Top-seeded Andy Murray stayed on course for a fourth title at Queen’s Club by overcoming Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 on Friday to reach the semi-finals.
Like in previous matches this week, Murray struggled early against a solid opponent. Muller broke to lead 3-1 and Murray failed to convert two break points in the next game.
The second set then went with serve until Murray finally raised his game and was able to dominate the tiebreaker.
He then broke early in the third set, which turned out to be enough to decide the match.
“You need a bit of luck sometimes when you’re playing against someone who serves like Gilles,” Murray said. “I started to read the serve a little bit better in that tiebreak and the end of the second set. That was when the match changed a little bit.”
Murray next faces Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, who defeated American John Isner 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.
Troicki, who lost in the final at Stuttgart to Rafael Nadal last week, kept Isner under pressure with strong serves and did not face a break point throughout the match. Isner needed to fight off three break points in the first set before conceding the tiebreaker and he faced another seven in the second set before giving up the eighth as Troicki broke to lead 5-3.
Earlier, Gilles Simon reached his third semi-final of the year by eliminating third-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
The seventh-seeded Frenchman surrendered the opening set on a single break of serve at 1-1, but in a 12-minute game at 2-2 in the second set he fought off three break points before breaking for a 4-2 lead.
Neither player earned a break point in the final set until at 5-5, when a netted backhand gave Simon the decisive break. He needed five match points to close it out in 2 hours, 18 minutes.
“I couldn’t return any serve in for one set and a half,” Simon said. “I had a lot of trouble to win my service game. I was under pressure every time. And then I don’t know how it turns, a bit out of nowhere.”
Despite the loss, Raonic was happy with his first week of competition since undergoing minor surgery on his right foot to correct a pinched nerve.
“The tennis I thought was great,” Raonic said. “The only thing I really have to be disappointed with is I wish I would have sort of gutted it out a bit more, tried to play on my terms. I was waiting for him too much and I let him dictate.”
Simon next faces South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, who beat Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (9/7), 7-5.
Anderson, who saved a match point against Lleyton Hewitt in the first round, hit 18 aces, but failed to earn a break point until leading 6-5 in the second set.
There were just two other break points in the match, which Garcia-Lopez failed to convert in the opening game of the second set.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being