Wimbledon Win

  • Posted: Jul 04, 2019

Murray & Herbert Finish Strong In Wimbledon Win

Bryan/Bryan, Rojer/Tecau advance on Thursday

Andy Murray made a triumphant return to Wimbledon with Pierre-Hugues Herbert, delighting the No. 1 Court crowd with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 victory over Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert. The victory was the Brit’s first-ever men’s doubles win at The All England Club.

“It was obviously brilliant to be back. Really nice atmosphere towards the end of the match,” said Murray. “Every time I’m on the court now, it’s great. I’m just playing tennis again. Pain-free, healthy. It’s nice. It’s what I have enjoyed doing since I was a kid.

“At times over the past few years, I was not getting any enjoyment out of it. The fun is back. Hopefully my hip will feel good for a while.”

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Murray, who prevailed two weeks ago at the Fever-Tree Championships (w/Lopez), received a standing ovation as he walked on court. After shaking off a slow start in their first match together, Herbert/Murray asserted their dominance in return games by racking up 18 break points and converting on seven. Murray wrapped up the match with a forehand volley winner after two hours and 28 minutes.

Herbert has enjoyed success before at The Championships, teaming up with Nicolas Mahut to win the doubles title in 2016 (d. Benneteau/Roger-Vasselin). Next up for Herbert/Murray are sixth-seeded Croatians Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor.

“I think once I get on the court, I’m still very competitive. I want to win. I prepare properly. I try and do my best,” said Murray. “It just feels different than what it did before. I don’t know if that will change over time or if it will stay the same. But I don’t have huge expectations. I just want to go out, enjoy the match, give the best effort of what I’ve got. If I do that, then that’s fine.” 


Seventh seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, making their 20th appearance as a team at The All England Club, moved past Denys Molchanov and Igor Zelenay 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-4. The Bryans have won here three times (2006, 2011, 2013) and Mike prevailed here last year with Jack Sock (d. Klaasen/Venus). Bryan/Bryan will play Marcelo Arevalo and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela in the second round.

Fifth seeds and 2015 champions Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau sprinted into the second round over Italian pair Marco Cecchinato and Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-3, 6-1. Awaiting them are Fabrice Martin and Hugo Nys.

Eighth seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers required just one hour and 39 minutes to move through the Spanish pairing of Marcel Granollers and Gerard Granollers 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Peers finished runner-up here (w/J. Murray) in 2015. Next up for Kontinen/Peers are Robert Lindstedt and Tim Puetz.

Other teams to advance on Thursday include No. 11 seeds Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France, who defeated British wild cards Liam Broady and Scott Clayton 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. Robin Haase and Frederik Nielsen, the No. 16 seeds, also moved on with a convincing 6-2 6-2, 6-3 victory over Romain Arneodo and Damir Dzumhur. Nielsen’s lone Grand Slam title came here in 2012 (w/Marray).

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Williams survives scare against 18-year-old qualifier

  • Posted: Jul 04, 2019
Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams recovered from being a set down to beat teenage qualifier Kaja Juvan and reach the third round.

Williams was surprised by the 18-year-old world number 133 from Slovenia, who twice broke serve to win the first set.

The 11th seed, 37, responded to take control in the second and eventually closed out the decider for a 2-6 6-2 6-4 victory in one hour 36 minutes.

“She played well and I started out a little slow,” said the American.

“I like the pressure. I would rather be in this position than any other and I play best when I am down sometimes. I am a fighter.”

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Williams, who last won Wimbledon in 2016, will face German 18th seed Julia Gorges in the third round.

She is looking to equal Australian Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles but has struggled with a knee injury this year.

The American saw off Italy’s Giulia Gatto-Monticone in straight sets in the opening round but was given a sterner test by a player who was not born when she claimed the first of her 23 major titles at the US Open in 1999.

Williams lost her opening service game of the match and slipped 0-3 behind, before sending a smashed overhead volley into the net on set point as Juvan clinched the opener in 27 minutes.

Williams recovered to dominate the second set as her opponent, who beat Czech Kristyna Pliskova to reach the second round of a Slam for the first time, appeared to tire.

After twice breaking in the final set, Williams looked to be in full control and served for the match at 5-2 – only for the resilient Juvan to respond with a break of her own.

But the Slovenian was unable to stop an ace on match point and Williams sealed her progression.

Williams will now begin her mixed doubles campaign alongside former British number one Andy Murray on Friday.

“I am excited to play with a British icon like Andy,” she said.

“It’s going to be incredibly amazing and I feel honoured to share the court with him. Maybe I can learn a thing or two.”

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Federer Matches Connors' Wimbledon Mark, Rolls Into Third Round

  • Posted: Jul 04, 2019

Federer Matches Connors’ Wimbledon Mark, Rolls Into Third Round

Swiss is into the third round at SW19 for the 17th time

Roger Federer walked on No. 1 Court Thursday with a 16-1 record in the second round at Wimbledon. And although his wild card opponent, #NextGenATP Brit Jay Clarke, put forth an admirable effort in front of his home crowd, that record was not blemished any further.

Federer overcame a tight second set to beat Clarke 6-1, 7-6(3), 6-2, advancing to the third round at SW19 for the 17th time, equalling Jimmy Connors’ Open Era record. It is his 70th trip to the third round of a major, extending his own record. 

In the first round, Federer faced a slight bump, losing the first set against South African Lloyd Harris. But he was much sharper from the jump against Clarke, moving on after one hour and 37 minutes, striking 46 winners to just 26 unforced errors in a clean match for the eight-time champion.

He was sure to get off to a quick start, breaking serve twice in the opening set and swooping into the forecourt successfully often, winning 10 of 13 net points in the first.

If Clarke was going to work his way towards a stunning upset, he had to pull through the second set, in which he was strong on serve to reach a tie-break. But after taking an early mini-break when Federer missed a sitting forehand volley, the Swiss buckled down, winning six of the set’s final seven points. He hit his seventh ace of the match to close out the tie-break.

Federer now has 97 wins at Wimbledon, as he continues his pursuit to win 100 matches at a single tournament for the first time. The 37-year-old is trying to win his ninth Wimbledon crown to extend his own record at the grass-court Grand Slam.

Federer will next face one of two Frenchmen: No. 27 seed Lucas Pouille or Gregoire Barrere. The second seed won his only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head match against Pouille in straight sets, but that came five years ago at the Rolex Paris Masters. He has never faced Barrere.

Did You Know?
Federer is now 10-0 against wild cards at the Grand Slams, and he is 66-8 against wild cards at tour-level events. He has never lost a match at a major against a player ranked as low as World No. 169 Clarke. The Swiss fell to World No. 154 Mario Ancic in the first round of 2002 Wimbledon, and upon his return the next year he captured his maiden Grand Slam crown.

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Wimbledon 2019: Ashleigh Barty and Sloane Stephens ease into round three

  • Posted: Jul 04, 2019
Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details

World number one Ashleigh Barty cruised into the third round at Wimbledon on Thursday with a 6-1 6-3 win over Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck.

The 23-year-old Australian, who won the French Open last month, was on court for just 55 minutes.

Barty could next face British number three Harriet Dart, who is currently in action against Beatriz Haddad Maia.

American ninth seed Sloane Stephens also eased through with a 6-0 6-2 victory against China’s Wang Yafan.

Barty had the chance to serve for the match at 5-2 but Van Uytvanck broke back, only for the top seed to break again in the following game as she sealed match point with a smart volleyed winner.

“I started particularly well and not too many errors, a bit of a blemish trying to serve out the match, but very happy with today,” she said.

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Gauff, 15, continues fairytale Wimbledon run – highlights & report

  • Posted: Jul 04, 2019
Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details

Coco Gauff’s fairytale introduction to Wimbledon continued with a second-round victory that belied her years over Magdalena Rybarikova.

The 15-year-old American qualifier needed just one hour nine minutes to beat her Slovakian opponent 6-3 6-3 under Court One’s new roof.

Gauff, who beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams on Monday, will play Slovenia’s Polona Hercog next.

“I’m still shocked I am even here,” Gauff told BBC TV.

“I played well on pressure points, she was serving amazing. I’ve not been able to relax, there is so much going on.

“I believe I can beat anyone across the court.”

She becomes the youngest player to reach the last 32 at Wimbledon since fellow American Jennifer Capriati, who, also at 15, reached the semi-finals in 1991.

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At such a tender age, Gauff is only eligible to play 10 tournaments at professional level between her 15th and 16th birthdays yet she appears to be taking the grand occasion of Wimbledon in her stride.

Earlier on Wednesday, she had trained briefly under the gaze of 18-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal before being approached for a chat by Roger Federer, an eight-time winner in these parts, more than six hours before she finally got to play.

After a late court switch, the match finally got under way just after 20:00 BST, but Gauff looked at home straightaway against the world number 139, who reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon two years ago.

She broke 30-year-old Rybarikova’s serve to love to go 4-2 up, losing just five points on her own serve throughout the entire first set.

Rybarikova, somewhat unsettled by the crowd’s fierce support for Gauff, had her serve broken once again early in the second set.

But, showing glimpses of the form that saw her formerly become the world number 17, Rybarikova started to rally, twice defying Gauff on break point.

Yet this was always to be Gauff’s night, seeing out the win by breaking serve once again in front of a delighted packed Court One crowd and in front of her ecstatic parents Corey and Candi.

Speaking after the match Gauff revealed that she has been using social media to help relax between matches and cope with her newfound fame.

“I wasn’t expecting any of this. A lot of celebrities were messaging, posting me. I’m kind of star struck. It’s been hard to reset. I don’t know,” she said.

“Surprisingly social media kind of relaxes me before the match. That’s what I kind of do. Right now I’m going to keep everything the same because it’s been working.”

On a day for the youngsters, Felix Auger Aliassime, 18, progressed to the third round of the men’s singles by beating France’s Corentin Moutet 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-2.

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‘Gauff is the favourite against Hercog’

John McEnroe, three-time Wimbledon singles champion on BBC TV

Hopefully her parents will handle this success well. There will be enormous offers and sponsorships galore.

The way she’s playing at the moment and the way she’s acting – there aren’t many players she will lose to.

Gauff is the favourite going into the match against Hercog.

Gauff possible route to the final

So who could the 15-year-old face en route to a possible dream final a week on Saturday?

If she defeats Hercog, then she could come up against former world number one Simona Halep in the fourth round.

And if she passes that challenge then 2018 Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki might await her in the quarter-final followed by the possibility of a semi-final match against the wily Karolina Pliskova.

And in the final? Current number one Ashleigh Barty or maybe one of her idols, Serena Williams.

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