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  • Janik
    replied
    Tears of emotion during the speech over the no.1 ranking. Goerges speech and Goerges tears! She and Barty are very good friends as well as doubles partners.

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  • Janik
    replied
    Holds to love. Started the game with an ace. Pressure? What's that??

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  • Janik
    replied
    Barty breaks to lead by a set and 6-5. She is one service hold from being top of the world...

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  • Janik
    replied
    As for next week, there is a Premier for the Women, the traditional Wimbledon tune-up in Eastbourne. The Men are also in Eastbourne for a 250 and there is another grass court event at that level taking place in Antayla, Turkey.

    WTA

    Eastbourne
    I’m ignoring my usual Men first one week, Women the next ‘rule’ as dealing with the higher grade event up top makes the most sense.
    The 56-player draw has attracted an immensely strong field, with the 16th and final seed being Anett Kontaveit, world ranked 20. The few names missing are Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova, Serena Williams and Madison Keys.
    This is starting today, with two of the British wild cards already in action. Harriet Dart is put up a good show as she took Kontaveit to a decider, but she has lost that 6-2 in the last few minutes. Katie Swan has also gone to three, having recently taken the second set against Zhang Shuai. It’s currently all square early in the third. The other wild card has gone to Heather Watson, who plays Alize Cornet in R1 (tough) for the right to meet #5 Elina Svitolina in R2 (also tricky, though Svitolina is having a terrible year with niggling injuries and loss of form). Jo Konta is seeded #14 and was originally down to play her annual grass court match against Donna Vekic, but Vekic has withdrawn with a right hip injury. Let’s hope that is just precautionary. Konta now plays a qualifier, Dayana Yastremska, instead. That will be far from easy, but Jo has generally down well with home town support (the WTA still lists her primary residence as Eastbourne, though I could swear she has moved to London these days).
    Talking of Yastremska, she was the top seed in qualifying (WR 35, potentially a seed for Wimbledon) and beat wild carded Brit Freya Christie in Q1. The other British wild card in this, Alicia Barnett, struggled, winning just two games against #12 Zarina Diyas.
    On the Doubles front, Dart/Watson take the sole wild card handed out.


    ATP

    Eastbourne
    The Men’s event here is another smaller beer, with half as many points, prize money and players as the Women. And zero top 20 players rather than 16 of them. The top seed is Guido Pella (WR 24), with Kyle Edmund (WR 31 these days) taking the #3 spot. With just 28 players, Edmund and the other top four seeds get a bye to R2. There he may well play Cameron Norrie, if Norrie can beat Jeremy Chardy in R1.
    Other Brits in the main draw are all wild cards. They are Dan Evans and Jay Clarke. Evans plays #8 Radu Albot in R1, Clarke faces Loenardo Mayer. They may yet be joined by two more though, as both British singles wild cards in qualifying, Paul Jubb and James Ward, won their opening matches to be at the final stage. Jubb beat #8 Denis Istomin in three and is currently taking on #3 Andrey Rublev, which is in a final set [update – Jubb has just won! Well done him]. Ward also won a three-setter against #5 Lloyd Harris in Q1 and is just getting started against #2 Denis Kudla for a main draw spot.
    Loads and loads of Brits are playing the doubles, some of them even by dint of their rankings. Leading the way nominally are Inglot/Krajicek, who are seeded #4, but really the top pair are A.Murray who this week plays with Marcelo Melo. Which is a high powered partnership. Once again Murray has drawn top seeds Cabal/Farah in R1, which probably pisses the Colombians off more than the Scot. What have they done to deserve dealing with such live hand grenades?!? Other in by right are K.Skupski/N.Skupski, Bambridge/O’Mara and Norrie/Llondero. Bambridge/O’Mara play wild cards Evans/Glasspool in R1. The other wild card has gone to Clayton/Ward.

    Antayla
    Also a 28-player draw. Top seed for this is Beniot Paire (28). All direct acceptance are top 100 players, so still a decent field. Nothing particularly notable in the Doubles of this.

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  • Janik
    replied
    The rain in Brum is only forecast to arrive around 4:00pm. Until then it's a 10% or lower chance of precipitation. Given the match starts imminently, that doesn't look a terrible problem. I think he'll be OK.

    WTA

    Birmingham
    As covered up thread, it’s #1 Ash Barty vs #8 Julia Goerges in the final. Obviously Barty has been the relation of the WTA this season, with her French Open crown but also winning Miami and being runner-up in Sydney. That is why she is on the brink of being World No.1. Let’s also consider that players usually take a while to process winning their first slam title. I can’t remember the last time someone backed it up two weeks later by winning another event and on a completely different surface to boot. That is further evidence that Barty is absolutely the real deal.
    If Barty has been the superstar, Julia Goerges was also having a decent year as well before the clay season. That didn’t go well, but grass is a better surface for the German and being in this final means the struggles on dirt are already behind her. Barty will have to be the favourite, but Goerges hits the ball so hard that she could take it off the Aussie’s racquet. Should be a good ‘un.

    Mallorca
    Final here is #3 Belinda Bencic vs #7 Sofia Kenin after three sets wins yesterday against #1 Angelique Kerber and #2 Anastasija Sevastova respectively. Again, two players having good years. Bencic was the champion in Dubai back in February and is back into the top 20 and top 10 on the Race standings, whilst for Kenin it’s a third final of the year (1-1 to date, won Hobart, r-up in Acapulco). Bencic last won a grass court title in 2015, Kenin never has.


    ATP

    Queens
    An all unseeded final after Feliciano Lopez recovered from a set down to beat #8 Felix Auger-Aliassime and Gilles Simon likewise against #4 Daniil Medvedev. Both players have played well on grass and at Queens before, notably Lopez who was the champion in 2017. He needed a wild card to enter this event, of course (he has also got one for Wimbledon on the back of this showing). The match will be an interesting contrast of styles, the big lefty serve and often serve-volley tactics of the Spaniard, compared to consistency and baseline grinding from Simon.
    Lopez also had a wild card into the Doubles as well. Usually when a veteran has an unexpected run in the singles he will withdrawal from the team event to keep himself fresh. But Feliciano couldn’t do that to Sir Andy. It means he is in for a busy day today having had likewise yesterday, as following his Singles SF win Murray/Lopez completed their QF against Evans/K.Skupski and then beat #3 Kontinen/Peers in the Semis. In the final they will play Salisbury/Ram, who beat the #4 Bryans in two tie-breaks yesterday. So there will be a British Champion in the Doubles, with the final of that being just as important as the singles for once.

    Halle
    As is the case in Hal... er, no. The Singles final here is the thing, and another excellent looking match is in prospect - #1 Roger Federer vs David Goffin. Federer is going for his 10th Halle title, Goffin his first and his first on grass (previous best: r-up in Rosmalen 2015, l to Mahut). It’s Goffin’s first final since he lost to Dimitrov at the O2 Tour Championships title match in 2017. That match proved a poisoned chalice for both players. But it’s good to see Goffin, who is a stylish player, getting back towards his best.
    There is high talent on both sides of the net here, which makes for yet another fascinating match today.
    For the record, the doubles final is #1 Kubot/Melo vs #2 Klaasen/Venus.


    ITF and ATP Challenger

    Ilkley
    The finals of this are Timea Babos vs Monica Niculescu and #9 Dennis Novak vs Dominik Koepfer.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jon
    replied
    Sounds like a great day, Jimski. I'm still annoyed I had to give up my ticket for the qualifiers last Sunday.

    My brother has tickets for the finals tomorrow. Weather not looking great though.

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  • Gerontophile
    replied
    The doubles is ongoing... and pretty bloody good.

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  • Jimski
    replied
    Well, that was a thoroughly enjoyable day with some excellent tennis. Despite it being the case that in both singles matches (and the doubles) it was reasonably apparent who would win from fairly early on, the standard of tennis was high. Barty - as Janik suggested above - played a similar game just that much better than Strycova. They do both play a very watchable style. Goerges against Martic was more of a power game, and boy does Goerges hit that ball hard. Her level was quite frightening in the second set - simply to stay in touch, Martic was having to play out of her skin. If Goerges finds her shots consistently tomorrow, Barty could be in trouble.

    The one doubles match was good fun too, if rather one-sided. We did manage to take home one of the signed balls hit into the crowd by Hsieh at the end (I suspect some others around us deferred to us because we had kids and they didn't!) The other doubles match was called off - a precaution for a minor (hand?) injury suffered by Barty. Shouldn't stop her playing tomorrow apparently. (We were going to leave at that point anyway - the only difference it made to us was that everyone else also left when we did, meaning a queue in the car park. But still, an excellent day.)

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  • Janik
    replied
    Auger-Aliassime finally misses a first serve after making 15 straight to start the match. His first attempt at a second serve produces a forced error.

    4-3 after just 19 minutes play. 14 aces to date, 8 to Auger-Aliassime, 6 to Lopez. Both players 15/17 on first serves made.

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  • Janik
    replied
    Felix Auger-Aliassime has just won a game which had only four ball strikes in it - ace, ace, ace, ace. There has barely been a missed first serve from either him or Lopez to date (it's 3-2 in the first set). Indeed I think Auger-Aliassime may still be 100% for the match. And he isn't spinning the ball in either.

    And whilst I was typing that, Lopez hit three aces to level to 15.

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  • Jimski
    replied
    Originally posted by Janik View Post
    Jimski will get to see quite a lot of three of the Semi-Finalists as Barty and Goerges are also in the Doubles semi in tandem, as is Strycova who is playing with Hsieh. They face a pair containing OStapenko. It all sounds like a good day in prospect. Enjoy!
    Thanks, Janik. Very much looking forward to it. Weather looks good too!

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  • Janik
    replied
    WTA

    Birmingham
    Ashleigh Barty completed a 6-4 6-3 win against Venus Williams to move within two wins of the title and the World No.1 spot. I wonder if Naomi Osaka is secretly cheering her on. I believe that Barty taking over will help Osaka, but likely not hinder the Aussie who appears to be a very stable and phlegmatic character. Walking away from the sport for two years could be seen as a bit of a flounce, or equally a profound understanding of oneself and a deep sense of self-assurance in your choices.
    Talking of which, Barty has responded to Andy Murray making public her declining his invitation to partner up at Wimbledon by saying it was as tough a decision as she has had to take but it just wasn’t the right time, or words to that effect. Which, again, implies someone who is seeing her own needs and requirements very clearly. Everything I’m hearing makes me think she has her head screwed very firmly on her shoulders, and her Tennis play and brain is of the highest quality. Could we, finally, be getting our regular fixture at the end of big tournaments on the WTA?
    Barty’s semi tomorrow will be against Barbora Strycova, who is another with grass as her favourite surface and in fact stylistically very similar to the Australian. Which is likely a problem for her, as she does the same things as her opponent, just not quite as well. Hard to see her pulling off a shock. The other semi is Julia Goerges against Petra Martic. Goerges was striking the ball sweetly and moving forward well as she overwhelmed Yulia Putinseva (Goerges is another with grass court pedigree) whilst Martic was on the other side of the net as Jelena Ostapenko beat herself. Ostapenko nearly threw set one away from a 4-0 lead and did so in set two, which she led 5-2 with a double break. Ostapenko had five match points at 5-3 with Martic serving, including three consecutive at 0-40 but couldn’t convert any. She then gave her serve away two more times by sending down consecutive double faults from deuce. Her last semi-final was over a year ago, and that French Open title feels like an age away now. In all she committed ~70 unforced errors in this one (I lost count in the last couple of games) and served 20 double faults. Martic, meanwhile, is used to winning so stayed solid and asked her opponent to win the match rather than gifting it away. She played well for sure, but as she admitted herself she had basically lost before Jelena imploded. Given this Semi is a bonus, she may feel free to swing tomorrow.
    Jimski will get to see quite a lot of three of the Semi-Finalists as Barty and Goerges are also in the Doubles semi in tandem, as is Strycova who is playing with Hsieh. They face a pair containing OStapenko. It all sounds like a good day in prospect. Enjoy!

    Mallorca
    Semis here are nearly as seeded after wins for [1] Angelique Kerber vs [6]Caroline Garcia, [3]Belinda Bencic vs [5]Amanda Anisomova, [7] Sofia Kenin vs [4]Elise Mertens (the only trend bucker) and [2] Anastasija Sevastova vs Wang Yifan. Those are in order, so the Semi line-up is Kerber vs Bencic and Kenin vs Sevastova. Of the games listed, the only one I saw any of was Kerber-Garcia which was appropriately high quality. Reportedly Kerber also played lights-out against Sharapova in R2 so looks in good nick for her Wimbledon title defence.


    ATP

    Queen’s
    After the torrent of matches and news stories on Thursday, it was a rather more typical day on Friday. The big (singles) match of the day was the meeting of arguably the two highest profile young players on the ATP currently, #1 Stefanos Tsitsipas and #8 Felix Auger-Aliassime. It went the way of the Canadian in two, showing that my assessment from watching Auger-Aliassime knocking on Tuesday (that he takes too big a backswing to be properly effective on grass) was a poor judgement. I guess he had already proved that against Kyrgios in the last round as well. His Semi opponent will be wild card Feliciano Lopez rather than an all-Canadian affair after the Spaniard beat #6 Milos Raonic in a deciding set breaker.
    The other Semi will be #4 Daniil Medvedev vs Gilles Simon following a comprehensive win for Medvedev over Diego Schwartzman and a very tough one for Simon over Nicolas Mahut (WC). That was 7-6(5) 5-7 7-6(3).
    The all French QF was relegated to Court 1 to make space on Centre for Andy Murray’s Doubles QF. That was against Evans/K.Skupski after the British pair beat Auger-Aliassime/de Minaur in R1 earlier in the day. They didn’t quite have enough daylight to finish this match which stands at 6-4 4-5 to Murray/Lopez overnight. With a match-breaker if it goes to a set all, it shouldn’t take more than half-an-hour to wrap up tomorrow. Whoever wins plays defending champs Kontinen/Peers in the Semis after they beat J.Murray/N.Skupski in two (albeit both tight, 7-5 7-6). The other Semi pits the Bryan Brothers, seeded #4 against Salisbury/Ram after the Anglo/American pairing beat #2 seeds Pavic/Soares. Which is an excellent result for what is a burgeoning partnership. Salisbury is around 20 in the world these days and clearly established as the British No.2.

    Halle
    Another three setter for #1 Roger Federer in the QFs as he seeks his tenth title at this venue, but another successful one beating #7 Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 4-6 6-4. Federer plays Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the semis after the Frenchman benefitted from defending champion Borna Coric (who beat Federer in last year’s final) retiring hurt after the first set concluded. The other Semi is all-unseeded after Matteo Berrettini beat #3 Karen Khachanov and David Goffin beat #2 Sascha Zverev.


    ATP Challengers and ITF

    Ilkley
    Not a lot to say about this, really. Go Soeda has made the Men’s Semi after only getting into the event as an alternate, and Bibiane Schoofs, more known for doubles, is in the Women’s Semis against another with a bigger doubles reputation, Timea Babos (though Babos has more singles credentials than her opponent).
    Last edited by Janik; 25-06-2019, 10:18.

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  • Janik
    replied
    Barty is a set up.

    The guy she cold shouldered for the Wimbledon Mixed is not short of other options. Personally, I think Vika Azarenka would be a really good fit.

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  • Janik
    replied
    Beaten to the punch by leaving that half-finished overnight. Yes indeed, Barty is on course for no.1. I'm absolutely sure she will get there some time in the next month.

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  • Janik
    replied
    WTA

    Birmingham
    All the Brits were out by Tuesday evening, so it’s just the rest of the world that concern’s the Edgbaston crowds now. With the biggest story being who is on top of it in singles. Because that could very easily change after current World No.1 Naomi Osaka was beaten in R2 by Yulia Putinseva. That means #2 Ashleigh Barty can take over if she wins the title here, which she was the favourite to do anyway. When I predicted she would be number one after Wimbledon I of course meant at Wimbledon! The rankings used for the seedings of that are the ones that follow this event.
    Barty overcame a significant hurdle in beating Donna Vekic in R1. Jennifer Brady proved no match for her in R2, but her QF opponent makes for a high profile match as she plays Venus Williams. Venus backed up her 3&4 R1 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich by topping #6 Wang Qiang in R2.
    Other QFs are Putinseva vs #8 Julia Goerges, Petra Martic vs Jelena Ostapenko (after Ostapenko beat Konta) and an all Czech encounter of Barbora Strycova vs Kristyna Pliskova set up by Kristyna’s 9-7 deciding set tie-break win over her higher profile twin (she out-aced Karolina 24-9).
    Barty is also through to the Semis of the Doubles w/ Goerges. She continues to play that seriously, well she is top 10 ranked and the current US Open champion, despite her new prominence in the singles. She will play both the Women’s events at Wimbledon, but not the Mixed however hard Andy Murray begs. She is busy sir, dial down your expectations.
    The twins and ex-partners confrontation in the doubles that was mentioned up thread (N.Kichenok/Spears vs L.Kichenok/Atawo) won’t happen after the later pair retired hurt from their QF.

    Mallorca
    The high profile encounter between two former World No.1s and multiple Grand Slam chmapions, #1 Angelique Kerber vs Maria Sharapova (WC) was something of a bust. Kerber won easily, 2&3. Yay, Go Angie! She plays #6 Caroline Garica in the QFs. In fact, 7 of the 8 seeds are through in this compared with 2/8 in Birmingham. The only one missing is #8 Katerina Siniakova, who lost in R1. The other QFs are #3 Belinda Bencic vs #5 Amanda Anisimova (good match!), #7 Sofia Kenin vs #4 Elise Mertens and Wang Yafan vs #2 Anastasija Sevastova. Wang was the player who beat Siniakova in R1.


    ATP

    Queens
    A complete washout on Tuesday and lots of time lost on Wednesday made for a very busy day yesterday. Those two days of delays are not easy to cope with for anyone, sitting around the players lounge being told your match is being pushed back in 30-minute steps is frustrating for everyone. However, if you are in a bad place mentally already and appear to be the sort of person who needs regular stimulation, it might throw you for a loop. Again. Which looks like it happen to Nick Kyrgios yesterday after he lashed out at Umpires (and their choice of hat), questioned the integrity of line judges, made fun of his opponent and noted in a stage whisper that his own preparation of playing FIFA until 3am was maybe not ideal. Despite all that Nick still won his first match against Roberto Carballes Baena, but he couldn’t back that up by beating top seed #8 Felix Auger-Aliassime in R2. Auger-Aliassime had also played twice as he had beaten Grigor Dimitrov in R1 earlier in the day.
    Auger-Aliassime will now play #1 Stefanos Tsitsipas in a mouth-watering QF after he beat Kyle Edmund in R1 on Wednesday and Jeremy Chardy (a Semi-Finalist last year) yesterday. The next QF down is a good one as well, Feliciano Lopez (WC) vs #6 Milos Raonic. However, it does cover up a terrible story – Lopez got through R2 via a walkover as Juan Martin del Potro withdrew following a knee injury picked up in his R1 win over Denis Shapovalov. This is very serious, as its apparently a recurrence of the knee fracture that he suffered late in 2018. He will now have to have surgery and is looking at months off again. If he can face the rehab. It feels sadly possible that the match on Wednesday against Shapovalov could be the last he ever plays.
    Feeling less enthused now, the bottom half QFs are Diego Schwartzman vs #4 Daniil Medvedev and Nicolas Mahut (Q) vs Gilles Simon. Schwartzman proved a little man (OK a normal sized one) can beat a giant even on grass as he beat defending champion #5 Marin Cilic in R2, Medvedev edged out Lucas Pouille in R2 (a tie-break each then 6-4), who had beaten Jay Clarke in R1, Mahut beat Stan Wawrinka to reach this stage on a final set breaker (Wawrinka beat Dan Evans 3&4 in R1) and Simon topped #2 Kevin Anderson.
    And of course, the doubles where Sir Andrew Murray made his comeback alongside F.Lopez by beating top seeds Cabal/Farah in R1. They may play a British pair next as Evans/K.Skupski are yet to take on young gun pair Auger-Aliassime/de Minaur in R1. J.Murray/N.Skupski are also through to the QFs where they will face #3 Kontinen/Peers as are Salisbury/Ram, who now play #2 Pavic/Soares.

    Halle
    *phew* a lot happened in London. What of Germany? Well, the match of R2 here went Roger Federer’s way as he just about got past Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 7-6(5) 4-6 7-5. Federer plays #7 Roberto Bautista Agut in the QFs after the Spaniard beat Richard Gasquet. Defending Halle champion #4 Borna Coric is also through to this stage to play Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who beat #5 Gael Monfils in R1. The bottom half QFs are Matteo Berrettini vs #3 Karen Khachanov and David Goffin (who beat #8 Guido Pella in a non-shock in R1) vs #2 Sascha Zverev.
    In the doubles, Inglot/Krajicek lost narrowly in R1 to #2 Klaasen/Venus (two tie-breaks).


    ITF

    Ilkley
    Maia Lumsden lost her R1 match to Varvara Flink and Katie Swan was beaten narrowly in R2 by Tereza Smitkova (7-5 in the third) to end British singles interest. All but one seed, #3 Anna Blinkova, are out of this by the QFs. The title winner picking up one of the open Wimbledon wild cards (see below) feels unlikely unless it’s Monica Niculescu.
    Bains/Lumsden were beaten in their R1 doubles, which ended British interest in that as well.


    ATP Challenger

    Ilkley
    Last Brit standing in the singles, Paul Jubb, lost to #9 Dennis Novak in R3. Also out are the last Doubles pair, Chionski/Hoyt, who lost to the #2 seeds in R1.


    Grand Slam

    Wimbledon
    And last, but certainly not least, the first tranche of wild cards for Wimbledon were announced yesterday.
    Let’s start with those for qualifying, as all spots were handed out baring the pair for both genders held back for the winners of the British wild card playoffs. On the Men’s side, Liam Broady, Jan Chionski, Jack Draper, Evan Hoyt and Aidan McHugh all got invites to Roehampton, as did Nicolas Mahut and 2018 Boys Singles champion Tseng Chun-hsin (he beat Draper in that final). The Women’s side also handed out five to Brits and two to others. The Brits are Katy Dunne, Francesca Jones, Maia Lumsden, Emma Raducanu and Gabriella Taylor. The others were both interesting selection; former runner-up Sabine Lisicki, whose combination of repeated injuries and loss of form now means she needs a wild card to even play Wimbledon qualifying, and young American Cori Gauff, who won the 2018 French Open girls singles and over a year later is still only 15!
    As for the main draw spots, on the Women’s side these have gone to Harriet Dart, Katie Swan and Heather Watson, which all makes sense from a British perspective, and also to Iga Swiatek, which absolutely does from a tournament one. Swiatek was the 2018 Girls Singles champion and also made R4 in the adult category at Roland Garros last month. 4 other main draw wild card spots remain to be announced. The same on the Men’s side, four held back and four awarded. Of those distributed, three go to Brits (Jay Clarke, Paul Jubb and James Ward) and one to a non-Brit whose presence improves the event, Marcos Baghdatis.
    Also quite a few of the Doubles wild cards have been announced. On the Men’s side these go to L.Broady/Clayton, Clarke/Ward, Evans/Glasspool, K.Skupski/Smith and Aussie pair Hewitt/Thompson. Two are held back, one of these for A.Murray once he works out if he is fit enough to play five sets and who he wants to do that with. Four all-British women’s pairs have been announced. These are Bains/N.Broady, Christie/Swan, Dart/Dunne and Grey/Silva. Three other spots are yet to be filled. There are five Mixed wild cards on offer, and again one will go to A.Murray once he persuades a suitably gifted woman to play with him! One suspects his agent will be getting a number of offers this morning, as he is a damn good partner to land both in terms of talent but also crowd support and court allocation.
    Last edited by Janik; 21-06-2019, 11:47.

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  • Evariste Euler Gauss
    replied
    Osaka's elimination from Birmingham means Barty can grab the WTA no.1 spot if she wins the tournament - but will be just 2 ranking points shy of that if she makes it to the final and loses. It seems likely that she'll become no.1 sooner or later anyway.

    [Edit: I hope she does, anyway - she seems one of the most likeable top WTA players in recent history.]
    Last edited by Evariste Euler Gauss; 21-06-2019, 10:33.

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  • Satchmo Distel
    replied
    Venus won 6-3, 6-4 today, and turned 39 on Monday.

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  • Jimski
    replied
    Well, the Pliskova sisters had an epic battle, and the much less highly ranked Krystina won 9-7 in the 3rd set tie-break. They won exactly 94 points each in the match, it was that tight.

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  • Janik
    replied
    Jo got the break back in the second set, lost her serve again immediately and is out. She has never done well in that tournament. And it looked like she was in such fine nick on Monday. Ach!

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  • Janik
    replied
    You are not mistaken. And indeed you have the correct way around as well. I guess they will also wear different clothes, rather than messing with people's heads too much.

    It's the first meeting at Tour level. I misunderstood the report I got that from (the Eastbourne one being in final qualies). I've now seen 4-4, 5-4 and 6-4 to Karolina as the professional h2h.

    Konta is a set and a break down to Ostapenko currently. Her second serve is getting mashed, only 3/14 behind it. And that is with an improvement in the number of double faults, just one so far.

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  • Jimski
    replied
    Originally posted by Janik View Post
    The final match is a fascinating and difficult one for the players involved (and the spectators) – Kristyna Pliskova vs Karolina Pliskova! Apparently, it’s the first time the sisters have met professionally. They are not only staying together for this tournament, but sharing a bedroom. Given they are identical twins, telling who is who will be the spectators problem. Game style won’t even help much, as both are amongst the biggest serves and greatest ace-gatherers on the WTA. If Women’s Tennis was ever to throw up an Isner-Mahut facsimile (ignoring the rule changes that prevent it), these two would be one of the likeliest bets to provide it. They play the fourth-and-last match on Centre, on an excellent day for those lucky enough to be there.
    I might be mistaken but I believe Karolina is right-handed and Kristyna is left-handed.

    They met quite a lot of times in their up-and-coming days (below full tour level), plus once in tour qualifying - at Eastbourne. A surprisingly even 4-4 record: http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bi...rolinaPliskova

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  • Janik
    replied
    WTA

    Birmingham
    All the Brits were out by Q2, but there were a couple of other points of interest in the qualifiers. Young Aussie talent Destanee Aiava lost a three-setter in Q2 to fellow youngster Iga Swiatek. Swiatek is actually the younger by nearly a year (born May 2001 to Aiava’s May 2000) and of course made the French Open R4 a month ago. She is also the current Wimbledon Girls Singles champion. She went on to make the main draw after another three-set win over #5 Pera but then lost heavily in R1 to Jelena Ostapenko. One of the other qualifiers was Kristyna Pliskova. More on her later.
    Going back to Ostapenko, she now plays #7 Jo Konta in R2 after their respective impressive R1 wins. That is third match on Centre today. Yesterday’s rain means a quarter of the draw is yet to play their R1 match, including the tie of the round, Donna Vekic vs #2 Ashleigh Barty (ongoing, Barty has just won set one) and Venus Williams vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Those are the first two matches of the day on Centre.
    The final match is a fascinating and difficult one for the players involved (and the spectators) – Kristyna Pliskova vs Karolina Pliskova! Apparently, it’s the first time the sisters have met professionally. They are not only staying together for this tournament, but sharing a bedroom. Given they are identical twins, telling who is who will be the spectators problem. Game style won’t even help much, as both are amongst the biggest serves and greatest ace-gatherers on the WTA. If Women’s Tennis was ever to throw up an Isner-Mahut facsimile (ignoring the rule changes that prevent it), these two would be one of the likeliest bets to provide it. They play the fourth-and-last match on Centre, on an excellent day for those lucky enough to be there.
    #1 Naomi Osaka survived a scare on day 1 against Maria Sakkari, and still sounds like she is struggling with the pressure of being top of the world. She plays Yulia Putinseva in R2 after Putinseva beat Harriet Dart in R1. Dart also lost her R1 doubles in tandem w/ Williams, 10-7 in a match breaker to N.Kichenok/Spears*. Grey/Silva were even closer, 8-10 in the decider against Ostapenko/Voskovoeva, whilst Watson/Buzarnescu lost more clearly.
    * - a point of weirdness here. For years Abigail Spears had a very successful partnership with Raquel Atawo (nee Kops-Jones). That ended finished at the end of 2017 as Spears was planning to retire. However, Spears changed her mind and is still playing today. As is Atawo. They are both in this tournament. And both partnering a Kichenok sister! Like the Pliskovas, Nadia and Lyudmula Kichenok are identical twins. If those two pairs were to meet (which would have to be the final) it would nearly match Pliskova vs Pliskova for fraternal angst.

    Mallorca
    The big match of R1 here was Caroline Garcia (champion in Nottingham) beat Victoria Azarenka 7-5 in a deciding set. Garcia plays Paula Badosa next after she ended Alison Riske’s winning run with a match that had the same conclusion. The winner of Badosa-Garcia will then play the winner of Angelique Kerber vs Maria Sharapova in the Quarters. Sharapova beat Viktoria Kuzmova in her return match.


    ATP

    Queens
    Day 1 saw defeats, but defeats with heads held high for James Ward against Gilles Simon (7-2 in a deciding set breaker, having earlier broke Simon when he was serving for the match) and Cameron Norrie against #2 Kevin Anderson (6-4 in the third). Day 2 had an excellent Centre Court line-up, Dan Evans (WC) vs #7 Stan Wawrinka, #1 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Kyle Edmund, #3 Juan Martin del Potro vs Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov vs #8 Felix Auger-Aliassime. But then it rained all day (boo!), just the second complete washout at Queens in 18 years apparently (double boo!) so this is today’s line up instead. I did get to see Auger-Aliassime practicing and from up close, at least.
    The rain has also delayed the doubles, with just one match taking place on the opening day. In that the #4 Bryans beat Bambridge/O’Mara. Also regarding the doubles, Andy Murray's return (now pushed back to Thursday) won't be overshadowed by the match fixing allegations made in the Spanish press against partner Feliciano Lopez. But it will certainly taint the occasion a little. F.Lopez (Marc Lopez is also implicated) would be the biggest name brought down by such behaviour if the allegations are actually true and proved.

    Halle
    Roger Federer beat John Millman in two, and now plays Jo-Willy Tsonga in R2. And then (assuming he wins) potentially Richard Gasquet in the QFs, if Gasquet can beat #7 Roberto Bautista Agut. Gonna party like it’s 2010. Elsewhere, Stuttgart champion Matteo Berrettini beat #4 Nikoloz Basilashvili.
    In the Doubles, Inglot/Krajicek are currently on court against #2 Klaasen/Venus. They are a set down.


    ITF

    Ilkley
    Holly Fischer, Holly Staff, Alicia Barnett and Amelia Rajecki all lost in Q1.
    Main draw wild cards went to Maia Lumsden, Gabriella Taylor and Katie Swan. Lumsden plays Varvara Flink today in R1. In matches that happened yesterday, Katie Swan got a very good win over #2 Pauline Parmentier (current WR 81) and now plays Tereza Smitkova after she beat Taylor.
    Swan didn’t repeat the trick in Doubles though, her and partner Nicholls losing to the #2 seeds in that competition, Muhammad/Sanchez, later in the day. Bains/Lumsden play their R1 today. Both British pairs are wild card entries.


    ATP Challenger

    Ilkley
    Andrew Watson lost to Galovic in qualifying.
    Of the wild card entries, four lost in R1. Ryan Peniston went down to Bjorn Fratangelo, Jan Chionski to Brydan Klein (Q), Evan Hoyt to Kwon Soon-woo and Liam Broady to Stefano Napolitano. Paul Jubb beat Egor Gerasimov though and has since followed that up with a R2 win over #8 Thiago Monteiro (WR 109). He now plays #9 Dennis Novak in R3.
    In the doubles, Broady/Clayton and Jubb/Pensiton both lost in R1, leaving just Chionski/Hoyt standing. And they play #2 seeds Daneill/Paes in R1.
    Last edited by Janik; 21-06-2019, 11:23.

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  • Janik
    replied
    Well the question of whether Jo Konta was going to struggle with the transition from clay to grass was emphatically answered there – she just battered Anett Kontaveit 4 & 2, and Kontaveit is a world no.20 and no mean grass court player herself. Postives from the performance vastly outweighed the negatives. The few flies in the ointment were too many double faults (5 in 9 service games, including the first two points she served in the match) and dropping serve at 4-3 in the first set.
    The upsides were legion, starting with breaking back immediately after that let down in set one, serving that set out to love and then racing away with set two. She was striking the ball really powerfully off the ground, repeatedly catching Kontaveit with returns of served lasered back at the servers feet and pulling out a number of perfect drop-lob combinations. It’s early to say this, but the level she was hitting today would give her a realistic chance of the Wimbledon title if she brought it to SW London.

    On the next door court, Heather Watson won the first set against Barbora Strycova but then lost the next two. All tight, but it's another loss after being beaten by Sakkari on the indoor courts at Nottingham last week. There are clear questions of whether Heather will ever be able to climb back up into the top 50, somewhere she hasn't been for three years or more.

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  • Janik
    replied
    Rosmalen
    Both Semis, which were interrupted overnight on Saturday, just needed the minimum possible to conclude on Sunday morning, Adrian Mannarino winning the deciding set tie-break 7-4 against #2 Borna Coric and Jordan Thompson taking the game he needed to beat #8 Richard Gasquet (the defending champion) 7-5 6-3. I wonder how well Thompson slept ahead of that, seeing as he had never previously made a Tour level final? Mannarino had done so, but his record in title matches previously was 0/6. However he broke that duck by beating Thompson 7-6(7) 6-3 to claim a first ever Tour crown.


    WTA

    Rosmalen
    More details on this final, as I watched it from start to finish. Well, Alison Riske is one of my favourite players, as I think you might have determined. And I was happy as Riske was rewarded with her first title in seven attempts, a run of final defeats stretching back to 2016.
    That isn’t just an obvious pun, risk-reward is precisely how Alison won this. Because it started very badly, as she lost the opening seven games to trail 6-0 1-0. The first three were tight, but when they all went against her her head dropped. However, at 1-0 in the second Kiki Bertens slipped over on the fresh grass deep behind her baseline (her clay court positioning didn’t help her there as it wasn’t as slippery on the worn earth near the baseline) and suffered a groin injury.
    In other circumstances than playing a final at home and leading by such a margin Bertens would probably have withdrawn with an eye to the upcoming Slam, but here it was a trickier choice and she played on. And that looked a wise decision initially as she broke to lead 4-1 in the second. However, this is where Riske threw caution to the wind, repeatedly playing into Bertens backhand corner and advancing to the net behind it. That got a break back, but she still had to serve to stay in the match at 4-5 and 5-6. Both of these proved difficult tasks, Bertens having three match points in the first of them and another two in the second. However Riske came rushing in on every single one of them asking the “pass me if you can!” question. The fifth was even a serve-volley. Bertens didn’t make the pass once.
    Riske then won the breaker, but it was Bertens who broke first in set three. However the pattern by now was Riske was winning the longer rallies, still repeatedly using the same play of a shot deep into Bertens backhand corner and come in after it. Bertens was relying on her big first serve to stay ahead, but leading 3-2 she missed a few and Riske converted a break point. And then it started to rain!
    After a ~30 minutes break they resumed with a bunch of easy holds until Bertens served at 5-6. Riske got herself into a number of rallies, earned two mps at 15-40 and only needed one. When asked how she felt after the match, her response was “shocked”.
    It wasn’t just this round where Riske was playing with the houses money as she had been on the point of defeat – Veronika Kudermetova served for their Semi at 5-4 and 6-5 in the deciding set and also lead the decisive tie-break of that 5-2 before Riske won five straight points to claim it 7-5. Given it’s only the second title of her career (2-6 now overall in Tour finals) it was always going to be a memorable week for her, but given how it panned out it will be particularly so. Riske also won the second-tier ITF event in Surbiton last week (see up thread) so she is now on a 10 match winning streak since the season hit the grass. No seed will want to see her name against them in the opening rounds of Wimbledon.
    As for Bertens, it must hurt as she had the match in the palm of her hand and with it the chance for a title in front of a home crowd. She also had (still has in fact) a superb record in finals of 9-2 which became 9-3. She hid it well with a very gracious speech afterwards, though. Next year? Well, maybe. But Rosmalen is the week after Roland Garros and if Kiki is in the final of that she surely won’t play. It might have been an once-in-a-lifetime chance that just went by.
    The Dutch also lost in the Doubles final, Aoyama/Brunic beating Kerkhove/Schoofs. Krunic’s win meant she went from singles champions in 2018 (her only singles title to date) to doubles one in 2019. The Men’s Doubles also saw a Dutchman lose in the title match. It wasn’t a good day for the home fans.

    Nottingham
    Just like the Men in Rosmalen, #1 Caroline Garcia was as quick as possible in finishing off her semi on Sunday morning, needing just two games to turn a 4-3 final set lead over Jennifer Brady into a 6-3 win. She then played #2 Donna Vekic in the final. Both were 1-0 in Tour grass court finals previously, Vekic’s on this very court. However Garcia was 6-3 overall in Tour title matches and Vekic 2-5 and it was that stat which proved to be the one to look at as Garcia won despite losing set one 6-2.
    The Frenchwoman raced into a double break lead in set two, Vekic recovered and was only three points from the title at 4-4 in the breaker before Garcia won three straight points to level. There were no breaks of serve in set three, though Vekic was within two points of victory three times as she served first and made Garcia work. But it was another break, which went identically to the first, getting to 4-4 and then Garcia winning three straight points for the title.
    Vekic must have a mental scare from all that.


    ATP Challenger

    Nottingham
    As noted up thread, the final was #1 Dan Evans vs #13 Evgeny Donskoy. And also as noted, Evo won. Score was straight sets. Like Riske on the Women’s side, that is back-to-back titles (both on grass) for Evans though both at Challenger level in his case.
    #3 K.Skupski/Smith lost in semis of the doubles.


    ITF

    Manchester
    All British interest in this ceased on Saturday at the Semi-Final stage. #1 Magda Linette won the title.


    This week update

    WTA

    Birmingham
    The last British hope in the qualifying was the player discussed above, Naiktha Bains. However she lost in Q2 to #6 Davis. Lauren Davis is a top 100 player, so no shame in that.
    The last round of qualifying is today, overlapping with some main draw matches. Brits in action are #7 Jo Konta vs Anett Kontaveit (3rd on the Ann Jones Centre Court, and an all-top 20 match in R1 of an event!) and Heather Watson vs Barbora Strycova (2nd on Court 1).
    The doubles draw was yet to be released on my previous posting, and as noted up thread Harriet Dart has landed the most awesome possibly partner for her wild card pair – Venus Williams. It’s to be hoped she isn’t in awe of her teammate and can play to her potential against Kichenok/Spears. Watson plays with Buzarnescu (IIRC they have paired before) and Grey/Silva are entered via a wild card.

    Mallorca
    The draw for any of this was missing yesterday, and when it’s come out there is a surprise name involved – Maria Sharapova has taken a wild card as she makes her comeback. The LTA making themselves look stupid by giving her a wild card to Birmingham just after the drugs ban was really worthwhile, wasn’t it? It’s not even brought long term good will from the player.
    The top quarter of this draw is in fact stacked to high heaven as that is where Sharapova finds herself alongside top seed and reigning Wimbledon champion Angie Kerber, grass court demon Alison Riske (though she must be knackered) and the other champion from last week, #6 Caroline Garcia. That is if Garcia survives a R1 match-up with Victoria Azarenka! That really is a made little segment of draw, almost Slam later stages level!
    Only one other R1 match stands out massively, Andrea Petkovic (WC) vs #4 Elise Mertens. Nothing notable happening in the Doubles of this.


    ATP

    Queens
    James Ward beat #4 Ivo Karlovic to qualify! Great win. He now plays Gilles Simon in R1 of the main draw. Oh. That is the fourth match on Centre today, following Cameron Norrie vs #2 Kevin Anderson. In the Doubles, Bambridge/O’Mara take on #4 B.Bryan/M.Bryan in the evening on a court TBD.
    Everything else is due up tomorrow, weather depending. I’ve grabbed myself a late ticket for that.

    Halle
    #1 Roger Federer vs John Millman fourth on on the Stadion Court and not before 5:30pm local time.


    ITF

    Ilkley
    On to Yorkshire for the Division 2 stuff. The Women’s main draw isn’t out yet, and the qualifying is only starting today. The only Brits in this are wild cards. They are Holly Fischer, Holly Staff, Alicia Barnett and Amelia Rajecki. All need two wins to make the main draw.


    ATP Challenger

    Ilkley
    Also hopefully in possession of their hats. Main draw for the Men is available, with no Brits in by right but five by wild card. They are Ryan Pensiton, Jan Choinski, Paul Jubb, Evan Hoyt and Liam Broady. None face seeds as once again it’s a 48-player draw for the Men with all 16 seeds getting R1 byes.
    Again, there are two qualifying spots with four players chasing them, two of whom are wild cards. One of these is Andrew Watson, who plays Galovic.
    Local doubles pairings (all wild cards) are Broady/Clayton, Jubb/Peniston and Choinski/Hoyt.

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  • Janik
    replied
    Bains was representing Australia up until around three months ago. However, it would be wrong to say she is an Aussie now playing under a flag of convenience. She is both Australian and British. When she started playing under an Australia flag as a junior there were stories about her in the British press as a talent that Britain was missing out on. She hasn't developed anything like as quickly or to the same level as those stories (or Tennis Australia) anticipated as she is now 21 and has never been ranked higher than her current #226.

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