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Showing posts with label TENNIS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TENNIS. Show all posts

Friday, 12 September 2014

Davis Cup: Roger Federer & Stan Wawrinka put Swiss in control

Davis Cup: Roger Federer & Stan Wawrinka put Swiss in control

Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka both recorded straight-sets victories to give Switzerland a 2-0 lead over Italy in the Davis Cup semi-final in Geneva.
Federer beat Simone Bolelli 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-4 while Wawrinka defeated Italy number one Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-3 6-2.
Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also won their semi-final singles to give France a 2-0 lead over defending champions Czech Republic.
Gasquet beat Tomas Berdych while Tsonga defeated Lukas Rosol in Paris.

Switzerland and France close in on final

Switzerland have reached the Davis Cup final once, losing to the United Sates in 1992
France last reached the final in 2010, when they lost to Serbia
Playing indoors, world number three Federer and Australian Open champion Wawrinka can clinch a 3-0 series victory in Saturday's doubles, which would send Switzerland into their first Davis Cup final in 22 years.
Italy defeated Great Britain in April's quarter-final in Naples.
"It was quite frustrating at times," said Federer. "But I am happy overall, it was important to get that point."
At the French Open venue Roland Garros, it took Gasquet two hours and eight minutes to beat Berdych 6-3 6-2 6-3 in the first semi-final singles match on Friday.
Tsonga then despatched Rosol 6-2 6-2 6-3 in just over one hour and a half to put France one win away from a place in the final.
"This was one of my best wins ever,'' said Gasquet. ''The atmosphere was great, this is the Davis Cup, at Roland Garros, and I beat a top player.''

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Andy Murray loses place in world's top 10 after US Open

Andy Murray loses place in world's top 10 after US Open

British number one Andy Murray has slipped out of the world's top 10 for the first time since 2008, following Marin Cilic's victory at the US Open.
His ranking of 11 means he faces a battle to secure one of the eight slots available for the end-of-season World Tour Finals in London in November.
Murray has a significant number of points to make up on Tomas Berdych, who occupies the final qualifying position.
The 27-year-old lost to Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals in New York.
The Scot is due to play three more events before the London tournament and he may need to reach the final of either the Shanghai or Paris Masters to have a decent chance of qualifying.
Murray has fallen from three to 11 in the rankings since having back surgery in September 2013, two months after winning Wimbledon.
Since his operation, he had not beaten a top 10 player until overcoming Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in round four at Flushing Meadows.
At the other three majors in 2014, Murray reached the last eight at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, while he was beaten at the semi-final stage of the French Open.

Marin Cilic can win more Grand Slams - Goran Ivanisevic

Marin Cilic can win more Grand Slams - Goran Ivanisevic

Marin Cilic's US Open victory could be the first of many Grand Slam titles, says his coach Goran Ivanisevic.
Cilic, 25, beat Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-3 6-3 to become Croatia's first major champion since Ivanisevic at Wimbledon in 2001.
"He can win more Grand Slams," Ivanisevic, who began working with Cilic last year, told BBC Sport.
"It's unbelievable, it's amazing. I'm so proud of him, that he was able to play the final like this."
World number 16 Cilic completed a superb run at Flushing Meadows that saw him win his last 10 sets, including straight-sets victories over sixth seed Tomas Berdych, five-time champion Roger Federer and 10th seed Nishikori.

"This time last year Marin Cilic was holed up in Croatia, serving the last few months of his doping ban and adding a few more revs to his serve. The burning sense of injustice he still feels has driven him to an achievement which had appeared beyond him; he played so calmly and consistently for most of the match - as if the trophy was his destiny.
"Coach Goran Ivanisevic has also played a major part, adding more shots to his repertoire and inflating his self-belief. The faster courts at the US Open played to his strengths, and he will enjoy Australia too... when the Grand Slam year restarts."
He is the lowest-ranked player to win a Grand Slam since Argentina's Gaston Gaudio won the 2004 French Open as the world number 44.
Arguably most impressive was the way Cilic kept his nerve and maintained his form against another Grand Slam final debutant in Nishikori, with such a huge prize on offer.

US Open win has changed my life - Cilic
"I said whoever was able to overcome the nerves is going to win the tournament and that's what happened," said Ivanisevic.
"After the first couple of games there was only one player on the court and that was Marin. Nishikori could not cope with him in any aspect of tennis.
"The last 10 sets were the 10 best sets of his life. After this, he doesn't need to play any more sets!"
Cilic did not play at last year's US Open because he was serving a ban, reduced on appeal to four months, for taking a banned stimulant.
The player claimed he did so inadvertently, but during his absence from the game he teamed up Ivanisevic and began working to improve his serve and his forehand in particular.

Marin Cilic's path to victory

First round: Beat Marcos Baghdatis (Cyp) 6-3 3-1 - retired
Second round: Beat Illya Marchenko (Ukr) 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 6-4
Third round: Beat Kevin Anderson (SA x18) 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4
Fourth round: Beat Gilles Simon (Fra x26) 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 3-6 6-3
Quarter-finals: Beat Tomas Berdych (Cze x6) 6-2 6-4 7-6 (7-4)
Semi-finals: Beat Roger Federer (Swi x2) 6-3 6-4 6-4
Final: Beat Kei Nishikori (Jpn x10) 6-3 6-3 6-3
"This is his second chance," said Ivanisevic. "He took it, he deserves it and now anything can happen. This guy, when he plays like this - this is real tennis.
"It was not an easy year and it came in the perfect, perfect moment. From this he can only go up and up. His life is never going to be the same again.
"He's the nicest guy and deserves it. And as a coach - now I can resign! I won a Grand Slam as a coach."
Cilic will climb from 16th to ninth in the world rankings and has all but guaranteed his place at the ATP World Tour Finals in November.
On Ivanisevic, he said: "Goran is a great guy. You get to know him and he has a huge heart. Anyone who asks him for help, he's going to help in one way or the other. That's the way he is."
Asked about Ivanisevic's famous claim after he won Wimbledon that there were "three Gorans", Cilic replied: "With personalities, I think he has only one, and that's with a very big heart."

Monday, 8 September 2014

Ivan Lendl 'proud' of Andy Murray work and expects coaching return

Ivan Lendl 'proud' of Andy Murray work and expects coaching return

Ivan Lendl says he is "proud" of his work with Andy Murray and expects to return to coaching in the future.
The Czech-born American helped Murray win Olympic gold, the US Open and Wimbledon before they parted in March.
Lendl, 54, could not commit to the amount of travelling required but sees himself returning at some stage.
"I've had a lot of enquiries," he told BBC Sport. "Eventually, when the time and situation are right, I enjoyed it enough that I will do it again."
Lendl, a former world number one and eight-time Grand Slam champion, admitted the travelling issue was the main drawback to taking up another role.
"There are so many things to coaching which I don't enjoy: the travel, the airports, being on the road for so long," he said.
Ivan Lendl and Andy Murray
Lendl claimed three French Open, three US Open and two Australian Open men's singles titles
"I don't like doing anything in half-measures, so in order to do it properly it takes a lot of time. That's the hardest part."
Tomas Berdych, the world number seven from the Czech Republic, spoke last week about his wish to work with Lendl.
"I think it's something which I was thinking about, definitely," said Berdych.
"I think it just needs probably the right time and timing to make it happen. Let's see. I hope for the time it's going to come up. Fingers crossed."
Lendl met Murray and his team in New York a few days before the start of the US Open, in which the Briton went on to reach the quarter-finals before losing to top seed Novak Djokovic.
"I think Andy needs to win some matches to get some confidence, that's the key there," said Lendl.
Asked about his time with the Scot, he added: "I enjoyed it. It obviously was difficult at times in terms of travel, which I don't like doing, but I'm really glad that we got together and that Andy had the success he had.
Wimbledon champion
The moment Murray won Wimbledon
"I'm very proud to be a little part of that."
The success of their partnership sparked a trend in men's tennis for famous names of the past to return as coaches.
Saturday's US Open semi-finals saw Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Michael Chang and Goran Ivanisevic in the four coaching corners.
"I don't think that it's a coincidence, I really don't," said Lendl.
"I always felt that one of the biggest attributes of Tony Roche coaching me for 10 years, what he was giving me was the knowledge of what it feels like to be on that Centre Court on Sunday afternoon.
"He has done all four of them, been in all four finals. I don't care how good a coach you are, it's very difficult without having done it yourself.
"It's so different walking out there on Sunday or Monday for the finals, and even the semi-finals, if you have someone you can talk to about your feelings."

US Open: Serena Williams joy at matching Navratilova and Evert

 

US Open: Serena Williams joy at matching Navratilova and Evert

Serena Williams said she had felt the pressure of chasing an 18th Grand Slam title until Sunday's US Open victory.
The American beat Caroline Wozniacki 6-3 6-3 to go fourth on the all-time list of major winners alongside Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.
Williams, 32, admitted it had been on her mind all year, and was the first thing she thought of upon victory.
"I've been trying to reach it for so long," she said. "I didn't really think I would get there. I felt so good."

Serena Williams at the 2014 US Open

Williams spent under eight hours on court in her seven matches
She won all 14 sets without dropping more than three games in any of them
Williams finished with a tournament leading 35 aces
She also collected the largest prize money payout in the history of tennis, male or female - US$4m*
Williams ties Evert's Open era record for most US Open titles with six
She is the second-oldest player to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era after Navratilova (Wimbledon 1990, age 33)
*($3m for winning the title and a $1m bonus for topping the US Open series, based on results in the build-up events)
Navratilova and Evert joined Williams for the trophy ceremony and presented her with a bracelet carrying the number '18' to make her achievement.
"It means a lot to me," said the world number one.
"I just could never have imagined that I would be mentioned with Chris Evert or with Martina Navratilova, because I was just a kid with a dream and a racquet.
"Living in Compton, this never happened before."
It was Williams's sixth US Open and 18th Grand Slam title, but her first in a year that, before New York, had seen her fail to get past the fourth round at any of the other majors.
"I definitely did not think I was going to win a Slam this year," she added. "And I even said, 'I'm ready to start next year already. Let's put this behind me.'
"I'm grateful to win a Grand Slam this year. It feels really good."
Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams
Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams are good friends and planned to share a drink after the final
Williams has now won six US Open, five Wimbledon, five Australian Open and two French Open titles over the course of 15 years - a record span of years between winning Grand Slams.
Both Navratilova and Evert won their 18 titles over the course of 12 years, and Williams's longevity is something that John McEnroe, a four-time US Open winner, believes makes her the best ever.
"She won her first US Open at 17, she's about to turn 33 - that's a pretty good run she's got going there," said the American on CBS TV coverage.
"It's pretty hard to argue with the fact that if she's playing the way she's capable of playing, she's the greatest female player of all time.
"How intimidating she is, with the power, she's got everything."

Top women's Grand Slam singles titles winners

24- Margaret Court (Aus)
22- Steffi Graf (Ger)
19- Helen Wills Moody (US)
18- Martina Navratilova (US), Chris Evert (US), Serena Williams (US)
12- Billie Jean King (US)
Wozniacki could certainly vouch for the power after suffering her ninth defeat in 10 meetings with Williams, a close friend away from the court.
"I think when Serena's on her game, there's not much we can do," said the Dane. "She works hard every day, just like us, but when she needs to she can pull out that big serve.
"She has the power. She can push us back on the court and take the initiative."
Williams planned to meet up with Wozniacki after the final, saying "we're gonna hang out later tonight, I definitely will buy the drinks," but she is already focused on winning a 19th Grand Slam title.
Overtaking Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22 singles titles is not in her plans yet, however.
"I am thinking about 19, which I'm kind of disappointed about," she said.
"It hasn't even been three hours and I have already mentioned 19. But not 22. I'm taking it one at a time."

US Open 2014: Players buoyed by Stan Wawrinka's Grand Slam win

US Open 2014: Players buoyed by Stan Wawrinka's Grand Slam win

US Open Men's Final, Flushing Meadows

Date: Monday, 8 September Time: 22:00 BST Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, online, tablets, mobiles and the BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary
US Open finalist Marin Cilic believes Stan Wawrinka's Australian Open triumph opened the door for the next generation of Grand Slam champions.
Cilic meets Japan's Kei Nishikori on Monday in the first Grand Slam final without Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal since January 2005.
"Wawrinka opened the doors for us from the second group," said the Croat.
"Most of the guys have now bigger belief they can do it at the Grand Slams. It's a bit of a change-up year."
Cilic, 25, who is coached by 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, added: "Kei beat Wawrinka, Novak, and Milos Raonic, so he's played an amazing, amazing tournament. I think it's going to be extremely interesting for the next several Grand Slams."


"In terms of the final, Kei Nishikori is quicker and has a better backhand cross-court, even though it is Marin Cilic's best shot. I don't think Nishikori can win another five-setter.
"If Cilic gets one of the first two sets I think he can wear down Nishikori. But no matter what stage of the match Nishikori will have a game plan because he has Michael Chang in his camp."
Switzerland's Wawrinka, Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro and Andy Murray are the only players to win a Grand Slam title, other than Nadal, Djokovic and Federer, since Marat Safin's victory at the Australian Open in 2005.
Nishikori and Cilic, who are both currently ranked outside the top 10, claimed surprise respective wins over the top seeds, Djokovic and Federer, in the semi-finals.
Having been tipped as stars of the future in recent years, Ernests Gulbis, Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov have also moved closer to making a breakthrough after all made Grand Slam semi-finals this season.
Nishikori, who has 1989 French Open winner Michael Chang in his coaching corner, is the first Japanese player to reach a Grand Slam men's singles final, and the 24-year-old's run is all the more remarkable considering he was a doubt for the tournament after undergoing minor toe surgery.

Nishikori v Cilic head-to-head

2008: Indian Wells (Hard) R128 Cilic 6-2 6-4
2010: US Open (Hard) R64 Nishikori 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 7-6 (7/3) 6-1
2011: Chennai (Hard) R32 Nishikori 4-6 7-6 (7/0) 6-2
2012: US Open (Hard) R32 Cilic 6-3 6-4 6-7 (3/7) 6-3
2013: Memphis (Hard) QF Nishikori 6-4 6-2
2014: Brisbane (Hard) QF Nishikori 6-4 5-7 6-2
2014: Barcelona (Clay) QF Nishikori 6-1 6-3
Total: Nishikori 5-2 Cilic
"I didn't even know if I should come to New York, so I wasn't expecting anything," he said.
"But after playing my first match and second match, I got more confidence in my foot and there was no pain. My tennis was there already. I may have to rest for three weeks before every Grand Slam!"
He continued: "I am very happy to make another piece of history. I hope I can win and make more. I hope there will be a lot of people watching in Japan."
Kei Nishikori
Nishikori is the first Japanese male to compete in a Grand Slam singles final

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Roger Federer still has belief in Grand Slam title chances

Roger Federer still has belief in Grand Slam title chances

Roger Federer said his shock defeat by Marin Cilic at the US Open does not affect his hopes of winning more Grand Slam titles.
Cilic, seeded 14th, won 6-3 6-4 6-4 to reach the final, denying Federer an opportunity to add to his 17 majors.
Asked whether the defeat would impact on his chances of winning another Grand Slam, Federer said: "Not in a big way.
"I'm just really disappointed after how well I have played this season, especially here at this tournament."
Federer followed Novak Djokovic out of the tournament after the top seed lost to Japan's Kei Nishikori, but the 33-year-old Swiss was not about to confirm a changing of the guard.
Stan Wawrinka became a Grand Slam champion when he won the Australian Open in January, but Djokovic then lost to Rafael Nadal at the French Open in June, before beating Federer at Wimbledon in July.

"For the first time since the Safin and Hewitt show in Australia 2005, we have a Grand Slam final without either Federer, Nadal or Djokovic. We have to celebrate the fact we have a final without the big four for the first time since 2005, but I think they will be back next year."
"You create your stories," said Federer.
"You said the same in Australia, everybody; and then we know what happened at the French Open final and Wimbledon final.
"But this is another chance for you guys, so you should write what you want. I don't think so."
Federer paid tribute to Cilic, who needed just one hour and 45 minutes to seal victory in a clinical display.
"I'm happy for Marin, I told him so at the net," said Federer. "I'm happy for these guys, but it comes at the cost of me losing, and it's not so much fun.
"I'm an athlete. I want to win. So unfortunately it wasn't my day today."

Tennis expert Jeff Tarango on 5 live sports extra

"Is this the beginning of the end of the big four? I don't think so. I think this will refuel them to come back with vengeance. Champions like that tend to come back with a little venom. Has Roger got a Grand Slam win left in him? I think he will win next year's Wimbledon. I think he thought it was on his racquet. If you ask the locker room will he win it in the next three years I think they would all say yes."
Federer will quickly turn his thoughts to Switzerland's Davis Cup semi-final against Italy, which begins on Friday in Geneva.
The historic team event is one of the few tournaments he has yet to win.
"In tennis there are so many highlights thankfully, so I have something to do next Friday already again.
"I'll be very preoccupied with that, starting right now."
Djokovic had been the favourite to win the US Open since the beginning of the tournament, and his quarter-final win over Andy Murray only emphasised that status.
However, he could not contain the shot-making of Nishikori, who became the first Japanese player to reach a Grand Slam single final.
Novak Djokovic congratulates Kei Nishikori
Novak Djokovic congratulates Kei Nishikori at the end of their thrilling semi-final
"I felt like I could have gone at least a step further here, but it was disappointing today," said the Serb.
"It is what it is. It's sport. I have to congratulate the better opponent and move on."
And the seven-time Grand Slam champion denied that the imminent birth of his first child had disrupted his preparation, with his wife, Jelena, at their home in Monaco.
"No, of course I'm in touch with my wife," said Djokovic.
"Of course I am being part of her pregnancy. It's normal. But it's no different for me in terms of preparing for the match and for the tournament.
"I had all my dedication, everything directed to this US Open. I tried to give my best and I did. Now my best today was not where I wanted it to be."

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Serena Williams into US Open final with win over Makarova

Serena Williams into US Open final with win over Makarova

US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York

Dates: 25 August-8 September .
Serena Williams thrashed Russia's Ekaterina Makarova to remain on course for a third successive US Open title.
The 32-year-old world number one powered to a 6-1 6-3 victory in exactly an hour as she closes in on a sixth title in New York.
Williams, seeking to win her 18th Grand Slam title, will play Danish 10th seed Caroline Wozniacki in Sunday's final.
"I'm so happy - you have no idea what it means to me," said the American. "I didn't know I would be here today."
Her victory was in marked contrast to that of Wozniacki, who was leading a much closer contest in the first semi-final when China's Peng Shuai retired in the heat.

Serena Williams's route to the final

First round: beat Taylor Townsend (USA) 6-3 6-1
Second round: beat Vania King (USA) 6-1 6-0
Third round: beat Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-3 6-3
Fourth round: beat Kaia Kanepi (Est) 6-3 6-3
Quarter-finals: beat Flavia Pennetta (Ita x11) 6-3 6-2
Semi-finals: beat Ekaterina Makarova (Rus x17) 6-1 6-3
Williams had no such problems and, after failing to make it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam this year before arriving in New York, she has looked a class apart at Flushing Meadows.
She spent just five and a half hours reaching the semi-finals without dropping a set and needed only 26 minutes to take the first against Makarova.
The Russian, 26, was playing in her first Grand Slam semi-final and carried the confidence boost of having knocked the Williams sisters out of the doubles, alongside Elena Vesnina, earlier this week.

Serena Williams's Grand Slam titles

Australian Open (5): 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010
French Open (2): 2002 and 2013
Wimbledon (5): 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010 and 2012
US Open (5): 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012 and 2013
But with Williams in rampant form, it counted for about as much as her 2012 Australian Open win over the American.
A brilliant forehand earned Williams the first break points in game four and after Makarova went long on the second, the match slipped away from the Russian very quickly.
Four errors handed over a break at the start of the second set, and when the American out-volleyed the doubles expert on her way to moving 4-0 in front, it was clear that nothing was going to derail Williams, even though Makarova managed to hold twice for 5-2.
There were signs of tension when she failed to serve out the match from 30-0, and coach Patrick Mouratoglou appeared nervous in the stands, but, despite closing the gap to 5-3, Makarova could not keep the pressure on.
Facing her 10th break point of the match after 60 minutes she sent a backhand into the tramlines, and a thrilled Williams celebrated moving to within one win of an 18th Grand Slam title.

Open Era Grand Slam singles title leaders

1: Steffi Graf - 22
2=: Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova - 18
4: Serena Williams - 17
5: Margaret Court - 11
"There's always sceptics," she said of those who had began to doubt her after another early Grand Slam exit at Wimbledon.
"I worked really hard for Wimbledon, and I was really disappointed and sad and shocked that I wasn't able to win.
"I worked hours, more than I worked before. Maybe it's just paying off now."

Friday, 5 September 2014

US Open: Caroline Wozniacki into final after Peng Shuai quits

US Open: Caroline Wozniacki into final after Peng Shuai quits

US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York

Dates: 25 August-8 September
Caroline Wozniacki reached her second US Open final after China's Peng Shuai had to retire in stifling conditions.
The Dane was leading 7-6 (7-1) 4-3 when Peng began holding her leg in pain, and was then helped off the court for medical attention.
Peng returned 10 minutes later but could complete only five points before collapsing once again.
Peng Shuai
Peng Shuai receives treatment before leaving the court in a wheelchair
Wozniacki, the 10th seed, goes on to face Serena Williams or Ekaterina Makarova for the title on Sunday.
"It's very difficult," said Wozniacki. "You're out here and you want to battle and finish it off properly.
"I feel sorry for Peng, she played really well. It was really hot out there, it was just unfortunate she was ill."
Wozniacki had received a visit from the doctor after the third game of the second set and was given some tablets, but afterwards said: "I'm feeling pretty good.
"I've been in bed basically the last two days but fortunately we had two days off, that was a bit lucky for me."
Through to her second Grand Slam final five years after losing to Kim Clijsters at the 2009 US Open, the Dane added: "I've got goosebumps.
"It's been five years since I was in a final here and it's incredible to be back."
It was a distressing end for Peng, the doubles number three who was playing in her first Grand Slam singles semi-final.
The 28-year-old also suffered in the extreme heat of the Australian Open in January, and she left the Arthur Ashe Stadium in a wheelchair after being consoled by Wozniacki while lying at the baseline.
Caroline Wozniacki shows her concern
Caroline Wozniacki shows her concern after Peng Shuai falls to the ground moments before retiring
Peng had led in both sets only to be pegged back each time by Wozniacki, who proved much the steadier in the opening tie-break.
The Dane recovered another break early in the second and reeled off four games in a row to move within sight of victory, but she still had work to do leading 4-3 on serve.
It was at 30-30 that Peng suddenly began to suffer physically, hobbling to the back of the court and apologising to Wozniacki, who then double faulted.
Peng's condition was worsening and the trainer ran onto court to assist her, followed by officials, but when the Chinese player was helped off court it was not clear whether she would be penalised.
Wozniacki remained out in the heat of the court practising serves before saying to the umpire: "If she evaluates for half an hour, everyone could be ready again."
When Peng did re-emerge after 10 minutes she was clearly still struggling to move.
Despite somehow managing to fashion another break point among the five played, she collapsed at the baseline and a retirement inevitably followed.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Andy Murray: 'Exceptional' year for Briton, says Richard Krajicek

Andy Murray: 'Exceptional' year for Briton, says Richard Krajicek

Former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek believes Andy Murray could be ranked in the top five by the end of 2014 and challenging for Grand Slams again in 2015.
The Briton's world ranking has fallen from three to nine since back surgery.
Murray, 27, lost in four sets to Novak Djokovic in the US Open quarter-finals.
"If he finished top 10 this year, and I think he can finish top five, it's an exceptional achievement," Dutchman Krajicek told BBC Sport.
"It's a really bad surgery and it's unbelievable that he's in the top 10."
Murray is still without a title since winning Wimbledon last year and has not progressed beyond the last four of any tournament since then.
Richard Krajicek
Krajicek was the only man to beat Pete Sampras at Wimbledon between 1993 and 2000
In that time, he had not beaten a top 10 player until overcoming Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in round four at New York.
The champion at SW19 in 1996, Krajicek is expecting Murray to qualify for the World Tour Finals and potentially even win the title at London's 02 Arena.
"I think he can make the season a very nice one if he wins the World Tour Finals," he said.

"Murray has provided the most compelling evidence of the year here in New York that 2015 should have much to offer, but Djokovic remains out of reach for now. Murray matched the world number one throughout the first two sets, but Djokovic was the stronger physically, and both Murray's serve and his speed around the court dropped noticeably as the match moved into a fourth set. Qualifying for the end-of-season World Tour Finals didn't seem to be an immediate priority, but Murray does have three more tournaments to clinch one of the eight qualifying spots."
"It will be a great achievement and make him ready for the new year, give him all the confidence.
"He will only be looking up. If he can finish top five, he can look back on a great year and then for next year he's going to be looking at trying to win Grand Slams again."
Krajicek, who was the only man to beat Pete Sampras at Wimbledon between 1993 and 2000, believes Murray will be back to his best next year as long as he is in good physical shape.
He even believes the Scot can challenge for the world number one ranking.

Beaten Murray 'can do better'
"He has the game and he has the hunger. He still wants to prove something and I think he wants to go for number one," he said.
Krajicek says Murray's recovery from back surgery has been slow because of his physical style of play.
"Andy's game is grinding from the back, putting pressure on, long rallies, grinding the opponent down," he explained. "It takes longer for him to recover after a big injury like that."
Krajicek, the tournament director of the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, says the indoor season will be vital for Murray, who has no points to defend for the rest of the year, so he can build fitness and momentum for 2015.
"The next two months are important for him because that's going to determine how he starts next year," he said.
"If Andy feels well and he wins a title, which I believe he will, that will do a lot for him and then he's going to start winning matches easier."
Krajicek is also expecting the long-standing top four of Murray, Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to dominate the sport again in 2015

US Open: Williams, Nishikori & Makarova reach semi-finals

US Open: Williams, Nishikori & Makarova reach semi-finals

US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York

Dates: 25 August-8 September Coverage: Live radio and text commentary on Andy Murray's matches, plus commentary every day from 18:00 or 18:30 BST on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra
Five-time US Open champion Serena Williams roared into the semi-finals with a 6-3 6-2 win over Italian 11th seed Flavia Pennetta.
Japan's Kei Nishikori defeated third seed Stan Wawrinka in a five-set thriller to make a Grand Slam last four for the first time.
The 10th seed came through his second successive four-hour match to win 3-6 7-5 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (5-7) 6-4.
"I don't know how I finished the match," said Nishikori.
Russia's Ekaterina Makarova also made it into her first ever Grand Slam semi-final - beating two-time finalist Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-2 in New York.
Ekaterina Makarova
Ekaterina Makarova had lost in her previous four Grand slam appearances
Top seed and defending champion Williams lost the first three games of her match on Arthur Ashe - but then slipped into gear to win in just 63 minutes.
Williams said she "had a lot of fun" and is one of only two top-10 seeded players left in the tournament.
"I've had a tough year in the majors," added Williams. "I've gone down to some great players outside of the top 10 so you can never underestimate anyone. We're all fighting really hard and we all deserve to be here."
Kei Nishikori
Kei Nishikori's five-set win over Stan Wawrinka was only four minutes shorter than his quarter-final victory over Milos Raonic
Nishikori had beaten Milos Raonic in the fourth round in five sets in a match that finished at 2.26am - the joint latest finish in US Open history.
Back on court barely 36 hours later, he became the first Japanese man in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam semi-final after an epic four hours and 15 minute encounter with the Australian Open champion.
Nishikori said: "I started a little bit tight but my body was okay, I was feeling more and more confident, especially getting the third set.
"I feel amazing. I hope I can recover again and play 100 per cent tennis next round."
Stan Wawrinka
A frustrated Wawrinka committed 78 errors and managed to convert just two of 10 break point opportunities
Wawrinka's game was riddled with 78 errors. "I was ready for the fight. I was ready to play," he said. "I'm a little bit disappointed with myself, with the level I had today. I don't think I played a great match. I think I was a little bit hesitant with my game."
Azarenka, 25, runner-up for the past two years, was not at her best in losing to 17th seed Makarova and received a warning after smashing her racquet.
Makarova was in a Grand Slam quarter-final for the fifth time. "It's a great feeling," she said afterwards.
The 26-year-old faces Williams in the semi-final.
"I feel amazing," said Makarova. "Finally I'm in a semi-final. I've had five chances but now I'm in a semi-final and it's a great feeling."
Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka smashed her racquet during the second set of her loss to Ekaterina Makarova
Azarenka's representative revealed after the match the player had suffered with food poisoning  the day before.
The Belarusian confirmed that she had not practised on Tuesday, but added: "I don't really want to talk about it. I just want to give credit to my opponent. She played really well today.
"Am I disappointed? Yes, I'm disappointed. But I feel like I tried my best with whatever I had. But I just want to wish her good luck. That's it. I'm out of the tournament."

Arthur Ashe Stadium

Women's singles quarter-finals
Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) (17) beat Victoria Azarenka (Blr) (16) 6-4 6-2
Serena Williams (USA) (1) beat Flavia Pennetta (Ita) (11) 6-3 6-2
Williams on Pennetta's fast start: "I felt she was playing really well, I don't feel I was doing too much wrong (in the first three games). I just said to myself that if she keeps it up then she absolutely deserves the win and I just tried to do a little better."
Pennetta: "From the beginning of the tournament, if you ask me the first day to get in the quarter-final, have the chance to play Serena, yeah, to get in the semi for me was a dream."
Men's singles quarter-finals
Kei Nishikori (Jap) (10) beat Stan Wawrinka (Swi) (3) 3-6 7-5 7-6(9-7) 6-7(5-7) 6-4
Novak Djokovic (Ser) (1) beat Andy Murray (GBR) (8) 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (1-7) 6-2
Full report here
Results in full

Stats of the day

Stan Wawrinka made 78 unforced errors as he lost to Kei Nishikori in five sets
The match lasted 4hrs 19mins, making it the fourth-longest of the tournament
Nishikori was also involved in the longest against Milos Raonic - he has spent 8hrs 34mins on court in his last two matches

Britwatch

Ross Hutchins and his playing partner, Taiwan's Yung-Jan Chan, lost their mixed doubles semi-final 7-5 4-6 10-7 to top seeds Sania Mirza of India and Brazilian Bruno Soares. Full report here.
Katie Swan
Great Britain's Katie Swan lost in the girls' singles but won in the girls' doubles
Katie Swan lost to the ninth-seeded Ukranian Anhelina Kalinina 6-3 6-2 in round two of the junior girls' singles.
In the junior girls' doubles, 17-year-old Isabelle Wallace and her Romanian playing partner Ioana Loredana Rosca lost a match tie-break to go down 6-2 1-6 11-13 to fourth seeds Jelena Ostapenko (Lat) and Olga Fridman (Ukr) in round two.
But British compatriot Maia Lumsden did make it through to the third round of the junior girls' doubles with her playing partner Fanni Stollar (Hun). They upset Russian eighth seeds Anna Kalinskaya and Evgeniya Levashova 6-3 7-6 (7-4).
And British duo Freya Christie and Swan triumphed in the same category 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 against second seeds Anhelina Kalinina (Ukr) and Iryna Shymanovich (Blr).

Quotes of the day

Ekaterina Makarova looks like Steffi Graf and her name is sung to the Hey Macarena tune. Asked who knows her better, her boyfriend or her tennis coach - Makarova replied, smiling: "I think my coach. I spend more time with my coach than with my family."
"I'm already tired thinking of Davis Cup." Stan Wawrinka is not quite ready to get 'pumped' for Switzerland's semi-final against Italy.
"Guys, I'm not going to make excuses for myself. You can ask me 20 times the same question. I'm not going to make any excuses today." Victoria Azarenka

Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray to reach US Open semi-finals

Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray to reach US Open semi-finals

US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York

Dates: 25 August-8 September
Novak Djokovic saw off Britain's Andy Murray in a gripping late-night contest to reach the US Open semi-finals.
The world number one came through 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 6-4 in a match that lasted three hours and 32 minutes, and finished at 01:17 local time (06:17 BST).
Djokovic will play Japanese 10th seed Kei Nishikori in the last four on Friday.
Murray could take encouragement from his best performance since beating Djokovic to win Wimbledon last year, but the Serb proved relentless in their 21st meeting.
Defeat means that Murray has failed to get past the semi-finals of any tournament after undergoing back surgery in September 2013.
Andy Murray
Murray peaked in the second set but appeared to tire in the third and fourth
"I played well," said Murray. "Especially the first couple of sets was some good tennis.
"I played a poor tie-break in the first set definitely. I was down in the first set and I fought back. I was down in the second set and a break and I fought back.
"So I fought hard, I played some good tennis, but it wasn't enough."
The pair extended each other to the limit once again, and repeatedly had the 22,000 spectators in Arthur Ashe Stadium on their feet as brutal rallies were followed by roars of delight.
In a contest of numerous opportunities, it was the more clinical Djokovic who prevailed, winning seven of 10 break points while Murray converted just four of 16.

"Murray has provided the most compelling evidence of the year here in New York that 2015 should have much to offer, but Djokovic remains out of reach for now. Murray matched the world number one throughout the first two sets, but Djokovic was the stronger physically, and both Murray's serve and his speed around the court dropped noticeably as the match moved into a fourth set. Qualifying for the end-of-season World Tour Finals didn't seem to be an immediate priority amid the disappointment of defeat, but Murray does have three more tournaments to clinch one of the eight qualifying spots and earn the chance to end the season on a high."
Murray created opportunities in Djokovic's first five service games as he came back from 4-1 down, with one thrilling 29-stroke rally bringing the crowd to life, but the Serb forced a tie-break and raced through it.
A double-fault saw Murray slip 2-0 behind and a stinging return at his toes made it 3-0 as Djokovic reeled off seven of eight points.
Murray was in deep trouble when he sent over a 68mph second serve and netted successive backhands and forehands to drop serve early in the second set, but the dire situation drew a positive reaction.
Djokovic smashed his racquet early in the match
Djokovic smashed his racquet early in the match as Murray pegged him back at one set all
The heavy, flat forehand that is so often a marker of his form began to dominate, driving Djokovic deep into the corners.
After service breaks were again swapped, another tie-break was required, and this time Murray set about it with attacking intent.
A thumping forehand backed up by a sharp volley put the Scot in front and an increasingly fraught-looking Djokovic responded with a flurry of errors, allowing Murray to match his 7-1 scoreline from the opening set.
With two hours and 13 minutes on the clock, and midnight approaching, the fact Murray went into the match having spent three and a half hours longer on court than his opponent loomed large.
Murray feels the pain in the fourth set
Murray showed he was feeling the pain in the fourth set
Just as battle appeared to have been joined, Murray handed back the initiative with a loose service game, floating a backhand over the baseline to fall behind.
Two chances to recover the deficit disappeared into the net and Djokovic, looking as sprightly as ever, confirmed his superiority with a second break to clinch the set.
Murray had never beaten Djokovic after losing the first set, and he now faced a mighty task to end that run, calling the trainer for a heat pack to apply to his back late in the fourth set.
The 2012 champion kept the Serb at bay, and his hopes of a second title alive, until he had to hold serve to stay in the match.
Djokovic earned two match points and Murray could only drag a backhand into the net, ending his US Open campaign at the quarter-final stage for the second year in a row.

Match stats

Novak Djokovic Andy Murray
Match time: 3hr 32mins
8
Aces
9
3
Double faults
4
63
1st serve %
56
67
1st serve win %
65
52
2nd serve win %
47
46
Winners
47
48
Unforced errors
65
7/10
Break points won
4/16
"I think I can do better," added Murray. "It was a good tournament, I played some nice tennis at times.
"There are definitely a few things I can do better, to keep working on and improving. But it's a shame.
"Obviously the Slams are over for this year, so I have to wait a few months before the next one."
Novak Djokovic
Djokovic, coached by Boris Becker, won 71% of net points
Andy Murray
Murray hit more winners than Djokovic but also made more unforced errors
Novak Djokovic takes on Andy Murray in the quarter-finals
Djokovic becomes the seventh player in the Open era to win 50 matches at Flushing Meadows

US Open: Andy Murray says Novak Djokovic match demanding

 

US Open: Andy Murray says Novak Djokovic match demanding

US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York

Dates: 25 August-8 September Coverage: Commentary every day from 18:00 or 18:30 BST on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra
Britain's Andy Murray said he was disappointed that Novak Djokovic proved physically stronger in their US Open quarter-final.
The 27-year-old lost 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 6-4 over three hours and 32 minutes at Flushing Meadows.
"I thought physically he was better than me in the end," said Murray, the eighth seed.
"I was a little bit disappointed, to be honest, because I did train very hard."
Murray carried out a training block with his support team in Florida after a disappointing quarter-final defeat at Wimbledon in July.
"You do the work for these matches, so I would have liked to have felt a little bit better towards the end," said the Scot.
Djokovic, 27, also felt he had an advantage when he faces Murray in Grand Slam matches over the best of five sets.
"I get the feeling that if I get to stay with him and work, and not get too loose and too frustrated with points, and not allow him to get into a big lead, I feel like there is a point where I have that edge physically," said the Serb.
"That's what I try to always focus on and it paid off tonight."

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller's analysis

"Murray has provided the most compelling evidence of the year here in New York that 2015 should have much to offer, but Djokovic remains out of reach for now. Murray matched the world number one throughout the first two sets, but Djokovic was the stronger physically, and both Murray's serve and his speed around the court dropped noticeably as the match moved into a fourth set. Qualifying for the end-of-season World Tour Finals didn't seem to be an immediate priority, but Murray does have three more tournaments to clinch one of the eight qualifying spots."
Murray, who underwent back surgery following last year's US Open and missed the final months of the 2013 season, described playing Djokovic as extremely demanding.
The Briton has made at least the quarter-finals of all four Grand Slams this year, but found the world number one a step too far.
"Maybe I haven't played enough matches at that level this year," he said.
"It's obviously different playing at that level, playing against the number one in the world. And the way that we play against each other, it's just an extremely physical match.
Murray said that in games against other players, for example Roger Federer, the points come quicker and it is not as demanding.
He added: "When me and Novak play against each other, you obviously see very tight, long rallies. Both of us do a lot of running.
"Maybe I'll gain a lot from playing a match like today, because it doesn't matter how much training you do, when you get on the match court it's different.
"I can't practise with the best player in the world, so it's tough to practise at that intensity."
Murray had spent three-and-a-half hours longer on court than Djokovic on his way to the last eight
Murray had spent three-and-a-half hours longer on court than Djokovic on his way to the last eight
Murray needed treatment from the trainer in the fourth set but played down the issue.
"I got stiff in my hips and my back towards the end of the third set," he said. "I don't know exactly why. I'm certainly not injured. I didn't hurt anything.
"It was just fatigue I think and I stiffened up towards the end of the third set."
Murray now faces a challenge to qualify for the ATP Finals in London, as he stands ninth in the race, with the top eight making the cut.
"To be honest, it was not a massive goal of mine," he said.
"It's obviously nice to qualify for it. It's a good tournament. I played a number of years, and enjoyed it. But I don't want to overplay. I'll play the right schedule."
Novak Djokovic
After twice breaking Murray in the first set, Djokovic eventually took the set with a convincing tie-breaker
Kim Sears
Andy Murray battled from 3-1 down in the second set to win the tie-breaker
Andy Murray
Djokovic converted seven of 10 break points in the match
Novak Djokovic
Djokovic will play in his eighth consecutive US Open semi-final

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

US Open: Andy Murray seeded eighth at Flushing Meadows


US Open: Andy Murray seeded eighth at Flushing Meadows

The US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows Dates: 25 August - 8 September
Coverage: BBC Radio 5 live sports extra 18:00 or 18:30 BST
Britain's Andy Murray is seeded eighth for the 2014 US Open, which starts at Flushing Meadows on 25 August.
The 27-year-old, who won the tournament in 2012, has not won an ATP ranking event since Wimbledon in 2013.
The Scot was knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Masters last week, following similar exits at the Rogers Cup and Wimbledon.
US Open champion Rafael Nadal is out injured, while Novak Djokovic is seeded number one and Roger Federer two.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Serena Williams beats Jelena Jankovic to reach Cincinnati semis


Serena Williams beats Jelena Jankovic to reach Cincinnati semis

World number one Serena Williams remains on track for a first Cincinnati title with victory over eighth seed Jelena Jankovic in the last eight.
The American won 6-1 6-3 to set up a semi-final against Agnieszka Radwanska or Caroline Wozniacki on Saturday.
World number two Simona Halep takes on Maria Sharapova in a rematch of the French Open final later on Friday.
Britain's Andy Murray faces third seed Roger Federer in the men's quarter-finals.
Federer's fellow Swiss, Stan Wawrinka, suffered a shock 1-6 6-1 6-2 defeat by Julien Benneteau earlier on Friday.
The Frenchman won 12 of the last 15 games to reach the first Masters semi-final of his career, where he was joined by Canadian fifth seed Milos Raonic, who crushed Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-1 6-0 in just 57 minutes.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Andy Murray beats John Isner to reach Cincinnati quarter-finals


Andy Murray beats John Isner to reach Cincinnati quarter-finals

Andy Murray is through to the quarter-finals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati with a 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-2) win over American John Isner.
Britain's number one made a slow start, losing the first set on a tie break, but gradually played his way into the game against last year's runner up.
Eighth-seed Murray, 27, claimed the first break of the match early in the second set, which he won 6-4.
He then saved two match points before rallying to win the final set.
"It was a big win for me because he plays very well here," said Murray, who will play now face either Roger Federer or Gael Monfils.
"Returning his serve in these conditions is very challenging and I did well to fight back.
"I felt I played a very good match. When challenged at the end I felt I responded well."
Murray, who was beaten by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Rogers Cup quarter-finals in Toronto last week, wants to progress in the tournament as part of his preparation for the US Open, which begins on 25 August.
Earlier Stan Wawrinka beat Marin Cilic 3-6 6-1 6-0 and Julien Benneteau beat Jerzy Janowicz 7-5 6-1.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Andy Murray into Cincinnati last 16 as James Ward goes out



Andy Murray into Cincinnati last 16 as James Ward goes out

Britain's Andy Murray progressed to the last 16 of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati with a 6-3 6-3 win over Portugal's Joao Sousa.
The number eight seed broke Sousa, 25, in his opening service game and wrapped up victory in an hour and 11 minutes.
Murray, 27, faces American John Isner - last year's runner-up - in the next round.
British number two James Ward, 27, lost 6-2 6-2 to France's Julien Benneteau in the second round.
"I got the win and that's the most important thing," said Murray, who was beaten by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Rogers Cup quarter-finals in Toronto last week.
"It's very different conditions here this week and a lot of the guys are struggling to control the ball, so I was happy to come through. It's a good start."
Qualifier Ward, who upset Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the first round, was broken twice in each set by world number 41 Benneteau.
Benneteau faces a last-16 tie with Poland's Jerzy Janowicz, a 6-4 3-6 6-3 winner over Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov.
Eleventh seed Isner, 29, beat Australian qualifier Marinko Matosevic 6-3 7-6.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Heather Watson loses to Shuai Zhang in Cincinnati first round

Heather Watson loses to Shuai Zhang in Cincinnati first round

Heather Watson lost in the first round of Cincinnati's Western & Southern Open as China's Shuai Zhang punished an erratic display, winning 6-3 2-6 7-5.
Watson rose into the world's top 50 by reaching the Rogers Cup third round last week, but was inconsistent as she lost in just over two hours.
The British number one finished the match with a first-serve percentage of just 47%.
Watson's compatriots Andy Murray and James Ward are in the men's draw.

Heather Watson's performances at the US Open

2013: First round - lost to Simona Halep 4-6 6-4 6-2
2012: First round - lost to Li Na 6-2 6-3
2011: First round - lost to Maria Sharapova 3-6 7-5 6-3
Murray, afforded a bye to the second round, will play either American Chase Buchanan or Portugal's Joao Sousa while Londoner Ward takes on Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Tuesday.
Watson, 22, won her previous meeting with Zhang in Estoril in 2012 in straight sets, but left too many balls short for her opponent to capitalise on in the first set.
Coach Diego Veronelli issued a raft of instructions to Watson at the changeover, but it seemed his client was doomed to an early exit as she surrendered serve at the start of the second set, before rallying to take it 6-2.
In the final set Watson clawed the world number 31 back to 3-3 from 3-0 adrift and saved two match points at 5-4 down, but was eventually undone as Zhang advanced to a meeting with either former world number one Caroline Wozniacki or Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova.
Watson is in the main draw for the US Open which begins on 25 August. The Connecticut Open, the final warm-up event which begins on 17 August, could offer Watson a wild card.

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