Australian Open

Jamie Murray reveals hopes of ‘pain-free’ life for brother Andy

Jamie Murray would love to see his brother Andy back on a tennis court but his main hope is for the 31-year-old to be able to live without pain. Andy was due to fly home on Wednesday as he considers whether to struggle on ahead of a farewell appearance at Wimbledon this summer or undergo a second, more serious, hip operation that could either salvage his career or end it. Andy hinted after his emotional five-set loss to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday that surgery was the more likely option, and Jamie appeared to confirm that. Andy Murray might have waved goodbye to professional tennis on Monday (Mark Schiefelbein/AP) The 32-year-old, who is due to begin his doubles campaign on Thursday, said: “He’s obviously got to go and do his surgery, which is ...

Improving Bouchard ready for Serena showdown, admitting: ‘I love her’

Eugenie Bouchard will make her return to the biggest stage with a second-round date against Serena Williams at the Australian Open. The Canadian, who soared into the top 10 in 2014, dropped as low as 193 in the rankings last season but has worked her way back into double figures and a 6-2 6-1 victory over Peng Shuai earned her a shot at the title favourite. Williams played her first competitive match since her tumultuous defeat by Naomi Osaka in the US Open final in September and was in devastating form, beating neighbour and fellow mother Tatjana Maria 6-0 6-2 in just 49 minutes. Eugenie Bouchard celebrates (Mark Schiefelbein/AP) Bouchard admitted she had her eye on a clash with Williams as soon as the draw was made. She said: “I’m super excited. This is why we play the big tournaments, t...

Konta battles past Tomljanovic to reach Australian Open second round

Konta gained revenge for her defeat by Tomljanovic in Brisbane earlier this month. Johanna Konta survived a deciding tie-break to defeat Ajla Tomljanovic and become the third British player to reach the second round of the Australian Open. Konta lost to Tomljanovic in Brisbane earlier this month but produced a fine performance to come through 7-6 (7/4) 2-6 7-6 (10/7). There was little to separate the pair throughout a tight and big-hitting contest but Konta was rewarded for her aggression in the first-to-10-points tie-break, becoming the second British player after Katie Boulter to win using the new scoring format. Konta found herself 3-1 down in the opening set without having done too much wrong but fought back to win three games in a row and then played a good tie-break. Sealed with a br...

Andy Murray highly praised for fighting spirit in Australian Open defeat

The soon-to-be retired Andy Murray was praised for the fight he showed in his Australian Open first-round exit to Roberto Bautista Agut. However, he endured an awkward moment afterwards when tournament organisers rolled out a farewell video just seconds after he said: “If today was my last match, it was a brilliant way to finish.” And then he suggested: “Maybe I’ll see you again.” pic.twitter.com/l1FpRkIYqq — judy murray (@JudyMurray) January 14, 2019 The Scot staged a gutsy fightback in losing 6-4 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-7 (4) 6-2 and first in with the congratulations was his mum Judy, who tweeted “So proud” along with a picture of her son depicted as William Wallace. Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli was full of appreciation for Murray’s displ...

Highlights from day one at the Australian Open

The highlights from day one at Melbourne Park. Andy Murray battled for more than four hours but was beaten over five sets by Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the Australian Open in what could be his final professional match. Of the seven British players in action, only Katie Boulter and Dan Evans were victorious, with last year’s semi-finalist Kyle Edmund losing in straight sets to Tomas Berdych. Evans will now face Roger Federer, who eased into round two along with Rafael Nadal, Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber. Picture of the day A thumbs up to the crowd from Murray after his emotional defeat (Mark Schiefelbein/AP) Tweet of the day pic.twitter.com/l1FpRkIYqq — judy murray (@JudyMurray) January 14, 2019 Forty winks 😴 Nothing gets past @RafaelNadal #AusOpen pic.twit...

Murray ponders surgery after Australian Open exit

Andy Murray will decide in the next week whether to have a second hip operation but said he would be content if his dramatic five-set defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open turned out to be his final professional match. Murray, who announced on Friday that he is planning to retire from the game this year, threatened a miracle in Melbourne but was ultimately beaten 6-4 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-7 (4) 6-2 by the Spanish 22nd seed. Murray’s hopes were not high given the state of his right hip but this was a remarkable performance for a man who admits he struggles to put his shoes and socks on. “If this was my last match, it was an amazing way to end.” – Andy Murray 🙏#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/84qZiqau1C — #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 14, 2019 The capacity crowd – whi...

Sharapova: Murray has been an exception to lack of male support for women’s game

Maria Sharapova spoke out about the lack of support from male players for the women’s game in the wake of Andy Murray’s retirement announcement. The Scot has been lauded, perhaps more than anything since his emotional press conference on Friday, for the vocal way in which he has stood up for equality. While few male players are publicly hostile, even fewer have championed the women’s game like Murray. Maria Sharapova got the better of Britain’s Harriet Dart (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) Speaking after a 6-0 6-0 victory over Harriet Dart in the opening round of the Australian Open, Sharapova said: “Relatively speaking, I think they have been really tough, especially when it came to equality, as a general point. “Sitting at a press conference in Wimbledon five, seven years ago, there was not a lot...

I can laugh it off now: Boulter forgets first-to-10 rule in winning tiebreaker

Katie Boulter claimed one of the best victories of her career in the first round of the Australian Open over experienced Russian Ekaterina Makarova – twice. A change in the rules for this tournament means matches that reach 6-6 in the deciding set will be finished by a first-to-10-points tie-break rather than the standard first-to-seven-points one. Although the umpire reminded players and fans when the score reached 6-6 in the third set, Boulter was so focused she did not pay attention and celebrated exuberantly when she reached 7-4. When you think you’ve won the final set tiebreak but forget it’s first to 10. For the record, @KatieBoulter1 eventually advances to the 2R, def. Ekaterina Makerova 6-0 4-6 7-6(6).#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/jK2jtCEHBZ — #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) Janu...

Boulter reaches Australian Open second round after historic 10-point tiebreaker

Katie Boulter claimed a bit of history in her impressive victory over Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova to become the first British player through to the second round of the Australian Open. After blasting her way through the first set without losing a game, Boulter was pegged back but dug in impressively, coming from a break down to reach 6-6 in the deciding set. A change in the rules for this tournament means matches that reach that stage will be decided by a first-to-10-points tie-break, and Boulter was the first player to win such a contest, coming through 6-0 4-6 7-6 (10/6) after two hours and 24 minutes in oppressive Melbourne heat. 🇬🇧 @KatieBoulter1 claims her first #AusOpen victory, defeating 2015 semifinalist #Makarova 6-0, 4-6, 7-6(6) pic.twitter.com/LGO9GXJHUx — #AusOpen (@AustralianO...

Heather Watson wants to feel more relaxed on court

Heather Watson is hoping the Australian Open can help her break out of the “vicious cycle” she has become trapped in. There have been a few highs mixed with a lot of lows since the 26-year-old nearly caused a monumental shock against Serena Williams in the third round of Wimbledon in 2015. At that stage her career still appeared very much on the up but last year she dropped out of the top 100 before climbing back again and will begin her campaign at Melbourne Park ranked 108. Heather Watson is the world number 108 (David Davies/PA) Watson is usually a positive talker so it was telling when she said ahead of her clash with 31st seed Petra Martic on Monday: “I feel like the last year or two I’ve not been doing as well as I should be or could be doing. “I’ve been working really hard so I’m ju...

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic lead tributes to Andy Murray ahead of Australian Open

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic added their tributes to the outpouring of support for Andy Murray as the Scot gears up for what could be his final professional tennis match. Murray will face Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday before deciding the best next course of action for his injured right hip. It was a practice match against Djokovic on Thursday that laid bare the seriousness of Murray’s continued struggles and led to him emotionally announcing his imminent retirement the following day. Djokovic did not even appear to be playing quite at full tilt despite losing only two games, but he insisted he was not taking it easy. “It was very obvious for everyone, you saw it, you didn’t need to be on court, to notice that he’s struggling, that he’s not mo...

Novak Djokovic ‘comfortable’ as Justin Gimelstob remains on ATP board

Novak Djokovic found himself mired in the muddy waters of tennis politics a day before the start of the Australian Open on Monday. If 2018 was a tumultuous year behind the scenes then there is every indication this season could top it, with most of the drama currently centred on the ATP. As head of the ATP Player Council and world number one, Djokovic is a powerful figure within the game and one who has strong views on the way the sport should be run. Novak Djokovic is head of the ATP Player Council (Aaron Favila/AP) The players have three representatives on the main ATP board, one of whom, American former player and coach Justin Gimelstob, is currently awaiting trial on charges of assault, which he denies. The player council has come under fire for allowing Gimelstob to remain in his post...

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