Indian Wells 2017 – Murray struggles again against serve and volley

For the second time this year Andy Murray has come up against a tough serve and volleyer. First of all it was Mischa Zverev in Melbourne and now Vasek Pospisil in Indian Wells.

Indian Wells has never been a happy stomping ground for the world number one and once again he leaves the tournament early despite an encouraging start.

The Brit got an early break to lead 3-1 after saving break points of his own in the opening game but at 4-2 things quickly changed as the Canadian who has previously been ranked as high as 25 in the world won four games in a row to take the set 6-4 with Murray have little time and no answers to the serve and volley of the 26 year old.

From a Murray perspective it is disappointing but you cannot under credit the brilliance and cleverness of the play.

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The serve out wide is pretty flat, there isn’t much spin on the ball just perfect angle and because of the angle and the type of serve Murray can only get a flat racket head shape on it as shown below.

This return is ineffective, he was basically volleying the serve back but at a volley height for Pospisil but this isn’t through a want to return like this but if anything he is forced into it, there is no other option.

The movement is so precise as well! He isn’t charging forward like a bull in a China shop but it’s measured and calculated. He knows he is playing against the best returner in men’s tennis and he didn’t give him to much to hit off.

Credit to Pospisil for a gutsy and well performed plan, hopefully he can gain that momentum and climb back to where he belongs on the rankings as well.

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Caroline Wozniacki defeated in Washington!

For the first time in her career Caroline Wozniacki has lost to Varvara Lepchenko taking their head to head record to 4/1. The Dane looked set for the next round with her head to head record against the American however a match is never won on paper and Wozniacki has suffered another early loss taking her win/loss for the year to 30/14 which isn’t very good for a top 6 player. Since Rome Wozniacki has a win/loss record of 7/5 and hasn’t got any momentum going this year with her 6-4 6-2 loss to Lepchenko.

Other Results – Stanford

Angelique Kerber defeats Ana Konjuh – 6-4 6-3
Karolina Pliskova defeats Kimiko Date-Krum – 7-5 6-2
Agnieszka Radwanska defeats Misaki Doi – 1-6 6-2 6-0 (was 1-6 2-0 down)

Other Results – Washington

Ricardis Berankis defeats Teymuraz Gabashvili – 7-5 6-4
Jack Sock defeats Richard Gasquet – 6-7 7-6 6-4
Alexander Zverev defeats Alexandr Dolgopolov – 2-6 6-2 6-4
Sam Groth defeats Feliciano Lopez – 6-3 6-4
John Isner defeats Vasek Pospisil – 6-4 7-6
Steve Johnson defeats Grigor Dimitrov – 6-3 1-6 6-3
Marin Cilic defeats Sam Querrey – 7-6 7-6
Kei Nishikori defeats Leonardo Mayer – 6-4 6-4

Latest ATP & WTA Rankings

The latest ATP and WTA rankings have been released post Wimbledon some big movers either rising up the rankings or slipping down the rankings. So, who were the big movers?

ATP Movers

Vasek Pospisil up 27 places to 29 in the world from 56.
Dustin Brown up 22 places to 80 in the world from 102
Filip Krajinovic up 35 places to 87 in the world from 122
James Ward up 22 places to 88 in the world from 111

Mikhail Youzhny down 16 places to 92 in the world
Nick Kyrgios down 12 places to 41 in the world
Jack Sock down 8 places to 39 in the world

Gilles Simon 12th
Richard Gasquet 13th
Grigor Dimitrov 16th
Viktor Troicki 20th

Current ATP Race to London

1st – Novak Djokovic
2nd – Andy Murray
3rd – Stanislas Wawrinka
4th – Roger Federer
5th – Tomas Berdych
6th – Kei Nishikori
7th – David Ferrer
8th – Rafael Nadal

WTA Movers

Agnieszka Radwanska up 6 places to 7th in the world from 13
Garbine Muguruza up 11 places to 9th in the world from 20
Madison Keys up 3 places to 18th in the world from 21
Victoria Azarenka up 5 places to 19th in the world from 24
Jelena Jankovic up 5 places to 25th in the world from 30
Coco Vendeweghe up 15 places to 32nd in the world from 47

Sabine Lisicki down 4 places to 22 in the world
Eugenie Bouchard down 14 places to 26 in the world
Barbora Strycvoa down 8 places to 37 in the world

Current WTA Race to Singapore

1st – Serena Williams
2nd – Maria Sharapova
3rd – Simona Halep
4th – Carla Suarez Navarro
5th – Garbine Muguruza
6th – Lucie Safarova
7th – Karolina Pliskova
8th – Petra Kvitova

Brit Watch

Heather Watson – 51
Johanna Konta – 127
Naomi Broady – 225
Katie Swan – 619 (previous 872)

Andy Murray – 3
Aljaz Bedene – 70 (Career High)
James Ward – 89 (Career High)
Kyle Edmund – 113
Liam Broady – 159 (Career High)
Brydan Klein – 175

Wimbledon 2015 – Andy Murray wins 6-4 7-5 6-4 to advance to the semi-finals!

For the fourth time in their careers Andy Murray and Vasek Pospisil battled it out however for Vasek his biggest match on the singles tour so far in his career. Sporting Royalty and actual Royalty were watching on from the Royal box including David Beckham, Billie Jean King and William and Kate.

It was the Canadian who got the match underway on Centre Court and could not have asked for a better start holding for love with some good serving and a lovely drop shot at the net. Murray likewise could not have had a better start without a point dropped on serve, 1-1. Murray’s start got even better after a good couple of drop shots between the two set up a break point and Murray took it after a forehand forced an error from Pospisil at the net. Murray held serve for 3-1 despite the worst double fault you will ever see miles wide of the box and rain followed with the covers coming on. 20 minutes or so passed and the courts came off and play would be begin in a few minutes. Pospisil got off to a good start after the delay holding for 2-3 before going 0-30 up on the Murray serve but the Brit won four points in a row with the next few games played on serve with Pospisil failing to find a break point and at 5-4 Murray would serve for the opening set. Despite the first deuce on the Murray serve and an exceptional rally showing more of Murray’s defensive skills and a lob to push Pospisil back behind the baseline the Brit took the first set 6-4.

The second set continued to be played on serve with neither player getting a look in at a break point with the set level at 2-2 in the early exchanges. A forehand error from Pospisil set up a chance for Murray at 0-30 however the Canadian got himself out of trouble at held for 3-2 with a shout of ‘COME ON’ at the change of ends we saw a glimpse of Pospisil reading from his note book again. At 4-3 on serve in the set with Murray to serve next more rain followed and another break with the covers coming on…

The big question is, why not close the roof?

Wimbledon must have listened as the roof began to close meaning at least another 20 minutes or more before play actually begins.

After a 35 minute delay, play resumed! Murray held serve well after for 4-4 with Pospisil then following up with a hold of serve including a couple more volleys at the net for a 5-4 lead with Murray serving to stay in the set. Murray served well to hold for 5-5 in just 68 seconds. Drama unfolded on centre court as at 30-30 on the Pospisil serve he was given a code violation for taking too much time between points and it seemed to bother the Canadian who was broken by Murray for a 6-5 after some good tennis and Pospisil failing to finish the volley at the net. Another easy hold of serve followed for Murray and he took the second set 7-5!

Pospisil came under pressure in the opening stages of the set having to save three break points in the first two service games with the set level at 2-2. More break points were saved by Pospisil as he took a 4-3 lead on serve. A hold of serve followed for Murray taking the set to 4-4.

Pascal Maria was at it again as at 0-30 on the Pospisil he was given a time violation and had his first serve taken off him. The Canadian got back to 30-30 but couldn’t hold despite a tweener during a rally and Murray broke serve with a lovely two-handed backhand cross court to take a 5-4 lead and ultimately serving for a place in the semi-finals.

It was a little too late but some errors from Murray gave Pospisil a break point which was quickly saved with an un-returned serve out wide and went on to hold to win 6-4 7-5 6-4 earning a standing ovation from the Centre Court crowd.

Wimbledon 2015 – Andy Murray v Vasek Pospisil Preview

One Murray has already defeated Vasek Pospisil at Wimbledon and now it is Andy’s challenge to defeat the Canadian. Jamie Murray and John Peers defeated Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock in a 5 set doubles match yesterday with Jamie and John winning the fifth set 8-6.

This will be the fourth meeting between Pospisil and Murray with the Brit coming out on top in three of their previous meetings winning in straight sets. Last year they played in Vienna with Murray going on to win the title and beat Pospisil 6-4 6-4 on route there. Towards the beginning of the year he did defeat Pospisil 6-3 7-5 in what was a closer match than the score line suggests and at Indian Wells Murray dispatched the Canadian quite easily 6-1 6-3.

In just the first week of Wimbledon Pospisil has played an awful lot of tennis which could catch up with him. On the singles draw he has so far played in his first 4 matches he has played 17 sets of tennis which him going back from 2 sets down in his previous two matches. If you count the sets he has played in doubles it takes you to 29 sets of tennis which is a lot. Pospisil is a dangerous opponent especially to come from two sets down twice in a row however I think Murray will have too much for him.

With the amount of tennis Pospisil has played if he finds himself tangled up in numerous rallies with Murray where the Brit is dictating the tempo and moving him around the court then it could wear him out. Murray dictates play so well at the back of the court with the two handed backhand, forehand cross court and the slice backhand which takes the pace and height off the ball.

Pospisil on the other hand plays a style of tennis which I would describe as risky. Quite a lot of these young players like to play an aggressive forward thinking game which is good but not having a back-up plan or variety to your game is a problem. The powerful forehand down the line is an exceptional shot and Pospisil will use to produce a winner of put his opponent on the defensive and may come to the net to finish points off. However what we have seen a lot in the past and definitely in his last two matches is the forehand has produced error after error and gone two sets down against Ward and Troicki before winning, the only problem is I cannot see him getting away with it against Andy Murray.

Pospisil is a dangerous player, I do think Murray will win but a good start from Pospisil is essential he can’t afford to produce error after error in the early exchanges end of going 4-0 down with Murray in complete control.

Wimbledon 2015 – James Ward narrowly defeated by Vasek Pospisil in 5 sets!

Great Britain’s James Ward has already made history this week at Wimbledon, securing his place in the top 100 and his first time in the third round at Wimbledon bidding for a place in the fourth round against Victor Troicki however standing in his way was a tough test in Vasek Pospisil the 2014 Wimbledon doubles champion.

Both Ward and Pospisil got off to a pretty emphatic start on serve with both players holding serve to love to settle any nerves they may have had going into this one. Literally nothing to report in the opening six games of the match. Ward only dropped one point on serve in the opening three games from him and Pospisil only dropped three points on serve in his opening three games. On the 7th game we saw the first break of serve as Ward was broken following a lovely volley from Pospisil to take a 4-3 lead. A hold to love followed for the Canadian who took a 5-3 lead. Pospisil had no worries serving out the first set and did to take it 6-4.

The crowd continued to roar for Ward as he held serve at the beginning of the set at 1-0. At 30-0 you would have expected Pospisil to hold serve but a couple of doubles faults and forced errors and Ward broke to take a 2-0 lead. The perfect service game followed by Ward who held to love to take a 3-0 lead! James Ward produced one of the points of the tournament, the defensive lob not once but twice in one rally got himself out of trouble before Pospisil hit and error bringing up another break point for Ward! Some good serving from Pospisil got himself out of a bit more trouble and held for 1-3. Finished with an ace James Ward had to save break points but did to extend his lead to 4-1. Ward continued to hold serve well when it mattered and extended his lead to 5-2 with another love service game and a break away from taking the set! Pospisil held his serve but couldn’t trouble the Brit as he took the second set 6-3!

At 0-1 Ward managed to get out of his next service game with a very good hold of serve against the Canadian saving a few break points and then won a 30 shot rally on the Canadian’s serve for a break point and broke for a 2-1 lead before going up another break for 4-1!!! An easy hold of serve followed and the Brit went 5-1 up! Pospisil did his bit holding serve for 2-5 and James Ward would serve for a two sets to one lead! Despite a double fault there was no problem for Ward and he served to take the set 6-2!

Pospisil start the set a set he needed to win to stay in the match and got off to a very good start with a much needed hold of serve! Pospisil continued to play well at the start of the fourth set with a 2-1 lead on serve and at the changeover reading some notes in a book…

Pospisil then broke serve for a 3-1 lead after a lucky net cord and quickly held for a 4-1 lead! A big hold of serve followed for James Ward holding for 2-4. Ward held serve again a few minutes later for 3-5 and Pospisil would serve for the set. After reading his note book Pospisil improved and took the fourth set 6-3.

The biggest game of the match for James Ward and he held serve very well to hold for a 1-0 lead in the decider! The set continued to be played on the serve with neither player getting a look in on the others serve, just exactly how the first games of the first set went with Ward up 3-2. At 3-3 another big hold from James Ward from deuce for a 4-3 lead greeted to a standing ovation from the crowd and a massive shout of COME ON from Ward! Pospisil quickly levelled at 4-4 before James took a 5-4 lead and Pospisil serving to stay in the match! 5-4 became 5-5 with nothing to separate the two. Spectators on court 1 rose to their feet again as Ward went 6-5 up! Sadly that was it for James Ward as his Wimbledon came to an end at 8-6 in the final set but can be very proud of his performances at Wimbledon!

Andy Murray d. Vasek Pospisil 6-1 6-3 at Indian Wells

In the third meeting between Vasek Pospisil and Andy Murray it was the Canadian who’s never beaten Murray to get the match going in the desert and got off to the perfect start with a hold of serve without dropping a point to open the scoring at 1-0. Murray then finished his first service game of the match with an ace for 1-1. Murray then saw three break points at 0-40 and took the final one after a forehand hit the net from Pospisil giving Murray the first break of the match. Murray quickly consolidated the break for a 3-1 lead early on. Pospisil was 40-15 up on serve but then lost 4 points in a row including an excellent crosscourt forehand from Murray to go a double break up for a 4-1 lead. Pospisil continued to produce more and more errors and 4-1 quickly became 5-1 for the Brit. Murray was in cruise control as Pospisil continued to make error after error with 19 unforced errors compared to Murray’s 2 unforced errors and gifted the set on a double fault with Murray winning the first set 6-1.

Pospisil managed to end a run of 6 games in a row for Murray as he was broken by the Canadian after a double fault which he challenged and was millimetres wide which led to Murray smashing his racket onto the court. Murray reacted immediately with a world class return of serve and broke back for 1-1 after another error from last year’s Wimbledon doubles champion.  Murray then held serve with a second serve ace down the T for a 2-1 lead and in control of the set. Pospisil then held after saving a couple of break points to level up in the second set for 2-2. Murray had to withstand some pressure from Pospisil on serve to lead for 3-2. Both players continued to hold serve well in the next couple of games with Murray in front on serve at 4-3. Some good defensive and attacking tennis from Murray saw him get to 0-30 and then 0-40 as Pospisil double faulted and Murray broke for 5-3 and would serve for the match. Murray served out the match in style and with an excellent game to win the match 6-1 6-3 and set up a third round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber who Murray lost to in 2010 but beat him last year at Roland Garros with his match running into a second day winning the final set 12-10.