Murray dumped out by Ramos-Vinolas at Monte Carlo Masters

Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas celebrates his victory over Britain's Andy Murray at the end of their Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series tennis tournament on Thursday in Monaco. (AFP)
Updated 20 April 2017
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Murray dumped out by Ramos-Vinolas at Monte Carlo Masters

MONACO: Top-ranked Andy Murray threw away a 4-0 lead in the deciding set of his third-round match on Thursday as 15th-seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas won 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 at the Monte Carlo Masters.
Murray, who is returning after a spell out with a right elbow injury, looked rusty on the clay-court surface and struggled on his serve in a scrappy match lasting more than 2 ½ hours and featuring 13 service breaks — including seven against Murray, who struggled with the Spaniard’s heavy forehands.
“I’m disappointed to lose from the position that I was in,” said Murray, last year’s French Open runner-up. “Being 4-love up in the third, I haven’t lost many matches like that in my career.”
Ramos-Vinolas faces fifth-seeded Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. The Croatian reached the last eight after beating No. 9 Tomas Berdych 6-2, 7-6 (0).
Former French Open and Monte Carlo champion Stan Wawrinka followed Murray out of the tournament, losing 6-4, 6-4 to 16th-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.
Wawrinka never found his touch or range and conceded match point when his backhand pass — normally one of the best shots in men’s tennis — clipped the net and went out. Cuevas hit a sweet forehand winner down the line on the next point and raised his arms in the air after beating Wawrinka in their first-ever meeting.
Murray was also facing an opponent for the first time, and a double break put him 4-0 up in the decider but 24th-ranked Ramos-Vinolas broke back twice to level the match at 4-4.
“He obviously started playing better toward the end of the set. I still had a bunch of chances, I guess both of us did really,” Murray said. “I should have been able to do enough to sort of weather that storm a little bit and finish the match off.”
Murray also struggled in the ninth game, taken to deuce before finally holding and then unsuccessfully pressuring the Spaniard’s serve in the next game. After breaking Murray’s serve again, Ramos-Vinolas served out the match on his second match point.
He sent a backhand wide on his first match point and then clinched victory when Murray’s backhand hit the net.
Murray refused to blame the elbow injury that ruled him out of the Miami Open and the recent Davis Cup quarterfinal against France.
“My elbow felt pretty good,” he said. “That’s only going to get better. So hopefully I keep going in the right direction.”
It was more a case of Murray being unable to play his natural game.
“I don’t hit the ball as hard as a lot of the guys. I normally beat guys by maneuvering them around the court rather than blasting them off the court,” he said. “A few times today, I made some bad decisions. That’s something that, with my team, I’ll look at (and) watch some parts of the match over.”
In a match between powerful hitters, Cilic was serving for victory at 5-4. After a long game Berdych broke back for 5-5 and then forced a tiebreaker, but the Czech player wilted against the 2014 US Open champion.
No. 11 Lucas Pouille of France was leading 3-0 when countryman Adrian Mannarino retired with a hip problem.


Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

Updated 9 min 56 sec ago
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Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

  • Egyptian superstar currently has 30 Premier League goals this season
  • Salah beat the likes of De Bruyne and Kane to the award

LONDON: Mohamed Salah was crowned the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year on Sunday, with his incredible 41-goal debut season at Liverpool beating out strong competition from Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne.
“It’s a big honor. I’ve worked hard and I’m very happy to win it,” Salah said at the ceremony on Sunday evening.

"It's an honor, especially as it's voted by the players. I am happy and proud," Salah added.

"I didn't have my chance at Chelsea. It was clear I would return and show everyone my football. I think I left and came back a different person, man and player."

Salah matched a Premier League record tally for a single season by scoring his 31st league goal of the campaign in a 2-2 draw at West Brom on Saturday.
“You’re comparing your name with some great names,” he said, on the prospect of breaking the record. “To break the Premier League record is something huge in England and all over in the world.
“There are still three games to go. I want to break this record.”
Salah has also netted seven times in eight Champions League games, including in both legs of Liverpool’s 5-1 quarter-final thrashing of City, to carry his side to a first semifinal for a decade.
De Bruyne showed why he had been many people’s early-season favorite for the prize with an incredible long-range strike for his 12th goal of the season to go with a league-high number of assists as champions City thrashed Swansea 5-0 on Sunday.
“From my point of view when you are analizing 10 months, there is no player better than him,” said City manager Pep Guardiola of the Belgian midfielder.
“Maybe there are numbers better but for me he was the best. But it is my opinion, the opinions of the players could be different. But in the end, in summer time he will be at home being champion.”
City did pick up a prize from the PFA gala in central London on Sunday, though, as Leroy Sane won the Young Player of the Year.
Sane, another City team-mate David Silva, De Bruyne, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and Tottenham striker Harry Kane were the other five nominees for the main prize.