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Murray Rallies Past Duckworth At Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jun 27, 2022

Murray Rallies Past Duckworth At Wimbledon

Two-time champion will next face Isner

There are few players who understand what Andy Murray has been through to return to the tennis court and compete at the highest level, but James Duckworth, who in January underwent hip surgery, is one of them. Although the resilient Australian put up a fight on Monday evening, it was the two-time Wimbledon champion who clawed into the second round.

After a slow start on Centre Court, Murray rallied past Duckworth 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to advance at Wimbledon. The Scot will next play 20th seed John Isner, against whom he owns an 8-0 ATP Head2Head record.

“It was amazing to be back out here again with a full crowd,” Murray said in his on-court interview. “Amazing atmosphere. Obviously I’m getting on a bit now, so I don’t know how many more opportunities I [will] get to play on this court, so I want to make the most of every time I get to come out here now. Glad I managed to get through it and hopefully get another match on here in a couple of days.”

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Murray has made slow, but steady progress since undergoing his second right hip surgery in 2019. Earlier this month, he returned for a week to the Top 50 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time since the week of 28 May 2018. The 35-year-old has shown good form, however, advancing to the final in Stuttgart, where he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios.

That is why it was a surprise when Duckworth surged to a one-set lead behind fearless tennis. The Australian in January underwent a hip operation — his ninth surgery — and arrived at the All England Club with an 0-7 tour-level record this season.

But once Murray found rhythm in the match and combined his counter-punching with timely moves forward, he seemed to have the match in hand. The Scot hit 15 aces and won 85 per cent of his first-serve points in his two-hour, 43-minute win, but also showed his variety in cat-and-mouse points, even throwing in an underarm serve.

“I thought I did well to rebound after the first set. He likes playing on the grass. He’s come back from a hip surgery himself in January and was playing very well,” Murray said. “Once I started to find my returns a little bit more as the match went on, I felt a bit more comfortable. Did well to get through it.”

Tournament organisers closed the roof after the third set to allow the pair to complete the match with darkness rolling in. The set was even for the most part with both men taking care of their serve until 4-4.

Duckworth saved the first break point he faced with an aggressive backhand. But the World No. 74 dumped a double fault into the net to hand Murray the decisive advantage. The former World No. 1 did not relinquish his opportunity. The match came to an anticlimactic ending on an incorrect Duckworth challenge, but Murray showed how much it meant with several fist pumps and a big roar.

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Day 2 Preview: Nadal, Tsitsipas, Berrettini Open Wimbledon Campaigns

  • Posted: Jun 27, 2022

Day 2 Preview: Nadal, Tsitsipas, Berrettini Open Wimbledon Campaigns

#NextGenATP stars Rune, Musetti, Draper also in action

Rafael Nadal will play at Wimbledon for the first time since 2019 Tuesday on Centre Court, while Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini headline the men’s singles action on Court 1. The complete bottom half of the draw is set for first-round action on the London lawns, with Felix Auger-Aliassime, Taylor Fritz, Diego Schwartzman, Denis Shapovalov, and #NextGenATP stars Holger Rune, Lorenzo Musetti and Jack Draper also in action. 

Top-half matches that were not completed on a rainy Monday will also be played. looks at some of the matches to watch on Day 2 at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

View Schedule | View Singles Draw

[2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Francisco Cerundolo (ARG)

Nadal’s stellar start to the 2022 season has put him in a new position at Wimbledon. For the first time, the Spaniard enters London half-way to the Grand Slam — winning all four majors in the same season. Nadal brings a 30-3 season record into the event, with four tour-level titles in tow.

“In general terms it has been an amazing, positive six months in terms of tennis results,” he said Saturday in his pre-tournament press conference. “I enjoy it because it has been unexpected. But now is the moment to keep going, if I am able to be better with my body. The main thing for me is to keep enjoying my daily work and my day-by-day playing tennis.”

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While the 36-year-old does not want his physical health to be a focus during the tournament, he did give a positive report on that front before opening his campaign. A new treatment on his chronic foot injury has provided relief from pain both on the court and in his daily life.

“Quite happy about how things have evolved,” he said. “Since the last two weeks, I didn’t have not one of these terrible days that I can’t move at all.”

Like Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz — both first-round winners on Monday — Nadal did not play any grass-court events in the build-up to Wimbledon. But he is no stranger to the surface — the 2008 and 2010 Wimbledon champion is making his 15th appearance at the major.

Nadal’s Wimbledon Success Years
 Champion  2 (2008, 2010)
 Finalist  3 (2006-07, 2011)
 Semi-finalist  2 (2018-19)

“Happy to be here,” he told the press. “Enjoying playing on grass after such a long time. [It is] always a challenge, the transition.

“Comparing to other surfaces, you have to think a little bit more under control in terms of knowing what can happen. Every single time you go on court, you can lose, you can win. It’s a little bit more predictable when you have the history in the weeks before.”

Nadal also lacks any history against World No. 41 Francisco Cerundolo, who is among the highest-ranked men in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings he could have drawn in the opening round. The 23-year-old Argentine enjoyed a breakout run to the semi-finals of the Miami Open presented by Itau in March and also reached the Rio de Janeiro semi-finals in February.

Entering Wimbledon at a career-high in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Cerundolo picked up one grass-court win in two events in Great Britain prior to Wimbledon. He defeated Spain’s Pedro Martinez at The Queen’s Club in London before losing to home favourite Ryan Peniston, and dropped a three-set decision to American Tommy Paul last week in Eastbourne.

[4] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs. [Q] Alexander Ritschard (SUI)

In stark contrast to Nadal, Tsitsipas played three grass-court events in the last month, saving his best for last. After defeats to Andy Murray (Stuttgart) and Nick Kyrgios (Queen’s Club), the Greek went all the way in Mallorca. He claimed his maiden grass title by beating Roberto Bautista Agut in a third-set tie-break in the final of the ATP 250 event.

“I think my preparations are good in terms of matches,” he told the media on Sunday. “That’s what I wanted from the very beginning, to have a lot of matches on grass. That’s what I think I achieved in the last couple of weeks, to get as many matches on grass as possible.

“I think the first tournaments probably not were what I expected in terms of matches, but I managed to pick up quite fast in last week’s performance in southern Europe.”

Tsitsipas holds a 3-4 record at Wimbledon, his 2018 fourth-round run his only trip beyond the opening round. But he has never doubted his ability on the grass, where he now has a 14-10 overall record.

“People kind of doubted that I can play on grass, I think it’s fair to say. I never doubted myself. I said — I insisted, in fact — that I can play on this surface, and it remains one of my favourite surfaces that tennis has to offer. I was pretty confident about it… I like playing on grass, probably more than on clay.”

The fourth seed is widely regarded as one of the game’s best clay-courters, so that statement is not one to be taken lightly. Last season, he reached the Roland Garros final then lost to Frances Tiafoe two weeks later in his first grass-court match of the year at Wimbledon. Analysing that defeat, Tsitsipas felt he did not adapt to the new surface and instead continued playing as he did on the clay.

This year, he’s fine-tuned his grass-court tactics.

“I love playing on these courts,” he said. “I love the serve-and-volley game, coming in as much as I can, slicing, attacking. This feels right.”

Tsitsipas has yet to face World No. 188 Alexander Ritschard, who won a pair of three-setters to qualify. The 28-year-old is at a career-high in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and will be playing the first tour-level match of his career on Tuesday. A run to the final of an ATP Challenger Tour event in Forli, Italy, in February is his best result of the 2022 season; he lost to Great Britain’s Jack Draper in a third-set tie-break in title match.

[8] Matteo Berrettini (ITA) vs. Cristian Garin (CHI)

Berrettini’s flashed his grass-court credentials with two June titles on the surface. After winning at Stuttgart and The Queen’s Club, the Italian enters Wimbledon on a nine-match winning streak. He has won three of his past four grass events, dating back to his 2021 Queen’s Club title, with his only defeat coming against Djokovic in last year’s four-set Wimbledon final.

The Italian missed the clay-court season after a minor operation on his right-hand but has not lost a match since his return.

“The last thing I expected was to come back from surgery and win two titles in a row,” Berrettini said after retaining his Queen’s Club crown. “I arrived in Stuttgart and was not feeling great. I was not hitting the ball how I wanted and I was like, ‘Guys, I think it is going to be tough.’ But it has gone pretty well.”

The Italian leads Garin 2-1 in their ATP Head2Head, though Tuesday’s contest will be the pair’s first meeting on grass. Two of their three meetings went the distance, with Berrettini winning their most recent meeting, a three-set quarter-final at the 2021 Mutua Madrid Open.

Chile’s Garin reached the Wimbledon fourth round last year, following up a run to the same stage at Roland Garros. Those two results are his best at the Grand Slam level and helped him reach a career-high of No. 17 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings last September.

After a slow start the the 2022 season, the Chilean reached the Houston semi-finals and the Rome quarter-finals before advancing to the the third round at Roland Garros. But he is 0-2 on the grass after falling to Sebastian Korda in Halle and Alex de Minaur in Eastbourne.

Also In Action

Sixth seed Auger-Aliassime faces a tough opening test against American Maxime Cressy, who advanced to his second tour-level final last week in Eastbourne. The Canadian, who pushed Nadal to five sets in the Roland Garros fourth round, posted a 4-2 record in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Halle in the buildup to Wimbledon.

Fritz, who defeated his countryman Cressy in the Eastbourne final, opens against #NextGenATP Italian Musetti. The pair’s first meeting came at Wimbledon in 2018, when Fritz won in four sets. The 11th-seeded American leads their ATP Head2Head series 3-2, with both defeats coming on clay.

Holger Rune will seek to build on his Roland Garros quarter-final run in his opener, with the 24th seed seeking his first grass win of the season against Marcos Giron. Fellow #NextGenATP star Jack Draper will face Zizou Bergs in his opening match, one year after taking a set off Djokovic in his Wimbledon debut. Rune, Musetti and Draper are third, fourth and fifth — respectively — in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan, trailing only Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner.

Twelfth seed Diego Schwartzman is set to open against American Stefan Kozlov, while 13th seed Denis Shapovalov faces France’s Arthur Rinderknech.

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Sinner Tops Wawrinka For First Tour-Level Grass Win

  • Posted: Jun 27, 2022

Sinner Tops Wawrinka For First Tour-Level Grass Win

Italian also earns first win over Wawrinka

Jannik Sinner scored a pair of firsts on Monday at Wimbledon with his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 first-round victory against Stan Wawrinka. The 20-year-old Italian earned his first win in his second Wimbledon main-draw appearance, with the victory doubling as his first tour-level victory on grass. 

“It feels amazing, obviously,” Sinner said of the milestone win on Court 2. “It took a little bit, but I’m happy to be in the second round here. Against Stan, it was a very tough match because he is an incredible champion and he showed it so many times. I wish him all the best to come back stronger.”

After both men traded crushing baseline blows throughout two tight sets, Sinner’s agility and consistency proved the difference in the third and fourth sets as the 10th seed ran out a comfortable winner. 

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The Italian finished with 42 winners to 33 errors and improved his court coverage throughout the match despite a few slips. Wawrinka looked to step into the court often, but even when he did gain a positional advantage, Sinner’s persistent retrieving allowed the Italian to keep his footing in the points.

“In the end, [moving on the grass felt] much better,” he added. “In the beginning it was tough, and with the sun also. But I’m very happy that in the end, I played better, I served better. So hopefully it can give me confidence for the next round.”

Sinner troubled Wawrinka on return throughout the match, converting on five of his 15 break points. The Swiss found a groove in set two to close it out with three easy holds following an early break, but never truly threatened in the final two sets.

After dropping serve for the second time in the match early in set two — he also failed to serve out the opening set at 5-4 — Sinner did not face another break point.

“I like to play best-of-five [sets], because you have many moments to change the game, change the rhythm,” he explained. “I like to stay on court, which helps me a lot. A Grand Slam is different, the crowd is different. Here is special, so thanks for coming out and hope to see you guys also in the next round.”

Sinner next faces the winner of the matchup between Daniel Altmaier and Mikael Ymer, which will be completed on Tuesday. Sweden’s Ymer leads 6-3, 7-5.

Wawrinka, just five tournaments into his comeback from a left-foot injury, was seeking his first grass-court win of the season. A two-time quarter-finalist at Wimbledon (2014-15), the Swiss was competing at SW19 for the first time since 2019. 

The 37-year-old now holds a 2-1 ATP Head2Head series lead over Sinner, with victories in 2019 at the US Open and in Antwerp.

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Djokovic Forced To Four Sets In Wimbledon Opener

  • Posted: Jun 27, 2022

Djokovic Forced To Four Sets In Wimbledon Opener

Serbian moves to 17-0 in first-round matches at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic’s 2022 Wimbledon hopes were given a stern opening test on Monday by Soonwoo Kwon, but the defending champion stayed resolute to hold off the South Korean and advance to the second round at the grass-court Grand Slam in London.

The Serbian maintained a solid level in his 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory against the World No. 81, yet Kwon’s aggressive tactics meant Djokovic was never completely comfortable in his first tour-level match since his Roland Garros quarter-final on 31 May. The South Korean was a break up in each of the first two sets and pumped up the Centre Court crowd after he levelled proceedings at a set apiece, but Djokovic’s trademark consistency proved enough to complete a two-hour, 27-minute victory.

The top seed will face Thanasi Kokkinakis or Kamil Majchrzak in the second round at SW19, where he now holds an 80-10 record. The World No. 3 is chasing his fourth consecutive title at Wimbledon, and his seventh overall. That tally that would draw him level with legendary American Pete Sampras and move him within one of record-holder Roger Federer’s eight crowns.

More to follow…

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Tsitsipas Climbs Following Mallorca Title, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: Jun 27, 2022

Tsitsipas Climbs Following Mallorca Title, Mover Of Week looks at the top Movers of the Week in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 27 June 2022

Following his victory at the Mallorca Championships, Stefanos Tsitsipas has moved back into the Top 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, while Maxime Cressy jumps to a career-high No. 45 after reaching the final at the Rothesay International in Eastbourne. looks at the movers of the week, as of Monday, 27 June.

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No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, +1
The Greek has climbed back to No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings after he captured his first grass-court title and ninth tour-level crown overall at the Mallorca Championships. The 23-year-old, who was making his debut at the ATP 250 event, defeated Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the championship match. Read Mallorca Final Report & Watch Highlights.

View Latest Pepperstone ATP Rankings

No. 45 Maxime Cressy, +15 (Career High)
The 25 has jumped 15 spots to a career-high No. 45 after he reached his second tour-level final of the season at the Rothesay International in Eastbourne. The American downed Reilly Opelka, Daniel Evans, Cameron Norrie and Jack Draper before falling to countryman Taylor Fritz. Read Eastbourne Final Report & Watch Highlights.

No. 94 Jack Draper, +14 (Career High)
#NextGenATP Briton Draper has soared into the Top 100 following his run to the semi-finals in Eastbourne. The 20-year-old, who has won four ATP Challenger Tour titles this season, did not drop a set en route to his first tour-level semi-final, upsetting World No. 15 Diego Schwartzman on the way.

You May Also Like:

Scouting Report: Djokovic, Nadal, Berrettini Chase Wimbledon Glory

Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 19 Roberto Bautista Agut, +1
No. 32 Tommy Paul, +3 (Career High)
No. 40 Nick Kyrgios, +5
No. 47 Benjamin Bonzi, +9 (Career High)

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Food Court: Struff's Healthy Habits & Soft Spot For Pepperoni Pizza

  • Posted: Jun 27, 2022

Food Court: Struff’s Healthy Habits & Soft Spot For Pepperoni Pizza

German sticks to salmon and rice before matches

Jan-Lennard Struff will open his Wimbledon campaign on Monday against fifth seed Carlos Alcaraz. It will be the pair’s second ATP Head2Head meeting, with the German previously defeating Alcaraz in the 2021 Roland Garros third round.

The 32-year-old achieved a career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking of No. 29 in 2020 and reached his first ATP Tour final on home soil in Munich last May. Playing in the Wimbledon main draw for the ninth time this fortnight, Struff is seeking to advance beyond the first round for the fourth time, including a pair of third-round runs in 2018 and 2019.

Before the action heats up at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, find out what Struff likes to cook and eat to prepare himself for competition.

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If you were having some friends over for dinner, what would you cook for them?
I like Caprese salad a lot. It’s pretty easy to do, I would say. Depends who’s coming over.

For myself, I always cook pasta and some fresh vegetables or something like this. I like macaroni a lot. I like vegan meats, something like this with cheese on top and maybe bolognese sauce; something plant-based

It sounds like you know your way around the kitchen pretty well. Would you call yourself a good cook?
No, I’m not that good but I can cook some things. Maybe some chicken… I would do it with vegetables and rice with teriyaki sauce.

Do you cook often at home?
Sometimes with my girlfriend I cook. She’s cooking more often.

So far you’ve mentioned a lot of healthy meals. Do you have a particular cheat meal that you enjoy?
Pizza with pepperoni and a coke. Good Italian pizza.


What about when you need to be careful about what you eat? Do you have a go-to meal the night before a big match?
I like sushi or rice. Some grains or some salmon.

What do you like to eat on the day of a match?
In the morning I have a light breakfast. It depends what time I’m playing. If I just have the breakfast, I eat a bit more. But I try to get some wheat bread or yogurt.

If I eat in the afternoon, some plain pasta, sometimes some rice. I like salmon as well, but not too much.

During a match, what do you consume to help keep you going?
I drink my stuff — electrolytes — and sometimes have some bars. Sometimes I will have a few dates and bananas.

Back off the court… if you were to go out to a nice restaurant, what is one of your favourite orders?
Depends on the style, which type of restaurant. But I like to eat good steak, some cream spinach maybe. Vegetables, maybe some potatoes.

What about food from your country or culture? Are there any particular dishes that you like?
Some sausages. Bratwurst, for a soccer game… I sometimes eat it at the stadium. Schnitzel is always nice, but Austrian is better. But still I like it a lot. And potatoes, I think they’re very healthy.

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