Tennis

Andy Murray Returns From Hip Surgery With a Title

Andy Murray completed a remarkable return from hip surgery by winning the Queen’s Club doubles title with Feliciano Lopez, who won the singles title earlier Sunday.

Murray spent five months away from the sport until this week. He and Lopez defeated Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, 7-6 (6), 5-7, 10-5, in the doubles final — not long after Lopez had outlasted Gilles Simon, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2), in the singles final.

Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, capped a comeback 146 days after undergoing what he has said he hopes was career-saving hip surgery. In January he had indicated he was planning to retire after Wimbledon because of the severe pain he felt on a daily basis.

He is approaching Wimbledon, which starts July 1, full of confidence after playing freely and without pain as he secured his first doubles title since winning with his brother, Jamie Murray, in Tokyo in 2011. Andy Murray will not play singles at Wimbledon but has already confirmed that Pierre-Hugues Herbert will be his doubles partner.

Lopez, 37, who played in three matches on Saturday, including his singles semifinal, played almost five hours of tennis on Sunday. He reaffirmed his status as the tournament’s oldest winner.

BARTY REACHES NO. 1 Second-seeded Ashleigh Barty will become the first Australian in 43 years to hold the No. 1 ranking in singles after defeating her doubles partner, Julia Görges, 6-3, 7-5, in the final of the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham, England.

Barty delivered nine aces while putting away the eighth-seeded Görges in 88 minutes and will become the 27th woman to hold the No. 1 spot since the rankings began in 1975.

Evonne Goolagong Cawley was the last Australian woman to reach No. 1, doing so in 1976.

“I’m a little bit speechless,” Barty said after she recorded 18 winners against 11 unforced errors. “It’s been a whirlwind few weeks to be honest, and to be able to follow in the footsteps of Evonne and even mentioned in the same sentence is incredible.”

Barty’s rise to the top spot was not the normal approach. She took a break from tennis in 2014, citing mental health reasons, and played professional cricket before returning to the circuit in 2016.

Barty, 23, recently won the French Open — her first Grand Slam title — and will be the No. 1 seed at Wimbledon. (REUTERS)

FEDERER’S 102ND SINGLES TITLE Roger Federer won the ATP tournament in Halle, Germany, for a record-stretching 10th time, earning his 102nd career singles title.

Federer, 37, expressed sympathy for the younger generation of tennis players, saying that their successes outside the Grand Slams were being overlooked.

Federer said the continuing success of older players such as him, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had left little elbow room for the younger generation.

“As long as me, Rafa and Novak are around, it is not going to be easy for a young guy to come up and dominate,” he said. “Maybe it would be good for the sport if they did. I don’t know. People seem to like it as it is.”

Yet Federer insisted that the success of players such as Stefanos Tsitsipas, Borna Coric and Karen Khachanov should not be overlooked.

Coric, 22, beat Federer in the Halle final last year, and Khachanov, 23, broke into the top 10 this year after beating Djokovic in straight sets in the final of the Paris Masters in November.

Federer argued that such triumphs were not being given enough recognition and were being drowned out by the overwhelming focus on the four majors.

“I think there is too much focus on the Grand Slams these days, which isn’t fair,” Federer said. “In my day, it was a huge success to win your first Masters 1000 tournament and break into the top 10.” (AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE)

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