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Did you know Mitchell’s Plain have its own tennis club

Federer leaves lasting impression

Madrid – Roger Federer left a lasting impression on the Madrid Open’s controversial blue claycourt by grinding out a 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory against Czech Tomas Berdych to match Rafael Nadal’s record of 20 Masters titles on Sunday.

Spaniard Nadal, who fell in the third round and will lose his number two ranking to his great Swiss rival, was one of the most vocal opponents of the new surface, which he said was dangerously slippery.

Federer, however, proved better able to adapt to the testing conditions and secured his fourth title of the season, and the 74th of his illustrious career, after edging a gripping final at the futuristic Magic Box arena.

“It feels amazing,” Federer told spectators sweltering in the Madrid heat inside the Manolo Santana show court as his wife and twin daughters looked on.

“Look, it’s been a tough tournament and tough to move but you just go on with it and try to make the best out of it,” added the 30-year-old.

“There was some good tennis and there was some bad tennis as well, you see that in all the tournaments, but I thought the level of play under the circumstances was very good.”

Federer came into the tournament following a month-long rest and is looking in ominous form as the world’s top players prepare for the French Open starting in Paris later this month.

The 2009 Roland Garros champion had already won titles this year in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells and has only lost three times since falling to Djokovic in the US Open semi finals last September.

Czech sixth seed Berdych, who ended Federer’s dream of Olympic gold in Athens in 2004 and knocked him out of Wimbledon in the quarter-finals two years ago, made the stronger start and a break of his opponent’s serve in the second game was enough to settle an otherwise desperately tight first set.

The crowd, including American actor Will Smith, tried their best to lift the hugely-popular Federer, champion in 2006 and 2009, and he responded with two breaks in the second set that helped him level the match.

A couple of double faults from Berdych, who was bidding for a second career Masters triumph, put Federer 5-3 ahead in the decider but the 16-times grand slam champion faltered when serving for the match.

However, with Berdych needing to hold to stay in contention at 6-5 down, Federer conjured another break, converting his fourth match point when Berdych netted a forehand.

The statistics show how evenly matched the pair were, with Federer hitting 44 winners to Berdych’s 42 and the Czech making 27 unforced errors to Federer’s 30. The Swiss won 103 points to his opponent’s 101.

Nadal and world Novak Djokovic have both have threatened not to return next year unless the traditional red dirt used at most other clay events is reinstated.

Organisers argue that the blue courts make it easier for television viewers to follow the yellow balls but the players’ complaints may prompt the ATP, the governing body of men’s tennis, to switch back to red clay next year

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Tennis

 

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Passing Federer not enough for Murray

Andy Murray’s win at the Shanghai Masters confirms he is the man of the moment and marks a potentially decisive watershed as he overtakes Roger Federer in the rankings for the first time.

Victory in China over Spain’s David Ferrer on Sunday was the third consecutive title triumph for the 24-year-old Scot after wins in Bangkok and Tokyo and he is on a 15-match winning streak after his triumphant Asian swing.

As of Monday, Britain’s Murray will have just Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal ahead of him in the rankings as he targets the year-end No 3 slot, something he has never before achieved.

Federer, absent from Shanghai, will swap places with Murray, slipping to No 4 — his lowest ranking in more than eight years.

The last time the Swiss great was ranked lower than No 3 was way back in June 2003, the month before he won his first Grand Slam at Wimbledon.

That signalled the start of a period of astonishing dominance in the sport during which he held the No 1 position for a record 237 consecutive weeks.

Speaking after his 7-5, 6-4 triumph in Shanghai, an upbeat Murray said his ultimate aim remained to go further than toppling Federer or finishing the year ranked third, which in any case was still not guaranteed.

“But, yeah, I mean, if you finish in front of Federer in a year, then there’s not many people the last five, six, seven years that have been able to say that. So that’s obviously a nice thing if I can do it,” he said.

Federer’s move down the rankings will give extra ammunition to those who believe the Swiss, 30, has seen his best days and is in gradual decline, with Djokovic, Nadal and Murray all still in their mid-20s.

For Federer, 2011 is his first year without a Grand Slam since 2002. He has won just one title, in Doha.

But Murray said it was too soon to write off his Swiss rival, against whom he holds an 8-6 career advantage.

“For a lot of years everything went very right for him. He’s had a few tournaments this year where maybe things could have gone his way and they didn’t. That’s tough. But I’m sure next year he’ll be competing. He’s still playing great tennis,” said Murray.

Murray has been as high as No 2 in the world, in 2009, but has never ended the year ranked higher than fourth.

But while the Briton has earned a place at tennis’s top table, the glaring omission from his CV is a Grand Slam win. He has reached three finals, beaten twice by Federer and then by Djokovic at this year’s Australian Open.

His three main rivals have a total of 30 Grand Slams between them. Federer is the all-time leader with 16 and Spain’s Nadal has 10.

World No 1 Djokovic’s stellar season, including wins at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, has taken the Serb’s tally to four.

Murray remains confident that he will make the long-awaited breakthrough and become Britain’s first men’s Grand Slam singles champion since Fred Perry in 1936.

“It’s been a tough year in that respect, losing to the very best players” in the Grand Slams, said Murray, who reached at least the semifinals of all four majors this year.

He was beaten in the Australian Open final by Djokovic and in the semifinals at the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open by Nadal.

“But I feel like I’m still improving. I feel like these last three weeks were a good step for me. That’s all you can do is just keep improving,” said Murray.

“It’s tough to improve by 50 percent at this stage of my career. But if I keep improving just a little bit, my ranking’s going in the right direction, I’m winning tournaments, giving myself opportunities at the majors, then I’ll win.”

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2011 in Tennis

 

Tennis Club

Yes, Mitchell’s Plain does have its own tennis club, based at the Silversand courts next to the Westridge Swimming pool

For more information about the Club and how to join please click Here

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Tennis