Tag Archives: mixed

Australian Open 2013: Li Na beat Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3

No problems for Li as she ends Radwanska's winning run to secure semi-final spot

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

02:24 GMT, 22 January 2013

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UPDATED:

03:03 GMT, 22 January 2013

Li Na made it through to her third Australian Open semi-final today after halting Agnieszka Radwanska's blistering start to 2013.

Radwanska came into the match having won 13 straight matches, a run which included title wins in Auckland and Sydney, but she had no answer to Li's all-or-nothing game.

The Chinese won 7-5 6-3 despite making 40 unforced errors to advance to a last-four clash with either Maria Sharapova or Ekaterina Makarova.

Into the semis: China's Li Na celebrates after defeating Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in their quarter-final

Into the semis: China's Li Na celebrates after defeating Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in their quarter-final

Centre of attention: Radwanska and Li play out their quarter-final match on the Rod Laver Arena

Centre of attention: Radwanska and Li play out their quarter-final match on the Rod Laver Arena

End of the road: Agnieszka Radwanska could not continue her winning run at the start of 2013

End of the road: Agnieszka Radwanska could not continue her winning run at the start of 2013

In a game of contrasting styles, Radwanska started well with her consistency gaining her the upper hand.

She made Li come through a 12-minute opening game to hold but serving was to prove a disadvantage as there were four consecutive breaks before Li finally stood firm to lead 4-3.

Radwanska edged ahead once more after winning a 26-point rally on break point to move 5-4 up.
She could not consolidate it though as Li promptly hit before claiming a 6-5 lead.

Determined: Li returns a shot to Radwanska during her win over the Pole

Determined: Li returns a shot to Radwanska during her win over the Pole

Li Na

Agnieszka Radwanska

Mixed emotions: Li celebrates as Radwanska looks dejected

Not enough: Radwanska lost in straight sets as she could find no answers to Li

Not enough: Radwanska lost in straight sets as she could find no answers to Li

And the sixth seed, the runner-up here two years ago, took the opening set after the best point of the match, both players moving their opponent around the court before Radwanska was pushed into a corner and failed to return a Li smash.

Radwanska, who has now failed to get past the last eight in Melbourne having reached this stage four times, looked like she was mounting a comeback when she established a 2-0 lead in the second.
But Li simply ramped up her game, going for even more from the baseline.

Respect: Li and Radwanska shake hands after the match

Respect: Li and Radwanska shake hands after the match

And having it got back on serve, she seized the initiative further by going on a nine-point run which helped her to take a 5-2 lead – despite one serve bizarrely flying over Radwanska's head on the full and straight into the stand.

Radwanska held to make Li serve it out and, despite a few wobbles, she came through in one hour and 42 minutes.

Australian Open 2013: David Ferrer beats Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-1, 6-4

Ferrer sees off Japan's Nishikori in three sets as Spaniard eyes first Grand Slam title

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

04:51 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

04:51 GMT, 20 January 2013

Fourth seed David Ferrer used all of his cunning and exploited Kei Nishikori's nagging knee injury to advance to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 victory.

Japan's Nishikori, who had entered the tournament with a knee injury, needed to have his left leg re-strapped in the second set of the two hour, 10-minute match, and his normally fluid movement appeared to be slightly hampered.

Looking good: David Ferrer celebrates winning his fourth round match against Kei Nishikori

Looking good: David Ferrer celebrates winning his fourth round match against Kei Nishikori

David Ferrer

Kei Nishikori

Mixed emotions: David Ferrer celebrates a point as Kei Nishikori looks dejected

Baseline specialist Ferrer took full advantage of the 16th seed's injury, working him around the court and waiting for the 23-year-old to make one of his 65 errors, though the Japanese number one did put up some resistance in the third set.

The Spaniard will next play the winner of the fourth round encounter between eighth-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic or 10th seeded compatriot Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals.

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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Roberto Mancini still searching for a "Plan B" as Manchester City slip up again on Wearside

Mancini still looking for 'Plan B' as Man City slip up again on Wearside

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UPDATED:

23:20 GMT, 26 December 2012

Manchester City's afternoon finished with Joleon Lescott at centre forward, Joe Hart pitching up for two added-time corners and City coach Brian Kidd on the touchline. All are signs of tension, and yesterday, not good signs.

As City pushed in vain for an equaliser, Kidd will have heard the comeback news from Old Trafford with familiar bewilderment. Everyone did. Then the final whistle blew and Roberto Mancini stood apart, literally, with a thousand-yard stare and a seven-point deficit. There had been no release.

Out of touch: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (right)

Out of touch: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (right)

City had lost again on Wearside. The champions of England have it all to do if their fans are to sing that line this time next year.

The 'champions' song had got an early airing at the Stadium of Light, along with an un-witty ditty about Robin van Persie.

But by five o'clock City fans bore silent witness to their first away defeat since April. The noise from United must have disturbed them as much as their team's frustration and while Mancini played down the significance of one day in a 38-game campaign, the halfway mark comparison with last season is revealing.

City are not just seven points off United, they are six points short of their own tally of a year ago. Then they arrived at Sunderland top of the table, with a first title in 44 years to chase but lost 1-0 to Ji Dong-won's 90th-minute goal.

Mixed message: Defender Joleon Lescott finished the game upfront

Mixed message: Defender Joleon Lescott finished the game upfront

An appealing contrast yesterday should have been that they had time to recover from Adam Johnson's 53rd-minute strike, which had so embarrassed Hart and led to him seeking late atonement.

But City couldn't level matters. They don't look like the rising force they were 12 months ago; they look like they are searching. Mancini blamed 'soft' attacking, a reference to Sergio Aguero's 70th-minute chance and an earlier one for David Silva, both saved by Simon Mignolet. Mancini's lack of panic was understandable. City flowed for the opening 20 minutes, Mignolet's importance to the home win tells a story and Aguero and Carlos Tevez showed a great understanding.

Yet before kick-off Kolo Toure had sounded concerns about City requiring a 'Plan B' when faced by opponents who sit deep. That followed Saturday's stoppage-time winner from Gareth Barry to beat Reading.

Adam family: Johnson returned to haunt his old club

Adam family: Johnson returned to haunt his old club

But Toure cannot have been talking about throwing on Lescott in the 89th minute as a regular viable alternative. Lescott replaced midfielder Javi Garcia, whose performance was neither energetic nor creative.

City must have both in places like this, but Yaya Toure displayed only flashes of his authority. Privately, he'd probably like some help.

But this wasn't all about City. The teamsheet sparked a legitimate debate as to which Sunderland players would get on the City bench, never mind the first XI. Johnson came from that bench. Yesterday he reminded City of his talent. Johnson's new manager, Martin O'Neill, did the same.

Mikel Arteta disappointed as Arsenal draw in Schalke

Mixed emotions for Arteta as Arsenal throw away Champions League lead in Schalke

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UPDATED:

22:22 GMT, 6 November 2012

Mikel Arteta had mixed feelings after Arsenal's Champions League draw away to Schalke.

Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud gave the Gunners a 2-0 lead in the Group B clash in the Veltins Arena but Klaas Jan Huntelaar pulled a goal back before the interval and Jefferson Farfan's second-half goal earned the German side a point.

Arteta told Sky Sports 2: 'Considering we were 2-0 up, it can't be good for us. We had the last chance too with Theo.

Blow: Arsenal let a two-goal lead slip against Schalke in their Champions League clash

Blow: Arsenal let a two-goal lead slip against Schalke in their Champions League clash

Net gains: Vermaelen gets the final touch on Schalke's equaliser after 67 minutes

Net gains: Vermaelen gets the final touch on Schalke's equaliser after 67 minutes

'We were unlucky to concede just before half-time. It was a completely different game, but that happened. 'But this is not an easy place to come. We'll take the point.'

Walcott echoed those sentiments and said: 'It was a good point in the end. It would have been a fantastic victory, they dominated the second half but we defended quite strongly.

On target: Walcott, a surprise starter in Germany, opened the scoring

On target: Walcott, a surprise starter in Germany, opened the scoring

'We'll try to win our last couple of games and as long as we do that, we'll get into the next round.'

On his late opportunity to snatch all three points, the England forward said: 'I did all I could – the ball got stuck to my feet, I just couldn't get it out.'

Manager Arsene Wenger was pleased with his side's improvement compared to their limp defeat against Manchester United on Saturday.

Fair: Wenger was satisfied with Arsenal's response in Schalke after losing against Manchester United

Fair: Wenger was satisfied with Arsenal's response in Schalke after losing against Manchester United

He told Sky Sports 2: 'With all the stick we got after Saturday's game, it was important to show a good response and I think we did that.

'It was a difficult game – a good one as well, both teams played very well.

'It was unfortunate that we conceded that goal before half-time, and in the last minute we had the chance for 3-2, but overall I think a draw was fair.

'At 2-0 you have not won the game in the Champions League. German teams have physical quality and technical quality and they never give up, so I never felt the game was over.'

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

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

Wigan 0 Chelsea 2 match report: Eden Hazard stars for Blues

Wigan 0 Chelsea 2: Hazard warning for rivals as Blues make winning start

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UPDATED:

14:21 GMT, 19 August 2012

Eden Hazard was Chelsea's star as the European Champions made a winning start to their Barclays Premier League campaign, beating Wigan 2-0 at the DW Stadium.

Roberto Di Matteo's side flew out of the traps and were in front after just two minutes when Branislav Ivanovic fired home after being played in by Hazard.

And the lead was doubled after Hazard was hauled down inside the box and Frank Lamopard converted from the penalty spot.

More to follow…

Off to a flyer: Chelsea made a winning start to their season against Wigan at the DW Stadium

Off to a flyer: Chelsea made a winning start to their season against Wigan at the DW Stadium

Match Facts

Wigan: Al Habsi, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Ramis, Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Figueroa, Maloney (Gomez 49), Di Santo (Kone 67), Moses.

Subs not used: Pollitt, Jones, Crusat, Ben Watson, Boselli.

Booked: Caldwell, McArthur

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Lampard, Mikel, Eden Hazard (Oscar 64), Mata, Bertrand, Torres.

Subs not used: Turnbull, Essien, Ferreira, Meireles, Sturridge, Cahill.

Goals: Ivanovic 2, Lampard 7 pen.

Booked: Luiz.

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

Check out all the latest, stats, facts and table from the Premier League

Bran the man: Ivanovic fires the Bluues in front in just the second minute

Bran the man: Ivanovic fires the Bluues in front in just the second minute

Bran the man: Ivanovic fires the Bluues in front in just the second minute

Down he goes: Hazard is upended in the box and Lampard converts the resulting penalty (below)

Down he goes: Hazard is upended in the box and Lampard converts the resulting penalty (below)

Down he goes: Hazard is upended in the box and Lampard converts the resulting penalty (below)

Mixed emotions: Torres endured a tough day while Hazard was the star of the show

Mixed emotions: Torres endured a tough day while Hazard was the star of the show

Mixed emotions: Torres endured a tough day while Hazard was the star of the show

Title contenders: Chelsea have made a number of additions this summer to play alongside their established stars

Title contenders: Chelsea have made a number of additions this summer to play alongside their established stars

Title contenders: Chelsea have made a number of additions this summer to play alongside their established stars

Title contenders: Chelsea have made a number of additions this summer to play alongside their established stars

Andy Flower faces biggest test over Kevin Pietersen conundrum

Flower faces biggest test over the Pietersen conundrum as England prepare to gamble

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UPDATED:

09:44 GMT, 8 August 2012

How has it possibly come to this How have England found themselves in a situation where they will approach a Test they must win with all attention centred not on how they will beat South Africa but on the future of Kevin Pietersen

No wonder Andy Flower has not seemed himself during what was meant to be the clash of the best Test teams for the world No 1 status. All has not seemed right with England during this vital series and now we know why.

Make no mistake, Flower faces the biggest challenge of his highly successful reign as England team director in sorting this one out. How on earth does he ensure that his team are focused on winning at Lord’s next week when such an integral member of the side has become so disenfranchised

It does look as though England will pick Pietersen for the do-or-die date and will still offer him a contract to remain playing Test cricket beyond this season, even though Pietersen said so dramatically at Headingley that he cannot guarantee his future participation.

A man apart: Pietersen (right) keeps his distance from Trott, Bell and Strauss

A man apart: Pietersen (right) keeps his distance from Trott, Bell and Strauss

It is understandable they still want to select a man who can raise his game to such a rarefied level, as he did spectacularly in the second Test, but at what cost would that be to the continued success of the team who rose so impressively to the top of the world It is proving a rocky ride at the top for England.

I feel as though I know Pietersen as well as anybody in the media but even I am confused. I just cannot put my finger on what his problem is. Take a look at the cricinfo website and watch the seven-minute press conference Pietersen gave late on Monday in Leeds and tell me if you can make sense of it.

Pietersen clearly did not want to give much away on what is gnawing at him but all he succeeded in doing was to send out a catalogue of mixed messages. It’s not about the money, he insisted. It’s not really about spending more time with his family. As Matt Prior said on Sunday: ‘I’m not sure Kevin really knows what he wants.’

Pietersen kept saying all will be revealed after Lord’s and we can only hope it is.

There certainly seems tension between him and the other England players, which I do not think has been the case until now. He seemed happier to spend time with the South African players than he did the England ones when both teams were on the outfield. And his priority when he reached the best of his 21 Test centuries on Saturday was clearly acknowledging his wife, Jessica, in the stands rather than the home dressing room.

Explosive: Pietersen gives his interview to Jonathan Agnew after the Headingley Test

Explosive: Pietersen gives his interview to Jonathan Agnew after the Headingley Test

It is even said that part of Pietersen’s problem is his fury over the fake Twitter account which parodies his ego, one that is often so cuttingly believable that someone close to the team must be behind it. Pietersen does not see the funny side and apparently has not liked being teased over it.

His relationship with his employers at the ECB, which plummeted when he lost the captaincy three years ago over the Peter Moores saga, is at an all-time low, too. Towards the end of that press conference Pietersen accused the ECB of leaking details of private meetings, specifically his hopes of missing part of next year’s Test series against New Zealand to play a full Indian Premier League campaign.

That is a serious accusation and Flower and Hugh Morris, the man in charge of Team England, will have to decide whether things have become so bad that Pietersen’s position is untenable. Clearly they do not believe it has yet but there are sure to be more tense meetings before Sunday’s announcement of England’s team for the final Test.

Maybe we can also see now why England attempted to rush Ravi Bopara back into the Lions side for the game against Australia A at Old Trafford so soon after the domestic issue surfaced which led him to pull out of the second Test. Perhaps they were hoping to prove Bopara’s readiness to be rushed back at Lord’s if England suddenly needed another batsman in Pietersen’s absence.

That went out of the window when Bopara pulled out of that side at the last moment following an animated conversation with national selector Geoff Miller.

On the attack: Pietersen in IPL action for Royal Challengers Bangalore

On the attack: Pietersen in IPL action for Royal Challengers Bangalore

England talked of creating a legacy as one of the best teams of all time when they rose to No 1 by thrashing India last year. Yet they have lost five out of 10 Tests since and will lose that top-dog status if they do not beat the formidable South Africans at Lord’s. With a winter series in India to come they could be sliding back towards mid-table if they are not careful.

Will Pietersen be with them this winter in his favourite cricketing country It is anybody’s guess. What is beyond doubt is that it would be a crying shame if this is the end of his seven-year rollercoaster ride with his adopted country. Mike Atherton, one of the most respected observers in the game, said it is difficult to imagine anyone scoring a better century than the one Pietersen produced at Leeds.

Does he really want to give all that up when he is one century away from the England Test record of 22 and 3,000 runs short of his 10,000 target And all because he wants to play in the whole of the IPL, and earn his full $2million contract with Delhi, as the leading players from other countries are allowed to do.

The ECB are adamant they will not compromise their early season Test series even though we know the Kiwis will arrive next May with a team shorn of their IPL players.

Can something give It is doubtful but Flower will not want to give up on a batsman capable, to quote the fake Twitter KP, of genuine cricketing genius. It will be a gamble if England pick Pietersen next week and beyond but it is one they are prepared to take.

London 2012 Olympics: Andy Murray and Laura Robson lose mixed doubles

Murray denied second gold medal as Belarusians fight back in mixed doubles final

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UPDATED:

17:47 GMT, 5 August 2012

Andy Murray and Laura Robson were beaten by Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi in the mixed doubles final.

Murray had earlier raced to a straight-sets win over Roger Federer to win gold in the men's singles before teaming up with Robson against the No 1 seeds.

The Brits took the first set but lost the second and were beaten in the champions tie break.

More to follow…

Golden glory: Britain's Laura Robson and Andy Murray were unable to win the mixed doubles final

Golden glory: Britain's Laura Robson and Andy Murray were unable to win the mixed doubles final


Net gains: Murray looks to he heavens after beating Roger Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in the men's singles

Net gains: Murray looks to he heavens after beating Roger Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in the men's singles

Flying the flag: The British No 1 parades his gold medal to the delight of the home support

Flying the flag: The British No 1 parades his gold medal to the delight of the home support