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Andy Murray Targeting Citi Open For Competitive Return

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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.”

 

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Rafael Nadal Wins 19th Grand Slam Trophy

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Rafael Nadal edged out Daniil Ledvedev to win his 19th Grand Slam trophy in the US Open final.

Nadal narrowly defeated Ledvedev 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 victory in 4 hours, 50 minutes, an exciting match filled with plenty of drama and impressive, highlight reel play from both men.

“An amazing final. Seems that I had, more or less, the match under control,” Nadal said, according to ESPN. “One of the most emotional nights of my tennis career.”

“The nerves were so high,” Nadal said. “A crazy match.”

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Nick Kyrgios Slams ATP as “Corrupt” Following Fines

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Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios is not too happy about the ATP fining him more than $100,000 this month for his behavior during a second-round loss at the Western & Southern Open this month.

Kyrgios said that the fine didn’t effect him as he prepared for the US Open, saying that; “Not at all. ATP’s pretty corrupt, anyway, so I’m not fussed about it at all.”

Kyrgios insulted a chair umpire and left the court to smash two rackets during the incident, which resulted in eight fines that ranged from $3,000 to $20,000 each, for violations such as unsportsmanlike conduct, verbal abuse and audible obscenity.

“Why are we talking about something that happened three weeks ago, when I just chopped up someone [in the] first round of US Open?”

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Naomi Osaka Overcomes Nerves to Win 3-Set Match

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Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka overcame nerves to survive a tense 3-set match against 84th ranked Anna Blinkova as she starts the defense of her US Open championship.

Osaka, 21, defeated Serena Williams last year to win the title, but opened this year’s tournament struggling with Blinkova en route to a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2 victory.

“I felt nervous; for me, it’s definitely a new feeling,” Osaka said (h/t ESPN).

“It was consistent throughout the entire match, which was very strange for me. … It never really went away.”

“You kind of want to do well after you did well last year,” Osaka said, when asked why she felt so many jitters while trailing 3-0 and 4-1 at the outset. “I just definitely didn’t want to lose in the first round.”

“I really didn’t expect myself to play amazing today.”

Only two US Open women’s champions have lost in the first round the following year during the professional era, and Osaka avoided becoming the third by inching out the first round victory.

“It helps me a lot, because I learn from the tougher matches,” Osaka said. “It helps me be prepared and try to learn and adjust my game plan.”

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