Murray Wins Queen’s, Is Wimbledon Next? Venus Wins in Eastbourne
by Sean Randall | June 13th, 2011, 6:49 pm

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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22 Comments for Murray Wins Queen’s, Is Wimbledon Next? Venus Wins in Eastbourne

Tennis Vagabond Says:

That’s a very impressive first win for Venus. I hope she and Serena show good form this week, they will definitely make Wimbledon more exciting.

Murray has some mental challenges for sure, but I think, unlike Lebron’s, he can overcome his. I do not fall into the “No GS ever for Murray camp”. Sure, it could happen (0 GS), each one is an enormous challenge and none will ever be handed over, but I think we’ll see a stronger Murray when he next makes a final.

dari Says:

yes, good for Venus, grass is her turf- best place to start.
Think I might have to wake up for the serena match.if she should somehow lose, I don’t want to have missed that and have to wait till Wimbledon. Or god forbid she is injured in the match and she goes out again!
Geeze, don’t be such pessimist

Kimberly Says:

dari-r u a serena fan? I like them ok and love that they are american and kick ass. HOWEVER, they are not my fav. I would just like a repeat of the 2004 Wimbledon. I actually was watching the replay highlights on tennis channel. Pure heaven.

dari Says:

You know what, I never would have considered myself a “serena fan” but I guess like you said, I am a bad ass fan and an American fan. serena is definitely that.
I just loved her Wimbledon performance last year and then she was gone, so some of the feelings are just residual from that and then amplified by anticipation.
I probably would never be sad if she beat anybody.
Long winded, but you get my gist?
And you know from my bball taste that I like the geriatric, which Venus kinda is at this point. A great geriatric though
Yeah, just got home and see the wimby classics on tennis channel. Made it home in time to see like 5 points of roger and Pete, and it looks like they are showing serena and Maria again, will watch that!
Jane- checking in with hockey, sowwy. Is game 7 in beantown too?

dari Says:

Im thinking now and its hard for me to say a fave on the ladies side. And I just don’t think I have that #1 female player that it would affect my day if they lost. Used all my fan juice on fed, no more left.

Kimberly Says:

i used to love Venus and then got disappointed by a few things about her, and moved on to Maria. But I still like her. Their games are sort of similar in some ways although I would venture to say Venus is a better athlete and everything Maria does Venus in her prime could do better, although not as consistently.

In fact, on paper Venus is better in every way. Harder serve, better mover, better at net. And not exactly a mental midget, she used to know how to close out a match. More error prone even than maria though. Both have extremely aggressive games. I remember watching Wimbledon 2007 them play and I recently watched the replay and Venus was just stronger and better. Maybe it was just a grass thing.

Maybe I just like Maria’s outfits better (not difficult considering the dress with holes at the Australian Open or the pink sequinned thing at USO 2010). Or maybe if Venus actually played tennis the affection would return.

dari Says:

Yeah Venus at her prime at Wimbledon was very special.
And its clear today she had to fight for her win against petkovic, who I liked in the beginning but is overexposing herself disproportionately to her tennis skills right now, I see why Maria seems annoyed by her- ack! Another bruins goal
So who is left for me? Vika? At wimbles, I dunno.
Top 4, in no order: Ana I ( she was serving big at Birmingham) Venus (sentimental/great grass game, last chances),Maria(want to see her comeback a complete one with slam), serena (when she left had best women’s game hands down).
Ok, I’m done rambling on this thread.
Unless somebody has a recommn

Kimberly Says:

I can’t stand petkovic or the petko dance. I loved Maria’s comment, I wasn’t tired because I didn’t do the dance!

FOr me WImbledon order
1. Sharapova
2. Sharapova
3. Sharapova

1. Sharapova
2. Venus
3. Azarenka
4. Serena

I used to kind of like Ivanovic but her crying and poor me has worn on me.

skeezerweezer Says:

Players should be worried if S@V are sincere in saying “they miss tennis so much”. Me thinks they have some fire and ice in there games still yet…

I know they won’t win any popularity contests, but it’s not like they came from privileged backgrounds or “coddled” tennis academy upbringings. They both have brought a new breed of athleticism, gutsy play, and power to the womens game.

margot Says:

Time to take Andy out of the trunk? Oh silly me, forgot he is a permanent resident…….
Cahill is in UK working with Andy, perhaps he can help him deal with the pressure? Certainly hope so!

Eric Says:

margot, he is in good company often, though. :)

Cherry Says:

I’m so happy that Venus won! That really made my day!

margot Says:

Eric, it offends my British sense of “fair play.” ;)
Hilarious from Andy: Sunday night woken up by burglar alarm, in house with g.f. so must show extreme courage and, merely armed with his trusty tennis racquet, our mighty hero goes to investigate, of course false alarm. But it is 3.30 am and alas our dragon slaying hero cannot get back to sleep. Ends up watching Heat match!
And I thought, he because looked pale and wan on Monday, it must be down to STRESS…. teehee!

dari Says:

haha, nice story, margot. why is andy cracking me up so these days?
i also love it when non-americans call basketball or other american sports a “match” we don’t say that here, just “game”
watching serena, you can get injured, you can get sick, but a champ is a champ. she serves her way outta trouble like nobody else, and despite huffing and puffing after doing so, she is moving pretty well. i know its grass, but i just wasnt seeing anybody else moving to the net like she does. nice to see
1-6, now 6-3 for serena

dari Says:

GSM serena. i missed the first set, but it was actually a nice match to watch. some vintage running forehands, a little weaker moving on the bh side, and looking a bit winded. oddly, all that said, she looks better than i expected for a year off!
i was on the fence last night, but after watching today, i can confirm i am a serena fan.

jane Says:

Very happy for Andy M. He sounds excited to play, which is a good sign. Funny story margot. :)

dari, it is in Vancity but am very uncertain at this point: game 7 = coin flip.

dari Says:

well good luck to you guys jane! i hope they can do it. winning a game 7 at home would feel so good. i enjoyed very much the portion of the game i saw last night, so i will watch and do some cheering on… wednesday?

jane Says:

Thanks dari. :) Yep, D-(as in do or die)-day is Wednesday.

Andrew Miller Says:

Can’t see Murray or Tsonga winning Wimbledon until they win it. I can’t mark them to the finals either.

Murray’s favorite tournament appears to me anywhere but Wimby. US Open probably for the majors.

Swiss Maestro Says:

you know what murray has going for him? his hair-style.

take a look at this picture of the last British wimbledon winner :

now tell me who dares to say murray isn’t the best bet to break this jinx?

come on, i say!

Swiss Maestro Says:

on 2nd thoughts and having another look at wade’s pic, i am thinking judie murray might have stolen virginia wade’s son and raised as her own! LOL

no offense, murray fans!

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