The latest happenings in the tennis world, rounded up for you.
The Sony Open in Miami is underway and Britain’s Laura Robson has got herself off to a good start. The 19-year old couldn’t have won the first set in much better fashionn in her first round match against Italy’s Camila Giorgi, winning the first set 6-2 in just over 20 minutes. Giorgi responded well by winning the second set 6-4 to set up a third set, which was eventually won 6-3 by Robson.
It was the world number 43’s first win since she beat Petra Kvitova at the Australian Open earlier this year. The win came as a relief after she recently voiced her dissapointment of losing at the first huddle in each of her three last tournaments. The next round in Miami will see the Olympic mixed doubles silver medalist face French 32nd seed Alize Cornet. Meanwhile Heather Watson, Robson’s British tennis colleague, crashed out of Miami in the first round with a 1-6 7-5 6-4 defeat to Japan’s Ayumi Morita. Also in the women’s singles, Serena Williams returned to action after missing the Indian Wells event and battled through an easy 6-1 6-1 victory over Flavia Pennetta.
World number 1 Novak Djokovic will begin his quest to win his third straight title in Miami with a second round meeting with Lukas Rosol, who many know as ‘the man who beat Nadal’, in what will be their first match together.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have both opted not to compete in the event, which is worth 1000 ATP points to the winner. Federer is taking a seven week break for training and to rest an ongoing back issue, while Nadal wants to rest his knees after an injury comeback saw him win three tournaments. This means that Andy Murray is seed number 2 at the Miami Masters event, the world number 3 will face world number 45 Bernard Tomic in round 2. Tomic beat qualifier Marc Gicquel 7-5, 7-6(3) in a very tight match although a stright sets win for the Australian.
In the pick of the other games (round 2) in Miami, number 3 seed David Ferrer will take on qualifier Dmitry Tursunov. Lleyton Hewitt, the youngest ever male to have been world number 1 but now 32, will take on the Frenchman Gilles Simon, who is looking to have a good tournament to break into the top 10. Juan Martin del Potro will be looking to follow up his impressive displays in Indian Wells with another good run in Miami, he’ll take on world number 89 German Tobias Kamke. Seed 4 Tomas Berdych will compete against world number 48 and fellow Spanish player Daniel Gimeno-Traver. Seed 6 Jo-Wilfred Tsonga has a meeting with world number 44 Viktor Troiciki.
That’s enough of Miami, for now anyway. With Wimbledon in mind, world number 7 Juan Martin del Potro has confirmed his participation in the Queen’s Club event in June. He’ll be one of the main comepetitors to Andy Murray’s bid to win the title on British soil. Tomas Berdych also confirmed his attendance for the highly anticipated British Wimbledon warm-up event earlier this month. The Argentinian, who won the US Open in 2009, has backed Murray to be challenging for more major honours and the world number 1 spot “Murray is a big champion, he already won a Grand Slam, he made the finals in Australia and he has everything he needs to be at the top in the future.”
You may remember that, back in December of last year, US Open organisers said that the tournament’s men’s final would move to a Monday to give players an extra day’s rest after, what usually is, exhausting semi-finals. The final will still be played on a Monday this year and next year, however it will revert back to a Sunday from 2015 after the decision was re-discussed. The semi-finals will then be held on the Friday, instead of ‘Super Saturday’. Also from 2015, the first round of the men’s singles will be played over two days rather than the usual three.
The prize money at the US Open has also had some received some recent adjustments, by 2017 the prize money will be at $50m (£33m). This year’s prize moeny also got an increase after the US Tennis Association and ATP felt it was too low for such a fantastic grand slam.