Murray ‘mentally’ planning for US Open

first_imgTennis chiefs last week cancelled a tournament in Washington DC due to mark the resumption of the men’s tennis season over “continued uncertainties”.Several leading figures have cast doubts over the US Open, including world number one Novak Djokovic, who earlier this month said he was undecided over whether to travel for the tournament. “Hopefully it can go ahead but, if not, I’m also OK with that,” Murray said in comments reported by the Guardian. “It’s not like I’m saying it must go ahead. We need to try to get back to competing when it’s safe to do so.”Some sports have gone back, and seem to have done pretty well — football, for example. The issue for us is the travel.”Murray, still working his way back from injury, suggested he would probably try to compete at the ATP Western and Southern Open, which has been switched to Flushing Meadows, as a warm-up event ahead of the US Open. Andy Murray is “mentally” planning for next month’s US Open but admits he is apprehensive about the return of tennis following the coronavirus shutdown. The former world number one is taking part in the Battle of the Brits Team Tennis event in London this week and remains focused on the showpiece hard-court event in New York, scheduled to start on August 31.The British player told the Metro he was expecting the US Open, which he won in 2012, to go ahead.  Topics :center_img “We have to try and prepare that way,” he said. “We were saying four or five weeks ago, you know, we were pretty skeptical about it but mentally at some stage you need to start preparing and planning for that.””I’m planning to try and be there in shape for the US Open,” he added. “If it wasn’t happening my schedule for practicing, my rehab would all be a bit different. So yeah, mentally I’m planning for it to go ahead.”The three-time Grand Slam champion said he was still “apprehensive” but hopes tennis can follow other sports back into action after the long lay-off.Top-level men’s and women’s tennis has been suspended since March.last_img read more

Read More →

Sorry Italy condemned to World Cup play-offs

first_imgChiellini tapped in just before half-time to boost home hopes but Palermo striker Trajkovski came on as a second-half substitute to equalise on 77 minutes, leaving Italy second behind Spain with one qualifying game left in Albania.“We had perhaps fooled ourselves that we were more advanced in our work than we really were,” said veteran defender Chiellini.“Once we had broken the deadlock, we should have controlled it a bit better, as Macedonia weren’t really dangerous for 75 minutes.“We understand why the fans are upset.”The result not only means Italy are guaranteed second place behind Spain but the result could have a disastrous impact on their ranking in the draw for November’s play-offs.“I think the whistles were deserved, even if I think in principle you should never jeer the national side,” said Ventura.Ventura gave Bologna’s Simone Verdi and Roberto Gagliardini of Inter Milan their first senior starts as Italy struggled with injuries.And the Italians toiled while attempting to break down the dogged Macedonians before Chiellini — earning his 93rd cap for Italy — found his way through five minutes before the break.The breakthrough came following a corner, as Lorenzo Insigne’s through ball found Ciro Immobile and he rolled on for Chiellini.It was almost 1-1 moments later, after a slack Leonardo Bonucci pass gave away possession on the edge of the box, but Chiellini forced a corner.Macedonia poured forward in the second half with striker Trajkovski picking up a cross from skipper Goran Pandev to blast past Buffon, the veteran goalkeeper decked out in the new Azzurri blue kit with the restyled logo for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.“Italy are a great side, they will get to Russia, but you could tell they had nothing to play for, as they knew they’d be second,” said Genoa striker Pandev.But the Azzurri, still in a fragile state mentally and physically after a crushing defeat to Spain last month, are not yet guaranteed a place in the play-offs, nor of being top seeds in the draw.Italy are second in Group G behind Spain with their final qualifying game in Albania, who are third, on Monday.In the group, Israel are fourth ahead of Macedonia and Liechtenstein.Despite bringing in new blood to an ageing team since taking over a year ago, Ventura’s side has been badly hampered by injury.Five first-choice players are absent in midfield — Daniele De Rossi, Marco Verratti, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Claudio Marchisio and Riccardo Montolivo.Top striker Andrea Belotti has been ruled out for a month and is also uncertain for the play-offs on November 9 and 14.“Officially we’re second,” said Ventura. “If we go to the play-offs I hope that five or six players will have returned.“We have to now try to get everyone back and try to focus seriously on the goal.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Macedonia’s Pandev (R) outruns Italy’s Andrea Barzagli during their FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification match on October 6, 2017 at the Grande Torino Stadium in Turin © AFP / MARCO BERTORELLOTURIN, Italy, Oct 7 – Giorgio Chiellini’s first-half goal was cancelled out by Aleksandar Trajkovski as Italy struggled to a 1-1 draw against Macedonia in Turin on Friday, condemning the four-time champions to the World Cup play-offs.Gian Piero Ventura’s side were jeered off the pitch at the Stadio Olympico after failing to secure the three points demanded against the modest Macedonians as Spain qualified as Group G winners after beating Albania 3-0.last_img read more

Read More →