Andy Murray and Feliciano López double up and roll back years at Queen’s

first_imgThe Observer Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Since you’re here… Facebook Twitter This was now a race to 10, with no prospect of lingering doubt. López smashed a backhand volley for 6-3, as the serve switched to Peers.A mix-up cost the Spanish-Scottish pair a dumb point, but they were still 7-5 up as Murray took the ball back in hand, and he moved them to within two points of the final. The Finn saved one for 6-8, and Murray over-cooked a drive down the middle.It was down to López to serve it out. His weary left arm, on second serve, took them to 9-7. He took a huge breath on the service line … and Peers struck it wide. Job done. Glory to come? Nobody would bet against it.British supporters had already been guaranteed a home finalist when the 27-year-old Londoner Salisbury and Ram shocked the two greats of modern doubles, Bob and Mike Bryan, to win 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8) in an hour-and-a-half. Salisbury, a doubles specialist who got to the Wimbledon semi-finals last year with Frederik Nielsen, hit a career-high world ranking of 20 in April. Nothing is guaranteed at Queen’s on Saturday.Asked if he would consider playing mixed doubles at Wimbledon with Maria Sharapova – who has intimated she was interested in doing so, even though they fell out over her drugs ban – Murray said, “Possibly. But I haven’t given it a whole lot of thought. At the time I said what I felt, and I still feel the same way about those things. That’s never going to change.”Next he moves on to Eastbourne where he and Marcelo Melo play the Colombian doubles wizards, Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah – whom they beat here in the first round. At Wimbledon he switches to Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Every day is an adventure for Murray.• This article was amended on 25 June 2019. The original version said John Peers had won two grand slam doubles titles with Jamie Murray. Share on Twitter Andy Murray and Feliciano López in action against Henri Kontinen and John Peers. Photograph: TPN/Getty Images Share via Email Andy Murray, dragged along and lifted up by his 37-year-old compadre, Feliciano López, moved into the familiar realm of the surreal by reaching the doubles final of the Fever-Tree Championships in the first week of a comeback that looked distinctly unlikely only five months ago.He and the Spaniard – who spent nearly five hours on court in three different matches – will play Joe Salisbury, who lives in Putney, and the American Rajeev Ram in the final on Sunday, not long after López tries for his second singles title, at 37, against the Frenchman Gilles Simon. Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger Share on LinkedIncenter_img … 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. Tennis There was almost too much drama to take in on day six of the championships, but rarely can there have been a protagonist more suited to the heroics, a player who left Melbourne in tears in January wondering if he would ever play again and who, after radical surgery, has recovered to the point where some of his tennis is almost indistinguishable from that which brought him three majors and two Olympic gold medals.In the space of a few days, Murray has ignited hopes – only recently forlorn – that he could contend again at the highest level, certainly in doubles, and possibly in singles. At 32, there is much to play for once more.Murray said later he felt physically fine. “No pain in my hip at all, zero,” he said. “My back’s a bit stiff. You’re getting down low for a lot of balls and you’re always in a crouched-over position in doubles, more than when you’re in singles. My arm is a bit tired from serving. But my hip’s been brilliant so far. I don’t feel anything at all. It’s amazing.”The semi-final was high-class and tense throughout, but the key moments were compressed into the champions tie-break, as the light faded and the temperature dropped.To get there, Murray served for the match, double-faulted and then López made a mess of a close-quarters volley to take them into a shootout in the second set. The tension, already tight as a drum, spread through the Centre Court seats, as the faithful huddled against the growing chill.Mistakes were creeping into the Spaniard’s game, but who could blame a player who had been on court, with a mere quarter-hour respite between his various tasks, since 4pm, as the clocked ticked on to 9pm and sunset? He’d first seen off the Canadian wonder boy, Felix Auger-Aliassime in full flight, blunting his burgeoning genius over three sets. Read more Petra Kvitová: ‘I didn’t know if I’d be able to hold a racket again’ Support The Guardian Andy Murray Read more After a 12-minute break, he returned with Murray to finish their overnight match against Dan Evans and Ken Skupski – and that had its moments before they won 6-4, 7-6 (3) in an hour-and-a-quarter in total. Blessed relief for López.Pausing only to warm up, they then engaged Henri Kontinen and John Peers in the semi-final. It was as if they were housed in one of the escape rooms Murray has become addicted to, where the participants have an hour to solve clues to escape. There were plenty of those moments in this semi-final.Peers, who played in two slam finals with Andy’s brother, Jamie, had played well all match and served them to match point before López pulled out a majestic drive down the line to get to 5-6. Murray’s forehand went long on Kontinen’s serve, however, and the drama was extended into the gloaming and a champions’ tie-break. Topics news Johanna Konta jokes about possible Wimbledon hook-up with Andy Murray Reuse this contentlast_img

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