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Roundup: Cibulkova announces retirement; Murray excited

November 13, 2019 09:19 IST

Dominika Cibulkova

IMAGE: Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova. Photograph: Matteo Ciambelli/Reuters

Former world number four and Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova announced her retirement on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old Slovakian claimed eight WTA singles titles and entered the top four in 2017.

Her biggest title came in 2016 when she defeated then world number one Angelique Kerber to win the WTA Finals.

 

Cibulkova, who has not played since the French Open, became the first Slovak woman to reach a Grand Slam singles final in 2014 when she lost to China’s Li Na at the Australian Open.

She said she had made up her mind about retirement at Roland Garros. “It was strange because I knew, and no one around me except my team knew it would be my last tournament,” she said.

“At that point, I was 100% sure. I wasn’t doubting or thinking ‘maybe yes or no.’ I knew I wanted to do it like this, for this to be my last tournament. I went home and was happy with my decision."

“It’s hard to make it, but once you do, you feel more free.”

Murray excited to see what next couple of years can bring

Andy Murray

IMAGE: Britain's Andy Murray reacts after the match. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Former world number one Andy Murray is excited to see what he can achieve over the next couple of years after returning to the tour following hip resurfacing surgery but he will not be setting any lofty targets.

The 32-year-old Briton looked on the verge of ending his career at the start of the year but after undergoing surgery in January, he has returned in impressive fashion.

After initially playing doubles at Queen’s Club, where he won the title alongside Feliciano Lopez, and Wimbledon, Murray has exceeded expectations on the singles court and won the title in Antwerp last month, beating Stan Wawrinka in the final.

Murray, ranked 125th, will end his season at the Davis Cup Finals next week before turning his thoughts to next year’s Australian Open having thought this year’s appearance in Melbourne was probably his last.

“I’m very lucky I get that chance again in January if I stay fit in the next couple of months and it’ll be fun to see what I can do,” Murray told British media on Tuesday.

“It has been an up and down few years but I feel like I’m coming through the other side of it and excited to see what I can do over the next couple of years."

“It’s difficult to say exactly where I am. I’m not where I was when I was 25 but I don’t expect to be and don’t need to be (in order) to be competitive at the highest level. That’s why I’m excited.”

Murray’s European Open title in Antwerp, his first since March 2017, has given him the belief that he could beat the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic — a notion that would have appeared impossible a few months ago.

“I know if I played against the top players tomorrow there would be a very small chance of me winning that match,” he said. “But I do feel I could win."

“That’s one of the performance goals I want — when I go out on court against all of the players I want to feel like I have a chance of winning.”

Murray, whose wife Kim gave birth to their third child a few weeks ago, says the main priority is to continue playing pain free and enjoying the battle.

“I’m not going to set a target of top 10 or trying to make the semis of a Grand Slam because I’ve done all of that before and I don’t need that,” he said.

“So if I’m 30 in the world or 70 in the world but I’m still enjoying it and still enjoying the preparations and training and I feel competitive then that would be success for me.”

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