It came a day late but Andy Murray will happily take his first title of the year. The Scot won Queen’s title defeating JW Tsonga 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 in a final that was pushed over to today because of Sunday rain.
“It’s been one of the most fun weeks for me because the tennis, the last two matches was very good,” said Murray. “It was relaxing. I said everyone thinks at this period of the year it’s so stressful, you can’t play, you can’t enjoy yourself, you can’t do anything. But I felt like I expressed myself on the court. I felt like I was hitting the ball really good. I enjoyed it.”
The win sets Murray up in fail-mode for Wimbledon ahead. With Rafael Nadal still playing good tennis, Roger Federer on the upswing and Novak Djokovic playing the best tennis of his life, where does/will Murray fit in as the hype swirls?
“I’m going to Wimbledon with the feeling that I’m going to win the tournament,” declared Murray. “I don’t think you can go in with any other attitude. I feel like I’m playing good tennis. I’ll need to improve the next week or so and work on some things going into Wimbledon.
“But I need to play my best tennis throughout the tournament to be able to do that. I’ll be switched on for the first match. [I'm] really look forward to the next five or six days to get ready for it, because for me, it’s one of the most important tournaments of the year, if not the most.”
Murray is playing good tennis and he has reason to be confident. But Wimbledon, with its pressure and history, might be the toughest Slam for the Scot to win. And right now even on the grass I have a hard time picking him over Nadal, Federer or Djokovic.
And Murray’s biggest obstacle in winning a slam is the number zero. That’s 0-9 in sets won-lost in Grand Slam finals. After getting blanked by Federer (twice) and Djokovic, will Nadal get that pleasure this year?
Also, good to see Tsonga have a good week. Despite the loss today I liked his aggressive approach to his game.
Meanwhile in Eastbourne, Venus Williams made a positive return defeating Andrea Petkovic in three sets 7-5, 5-7, 6-3. Because of a hip injury, Venus hadn’t played since January (when she retired to the same Petkovic) but this time she gave the German a little lesson on grass court tennis. Sort of.
“It was definitely an adventure: the conditions, falling down every other point,” Williams joked. “Coming back from such a long lay-off and competing against someone who has been playing so well the last 12 months, there was a lot going on out there, but I was extremely excited to come back with a win.”
Tomorrow, Serena returns after nearly a year off the tour and if things go well in Eastbourne she’ll instantly become the Wimbledon favorite.
“I’m really excited to be back,” Serena said. “I really miss playing tennis. I’m thoroughly enjoying the short time I’ve been back on the practice courts. It sucked because when I left I was ranked No.1. That’s what I miss most, just being on top of the game and playing some really good tennis, and the challenges of all the other players. Venus and I have both missed tennis so much. If tennis has missed us half as much as we have missed tennis, we’re in a good place.
“I’m hoping I can peak at Wimbledon, hopefully in the second week, and hopefully I’ll get there. I’m just taking everything one day at a time and not putting too many expectations on myself or on my game.
Serena plays Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round. The 23-year-old from Bulgaria was a surprise semifinalist at Wimbledon last year.
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Video Proof: Serena and Venus Practicing in Eastbourne
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Llodra Thanks Mauresmo for Title; Henin Raises Grass Trophy; Weekend Round-up