Tennis Update


World number one and two Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are still on course to contest what will most likely be the first of many finals in 2017 at Doha this week. Murray faces third seed Berdych in today’s second semi-final and the British number one leads the head-to-head by 10-6. In addition he has won the last six encounters in a row between 2015 and 2016 with the last five in straight sets. Djokovic plays the unseeded veteran Verdasco in the first semi-final and the Serb leads the head-to-head 8-4. Djokovic has won six of their seven encounters on hard courts, including the last six in a row and Verdasco's last win came back in 2010 on clay .

The action at Brisbane has now reached the quarter-final stage and three of the matches have been decided. Britain’s Kyle Edmund, one of the leading NextGen stars, put up a great fight against second seed Stan Wawrinka before losing 7-6, 6-4, 6-4. Third seed Kei Nishikori despatched Australian Wild Card Jordon Thompson 6-1, 6-1 and Grigor Dimitrov (seeded 7) defeated Dominic Thiem (4) in three sets.

The final quarter-final match of the day at Brisbane is the showcase match between top seed Milos Raonic (11/2), one of my outright tips this week, and fifth seed Rafael Nadal. Nadal leads the head-to-head 7-1 and won their most recent encounter 6-1 3-6 6-3 on hard courts at the Mubadala Exhibition event last week. At the time of writing, Nadal is one set up (6-4).

Finally, the action at Chennai is now down to the quarter-final stage and my one remaining outright selection Aljaz Bedene (66/1) is still in action and faces fifth seed Benoit Paire in the third scheduled match today. Bedene leads the head-to-head 2-1 and he won their last meeting at Queens on grass last year 7-6 6-7 6-4. I expect today’s encounter to be very close again and hopefully Bedene will draw confidence and strength from his epic Queens win against Paire and also from his epic 7-6 6-7 7-6 second round win against Klizan yesterday.

The other three matches at Chennai today are between qualifier Kovalik and NextGen star Daniil Medvedev, third seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas and veteran Dudi Sela and seventh seed veteran Mikhail Youzhny and second seed and tournament favourite Bautista Agut.


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