Australian Open | Nadal and Medvedev line up for Aussie final.

The Australian Open, the first grand slam of the season, is down to the last two, the man who from the start, has been the title favourite, and the only man who has previously won the event who in turn, if successful, could rewrite the tennis history books.

Australian Open | Can Barty fulfil her promise?

Coming into the Australian Open, Ash Barty was always the favourite for the title, but pulling it off involves winning 7 matches on the trot over the fortnight against some of the world’s best and, on Saturday, she has to get past the second woman left standing at...

Australian Open | TA cleans up its act

Tennis Australia is working on brushing up its environmental image by announcing this week that it has teamed up with a game-changing Australian enviro-tech startup to reduce plastic bottle waste at the Australian Open, and ending its controversial partnership with...

Australian Open | Hewett beaten in final

Alfie Hewett’s bid to complete this year’s Australian Open as men’s singles and men’s doubles champion ended in a gallant three-set loss on Thursday as world No.1 Shingo Kunieda of Japan regained the title after a 7-5 3-6 6-2 win

Tokyo | Nishikori undergoes hip surgery

Kei Nishikori underwent arthroscopic left hip surgery on Tuesday, which will keep him off the men’s tour for about six months.

Australian Open | Brilliant Barty to meet Collins in AO final

If Ash Barty feared Madison Keys so close to reaching her goal, there was no sign of it at the Australian Open on Thursday evening, when the World No 1 powered past the American, 6-1 6-3, to arrive at her pre-ordained place in the final, the first Aussie to do so...

Australian Open | Medvedev and Tsitsipas will face each other in the semis

The expected semi-final clash between Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas is now on with the pair scheduled to meet on Friday after a day’s break having both negotiated their respective ways past tough quarter-final opponents.

Australian Open | Hewett and Reid make wheelchair history

Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid secured their latest chapter in the tennis history books on Wednesday at the Australian Open when they won their third successive Australian Open men’s wheelchair doubles title, extending their tally of consecutive Grand Slam titles...

Australian Open | Swiatek and Collins outlast giant-killers to meet in semi-final

Iga Swiatek took 3 hours to figure out how to beat the resilient Kaia Kanepi at the Australian Open on Wednesday, while Danielle Collins figured out tricky Alizé Cornet rather more quickly, and the two will now meet in their first semi-final at Melbourne Park on...

Australian Open | Nadal and Berrettini battle into the AO semis

The first semi-final at this year’s Australian Open will feature Rafa Nadal and Matteo Berrettini, the sixth and seventh seed in Melbourne respectively, after both players survived five set quarter-final matches having led their opponents by two-sets to love.
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

World No1 is eliminated

ANDY Murray has vowed to bounce back after a shock defeat dented rather than burst the bubble within which he is on the tennis odyssey of his life.

Sir Andy was stunned 7-5 5-7 6-2 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena by world No.50 Mischa Zverev, the elder brother of hot prospect, Alex, in the last-16.

It's the earliest I've lost here for, I don't know, a long time. So I'm disappointed right now.

And Jo Konta was left as the only Brit standing when Dan Evans followed Murray to the exit, going down 6-7(4) 6-2 6-4 6-4 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Top seed Murray won the Davis Cup, a second Wimbledon title, a second Olympic gold, the ATP World Tour final trophy and reached world No.1 in a dream 12 months up to last November.

The British No.1 and we all knew Murray was not infallible. Evidence of that was when he lost to Kei Nishikori at the 2016 US Open and to Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals of Team GBŠ—Ès Cup defence.

But all his followers believed he could secure the fourth Grand Slam of his career and his first Melbourne crown after five final reverses. And the neutrals joined them when Novak Djokovic Š—– who beat him in four of them – suffered a surprise early exit against American Sam Querrey.

Yet Zverev, whom Murray defeated on route to the 2004 US Junior Open and in three previous encounters as a senior, forgot to read the script. It was the top seedŠ—Ès worst defeat in a Slam since Juan Ignacio Chela, then world 51, stunned him at the same event 11 years ago.

But it was far from a capitulation by Murray. More a case of the better man won on the day as the Scot was left to concentrate on preparing for Team GB’s Cup tie against Canada next month.

Murray, in philosophical tones, said: Š—“I’ve had tough losses in my career in the past. I’ve come back from them. This is a tough one. I wanted to go far in this event. I’m sure I’ll come back okay from it

Š—“It’s the earliest I’ve lost here for, I don’t know, a long time. So I’m disappointed right now.

Š—“But credit to him. He came up with great, great shots and played a really, really good match. You know, you always finish matches you lose with things you maybe could have done a bit better, but he played some really good stuff. He deserved to win because he played great when he was down and also at the important moments. I was kind of behind in the last couple of sets the whole way.

Š—“I’m obviously down about it. It’s just tennis. I had great success for a number of months. In the biggest events you want to do your best. and that’s not been the case here. You know, it happens.

Š—“I don’t think I was flat. I was getting myself pumped up. Sometimes at the end of the sets I was trying to get a little more energy, show more positive body language. And I did that at the end of the match, at the end of the first and second sets.

Š—“Did I miss an opportunity? I don’t know. I mean, every year you come is a different chance, different opportunity. I mean, still, even had I got through this match, [Kei] Nishikori or Roger [Federer] are waiting. Stan [Wawrinka] is still in. Guys like [Jo-Wilfried] Tsonga. There’s certainly no guarantees, even if I got through, that I would have gone further. I don’t feel like this is any more of an opportunity than other years.Š—

Š—“I didn’t think about it (his own seeding and ranking) at all the whole time I was playing in the event and not at all when I was on the court in any of the matches.

Š—“Once you get out there, rankings are completely irrelevant, you know, in my opinion anyway. Yeah, that played no bearing on anything.Š—

Murray, 29, hit 71 winners and only conceded 28 unforced errors. But he was largely undone by the aggressive serve and volley tactics of Zverev

He had two points for a 4-1 lead before his opponent battled back to take the first set but levelled the match.

Zverev's moment of triumph

Image © Getty Images

Yet Zverev was not to be denied. He won five games in a row to take the third and go a break up. The momentum stayed with him, breaking Murray EIGHT times.

Zverev, 29, said to courtside to interviewer Jim Courier, a former Slam champion and world No.1: Š—“Honestly I donŠ—Èt know (how I did it). I was like in a little coma, just serve-and-volleying my way through it. I think you should tell me how I did it because honestly there were a few points when I donŠ—Èt know how I pulled it off.

Š—“I got excited, but the crowd is here. How can you not stay focused? It was easy to stay aggressive but it was definitely tough to stay calm and focus on your game and your first serve. Honestly, I was surprised I put so many first serves in in the last game because I was expecting maybe a double-fault of an easy unforced error at the net. But somehow I made it.Š—

Evans catches his breath

Image © Getty Images

World No.51 Evans went down with a fight against 12th seeded Tsonga to miss out on a rematch with Stan Wawrinka against whom he held a match point with the Swiss on route to the 2016 US Open title.

Evans, who made his debut appearance in an ATP World Tour final going in, had stunned Croatian seventh seed Marin Cilic and would-be local hero Bernard Tomic before becoming the last Brit to fall in the menŠ—Ès singles.

He stunned Frenchman Tsonga to take the opening set, suggesting himself capable of another upset.

But Tsonga took charge, opening up a 4-0 lead in the second with strong and pin-point groundstrokes.

Evans, 26, refused to lie down against a player who made the final seven years ago – he hit 43 winners while Tsonga secured 59 Š—– but the Brummie eventually succumbed.

He said: "He was just a bit too strong for me. I played pretty well. I was pretty sore.

"He was so physical. To win the first set took too much out of me.

"I need to maybe get a bit fitter. I think today I was flagging pretty much after the first set. I did feel that.

"My body was sore. Maybe that’s something I can improve on a bit.

"But, you know, I’ve still come a long way from where I was last year."

Tsonga goes through

Image © Getty Images

Tsonga added: "Dan played good tennis and he had nothing to lose.

"It was difficult for me because he was hitting the ball really early. After that the game was pretty difficult, then I went over him and finished strong.

"I’ve played pretty good since the start of the tournament. It will be a good challenge against Stan Wawrinka – he’s playing unbelievably."

Konta, the British No.1 and ninth seed, meets Russian Ekaterina Makarova for a quarter-final spot tomorrow, Monday.

* Uncredited quotes from the BBC, Daily Telegraph



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.