Tuesday, May 17, 2016
TENNIS TUESDAY: Murray & Serena Win 1st Titles of 2016 In Rome; Berdych Fires Coach After Double Bagel
ANDY MURRAY DEFEATS NOVAK DJOKOVIC IN ROME FINAL ON HIS 29TH BIRTHDAY
For the second week in a row, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray faced off in the final of a clay court Masters final. However, this time the result was different, primarily because Djokovic had a harder draw this week, having to go through the King of Clay Rafael Nadal and outlasting a spirited fight from Kei Nishikori and Murray may have been inspired by the fact that the match was being played on his 29th birthday! Whatever it was, Murray played a very smart match, and became the first person other than Roger Federer to beat Djokovic in straight sets in nearly two years, winning 6-3 6-3. It was Murray's 12th ATP Masters shield (#5 on the all-time list) and his 36th ATP tour title (now 36-19). He improves to a career head-to-head of 10 wins and 23 losses against Djokovic.
SERENA WILLIAMS WINS 1st TITLE OF 2016 BY BEATING MADISON KEYS IN ROME
Ending a drought of more than nine months without winning a tournament, Serena Williams won her 4th Rome title (2002, 2013, 2014, 2016) by defeating fellow American Madison Keys 7-6(5) 6-3 (as expected). Although nine months sounds like a long time for the World #1 not to win a title, she had only played in 5 tournaments in that period (2015 US Open, 2016 Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami and Rome). It was Serena's 14th clay court title and 70th WTA tour title overall.
TOMAS BERDYCH LOSES 0-6 0-6 TO DAVID GOFFIN, FIRES COACH DAYS LATER
There's no question that 30-year-old Tomas Berdych is in something of a slump in 2016, which is somewhat surprising after he started 2015 so well (dispatching Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open). However no one really expected that the former Top 10 player would be having results like failing to win a single game in a match. Clearly, neither did he, so he has decided to fire his coach of 19 months, Dani Vallerdu (who used to be part of Murray's team). Hmmm, Murray just ended his coaching relationship last week so maybe the two could reunite?