LONDON — Andy Murray survived a match point to keep alive his chances of finishing the year as the top-ranked player by defeating Milos Raonic 5-7, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (9) Saturday in the semifinals of the ATP finals.
After squandering chances while serving for the match twice in the final set, Murray converted on his fourth match point at the tiebreaker to finally come through. The victory keeps him in position to secure his No. 1 ranking at the end of the season for the first time in his career.
Murray needed 3 hours, 38 minutes to beat Raonic in the longest ever three-setter in the ATP finals.
“Obviously it was unbelievably tough,” Murray said. “I had to fight very, very hard. Being broken twice serving for the match was frustrating. It was one of the harder matches I’ve played indoors. They are never this long. It was really tough.”
Murray may not need to win Sunday’s final to reach his goal.
If Novak Djokovic loses to Kei Nishikori in the second semifinal later Saturday, Murray will automatically guarantee the year-end top ranking. And if Djokovic advances to the final, the winner on Sunday will secure the No. 1 spot.
“I’m tired,” Murray said. “I’ve played so much tennis the last few months. I’ll just give my best effort tomorrow. It’s going to be tough, obviously, but I’ll give my best shot.”
Murray arrived at the tournament simply needing to do better than Djokovic to finish the year at No. 1, a position he has held since winning the Paris Masters this month.
He had won all six of his meetings with Raonic this year, including a straight-sets victory in the Wimbledon final.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Total player compensation at the U.S. Open will top $50 million for the first time this year, with a record $3.7 million going to each of the singles champions.
The U.S. Tennis Association announced Tuesday that the total purse for the tournament will be $50.4 million, a nearly 9 percent increase from last year. The previous winners of the final Grand Slam tournament of the season – Stan Wawrinka and Angelique Kerber – earned $3.5 million.
Runners-up will get $1.825 million, up from $1.75 million.
Both the men’s and women’s doubles champions will earn $675,000, the highest in U.S. Open history. A player who loses in the first round of singles at Queens’ Flushing Meadows will make $50,000, an increase of $6,700.
The U.S. Open starts on Aug. 28.
LONDON — It’s not a good idea to turn down Martina Hingis. Jamie Murray is glad he didn’t.
Hingis and Murray won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title on Sunday, beating Henri Kontinen and Heather Watson 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court.
Murray hadn’t played mixed doubles since the 2016 French Open, but when Hingis contacted him before Wimbledon, he couldn’t resist.
“I mean, the (men’s) doubles for me is obviously my biggest goal of the year,” Murray said. “It’s going to take something pretty special to kind of maybe potentially take my eye off the ball with it.”
The duo had both previously won the title playing with different partners, Murray with Jelena Jankovic in 2007 and Hingis with Leander Paes in 2015.
Hingis, who has won five Grand Slam singles titles, 11 women’s doubles and six mixed doubles, usually gets her way.
“I’m not used to `no,”‘ Hingis said. “No, I don’t take `no’ as an answer pretty much.”
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