tirsdag 18. september 2012

Murray claims title

Rising star Craig Murray did it again, in the final of the FTK Championships he put aside the second seed and favourite Christian Wennberg Svendsen in straight sets, 7-6, 7-5.

The bearded Australian, who was not even a top ten player less than a year ago, was utterly relieved with the upset.

– I just went out there to play my game, trying not to let him take too much control of the points. Obviously I'm exhilarated about the way things turned out, Murray told Fagerheimen.tk after his biggest win so far.

– You came right from an equally tight match against the top seed, why do you think you keep coming out on top of those close encounters?

– Look, two years ago I made this commitment to myself never to allow fear of losing interfere with any of my strokes whatsoever. That definitely became a turning point in my career, it made my mental game so much more powerful. Secondly I have got more matches under my belt, both club level-stuff and big tournaments like this. It has given me a lot of confidence.

The 2012 champion at Fagerheimen will now enjoy a scarce break from the world of tennis as his wife is giving birth to the couple's first child next month.

Bloggers around the globe have already started debating what kind of impact this will have on the game of the new champion and ... FTK number one.

– Craig [Murray] is a truly worthy winner, his dedication for our sport really stands out, runner up Christian Svendsen emphasises in a statement made on Twitter.

Fagerheimen.tk managed to get hold og Svendsen after a late night practice session in Oslo the day after the defeat.

– Of course I hate to lose, I really felt I had my chances out there. But, listen, I urge everybody in the C-crowd, and any other fan, for that matter, not to feel sorry for me. I'm awfully grateful to be granted a part in such an event, it's a privilege I still can't fully comprehend, Svendsen said.

– You were up 5–3 in the second set, what happened?

– Well, you know, the momentum shifts ... I was trailing 2–5 in the first set after he came out hitting winners from all over the place, then I managed to come back. In the second ... I don't know what happened, really, it just slipped ...

By now Svendsen peers down at his trade mark orange racket, obviously in great discomfort, his voice hardly audible.

– I guess he [Murray] stepped it up a gear as well... No, I have no excuses, I can only congratulate Craig Murray and all who has assisted him in reaching this far, Svendsen utters, evidently eager to get back on court and leave the pains of yesterday where they belong: in the past.

Fagerheimen.tk will be back with more comments and pictures from the trophy ceremony.

tirsdag 4. september 2012

Murray edges past Bjorheim 7-5, 7-6

Craig Murray's bid to become the first ever Australian winner at the FTK Championships stays alive after battling past first seed Knut Bjorheim in a scintillating semi final.

Bjorheim came out firing at court one yesterday, breaking Murray`s serve at the first opportunity, moving 2–0 up before Murray began to find his rhythm in a long service game.

– I thought his [Bjorheim's] returns were unbelievable, at times it felt like a disadvantage to serve. Fortunately I managed to cope with it a little better at the decisive stages of the match. I´m really, really happy with my performance, Murray told Fagerheimen.tk in a court side interview after the match.

At five all in the first set the third seed succeded in breaking Bjorheim's erratic serve for a second time, and then to serve out the set in convincing fashion.

The second set started as the first, with Bjorheim breaking Murray´s serve – twice – to move 4-1 ahead.
– He played ridiculously well at the start of the second, I just tried to hang in there, Murray admitted.

Murray's never say die attitude paid off, and as everybody expected a third set, the top seed's game fell apart yet again, inviting Murray back into the match.

The set had to be decided in a tie break. After two and a half hours Murray managed to close out the match, taking the tiebreak 7-1 as the dusk threatened to stop action on a beautiful, late summer night in Oslo.

– First of all I want to congratulate Craig [Murray], he did really well and was the better player today, Bjorheim told reporters in a post match conference.
– Your serve didn't seem very reliable today, especially not in the breaker, do you consider this as part of the reason to why you lost?
– My serve hasn't been reliable at all this tournament, that's definitely something we're gonna work on during the winter break. It's been so bad I want to apologise to my supporters. I feel sorry for all I have let down.

– After the doubles final you complained about suffering back pains, how was this today?
– I actually had treatment for it earlier in the day. I don't want to blame my loss for it, but it definitely made me struggle, particularly with the serve. And it only got worse as the match went on.
– And what about the old elbow-injury?
– I don't want to take anything away from Craig's performance, but, just as my knee-, shoulder-, neck-, throat- and ankle-problems, it really made me suffer.

– Your loss today also means you'll be relegated to second or even third place [depends on the outcome of the final] when the next ranking is published in a fortnight?
– Listen, becoming number one was a childhood dream come true to me in the first place. This is something nobody can take away from me. Of course I had hoped for a longer spell at the top, going into the indoor season as number one would be nice... But this is tennis, I just have to work hard every day and do my best to come back.

In the upcoming final, Craig Murray faces former champion Christian Svendsen, who he lost to in the semis last year.

– Playing Christian Svendsen is always a big challenge. Hopefully I can do better this time, Craig Murray said.

mandag 3. september 2012

Hagen er veteranmester

Karl-Erik Hagen er Fagerheimens nye klubbmester for veteraner etter å ha slått Olaf Framnes i finalen 1-6, 6-2, 10-6 (supertiebreak).


Hagen hadde ingen lett vei til tittelen og måtte overvinne både fjorårets mester, Odd Svendsen i semifinalen, og til slutt altså Olaf Framnes, som vant mesterskapet i 2010.

At begge oppgjørene ble vunnet på tiebreak, vitner om sterk psyke og utholdenhet!

(Bilder fra premieutdelingen følger senere.)