Tag Archives: strokes

Andy Murray beats Grigor Dimitrov at Miami Masters

Murray survives early scare to see off 'Baby Fed' in straight sets and reach last eight

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

21:41 GMT, 25 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:00 GMT, 26 March 2013

Andy Murray was given another look at the extravagant potential of Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov but still managed to surpress him to reach the last eight of the Sony Open in Miami.

Seeking to go one better than his runner-up berth last year at the same tournament, Murray was pushed all the way by the player who rejoices in the nickname of Baby Fed or Primetime before winning out 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 53 minutes.

The British No 1 needed to come back from 5-2 down in the first set and was constantly rocked by the fluent shotmaking of the 21 year-old world No 32, who has long been tipped as a future Grand Slam champion.

At full stretch: Andy Murray is through to the fourth round of the Miami Masters after winning 7-6, 6-3

At full stretch: Andy Murray is through to the fourth round of the Miami Masters after winning 7-6, 6-3

Kim Sears

Andy Murray

In the shade: Kim Sears watches on as partner Murray sees off Dimitrov in straight sets

Afterwards Murray
told www.atptour.com: 'It was obviously way cooler [with] much slower conditions. The ball wasn't going as quick. I was leaving the
ball a bit short.

'Once I started to improve my depth a bit, I made it tough for him and he started to make more mistakes after that.'

Probably the most gifted of an
emerging group that also features the likes of Milos Raonic and Bernard
Tomic, Dimitrov showcased his full array of strokes before losing out to
the superior consistency and toughness of the US Open champion.

With a flowing backhand to die for
the younger player's talent has never been in question, but he remains
notoriously nervous when it comes to the crunch moments, and that
tendency was to return to haunt him when he had the first set in his
grasp.

Grigor Dimitrov

Andy Murray

Outclassed: Grigor Dimitrov (left) was not match for Murray in their third-round clash

Less than two weeks ago he had the
opportunity to serve out the first set against Novak Djokovic in Indian
Wells but managed to send down four double faults in the attempt.

This time he had Murray on the ropes
at 5-3, 30-30 and the contributed three of the same thing – and the 25
year-old Scot rarely spurns such charity.

Dimitrov had gone 3-1 up, then been broken back, and then broken again to take advantage of an edgy start from Murray.

Baby Fed: Dimitrov's style has been compared to Roger Federer and he is said to be dating Maria Sharapova

Baby Fed: Dimitrov's style has been compared to Roger Federer and he is said to be dating Maria Sharapova

Grigor Dimitrov

Maria Sharapova

But when it came to the tiebreak the
world No 3 made him play one ball too many when it really counted and
he ran out a 7-3 loser.

There have been times when he has
capitulated in the second set against more experienced players but he
kept Murray on his toes, and the British No 1 often needed to be at his
best to cope.

Reunited this week with coach Ivan
Lendl, Murray requires a good performance in what is his second home in
the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to properly regain his
momentum post-Australian Open.

If he wins the event he is guaranteed to over take the former as world No 2. He next plays Italian number one Andreas Seppi.

Silver service: The British No 1 arrives in his new Aston Martin prior to today's third-round match

Silver service: The British No 1 arrives in his new Aston Martin prior to today's third-round match

Silver service: The British No 1 arrives in his new Aston Martin prior to today's third-round match

Vijay Singh caught in doping controversy after "admitting using banned deer antler spray"

Golf legend Vijay Singh caught in doping controversy after 'admitting using banned deer antler spray'

By
Derek Lawrenson

PUBLISHED:

09:09 GMT, 30 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:09 GMT, 30 January 2013

Three-time major champion Vijay Singh is under investigation by the United States Tour after being linked to a banned substance.

Sports Illustrated claims that the
formidable Fijian, who has won more tournaments in his forties than any
golfer in history, has been using a deer antler spray containing IGF-1,
which the American magazine describes as a ‘natural anabolic hormone
that stimulates muscle growth.’

Deer-antler spray is banned by the major pro sports, including the PGA Tour and the NFL.

Vijay Singh

Under investigation: Vijay Singh has been linked with controversial supplements

The US Tour has repeatedly warned players against using sprays made by a company called SWATS – Sports with Alternatives to Steroids.

In 2011, former Open Champion Mark Calcavecchia was told to stop promoting the product.

According to Sports Illustrated, Singh paid $9,000 for the deer antler spray, an oscillating 'beam ray' lightbulb, stickers bearing holograms of a pyramid and power additives in November. He is quoted as saying that he uses the spray ‘every couple of hours….every day.’

Singh. a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, said he sleeps with the 'beam ray' on and has put stickers, which SWATS term chips, on his ankles, waist and shoulders.

Vijay uses the SWATS products to boost muscle growth

Different strokes: Vijay uses the SWATS products to boost muscle growth

‘I’m looking forward to some change in my body, Singh told the magazine. ‘It’s really hard to feel the difference if you’ve only been doing it for a couple of months.’ US Tour vice-president Ty Votaw admitted the tour are looking into the report.

Singh, who is scheduled to play in the Phoenix Open starting on Thursday, has been battling a number of injuries over the past few years. He turns 50 next month and is looking forward to a lucrative career on the Senior Tour. Like every player, he is subjected to the tour’s random drug-testing programme. Results are not announced unless a player tests positive.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who will be taking part in the Super Bowl in New Orleans on Sunday, was also mentioned in the report. He denied any use of the spray when asked about it on Tuesday.

The PGA Tour has said it will look into a report linking Vijay Singh with the use of a deer antler spray previously found to have contained a banned growth hormone.

The Fijian will still play in this week's Waste Management Open in Phoenix, but Tour vice-president Ty Votaw has said they will investigate the claims made in an article which appeared in Sports Illustrated.

'As we have just been made aware of the report we have not had a chance to review it in depth, but we will be looking into it,' Votaw told USA Today Sports.

Australian Open 2013: Gilles Simon confirms he is fit to face Andy Murray

Murray is favorite to beat me, admits Simon after declaring himself fit following Monfils battle

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

06:17 GMT, 20 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

06:17 GMT, 20 January 2013

Gilles Simon, Andy Murray’s fourth round opponent in the Australian Open, confirmed that he will be able to take the court for the match despite suffering heavy cramping in his Saturday night epic against Gael Monfils.

The slightly-built Frenchman was unable to speak to the media after beating his compatriot 8-6 in the fifth set of an extremely gruelling encounter that lasted nearly four and three quarter hours, and was marked by the sheer length of the rallies involved.

He only appeared in public this afternoon local time, having needed extensive treatment when he came off the court after midnight in some distress suffering cramp all over his body following the most attritional match imaginable.

Scroll down to watch the 71-shot rally between Simon and Monfils

Shattered: An exhausted Gilles Simon sits down after winning his third round match against fellow countryman Gael Monfils

Shattered: An exhausted Gilles Simon sits down after winning his third round match against fellow countryman Gael Monfils

There had been rumours that he had been taken to hospital and might pull out of his meeting with Murray due to leg or arm injuries, but he quickly quashed those while admitting that he was still very sore.

'No, my treatment was here, but yes I was in bad shape,' he said. 'I’m never cramping on the court normally. I felt like I played the end of the match in a dream, like I was not even on the court. I was just hitting the ball, trying to run, and not thinking anymore. I was too tired to be upset or happy, at the end of the match I had just completely lost control.'

Gilles Simon

Gael Monfils

Epic: Simon and Monfils shared a brilliant 71-shot rally during their third round match

One of the rallies against Monfils had
lasted 71 strokes and took one minute forty second to complete, but many
of the baseline exchanges were long between two counter punchers.

'All parts of my body were painful but there’s no miracle cure so you’ve just got to have massage and stretching. I went to sleep about 5am and woke up about two o’ clock.'

Murray is about the last player you want to meet if your legs are heavy because he is so skilled at making opponents run side to side and back and forward, so it looked a mountainous task for the fourteenth seed to disrupt his march towards the last four.

Giving it everything: Simon rests on the net during his third round match

Giving it everything: Simon rests on the net during his third round match

Treatment: Simon received medical attention

Treatment: Simon received medical attention

Their match will start at 5pm local time so there was another 24 hours to recover, with Roger Federer the featured night match on Rod Laver Arena.

'With Andy I know how strong he is and of course it will be really difficult but at the moment I’m just happy I won the last match. Even if I don’t have a lot of chance to win this it’s my job to go on court and do the maximum I can to bother him and give him a hard time.

Next up: Andy Murray will be the strong favorite against Simon

Next up: Andy Murray will be the strong favorite against Simon

'It is not easy to win 6-2 6-3 6-2 against Andy and I’m not sure if we play longer than that I will be able to make it to the end. But I will do everything I can to be ready and I still have another sleep.'

Another small problem for Simon is that Murray has won their last nine matches against each other, so he would start as strong favourite regardless.

VIDEO Watch the amazing 71-shot rally between Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils

Kevin Pietersen says Nagpur pitch was his toughest challenge yet after England"s slow start

Nagpur pitch was my toughest challenge yet, says Pietersen after hitting a watchful 73

|

UPDATED:

21:32 GMT, 13 December 2012

Kevin Pietersen described the Nagpur pitch as the ‘toughest’ he had encountered in his 92-Test career as England crawled to 199 for five on the crucial first day of the fourth Test against India.

England’s No 4 faced 188 balls for his 73 — one of the slowest innings of his career — and described the task ahead for Alastair Cook’s team as ‘an incredible challenge’ as they seek a first series win in this country for nearly 28 years.

Tough test: Pietersen hit an obdurate 72 before falling to Ravindra Jadeja

Tough test: Pietersen hit an obdurate 73 before falling to Ravindra Jadeja (FILE IMAGE)

‘It is the toughest wicket I have played Test cricket on in terms of trying to play strokes,’ he said. ‘The Indians think this is the kind of wicket they can produce to pull the series back.’

Pietersen suggested the day’s play,
which saw a run-rate of 2.05 an over, must have proved a turn-off for
TV audiences, with only 21 fours struck in 97 overs.

‘The
viewers have got no interest in what I’ve got to say because they
switched off four or five hours ago,’ he said. ‘It’s an incredible
challenge for the lads to see what we can get out of this over the next
four days.’

Pietersen
did, however, suggest England’s selection of two seam bowlers (Jimmy
Anderson and Tim Bresnan) to India’s one (Ishant Sharma) could yet help
the tourists in their hunt for an historic 3-1 series win. ‘We are in a
position of strength by having two seamers,’ he said. ‘I found Ishant
incredibly difficult to play.’

But Indian debutant Ravindra Jadeja, who removed both Pietersen and Jonathan Trott, defended India’s selection policy, saying: ‘It was a good decision to play four spinners because it will help us in the second innings, when there will be more footmarks.’

Martin Kaymer wins Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City

Former world No 1 Kaymer shines in Sun City to secure first title of the year

|

UPDATED:

16:17 GMT, 2 December 2012

Martin Kaymer survived a late wobble to hold on for his first title of the year with victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City.

The overnight leader bogeyed the 15th hole to see his advantage at the top of the leaderboard cut to one stroke by South Africa's Charl Schwartzel but held his nerve the rest of the way to prevail by two strokes.

Kaymer finished on eight under par overall, with Schwartzel at six under and American Bill Haas alone in third, three strokes further back.

Long wait: Kaymer won his first title of the year in Sun City

Long wait: Kaymer won his first title of the year in Sun City

Long wait: Kaymer won his first title of the year in Sun City

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen began the final round just one stroke behind Kaymer, but a 74 saw his challenge run out of steam and he ended in fourth place on two under, one stroke ahead of defending two-time champion Lee Westwood of England, who carded a 73.

Scotland's Paul Lawrie, the leader after the second round, went over par for the second day running as he managed 74 to finish in sixth place overall.

Kaymer famously sank the putt that ensured Europe retained the Ryder Cup earlier this year, but on a personal level this season has been a disappointment for the German.

And he admitted that as the opportunity to finally break his year-long victory drought edged closer, nerves began to tell.

Clinging on: Kaymer bogeyed the 15th hole

Clinging on: Kaymer bogeyed the 15th hole

Clinging on: Kaymer bogeyed the 15th hole

'It was always tight,' Kaymer told reporters.

'Charl played a great round of golf and I was telling (my caddie) that I need a win. I need a win in 2012.'

Rainy conditions on the final day at Gary Player Country Club were in keeping with the previous three, meaning yet again that scores were kept in check by the weather.

No-one shot better than 69 all week, and that mark was again achieved by Kaymer on Sunday having also managed a three-under total over the second round.

The German began in positive fashion on Sunday, hitting a brilliant eagle on the second only to see his hard work erased with a double-bogey at three.

Birdies at nine, 10 and 11 took him clear of the pack again, although Schwartzel's birdie on the 14th trimmed the lead to one.

Swinging in the rain: Schwartzel made a late bid for the title

Swinging in the rain: Schwartzel made a late bid for the title

Swinging in the rain: Schwartzel made a late bid for the title

Kaymer hacked his way out of the rough to make an unlikely birdie on 14 and take his lead back out to two, but a bogey at the next meant the pressure stayed on.

Schwartzel's victory bid finally stuttered as he committed his first bogey of the day at the 17th, as Kaymer made par the rest of the way to close out an overdue victory.

'I'm very happy to finally win this year, that was the most important thing for me, because I was practising very hard,' Kaymer added.

'I played very well the last few weeks and months, but it just did not happen for me on the golf course.

'I said to Craig, my caddy, we have to win one tournament every year and this is our last chance. Fortunately we could bring it home.'

Graeme McDowell pulls three strokes clear in World Golf Challenge in California

McDowell pulls three strokes clear after superb round in California

|

UPDATED:

00:38 GMT, 1 December 2012

Graeme McDowell hit the round of the day to go three shots clear at the World Golf Challenge in California.

The Northern Irishman, who was in a chasing pack of three after a first-round 69, signed for a six-under 66 today to move to nine under overall.

He kicked off with three successive birdies and added four more in the back nine to weigh against a solitary dropped shot at the par-four seventh.

Round of the day: Graeme McDowell pulled three shots clear

Round of the day: Graeme McDowell pulled three shots clear

American trio Bo Van Pelt, Jim Furyk and Keegan Bradley are tied for second on six under, with the latter making a bogey-free round including three birdies.

Host Tiger Woods lies one stroke further back after signing for a 69 – dropping shots at eight and 15 either side of four birdies in five holes.

Australia's Jason Day is bottom of the 18-man field on two over through 36 holes, with the third and final non-American, England's Ian Poulter, also struggling on one above par.

Overnight leader Nick Watney slipped back to five shots off the lead after following his day-one score of 67 with a 73.

When it rains... McDowell sought cover from the rain

When it rains… McDowell sought cover from the rain

Tied: Bo Van Pelt is in joint second place

Tied: Bo Van Pelt is in joint second place

Charlie Beljan has three stroke lead in Children"s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic

Beljan overcomes health scare to take three stroke lead in Florida

|

UPDATED:

01:16 GMT, 10 November 2012

Charlie Beljan defied a health scare to take a halfway three-stroke lead in the the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in Florida.

The American, who suffers from asthma, had to rest on several occasions during his round after battling shortness of breath and an elevated heart rate.

Out in front: Charlie Beljan leads the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals golf tournament in Lake Buena Vista

Out in front: Charlie Beljan leads the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals golf tournament in Lake Buena Vista

The 28-year-old was expected to be taken to hospital after recording a magnificent 64, which moved him to 12 under par overall.

'I think he's scared,' Beljan's caddie Rick Adcox told the Golf Channel. 'He kept saying he thought he was going to die.'

'I've got to give Charlie credit for what he did. I thought he was going to quit out there a few times. Unbelievable.'

'A couple of times I thought he might pass out,” Adcox added.

'He just said, 'I'm gonna keep going until I pass out or they take me off,' and I kept saying 'it doesn't matter to me, it's only a golf tournament'.'

Beljan was reportedly struggling throughout, with medical personnel keeping a close watch on him for much of his back nine.

He was eight under for his round after 11 holes, carding two eagles and four birdies.
He then bogeyed the par-four 12th before picking up back-to-back shots on his next two holes although he dropped back to eight under for his round at the 17th.

Despite clearly struggling, he courageously carried on and managed to hit a brilliant up-and-down for par on the final hole before bursting into tears.

'He was trying to keep upright,” playing partner Ed Loar said. 'Hopefully he'll be all right. It was pretty bizarre.'

Overnight leader Charlie Wi was among seven players three strokes behind Beljan.
The Korean, without a win on the PGA Tour, failed to build on yesterday's magnificent 64 after recording a one-under-par 71.

He enjoyed mixed fortunes on the Magnolia course with five birdies and four bogeys.
Australia's Matt Jones put himself into contention with an excellent round of 64 to join Wi, Ryuji Imada, Harris English, Charles Howell III, Mark Anderson and Henrik Stenson on nine under overall.

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods lose opening matches at World Golf Final

McIlroy and Woods in danger of dead-rubber showdown after opening defeats

|

UPDATED:

15:41 GMT, 9 October 2012

The eagerly-anticipated clash between Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods could be rendered meaningless after both lost their opening matches at the 3.2million Turkish Airlines World Golf Final.

McIlroy lost by six shots to Matt Kuchar after an amazing run of triple-bogey, double-bogey, double-bogey from the 15th, while Woods lost by one to Charl Schwartzel after a bogey on the 18th.

The world's top two players are scheduled to face each other in the final match of Group One on Wednesday afternoon, but defeats for McIlroy to Schwartzel and Woods to Ryder Cup team-mate Kuchar in the morning would mean both players could not reach Thursday's semi-finals regardless of the result between them.

Matt finish: McIlroy was soundly beaten by Kuchar after a run of triple-bogey, double-bogey, double-bogey

Matt finish: McIlroy was soundly beaten by Kuchar after a run of triple-bogey, double-bogey, double-bogey

In regular match play McIlroy's seven at the 15th might not have been so costly, but with this week's format being medal match play – where the lowest 18-hole total wins one point – the 23-yeard-old admitted he 'gave up a bit' after going three strokes behind with three to play.

'I was playing pretty well until the 15th, then hit a loose tee shot there and was messing about in the trees and making seven,' said the world No 1, who had not seen the course before today but at least arrived with plenty of time to warm up, unlike before his singles match at Medinah.

'Then I hit it into the hazard on 16 and was just trying to get the round done. I lost a bit of concentration, went a few behind and gave up a bit.

Bad day at the office: Woods lost out by one shot to Schwartzel after a bogey on the 18th

Bad day at the office: Woods lost out by one shot to Schwartzel after a bogey on the 18th

Golf blog

'If it was a different format and a different tournament it might not have got as out of control as it did, but that's just the way it is.

'But it's fine. I know what I need to do tomorrow. I need to go out and win both of my matches and see if that's good enough. In a way it could be a blessing that I'm not complacent and I go out and give it my best.'

McIlroy had actually made two eagles on the front nine of the PGA Sultan course at Antalya Golf Club, holing from 15ft on the third and 50ft on the seventh, but his round unravelled after blocking his drive right into trees on the 15th.

He needed two attempts to get clear of the trees, but after coming up short of the green with his fourth shot, duffed his pitch and ended up holing from 10ft for a triple-bogey.

Woods, whose singles match at Medinah was also rendered inconsequential after Martin Kaymer ensured Europe would retain the trophy in the game ahead, was two under par after eight holes but ran up a triple-bogey seven on the ninth.

The 14-time major winner fought back with birdies on the 14th, 16th and 17th – the latter taking him level after Schwartzel bogeyed – only to bogey the last after failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker.

Asked about the prospect of facing McIlroy tomorrow afternoon, Woods said: 'I have to take care of my match and we'll see in the afternoon. We have to both win in the morning.

'We're the two highest ranked players in the world right now and it will be a fun match either way, but it will obviously be a lot better if we both win in the morning.'

In Group Two, Justin Rose beat Hunter Mahan by four shots and Lee Westwood beat Webb Simpson by one after the US Open champion bogeyed the 18th.

BMW Championship 2012: Vijay Singh leads from Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy

McIlroy and Woods lurk as Vijay takes one-shot lead into third round at Crooked Stick

|

UPDATED:

20:52 GMT, 7 September 2012

Vijay Singh moved into contention for his first tour win in four years as he took a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the BMW Championship at the Crooked Stick course in Carmel, Indiana.

The 49-year-old three-time major winner recorded a round of 66 for a two-round total of 13-under 131, putting him one shot clear of first round co-leader Rory McIlroy, plus Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore.

McIlroy's round of 68 included an eagle and six birdies was let down by four bogeys as he dropped level with Woods, who made up a shot to reach 12 under after a bogey-free round of 67.

Out in front: Singh takes a slender lead ion the third round at Crooked Stick

Out in front: Singh takes a slender lead ion the third round at Crooked Stick

Lee Westwood produced one of the the best rounds of the day with a seven-under 65 to move to 11 under after two rounds, and his feat was matched by Padraig Harrington, whose 65 left him two strokes further back.

Justin Rose's disappointing 70 left him level with Harrington at seven under, a position also shared with former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, with Luke Donald one further back on six under.

Duelling it out: Woods and McIlroy are hot on the heels of Singh who has a one-shot lead

Duelling it out: Woods and McIlroy are hot on the heels of Singh who has a one-shot lead

Duelling it out: Woods and McIlroy are hot on the heels of Singh who has a one-shot lead

In contention: Westwood is just two shots behind the leader with two rounds remaining

In contention: Westwood is just two shots behind the leader with two rounds remaining

Swing out: McIlroy is in fine form heading into the forthcoming Ryder Cup

Swing out: McIlroy is in fine form heading into the forthcoming Ryder Cup

London 2012 Olympics: Badminton farce at Wembley Arena

Badminton doubles descend into farce as Chinese and South Koreans both attempt to lose

|

UPDATED:

21:05 GMT, 31 July 2012

Olympics 2012

The women's doubles competition at London 2012 descended into farce and scandal at Wembley Arena as two pairs appeared to deliberately start playing to lose.

Chinese top seeds Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang and the South Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na were booed off after an extraordinary match in which players regularly served into the net or hit wide apparently on purpose.

Both pairs had already qualified for the last 16 and their actions appeared to be an attempt to manipulate the final standings in Group A.

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 reasons for both pairs wishing to do this were unclear but by ultimately losing the match, the Chinese now cannot play their compatriots and second seeds Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei until the final.

Tian and Zhao were sent off their natural path to the final as second seeds after losing to Denmark's Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen earlier in the day.

The downside to losing is that they could face a theoretically tougher quarter-final.

The Korean pair left court without speaking to waiting reporters to explain the reasons for their involvement in the fiasco after the 23-minute match.
Yu claimed she wanted to ease up ahead of the knockout phase.

She said: 'Actually these opponents really were strong. This is the first time we've played them and tomorrow it's the knockout rounds, so we've already qualified and we wanted to have more energy for the knockout rounds.

Victors: Kim Ha Na (left) and Jung Kyung Eun (right)

Victors: Kim Ha Na (left) and Jung Kyung Eun (right)

'Really, it's not necessary to go out hard again when the knockout rounds are tomorrow.'

The Korean pair won the match 21-14 21-11. The longest rally in the first game was just four strokes.

Match referee Thorsten Berg came on to court at one point to warn the players.

The farce continued later in the evening when another Korean pair, the third seeds Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, appeared to start playing up against Indonesia's Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii.

Both pairs had also already qualified for the next stage from Group C, the connection with the earlier incident being that the pool winners would play Wang and Yu next.

The Korean pairs would play each other in the quarter-finals if Ha and Kim lost.

Berg returned to court and brandished the black card, which means disqualification, but after protests from the Indonesians it was rescinded and the match resumed.