Just last night we saw the upset of Andy Murray vs Mischa Zverev and Angelique Kerber against CoCo Vandeweghe, knocking out two world #1 players and a defending Australian Open champion. A week ago, I believe the polls had either Djokovic or Murray taking the men’s title and Kerber or Serena taking the women’s. Now, as the Australian Open has continued it is looking more likely that we could have a Federer, Wawrinka, or Ranoic champion and either Serena, Venus, or Pliskova for the women. Early knockouts by some of the fan favorites have really left this tournament wide open.
If someone had told me the old guard, Roger and Rafa, could have a chance at winning much less be in the QF’s I would have thought they were crazy! The long anticipated return of the two from injuries is something the fans have been waiting for and the two stars have not disappointed in this grand slam. The early knockout of Djokovic (7-6, 5-7, 2-6,7-6, 6-4) against Istomin, who, played the game of his life, and also now Andy Murray against Zverev (5-7, 7-5, 2-6, 4-6) has left a huge power vacuum. Wawrinka and Raonic have been playing very well and I would argue one of the two is still most likely to win. However, with Roger beating very formidable opponents such as Berdych and Nishikori, it is certainly in the stars for him to win as well.
On the WTA side of things, there have been a few surprises in the tournament thus far. The early shock of Halep getting beaten by Shelby Rogers (6-3, 6-1) and then Kerber getting defeated last night by American Vandeweghe (2-6, 3-6) has put the spotlight now on both Williams sisters, who, are playing extremely well especially Venus, and Pliskova as well, to reach the final. Radwanska was also knocked out leaving Serena as the only top ranked player left in the tournament with Pliskova shortly behind. I think we might see a lower tier player actually take home the trophy this year especially if CoCo can go forward after this win with wind in her sails and defeat a formidable Muguruza today.
Photo by: @tennisistanbul
Welcome back from the holidays everyone! We hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends and got some rest. It’s one of the best times of the year, the start of a fresh new Tennis season! This off-season has felt particularly long but perhaps that is just because we are seeing the return of so many players that were injured the latter half of 2016. We had two tournaments to start off the season, the Brisbane International and the Qatar Open and both did not disappoint Tennis fans. Here are the highlights of the tournaments for the ATP side.
An impressive list of competitors were in Brisbane to start off the season. Those who made it to the QF’s include Nadal, Nishikori, Dimitrov, Raonic, Wawrinka just to name a few. The competition was fierce and it was great to see Nadal back in action but eventually losing to Raonic in a good 3rd set match. Dimitrov was the ultimate standout however, playing like we haven’t seen in a very long time. In fact this ended his 2 and a half year title drought when he beat Nishikori in the final 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. Nishikori also performed very well in Brisbane and I believe we have a lot more to see from these two players in this 2017 season. Keep your eye on Raonic as well.
It is hard going into one of the first tournaments of the year with Djokovic and Murray and not having a pre-determined notion of wanting these two to face off in the final. And turns out that is exactly what we got. These two battled through the matches easily winning against each formidable opponent with the exception of the Djokovic v Verdasco where Novak fended off 5 match points. Finally Djokovic got his revenge on Andy Murray in the final winning 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. This is after Andy took the #1 rank and beat Djokovic in the ATP Finals in London. I’m sure Novak is very happy with how the season is starting as are the res of us Tennis fans!
After an intense week of the men’s best Tennis athletes going head to head, Andy Murray emerges as the champion and ends his 2016 career in the #1 ranking in the world. This was Andy’s 5th straight title and 24th consecutive match win, defeating Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-4 in the ATP Finals Title match. What can only be described as an ideal season, Andy will finish out 2016 having dethroned Novak, having won Wimbledon, having reached the French and Australian Open finals, and having won the Tour Finals. The Brits are certainly proud to have this stunning athlete make Tennis history!
Murray vs. Djokovic
The final match was a spectacle to see between these two heavy hitters in the world of Tennis. Andy seized the opportunity in the first set after Novak started to slip in his game. With a couple of break points later, Andy had enough momentum to win the first set 6-3. The second set continued the story with Djokovic really out of rhythm and it cost him the game. Murray was able to play some of his best Tennis to just dominate the former number one and claim victory over him at 6-3, 6-4. Djokovic was unable to obtain his 6th ATP Finals Title of his career and 5th consecutive.
As far as the tournament was concerned, it was great to see a competitive final four come out of the group. It was tough to see a debut player like Monfils have to go because of injury and only see Goffin for such a short time. Raonic was a great player to watch for us, taking out Dominic Thiem fairly easily and then playing a three set game with two tie breaks against Andy in the semi-finals. It really seemed like we could have seen him in the final against a Djokovic or Nishikori. Overall, great competitive Tennis to finish out the year and still would have loved to see some of those iconic players like Federer and Nadal there. The tournament was amazing to watch regardless and left us all here at Tennis HQ in suspense for 2017, waiting to see what Andy Murray can continue to do and what he can show the world as its number one player.
Photo by: @tennis_canada & matias.a.s
The ATP Finals are finally upon us! In the “John McEnroe” group, we have in the lineup Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, and Marin Cilic. In the “Ivan Lendl” group, we have Novak Djokovic, Milos Raonic, Gael Monfils, and Dominic Thiem. These extraordinary Tennis players will be battling it out all week long for that final trophy of the 2016 year. With a notable few absences, such as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, there is plenty of room for some of the debut players to really make their mark like Monfils and Thiem. For our prediction here at Tennis HQ, we unanimously picked the new number one ranked player himself, Andy Murray. With such a hot streak still going this latter half of the season, it seems appropriate for Andy to capitalize on this opportunity to close out the season with a huge finals win.
Day 1’s matches came out strong with Djokovic and Thiem playing a third set game which Novak finally put to bed 6-7, 6-0, 6-2. Thiem was a force to reckon with in the first set matching Djokovic game for game. Perhaps Djokovic was just sizing him up in the first set however, or maybe getting some nerves out because he absolutely dominated in the second. He was winning several cross court shots and reaching Thiem’s drop shots in time to still make plays. Novak in the end closed it out showing that, even with the lack of results as of late, he is still here to win it all and has the skills to do so. Raonic and Monfils’ match was not as close, as Raonic showed great athleticism and Tennis play with the game ending at 6-3, 6-4. If Milos can keep up the game playing we saw today, there might be a serious chance for him to win the ATP Finals in a match say against Andy Murray.
Leave in the comments below who you think will take home the trophy in the end. We will be doing a couple more blog posts as the finals go on so SUBSCRIBE and make sure you don’t miss anything! Hope everyone has a great week and check our Instagram account (@TennisHQ) for daily updates on the ATP Finals in London.
Photo by: C. LECOCQ/FFT
If only we could all have weekends like Andy Murray. If you are just checking back into the Tennis community since last week, quite a few historical things have happened. Just to give some quick context, the BNP Paribas Masters was this past week in Paris and was the last tournament of the year. This tournament was the final moment for players to lock their positions in the Men’s Finals which will begin on the 13th in London. Even though the stakes were high for many, all eyes were on Andy Murray who could make history. Here are the 3 reasons why Andy Murray had a better weekend than you.
1) He Became The New Number 1 In The World
On Saturday November 5th, Andy Murray became the world’s #1 Tennis player, dethroning Novak Djokovic who has had the position since 2014. In order to achieve this, Djokovic had to be knocked out earlier than the final and Andy had to reach the final. But as fate had it, Djokovic would lose in the quarterfinals giving the opportunity for Andy to gain the title if he could beat Raonic. And this he did on Saturday, obtaining the new ranking and being able to tell his mates in the pubs back home that he is the best Tennis player in the world (something I’m sure they’d been saying for years.)
2) He Won The BNP Paribas Masters Title
As if becoming the world’s new #1 player wasn’t enough, Andy actually went on to win the tournament all together! The final match was against the American John Isner, who, I thought really brought his game in the final. The first set was really even, with a slight advantage to Isner who just looked a lot more focused out there. But after a few 40-40 points Andy would come back to grab the set away from him. Isner would then go on to win the second set in the tie break by some really terrific points. The skill was truly on display for these two men, athleticism especially for Andy. The third set would again be swept away from Isner and Andy wins the match 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4.
3) He Added His 8th Title This Year And Is Primed For The Final
With the win in Paris, Andy has now obtained his 8th tour title this year and 43rd overall. With Novak really dominating the beginning of the year, it was truly a surprise to see Andy come up in the later half and show really the best Tennis of his life. With such a hot streak, he is poised to do very well in the Men’s Finals in London. Especially with top fan favorites like Federer, Nadal, and Kyrgios out, Andy has a very different field to play against. But look out for guys like Wawrinka and Djokovic to bring their best Tennis to London next week and aim to knock Murray out. We cannot wait to see who comes out on top in London!