At 21, Andy Roddick was the hottest player in the game, having won four of his previous six tournaments. No one in the world was performing with more confidence, intensity and unbridled.
But the number 4 seed Roddick had a serious problem in his semifinal against David Nalbandian. Roddick was down match point at 5-6 in a third set tiebreak. Roddick possessed the biggest serve in the game and he released a crackling 138mph serve winner to Nalbandian’s backhand and carved-out a five sets comeback victory 6-7 3-6 7-6 6-1 6-3, for a place in his first Grand Slam final.

American fans had eagerly anticipated a Agassi-Roddick showdown in final, but the top-seeded Agassi faced reigning French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero and couldn’t disrupt his adversary’s unerring ground game, bowing in four sets. That set the stage for Roddick to methodically serve his way past the Spaniard to capture his first major.

Since then, he has never passed the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows.

This week, I’m in London, for a bit of sightseeing …

London Eye

National Gallery

and (of course) for a bit of tennis:

Queen's tournament

The Queens tournament (its sponsored name is currently Aegon Championships, previously: Stella Artois Championships) is one of the most prestigious ATP tournament, and one of only five played on grass (the other 4 are: Gerry Weber Open in Halle, UNICEF Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, AEGON International in Eastbourne and the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport).

Queen's tournament

Queen's tournament

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Kim Clijsters and Rafael Nadal didn’t waste any time on court today: Kim destroyed Dinara Safina 6-0 6-0 and Nadal cruised to second round after his opponent, Marcos Daniel, retired in the second set.
All the other favorites (Vera Zvonareva, Sam Stosur, Andy Murray, Robin Soderling) qualified easily for the second round.
Good news also for 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro who played and won his first Grand Slam match since his defeat against Marin Cilic in Melbourne last year.
So, all the big players seem to be ready to stop Rafael Nadal en route for his ‘Rafa Slam’.

Day 2 complete results

Seeds upsets: Ana Ivanovic(19), Alexandra Dulgheru(27), Ernests Gulbis (24)

Aussie player of the day: Alicia Molik
All eyes are on Sam Stosur this year, but veteran Aussie Alicia Molik staged a remarkable comeback to defeat world No.37 Roberta Vinci, 1-6, 6-3, 8-6, and become the third and final Australian woman to reach the second round at Australian Open 2011 (the others are Jelena Dokic and Sam Stosur).

Stat of the day: 0
3-time Slam finalist Dinara Safina became the first former number one player in history to suffer a double bagel at a Grand Slam. So Safina, time to work or time to retire?

Match of the day: David Nalbandian defeats Lleyton Hewitt
Those two old enemies didn’t disappoint: Nalbandian beat Hewitt in a five set thriller 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (1), 9-7. Lleyton Hewitt may harbour some regrets as he wasted two match points and converted only 7 of his 30 break points.
Both players won the same number of points: 193.

Matches to follow on day 3:
Gilles Simon(FRA) vs. Roger Federer(SUI)[2]
Janko Tipsarevic(SRB) vs. Fernando Verdasco(ESP)[9]
Stanislas Wawrinka(SUI)[19] vs. Grigor Dimitrov(BUL)

Murray’s record at Wimbledon:

2005: (world ranking 312, wild card)
– R1 vs George Bastl (qualifier) 6-4 6-2 6-2
– R2 vs Radek Stepanek (14th seed) 6-4 6-4 6-4
– R3 vs David Nalbandian (n°18) 7-6 6-1 0-6 4-6 1-6

2006: (world ranking 44)
– R1 vs Nicolas Massu (n°31) 6-1 6-4 6-4
– R2 vs Julien Benneteau 7-6 6-4 4-6 6-1
– R3 vs Andy Roddick (n°3) 7-6 6-4 6-4
– R4 vs Marcos Baghdatis (n°18) 3-6 4-6 6-7

2007: missed due to wrist injury

2008: (world ranking 11)
– R1 Fabrice Santoro 6-3 6-4 7-6
– R2 Xavier Malisse (WC) 6-4 6-2 6-2
– R3 Tommy Haas 6-4 6-7 6-3 6-2
– R4 Richard Gasquet (n°8) 5-7 3-6 7-6 6-2 6-4
– QF Rafael Nadal (n°2) 3-6 2-6 4-6

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Murray’s chances were greatly enhanced by the withdrawal of defending champion and world number one Rafael Nadal. That left Murray as the top ranked player in his half of the draw.

Andy Murray, 2009 Wimbledon

First round: Andy Murray vs Robert Kendrick (76)
Head to head: Murray 3-0

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2006 Newport Grass Murray 6-0, 6-0
2006 US Open Hard Murray 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
2007 Miami Hard Murray 6–3, 6–1

On Tuesday 23th June, at 5.09 pm, Andy Murray opened his 2009 campaign against Robert Kendrick. All British hopes rely on Murray, who could be the first Brit to win the Championships since Fred Perry in 1936.
His first round opponent, Robert Kendrick, is a journeyman player, ranked 76 and whose ATP singles record is 15-28.
He has only won 3 Grand Slam matches during his career, but the last time he played on Centre Court, in 2006, he lead Rafael Nadal by 2 sets to 0, before falling in 5 sets.
And the match was indeed more difficult than expected, as Murray lost the second set tie-break. It was an entertaining match with big server Kendrick coming to the net as often as possible. But Murray remained solid and focused and won in 4 sets: 7-5 6-7 6-3 6-4.

About his next opponent, Ernests Gulbis: “I’ve got a very tough opponent. Gulbis has caused some upsets in the past and is a huge hitter of the ball. I’m going to need to be on my game to beat him.”

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Murray’s tweet: letter from the Queen

Andy Murray, letter from the Queen

Andy Murray, letter from the Queen


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Second round: Andy Murray vs Ernests Gulbis (74)
Head to head: 2-0

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2008 Queen’s Grass Murray 5-7, 6-1, 6-4
2008 St. Petersburg Hard Murray 6-4, 6-2

It only took 1hour and 28 minutes for Andy Murray to destroy the talented but lackluster Latvian, who was a surprise quarter finalist at Roland Garros in 2008. The Scot looked like a boss from first point of the match and played a near perfect match, hitting 36 winners for only 5 unforced errors.

Murray: “I thought I played well. It was much better than the first match. There weren’t that many moments in the match when I was under a lot of pressure. There wasn’t that much nerves and huge points”.

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Murray’s tweet: snack game

Andy Murray, snack name game
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Third round: Andy Murray vs Viktor Troicki (30)
Head to head: 2-0

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2008 St. Petersburg Hard Murray 6-3, 6-3
2009 Miami Hard Murray 6-1, 6-0

Andy’s third round opponent is big hitter Viktor Troicki who is …allergic to grass: “I’m allergic to grass courts, not just at Wimbledon but at other tournaments as well, there’s something in the air that bothers me.”
Apparently he is allergic to Murray’s game too: the last time they met at Miami, Murray destroyed him 6-1 6-0. He played again a near perfect match and advanced to fourth round with an easy 6-2 6-3 6-4 win.
Interesting stat fact for Murray: everytime he beat Troicki in a tournament, he won it.

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Fourth round: Andy Murray vs Stanislas Wawrinka (18)
Head to head: 4-3

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2005 Davis Cup Clay Wawrinka 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-4
2006 Miami Hard Wawrinka 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
2008 Doha Hard Murray 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
2008 Marseille Hard Murray 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-1
2008 Rome Clay Wawrinka 6-2, 7-6(5)
2008 Toronto Hard Murray 6-2, 0-6, 6-4
2008 US Open Hard Murray 6-1, 6-3, 6-3

It was an epic battle for Murray and an historic day for Wimbledon: the day that night play came to Wimbledon. Murray’s fourth round match was played under the new roof (at last!) after a rain shower. Nearly 13 million Brits tuned in to watch Andy Murray’s five set thriller against Stanislas Wawrinka. And thousand of fans were glued in front of the big screen on Henman Hill.
Wawrinka is a talented but inconsistent former top 10, whose best performances were a win against Roger Federer in Monte Carlo, and an Olympic gold medal in Beijing in 2008 with the same Federer. No one expected the 18th seed to play at such a high level.
In fact, Murray had to play at an incredible level just to survive in the match. He finally prevailed 2-6 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-3 after three hours and 56minutes.
And all Andy had to say, was he was not happy with the roof.

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Murray’s tweet: pizza anyone?

Andy Murray, pizza
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Quarter final: Andy Murray vs Juan Carlos Ferrero (WC)
Head to head: 1-0

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2009 Queen’s Grass Murray 6-2, 6-4

The last wild card to reach the Wimbledon quarter finals was Goran Ivanisevic in 2001, who won the title after an epic 5 five sets thriller against Pat Rafter. But the 2003 French Open champion is not of the same caliber on grass as the big server from Split, and Andy Murray stormed into the Wimbledon semi final for the first time of his career after a victory over Ferrero.

Murray: “A semi-final is something I’ve not experienced here before but at the US Open last year I played a semi-final against the number one in the world (Rafael Nadal). I’m going to have a tough match but I feel like I can win if I play well.”

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Murray’s tweet: Beckham

Andy Murray, message by Beckham
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Semi final: Andy Murray vs Andy Roddick
Head to head: 6-2

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2006 San Jose Hard Murray 7-5, 7-5
2006 Cincinnati Hard Roddick 6-3, 6-4
2007 San Jose Hard Murray 7-6(8), 6-4
2007 Memphis Hard Roddick 6-3, 7-6(4)
2007 Miami Hard Murray 5-3 RET
2007 Miami Hard Murray 5-3 RET
2008 Queen’s Grass Roddick W/O
2008 Masters Hard Murray 6-4, 1-6, 6-1
2009 Doha Hard Murray 6-4, 6-2

Roddick had lost six of eight encounters with Murray, including the last three. But Roddick was in the form of his life: thanks to his work with new coach Larry Stefanki, he had never been in better physical shape. Fitter, faster, his game has changed , and he’s not only a big serve and an explosive forehand anymore. Murray has grown stronger and matured mentally as well. But Murray was once again way too passive, and the risks Roddick took payed off.
Like during his match against Wawrinka, Murray just tried to survive. The full packed Centre Court and Henman Hill never seemed to believe in Murray’s victory, neither did he. Roddick dashed Murray’s hopes with a 6-4 4-6 7-6 7-5 win after an impressive attacking game display.
Britain will have to wait at least another year to see a home winner triumph.

Andy Roddick: “Andy Murray has a great game and he will do great things in the future but today was my time, and I was determined to take my chance.”

Andy Murray: “I thought I played well, the statistics look good, but Andy put in a gret performance and there is no argument with that. I just wish I could have done better.”

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Murray’s tweet: thanks

Andy Murray, thanks
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What will be Murray's performance at this year's Wimbledon?

  • SF (40%, 2 Votes)
  • QF (40%, 2 Votes)
  • R3 (20%, 1 Votes)
  • Winner (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Runner-up (0%, 0 Votes)
  • R4 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • R2 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • R1 (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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