Andy Murray shines before light fades as match backlog hits Queen’s

first_imgTsitsipas predicted Auger-Aliassime could master even the class and experience of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal – a report card the winner could have composed himself – if he was not such a level-headed young player.Auger-Aliassime, who began the year outside the top 100 and will go to Wimbledon inside the top 20, said: “It’s humbling. I appreciate that from him, because he’s beaten these players. How do I explain it? I think it’s the result of a lot of work over years and months.”On Saturday he plays López, who is more than twice his age and who played solidly but with dashes of flair to end the run of Auger-Aliassime’s compatriot, Milos Raonic, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) in two hours 16 minutes. Another voice from the past stirred briefly when John McEnroe joined the queue to offer advice to the troubled Nick Kyrgios, fined $17,500 for three incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct in two matches on Thursday.“I have talked with him,” said McEnroe, whose own crime sheet was long enough. “Nick is a good guy. I think the people around him like him. The players like him [apart from Auger-Aliassime, it seems]. They don’t like what he does on the court sometimes.“I don’t think he could even say, ‘I like the fact that I try half the time.’ I mean, how could anyone think that? I don’t think it just has to be him [who deals with his problem]. I wasn’t known as the easiest person to deal with.“To me, that [other] person has to be ready to embrace whoever that is. They have to be willing to listen to [him]. If you are not going to listen, he is doing what he wants to do. “He’s 24 years old. He brings an electricity to tennis. That’s why everyone is trying to figure a way to work through this – so he can get to a place where he can go out and feel free to compete and give the effort. That’s the part that gnaws at the players. I don’t care if he throws a chair on the court or does what he does. “The part that I have a problem with – and I am assuming 99 per cent of the rest of the Tour do – is when you go out there and don’t seem like you are giving an effort half of the time … for whatever reason. But I am not Sigmund Freud.” Share on WhatsApp Topics Share on LinkedIn Read more Read more Andy Murray Share on Facebook The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Reuse this content Ashleigh Barty sorry she had to reject Andy Murray’s Wimbledon offer Support The Guardian Share on Twittercenter_img Had the schedule started rolling just a little earlier than noon, they might have got a result in this quarter-final. The players will resume on Saturday, although squeezing it into an already concertinaed programme will be tricky.López is in the semi-finals of the singles, mid-afternoon, against the exciting young Canadian, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and the doubles semi is slotted in as the last match on Centre Court. The 37-year-old Spaniard, a champion here in 2017, could end up playing three matches in a row on the same court.Waiting for the delayed winners will be John Peers and Henri Kontinen, who earlier beat Murray’s brother, Jamie, and his new partner, Neal Skupski, Ken’s brother, 7-5, 7-6 (6).Meanwhile, in a downbeat statement from Barcelona, where he will go under the knife on Saturday, Del Potro, whose career has been blighted by injury since he won the US Open 10 years ago, said: “I hope my knee can heal properly. If that match was the last one of my career [beating Denis Shapovolov here], that I don’t know. This is a tough moment. It’s sad to go through all this once again.”A small cloud also drifted across Murray’s world when Nicolas Mahut, the regular doubles partner of Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who will play at Wimbledon with the Scot, presented a grumpy face when asked how he felt about being dumped. “I don’t want to talk about this doubles team,” he said. “The only one who needs to know what I think is Pierre. We talked together but I won’t come into the press to say what I think about this situation.”Herbert was more forthcoming on social media. “It’s safe to say that it’s not the cleanest move,” he said. “I will play doubles when I said I wouldn’t. But it is exceptional to play with Murray at Wimbledon.”Mahut will play with Édouard Roger-Vasselin at Wimbledon and get back together with Herbert at the US Open. Murray, if he plays at Flushing Meadows in September, might even be ready to play singles. Share on Messenger The revolving door of tennis swivelled with dizzying speed again here , but stalled briefly as Andy Murray confirmed his comeback win was no chimera. He remains tantalisingly poised short of the semi-finals in a tournament he has won a record five times, five months after career-saving hip surgery, and just hours after his Argentinian friend, Juan Martín del Potro, cast doubt on his own future before an operation on his cracked knee-cap.Murray and Feliciano López, who beat the No 1 seeds Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah in straight sets on Thursday, went to work in fading light on Friday against the British pair, Dan Evans and Ken Skupski, in another tight thriller. They were 6-4 up and 4-5 down when a high-grade contest was called off under gloomy skies at 8.50pm, half an hour before sunset on the longest day of the year. Since you’re here… Share on Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Across the landscape change is in the air. Auger-Aliassime strengthened his credentials as a major new force in the game when he played two superb sets to dislodge the top seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas, two years older than him at 20 and equally bristling with promise.The Greek world No 8, a cerebral as well as physical presence, reacted with maturity and insight to the Canadian teenager’s 7-5, 6-2 win in the quarter-finals. “He’s the most difficult opponent I’ve ever faced,” he said. “He has one of the best returns on the tour. He has a really powerful, accurate serve, which is tough to read. He’s really quick and fast. It is rare to find all of that combined. He can create a lot of opportunities from his backhand, but also, at the same time, he can be very aggressive from the forehand side. There’s not much to come up with when you play against him.” Share via Email news Tennis Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks.last_img read more