Andy Murray; NTC & Svitolina 🎾 Free hit? πŸ€” Washington ✈️ Toronto πŸ›¬ Cincinnati πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™‚οΈ New York πŸ—½

Following his withdrawal from Wimbledon all eyes are on New York which is about 6 weeks away so what to expect from now until then from Andy Murray?

NTC & Svitolina

Andy was spotted at the national tennis centre in London this week and also playing there was Elina Svitolina who does reside a lot in London and the two practiced together.

Free hit?

Second half of the season is a free hit, there are no points to defend and it should be used as a chance to build up match momentum and any other positives will be a bonus but the real push should come in January.

Washington

Andy did sign up to the ATP 500 event in Washington a while back and is still down to play there in the lead up to New York. It isn’t known when Andy will head out to America however I fully expect him not to take part in Davis Cup.

Toronto

Following Washington the plan will be to head west to Toronto for the Rogers Cup where the hard courts are testing and will be the first big test ahead of US Open.

Cincinnati

There is nothing confirmed and he isn’t on entry lists for Cincinnati which is odd. It means he won’t use protected ranking but can still be offered a wildcard.

I do think it will be a last minute decision on Cincinnati depending on how he does in Toronto and doesn’t want to burn himself out.

New York

A return to Flushing Meadows to compete is the target. Andy will be on site a week before but if he doesn’t do Cincinnati I expect he will arrive early.

It’s great to see Andy back but I don’t expect him to pull up trees in New York as he hasn’t played best of five since Wimbledon last year and these conditions can be tough in New York.

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Kerber’s sheer determination emphasised in her brilliant defensive work!

Angie Kerber winning Grand Slam titles was no fluke. It was down to sheer determination and hard work that she won two Grand Slams (Australia and New York) in 2016 and was world number one. It was her sheer determination which once more got her back on track in 2018 following a tough season in 2017.

This year she has found her best tennis and no better place to put your name back on the map than at Wimbledon where she lost the final in 2016.

When Kerber is playing with confidence she is a different prospect. The German number one is tough to break down as it is but throw in confidence just takes her game to another level and what she can achieve from behind the baseline is second to none.

Serena did a great job throughout the match of putting Angie on the back foot which she did here but such is the determination of her she produced a running no look backhand sending Serena on the run and won the point.

Likewise a little later on in the set. Serena played a strong backhand and you can see where Kerber is on the court, she has no right to make this shot!

You can see from Serena’s body language that she expected the backhand to seal the point and when Kerber hit that forehand she had to try and adjust quickly.

This is probably one of the most impressive. Kerber’s serve is not the best on the tour but she can back it up well with her ability to stay in rallies.

This position on serve isn’t ideal but she got the ball back and won the point, what does hold her back is effectiveness of the serve.

How the memory of Jana Novotna lives on 20 years after her Wimbledon triumph!

2018 celebrated 20 years since the victory of Jana Novotna at Wimbledon. One of the greatest stories the championships has ever seen.

In 1998 at the third time of trying the Czech got her hands on the title having come so close on two previous occasions with the heartache for everyone to see. During the first trophy presentation she cried her eyes out on the Duchess of Kent’s shoulder having come so close.

The two struck up a friendship which was beautiful to see with the Duchess telling Jana;

Don’t worry you will win this one day

After her second final defeat a few years later they met again on centre court;

Third time lucky

A truly incredible story.

Sadly in November of last year Jana passed away following a battle with cancer.

However her memory lives on

Barbora Krejcikova who is also from the hometown of Jana in Brno, Czech Republic and one day at the age of 18 went to see Jana and told her she was a tennis player, ranked outside 300 and looking to progress.

To Barbora’s delight and surprise Jana said she’d coach her full time on the court.

She did it because she loved tennis and she wanted to help someone improve.

The partnership did end in 2016 due to Jana’s health and on the doubles tour she did partner back up with Siniakova who she knew in juniors and was told to go and win a Grand Slam.

They won Roland Garros this year and won that Wimbledon title 20 years on from Jana’s big day at Wimbledon!

Jana’s memory will always live on and is one of the games greatest winners because she never gave up and she loved the game.

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Kevin Anderson – Hard work, Injury hell, Ranking hit, Comeback, Two Grand Slam finals & No.5 in the world!

Kevin Anderson at the age of 32 is currently playing his best tennis. He has always worked hard and has done so well in moving on and making people open their minds a little bit more about players with a big serve.

There has always been a tour stereotype of players who are really tall having a big serve and being defined just by that and being called a ‘serve bot’

Kevin Anderson is for sure one of those players who has taken his game to the next level. He has improved his whole game and having that serve is a great back up if things don’t get well.

He has improved his net play, he can sometimes look a bit suspect going to the net but so can some of the best as it’s an instinct shot and added risk.

His main weapon is his forehand. The way he plays his serve and usually aims for his opponents forehand looking for that centre of the court ball but can run around the backhand to play that flat inside out but with the backhand it is good but doesn’t have longevity during rallies.

During 2016 he did suffer a injury hell and his ranking plumitted and even when he returned to the tour it took a while to find momentum and to keep going and work as hard as he has done is a credit to his character to improve. make

To have made two Grand Slam finals in the last 12 months is incredible and people will look at his path to the final and criticise because he didn’t have to play top players in certain rounds but you have to win your own matches. It’s easy to say they’ve had an easy draw but you can only win your own and not everyone else’s.

I do think he deserves a lot of credit, he’s a humble guy and now a career high of 5 in the world and is playing his best tennis and I do believe he has evolved his game and deserves respect for that.

His place to London on points accumulated this year looks confirmed but will have big points to defend in New York.

Serena “only just getting started”

10 months ago Serena Williams gave birth, it was a complicated procedure and she had to have multiple surgeries and almost lost her life. She returned to training four months later and as ever works incredibly hard.

In her fourth tournament back (Wimbledon) she made the final and has taken her from not having a ranking to number 28 in the world.

Respect.

A lesson to us all, never write this woman off but also what a woman she is. The way she has balanced life on the tour and being a mum shows how strong she is and women are.

Seconds into her interview on Centre Court following the defeat she was emotional. She didn’t expect to do so well but said something which you don’t forget and you know is true of her character

“I’m literally only just getting started”

We don’t have a schedule for Serena right now but she won’t be playing week in week out focus will be on other titles. I expect her to go to Cincinnati which is two weeks before the US Open and will arrive there a week early. Will she go to Rogers Cup in Montreal the week before Cincinnati? I’m not sure!

Welcome back Serena!

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“Novak has found his mojo again” Please! He never lost it!

On June 5th Novak Djokovic was defeated at Roland Garros by Marco Cecchinato 6-3 7-6 1-6 7-6 (13-11) The Serb had chances especially in that fourth set to send it to five against the Italian who was exceptional throughout his stay in Paris.

Following the match the press conference of the year took place and Djokovic was unfairly criticised and written off. He didn’t want to go into the big press room but decided to go in a small side room with just a few journalists who made up their mind quickly.

I was seeing things saying he’s lost it, lost his mojo and was quizzed on his grass court season immediately after and in the raw emotion said he doesn’t know what he will do and it was taken literally.

I wrote a piece about this and it was unfair to write Novak off and was a disrespect to him.

Crisis? Not a chance, just a blip!

Two things I wrote about it this piece was that his frustration showed two things;

1 – he cares

2 – he expects better

I said in my Wimbledon preview do not write this man off!

He made the final of Queens and holes were picked in his game and Novak’s always had a rough ride but I think he deserves total respect and to come and win Wimbledon is fantastic for him and for the tour because he is back.

It’s a weird one as he did miss majority of last season injured but that doesn’t get spoken about like it does with other players finding their form again.

Like with all comebacks we all have opinions on how comebacks have panned out and I thought from the off it was a mistake to play in Melbourne, he didn’t look fit but fought hard. He then took a couple of months off and had this elbow issue still with R1 exits in Miami and Indian Wells.

In Rome back in May was when I thought he was moving well but the comeback is about building it back up and I have said anyone expected these players to return and pull up trees immediately need a reality check.

Back at No.10 in the world having slipped to 22 and a Grand Slam title in his hands… watch out!

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Angie’s day! How her determination is a lesson to us all!

In 2016, Angie Kerber was playing the best tennis on the tour hands down! The German at the age of 28 had her best season winning in Melbourne, New York and made the final of Wimbledon a year that saw her claim world number one spot.

2017 was a write off, the form deteriorated and the ranking dropped and it is sad to see someone playing so well and how quickly that can change with her ranking dropping from world number one to number nineteen in a matter of months.

This year has been a great comeback.

Angie is bar far the tours best defender and you cannot help but admire her determination.

She works incredibly hard and to win against Kerber means you have to bring your A game her confidence took a big hit last year and there is nothing easier than letting things stay as they are Kerber isn’t about that.

She turned up this year ready to bounce back! She played Hopman Cup with Alex Zverev to begin the season which adds that relax and fun start to the season. She then made her way around Australia where she won Sydney and made the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

In Doha and Qatar she made the quarter and semi-finals respectively and then at the sunshine double where she made the quarter finals of both Indian Wells and Miami. Her clay court season didn’t kick off until before Roland Garros in Rome where she made the Quarter finals and semi’s in Paris before a short trip to Mallorca followed by a final appearance in Eastbourne and then Wimbledon.

Her form has been excellent. She is back at four in the world and in pole position to finish the season on a high!

Well done Angie!

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