Andy Murray 2015 Australian Open

The Australian Open 2015 Men’s Singles Final sees No.6 seed Andy Murray in better form than ever on route to another Grand Slam final rematch against World No.1 Novak Djokovic.

The defensively inclined Murray is firing on all cylinders. A victory would make him one slam short of a career Grand Slam. The taller and older (1 week) of the two, has hit more winners than unforced errors in all 6 matches to date.

This is the 24th head-to-head meeting between Murray and Djokovic, with Murray trailing 15-8, yet seemingly in best physical shape since winning his two Grand Slam singles titles. Interestingly, the 1.9m Scot has won both Grand Slams by defeating Djokovic in the final, why not  a third time?

Djokovic thinks Murray is better this year and that the court suits Andy more in 2015. “I think his forehand has improved, judging by the matches he has played during these couple weeks compared to a few months ago. The courts are playing a little bit faster in the last two years than it was the previous years in Rod Laver Arena as we mentioned before. Because they are faster, because the ball is bouncing a bit lower, that’s pretty suitable to his style of the game. He likes that. He has a flat backhand and moves around the court pretty well,” Djokovic said.

Murray has a 39-9 record at Melbourne Park and is playing his fourth final here on Rod Laver Arena. Murray will dig deep to claim a third Grand Slam singles title which, would see him surpass: Ilie Nastase, Stan Smith, Johan Kriek, Sergei Bruguera, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Patrick Rafter, Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt all with 2.

Murray’s road to the Championship match:

– hit more winners than unforced errors in all 6 matches to date,
– hit %81 of return of serves in to play (%13 more than Djokovic),
– converted %47 of break point opportunities (%12 more than Djokovic),
– hit 84 forehand winners,
– hit 40 backhand winners (9 more than Djokovic),
– hit 66 aces (13 more than Djokovic), and
– hit a fastest serve at 214 kmh (7kmh faster than Djokovic).
– has dropped just two sets (one each to fellow Top 10 players Dimitrov and Berdych),
– spent a total of 15 hours and 4 minutes on court,
– held 89 of 99 service games,
– won %78 of points when he made his 1st serve,
– won %58 of points when he played a second serve, and
– won %36 of return of serve games.

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Novak Djokovic 2015 Australian Open

The Australian Open 2015 Men’s Singles Final sees No.1 seed Novak Djokovic pitted against dual Grand Slam champion and Olympic Singles Gold Medallist, Andy Murray (No.6 seed).

This is the 24th head-to-head meeting between these two. Djokovic holds the upper hand with a 15-8 record and goes in with a 49-6 record at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic drew level with Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg’s record by fighting through to a fifth Australian Open final. The current World No.1 would join Federer and Edberg as only the third player to win 50 Australian Open singles matches or more, if he is victorious today.

Djokovic will be confident that he can add to his perfect 4-0 Australian Open finals record, to become the first man in the Open Era to win 5 Australian Open singles titles.

The Serbian won all four matches between them last year and 7 of their past 8 matches. The 27-year-old Djokovic is 3-0 against Murray here at Melbourne Park including two of those victories in previous Australian Open finals.

Nole has now won 9 straight matches against Top 10 players. Djokovic avenged his 2014 Australian Open quarter final defeat at the hands of defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka 9-7 in the 5th set, with a together with a 6-0 final set routing in this semis.

Djokovic will be striving to win his first Grand Slam as a father of 3-month old son Stefan and since he married Jelena Ristic in July last year.

Djokovic is gunning for  his eighth Grand Slam title, to join Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi in fifth place on the Open Era major titles list and with Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall on the all-time list.

Djokovic’s road to the Championship match:

– has dropped just two sets (both to Wawrinka in the semi),
– spent a total of 13 hours and 12 minutes on court,
– held 91 of 97 service games,
– hit %67 of 1st serves in,
– won %81 of points when he made his 1st serve,
– won %65 of points when he played a second serve,
– he has saved 13 of the 19 break points he has faced,
– won %55 of points against his opponent’s 2nd serve,
– broken serve 26 times from 95 return games,
– hit %68 of return of serves in to play,
– hit 85 forehand winners,
– hit 31 backhand winners,
– hit 53 aces, and
– hit a fastest serve at 207 kmh.

© photo credit: Head Tennis. Please “Like” the Head Tennis Facebook page and “Follow” @head_tennis on Twitter

Stanislas Wawrinka 2014 Australian Open champion

The 2015 Australian Open main draw men’s singles matches will begin on Monday 19 January at 11am local time in Melbourne. When the draw is made, how the draw works, whom all the different types of participants are and how these are selected are all covered below.

The official Australian Open main draw ceremony was held on Friday 16 January at 10am on the steps at Margaret Court Arena, providing a greater celebration of tennis and Australian Open connection than last year when the draw was held at the Crown Casino, Riverside in Melbourne, Victoria.

Composition of The Draw:

The men’s singles draw has a 128-player draw consisting of 16 Qualifiers, 8 Wildcards and 104 Direct Acceptances. The direct acceptances are the highest 104 ranked players in the world at the cut-off date who are fit enough to compete. The cut-off date is six weeks prior to the main draw commencing, which was 8 December 2014.

The Seeds:

The highest ranked 32 players according to the ATP Tour singles rankings one week prior to the 1st round commencing i.e. 12 January, 2015, become The Seeds.

A seeding is allocated to the 32 highest ranked players according to the latest ATP Tour rankings before the draw is made i.e. the Monday prior to the 1st round commencing, so Monday 12 January 2015.

There are 32 seeded players in a 128-player sized draw and they are separated in the draw so that they play two rounds against lower ranked opponents (unseeded players), before they meet another seed in the 3rd round. If any of the seeded players withdraw after the draw has been made, then the 33rd highest ranked player becomes a seed, then the 34th player and so on.

The Wildcards:

All of the 8 wildcard recipients will be confirmed before Tuesday 8 January as the qualifying singles event will be drawn that day. The names of the wildcards must be removed from the participating players list in the qualifying singles event before the official draw commences.

The Qualifiers:

The 128-player qualifying tournament was held on Wednesday 14 January and run through to Saturday 17 January. The 16 qualifiers names are then added to the draw once the qualifying singles tournament is completed. The final completion of the draw is when the qualifiers are added into the 1st round and is usually announced by 5pm the day before the 1st round commences.

Withdrawals:

When a main draw direct acceptance withdraws from the Australian Open after the first round of qualifying has been completed, that available spot in the draw is awarded to a lucky loser.

Any player that loses in the final round of qualifying and then signs-in for the singles main draw is eligible to receive a lucky loser spot into the main draw. The lucky loser spots are awarded in order of highest ranked player to the lowest, hence the term, despite losing they are lucky to still compete in the main draw.

© photo credit: Yonex. Please “Like” the Yonex Facebook page and “Follow” @yonex_com on Twitter

Australian Open 2015 hat blueThe 2015 Australian Open women’s championships are being played for the 44th straight time in Melbourne i.e. the entire Open-era. The specifics of what the schedule of play is for every day i.e. what time play commences for each session and which round is being played are listed to make it easier for you to follow, watch and/or attend this tournament.

The schedule of play for the 2015 Australian Open Women’s Singles tournament is:

Qualifying event:

Wednesday 14 January: Qualifying 1st round at 10am;
Thursday 15 January: Qualifying 1st round at 10am;
Friday 16 January: Qualifying 2nd round at 10am;
Saturday 17 January: Qualifying final round at 12 noon;

Main Draw:

Week 1:

Monday 19 January: Main Draw 1st round from 11am and 7pm;
Tuesday 20 January: 1st round from 11am and 7pm;
Wednesday 21 January: 2nd round from 11am and 7pm;
Thursday 22 January: 2nd round from 11am and 7pm;
Friday 23 January: 3rd round from 11am and 7pm;
Saturday 24 January: 3rd round from 11am and 7pm;
Sunday 25 January: Round of 16 from 11am and 7pm;

Week 2:

Monday 26 January: Round of 16 from 11am and 7pm;
Tuesday 27 January: Quarter Finals from 11am and 7pm;
Wednesday 28 January: Quarter Finals from 11am and 7:30pm;
Thursday 29 January: Semi Finals from 1:30pm;
Friday 30 January: No women’s matches today; and
Saturday 31 January: Women’s Singles Final at 7:30pm.

Please note that the tournament management can alter the schedule from day to day.

© photo: OnCourt Advantage

Australian Open 2015 hat The 2015 Australian Open men’s championships are the 103rd time the Australian Open men’s singles tournament will be held. The specifics of what the schedule of play is for every day i.e. what time play commences for each session and which round is being played are listed to make it easier for you to follow, watch and/or attend this tournament.

The schedule of play for the 2015 Australian Open Men’s Singles tournament is:

Qualifying event:

Wednesday 14 January: Qualifying 1st round at 10am;
Thursday 15 January: Qualifying 1st round at 10am;
Friday 16 January: Qualifying 2nd round at 10am;
Saturday 17 January: Qualifying final round at 12 noon;

Main Draw:

Week 1:

Monday 19 January: Main Draw 1st round from 11am and 7pm;
Tuesday 20 January: 1st round from 11am and 7pm;
Wednesday 21 January: 2nd round from 11am and 7pm;
Thursday 22 January: 2nd round from 11am and 7pm;
Friday 23 January: 3rd round from 11am and 7pm;
Saturday 24 January: 3rd round from 11am and 7pm;
Sunday 25 January: Round of 16 from 11am and 7pm;

Week 2:

Monday 26 January: Round of 16 from 11am and 7pm;
Tuesday 27 January: Quarter Finals from 11am and 7pm;
Wednesday 28 January: Quarter Finals from 11am and 7:30pm;
Thursday 29 January: 1st Semi Final at 7:30pm;
Friday 30 January: 2nd Semi Final at 7:30pm;
Saturday 31 January: No men’s matches today; and
Sunday 1 February: Men’s Singles Final at 7:30pm.

Please note that the tournament management can alter the schedule from day to day.

© photo: OnCourt Advantage

rafa 2013 rg trophy bite vua babolat fb

The 2014 Roland Garros men’s singles event provides a great opportunity for players to achieve three of the top handful of most coveted goals in men’s tennis: winning a Grand Slam title, earning more ranking points towards qualifying for the year-end ATP World Tour Finals in London and achieving a career-high ranking.

The four Grand Slam tournaments offer the highest number of ranking points possible out of all the tournaments throughout the year. Interestingly, the 2,000 points a Grand Slam champion earns for winning the title was well over half the total number of points that were needed to qualify for the 2013 ATP Finals i.e. 3,300 points by Richard Gasquet who secured the final place in the 8-man field.

The men receive less ranking points than their female counterparts for reaching the same round of the same tournament for every singles round, except for first round losers, where the men receive double the points that a women receive. In addition, the eventual champions in both the men and women’s draws collect 2,000 points.

OnCourt Advantage details the men’s points and a comparison to the women’s points, which is the tally in brackets after the men’s points per round below.

This is how the ATP ranking points are awarded for the 2014 men’s singles draw:

The winner earns 2,000 points;
The runner-up earns 1,200 points (1,400);
The two semi finalists earn 720 points (900);
The four quarter finalists earn 360 points (500);
The 8 players who lose in the round of 16 earn 180 points (280);
The 16 players who lose in the 3rd round earn 90 points (160);
The 32 players who lose in the 2nd round earn 45 points (100); and
The *players who lose in the 1st round earn 10 points (5).

*The points awarded to a 1st round loser vary according to how they were allocated a place in the 1st round. Further details about each of the different scenarios for points allocation to 1st round losers will be covered in the Roland Garros 2014 Men’s Singles Draw: Qualifying post once it is completed.

© photo courtesy of Babolat follow @Babolat on Twitter.

David Ferrer at The US OpenThe 2014 Australian Open men’s singles event provides a great opportunity for players to achieve three of the top handful of most coveted goals in men’s tennis: winning a Grand Slam title, earning more ranking points towards qualifying for the year-end ATP World Tour Finals in London and achieving a career-high ranking.

The four Grand Slam tournaments offer the highest number of ranking points possible out of all the tournaments throughout the year. Interestingly, the 2,000 points a Grand Slam champion earns for winning the title was well over half the total number of points that were needed to qualify for the 2013 ATP Finals i.e. 3,300 points to Richard Gasquet.

The men receive less ranking points than their female counterparts for reaching the same round of the same tournament for every singles round, except for first round losers, where the men receive double the points that a women receive. In addition, the eventual champions in both the men and women’s draws collect 2,000 points.

OnCourt Advantage details the men’s points and a comparison to the women’s points, which is the tally in brackets after the men’s points per round below.

This is how the ATP ranking points are awarded for the 2014 men’s singles draw:

The winner earns 2,000 points;
The runner-up earns 1,200 points (1,400);
The two semi finalists earn 720 points (900);
The four quarter finalists earn 360 points (500);
The 8 players who lose in the round of 16 earn 180 points (280);
The 16 players who lose in the 3rd round earn 90 points (160);
The 32 players who lose in the 2nd round earn 45 points (100); and
The *players who lose in the 1st round earn 10 points (5).

*The points awarded to a 1st round loser vary according to how they were allocated a place in the 1st round. Further details about each of the different scenarios for points allocation to 1st round losers will be covered in the Australian Open 2014 Men’s Singles Draw: Qualifying post once it is completed.

Photo credit: Edwin Martinez1

Australian Open 2014 tennis shop

With Christmas just over a month away now is the time to get your discount sporting goods and Australian Open 2014 souvenirs and presents.

The Australian Open tennis shop has his and hers covered plus for children with all the merchandise that you could possibly want. A list of the official merchandise is below.

Pictured is the very popular Australian Open 2014 official men’s player towel, definitely a must for the collection. I certainly snaffled a the French Open men’s player towel not long after entering the grounds at Roland Garros this year!

Australian Open 2014 merchandise:

  • Men’s player towel
  • Women’s player towel
  • T-shirts
  • Polo shirts
  • Headbands
  • Sweatbands
  • Jackets
  • Hoodies
  • Singlets
  • Hats
  • Visors
  • Badges and Pins
  • Keyrings, magnets and bracelets
  • Bags