Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 28th 2016 Contents MELBOURNE---In keeping with
the way this Australian Open has
been going, Andy Murray was
asked following a quarterfinal
win yesterday about the state of
his game. And then, invariably,
about the integrity of his sport.
Murray and a much lesser-
known British player, Johanna
Konta, advanced to the semifinals.
Murray beat David Ferrer 6--3, 6--7
(5), 6--2, 6--3 to reach the semi-
finals at a Grand Slam for the 18th
time. The 24-year-old Konta had
a 6--4, 6--1 win over Chinese qual-
ifier Zhang Shuai.
It s the first time since the Aus-
tralian Open in December 1977
that that two British players (John
Lloyd and Sue Barker) have
advanced to the final four of any
Konta is playing in her first Aus-
tralian Open main draw, after los-
ing in qualifying rounds three years
in a row. She had a first-round
win over No 8 Venus Williams and
beat No 21 Ekaterina Makarova in
straight sets in the fourth round.
She has won fans at Melbourne
Park with her athleticism and
mental composure on the court
and good humour and a polite
humility in interviews after win-
ning. Born in Australia but living
in Britain since her early teens,
Konta also has Hungarian citizenship
and calls herself a "tri-citizen."
Murray is impressed.
"She s done incredible," he said.
"Another very comfortable and solid
win today. Not easy either. She created
that chance by beating the seeds, and
she deserves to be where she is."
Konta, the first British woman to
reach a Grand Slam semifinal since Jo
Durie at the 1983 US Open, will play
Angelique Kerber, who beat two-time
champion Victoria Azarenka 6--3, 7--5.
The No 2-ranked Murray, who has
lost four finals at Melbourne Park, will
meet Milos Raonic in the semifinals.
The 25-year-old Canadian beat Gael
Monfils 6--3, 3--6, 6--3, 6--4 in a night
match, continuing his strong form that
saw him beat Roger Federer in the Bris-
bane International final and French
Open champion Stan Wawrinka in the
fourth round here.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic
and Federer will contest the other semi-
Since Day 1, the Australian Open has
been overshadowed by media reports
alleging tennis authorities had failed to
thoroughly investigate match-fixing.
Yesterday, Day 10, the governing bod-
ies of tennis announced they will com-
mission an independent review of their
anti-corruption unit to restore "public
confidence in our sport."
In announcing the review, ATP chair-
man Chris Kermode said the reports
had "caused damage to the sport,"
which compelled the major stakeholders
in tennis---the International Tennis Fed-
eration, ATP and WTA tours, and the
four Grand Slams---to take quick action
to address the issue.
A BBC and Buzzfeed News report
which coincided with the start of the
Australian Open alleged 16 players---
all ranked at some stage in the top 50
---had been flagged for being involved
in matches where suspicious betting
activity was detected.
Murray was asked about develop-
ments to the match-fixing claims, as
have many players in the last ten days.
"Yeah, that s positive," Murray said
of the independent review. "Surely. I
think in these situations I think people
become skeptical when it s sort of kept
in-house. So getting someone inde-
pendent to look into it is positive for
The review will be funded by the
Tennis Integrity Board, which oversees
the anti-corruption unit set up by the
sport in 2008 to combat match-fixing.
It will be led by Adam Smith, a Lon-
Murray and Raonic, who advanced
to his second Grand Slam semifinal
after losing to Federer in the final four
at Wimbledon in 2014, are 3--3 in career
Kerber went down a break in the
second set before winning five con-
secutive games and saving five set
points before beating Azarenka, her
first win in seven matches against the
Belarussian. Six-time champion Serena
Williams and No 4-ranked Agnieszka
Radwanska will meet in the other
women s semifinal, also today.
Thursday, January 28, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
MELBOURNE---A blockbuster Aus-
tralian Open semifinal between No 1
Novak Djokovic and No 3 Roger Fed-
erer will be the latest installment in
the tennis rivalry that has come to
define recent seasons.
It will be a rematch of last year s
final at the US Open and at Wimbledon,
both of which Djokovic won.
"We are, you know, big rivals," said
Djokovic, the defending champion.
"We ve played so many times against
each other. There s a lot of tension.
There s a lot at stake. I m expecting a
It will be the 15th time Djokovic and
Federer meet in a Grand Slam, extend-
ing their own record for the most
matchups at the majors in the Open
era, which started in 1968.
It will be the 45th matchup overall
between the two players who are tied
at 22 wins each.
For Djokovic, it offers a chance to
re-assert his dominance after finishing
the best season of his career. He finished
2015 at No 1 for the fourth time in five
years, after winning at the Australian
Open, Wimbledon and the US Open,
and reaching the final at the French
He has won 10 Grand Slam titles and
is gaining on Federer s record 17.
For Federer, it offers a chance to prove
that his best is not entirely behind him.
He hasn t won a major since Wimble-
don 2012, where he beat Djokovic in
At 34, Federer is playing remarkable
tennis. But at 28, Djokovic is still in his
prime with many years to go.
Federer was asked how meaningful
it would be to win another major in
the Djokovic era.
"It would mean a lot to me, no doubt
about it," Federer said. "It s part of the
reason why I guess I m still playing."
Both Djokovic and Federer are bid-
ding to become the first man in the
Open era to reach six Australian Open
finals---of which Djokovic has won five
and Federer four.
Blockbuster expected as
Djokovic meets Federer
Andy Murray of Britain reacts
after winning a point against
David Ferrer of Spain during their
quarterfinal match at the
Australian Open tennis
championships in Melbourne,
Australia, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Distractions fail to stop Murray
No 2 Andy Murray def No 8 David
Ferrer, 6--3, 6--7 (5), 6--2, 6--3
No 13 Milos Raonic def No 23 Gael
Monfils 6--3, 3--6, 6--3, 6--4.
No 7 Angelique Kerber def No 14
Victoria Azarenka 6--3, 7--5
Johanna Konta def Zhang Shuai 6--4,
STAT OF THE DAY: 2: number of
British players (Murray and Konta)
into the semifinals at a major for the
first time since 1977.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It's very
exciting to have a British woman in
the latter stage of a Slam, that's not
happened for a long, long time" ---
ON COURT TODAY
No 1 Novak Djokovic vs No 3 Roger
No 1 Serena Williams vs No 4
Johanna Konta vs Angelique Kerber.
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