Indian Wells, CA – Andy Murray came into this week’s BNP Paribas Open with plenty of rest and ample energy. The Scot spent all of February training and preparing himself for the upcoming masters events in Miami and did not play Dubai this year. This was a scheduling change that was probably brought about because of his poor outing here last year, losing in his opening round match to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez after a deep run in Dubai the week prior.
Murray went down 5-1 in the first set to Russian Evgeny Donskoy before mounting a serious momentum-changing run of four straight games. In a titanic service game from Donskoy, Murray had multiple break points but Donskoy always managed to come up with a forehand or volley winner. Murray was stymied time and time again by big flat serves that sped up due to the high temperatures on court.
But Murray, the great competitor that he is, turned the match into an all out war of the legs. Hitting high-arching groundies, he moved Donskoy until the Russian could only flail at running forehands and stab at backhands. Murray was in his prime form at this point, knocking off easy shots and simply playing the cat and mouse game. Murray held on to win the next two sets decisively 6-2, 6-2 and looks to have worked through the rust that might have developed over February. A much better start for Murray to simply make it through his first match this year but still plenty of tennis to be played.
Last year, my partner and I formed Advantage USA Tennis, a non-profit to help support and promote American tennis. Just for fun, we imagined what we might do if our goal was, instead, to keep American tennis in the dumps.
Women's tennis is bracing itself for the news that reigning Australian Open champion Li Na, China's most prominent sportswoman and a major force in opening up Asia as the most growing region in tennis, will announce her retirement within the next 24 hours.
The Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open has awarded its final two main draw Wild Cards to Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens and Spain’s Maria-Teresa Torro Flor just days before the WTA Premier 5 event is due to begin in China. Flipkens and Torro Flor join the star-studded main draw in one of the strongest fields ever assembled at a WTA event.
Three-time Wimbledon runner-up Andy Roddick is to return to London to make his debut at the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall, 3-7 December. Roddick, who won the hearts of British tennis fans when he lost a heart-breaking 16-14 final set to Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2009, is excited to return.