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    #26
    Ward had the hotter intensity in his final set against Maverick. So that's 2/3 (Evans, Ward) in Q1 for the British men.

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      #27
      Swan went off in tears, in a wheelchair. But later reports suggest a back spasm, so not as bad as it looked initially.

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        #28
        Aussie Q2 results: Ward lost, Evans and Dart both won. Meanwhile in Auckland, wildcard Norrie has made it to the semis, having beaten Paire, Isner and Fritz.

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          #29
          I hope Janik will start a dedicated thread soon for the Aussie, but the main draws are now out, with details of qualifiers still to be filled in of course.

          British women R1 draws:

          Konta v Tomljanovic, who beat her this month in Brisbane
          Boulter v Makarova (a former top 10 player)
          Watson v Martic (the no.31 seed)

          British men R1 draws:

          Murray v Bautista Agut, no. 22 seed, who just became Doha champion, including a SF win over Djokovic. Oh dear.
          Norrie v Fritz, who he just beat in Auckland
          Edmund v Berdych

          Also worth noting that if Norrie wins his R1 match he could face Monfils in R2 and his R3 opponent per seeding would be Federer.
          Last edited by Evariste Euler Gauss; 10-01-2019, 09:51.

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            #30
            In contrast to the bad news from Murray's press conference, it was an excellent night (UK time) for British tennis on the courts. Norrie has reached his first ATP final in Auckland (his oppo will be Sandgren) and both Dart and Evans won their Aussie Q3 matches so have made it to the main event. A particularly nice surprise for me in the case of Dart, who was losing 0-5 in the first set when I turned in last night, but won her match 1-6, 6-3. 6-1.

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              #31
              Dart has been drawn against Drugscheat in R1. Evans will face another qualifier -then probably Federer in R2 if he wins! And, assuming Evans can brush Federer aside, we could have an all-British R3 tie between Evans and Norrie.
              Last edited by Evariste Euler Gauss; 11-01-2019, 07:50.

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                #32
                Buried in the media's tennis coverage amidst all the Murray tributes, but Norrie just lost his first ever ATP final to the nominatively deterministic and politically suspect Sandgren in straight sets.

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                  #33
                  Originally posted by Evariste Euler Gauss View Post
                  I hope Janik will start a dedicated thread soon for the Aussie, but the main draws are now out, with details of qualifiers still to be filled in of course.

                  British women R1 draws:

                  Konta v Tomljanovic, who beat her this month in Brisbane
                  Boulter v Makarova (a former top 10 player)
                  Watson v Martic (the no.31 seed)

                  British men R1 draws:

                  Murray v Bautista Agut, no. 22 seed, who just became Doha champion, including a SF win over Djokovic. Oh dear.
                  Norrie v Fritz, who he just beat in Auckland
                  Edmund v Berdych

                  Also worth noting that if Norrie wins his R1 match he could face Monfils in R2 and his R3 opponent per seeding would be Federer.
                  I'll try. Amazing what a lack of readily available WiFi does to ones schedule. 100+ emails to check through and deal with those that need a response first. And that isn't my work account, either...

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                    #34
                    Normally i wait for a couple of rounds before i put a tenner on who i fancy to win a Grand Slam but this time i have decided to be bold and stick the money down pre-tournament.

                    10 on Aryna Sabalenka at 12/1
                    10 on Roger Federer at 4/1

                    I am expecting this to be a big year for Sabalenka and Federer looks to be in a happy place and he was playing sublime tennis in the Hopman Cup.

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                      #35
                      It was played 3, won 3 for the British Fed Cup team today against Slovenia, Konta and Boulter both won their singles matches and Swann and Dart won their doubles match. Heather Watson didn't play today as she was ill.
                      Last edited by Jon; 07-02-2019, 21:04.

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                        #36
                        Watson didn't even attend the venue, so as to avoid infecting teammates. That must be astoundingly frustrating. She has been the lynchpin of the team for years, always there for Britain in all those years trekking to Israel and Budapest and so on. The first time Britain are playing at home in her career (actually, basically in her lifetime as she is 26) and she can't even go along to support but ends up watching on telly because of a bug! Personally, I've never much warmed to Watson as an individual (admission!), but that really sucks.

                        Talking of the 'first home tie for 26 years' fuss, it's all a bit disingenuous, isn't it? I mean, it's factually true, but the reason the run of away games has happened now is the LTA has finally broken and accepted what they wanted to happen, Britain winning through to the World Group and getting a home tie, was simply not coming to pass. So they have dug into their pot of money and sorted out hosting Euro-Africa Group I for once. They haven't even gone the whole hog - in previous years all four Group I pools were at the one venue, but this time they are split between Britain and Poland*. This is something that they could easily have done 10 or 15 years ago, if they had been bothered.

                        Anyway, it is here now (or in Bath, at least) and I think it's a big day today for Katie Boulter, and probably also Annie K as I would totally expect Sakkari to beat Konta in the top string singles. If Boulter wins first and that prediction pans out it puts significant pressure on Keothavong to get her doubles selection right. Will she go with the practiced team of Dart/Swan, who did look particularly small and young when on court yesterday or swap Konta in? That is where Watson's absence hurts, as she is the best and most consistent Doubles player in Britain's nominated five. That said, Hungary beat Greece yesterday and did so without Timea Babos playing, which actually throws the pool rather open. It also means that doubles rubbers are not dead ones whatever Sam Smith might say on the BT Sport commentary, even if a side is already 2-0 up. It could easily come down to the number of strings won if we get a three-way circular situation (Hungary bt Greece, who bt Britain, who bt Hungary).


                        * - Poland's initial pool is astonishing, btw. It's them, Denmark and Russia. Caro Wozniacki is in the Danish team, but without an awful lot of back-up. Well, the chance to play against Poland in Poland is one she really wouldn't want to pass up, given her background but if her team is to win she is going to have to do an awful lot of the work herself. Russia beat Poland 2-1 in the first tie of that group, wins for Vikhlyantseva and Pavlyuchenkova meaning they didn't even need nominal team leader Kasatkina in the singles (she played with Gasparyan in the doubles instead and lost). It feels like a year too late for Poland, now Aga Radwanska has retired.


                        World Group I ties this weekend are:-
                        Czech Rep vs Romania
                        Belgium vs France
                        Germany vs Belarus
                        USA vs Australia

                        Czechia vs Romania is the absolute pick of those. No Petra Kvitova for the hosts, she is in a different Czech court, giving evidence against the guy charged with knifing her, so the team in her enforced absence is Karolina Pliskova, Katerina Siniakova, Marketa Vondrousova and doubles specialist Barbora Krejcikova (part of the current World No.1 pair with Siniakova). Simona Halep leads the Romanians, with her main back-up being Mihaela Buzarnescu. The rest of the team is Irina-Camelia Begu, Ana Bogdan and Monica Niculescu. On a clay court, I would make Romania distinct favourites to win, but the tie is in Ostrava and so will be on a slick indoor hard surface. That might tip it the Czech's way. Pliskova ought to be very hard to play against on such a surface.

                        The US team is Madison Keys, Danielle Collins, Sofia Kenin and Nicole Melichar for the doubles. Like the Czechs, the US captain (Kathy Rinaldi) has waived the option of naming a fifth player that has come in this year.

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                          #37
                          Konta serving for the match.

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                            #38
                            She's won. After coming back from a set behind. Boulter winning earlier today means they are now played five, won 5 over the last two days.

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                              #39
                              A set and break behind. Konta raised her level impressively in set two to win a match that Sakkari seemed to have well in control.

                              Dart/Swan seem to be a good doubles pairing, albeit they are not playing under any pressure as the group situation means this is a properly dead rubber. And a sparse crowd, after the two near three hour singles matches.

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                                #40
                                Absolutely nothing between Boulter and Galfi in what has been a really high quality match. It will be decided by a final set tie-break...

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                                  #41
                                  Boulter wins the first three points with excellent play, and also draws blood (knee and racquet hand thumb) on point two. That is taking the 'Boxing with racquets' thing that Murray talks about a bit far. We now have a pause to tap Galfi up.

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                                    #42
                                    Boulter wins the breaker 7-1 for a 6-4 6-7(5) 7-6(1) victory. Now over to Jo, and also Katie to try and recover ready for (hopefully) tomorrow.

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                                      #43
                                      And now a deciding set tie-break for Konta...

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                                        #44
                                        Which she also won to take Britain through the pool and into a play-off tomorrow against Serbia (who surprisingly beat Croatia). However, one does wonder how pyrrhic the efforts of the last two days will prove. Both Konta and Boulter have had back-to-back 2h30+ matches. Boulter, in particular, look close to the ends of her energy reserves midway through the final set against Galfi today. The British physio has a lot of work to do getting these two ready for tomorrow. Serbia will also likely be tired, mind. Their win over Croatia was earned by just two players, Olga Danilovic and Aleksandra Krunic playing the singles and then combining to win the decisive doubles. And each of those rubbers was a three setter, so their players each have six sets in their legs from today, albeit this morning and not this evening. It could be last Woman standing wins...

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                                          #45
                                          If there isn't a thunderstorm in the next few hours, I'll be getting up in about seven hours and going to see the qualifying round of the Argentina Open. They're letting folk in free, you see, so we thought it'd be a nice way to spend some of our weekend with my girlfriend's dad and her cousin.

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                                            #46
                                            (If there is a thunderstorm in the next few hours, as per the weather forecast, then obviously I might just be getting up and moving to the sofa to watch Fulham v United instead.)

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                                              #47
                                              I'd have gone out in the thunderstorm if necessary to avoid having to see Fulham v Man U.

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                                                #48
                                                Not quite sure how Jo Konta did that. She literally collapsed with exhaustion or stress or a combination of the two at the end of set 2, yet somehow won set 3 6-2. She collapsed again at the end of the match and is now on her seat in tears with her Mum and Dad on court looking after her.
                                                Last edited by Janik; 09-02-2019, 20:11.

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                                                  #49
                                                  Britain can look forward to the World Group II play-offs draw on Monday, then. It would be typical if they get a home draw immediately after the LTA had forked out to host the Zone I pools.

                                                  Meanwhile, at the elite level, the scores after day 1 are as follows:-
                                                  Czech Rep 1-1 Romania (Ka.Pliskova bt Buzarnescu, Siniakova l to Halep, both straight sets)
                                                  Belgium 0-2 France (Van Uytvanck l to Garcia in three, Mertens l to Cornet in two)
                                                  Germany 0-2 Belarus (Maria l to Sasnovich, Petkovic l to Sabalenka, both straight sets with the later tie a dismantling)
                                                  USA 1-1 Australia (Kenin l to Barty, Keys by Birrell, each in straight sets)

                                                  Pliskova vs Halep tomorrow should be great fun.

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                                                    #50
                                                    And indeed it was, Halep winning in three sets after over two-and-a-half hours. Romania, who have never made the Semi, are one rubber away. Now on to (presumably) Siniakova vs Buzarnescu.

                                                    One thing that came out of the match that I didn't know - apparently Pliskova and Halep are good friends. Unusual for that to be so of two top ten rivals.

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