Andy Murray wins Queen’s doubles title with Feliciano Lopez to complete dream comeback

23 Jun

Andy Murray completed a remarkable winning return to tennis with victory in the doubles at Queen’s Club alongside Feliciano Lopez.

The Scot, who was close to retiring five months ago due to the hip injury which left him struggling to walk without pain, let alone play tennis, strolled off with the silverware at his first attempt back.

Murray and Lopez pose with the trophy after winning the doubles at Queens

Murray and Lopez – the latter ‘fresh’ from winning the singles title less than an hour earlier – beat Britain’s Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram of the United States 7-6 (6) 5-7 10-5 after a third-set match tie-break.

Murray had insisted after their first-round victory that winning was not his number one priority this week. After all, it was only five months ago that the former world number one tearfully announced that the Australian Open could be his last tournament.

This, then, was supposed to be a tentative comeback, testing out the new metal hip after a career-saving operation and getting a few games under his belt, with a view to gradually building up to a return to singles. But the three-time grand slam champion clearly has not lost the appetite for a battle.

The fledgling partnership were 5-1 down in a first-set tie-break but fought back to level, and took it when Ram pushed a forehand wide.

The second set went the way of Salisbury and Ram after Murray dropped serve, and like so many matches during Murray’s career, it went to the wire.

Lopez, who must have been running on empty, somehow conjured up a series of stunning winners in the match tie-break to secure his own personal double and an unlikely, but welcome, victory for Murray.

Nick Kyrgios claims second British scalp at Queen’s with three-set victory over Kyle Edmund

21 Jun

Nick Kyrgios has followed up his win over Andy Murray by knocking Kyle Edmund out of the Fever-Tree Championships.

Kyrgios ruined Murray’s long-awaited comeback on Tuesday and then sent the current British number one packing in the second round at Queen’s Club, winning 7-6 (7/3) 6-7 (5/7) 6-3.

Kyrgios will face Feliciano Lopez in the quarter-finals

It was largely down to a serving masterclass as the Australian sent down 32 aces and faced only one break point as he moved into the quarter-finals.

There was only one break of serve in the entire match, which Kyrgios took early in the third set, though Edmund did have a chance to break with his opponent serving for the win, but could not take it.

It was soon clear that it would be a day for servers to dominate as there were just eight points won by the returner in the opening 12 games.

That meant a tiebreak, where Kyrgios was able to turn the tide and win two points off Edmund’s serve to take the first set 7-6 (7/3).

Edmund only had one break point opportunity in the whole match

The second set followed a similar pattern until Kyrgios got into an Edmund service game at 5-5, but the Briton fought back from 15-40 down to hold as another tiebreak ensued.

Edmund got some early momentum and led 4-0 but eventually got the job done 7-5.

The first break of the match finally came at 1-2 in the third set and it was Kyrgios that took it when Edmund set a forehand wide.

Kyrgios barely gave Edmund a look in until he was serving for the match at 5-3 when the Briton forced his only break point.

The Australian lost his temper with an expletive-laden rant at his player’s box but Edmund could not convert the break point and his tournament was over.

The pair will face off again in the doubles later on Thursday.

Andy Murray faces testing Queen’s comeback against Nick Kyrgios

16 Jun

Andy Murray’s return to competitive tennis will be tougher than he may have hoped after being handed a Queen’s Club appointment with Nick Kyrgios.

Murray decided on Saturday he would play at next week’s Fever-Tree Championships, ending an 11-month absence from the game.

Murray underwent hip surgery

The three-time major winner has not played since last year’s Wimbledon due to a hip injury and subsequent surgery.

He practiced at Queen’s on Friday ahead of next week’s Fever-Tree Championships, delayed a decision until Saturday and then told tournament officials he would be there.

“Andy Murray has confirmed that he will play in the Fever-Tree Championships,” the tournament said on its official Twitter account.

Murray played with fellow Brit Cameron Norrie in a relaxed session on Friday but will have a real step up in opposition when he sees Kyrgios over the net.

The Australian is number 24 in the world and is supremely talented, if volatile. Murray, however, has a good record against him, winning all five of their meetings.

Elsewhere in the draw, Novak Djokovic will face a qualifier, top seed Marin Cilic faces Fernando Verdasco and British number one Kyle Edmund will take on Ryan Harrison.

French Open champion Rafael Nadal pulls out of Queen’s Club tournament for the third successive year

13 Jun

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club, three days after winning his eleventh French Open title.

It is the third consecutive year the world number one has entered the tournament, which begins on Monday, only to pull out before the start.

Nadal powered to his eleventh French Open title last weekend

Nadal said: “Queen’s is a great event, I have happy memories of winning the title in 2008 and I wanted to come back this year. But it has been a very long clay-court season for me with great results.

“I would like to say sorry to the tournament organisers and most of all to the fans that were hoping to see me play, but I have spoken to my doctors and I need to listen to what my body is telling me.”

Nadal last played at Queen’s Club in 2015 and will once again go into Wimbledon without any official grass-court matches. He has struggled at SW19 in recent years, failing to progress beyond the fourth round since his last final appearance in 2011.

Queen’s organisers announced the strongest line-up in the tournament’s history and will now wait to hear whether Andy Murray will follow Nadal in withdrawing.

The two-time Wimbledon champion is expected to decide in the next couple of days whether to make his comeback from hip surgery in West Kensington.