Britain’s Andy Murray has vowed to bounce back after suffering yet another grand slam final loss to world number one …
Garbiñe Muguruza claimed her first grand slam title with a convincing win over Serena Williams at the French Open in Paris. Williams was looking for her 22nd grand slam singles title, to equal Steffi Graff’s tally. But the American had no response to Muguruza’s aggressive game. The Spaniard broke the World No1 three times on her way to a famous 7-5, 6-4 win.The world No4 is the first Spaniard to lift the Suzanne Lengen trophy since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1998. The last meeting between these two players had come in that Wimbledon final a year ago, where Muguruza admitted that “it was hard to concentrate” against the greatest player of the modern era. She lost in straight sets, but it was clearly a learning experience because she was on her mettle from her first service game yesterday, using her 6ft frame to match Williams’s power and regularly drive the defending champion backwards. Cheered on by Sumyk, Muguruza saw three championship points go by on Williams’s serve before she had a crack on her own. This time, she made sure with an extraordinary lobbed winner from a defensive position, which Williams shepherded back towards the line judges only to find the ball landing bang on the line. ALSO READ: Manutd To Sign Ibrahimovich As Arsenal Activate Vardy’s Release Clause Time seemed to stop for a second. No-one quite realised whether the match was over or not, including Muguruza, who had to look back at Sumyk before falling on her back on the clay in the obligatory celebration manoeuvre. When the next set of rankings are published tomorrow, she will climb two places to No. 2 in the world. Meanwhile Williams absorbed her 7-6, 6-4 defeat with characteristic grace, applauding as soon as the fateful lob landed, and then embracing Muguruza warmly at the net.
Andy Murray has become the first Brit to reach the French Open final in over 80 years after defeating Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4 6-2 4-6 6-2. It is the first time Murray, 29, has made the final of the clay court event at Roland Garros.Murray missed his serve on first set-point, Wawrinka punished his second for deuce and unleashed his famous backhand for break point. Murray got a time violation at the worst time but replied with his fastest serve of the match and screamed in vindication. Wawrinka got another look, gave it back for deuce, but got a third break when Murray could not control a volley at the net. Murray saved with a wide serve, worked hard for another set point, and Wawrinka hit long. As it transpired, that effort took more out of the loser than the winner of the duel. After a sustained exchange of high-quality shots at the start of the second set, Murray broke in the third game, and was bringing a level of tennis IQ to his work that Wawrinka could not handle. A second break for 4-1 was the dividend. ALSO READ: Serena Williams Progress To French Open Final Now he was doing to the Swiss what he did to Djokovic in the early skirmishes of the 2012 US Open final: draining his energy by extending the point and moving him across the line. It needed a supreme level of concentration and confidence to execute but it was all coming together for him at the right time. Wawrinka grew exasperated, as Murray move serenely to a two-set lead. The contrast in their demeanours was striking. No screaming at the Murray box on Friday.Wawrinka was energised after taking a close third set, breaking Murray’s serve for the first time in the 10th game, but Murray interrupted his revival instantly, breaking him to 30 at the start of the fourth. From there to the end, when he blasted his way into the final with a concluding smash
Female world number one, Serena Williams has progressed to the French open finals after a hard fought 7-6, 6-4 victory over Kiki Bertens. Bertens, whose ranking will zoom upwards from 58 in the world, has had a grinding schedule of 18 matches without a proper rest, the last 12 of them wins in singles, and five very good performances to get her to the semi-finals here, including her first-round defeat of the Australian Open champion, Angelique Kerber. ALSO READ: $80m Bribery Scandal Rocks FIFA After 38 minutes, she got a break of luck and serve. A forehand clipped the net kindly for her, and a drop-shot left Bertens stranded and stooping in pain. She hit long and they were back on level terms. Bertens held comfortably and they went to the tie-break. At 2-3, Bertens bent double again, unable to reach a wide forehand. Her legs were clearly giving up on her, but she never lost her bright demeanour. Williams led 4-2 at the change and, when she struck her final, vicious forehand hard into the dirt, she let out a cry that sounded like a mix of celebration and relief. There was little in it until mid-set, when Williams saved a couple of break points in a tight deuce struggle then hit ferociously through the Dutch player’s static defence to go 4-3 up. After she held with her fifth ace, a relatively modest 97mph down the middle, Bertens had to save three match points in the ninth game. Williams got a fourth match point on her serve and Bertens hit long. It was all done in an hour and 38 minutes of grim intensity.
Novak Djokovic have defeated Roberto Bautista Agut amid the Paris weather to move into the quarter-finals of the French Open. The pair began their match just after midday on Tuesday, already a day late, and finally completed it at 1.47pm on Wednesday, with Djokovic winning 3-6 6-4 6-1 7-5.The world number one led 4-1 in the third set on Tuesday when conditions were at last deemed too wet to continue. It was at least dry, although still grey and dank, when the match resumed on Wednesday. ALSO READ: Lucas Moura Drafted Into Brazil’s Copa America Squad Djokovic wasted no time taking the third set, winning the opening two games, but he has not found his best form yet this tournament and the fourth was a struggle.It took three hours and 12 minutes in total for Djokovic to see off Bautista Agut, and he will undoubtedly hope for a quicker match next up against either David Ferrer or Tomas Berdych with the schedule conspiring against him.Djokovic is through to a 28th consecutive grand slam quarterfinal, putting him clear in second place behind Roger Federer, whose record stands at 36.
Rafael Nadal comfortably saw off Argentina‘s Facundo Bagnis on Philippe Chatrier 6-3 6-0 6-3. The victory also represented Nadal’s 200th win in grand slam competition.Nadal started slowly against Bagnis, a 26-year-old ranked No. 99, losing his opening service game and falling behind 2-0. Nadal, however, would turn the tide quickly, winning 12 of 13 games to take a commanding two-sets-to-love lead.Nadal meets Spanish countryman Marcel Granollers, the world No. 56, in the third round on Saturday. Nadal has won all four of their meetings in straight sets, including earlier this spring in Barcelona. Nadal can move past Pete Sampras to No. 7 on the list with four more victories — which would put him into the final. The American had 203 total wins at majors in his career.Nadal has the best career match record on clay in the Open Era with a 365-34 mark. He moves to 200-30 at the majors and looks to capture a 10th French Open this fortnight, which would be a major record – man or woman. ALSO READ: Top 10 Most Controversial Players In Football History Nadal and Djokovic are slated to meet in the semifinals here a year after Djokovic beat his Spanish rival for the first time at Roland Garros in the quarterfinals. The Serb, however, is still in search of his first French Open title, and with it, the completion of the career Grand Slam.