WTA

Garcia battles through at Indian Wells Open to set up Raducanu clash

By Sports Desk March 10, 2022

Caroline Garcia reached the second round of the Indian Wells Open after coming through a gruelling encounter with Dayana Yastremska.

Garcia had gone three matches without a win against her Ukrainian opponent, who reached the final of last week's Lyon Open.

Although she squandered two match points in the second set, Garcia eventually prevailed 6-4 6-7 (8-10) 7-5 after nearly two and a half hours to set up a second-round clash with US Open champion Emma Raducanu.

Sofia Kenin's difficult start to the year continued as she suffered a straight-sets defeat to Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia.

The Australian Open champion and French Open runner-up two years ago, Kenin has now lost six matches in a row since reaching the quarter-finals in Adelaide back in January.

The 23-year-old, who has dropped to 130 in the world, threw in 11 double faults in her 6-3 7-5 defeat to Haddad Maia, who next meets 29th seed Clara Tauson.

Ekaterina Alexandrova will face Simona Halep, the 2015 champion, in round two after coming through 4-6 6-2 7-6 (9-7) against 18-year-old American Elvina Kalieva.

There were also wins for Kaia Kanepi, Alison Riske and Harriet Dart, who next meets 12th seed Elina Svitolina.

World number 37 Jil Teichmann lost in straight sets to Danka Kovinic, Ann Li beat compatriot Madison Brengle in an all-American thriller, and wildcards Katie Volynets and Claire Liu also progressed.

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    Andy Murray has hinted he will keep going until at least this summer’s Olympics.

    The 36-year-old has been speaking openly about the impending end of his career this season and said after beating Denis Shapovalov in Dubai on Monday: “I probably don’t have too long left, but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months.”

    Murray has said previously he has an idea of when he would like to bow out, and he told Radio 4’s Today programme he is likely to make that information public at some point.

    “When the time is right I will probably say something before I play my last match and my last tournament,” he said. “Whether I say anything months ahead of the time, I don’t know.”

    While Wimbledon appears the most logical venue for Murray to call time on his glittering career, the Scot is tempted by another crack at the Olympics in Paris this summer.

    Murray is the only tennis player to have won back-to-back singles gold medals, in London and Rio, and he said: “Hopefully I can get the chance to compete at another one.”

    If the Scot does not qualifying by ranking – he has slipped down the standings to 67 after a difficult start to the year – he could seek a spot in the draw as a previous champion.

  • Andy Murray suggests he is in ‘last few months’ of career after Dubai win Andy Murray suggests he is in ‘last few months’ of career after Dubai win

    Andy Murray hinted he was heading into the “last few months” of his tennis career after battling from a set down to beat Denis Shapovalov in Dubai to secure his second win of 2024.

    The three-time grand slam champion has been forced to fend off retirement talk following a string of first-round defeats and looked set for another early exit when Shapovalov, a former top 10 player, took the opening set.

    Murray had struggled to breach the serve of his 24-year-old Canadian opponent, but produced a trademark gutsy display to edge a second-set tie-breaker before keeping his composure to break twice in the decider and secure a 4-6 7-6 (5) 6-3 win after two hours and 33 minutes.

    Victory saw Murray become only the fifth man in the Open Era to claim 500 tour-level wins on a hard court and he will face either fifth seed Ugo Humbert or wild card Gael Monfils in the second round.

    However, rather than his match-up against one of the two Frenchman, it was the 36-year-old Scot’s longer-term future which was again a hot topic following his win, with Murray admitting he probably does not have “too long left” in the sport.

    “People read a lot into what I say on the court sometimes and it’s not always rational,” Murray said.

    “I obviously still love competing and still love the game, but it gets harder and harder the older you get to compete with the young guys and keep your body fit and fresh.

    “Not easy, I probably don’t have too long left, but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months.”

    Murray won his most recent meeting against Shapovalov, but that was in 2022 and he entered this match in torrid form with only one win this year.

    Shapovalov signalled his intent with three aces in his opening service game before the duo traded a number of early holds.

    The first break point opportunity did not occur until the ninth game and, while Murray saved it at 15-40 down, Shapovalov outlasted the Scot in a lengthy rally on the next point to move 5-4 up.

    Murray let his frustration show after his wayward backhand gifted Shapovalov the initiative and chucked his racket at the court before the Canadian closed out the opener with two more aces.

    Former world number one Murray produced a strong response at the start of the second set and remarkably produced three successful challenges on his serve.

    Murray followed that up with a first break point opportunity and, while it came and went, the 36-year-old did break Shapovalov at the next time of asking to move 3-1 up.

    Shapovalov had sent down two double-faults to aid Murray’s cause, but hit back immediately with a break of his own before he consolidated it after a 10-minute service game which included a 137mph ace.

    Murray had to display his battling skills to keep the second set on serve at 4-4 and a tie-breaker was ultimately required, which the Scot edged to win a marathon 75-minute set.

    Shapovalov’s serve had let him down towards the end of the second set and his struggles continued with two double-faults to begin the third.

    It handed Murray the ascendancy and he took full advantage to claim a confidence-boosting 500th hard-court win of his career.

    Murray said: “It’s not bad. Obviously hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that.

    “There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

    An emotional-sounding Murray finished his on-court interview by trying to point out his father in the crowd, saying: “My dad’s come to support me this week which means a lot.”

  • Andy Murray edges past Denis Shapovalov in Dubai for second win of 2024 Andy Murray edges past Denis Shapovalov in Dubai for second win of 2024

    Andy Murray dug deep to secure a second win of 2024 with a 4-6 7-6 (5) 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov in the first round of the Dubai Open.

    The three-time grand-slam champion has been forced to fend off retirement talk following a string of first-round defeats and looked set for another when Shapovalov, a former top-10 player, claimed the opening set.

    Murray had struggled to breach the serve of his 24-year-old opponent, but produced a trademark gutsy display to edge a second-set tie-breaker and kept his composure to break twice in the decider to secure a much-needed win after two hours and 33 minutes.

    The most recent meeting between the duo went to Murray, but that was in 2022 and he entered this match in torrid form with only one win this year.

    Shapovalov signalled his intent with three aces in his opening service game before the duo traded a number of early holds.

    The first break point opportunity did not occur until the ninth game and, while Murray saved it at 15-40 down, Shapovalov outlasted the Scot in a lengthy rally on the next point to move 5-4 up.

    Murray let his frustration show after his wayward backhand gifted Shapovalov the initiative and chucked his racket at the court before the Canadian closed out the opener with two more aces.

    Former world number one Murray produced a strong response at the start of the second set and remarkably produced three successful challenges on his serve.

     

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    Buoyed by his eagle-eyes, Murray followed this up with a first break point opportunity and, while it came and went, the 36-year-old did break Shapovalov at the next time of asking to move 3-1 up.

     

    Shapovalov had sent down two double-faults to aid Murray’s cause, but hit back immediately with a break of his own before he consolidated it after a 10-minute service game which included a 137mph ace.

    Murray had to display his trademark battling skills to keep the second set on serve at 4-4 and a tie-breaker was ultimately required.

    Several mini-breaks followed, but it was Murray who made sure the match went the distance after he edged a marathon 75-minute set with an excellent trade-off with Shapovalov after he came into the net.

    Shapovalov’s serve had let him down towards the end of the second set and his struggles continued with two double-faults to begin the third.

    It handed Murray the ascendancy and he was able to consolidate with a succession of quick holds to move within sight of a precious victory.

    Murray had to work hard to hold in the eighth game of the decider and it broke Shapovalov’s resistance with the Canadian broken again to hand the Briton a confidence-boosting 500th hard-court win of his career.

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