Tag Archives: doubles

Novak Djokovic suffers unusual injury scare at Hopman Cup ahead of Australian Open

VIDEO: Djokovic suffers unusual injury scare ahead of Australian Open as he was hit by a railing while signing autographs at Hopman Cup

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UPDATED:

15:10 GMT, 31 December 2012

Novak Djokovic endured a strange injury scare ahead of his Australian Open defence as a railing fell on his leg while he was signing autographs in Perth.

The Serbian was representing his country at the Hopman Cup and he limped away from court after his 6-3 6-4 win over Andreas Seppi.

But the 25-year-old recovered in time to play the mixed-doubles encounter with Ana Ivanovic.

Djokovic said: 'It was a bit of a shock and I'm glad that the children involved are OK. I am fine.'

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Injured: A barrier gave way while Djokovic was signing autographs

Injured: A barrier gave way while Djokovic was signing autographs

Injured: A barrier gave way while Djokovic was signing autographs

Unusual: The world number one hobbled off court in Perth

Hurt: The world number one hobbled off court in Perth

The Serbian was representing his country at the Hopman Cup and he limped away from court after his 6-3 6-4 win over Andreas Seppi.

It was a hectic day for the world number one as he arrived late in Australia after winning an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.

'I arrived quite late last night and didn't get a lot of hours of sleep and I felt like I was dream-walking,' he said after beating Seppi.

'I broke the ice after the first set and felt a little bit better.'

Despite losing the mixed-doubles, Serbia beat Italy 2-1 as Ivanovic beat Francesca Schiavone 6-0 6-4 in the women's singles match.

Warm-up: Djokovic was representing his country at the Hopman Cup as part of his Australian Open preparations

Warm-up: Djokovic was representing his country at the Hopman Cup as part of his Australian Open preparations

Recovery: Djokovic came back to play the doubles match with Ana Ivanovic

Recovery: Djokovic came back to play the doubles match with Ana Ivanovic

Victory: Serbia beat Italy 2-1 in Perth despite losing the mixed-doubles match

Victory: Serbia beat Italy 2-1 in Perth despite losing the mixed-doubles match

VIDEO Watch Djokovic being hit by collapsing barrier

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Laura Robson looks back on stunning year

Teen sensation Robson heads to sunshine of Florida after stunning year on court

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 15 November 2012

Everyone will have their own special memory of 2012 and for Laura Robson it will be sitting down at the changeover during her Olympics match against Maria Sharapova, a contest in which she ran the Russian desperately close.

'The roof had been closed and the crowd were all chanting my name, it was emotional and I got goosebumps,' recalled Robson, who will soon be swapping the English winter for Florida sunshine.

So enamoured was she by the Olympic experience that Rio is already on her mind, and aside from winning Wimbledon, getting a gold medal to add to her London 2012 silver has usurped any other ambition.

Highlight: Laura Robson ran Maria Sharapova close at the Olympics

Highlight: Laura Robson ran Maria Sharapova close at the Olympics

Right now no conversation with Robson, who was reclining at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, can be complete without reference to her rival Heather Watson, which is likely provide British tennis with its most intriguing and long running narrative in years.

At the same Olympics that so thrilled her, there was also a test to their friendship when Andy Murray was forced to choose between the two for his mixed doubles partner and plumped for Robson, a decision that reduced Watson to tears.

The eventual silver medal suggested he made the correct call, but Robson sympathises with her peer, and also conceded that it may not be the last time their relationship comes under strain due to the pressures of such an intensely competitive individual sport.

'It was totally understandable for Heather to want to play, I would have felt the same,' said Robson. 'She was the No 1 ranked singles and doubles player. I wasn't involved in the process of making the decision but I'm obviously very happy to have been picked.

'We are both competitive people but we want each other to do well. If we both push on next year then it will be really good. I'm not looking at her training thinking “I should be doing that”. So far it has been easy (staying friends). I don't know if it will be harder as we get older but I hope it stays the same.'

Silver lining: Robson partnered Andy Murray in the doubles in London

Silver lining: Robson partnered Andy Murray in the doubles in London

For the next month the pair will be on opposite sides of Florida doing their winter training with Watson, who has finished the year four places higher at 49, practising at the IMG Academy near Tampa while Robson will be at the Evert headquarters in Boca Raton. Murray will be further south in Miami.

Robson earned just shy of 189,000 in official prize money alone this season, and now she will be preparing with the full accompaniment of back-up befitting a top player, meaning an all-Croatian team of a hitting partner, physical trainer and her coach Zeljko Krajan.

The latter is a notoriously hard taskmaster, whose intensity at times proved too much for former charges such as Dinara Safina and Dominika Cibulkova. However, his arrival in August coincided with the best form of her life, although another factor was unquestionably the luxury of having her first sustained injury-free period on the tour.

'So far he has been pretty relaxed with me, I don't know if that's on purpose,' says Robson. 'Hopefully I haven't been stressing him out too much.'

Her regular encounters with the treatment table are why she is reluctant to set too many goals for a 2013 that is so rich in promise following her fourth round showing at the US Open when she upset both Kim Clijsters and Li Na.

Making progress: Laura Robson

Making progress: Laura Robson

'I haven't had any niggles since Wimbledon which is a record for me, so I haven't set goals yet. Getting seeded in the Grand Slams would be a good thing but if I say I'll get seeded by Roland Garros then I might get injured again.'

To prevent any recurrence and to further improve her key area of movement she is in the midst of a punishing training regime which sees her flopping into bed at nine o'clock every night, with the occasional treat of attending a film or fashion show.

Robson could still have been playing in the juniors this year, but instead is the highest ranked 18 year-old in the world, so far pulling off the trick of remaining perfectly well-adjusted while managing that.

During last month's Beijing tournament she used her free time making a pop video of fellow players, including Sharapova, Watson and Fernando Verdasco doing the Gangnam-style dance that she edited on her I-pad and has proved a hit on YouTube

'There isn't a load of stuff to do in China so you've got to make your own entertainment,' she explained.

Despite the frequent injuries, Robson has broadly halved her ranking each year since 2008. It is not committing the old British sin of getting too carried away to think the same will happen next season.

Jonny Marray and Freddie Nielsen lose in World Finals semi-final

No dream finale for Marray and Nielsen as Spanish duo reach London showpiece

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UPDATED:

22:55 GMT, 11 November 2012

A year which saw Jonny Marray propelled from obscure journeyman to household name came to an abrupt end on Sunday night, and almost certainly so did his partnership with Frederik Nielsen.

The Anglo-Danish pair were defeated 6-4, 6-3 by Spain’s Marc Granollers and Marc Lopez in the semi-final of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. So there will be no follow-up to the unlikely Wimbledon win that got them to the O2 Arena.

Given that Nielsen has ambitious plans to try to excel at singles, despite being ranked outside the top 300, it will be their last match for the foreseeable future. The 31-year-old from Sheffield is still scouting around for a new partner.

Over and out: Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielsen were beaten in the semi-final

Over and out: Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielsen were beaten in the semi-final

Having got to the last four of the season’s last two sizeable events — here and in Paris — Marray should not have too many problems finding somebody. He and Nielsen were the lowest seeds at this event, so to have made it to the last Sunday was a decent achievement.

Marray will end the year ranked inside the top 20 for doubles, and assuming he can line someone up within the world’s top 40, will gain direct entry into the big events next season. He should be able to leave the world of Challenger-level tennis behind. Marray and his partner will share 70,000 for their endeavours this week, meaning the Liverpool-born player will have cleared 200,000 in earnings for 2012 — a tidy sum for a doubles specialist.

Nielsen dropped his first service game and the victorious Spaniards now face India’s Rohan Bopanna and Mahesh Bhupathi in Sunday’s final.

Here we go: Spanish duo Marc Lopez and Marcel Granollers celebrate their win

Here we go: Spanish duo Marc Lopez and Marcel Granollers celebrate their win

Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielsen qualify for ATP World Tour finals at O2

Doubles delight for Marray and Nielsen after qualifying for ATP finals at O2

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UPDATED:

13:38 GMT, 15 October 2012

Wimbledon champions Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielsen have qualified for next month's ATP World Tour finals.

Liverpool-born Marray, 31, and his Danish partner will play at The O2 after winning at SW19 and guaranteeing themselves a place in the top 20 in the Doubles Team Race to London.

Their triumph at Wimbledon was one of the stories of the Championships – Marray became the first homegrown player to win the men's doubles at the All England Club since 1936, while 29-year-old Nielsen became the first Danish man to win a grand slam title – and Marray is hoping for a similar result when they return to the capital.

Year to remember: Marray (right) with Nielsen after their victory at Wimbledon

Year to remember: Marray (right) with Nielsen after their victory at Wimbledon

'To be able to cap off the season by competing against the world's best doubles teams in front of a home crowd at The O2 in November will be incredible,' Marray told www.atpworldtour.com.

'We had a great run at Wimbledon this summer, so hopefully we can reproduce some of that form in London this November.'

Nielsen said: 'It will be amazing to get the experience of playing at The O2. It's an unbelievable set-up, and an event I never thought I was going to be a part of as a player. So I will enjoy every second and can't wait to get started.'

British duo Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins are currently ninth in the race rankings and could be on the reserve list.

Andy Murray prepares for first appearance since historic US Open win at Japan Open

Murray prepares for first appearance since historic US Open win at Japan Open

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UPDATED:

14:21 GMT, 30 September 2012

Andy Murray is preparing to take to the court in his first match since lifting the US Open, as he looks to defend the Japan Open this week.

Murray ended Britain’s 76-year wait for a men’s grand slam champion when he conquered Novak Djokovic in a thrilling five-set match at Flushing Meadows in September.

Murray, who has already been practising in Tokyo, is preparing to defend his Japan Open crown, starting with Frenchman Gael Monfils in his first match since the historic day New York.

Here he comes: Andy Murray is hoping to defend the Japan Open after arriving in Tokyo for practice

Here he comes: Andy Murray is hoping to defend the Japan Open after arriving in Tokyo for practice

‘It will be a tough first match against Monfils,’ Murray said. ‘I've played him I think five times and lost to him a couple of times. He's a great athlete.’

Not only did Murray take the US Open from Djokovic, he also reached his first Wimbledon final and won two Olympic medals – a gold in the men’s singles and a silver in the mixed-doubles with Laura Robson.

Murray is still hungry for success in Japan, despite his most successful season since joining the men’s tour.

‘Obviously I have good memories (of Tokyo) from last year,’ said the world No 3, who beat Rafa Nadal in a memorable final, losing just four points in a 6-0 third set.

‘It's nice to come back. I'd also like to play well at the Tour Finals in London. I didn't have the chance to do that last year (because of a groin strain).

‘It was a very disappointing way to end the year. I want to make sure I'm 100 per cent fit for that tournament and finish the year well there’

In good shape: Murray looks fit for purpose ahead of his match against Gael Monfils

In good shape: Murray looks fit for purpose ahead of his match against Gael Monfils

In good shape: Murray looks fit for purpose ahead of his match against Gael Monfils

Murray, whose hired former world No 1 Ivan Lendl as coach earlier this year, said he felt stronger mentally, physically and technically than ever.

‘I've probably improved mentally a little bit,” the Scot said with some understatement after finally breaking his grand slam duck.

‘It's very important at my age to make sure you keep trying to learn and get better.

‘I've improved my game. That's the thing I've been the most pleased with this year. With the way men's tennis is now – there is a lot of depth.

‘The top of the men's game is very, very strong so if you want to improve your ranking and win more tournaments you need to keep finding things to improve your game.’

Strike a pose: Murray had time for photographs with South Korean pop group A-peace in Tokyo

Strike a pose: Murray had time for photographs with South Korean pop group A-peace in Tokyo

Murray has done just that under Lendl, avenging his Wimbledon loss to Roger Federer at the London Olympics before beating Djokovic in a pulsating US Open final.

A well-rested Murray arrived early for his Tokyo title defence, flying in from Bangkok on Thursday.

‘I've had a few more days to enjoy the city a bit,’ he said. ‘It's been fun. I've had four or five days complete rest. During the season there's not many times you can do that.’

Murray is also looking forward to playing doubles at the Japan Open after winning that title too with brother Jamie last year.

‘A lot of players at this stage of the year are a bit mentally and physically tired,’ he said. ‘You need to find the best way of managing for the last couple of months of the year.’

No rest: Murray hopes to defend his Japan Open title

No rest: Murray hopes to defend his Japan Open title

Laura Robson progresses in Guangzhou

New British No 1 Robson through in Guangzhou after opponent retires hurt

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UPDATED:

17:44 GMT, 17 September 2012

Laura Robson earned a comfortable passage through to the second round of the WTA Guangzhou International Women's Open after her opponent retired injured in the second set.

Robson, playing in her first match since reaching the fourth round of the US Open, was leading 6-2 3-1 against Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor when the Spaniard was forced to pull out with a thigh problem.

Following her impressive run at Flushing Meadows, the 18-year-old Robson also became the British No 1 for the first time, replacing Heather Watson as she climbed up a place to a 74th in the world. Watson slipped three places to 75th.

On form: Laura Robson is now British No 1 after impressing lately

On form: Laura Robson is now British No 1 after impressing lately

In the second round in Guangzhou, Olympic mixed doubles silver medallist Robson will either play second seed Jie Zheng of China or Yung-Jan Chan of Taiwan.

Also progressing through to the second round today were defending champion and fifth seed Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa, who defeated Chinese wildcard Qiang Wang 6-0 6-3.

Scheepers will next meet Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski, who eased past Hungarian Timea Babos 6-1 6-3.

In today's other first-round matches Mandy Minella of Luxembourg beat France's Pauline Parmentier 7-5 3-6 6-3.

US Open 2012: Laura Robson beats Kim Clijsters

British ace Robson sends Clijsters into retirement after brilliant US Open victory

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UPDATED:

22:40 GMT, 29 August 2012

Laura Robson has pulled off the most remarkable victory of her career after knocking Kim Clijsters out of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.

The British star, 18, saw off the challenge of the Belgian 7-6, 7-6 and in the process ended the career of the former World No 1, who is retiring from the game.

Robson played some of the best tennis of her career against an opponent who is widely recognised as one of the best performers in the US Open of all time.

The 29-year-old, a three-times winner, was unbeaten in her previous 22 matches and the last time she lost a game at this event Robson was only nine.

Robson now progresses to the third round with the victory coming just one month after she lost the mixed doubles final alongside Andy Murray at the London Olympics.

More to follow…

Coming of age: Robson has progressed to the third round after seeing off Clijsters

Coming of age: Robson has progressed to the third round after seeing off Clijsters

Murray and Robson into mixed doubles semi after dispatching Aussie duo

Murray and Robson into mixed doubles semi after dispatching Aussie duo

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UPDATED:

13:16 GMT, 4 August 2012

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Andy Murray and Laura Robson thrilled the Centre Court crowd at Wimbledon by reaching the Olympic mixed doubles semi-finals.

The British pair managed an unexpected victory over Australian opponents, holding their nerve to beat Lleyton Hewitt and Samantha Stosur 6-3, 3-6, 10-8.

The pair looked confident in the opening set but Hewitt and Stosur, both grand slam singles champions, showed their class to level the match.

All smiles: Andy Murray and Laura Robson salute the partisan Centre Court crowd

All smiles: Andy Murray and Laura Robson salute the partisan Centre Court crowd

In tandem: Murray puts away a volley at the net as Robson patrols the baseline

In tandem: Murray puts away a volley at the net as Robson patrols the baseline

The first point of the match tie-break
had to be replayed as a ball girl mistakenly ran across the court when
she wrongly thought the point had finished.

It looked as though victory might slip
away from the British pair, with men's singles finalist Murray letting
out a howl of frustration as he and Robson slipped 7-5 down in the
tie-break.

On a roll: Laura Robson and Andy Murray saw off the challenge of Sam Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt

On a roll: Laura Robson and Andy Murray saw off the challenge of Sam Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt

Down and out: Lleyton Hewit and Sam Stosur react after defeat

Down and out: Lleyton Hewit and Sam Stosur react after defeat

But they pulled it back to secure a
place in a semi-final against Germany's Sabine Lisicki and Christopher
Kas, scheduled to take place later this afternoon.

London 2012 Olympics: Badminton: Eight badminton players disqualified

Booted out! All eight badminton fixers disqualified from Games

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UPDATED:

12:13 GMT, 1 August 2012

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The eight badminton players at the centre of allegations of throwing matches in the women's doubles have been disqualified from the Olympics.

Former British badminton star Gail Emms earlier led calls for the four women's pairs to be kicked out of the Games after a series of deliberate attempts to lose their matches.

She also claimed the referee had been warned before the matches that something 'dodgy' could happen, but the concerns were dismissed.

Controversy: Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari of Indonesia and Jung Eun Ha and Min Jung Kim of Korea are threatened with a 'black card'

Controversy: Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari of Indonesia and Jung Eun Ha and Min Jung Kim of Korea are threatened with a 'black card'

In scenes of farce at Wembley Arena on Tuesday evening, the top seeds from China, two from South Korea and another from Indonesia seemed to want to lose in an attempt to manipulate the draw.

A hearing was held this morning, and all of the athletes involved have since been banned for their part in the scandal.

All eight players had been charged by the Badminton World Federation/BWF with 'not using one's best efforts to win a match' and 'conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport'.

Emms, who won Olympic silver with Nathan Robertson in the mixed doubles in Athens in 2004, was outraged by the conduct and told BBC Radio Five Live: 'This is the Olympic Games, if badminton wants to save face I personally feel they should disqualify the four pairs and re-instate the pairs who came third and fourth in the group and then have a better competition.

'You cannot do this in an Olympic Games, this is something that is not acceptable and it just makes not only our sport but the organisers and the poor crowd who had to watch, who pay good money to watch two matches….it was just disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful.

'I would disqualify them.'

More to follow.

Not amused: Gail Emms has called for the fixers to be disqualified

Not amused: Gail Emms has called for the fixers to be disqualified


Farce: Wang Xiaoli (right) and Yu Yang (left) wanted to avoid playing their compatriots

Farce: Wang Xiaoli (right) and Yu Yang (left) wanted to avoid playing their compatriots


Victors: Kim Ha Na (left) and Jung Kyung Eun (right) eventually won, despite their best efforts

Victors: Kim Ha-na (left) and Jung Kyung-eun (right) eventually won, despite their best efforts


Heated: A coach for Indonesia argues with a court official

Heated: A coach for Indonesia argues with the tournament referee

London 2012 Olympics: Gail Emms calls for Badminton fixers to be kicked out of Games

Kick them out! Former star Emms calls for Badminton's fixers to be disqualified

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UPDATED:

08:48 GMT, 1 August 2012

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Former British badminton star Gail Emms has called for the four women's pairs who apparently tried to throw matches on Tuesday night to be disqualified from the Olympics.

She also claimed the referee had been warned before the matches that something 'dodgy' could happen, but the concerns were dismissed.

In scenes of farce at Wembley Arena on Tuesday evening, a pair from China, two from South Korea and another from Indonesia seemed to want to lose in an attempt to manipulate the draw.

Controversy: Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari of Indonesia and Jung Eun Ha and Min Jung Kim of Korea are threatened with a 'black card'

Controversy: Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari of Indonesia and Jung Eun Ha and Min Jung Kim of Korea are threatened with a 'black card'

The Badminton World Federation confirmed that all four pairs would face charges of 'not using one's best efforts to win a match' and 'conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport'.

A hearing will be held later on Wednesday morning with a decision due to be announced in due course.

But Emms, who won Olympic silver with Nathan Robertson in the mixed doubles in Athens in 2004, told BBC Radio Five Live: 'This is the Olympic Games, if badminton wants to save face I personally feel they should disqualify the four pairs and re-instate the pairs who came third and fourth in the group and then have a better competition.

'You cannot do this in an Olympic Games, this is something that is not acceptable and it just makes not only our sport but the organisers and the poor crowd who had to watch, who pay good money to watch two matches….it was just disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful.

Not amused: Gail Emms has called for the fixers to be disqualified

Not amused: Gail Emms has called for the fixers to be disqualified

'I would disqualify them.'

All four pairs had already qualified for the last eight meaning the only issues at stake were the final placings in the first-round group stage.

The fiasco began when Chinese top seeds Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang started to show little interest in beating Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na to finish top of Group A.

Coming second would have meant avoiding compatriots and second seeds Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei at least until the final.

Tian and Zhao had been sent off their natural path to the final as second seeds by defeat to Denmark's Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen earlier in the day.

Farce: Wang Xiaoli (right) and Yu Yang (left) wanted to avoid playing their compatriots

Farce: Wang Xiaoli (right) and Yu Yang (left) wanted to avoid playing their compatriots

The Koreans responded to China's antics by copying them and referee Thorsten Berg emerged to warn all the players.

The match restarted and the Koreans went on to win 21-14 21-11. The startling statistic revealed the longest rally in the first game had been just four strokes.

The matter did not end there as a second Korean pair, the third seeds Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, then attempted to engineer defeat in their match against Indonesia's Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii.

Their motive was apparent retaliation to avoid Wang and Yu in the quarter-finals, an outcome they failed to achieve as they eventually won 18-21 21-14 21-12.

Victors: Kim Ha Na (left) and Jung Kyung Eun (right) eventually won, despite their best efforts

Victors: Kim Ha-na (left) and Jung Kyung-eun (right) eventually won, despite their best efforts

The Indonesians were not bystanders in the affair either as they responded to the Koreans by trying to lose themselves.

With the crowd getting increasingly restless, Berg again intervened and brandished the black card to disqualify the players.

He quickly rescinded his decision on protest but returned courtside, despite an attempt to restrain him by the Indonesia coach, as the histrionics – now including time-wasting – continued.

Emms also claimed that the referee was warned about the potential for a situation developing in the evening session earlier in the day but dismissed any concerns.

'This point was raised in the lunchtime manager's meeting,' she said. “All the managers got together with the referee and said, 'look, this has happened, in Group D you will find some very dodgy matches going on in the evening because of it' and the referee laughed and said 'oh don't be silly'.

Heated: A coach for Indonesia argues with a court official

Heated: A coach for Indonesia argues with the tournament referee

'And the managers said 'we know the game, we know the players and we know the teams and we know this is going to happen.'

She added: 'Badminton, in the Olympics and in all tournaments across the circuit, it's never played in a group stage, it's always a straight knockout system and for some reason they decided that the Olympic Games in 2012 should be this group stages.

'And as soon as heard that I went 'it's going to bring up match fixing', that was my first thought, and lo and behold last night that is exactly what happened.'