Tennis News

From around the world

Murray: 'In Some Ways It's One Of The Best Wins That I've Had'

  • Posted: Sep 24, 2019

Murray: ‘In Some Ways It’s One Of The Best Wins That I’ve Had’

Former World No. 1 reflects on victory against Sandgren in Zhuhai

It’s been a long nine months for Andy Murray, but on Tuesday evening the former World No. 1 earned his first tour-level singles win since 1 January. It was the 664th victory of his career, but it was anything but ordinary for the Scot.

“I think that in some ways that it’s one of the best wins that I’ve had, not in terms of just getting through that today, but everything that’s gone into getting back to this point,” said Murray, who underwent hip surgery after this year’s Australian Open. “You don’t necessarily appreciate what it’s like to be healthy at the beginning of your career. It’s something that you take for granted and it’s quite easy, whereas these past few years haven’t been.

“Obviously after the operation in January it’s been difficult and it was undecided at times about whether I wanted to keep going or not and it’s been tough. But I’m really glad that I can actually get the win today and hopefully I’ll be able to keep going.”

You May Also Like: Murray Wins First Tour-Level Match Since 1 January

The last time Murray completed a full Asian Swing was in 2016, when he eventually won the Nitto ATP Finals to clinch the year-end No. 1 ATP Ranking. That year, the Scot won all five of his tournaments after the US Open, so a win was far more expected than it is today, when an individual victory has more meaning.

“[There’s] definitely a bit less pressure on myself probably than at different times,” Murray said. “When I was here for the end of the 2016 season, there was a lot riding on the tournaments and I was trying to finish strong to try and finish No. 1. Whereas, now I’m just trying to win a tennis match. It’s quite different, a lot less, I think, less expectations from myself, less pressure. But also, just generally, I don’t think people are expecting loads from me. So it’s nice just to be able to concentrate on the process a little bit more. I think definitely at times in my career it’s been quite difficult to do that.”

Just about one month ago, Murray lost to Tennys Sandgren at the Winston-Salem Open. And although Murray’s triumph over Sandgren Tuesday was on the other side of the world and in different conditions, emerging on top was a sign of progress nonetheless.

“Tonight my ball striking was, I think, very good. Tonight I was hitting the ball well, movement was I think pretty good. Tonight I served well. Obviously there’s things that I feel I can do better, but it was definitely progress,” Murray said. “I don’t know whether that’s five per cent, 10 per cent, it’s difficult to put a number on it, but I think I did a little bit better tonight than I did when we played a few weeks ago and that’s a good thing.”

And most importantly, Murray is healthy. Although his tennis may not be quite to the level that helped him win three Grand Slams and 45 tour-level titles, the 32-year-old is no longer in pain, and that’s a win in itself.

“If I played that match [against Sandgren] in January, there’s no chance I could compete the following day or even two days later, I would be in a lot of pain and discomfort. Now I’m tired and fatigued and muscles and stuff are tired from playing the match. But in terms of how my hip feels, that feels really good,” Murray said. “So that’s very positive and I’m satisfied with that because, in January, I didn’t, I couldn’t remember what it was like to play tennis and not have the pain in my hip.”

Murray will now face #NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur for a spot in his first quarter-final since Shenzhen last year.

Source link

Murray records first Tour level singles win since January

  • Posted: Sep 24, 2019

Andy Murray earned his first singles victory at Tour level since January with a three-set win over Tennys Sandgren in the first round of the Zhuhai Championships in China.

Murray continued his comeback from hip resurfacing surgery by winning 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-1.

Defeating the world number 69 showed progress from Murray having lost to the same man in North Carolina in August.

He will play Australian world number 31 Alex de Minaur in the second round.

Murray, 32, said at the Australian Open that the ongoing problem with his hip could have forced him into retirement.

He instead underwent the resurfacing operation, from which no player has ever returned to play top-level singles tennis.

The former world number one’s comeback initially was in doubles tournaments, including both men’s and mixed at Wimbledon, and he began playing singles competitions at the beginning of August.

The Scot, now ranked 413, won two matches on the lower-level Challenger Tour at the Rafa Nadal Open at the end of last month.

This win over American Sandgren is his first on the ATP Tour since beating James Duckworth at the Brisbane International on 1 January.

He missed the opportunity of a match point in the second-set tie-break, only to race through the decider and complete victory in two hours and 41 minutes.

Source link

Zhang & Wu: The Chinese 'Brothers' Making Noise In Zhuhai

  • Posted: Sep 24, 2019

Zhang & Wu: The Chinese ‘Brothers’ Making Noise In Zhuhai

Childhood friends both reach the second round at inaugural ATP 250 in Zhuhai

Zhizhen Zhang first met Di Wu when he was six years old. The Chinese players competed against one another by the time Zhang was eight and Wu was 14.

“I had no [tools[ to play with him. I lost,” Zhang said.

“I met him when he was very short, just up to here,” Wu said, holding his hand low to the ground and cracking a laugh. “I played junior matches with him in Shanghai, some tournaments, and of course I beat him!”

Little did they know that 16 years later, with Zhang now towering over Wu, they’d both be making history on the ATP Tour. Wu and Zhang both won their first-round matches at the inaugural Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships, becoming the first Chinese pair to advance to the second round of a tour-level event since Shenzhen in 2015.

“It could send a message to all of the [Chinese people] because we are winning now. We have a chance to win and we can do something,” Zhang said. “We are showing that we took the wild cards, but we can win now. We’re taking chances, we’re still trying to win and we can make some results.”

Watch Live 

Zhang won his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Jinan, China, earlier this month. And now he is sharing a special moment in Zhuhai with one of his closest friends in Wu.

“We have such a long relationship. We do everything for each other,” Zhang said. “I would say not a brother, but he could be the one important man in my life. Maybe I have a lot of important guys in my life, but he’s one of them.”

You May Also Like: Murray Wins First Tour-Level Match Since 1 January

It’s special for Wu, too. Zhang sat in his box on Monday to watch him defeat Tatsuma Ito, and he returned the favour on Tuesday when Zhang ousted Dominik Koepfer.

“He’s my teammate and we’ve trained together since he’s very young. Also… we’re good friends. Yesterday he watched me play and he was very excited. He played today and I had to watch him play, it’s like teamwork,” Wu said. “This is the first time we won at the same tournament on the ATP Tour. For both of us it’s exciting, and we’re playing doubles together here, too. It’s a good feeling.”

Both players had enjoyed success at this level previously, with each of them entering this week with multiple tour-level victories. Zhang, now 22, was just 18 when he qualified for Shenzhen in 2015 and then reached the second round.

“In that moment I thought I was going to fly, I was going to make it to something. But I got a big injury. I was running and I broke my left foot,” Zhang said. “After that injury I thought it was trouble. I played two or three Futures. The first week I lost right away and said, ‘Okay, no problem.’ The next week I won a round, got a point and was like, ‘No problem, I’ll come back.’ But then I kept falling and falling and falling and falling. In 2017 the beginning of the year was still so bad, but I was trying to be better, practising more to come back again.” 

That hard work paid off when Zhang qualified in Shenzhen that year and carried his momentum all the way to the quarter-finals, where he fell short in a deciding set. That result helped him crack the Top 400 for the second time, but it took him until this July to reach the Top 300.

“I have no idea why. In 2015 and 2017 I had amazing years. Right away after each of those years I disappeared, I dropped,” Zhang said. “It’s a little bit of a different feel when I’m playing on the Tour than Challengers and Futures. The focus is different.”

Wu, who has climbed as high as No. 140 in the ATP Rankings, had not won an ATP Tour match since 2017 Shanghai. He is in good form, though, reaching a Challenger final in Shanghai a little more than a week ago.

“Last night I didn’t sleep good because I was very happy to win at this big tournament,” Wu said. “The Chinese Tennis Association gave me this very important wild card and I won to show them I want to come back… I had a lot of pressure on myself, but I trust myself. I played well last week making the final of a Challenger, so this week I’m playing very well also.”

Now, Wu will try to make his first tour-level quarter-final when he faces St. Petersburg finalist Borna Coric, the fourth seed.

“This is a dream. I never passed the second round,” Wu said. “Coric is pretty strong, he played last week in a final. He’s a tough player. I’ll try to be relaxed. I hope we can keep this level.”

Source link

Lajovic, Carreno Busta Advance To Chengdu Second Round

  • Posted: Sep 24, 2019

Lajovic, Carreno Busta Advance To Chengdu Second Round

Verdasco to face Garin

Fifth seed Dusan Lajovic, who captured his first ATP Tour title in July at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag, struck 10 aces to beat Juan Ignacio Londero of Argentina 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in one hour and 45 minutes on Tuesday at the Chengdu Open.

Lajovic now challenges South African lucky loser Lloyd Harris, who dominated on serve to overcome Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 55 minutes.

Elsewhere, former World No. 10 Pablo Carreno Busta lost just six of his first-service points in a 6-3, 6-4 win over Radu Albot of Moldova in 80 minutes for a second-round encounter against third-seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire.

Belarusian Egor Gerasimov, who reached last week’s St. Petersburg Open semi-finals (l. to Medvedev), set up a meeting against top-seeded American John Isner after he beat Zhe Li, a Chinese wild card, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 57 minutes.

Fernando Verdasco will next face Cristian Garin after knocking out Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin 6-2, 7-5 in 74 minutes.

Watch Live

Source link

De Minaur Beats Fellow Aussie Millman in Zhuhai Opener

  • Posted: Sep 24, 2019

De Minaur Beats Fellow Aussie Millman in Zhuhai Opener

Former World No. 1 Murray and Sandgren play during the night session

Seventh seed Alex de Minaur won eight of the first nine games of an all-Australian clash against John Millman on Tuesday at the Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships. The 20-year-old, a winner of two ATP Tour titles this year at the Sydney International and the BB&T Atlanta Open, won 6-1, 6-3, in 70 minutes.

Damir Dzumhur, a qualifier from Bosnia and Herzegovina, worked hard to break a four-match losing streak against Italian Marco Cecchinato 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 58 minutes.

Former World No. 1 Andy Murray takes on American Tennys Sandgren in the first round during Tuesday’s night session.,

Watch Live

Source link