Tag Archives: novak

ATP Monte Carlo Masters – Rafael Nadal beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic beats Fabio Fognini in semis

Serving up a classic Djokovic and Nadal to meet in mouthwatering Monte Carlo final

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

17:40 GMT, 20 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:01 GMT, 20 April 2013

Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal will lock horns with world No 1 Novak Djokovic for third time in the Monte Carlo Masters final after both sailed through their semi-finals with relative ease on Saturday.

Nadal was given a fight by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga before the Spaniard won 6-3, 7-6 but Djokovic was dominant in a 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of Italian showman Fabio Fognini.

Former world No 1 Nadal, looking for his fourth title of the year in only his fifth event since returning from a long-standing knee injury, clinched a 46th consecutive victory at the traditional clay court event alongside the Mediterranean.

Winning run: Rafael Nadal beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets in his semi-final

Winning run: Rafael Nadal beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets in his semi-final

Serving up a classic: Nadal will play Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday in Monte Carlo

Serving up a classic: Nadal will play Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday in Monte Carlo

The final against Djokovic will give a further measure of Nadal’s physical condition as he eyes the French Open, especially as the Serb is showing no sign of being worried by the ankle he twisted while on Davis Cup duty two weeks ago.

‘It’s fantastic to be in a fifth final in a row after seven months out,’ Nadal said. ‘Novak always pushes you to the limits.’

Djokovic, who has branded Nadal ‘the ultimate challenge on clay’, will hope to improve on his previous Monte Carlo finals against Nadal. He was beaten 6-3, 6-1 in the final last year and in three sets in 2009.

Looking to the heavens: Nadal beat the Frenchman Tsonga 6-3, 7-6

Looking to the heavens: Nadal beat the Frenchman Tsonga 6-3, 7-6

Smashing effort: Tsonga put up a fight in the second set but couldn't force a decider

Smashing effort: Tsonga put up a fight in the second set but couldn't force a decider

‘I will have to be at the top of my game. I’m ready for it. I know what I need to do,’ said Djokovic, who was pleased to have spent only 52 minutes on the court.

‘I had enough tests already this week so I’m happy I can be fresh,’ said the Serb, who was pushed to three sets in his first two matches.

Nadal set up a 16th tournament final against Djokovic despite a wobble from 5-1 up in the second set when Tsonga produced a late surge to make a match of it. Neither the cold wind gusting off the sea, nor the inconsistent Tsonga managed to upset a solid Nadal, who has made the Centre Court stage his own since 2005.

Drubbing: Novak Djokovic beat Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-1 in his semi-final in Monte Carlo

Drubbing: Novak Djokovic beat Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-1 in his semi-final in Monte Carlo

Drubbing: Novak Djokovic beat Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-1 in his semi-final in Monte Carlo

Sixth seed Tsonga made too many mistakes from the baseline as Nadal took a stranglehold on the match. However, a change of tactics when he began charging the net briefly unsettled Nadal to the delight of the previously subdued French crowd.

He attacked in waves and saved four match points to force a tie-break before running out off steam and allowing Nadal to take the match and avoid a third set.

Fognini played some crowd-pleasing winners against Djokovic but was no match for the ruthless Serb who was in no mood to mess around on the centre court.

The 32nd-ranked Italian, who has enjoyed a huge support this week at a stadium located just kilometres away from his home, offered little fight and was booed off court after only 50 minutes by the restless crowd.

Australian Open: Andy Murray hails Novak Djokovic"s incredible record

Murray hails Djokovic's 'incredible' Australian Open record after four-set defeat

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

13:08 GMT, 27 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:08 GMT, 27 January 2013

Andy Murray paid tribute to Novak Djokovic after losing in the Australian Open final on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.

The Serb was too hot to handle for Murray in the third and fourth sets as he ran out 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-2 in Melbourne.

Djokovic sealed his fourth Australian Open title and Murray praised the champion's 'incredible' record Down Under in the post-match presentation.

Beaten: Andy Murray had no answer to Novak Djokovic's onslaught in the third and fourth sets

Beaten: Andy Murray had no answer to Novak Djokovic's onslaught in the third and fourth sets

'I would like to congratulate Novak – his record here is incredible,' said Murray.

'Very few people have managed to do what
he has done here. He is a very well-deserved champion.

'To his team… I know you can't do this on your own and he has great people around him.

'I'd like to thank my team – they've done a great job with me.'

Force: Djokovic was too good in the end for Murray as the Brit was forced to settle for the runners-up trophy

Force: Djokovic was too good in the end for Murray as the Brit was forced to settle for the runners-up trophy

Force: Djokovic was too good in the end for Murray as the Brit was forced to settle for the runners-up trophy

Djokovic, who lost the US Open final to Murray, responded: 'I have to thank Andy for his kind words.

'We have played so many thrilling
matches over the last few years. Bad luck tonight and I wish you luck
for the rest of the season.

'What a joy. It's an incredible
feeling winning this trophy again. It's definitely my favourite grand
slam, my most successful grand slam. I love this court.'

Champion: Djokovic claimed his fourth Australian Open title with the four-set win

Champion: Djokovic claimed his fourth Australian Open title with the four-set win

Champion: Djokovic claimed his fourth Australian Open title with the four-set win

Missed chances: Murray won the first set but failed to take three break points early in the second

Missed chances: Murray won the first set but failed to take three break points early in the second

Fighter: Djokovic was on the ropes in the opening part of the match but he eventually wore Murray down

Fighter: Djokovic was on the ropes in the opening part of the match but he eventually wore Murray down

Hampered Murray had treatment for blisters

Hampered Murray had treatment for blisters

Edge: Djokovic has won his last three matches against Murray since the US Open final

Edge: Djokovic has won his last three matches against Murray since the US Open final

Edge: Djokovic has won his last three matches against Murray since the US Open final


Repeat: It was the second time Djokovic played Murray in the Australian Open final after the Serb won in straight sets in 2011

Repeat: It was the second time Djokovic played Murray in the Australian Open final after the Serb won in straight sets in 2011

Winner: Djokovic also beat Murray in the semi finals last year

Winner: Djokovic also beat Murray in the semi finals last year


Too good: A Murray fan looks glum as the Scot couldn't live with Djokovic

Too good: A Murray fan looks glum as the Scot couldn't live with Djokovic

Brad Gilbert: Even after a four hour bout with Federer, Murray will edge out Djokovic too

Even after a four hour bout with Federer, Murray will edge out Djokovic too

By
Brad Gilbert

PUBLISHED:

01:12 GMT, 26 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:16 GMT, 26 January 2013

After a four-hour match against Roger Federer, Andy Murray has a day less to prepare for the final than Novak Djokovic. But Andy is a very fit guy, and I’m not sure it makes that much difference.

It is not like the US Open where there is no rest day at all. Djokovic will know he had a cakewalk in the semis against David Ferrer; that will give him a little edge.

He made the world No 4 look like the No 100. He has won this title three times before. It is his most successful major.

Andy Murray has cut down on his tantrums and become far more focused on court

Head in the game: Andy Murray has cut down on his tantrums and become far more focused on court

He has a day less to rest and prepare for the final than Djokovic

Ice bath: He has a day less to rest and prepare for the final than Djokovic

Andy is playing as well as I have ever seen him. His serve is more accurate and heavy than before and his forehand is improved, too.

A few years ago, a lot of Andy’s game was about great defence, amazing movement and his backhand. But watching him against Federer, I was thinking it has been quite some transformation as his serve and forehand were the dominant shots.

He’s much more aggressive now and he’s not relying on defence any more.

He still has that in his locker but he’s much more attacking. It is partly down to confidence. He’s hitting a lot more winners. He served 21 aces against Federer, more than four times as many as the Swiss.

To have served only two double faults in the tournament is incredible. He will need to keep up that level as he is playing the world’s best returner.

Before, he too often was getting only 55 per cent of his first serves in. Now it’s 10 per cent higher. He can be freer on the court and take more risks.

Federer was gracious in defeat and admitted Murray outplayed him and deserved to win

Honest: Federer was gracious in defeat and admitted Murray outplayed him and deserved to win

His attitude is better, too. After that altercation in the fourth set with the umpire, he didn’t lose focus or mutter to his support team. He went and won the fifth instead.

It’s great watching him focusing on his tennis rather than getting distracted during matches.

Unfortunately for Andy, Djokovic does not have a weakness. His serve and forehand are also better than they have ever been.

Murray's serve demolished Federer for most of the match

Weapon: Murray's serve demolished Federer for most of the match

The pair are mirror images of each other and the world’s two best players at the moment. It will come down to who executes the big points best.

What will also be key is who can defend their second serve better. Andy showed resolve in his US Open final win against Djokovic. I’m sure that came from talking to Ivan Lendl about his experiences at the top.

I don’t think you’ll see the same probing rallies as in New York but more attacking, shorter rallies. It will be cool, which slows the court, too.

This match is what we call in American football a 'pick-em' – it's too close to call.

My hunch, though, is that Murray will edge it.

After looking rocking against Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic cruised past David Ferrer

Warning signs: After looking rocking against Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic cruised past David Ferrer

Andy Murray v Roger Federer LIVE AUSTRALIAN OPEN

LIVE: Murray v Federer – the action from the Australian Open semi-final as it happens

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

00:01 GMT, 25 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:16 GMT, 25 January 2013

Andy Murray is aiming to win his second Grand Slam title in Australia, but first he must navigate his way past old foe Roger Federer in the semi-final in Melbourne.

The pair have had their fair share of entertaining clashes and we look set for another today with Novak Djokovic lying in wait for the winner ahead of Sunday's final.

You can follow all the action here and get in touch by e-mailing [email protected]

8.15am: Although Murray leads Federer 10-9 on the head-to-head record, the Scot has never beaten the former world No 1 in a grand slam. Most recently, he was defeated in the Wimbledon final.

Murray did however earn revenge at the Olympics, winning the gold medal match in London.

8.10am: The temperature has dropped to around 20C in Melbourne as the opening slam of the season draws to a close. The two semi-finalists won't be on court before 8.30am UK time.

8am: Welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of Andy Murray's semi-final against Roger Federer.

One step away: Andy Murray must get past Roger Federer to make his third grand slam final in a row

One step away: Andy Murray must get past Roger Federer to make his third grand slam final in a row

Australian Open 2012: Novak Djokovic reached quarter-finals after beating Stanislas Wawrinka in five sets

Djokovic survives scare from Swiss No 2 Wawrinka as he comes through early morning marathon

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

14:43 GMT, 20 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:07 GMT, 20 January 2013

It was 1.42am when we saw the shirt ripped off and Novak Djokovic reveal that increasingly familiar torso – the sight which says: ‘You just can’t beat me’.

Stanislas Wawrinka had played like a raging bull for five hours and two minutes, cutting and thrusting with a brutal forehand and elegant backhand. Still it was not enough to finish off a competitor whose spirit makes him stand alongside the greats of the game.

An astonishing half-volleyed paddle at a sharp angle delivered the final blow and Djokovic had made it into the last eight of the Australian Open with a 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 12-10 victory against the No 15 seed.

Time to relax: Novak Djokovic tweeted this picture of his post-match massage after seeing off Stanislas Wawrinka in an epic five-setter

Time to relax: Novak Djokovic tweeted this picture of his post-match massage after seeing off Stanislas Wawrinka in an epic five-setter

 Djokovic celebrated in his usual manner, ripping his shirt off after taking the fifth set 12-10

Winner: Djokovic celebrated in his usual manner, ripping his shirt off after taking the fifth set 12-10

It took until the early hours of the morning for Djokovic and Wawrinka to complete their five-set marathon

Tired: It took until the early hours of the morning for these two to complete their five-set marathon

Wawrinka won the fourth set tie-break and broke early in the second set, but Djokovic came back to win

Wawrinka won the fourth set tie-break and broke early in the second set, but Djokovic came back to win

So close: Wawrinka won the fourth set tie-break and broke early in the second set, but Djokovic came back to win

The Swiss had been given a fairly easy ride so far, but the World No 1 was always going to be a tough challenge

Shock to the system: The Swiss had been given a fairly easy ride so far, but the World No 1 was always going to be a tough challenge

January is not done, but already there
is a contender for match of the year and, unquestionably, the match of
the year’s first Grand Slam. The 25 year-old Serb is through to face
Tomas Berdych and how much of a toll this has taken remains to be seen.

Last year he managed to rebound from a
match of four hours, 50 minutes against Andy Murray in the last four to
overcome Rafael Nadal and win the final in five hours, 53 minutes. So
there is no reason for the 27-year-old Czech powerhouse to think that
some of the work has been done for him.

Murray’s effort in the US Open final,
when he emphatically put Djokovic away in the fifth set and caused him
to severely cramp, was left looking all the more impressive by the
Serb’s typical refusal to submit and the way his body held up.

The 25-year-old Scot was this morning
due to play Gilles Simon, who featured in another late-night epic on
Saturday against compatriot Gael Monfils, although that was not in the
same bracket of quality as this five- part drama.

Wawrinka, Switzerland’s eternal
bridesmaid to Roger Federer, did everything but win this match and again
showed that he is capable of causing extreme discomfort to the very
best players if they are slightly below their top level.

The Serb is attempting to win his third consecutive Australian Open, which no man has managed before

Big dreams: The Serb is attempting to win his third consecutive Australian Open, which no man has managed before

There were five deuces in Wawrinka's final service game, and the Swiss played a stunning final rally, but Djokovic was just too good

There were five deuces in Wawrinka's final service game, and the Swiss played a stunning final rally, but Djokovic was just too good

Shattered: There were five deuces in Wawrinka's final service game, and the Swiss played a stunning final rally, but Djokovic was just too good

Djokovic felt that his experience of
these situations was the difference. ‘In the end these kind of matches
help your confidence, they are what you live for and practise for,’ he
said.

‘I had a flashback of the 2012 finals.
I feel sorry that one of us had to lose, but I am just thrilled that I
was able to fight up until the last moment.’

That Wawrinka cannot quite deliver the
knockout punch explains why he has spent much of his career just
outside the top 10. ‘It was the best match I have ever played and the
worst I’ve ever felt afterwards,’ he said. ‘I fought like a dog.’ He
will look upon the four break points he created at 4-4 in the deciding
set and ponder how he failed to make one count, particularly the last of
them.

That was when he drilled an unplayable
service return onto the baseline only for the line judge to mistakenly
call it out. Wawrinka had one Hawkeye challenge left but neglected to
use it. Umpire Enrique Molina declined to over-rule and his foe escaped.

Whether he would have gone on to serve
out the match we will never know and such is Djokovic’s capacity to get
himself out of scrapes that it cannot be assumed.

Djokovic has won the last two titles
here and, with the exception of September’s defeat in New York, not
lost in one of the hard-court Grand Slams since 2010.

Djokovic will face Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarters, after Berdych beat South African Kevin Anderson in straight sets

Quarter-finals: Djokovic will face Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarters, after Berdych beat South African Kevin Anderson in straight sets

had Wawrinka challenged a call, he would have been serving for the match

Lucky: had Wawrinka challenged a call, he would have been serving for the match

The final set ended as the clock approached 2am in Australia

The final set ended as the clock approached 2am in Australia

Exhausting: The final set ended as the clock approached 2am in Australia

It took more than five hours for the pair to finish their match in the Australian heat

Thrilling: It took more than five hours for the pair to finish their match in the Australian heat

His game is perfectly suited to absorb
what is thrown at him in this environment and the barrel-chested
Wawrinka hurled everything he could.

By the end it seemed a distant detail
that Djokovic had hardly helped himself by coming out with a defective
pair of shoes that caused him to slip all over the place in the first
set when faced with Wawrinka’s devastating start.

The Swiss took the first set in 25
minutes and served for the second at 5-3, by which time one of the
Serb’s gophers had brought him some new footwear. By then Wawrinka’s
certainty had faded and it could have all been over in the fourth set
but, unusually, his trademark backhand was more than backed up by
everything else in his game.

Only in the 24th game of the fifth set
did he crack and Djokovic clinched it on a third match point to the
delight of a Melbourne crowd who, not for the first time here, had
ignored thoughts of work to come later in the day.

Roger Federer is on in the same late
evening slot today against the powerful Canadian Milos Raonic as he
attempts to reach his 35th consecutive quarter final at a Grand Slam.

He will do so knowing that big danger still lurks in the other side of the draw – as hard to put away as ever.

Andy Murray is as fast as Usain Bolt over first 10 metres

Murray is as fast as 100m world record holder Bolt… well, over the first 10 metres

saw Murray's confidence soar with victories in the Olympics and the US Open” class=”blkBorder” />

On a roll: 2012 saw Murray's confidence soar with victories in the Olympics and the US Open

His peak condition will come in useful over the next two weeks at the Australian Open, with high temperatures sure to add strain to what is already an exhausting tournament.

Last year’s final was only seven minutes shy of six hours as Nadal and Djokovic battled it out, and it wasn’t the first time that the Slam has seen a match last longer than five hours.

The tournament kicks off on Monday, with Murray seeded third and seeking his second Grand Slam title. Robin Hasse, ranked 54th in the world, will be the first obstacle in the Scot’s way.

With Rafael Nadal absent due to a virus and Novak Djokovic in the other side of the draw, Roger Federer is the biggest threat to Murray’s chances of making the final. The pair could meet in the semis, but before that Murray may have to overcome sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro.

Rafael Nadal preparing for comeback

Nadal not focused on results as former world No 1 prepares for comeback

|

UPDATED:

11:35 GMT, 22 December 2012

Rafael Nadal will not worry about results as he makes his latest comeback from persistent knee problems.

The 26-year-old Spaniard won the French Open this year but missed the last six months of the season after playing at Wimbledon when he knew he was not fully fit.

Now he is ready to return at an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi next week, although he admits his knee is still not 100 per cent and his focus is not on results.

Coming back: Nadal in action against Thomaz Bellucci during Wimbledon in June

Coming back: Nadal in action against Thomaz Bellucci during Wimbledon in June

'I am not nervous,' he told The Times. 'The only thing is the knee.

'The rest of the things – I can play better, I can play worse – it doesn't matter how I play tennis in the next month or month and a half.

'For me my goal is not Abu Dhabi, it is not Doha, it is not the Australian Open – my goal is to try to be fit, to be 100 per cent recovered with my knee and 100 per cent fit in my personal performance by Indian Wells and Miami [in March], to try to arrive to Monte Carlo and the clay-court season in good shape.'

He added: 'It will take time. The people have to know when you are outside of the competitions and haven't played for a long time, you will have problems to come back to your best.'

Wary: Nadal admitted his troublesome knee is not yet 100 per cent

Wary: Nadal admitted his troublesome knee is not yet 100 per cent

Since Nadal last swung a racket in anger, there is a new grand-slam winner on the scene with Andy Murray having beaten Novak Djokovic in the US Open final shortly after seeing off Roger Federer to win Olympic gold.

It was not east at Flushing Meadows, as Djokovic roared back from two sets down to level at 2-2, but Murray held his nerve to win the trophy as Nadal felt he would.

'I really thought Andy would win because the tennis owed him something,' said Nadal. 'That was my feeling.

'The Olympics was a big change and with the calm of winning that at home, you go to a grand-slam final and you feel that Andy, before the match, believed he was favourite.

'If you really believe in yourself, it doesn't matter if you were leading by two sets to love and the opponent comes back.'

London 2012 Olympics ticket farce exposed

Just ONE ticket made available to paying public as Team GB stars win silver during Olympics

|

UPDATED:

17:37 GMT, 19 December 2012

The full extent of the ticketing farce at the London Olympics has been exposed by the publication of a full review of the ticketing programme.

The dense 976-page document highlights the gross number of tickets available to the 'Olympic family' compared to the relatively few available to the paying public for the most popular events and sessions.

Extraordinarily, there was a sailing finals day on August 9 – the day Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell won silver in the men's 470 – where 851 tickets went to sponsors and only one single ticket was available to the public.

Farce: Despite demand for tickets there were empty seats at the Olympic Games

Farce: Despite demand for tickets there were empty seats at the Olympic Games

Furthermore, for Danny Boyle's iconic opening ceremony – one of the most in-demand tickets of the fortnight – only 44 per cent of the tickets were available to the public while 66 per cent went to the Olympic family.

On the day in the velodrome when Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Phillip Hindes won the men's sprint final, only 43 per cent of tickets were available to the public.

During Novak Djokovic's opening Olympic match on Centre Court at Wimbledon, 97 per cent of the available seats on court were given to the Olympic family.

Empty seats were one of the few negatives of a successful Olympics, with atmospheres at too many venues dented by swathes of empty seats allocated by the IOC but not taken up by sponsors.

New balls: Ninety-seven per cent of seats during Djokovic's match were given to the Olympic family

New balls: Ninety-seven per cent of seats during Djokovic's match were given to the Olympic family

In total 10.99 million tickets were sold out of a total 11.3 million tickets available. 8.21 million of these tickets were Olympic Games tickets and 2.78 million were Paralympic tickets.

A total of 659 million was raised for LOCOG's operating budget to stage the Games. 319,000 tickets (263,000 Olympic and 55,000 Paralympic) were unsold, the majority of these being early rounds for Olympic Football.

76.3 per cent of all Olympic and 91 per cent of all Paralympic tickets were sold through the UK application process against a target of 75 per cent. This amounted to an unprecedented 8.8 million tickets sold.

Hull 2 Huddersfield 0 match report

Hull 2 Huddersfield 0: Bruce keeps Tigers flying high with comfortable victory

|

UPDATED:

00:23 GMT, 16 December 2012

Hull manager Steve Bruce is determined to get justice for his son Alex after his side’s win over Huddersfield ended in controversy.

The defender was sent off after the full-time whistle when he shoved Huddersfield striker Alan Lee in retaliation for an off-the-ball incident, and a melee ensued on the pitch and in the tunnel.

Bruce senior is determined the right person is punished, though, and took a DVD of the incident into the post-match press conference to show reporters footage of Lee aiming a forearm smash into the face of his son. ‘We are appealing his red, you can understand why,’

Party time: Hull celebrate taking the lead against Huddersfield

Party time: Hull celebrate taking the lead against Huddersfield

Match facts

Hull: Stockdale, Elmohamady, Chester, Hobbs, Bruce, Brady (Rosenior 81), Evans (Cairney 63), Meyler, Koren (Faye 90), Quinn, Simpson.

Subs Not Used: Jakupovic, Mclean, Olofinjana, Proschwitz.

Booked: Quinn, Meyler.

Goals: Koren 8,Meyler 90.

Huddersfield: Smithies,Hunt,Peter Clarke,Gerrard,Lynch,Clayton,
Norwood (Lee 70),Southern,Ward (Atkinson 60), Novak (Beckford 60),Vaughan.

Subs Not Used: Bennett, Woods, Hammill, Wallace.

Booked: Southern.

Att: 16,488

Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

The latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Bruce said. ‘I knew there must have been something in it for him to react like that. I thought it was cowardly by Alan Lee.

‘I thought more of him, I have had a pint of Guinness with him, I have played his guitar and I thought more of him.

‘Cheat is the right word for him. I
don’t use that lightly but that’s the right word for him. He’s
15-and-a-half stone and he went down like that.

‘That has ruined the day. We had the best referee in the country in Howard Webb and I have spoken to him.

'He will report it and hopefully there
is some justice. Alex is wrong with his retaliation, but he only pushes
him in the chest. He’s my son, but he takes after his mother.’

Before the incident, Hull had cruised
to a third straight win thanks to Robert Koren’s eighth-minute goal and
an injury-time second from David Meyler, though the win could have been
more convincing.

Bruce added: ‘It was an excellent
performance and we were the better team by a million miles. Our only
achilles heel is the conversion of chances we create.’

Huddersfield boss Simon Grayson
admitted Lee deserves punishing if found to have done something wrong.
He said: ‘I didn’t see what Alan has done, but if he has done something
he will probably get punished.

‘I don’t know what will happen, but he
deserves punishing if he’s shown to have done something. It was a
stupid way to end the game from both sets of players.’

The defeat represents a sixth game in a
row without a win for Huddersfield and they rarely looked like scoring,
despite having plenty of possession.

Grayson added: ‘It is disappointing
because we did a lot of work on trying to match Hull and the way they
played, and inside eight minutes we were a goal down to something that
we had worked to prevent.

‘We tried to change formation and get
something out of the game, but i t was disappointing that we didn’t
create too many opportunities and when you look back Hull goalkeeper
David Stockdale has not had too much to do.

‘It will take hard work to get out of this run. We will just have to work hard on the training pitch.’

Andy Murray beaten by Roger Federer at ATP Finals semi final

Fed express tramples on Murray's dreams as Swiss star sets up Djokovic clash

|

UPDATED:

22:41 GMT, 11 November 2012

With the 02 Arena festooned as if it had been shifted to somewhere called Basle-on-Thames Andy Murray might have wondered where he was as he stepped out to meet Roger Federer.

And by the time the great Swiss had finished with him he might have wondered what year it was, too, for as their match went on it seemed increasingly we had gone back to the time when Federer ruled the world and Murray was still trying to convert his promise into a Grand Slam title.

The result was a 7-6 6-2 victory in the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, in a contest that became disarmingly one-sided. Murray will have many fantastic memories from 2012 but this will not be one of them.

Roger Federer

 Andy Murray

Contrasting fortunes: Roger Federer jumps for joy as Andy Murray is beaten at the semi-final stage

In the last match of the regular season, Federer will take Novak Djokovic – a 4-6 6-3 6-2 winner over Juan Martin Del Potro – and those of us who have been heralding the Djokovic-Murray axis as the new big thing in tennis will try and digest a little humble pie.

Federer showed the champion's appetite for a scrap and backed it up with fine shot making after a poor start and whatever happens this evening he will be heading into his off-season feeling a little less than his 31 years.

Murray enters that phase of the year on Monday, and in defeat it was not hard for him to find consolation in the events of the last five months. 'If you told me last year that I would be sitting in this position now with the results I've had in the last twelve months I would have signed up for that straightaway,' he said.

Proposition: Federer fans cheer their man on at the O2 in London

Proposition: Federer fans cheer their man on at the O2 in London

'It's been incredibly positive season but obviously I would have loved to finish it with a win. It's been the best year of my career by a mile and I've achieved things I've never done before.'

One of those came in the Olympic final, when he trounced Federer, and it was interesting to note how different Sunday night's atmosphere was to that heady Sunday afternoon in August in the midst of that heady two weeks.

On that day you had never heard a British crowd so supportive of Murray and positively anti-Federer, swept up in Olympic fervour, but it was as if the default position of deep affection for the great Swiss had been reset and that many had forgotten the home player's historic triumphs of 2012.

Murray did not complain that he was afforded less than partisan support, although it hardly augurs well for his chances of winning Sports Personality of the Year, saying 'Whenever you play Roger anywhere in the world he gets great support and he deserves that because of everything that he's achieved.'

 Andy Murray

Catch me if you can: Federer managed to get nose in front – and stayed there

The febrile atmosphere did not spur Federer to race out of the blocks, far from it, and his forehand was erratic as he gifted the 25 year-old Scot the first break of the match in the very first game, and was fortunate not to go 3-0 down shortly afterwards.

Competitor that he is, Federer fought his way back in and started to profit from his opponent's second serve, coming back from 3-1 down in a tiebreak in which neither man did much wrong until Murray netted a couple of times to conclude it.

The match properly turned at 1-1 in the second set, when Murray got to 40-0 on his serve and then threw in five desperately poor points in succession with ill-executed drop shots to the fore, the manoeuvre he admits can leave him looking like a genius or idiot.

Despair: Murray reflects on his semi-final defeat to Federer

Despair: Murray reflects on his semi-final defeat to Federer

'I started the match well, he came back in and then I played that poor game. He is very tough once he gets ahead, he played very well after that. I didn't think it was an incredibly high standard in terms of the length of the points, a lot of them went quickly,' said Murray, often pressured by the Swiss's judicious net rushes.

The fact that their last two matches had seen Federer lose all five sets was an irrelevance, but then a big difference was that this was indoors and he is the greatest player ever seen in this environment.

Whether that will be enough to see off Djokovic is another matter with the Serb in this mood. He was in deep trouble at a break down in the second set but eventually worked Del Potro out, and you have never beaten the world No 1 until you shake hands.

At full stretch: Murray had chances to make an impression but was unable to convert

At full stretch: Murray had chances to make an impression but was unable to convert