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Murray: 'Winning Is All That Matters To Me'

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2021

The competitive fire still burns bright in Andy Murray. In the aftermath of a vintage performance at the Moselle Open on Tuesday, full of grit and determination, the former World No. 1 insisted, “Winning is all that matters to me.”

The 34-year-old, who has undergone two right hip surgeries in the past three years, explained, “There are two things that matter — your effort and your attitude, which is probably No. 1 as that’s what you can control. For me sport is about that. You either win or lose.

“Winning is what sport is all about, and if you can play great whilst doing that even better. But if you can’t, and you don’t play your best, then winning is a great feeling. That’s why I am still playing. I have little goals — to get to 700 wins on tour. I’m not particularly interested in losing and playing well.”

Speaking after his 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over sixth-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert in Metz, Murray admitted, “I don’t think I’ve played that well recently, but my body has been good and even not playing my best, I’ve created opportunities to win sets against a number of top players. There is no question that I can play better.

“The thing that has been frustrating for me in some of the matches is that I had opportunities — against [Andrey] Rublev I had 4-4, 15/30 in the first set [at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam], [Hubert] Hurkacz I had set points at 5-4, 15/40 [at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati] and the same thing against [Frances] Tiafoe at 5-4, 15/40 [at the Winston-Salem Open]. Countless opportunities against [Stefanos] Tsitsipas [at the US Open] as well. If I take those chances, those matches are very different.”

Murray, who has now won 683 tour-level matches, believes that adjustments made to his service technique after Wimbledon in July are helping him earn more free points and be more competitive.

“The serve has been a big positive since Wimbledon, the changes that I have made there have really helped get me some free points. It got me out of some tricky situations today… At the US Open, I felt that I played a good match [against Tsitsipas] and lost. These are the matches that are really important to build confidence. Winning a match against a player around the Top 25 [today], and not playing your best tennis, is a real positive.

“The serve was the shot that was most affected by my hip problem. I kind of lost my technique on my serve and I couldn’t drive up to the serve. So I had to change my serve through necessity and lost a lot of power. I didn’t really get that back.

“There has been moments in the past couple of years when I have served well, but I had to look at it after Wimbledon and make a few adjustments. In the matches in the [United] States, I was getting a lot more free points. It changes the way you play.”

Murray will play Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the Metz second round on Wednesday.

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Murray Battles Past Humbert In Metz

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2021

Andy Murray turned back the clock on Tuesday night with a battling performance at the Moselle Open in Metz. Having come under pressure at 3-3 in the second set, the former World No. 1 won seven straight games en route to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback victory over sixth-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert in two hours and 24 minutes.

“I had some chances early in the first set and didn’t take them, then he had his break point at the end of the first set and hit a really good return,” said Murray in an on-court interview. “He then had a good hold at 5-4. He played a little bit better and in the second and third sets, it was the other way around. He didn’t play well when he had his opportunities and I took mine.

“I’ve found it tough in the past few years that I don’t know some players that well and it’s difficult to play against them and win. Today, I felt I had a good game plan and executed it pretty well.”

The 34-year-old Murray, who is making his first appearance in Metz since losing to Tommy Robredo in the 2007 final, will next challenge Canada’s Vasek Pospisil.

Humbert, who saved three break points at 1-1 in the first set, clinched the decisive break at 4-4. Murray saved two set points with volley winners when Humbert served for the set in the next game, but the World No. 26 secured the 54-minute opener with a smash winner, much to the delight of the crowd at Les Arenes de Metz.

Wild card Murray came under pressure once more at 3-3 in the second set, when he fell to 0/30 on serve, but the 34-year-old recovered with big first serves and turned the tables in the next game. Humbert saved three break points, but on Murray’s fourth opportunity, the Frenchman over-hit a forehand approach. Murray completed the second set, which lasted 41 minutes, with a backhand crosscourt winner.

A flurry of errors from Humbert gifted Murray a service break at the start of the decider and the Scot went on to win his seventh game in a row for a 4-0 lead in the third set. The pair’s second ATP Head2Head meeting (2019 Antwerp) ended with Murray striking an ace.

The 23-year-old Humbert had been attempting to record his 20th match win of the season. He upset Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev en route to the biggest ATP Tour title of his career in June at the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle.

Elsewhere, seventh seed Karen Khachanov lost just four of his first-service points (39/43) and hit 11 aces to beat French qualifier Alexandre Muller 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in just under two hours. He awaits the winner between German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk and French lucky loser Antoine Hoang.

The Russian, who lost to Alexander Zverev in the Tokyo Olympics gold medal match, is bidding to finish inside the Top 30 in the FedEx ATP Rankings for the fourth straight year.

American Marcos Giron set up a second-round encounter against fourth-seeded Australian Alex de Minaur after he recorded a 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 win over Arthur Rinderknech of France. Meanwhile, Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina knocked out three-time former champion Gilles Simon 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 6-2 in three hours and now plays eight-seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.

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Musetti Rediscovers Spark & Smile, Eyes Push For Milan

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2021

With an expansive game, Lorenzo Musetti’s flamboyant brand of tennis brings a smile to his legion of fans across the world. However, the #NextGenATP Italian hasn’t been smiling too much lately. “I had lost the spirit of tennis, the passion that I had,” he admitted at the Astana Open on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old, who opened his Nur-Sultan campaign with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory over Australian qualifier Marc Polmans, said, “I had a lot in my head inside the court and outside the court. I broke up with my girlfriend, things like this.

“After the French Open [Roland Garros], I was really under the spotlight. Media and things outside, maybe I gave too much time to that and didn’t focus enough on my tennis. It’s been a hard period for me.”

Musetti believes that he turned a corner earlier this month at the US Open.

“I made sure I enjoyed the tennis a bit more,” Musetti said at this week’s ATP 250 tournament. “It came back in New York. It was a really nice atmosphere there. It was the first tournament we could go out in the city. I saw a lot of players and friends. I started to train better, more consistency and finally I’m smiling. I am not the sad person I was recently.”

Having reached ATP Tour semi-finals this year in Acapulco and Lyon (l. to Tsitsipas both times), Musetti has risen from No. 129 in the FedEx ATP Rankings to a career-high No. 57.

“It’s a lot of pressure on a 19-year-old, to be expected to win most of the time,” said Musetti. “I didn’t know how to manage it. I was exploding inside, and I couldn’t give 100 per cent on the court. I started to work with a mental trainer and it’s working. It’s not easy to change these things, I think it’s a long way to go, but I’ve improved mentally.

“Even in this match [against Polmans], I fought for every point. That’s what makes me the happiest. Look at Marc, Top 150, it’s so hard. There is such a tiny difference from the Challengers to here on the ATP Tour. Everyone has to be at 100 per cent the whole time and that’s tough.”

Musetti beat David Goffin, Yoshihito Nishioka and his close friend Marco Cecchinato at Roland Garros this year. “It was unexpected on debut, [but] I learned so much about myself,” said Musetti, who led Novak Djokovic by two sets to love only to lose their fourth round in Paris. “I hope to have a lot of second weeks in my career.”

Having grown up on the junior circuit with the likes of Leylah Fernandez and Carlos Alcaraz, the Italian is buoyed by the progress of his peers.

“Emma Raducanu who won, Carlos is also 18-years-old,” said Musetti. “I’m good friends with Leylah, it was unexpected, also for her. We are 18, 19 [year]s in age, [and] it motivates me a lot… They played really well, they’ve trained really hard, everyone is sacrificing, but when you have talent and sacrifice, that’s a good combination. They did it and they deserve what they achieved. I hope to join them.”

But first, Musetti is aiming for a deep run in Nur-Sultan to boost his chances of qualifying for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held in Milan from 9-13 November.

“I’m really looking forward to this [and] I hope to qualify,” said Musetti, who is currently in sixth position in the ATP Race To Milan.

“I think it would be really special for me to play in Milan, in front of a home crowd. It’s not so far from my hometown [Carrara]. I think if I qualify, I’ll make sure it’s a good event for me. I’m trying to go forward as far as possible here to take points to qualify.”

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Schwartzman Arrives For Build-Up To 2021 Laver Cup

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2021

Diego Schwartzman has arrived in Boston to prepare to represent Team World for the second time at the Laver Cup, which begins on Friday.

The fourth edition of the Laver Cup is being held at the TD Garden, home to the Boston Bruins ice hockey team and Boston Celtics basketball team.

The Laver Cup field includes six Top 10 players, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud on Team Europe. Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Nick Kyrgios join Schwartzman for Team World.


1) Medvedev Makes Debut: Medvedev will return to action less than two weeks after winning his maiden major title at the US Open earlier this month as he makes his debut at the Laver Cup. The Russian, who defeated Novak Djokovic in the final at Flushing Meadows, has compiled an 18-2 record since Wimbledon.

2) Tsitsipas and Zverev Return: In 2019, Tsitsipas and Zverev both competed for Team Europe as they defeated Team World to win the title for the third time. The pair will reunite this week in Boston as they aim to extend their dominance over Team World. Zverev arrives in form, having captured his fifth ATP Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati, before enjoying a run to the semi-finals at the US Open.

3) Canadians Competing For Team World: Canada’s Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime will look to lead Team World to a first victory at the Laver Cup, with the latter full of confidence after he reached his first major semi-final at Flushing Meadows. It will be the third time Shapovalov has competed at the event, after starring in 2017 and 2019.

4) Others To Watch: Fresh off his rise into the Top 5 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, Rublev is part of Team Europe’s squad, with Berrettini and Ruud in action, too. Big-serving Americans Reilly Opelka and John Isner will compete for Team World alongside Schwartzman and Kyrgios.

5) Borg & McEnroe Lead The Teams: Former World No. 1 Bjorn Borg and seven-time major champion John McEnroe will captain the teams again for a fourth time. Borg will hope Team Europe can replicate their dominant form this week, after Zverev secured its third-straight victory in the final match of the 2019 event.

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#NextGenATP Musetti Wins In Nur-Sultan; Millman, Paire In Action

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2021

#NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti recorded his first ATP Tour indoor match win on Tuesday at the Astana Open in Nur-Sultan.

Musetti knocked out Australian qualifier Marc Polmans 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in two hours and 19 minutes as he continues his push for a spot at the 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held in Milan from 9-13 November.

The 19-year-old, who sits in sixth position in the ATP Race To Milan, has reached two ATP Tour semi-finals this year in Acapulco and Lyon (l. to Tsitsipas both times). He’ll next look to improve upon his 0-2 ATP Head2Head record against seventh-seeded Serbian Laslo Djere in the second round.

View Nur-Sultan Draw

Eighth seed Ilya Ivashka will face Kazakhstani wild card Timofey Skatov following a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Swedish qualifier Elias Ymer in one hour and 36 minutes. Belarusian Ivashka beat Mikael Ymer for his first ATP Tour trophy last month at the Winston-Salem Open, and is now 26-13 on the season.

Fifth-seeded Australian and defending champion John Millman and sixth seed Benoit Paire of France compete later today.

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