Andy Murray continues his comeback from hip surgery as he targets the Citi Open in Washington as his return to competition.
Murray said he will spend the next couple of weeks practising on hard courts in the United Kingdom before he heads to either Washington or Miami ahead of the City Open which begins on July 30th.
“As soon as I got on the hard courts, I felt better due to the stability of the surface,” Murray said (h/t ESPN). “On grass you are worried about every step you take. On the hard courts I felt more comfortable.” He added the hard court helps movement and frees up his hip, saying, “The impact on the hard courts is greater than the grass, but I feel it’ll be positive for me.”
Murray also believes that the conditions are perfectly suited for a charge from Rafael Nadal, adding that Novak Djokovic has also impressed him.
“I think Novak could beat both of them, whether it happens or not, I don’t know but he’s playing really well,” Murray said. “Like the Serena [Williams] situation, he hasn’t been in the latter stages of the major events recently, but in terms of his level and the way he’s playing, he’s back to where he wants to be. Mentally he looks like he’s where he needs to be, he’s fired up, motivated and he’s got a great shot [of winning the tournament].”
“He [Djokovic] said the mental side has been difficult for him. Maybe he suffered from a slight dip in motivation, which is completely understandable after winning all four Slams, it takes an incredible amount out of you. It looks like he’s back to where he wants to be. It wouldn’t surprise me if he went on to win the tournament.”
International Tennis Federation Defends Umpire Who Cited Serena Williams
Umpire Carlos Ramos, who cited Serena Williams three code violations during the US Open final has been defended by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body.
Ramos, who said his “decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules”, cited Williams three times during her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka on Saturday, once for getting coaching signals, another for breaking her racket, and a third for calling Ramos a “thief”.
The call for breaking her racket cost Williams a point.
On Sunday, the tournament referee docked Williams $10,000 for “verbal abuse” of the chair umpire, $4,000 for being warned for coaching and $3,000 for breaking her racket, according to reports.
The ITF stated that Ramos’ citations were “reaffirmed by the U.S. Open’s decision to fine Serena Williams for the three offenses”, on Monday, adding “Ramos undertook his duties as an official according to the relevant rule book and acted at all times with professionalism and integrity.”
Andy Murray Feeling Better for US Open
The long road back for Andy Murray carries on, as he continues his comeback from hip surgery, and Murray officially returned to the tour in June, and has seen his ranking drop since. But Murray is feeling better each time he goes out to play.
“The last few days, I practiced for a couple of hours each day with some of the players,” Murray said on Friday at the US Open media day, according to ESPN. “It’s been good. It’s been difficult. It’s just been quite — my tennis has been a bit of stop-starty.”
Murray has had major up and downs along the way, but seems to be getting back on track.
“All injuries are completely different,” Murray said. “Some are more serious than others. Someone is out for a few weeks with a muscle injury, it’s very different to somebody recovering from a surgery on certain parts of the body. It’s notoriously more difficult.”
“My body feels better than it did a few weeks ago,” Murray said.
“I do feel that once my body is right again — which takes time when you haven’t played many matches in a year — I’m sure that my level will be OK to get me competing at the top of the game again,” Murray said.
Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer to Clash in Western and Southern Open Final
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will write another chapter in their storied rivalry when the meet in the final of the Western & Southern Open, in a match that pits the two legends against one another for the first time in two years, due mostly to injuries.
Djokovic defeated Marin Cilic on Saturday 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and Federer topped David Goffin when Goffin retired in the second set with a shoulder injury.
Djokovic leads Federer in head-to-head title matches 11-6, and their overall series 23-22.
“It would be the greatest challenge in Cincinnati, without a doubt, because he’s been dominating this tournament historically,” Djokovic said.
“It’s great to be back in the finals, against Novak in particular,” Federer said. “There’s a lot riding on the match. It’s great to refresh a rivalry we’ve had for many years.”
Djokovic will be vying to become the first to win all nine events since the series started back in 1990.
“My sixth time, I’ll try to win the title,” he said. “Obviously, this time I’m hoping I get my hands on the trophy.”
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