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Did Divock Origi have a fair whip crack at Anfield?

Origi has only ever served Liverpool with big, game-defining, season-defining moments. And yet, given the Reds' star-studded front line, it's no wonder starts have been hard to come by. (Author: Gardener)

Divock OrigiAhead of his inevitable departure this summer, Divock Origi need do nothing more to cement his place in Liverpool history. The Belgian's place in the heart of Kopites everywhere was secured after his 2019 Champions League triumph with those goals against Barcelona and Tottenham, not to mention the late winner against Everton in December 2018. Even last December when he went into stoppage time came Wolves winner Origi, drawing praise from all angles. But now he can leave Merseyside with an even higher head – and who knows if another fairytale moment is yet to come? Divock Origi made the difference off the bench in Liverpool's win over Everton last month. Jurgen Klopp praised the Belgium striker for changing the game after being substituted on. For an hour, the title challengers in the recent Merseyside derby battled their old foes at Stanley Park on the other side. Substituted alongside Luis Diaz – a fifth forward ahead of Origi in the pecking order – the 27-year-old should be a focal point at the top of the pitch. A cross at the back post followed and Andy Robertson's header over goal broke the deadlock. Fast forward to minute 85 as the game drags on as the Toffees score an unlikely equalizer. When Diaz misjudged an artful scissor-kick attempt from Jordan Henderson's cross, the ball accidentally bounced into the six-yard box. Right place, right time. How many times have we said that about Origi during his seven-year stop-start career at Anfield? A header into the roof of the net gave Origi his first goal of 2022. Origi's introduction turned the game in Liverpool's favor against rivals Everton last month. After playing a role in the first, striker Origi scored his sixth Merseyside derby goal Jubel im Kop , once again on derby day, was up Origi. Razor-sharp viewers at Sky Sports may have noticed an interesting parallel that, albeit tongue-in-cheek, sums up Origi's elevated status at Liverpool. "Where do you want your statue, Divock Origi?" barked ex-Red Jamie Carragher, in a strong resemblance to Gary Neville's line following Vincent Kompany's title-winning rocket for Manchester City against Leicester in 2019. One was club captain, three-time title-winner and pivot the defensive. His resounding header ensured the Reds kept up with Manchester City in the title hunt. Origi's Liverpool stats are impressive given his lack of minutes. Also this season he has scored six goals in 16 appearances in all competitions, although only five of those were starting roles. Overall he has scored 41 goals in 173 games since his debut in 2015 and after a period playing second fiddle to Daniel Sturridge on Klopp's arrival at the club, he now seems closer to sixth, maybe even seventh to be in line role at the top. Origi got the ball rolling in the famous comeback in the 2016 Europa League quarter-finals against Borussia Dortmund when he jabbed home from close range in a game that will be remembered for late winner Dejan Lovren. Origi scored the first goal in Liverpool's European comeback against Borussia Dortmund. The following season, during which he featured more frequently as a substitute, Origi struck big against Sunderland, West Ham and Everton, whom he has now met six times in total - only Steven Gerrard has a better record in the Premier League. However, the most famous of these was the start of his true love affair with Liverpool fans. Having spent the 2017/18 season on loan at Wolfsburg, Origi had not played a single minute in the Premier League when he came on as a substitute in the 84th minute of the Merseyside Derby at Anfield in December 2018. Hope seemed in the last moments lost as Virgil van Dijk's volley sailed high towards goal. Everton keeper Jordan Pickford made a mess of it and Origi – in the right place, at the right time – was there to pounce and head into an open net. Chaos reigned everywhere, to the point where a perplexed Origi actually scooped the ball out of the net and ran to the center circle before being surrounded by teammates. Later that season, in May, he featured in one of the most famous Champions League comebacks of all time against Barcelona, ​​scoring the first and last goal in an incredible 4-0 win. The latter goal was a moment of pure instinct following Trent Alexander-Arnold's brilliant quick corner, the first time into the top corner. As in the Europa League final three years earlier, Origi was sent off to a bench spot for the final against Tottenham. But this time his influence was felt. When the Reds sat nervously on a 1-0 lead in the final minutes, the ball broke at the edge of the penalty area and the Belgian shot his left foot into the goal. Liverpool's supersub had done it again. His May 2019 goal in the Kop-End against Barcelona will go down in Anfield folklore. Origi also scored in the Champions League final against Tottenham to seal the Reds' triumph. He capitalized on his chances and has struggled to start regularly in recent years. Has he ever complained about his lack of playing time? Has he ever been a nuisance on the training ground or in the dressing room? As a professional model, Origi shouldn't be short of applicants this summer. Klopp said after scoring on April 24: "He's a legend on and off the pitch. “He does it in training and then not in the squad and that's really tough, a really tough decision. Klopp named Origi his side's best finisher and also tipped him to flourish wherever AC Milan led the race to sign Origi, who scored against the Italian side in December. And yet, given the Reds' star-studded front line - Salah, Mane, Jota, Diaz, Firmino - it's no wonder the somewhat one-dimensional striker has struggled to get spots. Effective as a replacement, less so from the start. The squad density these days is simply a testament to Liverpool's stature across Europe, let alone one of the best sides in club history. It is speculated that AC Milan - against whom Origi scored a San Siro winner in December - are leading the race to sign the Belgium international on a free transfer this summer. But while the Reds are chasing an unprecedented quadruple, Origi's Merseyside story is far from over. Should Klopp need a goal in the coming weeks, perhaps even tonight at Villarreal, for a moment there will be no prizes to guess who his thoughts will turn to on the bench behind him.

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Why Emma Raducanu is in her best form since the US Open

After several months of soul searching, Raducanu finally rediscovered her poise and authority on clay at the Madrid Open (Author: Gardener)

Emma RaducanuEmma Raducanu exceeded expectations at the Madrid Open Why was Emma Raducanu so emotional on Sunday? First, we credited traveling reporters with tears of relief at getting one back from Marta Kostyuk — a 19-year-old colleague who hit her a few times as a junior. After several months of soul searching, she has finally rediscovered the poise and authority that propelled her to September's US Open title. Raducanu was later asked if this could have been her best performance since beating Leylah Fernandez in the New York Finals. "I definitely feel like I'm in a really good space." "It meant a lot," Raducanu added in reference to their 6-2, 6-1 demolition from Kostyuk. “I definitely overcame a lot of challenges in the last six months. I kept coming back after getting knocked out. And then you finally feel like yourself again.” Of all the things to end Raducanu's slump in form, few would have thought clay courts would be enough. In the past four weeks she has had to adjust to a very different form of the game, as if she were a fighter jet pilot who would instead have to fly a helicopter. Raducanu had not even set foot on a clay court for four years before attending Riccardo Piatti's academy on the Italian Riviera in early April. Back then, chat surrounding the game was anything but encouraging. Her relatively flat ball flight seemed unsuited to this unusually three-dimensional style of tennis, as did her penchant for a baseline-hugging court position. But look at the results. After winning just four out of 12 hard court games since the US Open, Raducanu has now won five out of seven on clay. Even the lowest club player understands the concept of the 'free hit': that sense of release that comes from playing a game you shouldn't be winning. "I've never played professionally on clay," Raducanu said Sunday night. And then when I play an extra match, I see it as another chance to get to know the clay.” Against Kostyuk, Raducanu's serve stats were outstanding. This was a big improvement from Miami in late March, where she rolled the ball into play with little conviction or penetration. Emma Raducanu's serve was an asset in Madrid. Her serve technique is a work in progress and changes from week to week. Since the beginning of April, the improvement work with the experienced doubles coach Louis Cayer - who also re-jigged Andy Murray's serve in 2016 - has improved the flow of movement. "I definitely think he added great insights," said Cayer's Raducanu. "I feel like he's obviously a very well-respected coach in the UK and has a lot of experience, so it was really great for me to rack my brains with him a bit. “When my serve percentage was low and also slow. I ran a lot and got into very long rallies. Then the match becomes more and more physical. I really need to reinforce my first serve." Telegraph Sport understand Raducanu has asked Cayer to work with her in the Slams this summer - specifically the French Open and Wimbledon. As a result, he is referred to as Raducanu's "technical advisor" rather than her coach. When asked if she plans to consult Cayer more regularly in the coming weeks, Raducanu replied, "Who knows? Raducanu's revival is still in its infancy and could easily fail against Kalinina on Tuesday. But here at the Mutua Madrid Open, the biggest WTA event in Europe, there is clearly an opportunity. For one thing, the draw has started well, with Raducanu – ninth seeded – now the top-ranked player in the top half. On the other hand, Madrid's 700 meter height means that the courses are played fast, just like she likes it. Finally, she's coming back from a healthy streak of games for the first time since last summer. Emma Raducanu has done well in Madrid "I think that's the most games I've played in a short time," Raducanu said on Sunday. "It definitely helps. If you lose early and then lose again early, you don't feel like you're building any kind of momentum. “Now I've played a lot of games, so I feel better and make better decisions. When you don't play for a long time, decision making suffers. On the other hand, if you have a lot of games in a row, certain decisions become automatic.”

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Here's how to motivate yourself for the week

We all go through times when we want to be motivated but just can't muster enough energy to have that Monday motivation to start a new week. Maybe you have goals that you're really passionate about, but you're struggling to find the space to pursue them. (Author: Gardener)

the weekWe all go through times when we want to be motivated but just can't muster enough energy to have that Monday motivation to start a new week. Maybe you have goals that you're really passionate about, but you're struggling to find the space to pursue them. If you don't start your week feeling motivated, that sluggish feeling can haunt you for the rest of the week. Whether you want to get involved in a creative project, put in a great day's work at work, or commit to a fitness regimen, if you're not motivated it can feel almost impossible to get started. So what can you do when you need a motivational boost? In this article, we're going to explore the top changes you can make to get the Monday motivation you need. We explain what motivation actually is, examine some of the factors that reduce it, and suggest techniques that can help transform how you feel as you start a new week. Basically, being motivated means wanting to do something and feeling the drive to do it. It is a kind of inner strength that moves you to action and promotes the urge to move forward. Regardless of your specific goal, proper motivation plays a large part in determining success. It's often helpful to think of motivation as having three core components - drive, perseverance, and energy. First, incitement involves engaging in a particular behavior, e.g. B. registering for a new course. Second, perseverance means making a sustained effort to pursue your goal even when it is difficult. Continuing with the example of the lesson, perseverance includes sticking to the course material even when tired or lacking time. Finally, the energy component of motivation is determined by how much focus and intensity you devote to your goal. In order to motivate yourself, you need to learn how to make change, and all three components make an impact. It's also worth thinking about the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivations come from external sources—for example, recognition from others, awards, and to attract money. Intrinsic motivations, on the other hand, come from within you and relate to personal gratification or living in alignment with your values. How do you motivate yourself? You've started to dig a little deeper into motivation. Let's turn to how to motivate yourself to take on life on a Monday morning. As mentioned above, your attitude at the beginning of the week plays a big part in how that week goes. Therefore, changing your Monday motivation can make all the difference. Start the week with determination, focus and good feelings and this positive attitude will carry you through to the weekend! To do that, you might need to look at quotes to get inspiration from! In contrast, you'll have a hard time pulling yourself out of a dip or rut in the middle of the week — especially when your energy is starting to flag. We work our way through six different things you can do to help manage your feelings on a Monday morning change so that you can begin to achieve your life goals. As you read our tips and techniques, think about how you can start applying them to your own routine. One of the most effective changes you can make to increase your Monday motivation is to get a head start. In other words, prepare in advance for everything you need to do on Monday in different ways, all of which will have a positive impact. For example, just getting your work clothes ready for the next day will save you from rushing in the morning, allowing you to start the day with positive thinking and a proactive attitude. It's especially valuable to prepare in advance for things that you might try to avoid. When you want to work out, it's a lot harder to find excuses for skipping your workout session when you pack your gym bag and step out the front door. A kitchen stocked with all the ingredients you need to make a green smoothie can help you get the hang of it to avoid sugary cereal. No matter what you have a head start on, you inspire more will to achieve that goal. One reason is that you have fewer decisions to make and fewer steps to take, which reduces the chances of becoming upset, disillusioned, or tired. You can also set aside notes to help motivate you in the morning." It might just give you that extra boost you need to go running. In the meantime, a note with positive affirmations like "Today is going to be a wonderful one Day" Helping your Monday motivation again, developing a positive attitude to be more productive and determined. "Don't give up. Our real work is heart and soul work." "Be happy with what you have while you're working for that work whatever you want." "Working hard is important. Believe in yourself." "If you can't stop thinking about it, don't stop working for it." Meditation: Stand on your larger self Meditation is recommended for almost everyone in any context. But what exactly does meditation do and how might it affect your Monday motivation? Basically, meditation helps you settle into a calm, focused D enter wisely and encourages you to let go of foreign thoughts and worries. You might want to try using a meditation guide. You can use it to simply calm and center yourself, or you can use it in service of a specific goal. As the morning meditation quotes below suggest, meditation has a number of incredible effects on both the body and mind. Some of the benefits of meditation include a decreased heart rate and blood pressure, improved anxiety management, and increased positivity toward others and yourself. It also increases your attention span and helps you last longer during the day. When you maintain a meditation practice for several weeks, your brain actually begins to change. Regular meditators report higher levels of energy and motivation, as well as an improved ability to regulate their own emotions. An ideal Monday motivation or any morning meditation would involve taking at least ten minutes of deep breathing and a simple energy-boosting exercise. Just start by sitting comfortably with your eyes closed, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. You will notice thoughts and images coming into your head, but try to let them pass without sustained attention. Think of it as sunlight warming and relaxing you. When you're done visualizing, open your eyes. You will emerge and read in a state of mindful motivation to tackle your day. "To comprehend the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily calm and still." "Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor the path to living in serenity.” As we explored above, simple mindfulness practices can go a long way in getting you into a motivated state of mind. However, there are more specific and nuanced visualizations you can do to take your meditation practice a step further. Visualizing your goals is a powerful and effective way to set the stage for a great day. This type of future self-motivation is about building a vivid picture of how you would enjoy the day. So, as above, start by sitting and breathing deeply for a few minutes. Next, imagine what your day will be like—the good things that will happen, how motivated you will feel, and how you will track your goals. The more "real" the picture appears, the better. The power of your thoughts can completely change how you feel about your goal. This process - creative visualization - is used by a variety of personal development professionals, athletes and celebrities. It is also a technique embraced by those who follow the law of attraction. Don't underestimate the power of the mind - the more you imagine what you want out of life, the more the universe will conform to that picture. Other Benefits of Visualization Include the lasting positivity you can get from visualizing the future. While the exercise above focuses on positively visualizing the day ahead, you can just as easily visualize a day next week, next month, or three years later using the same technique. Regularly imagining the life you want helps keep you motivated to pursue that life, even when it is challenging. “Visualize the most amazing life you can imagine. Visualization is so powerful that if you know what you want, you can get it.” “Visualization. It can be the most important part of your mental package.” “Make sure you are imagining what you really want and not what someone else wants for you.” “The clearer you visualize your dreams, the brighter they become the guidance will keep you on the right track.” There are dozens of obvious ways that following a fitness routine will help increase your overall well-being. For example, it keeps you in good shape, reduces your risk of developing a number of life-limiting diseases. In addition, fitness tends to boost self-esteem. However, you may not have realized that regular exercise can also keep you motivated and energized. First, exercise has been shown to improve mood because it stimulates the release of endorphins and other brain chemicals that make you feel good. The workout reliably leaves you less anxious, more optimistic, and more relaxed. Plus, when you're stressed, strenuous physical exercise will help you get rid of some of that tension. Not only does it make you feel more positive overall, it also increases blood flow to your brain, and this can help improve brain function. For example, some research on the effects of exercise suggests that you process information faster, regulate sleep, and (long-term) improve the energy. For all of these reasons, adding a workout routine to your life is easy and a rewarding way to boost your Monday motivation. And don't forget, you don't have to join a gym to get these benefits — if money or time are barriers to a gym membership, exercising at home can offer the same benefits. Just five or ten minutes of extra exercise a day can make all the difference. "The only bad workout is the one that didn't happen." "The voice in your head that tells you you can't do it is a liar!" The footprints on the moon.” “Wake up determined. Go to bed satisfied.” The importance of staying hydrated is greater than you probably realize. In fact, staying hydrated is at least as important as exercise, both for your overall health and for your motivation each day by drinking at least a pint of water — this helps offset dehydration while you sleep. So why is hydration important to your Monday motivation? At least in part because the benefits of staying hydrated are to maintain and improve overall brain function. Rehydrated, it's easier to focus and your energy levels are higher. In fact, feeling unusually tired is an early symptom of dehydration. Hydration also promotes a positive mood, which then feeds your drive and determination to achieve your goals. Dehydration causes you to feel sluggish and depressed. For example, a recent study showed that women who were mildly dehydrated not only reported feeling more tired, but also more feelings of melancholy and M or negative thoughts anything to inspire when you're in pain. Don't forget to drink a pint of water when you wake up, and don't forget to top up your hydration throughout the day to stay awake, active, and motivated. "If you drink water and stay hydrated all the time, it's good for all the organs in your body!" "Drink water like it's going out of style." "Stay hydrated and sleep well. Being beautiful on the inside is the most important thing!” “Eating healthy and staying hydrated works wonders; it centers my mood and helps me keep my mind sharp.” Finally, sleep is an underestimated but crucial factor in your motivation on Monday and your overall quality of life. Like hydration, good sleep comes with benefits, and lack of it comes with significant costs that hinder your goals. There are many reasons why sleep is important. For example, when you sleep, your memory works better - you can remember information more easily and process new information faster. At the same time, you can stay focused and alert for longer, which is beneficial for almost everything you want to do with your day. Other documented benefits of sleeping early and getting enough sleep include overall increased productivity and better performance across the board. Mental health benefits of sleep also include reduced stress levels. When your stress levels are lower, it's easier to maintain a positive attitude that drives you to work toward change. In contrast, when you are sleep deprived, your ability to regulate your emotions decreases due to the close connection between sleep and emotions. Given the psychological effects of sleep deprivation, you're likely to be in a bad mood and a lot harder to pay attention. When you're exhausted, even things you normally enjoy can become tiring or prohibitively difficult. Experts vary in their recommendations, but most sleep quotes suggest 7-9 hours of sleep per night as the optimal amount of time. To make it easier to get a restful night in bed, reduce screen time just before bed and consider doing something relaxing (like taking a bath or reading a few chapters of a book) that will become your Monday motivation increase enormously. "When you get up in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to live, breathe, think, enjoy, love." "Wake up every morning with the thought that something wonderful is about to happen." "Always remember to fall asleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose." "Good night - may you fall asleep in the arms of a dream so beautiful you will cry when you wake up." Self-hypnosis for motivation can really help you approaching a new week with a much better attitude. If you do this consistently, you will find: Your energy level renews and increases every second you destroy your targets. And goals and dreams become clearer and clearer. Your days of seeking external motivation are a thing of the past, as the current and future “you” adjust to your larger self. Try boosting motivation with self hypnosis to reach your potential and reach your weekly goals. Sign in to view or add a comment. Sign in to view or add a comment

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Frenemies or real bromance? Fedal, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic

Who are the guys who understand each other in men's tennis instead of tolerating each other? (Author: Gardener)

FedalStan Wawrinka has opened up about his relationship with fellow countryman Roger Federer, suggesting: "Even though we all have our own lives, since the beginning of our careers we've been marked by great victories together, that creates bonds that will never be broken." Which begs the question : Who are the guys who understand each other instead of tolerating each other? The Scot and the Spaniard have been close friends ever since they met at a U16 tournament in Andorra. On one occasion, the Spaniard also managed a perfect finish at a New York restaurant where Murray took the time to see the funny side.... Did we know Rafa is so cheeky??? There has always been a palpable tension around Novak and Roger's bond, even before the Serb became part of the multi-major club that ensures tripartite respect between its elite members. Gone were the (hysterically accurate) Roger impersonations for starters. Before the rise of the djoker, the Swiss dismissed his opponent as a petty slacker, but over the years the current world No. 1 has spoken of Federer in an almost godlike status. "Obviously Roger is an icon of our sport and people around the world love him." There have been a few clashes with extended family (Djokovic senior) and the thing with Novak and Roger is more of a carefully written statement of mutual respect than anything too deep . It's not exactly a bromance but the relationship between the world Nos. 1 and 2 has certainly blossomed. Medvedev shared a story immediately after his loss to the Serb in the 2021 Australian Open final. "I met Novak for the first time when I was 500 or 600 years old," Medvedev said on the pitch after the game. "I thought, OK, he's not going to talk to me because he was world No. 1. He spoke to me as if I were a friend. He never changed – he was always a great athlete and a great friend.” Even when the Russian was a relative nobody, they practiced together and hit it off. The secret of the relationship may lie in their opinionated and independent perspective. As Djokovic notes, "He (Daniil) is very authentic and speaks his mind on every stage, he's not always politically correct, which a lot of people won't like. He reminds me of myself in that way.” These two know what it's like to feel underappreciated by the crowd. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - or Fedal as they are known by their fans - were the original Millennium tennis story. These guys were joined at the hip as an act. Always the older player, Federer revealed the Spaniard was too shy to disagree with the chief prefect in the early years. Then, according to Roger, Rafa "became a much stronger character and we still had a good time but obviously the rivalry grew." Federer added: "I think we get on really well. We like to see each other and chat and make sure the sport of tennis moves in the right direction.” It's a solid friendship and, in its sincerity, one of the most enduring in the game. As Nadal says, "Roger has been a big part of my career, a great rival and also a true friend." Wherever there is a charity project or foundation, you can be sure that they best support each other. The German could use all the friends he can get at the moment and there's none more solid than Dominic Thiem. It's so much more than language. When Zverev lost the 2020 US Open to Thiem from a position of two sets and a break, he at least lost to his buddy. Zverev was torn, couldn't believe what had happened: A few days later, Thiem revealed the extent of the bond: "In the four hours, the friendship was completely hidden. For his part, Zverev left a voice message on the Austrian's cell phone in the early hours of the morning and congratulated him. These two compatriots are chalk and cheese in many ways. Rublev is your kind of post-teen mumbler, while Medvedev is the crazy loner older brother who can poke fun at his little pal. That's exactly what happened at a hilarious Rod Laver Cup press conference, when the younger Russian kept repeating a certain adjective. The article Frenemies or real bromance? Fedal, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic made first appearances on Tennis365.com.

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Andy Murray's main weapon could be used against him in the tie at the Denis Shapovalov Madrid Open

ANDY MURRAY meets Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the Madrid Open on Tuesday. (Author: Gardener)

Andy Murray'sWe use your registration to deliver content in a way you have consented to and to improve our understanding of you. We use your registration to deliver content in a way you have consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include advertising from us and third parties, as we understand it. This may include advertising from us and third parties, as we understand it. Andy Murray's old weapon is used against him in his Madrid Open match against Denis Shapovalov. Andy Murray's old weapon is used against him in his Madrid Open match against Denis Shapovalov. Murray will face the world No. 16 for the first time since his former five-year coach Jamie Delgado joined the Canadian's camp. Murray will face the world No. 16 for the first time since his former five-year coach Jamie Delgado joined the Canadian's camp. The Brit had his most successful season under Delgado but his old mentor will now be able to uncover Murray's Shapovalov tactics. The Brit had his most successful season under Delgado but his old mentor will now be able to uncover Murray's Shapovalov tactics. Murray and Shapovalov clash in the second round of the Madrid Masters on Tuesday night. It's their second meeting, and their first since Murray's former coach worked with the 23-year-old. After the former world No. 1 parted ways with Delgado in the off-season, the Canadian approached him and named him his new coach. Delgado had joined Murray's team in 2016 and was his big weapon in the most successful season of his career that year, as he won a second Wimbledon title, a second Olympic gold medal and climbed to the top of the world for the first time. While the Britain manager is not in Madrid with Shapovalov, he will be in close communication with the world No. 16 and will be able to introduce all areas of Murray's game to his new young charge. The Birmingham-born coach was still in Murray's corner when the current world No. 78 faced Shapovalov for the first time in the third round of Wimbledon last year, with the former top-10 player beating him 6-4, 6: 2, 6-2 before reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal.

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Andy Murray celebrates his return to clay with a win over Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Open

Murray won 6-3 6-4 in a first round meeting of the great champions (Author: Gardener)

Andy MurrayAndy Murray made a winning return on clay as he defeated Dominic Thiem in straight sets in the first round of the Madrid Open. The three-time Grand Slam champion triumphed 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 42 minutes over 2020 US Open winner Thiem, who is still seeking his maiden win after his recent comeback from a wrist injury. Murray is playing as a wildcard in the Spanish capital after reversing his decision to skip the entire clay-court season. This was his first match back on the surface in almost two years and his first win on clay since 2017. The 34-year-old Scot broke his Austrian opponent once in each set to lead 4-2 in the first and then 2. 1 ahead in the second. Murray, who has worked again with coach Ivan Lendl, told Amazon Prime: "I had hardly played on it (clay) in the last five years but I trained on it for four weeks before coming here so maybe I felt more more comfortable than usual at the start of the clay court season and I played well. "I thought Dominic was playing well sometimes, but he's obviously just started playing again too, so he's making a few more mistakes than usual. Thiem is making his own injury comeback (Getty Images) "But I was happy with my game and moved particularly well and I've been working on that a lot over the last four weeks and it's changing the way I play the game." Compatriot Cameron Norrie also advanced to the second round, beating Soonwoo Kwon in two tough sets.

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Andy Murray explains Dominic Thiem's ​​poor form since returning from injury

Thiem struggled to recapture his best tennis after a long layoff due to a wrist injury (Author: Gardener)

Andy MurrayAndy Murray (right) sympathizes with Dominic Thiem's ​​struggles to get back to top form after recovering from injury going into the second round of the Madrid Open. Thiem has struggled for form since returning to court after an injury that sidelined him for eight months and prevented him from defending his US Open crown last year. "I have no idea what exactly his injury was or if it was similar to mine but yeah wrists aren't easy," Murray told reporters after his 6-3, 6-4 win over the Austrian. “I also had a wrist problem in 2007 I think. "It's difficult when you're trying to come back from that because the pain you feel from hurting him initially is very difficult mentally, you know, to let go of the wrist." Monday's clash in Madrid was only Thiem's ​​fourth match of the year and the 28-year-old was far from his best, committing 33 unforced errors, most of which came from his forehand. "When the ball is low and you know you really have to use your wrist to bring the ball up and down, or when the ball comes up fast and quite high, you have to use your wrist a lot to bring the ball down bring. Yes, that shot was certainly inconsistent. "But there were certainly certain shots that would normally (Thiem) be taken. He's still serving well, has a fantastic kick serve and hit his backhand really well. He's an excellent mover.” Murray's experience proved crucial against Thiem as the former world number one broke serve twice and saved three break points to level the second set. sometimes about my own game these last few times, but I feel like I've started to play better tennis and I'm definitely moving better and very well tonight," he said. "I didn't know if I would still be able to play at this level on this surface.

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Frenemies or real bromance? Fedal, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic

Who are the guys who understand each other in men's tennis instead of tolerating each other? (Author: Gardener)

FedalStan Wawrinka has opened up about his relationship with fellow countryman Roger Federer, suggesting: "Even though we all have our own lives, since the beginning of our careers we've been marked by great victories together, that creates bonds that will never be broken." Which begs the question : Who are the guys who understand each other instead of tolerating each other? The Scot and the Spaniard have been close friends ever since they met at a U16 tournament in Andorra. On one occasion, the Spaniard also managed a perfect finish at a New York restaurant where Murray took the time to see the funny side.... Did we know Rafa is so cheeky??? There has always been a palpable tension around Novak and Roger's bond, even before the Serb became part of the multi-major club that ensures tripartite respect between its elite members. Gone were the (hysterically accurate) Roger impersonations for starters. Before the rise of the djoker, the Swiss dismissed his opponent as a petty slacker, but over the years the current world No. 1 has spoken of Federer in an almost godlike status. "Obviously Roger is an icon of our sport and people around the world love him." There have been a few clashes with extended family (Djokovic senior) and the thing with Novak and Roger is more of a carefully written statement of mutual respect than anything too deep . It's not exactly a bromance but the relationship between the world Nos. 1 and 2 has certainly blossomed. Medvedev shared a story immediately after his loss to the Serb in the 2021 Australian Open final. "I met Novak for the first time when I was 500 or 600 years old," Medvedev said on the pitch after the game. "I thought, OK, he's not going to talk to me because he was world No. 1. He spoke to me as if I were a friend. He never changed – he was always a great athlete and a great friend.” Even when the Russian was a relative nobody, they practiced together and hit it off. The secret of the relationship may lie in their opinionated and independent perspective. As Djokovic notes, "He (Daniil) is very authentic and speaks his mind on every stage, he's not always politically correct, which a lot of people won't like. He reminds me of myself in that way.” These two know what it's like to feel underappreciated by the crowd. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - or Fedal as they are known by their fans - were the original Millennium tennis story. These guys were joined at the hip as an act. Always the older player, Federer revealed the Spaniard was too shy to disagree with the chief prefect in the early years. Then, according to Roger, Rafa "became a much stronger character and we still had a good time but obviously the rivalry grew." Federer added: "I think we get on really well. We like to see each other and chat and make sure the sport of tennis moves in the right direction.” It's a solid friendship and, in its sincerity, one of the most enduring in the game. As Nadal says, "Roger has been a big part of my career, a great rival and also a true friend." Wherever there is a charity project or foundation, you can be sure that they best support each other. The German could use all the friends he can get at the moment and there's none more solid than Dominic Thiem. It's so much more than language. When Zverev lost the 2020 US Open to Thiem from a position of two sets and a break, he at least lost to his buddy. Zverev was torn, couldn't believe what had happened: A few days later, Thiem revealed the extent of the bond: "In the four hours, the friendship was completely hidden. For his part, Zverev left a voice message on the Austrian's cell phone in the early hours of the morning and congratulated him. These two compatriots are chalk and cheese in many ways. Rublev is your kind of post-teen mumbler, while Medvedev is the crazy loner older brother who can poke fun at his little pal. That's exactly what happened at a hilarious Rod Laver Cup press conference, when the younger Russian kept repeating a certain adjective. The article Frenemies or real bromance? Fedal, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic made first appearances on Tennis365.com.

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Andy Murray beats Dominic Thiem in round one of the Madrid Open

MIKE DICKSON: The 34-year-old Scot became the fifth Briton in five to win his opener at the Madrid Open as he beat the Austrian 6-4, 6-3. (Author: Gardener)

Andy MurrayAndy Murray's about-face playing on clay this spring looked like a wise decision on Monday night as he defeated former French Open finalist Dominic Thiem. The 34-year-old Scot became the fifth Brit of five to win his opener at the Madrid Open as he defeated the Austrian 6-4, 6-3. Murray only decided to venture onto the clay after a training block with Ivan Lendl in Florida, after which he was unable to find a suitable hard court event to play at. Faced with a wild card for Madrid, he took advantage of a draw that has now become less scary than it was two years ago. Thiem is struggling with severe wrist problems and his forehand isn't what it was. Murray was rightly satisfied with his movement and skillfully used the dropshot. He plays Denis Shapovalov, who defeated Ugo Humbert. Murray said: "I played well.

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Andy Murray's clay gamble earns Dominic Thiem scalp prize

Even in his absence, the Ivan Lendl effect was evident at last night's Madrid Open. Andy Murray, who rehired his trusty old trainer for the third time in March, (Author: Gardener)

Andy MurrayWe've determined that there is a problem with your subscription billing information. Please update your billing information here. The subscription information associated with this account needs to be updated. Please update your billing information here to continue enjoying your subscription. Please update your billing details here to continue having access to the UK's most informative and respected journalism. Murray's victory was his first on clay since the 2017 French Open. Even in his absence, the Ivan Lendl effect was evident at last night's Madrid Open. Andy Murray, who rehired his trusty old coach for a third time in March, looked particularly sharp on the court as he sent Dominic Thiem in straight sets for his first win on clay in almost five years. It was an impressive performance for someone who initially ruled out performing this year. Murray made a U-turn after a four-week training block with Lendl in Florida last month and decided he couldn't risk a lack of matchplay and confidence ahead of the grass season.

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