Andy Murray, Roland Garros 2016

Today I’ve got tickets for court Lenglen. In the first match of the day, 2014 Roland Garros finalist Simona Halep rallied from one set down to beat Naomi Osaka 4-6 6-2 6-3.

The view from my seat, row 25:

Court Suzanne Lenglen

Court Suzanne Lenglen

Court Suzanne Lenglen

In Roland Garros’ newspaper today, the extraordinary story of Marcel Bernard, who took the singles title here in 1946. He was at first only committed in the mixed doubles and mens doubles competitions, but took part to the singles tournament due to the withdrawal of his his mixed doubles partner. He defeated Jaroslav Drobny in the final in five sets. It was the first Roland Garros tournament after a 6-year hiatus due to World War II.
The Roland Garros mixed doubles trophy is now known as the “Coupe Marcel Bernard”. The stadium in which the Open du Nord is played is named after him.

Marcel Bernard (left) and Jaroslav Drobny:
Marcel Bernard and Jaroslav Drobny, Roland Garros 1946

Andy Murray defeats Ivo Karlovic 6-1 6-4 7-6

Will we see the grumpy player who struggled to beat Stepanek and Bourgue in the previous rounds or the champion who defeated Nadal in Madrid and Djokovic in Rome? From the first points on, it was obvious it would be the latter. Murray looked sharp and focused, and Karlovic was in danger on each of his service games. Murray dispatched Karlovic in three sets, his 7th win in seven meetings with the Croat. You can find the complete recap of the match here.
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Andy Murray, Roland Garros 2016

No trouble for Andy Murray after two nerve-wracking five-set marathon matches in the previous rounds, as he dispatched Ivo Karlovic 6-1 6-4 7-6 on court Lenglen. A quick start, a dominating second set and a solid third set, and Murray reaches the fourth round where he’ll meet another big-server, John Isner.
Karlovic was in danger on each of his service games in the first two sets, and even if he tried to change tactics and come to the net, he clearly has not the weapons to bother Andy on clay.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Fabrice Santoro & Andy Murray

At the end of the traditional post-match interview on court, Fabrice Santoro asked him to tell in Fench what he’d order for dinner this evening. His reply: “filet de boeuf, frites maison, salade verte and that’s it”.

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Andy Murray and Amélie Mauresmo

Andy Murray announced his ‘mutually agreed’ split from coach Amélie Mauresmo earlier this month. In an interview with l’Equipe Magazine, Mauresmo explains the reasons behind the end of their partnership. She also talks about the Fed Cup, and various things she already discussed in previous interviews like her view on Grand Slams format and lack of winning culture in France.
Here are a few extracts (interview by Romain Lefebvre and Franck Ramella, translation by Tennis Buzz):

Q: We would like to know more about your split with Andy Murray

I had the feeling we had felt the end of road professionally. It was concluded that it would be difficult to continue. I reduced a bit my number of weeks of presence since the Australian Open and we spent little time together. It happened to be a difficult period for him and I couldn’t help him. But this decision (to end the partnership) was initiated some time ago.

Q: For what reasons?

I don’t want to go into details. Everybody could see some things.

Q: In particular you no longer sat in Murray’s box in Miami?

I no longer wished to be there. I wanted to try something else.

Q: Because of his behaviour on court?

Andy is complex. On a court he can be the complete opposite of what he is in life. It can be confusing. I was there to help him. I had the feeling we could not make progress anymore.

Q: What is your assessment of this experience?

It was a beautiful adventure. It broke down barriers in mens’ tennis. I was proud to be a pioneer. And it worked, thanks to respect and communication. I have good memories of his success on clay last year (titles in Munich and Madrid) while he had never won a title on this surface. I liked the way Andy works, I enjoyed working with his team. Andy has great listening and analysis capacities. He is curious, always looking. And that’s what makes great champions. It was a great challenge in which I put myself in danger. I accepted the job because I knew I could bring him most of the things he wanted. He had difficulties to communicate. He wanted someone able to listen to him. He also wanted to play more aggressively, near the baseline. He thought he could open up a bit more with a woman. Back then, he didn’t want to play anymore.

Photo credit: Tennis Buzz, Andy Murray practicing with Thanasi Kokkinakis, Roland Garros 2015

Semifinalist in 2015, Andy Murray is a big favorite alongside Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to capture the title. Here’s what Andy will wear on court at Roland Garros this year:

Andy Murray Roland Garros outfit

Andy Murray Roland Garros outfit

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Andy Murray, winner of the Rome Masters 1000

What a strange week for Andy Murray: it started with the announcement of his split with Amélie Mauresmo on Monday, and ended with a win over Novak Djokovic in the final of the Rome Masters on his 29th birthday.

The world number 2 had an impressive clay-court season: 1 semifinal in Monte Carlo (loss to Nadal), 1 final in Madrid (loss to Djokovic) and 1 title in Rome.
Djokovic, Murray and Nadal who shared the 3 clay-court Masters 1000 titles are the big favorites for Roland Garros, with Nishikori as a serious contender. Who do you think will win the title? Please share your thoughts and follow our Roland Garros 2016 coverage.

Photo credit: Marianne Bevis