Murray moves closer to top spot

first_imgVIENNA (AP):Andy Murray closed in on the No. 1 ranking by winning his third straight ATP title at the Erste Bank Open yesterday.The Scot can overtake Novak Djokovic atop the ATP rankings next week if he wins the Paris Masters and the Serb doesn’t reach the final.”I get a step closer with every win, but it’s still a long way from here,” Murray said. “From two to one seems a small jump in a way, but it’s the hardest one to make. To go from 100 to 50 is more spots, but is a lot easier.”In yesterday’s final, Murray defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6 (6) for his personal-best seventh title of the season, and 42nd overall. Djokovic has also won seven events this year.”I was thinking more about how you are going to win the match rather than what it would mean if you did win it. But obviously, it’s nice to win my seventh tournament,” Murray said. “A lot of them have come in the last few months. After the Australian Open, I struggled a little bit for a couple of months, but the last few months have been very good.”Murray extended his unbeaten streak to 15 matches after also winning in Beijing and Shanghai.”I think I played my best tennis of the tournament today. That’s pleasing, obviously, as you want to improve as an event goes on,” he said.The 15th-ranked Tsonga, who was the 2011 champion, appeared in his first final of the season, which has been marred by adductor and left knee injuries.GREAT WEEK”It was a positive week for me. It was very good to be in the final,” Tsonga said. “I played good tennis. It was nice to play five matches in a row. It hasn’t happened many times these last couple of months.”Murray advanced to the final after defending champion David Ferrer pulled out with a left leg injury, while Tsonga saved a match point in his 2 1/2-hour semi-final against Ivo Karlovic on Saturday.Murray, who also won in Vienna on his only previous visit in 2014, dominated yesterday’s final from the start. He raced into a 3-0 lead by taking 14 of the first 19 points of the match.He avoided break points in his games, and missed a set point on the Frenchman’s serve at 5-2 but clinched the opening set the next game with his second ace.Murray conceded just two points on his way to a 2-0 lead in the second set. but started to struggle with his first serve as his percentage dropped to 18 halfway through the second set.He hit a forehand long on the only break point for Tsonga to help the Frenchman level at 4-4.Murray missed his first match point in the tiebreaker as he netted a forehand return, but closed out the win on his second chance with an ace.last_img read more

Coaches call for more local meets

first_img Michael Clarke, who guided Calabar High to five consecutive titles since 2012, also supported his colleague’s view. “There are not too many meets,” argued Clarke, who also guided St Jago High and Jamaica College to Boys’ Champs titles. “I believe that there are not enough. These meets bring success globally. I also do believe that there are not enough after Champs,” he pointed out. “The school meets which assist in the development of the athletes are sanctioned by the JAAA,” Clarke added. Meanwhile, JAAA’s general secretary, Garth Gayle, is fully in support of the number of meets on the calendar. “No. The meets are not too many,” Gayle said strongly. “Jamaica enjoys a very vibrant and thorough athletic programme renown all over the world.” “Recently, the CEO of the IAAF attended the Kirkvine meet and he was impressed, especially at the number of competitors who participated in the meet,” Gayle recounted. Gayle disclosed that for the past six years there have been JAAA calendar conferences, where plans were put in place for the various meets. “We have a serious calendar conference, where planning is done. Jamaica have been renown for putting on high quality meets. We need to do more to develop more global stars,” Gayle concluded. ALL IN AGREEMENT Despite a total of 93 track and field meets on the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) 2016-17 calendar year, some top coaches see the need for more. The coaches believe that the meets have assisted in the development and successes of top Jamaican stars due to their constant exposure to top-level competition. “I don’t think there are too many meets as we have different levels in order to properly develop athletes,” said David Riley, president of the Jamaica Track and Field Coaches Association. “There are not enough meets as the (school) athletes have to qualify for Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championship’s each year. Based on that, the meets are certainly not enough. Most meets don’t cover all events,” Riley added. “Last weekend at the Camperdown Classics, the only qualifying events there included the 4×100 metres relay, 800m, 1500m and 100m. There are very few opportunities for qualification,” the Excelsior High school head coach and founder of The Technique Lab added.last_img read more