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Category: Australian Open 2015

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Andy Murray desperate to break Novak Djokovic’s aura of invincibility in final | Kevin Mitchell

The Serb has displayed awesome form at the Australian Open but Britain’s world No2 will hope to exploit the slightest sign of vulnerability

Damon Runyon would have loved modern tennis, with all its seductive – some would say corrupting – betting options but, if he were allowed on the premises, even he would struggle to frame an attractive price for either combatant in the final of the 2016 Australian Open on Sunday.

For all that the old rascal reckoned “the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet”, there is not enough between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to suggest the Serb will enjoy an easy time of it on Rod Laver Arena, where he has beaten the Scot three times in finals.

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Serena Williams v Angelique Kerber: Australian Open final – live!

8.13am GMT

Related: Britain’s Gordon Reid wins Australian Open wheelchair singles title

8.03am GMT

Hello and welcome to coverage of the Australian Open women’s final between Serena Williams and

Johanna Konta
sorry Angelique Kerber.

Williams, devastated after falling two wins short of a calendar grand slam at last September’s US Open, did not raise a racket in anger for the rest of the year. Speculation was swirling about a loss of motivation and chronic knee problems, and those concerns continued earlier this month when she failed to finish a match at the Hopman Cup. Some posed the question: was it asking too much of the 34-year-old to regain the incredible intensity she showed for most of 2015 for another assault on the slams in 2016?

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Jamie Murray hopes old pals’ act with Bruno Soares leads to doubles glory

The Briton has been friends with the Brazilian ‘for maybe 10 years’ and after the new partnership triumphed in Sydney this month – in only their second tournament together – they have the Australian Open title in their sights

If ever there was an example of a team being more than the sum of its parts it is doubles, where trust, belief and tactical nous is at least as important as individual ability.

Top singles players can play good doubles, of course, as Andy Murray has shown recently and competitors such as John McEnroe and Stefan Edberg have proven in the past, but even they are nothing if the team dynamic does not quite work. When Jamie Murray decided late last year it was time to look for a new partner, after three years with Australia’s John Peers, he wanted someone whose playing style not only dovetailed nicely with him, but whose personality matched his. In the Brazilian Bruno Soares, he found someone who is rarely flustered and whose desire to win a first grand slam men’s doubles title matches his.

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Johanna Konta: how JoKo became the new star of British tennis

Few expected Konta to reach the Australian Open semi-final. But time spent with her ‘mind coach’ has helped her blossom and become UK No 1

“Who could expect Johanna Konta to be in the semi-finals [of the Australian Open]?” Martina Navratilova asked this week. Who indeed? As recently as last summer, Konta was grinding out the life of many British tennis hopefuls before her, slogging her way through the less glamorous reaches of the women’s tour and only just scraping into the ranks of the world’s top 150 players.

Ten days ago, however, the British No 1 beat Venus Williams in her opening round of the Melbourne tournament, opening up what would prove to be a historic opportunity. If the draw, after Williams’s removal, was certainly favourable, Konta made the most of her chance, driving through four further rounds before finally being knocked out by Angelique Kerber of Germany in Thursday’s semi-final, the first British woman to reach the last four of a Grand Slam in more than 30 years.

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Sports quiz of the week: Novak Djokovic, Johanna Konta and January transfers

This week’s quiz is racing up the rankings and sitting down for the fans

• Football quiz: what’s in a club’s name?

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Gordon Reid reaches second wheelchair final at Australian Open

• Scot through to doubles with partner Shingo Kunieda
• Pair meet top seeds Stéphane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer

Great Britain’s Gordon Reid reached a second final at the Australian Open in the men’s wheelchair doubles.

The Scot and his Japanese partner Shingo Kunieda, seeded second, won their semi-final against Gustavo Fernandez and Joachim Gerard 7-6, 6-2 to set up a final against the French top seeds Stéphane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.

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Jamie Murray: British experience at Australian Open has been incredible

• Doubles finalist lauds Melbourne form of his brother Andy and Johanna Konta
• ‘Chemistry I have struck up with Bruno Soares bodes well for doubles final’

“It has been incredible,” Jamie Murray said of the British experience at the 2016 Australian Open – and, he might have added, it could become more incredible.

“Obviously, for Andy [his brother] to get into the semi-final, I guess people are used to that because that is what he has been doing for so many years,” Jamie said on the eve of his doubles final, his third in a row in slams, after losing at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows with the Australian John Peers.

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Gordon Reid makes wheelchair final at Australian Open

• Scot beats Gustavo Fernández 6-3, 6-7, 9-7
• Match lasts three hours and 13 minutes

Johanna Konta may have gone out and Andy Murray’s fate is in the balance, but at least one Briton has made it to a singles final, Gordon Reid winning in the wheelchair semi-finals at the Australian Open.

The 24-year-old Scot beat Argentina’s Gustavo Fernández 6-3, 6-7, 9-7 in a match lasting three hours and 13 minutes to become the first Briton to reach a grand slam men’s singles wheelchair final.

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Australian Open: Johanna Konta loses semi-final to Angelique Kerber – video highlights

Angelique Kerber beats British women’s number one Johanna Konta in the second semi-final at the Australian Open on Thursday. Konta, the first British woman for 33 years to play in a Grand Slam semi-final, lost 7-5, 6-2 to the the seventh seed. Kerber will face Serena Williams in the final

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Johanna Konta’s Bourne supremacy has been an action-packed story

Britain’s No1 has rewritten the history books at the Australian Open but, she says, it comes down to a new mental approach

Johanna Konta calls it “the process”. It helps her stay “present”. And, as cold as that sounds and whatever it really amounts to and as much as it confounds her inquisitors, the control she has wrought over her emotions on the tennis court through the discipline of self-knowledge has transformed her as a player – and probably as a person.

Konta’s profile has risen so irresistibly over the past year and during this tournament that details of her past remain buried, bad memories never to be revisited. To jump from 147 to the world into the low 30s and nearly double her career earnings in the space of a year after toiling in minor tournaments in front of a handful of strangers for negligible financial reward in the first five years of her career has been one of the most remarkable stories in British tennis for a long time.

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Tennis match-fixing allegations leave questions to be answered | Sean Ingle

With stars such as Lleyton Hewitt indiscriminately caught up in the fallout from the BBC-Buzzfeed investigation into fixing, experts raise concerns over how the analysis was carried out

Ten days have passed since BuzzFeed and the BBC detonated a 9,000-word report alleging “widespread” match-fixing “in the upper echelons” of men’s tennis, and the suspicions and insinuations continue to linger like a stink bomb.

During the Australian Open Lleyton Hewitt, one of the game’s most tenacious and admired scrappers, was forced to deny he was a secret cheat after the final moments of his 19-year singles’ career. The Dutch player Robin Hasse was accused of corruption on Twitter based on no evidence. And a mixed doubles match on Sunday was also called into question by the bookmakers Pinnacle although others disputed whether there were suspicious betting patterns. Meanwhile the public is left wondering just who – or what – it can believe.

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Angelique Kerber beats Victoria Azarenka to reach Australian Open semi-final

• German wins 6-3, 7-5 to post first-ever victory against Azarenka
• Kerber will play Britain’s Johanna Konta in the last four

Germany’s Angelique Kerber upset the odds to beat Victoria Azarenka for the first time in her career and reach the Australian Open semi-finals.

Kerber had lost all of her last six meetings with Azarenka but the seventh seed turned the tide to win a pulsating match 6-3, 7-5 on Rod Laver Arena. The world No6 will now play Britain’s Johanna Konta in the last four.

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Australian Open: Britain’s Andy Murray and Johanna Konta surge into semis

• Britain represented men’s and women’s singles semis for first time since 1977
• Judy Murray and Boris Becker lead messages of congratulations

Great Britain will be represented in the men’s and women’s singles semi-finals of a grand slam for the first time since 1977 after Andy Murray and Johanna Konta saw off David Ferrer and Zhang Shuai, respectively, in the Australian Open last eight.

Related: Gaël Monfils v Milos Raonic: Australian Open quarter-final – live!

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Johanna Konta beats Ekaterina Makarova to reach Australian Open last eight

  • Johanna Konta beats Ekaterina Makarova 4-6, 6-4, 8-6
  • Briton becomes first woman to reach last eight in Melbourne since 1983

Johanna Konta keeps chipping away at tennis history and a three-set victory over the tough Russian Ekaterina Makarova here on Monday evening put her alongside Jo Durie, the last British player to make the women’s quarter-finals at the Australian Open. That was 33 years ago, nine years long than the Eastbourne player has been alive.

Konta served for the match twice but steadied her normally reliable serving arm at the second attempt to win 4-6, 6-4, 8-6.

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Stanislas Wawrinka out of Australian Open after loss to Milos Raonic in five sets

• Canadian fends off comeback to send 2014 Champion tumbling out
• Milos Raonic beats Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3

Milos Raonic fended off a spirited comeback from the fourth seed Stanislas Wawrinka to send the 2014 champion tumbling out of the fourth round of the Australian Open 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3 on Monday.

The 25-year-old Canadian, who had never beaten the French Open champion in four previous meetings, sent down 24 aces and hit 82 winners in the three-hour, 44-minute contest to reach the quarter-finals for the second year in a row.

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Australian Open 2016: Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios and Serena Williams in action – live!

9.33am GMT

Novak Djokovic bides his time. He lets Andrea Seppi have his fun. He gives him hope. He makes him think he’s in this. That it’s going to be a famous comeback. Then he breaks for a 6-5 lead in the second set. Ruthless.

9.25am GMT

Understatement of the day goes to Serena Williams. “I thought I played well today,” the world No1 says.

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An outsider at a grand slam: the world No198 on his time at the Australian Open

James McGee lost his third and final qualifier for the Australian Open and missed out on the £26,500 he would have earned for reaching the first round of the grand slam. As other players go on to glory, he counts the cost of his career

By Jonathan Drennan for Behind the Lines, part of the Guardian Sport Network

James McGee wakes up in another anonymous, rented room. This time it’s in South Yarra, Melbourne. He is a tennis player ranked 198th in the world, the most successful Irish player by a distance. He rubs the sleep from his eyes and stretches out a sore body. Twenty-four hours before he came within one game of qualifying for the main draw of the Australian Open. He tries not to think about the £26,500 he would have won for qualifying, or the precious ranking points he would have gained. Instead, he focusses on his love of the game. It remains constant, in the face of the stark difficulties of surviving on the tour.

“I have had some very bad times, there are times when you lose a game and you are wondering where the next money to keep going is coming from. If you let it, it can really hit you hard. I remember being injured, having no coach and wondering how I can keep going, but you have to remember how much you love the game and that keeps you going and moving forward.”

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Agnieszka Radwanska outclasses Eugenie Bouchard at Australian Open

• Fourth seed ends Bouchard’s strong start to the year with 6-4, 6-2 win
• Bouchard made 37 unforced errors in inconsistent performance

Eugenie Bouchard’s hopes of rehabilitation at the Australian Open came to a swift end on Wednesday as Agnieszka Radwanska sent the Canadian out of the tournament with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat in the second round.

Related: Australian Open 2016: day three, Djokovic, Kyrgios, Radwanska in action – live!

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Australian Open 2016: Rafael Nadal crashes out in first round – live!

8.15am GMT

A momentarily tetchy Nadal slams his rackets back into his bag as he prepares to vacate the court, but he doesn’t even have the energy to sustain any anger. His head drops, and he mopes off in the throes of misery. Such a shame there had to be a loser after a fantastic match, and the departure of a very popular star will tug a few heart-strings this morning/afternoon/evening/night. But the result was totally right: Verdasco was simply brilliant in those final exchanges, blowing his more storied compatriot off the court. Verdasco’s interviewed on Rod Laver in the wake of this famous victory, although not before munching his way quickly through a banana. “Sorry. I need to eat. If not, I’m dead!” Much laughter from the stands. He then explains his victory. “I just hit everything. I just started hitting winners. I don’t know how. I closed my eyes and everything started dropping in, so I kept doing it! I started coming in, started to be aggressive, and I’m so happy. A win against Rafa is an unbelievable feeling.”

8.06am GMT

Nadal is out! Verdasco wins 7-6, 4-6, 3-6, 7-6, 6-2! Nadal ostentatiously springs about like Tigger, but nobody’s really convinced. He’s running on reserves. But he’s given a helping hand by Verdasco, who fails to put away a short and slow second serve. Nadal takes succour and a big serve gives him a 30-0 lead. Verdasco’s forehand makes it 30-15. And then another cross-court stunner! It’s 30-30! Nadal shovels a poor shot out of play on the right, and it’s match point to Verdasco. And he takes it first time, blowing his compatriot away with a stunning cross-court winner. This is Nadal’s 44th appearance in a major tournament, and he’s only previously lost in the first round once, against Steve Darcis at Wimbledon in 2013. Nadal was certainly not at his best – in fact during that final set he looked totally spent – but in fairness nobody could have lived with Verdasco in those final six games, when the Spaniard put his foot on the gas and blew his compatriot away with a series of blistering cross-court forehands. Wow.

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John Whittingdale voices concern over tennis match fixing – audio

John Whittingdale says allegations of match fixing in tennis are of ‘great concern’ and must not be ‘swept under the carpet’. Speaking on Monday on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the cultiure secretary says fans and other competitors rely on the integrity of the game

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