Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The 2019 tennis season begins....

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    On to this week, and there are two grassy events for both the ATP and WTA.

    Letís start with the ATP, which has play in Germany, the event on a lovely court in Stuttgart and Rosmalen (aka 's-Hertogenbosch and Den Bosch) in the Netherlands which has hosted a pre-Wimbledon warm-up for years. Roger Federer isnít defending his Stuttgart title this year as he was busy playing on clay for once, which leaves Sascha Zverev as the top seed. He has a potentially fascinating R2 match coming up against fellow German Dustin Brown, if Brown can get through his R1 match (Brown has already qualified).
    Apart from that, interest probably centre on Nick Kyrgiosí playing singles again (he faces Matteo Berretini in R1 and is also playing doubles w/ Reid this week). Other stories are the latest step on the comeback trail for Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, who is already into R2, and how the coterie of talented Canucks do, Milos Raonic, Dennis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Alliasime being the #6, #7 and #8 seeds respectively. On a British front, Bambridge/OíMara play the Doubles.
    Over in Holland, Stefanos Tsitsipas is the top seed and biggest name in the Menís draw. One notable thing is happening in the Doubles though Ė Jamie Murray is playing with Neal Skupski (they are the #3 seeds) for the first time since they hooked up after Murray ended his previously successful but recently foundering partnership with Bruno Soares. It has also split up the Skupski brothers team (Ken should ask Andy Murray if he is at a loose end for some tournaments!) and also the longstanding Marach/Pavic pairing as Marach will now play with Soares. But not this week as Bruno pairs with Peers to be top seeds in Stuttgart. Makes love triangles seem easy and straightforwardÖ Also in the Dutch doubles (Menís) are #4 Salisbury/Ram, fresh from making the QFs in Paris, and Inglot/Krajicek (not that one! An American called Austin K).

    ďMenísĒ are Rosmalen is a joint ATP/WTA tournament. The Womenís draw has some big names in it, such as Kiki Bertens, looking to put her French Open ruining bug behind her, Aryna Sabalenka, looking to do the same with her latest Slam defeat vs Anisimova and Elise Mertens. They are the top three seeds. Sabalenka has a fascinating R1 match against Aussie wild card Destinee Aiava to play. No Brits are involved in this in singles or doubles as the WTA has a British-located event in Nottingham.
    The Tournament Director in Nottingham (Rebeccas James) did a good job assembling her field, with a number of talented grass court specialists signed up. Too good in fact, as defending champions Ash Barty, runner-up Jo Konta and Marketa Vondrousova were all overworked after Paris and have scratched from the event. DíOh! She must be looking with somewhat green eyes at Rosmalen, where Amanda Anisimova has not pulled out. She still has some good players, with the top three seeds now being Caroline Garcia, Donna Vekic (champion in 2017) and Maria Sakkari. And, of course, lots of Brits, some of whom litter Garciaís path. Naiktha Bains will make her Tour singles debut against the Frenchwoman in R1 (all of Bains Aussie wild cards were to the qualies only), and the winner of that plays Tara Moore (who came through qualifying) or Maia Lumsden (a wild card) in R2. Moore is a previous Quarter-Finalist in Beeston while for Lumsden it is also a first ever WTA match. The other wild card has gone to Katie Swan, who will play Bernarda Pera in R1. Hopefully she is in a better head space than recently. There are still two more Brits playing, Heather Watson and Harriet Dart not needing a helping hand to be involved. Watson has landed a tough draw against Sakkari in R1 whilst Dart plays Vera Lapko.
    Moore was the only Brit to make it through Nottingham qualifying. She beat #2 Martincova and benefitted from a retirement from Gatto-Monticone. Otherwise Freya Christie, Eden Silva and Sarah Beth Grey also lost in Q1. All four needed wild cards to enter. Christie w/ Bains and Silva/Grey play the doubles, again via wild cards.

    And now, to confuse matters further, as well as the WTA International with itís 32 woman draw (and $250k prize pot), there is also an ATP Challenger going on in Nottingham at the same time. This is again a $125k with a 48-player main draw. The main draw wild cards for this are Dan Evans, Jack Draper, Paul Jubb, Evan Hoyt and Liam Broady. They join by right entrants Jay Clarke and James Ward in R1. Or R2 in Evoís case, as he clearly didnít need a wild card to enter being a top 100 player, and only had to use one as playing was a post-entry deadline choice. Indeed Evans is the top seed for the event (all 16 Menís seeds get R1 byes). Once again the qualifying draw is just 4 man/2 place, with Ryan Peniston and Lloyd Glasspool wild carded in. Actually, Iím wondering now if this means the Surbiton one was not a lack of entries but the planned structure Ė 48 men straight in, expect the lowest ranked two who face two extra wild cards. If Peniston and Glasspool win through they will play each other in R1 proper, making it effectively a mini-tournament, the prize of which is taking on #2 Bernard Tomic in R2.
    Doubles in the Challenger is poor abandoned K.Skupski w/ Smith (Aus) as a seeded pair (#3) and Evans/Glasspool, Hoyt/Johnson and Broady/Clayton as wild cards.

    And finally, in addition to the event at Full Tour level this week and the Menís Challenger, there is an ITF $100k in Manchester at the Northern Tennis Club.
    Katy Dunne was the only Brit to claim a main draw place by right of ranking. She will be joined in that by wild cards Naomi Broady (ranked #406 these days, the top 100 seems a while ago), Gabriella Taylor, Alicia Barnett and Emily Webley-Smith. These five might yet welcome Emily Appleton and Samantha Murray to the party, as both of these are into final qualifying and also Katarzyna Pitak, whose Q1 match was delayed by rain. Alice Gillian, Holly Hutchinson, Scarlett Hutchinson, Aleksandra Pitak, Kimberly Alinafe Mpukusa, Ellie Tsimbilakis, Victoria Allen and Lillian Mould will not be invited, as all lost in Q1.

    Comment


      One of the rainiest June weeks in England in living memory (Mon-Thurs inclusive all rainy, obv that's just a forecast in the case of tomorrow) does make me wonder how on earth the Nottingham tournament will be able to complete all its rounds in the scheduled week. Has an outdoor tournament ever had to be abandoned for persistent rain? I'm guessing the answer is that it will just slip into as much of next week as necessary, but that would presumably cause havoc with next week's tournaments. It's one thing for a Grand Slam final to slip to a 3rd week Monday, where it's clearly more important than anything else the players would have been doing, but isn't it a lot trickier for a humble tourney at the bottom end of the main Tour spectrum?

      Comment


        Play must be completed by next Monday at the latest. One day is all the slippage allowed. And yes, tournaments have been abandoned incomplete before. There must be a significant threat of that taking place.

        Meanwhile, I'm depressed to hear that Amazon have bought the rights to screen the WTA in the UK from 2020 to 2023 to add to the US Open and ATP rights they already had. That means my contribution to the Tennis threads will be much reduced as there is no way I'm watching on Amazon.

        Comment


          The Men's R1 in Nottingham is complete btw. Not sure quite how they have managed that. Some Women's R1 matches have been played. Nothing has happened in the Doubles, though. R1 is also getting played in Manchester, with local girl Naomi Broady recording a much needed win.

          Comment


            OK, so where were we? Ah yes.

            ATP

            Stuttgart
            Dustin Brown did win through to R2. He and #1 Sascha Zverev are playing at the moment, and Brown has won the opening set 6-4, but Zverev is about to serve for the second at 5-3. If anyone wants something to watch at the moment, this ought to be fun.
            Cannuck-wise, Denis Shapovalov lost in R1 to Jan-Lennard Struff (not an easy draw as Struff did well on clay and is even better suited to grass) but Felix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic both won. Raonic has since beaten Jo-Willy Tsonga in R2 via a third set tie-break to make the QFs where he will take on Marton Fucsovics. Auger-Aliassime also faces a Frenchman in R2, Gilles Simon, later today.
            Nick Kyrgios lost to Matteo Berrettini in R1 of the singles (Berrettini subsequently beat #2 Karen Khachanov in R2). However Kyrgios/Reid did win their Doubles R1 against #2 seeds Mektic/Skugor. That set up a QF against Bambridge/OíMara after the later beat Berrettini/Fucsovics, which the Aussies have recently won.

            Rosmalen
            Not much of note happening from a general perspective here, though Stefanos Tsitsipas has been taken the distance in his first match by Nicolas Jarry. If Tsitsipas goes out, young Aussie talent Alex de Minaur (seeded #3) probably becomes the most interesting player for the neutral to follow. He has secured his QF spot.
            In the doubles, Inglot/Krajicek are through to the Semis after beating top seeds Kubot/Melo in the QFs. This matters to Dom Inglot, as he is the defending champion so has lots of points on the line. Inglot/Krajicek will play the winners of #4 Sailsbury/Ram and de Minaur/Vega Hernandez. The British/American pair are a set down, though. #3 seeds J.Murray/N.Skupski are through to the QFs and will face local pair Haase/Rojer later.


            WTA

            Rosmalen
            Of course, Rosmalen has women too! The most notable result there so far is young talent Aussie Destinee Aiava (get used to hearing this phrase, it looks like Australian Tennis is in for a serious resurgence) beating #2 Aryna Sabalenka in R1. Aiava didnít back it up, losing to Kudermetova in R2 though. Sabalenka wasnít the only seed to fall. In fact, the only one still standing is #1 Kiki Bertens, who is yet to start he R2 match with Arantxa Rus. That is an interesting match-up as Rus, despite her Spanish-Russian name, is Dutch (she was in on a wild card and beat a fellow Dutch wild card in R1). Rus was once thought of as a potential top rank player, and certainly was ahead of contemporary Bertens in the eyes of those running Dutch Tennis as a kid. That isnít how things have turned out. The other name to look for in this draw is Greet Minnen, a big serving young Belgian who is good on grass. She qualified and has made the QFs.
            Amanda Anisimova didnít play after all. She just left her withdrawal from the event rather late.
            Doubles here? Nothing worth mentioning for us.

            Nottingham
            Despite the rain, R1 was completed by the end of yesterday. Letís work down the draw, picking out the Brits and anything else worth mentioning. Naiktha Bains tour debut proved tough, heavily beaten by #1 Caroline Garcia. Garcia now plays Maia Lumsden, who had a more successful first ever Tour appearance when she downed British qualifier Tara Moore in two
            Heather Watson didnít get much traction against #4 Maria Sakkari, losing in two. Harriet Dart did better, beating Vera Lapko in three in R1 and then going a set up on #6 Alja Tomljanovic today. But it went wrong from there and Dart is out. Katie Swan also departed, beaten in two by Bernarda Pera in R1. The big name left in the draw (in addition to Sakkari, I suppse) is #2 Donna Vekic. She is through to the QFs.
            Very few Doubles games have been played, but in those that have Grey/Silva picked up a win.


            ATP Challenger

            Nottingham
            This had got up to the completing R2 for the bottom half by yesterday evening. First of all the qualifying needed completing. That saw Ryan Peniston win through, but Llyod Glasspool go out. Peniston then played fellow qualifier Brydan Klein in R1 and won that from a set down. That set up a meeting with #2 Bernard Tomic. Peinston won the first set of that on a breaker and was a game up in the second when Tomic retired. Peniston is now through to R3, and going well.
            Others in the bottom half were Paul Jubb, Evan Hoyt (both wild cards) and James Ward. Hoyt and Ward lost in R1 to Mirza Basic and Stefano Napolitano respectively, but Jubb won though, beating Juergen Zopp in three. Jubb subsequently lost in R2 to #5 Dennis Novak in two close sets.
            In the top half, wild card Jack Draper got a good win in R1 over Chung Yun-seong. He will now play (in fact is now playing) wild card/top seed Dan Evans in R2 (the apparent contradiction in that description feels somehow apt for Evans!). Draper was a break up in the first and served for it a few minutes ago, but now itís 5-4 and Evans is battling to hold serve and level. Worrying news for the other Brit in the top half with Wimbledon around the corner, Jay Clarke retiring hurt early in the second set against James Duckworth.
            No Menís Doubles matches have been completed to date.


            ITF

            Manchester
            We were still in qualifying last update. To summarise, Katarzyna Pitak lost in Q1, Emily Appleton lost in Q2 but Samantha Murray qualified. Murray then beat Asia Muhammad in R1 of the main draw, which pitted her against #7 Marie Bouzkova in R2 after Bouzkova beat wild card Alicia Barnett. The winner of that will play another British wild card after NaomiBroady toppled #4 Lin Zhu in R1 and Gabby Taylor beat Viktoriya Tomova. Other results were less promising, Katy Dunne retiring after three games against #8 Whitney Osuigwe and Emily Webley-Smith (WC) well beaten by Katherine Sebov.
            Itís raining again today in Manchester, with outside play in the singles abandoned. Itís going to be a busy weekend. They are at least getting R1 of the doubles out of the way on some indoor courts that were available, with all 8 matches due this afternoon. Broady/Muhammad are the top seeds. The other Brits involved are all wild card pairs, with Barnett/Nicholls, Taylor/Webley-Smith and Appleton/Murray all playing.
            Last edited by Janik; 14-06-2019, 09:45.

            Comment


              Quicker update this morning

              ATP

              Stuttgart
              Up to the QFs as scheduled. Those feature just two seeds, #6 Felix Auger-Aliassime and #7 Milos Raonic (waves small maple leaf flag). That is because 5 of the 7 reaming seeds lost yesterday. The biggest casualty was top seed Sascha Zverev who lost in three to fellow German Dustin Brown. Brown vs Auger-Aliassime is the pick of today's QFs.

              Rosmalen
              Not quite on schedule, one R2 match (Gasquet-Kukushkin) remaining incomplete overnight. More seeds survive in this event, but the top one and biggest name is gone, Stefanos Tsitsipas being beaten by Nicolas Jarry in R2. #5 Goffin vs Mannarino looks like the best match on the card today.
              In the doubles, all four seeded pairs lost in the QFs! That is obviously bad news for #3 J.Murray/N/Skupski and #4 Salisbury/Ram.


              WTA

              Rosmalen
              The Women's draw in Holland is further behind where it is meant to be, with five out of eight R2 matches completed. One didn't start. Of the incomplete matches, one was #1 Kiki Bertens vs Arantxa Rus, which Bertens leads by a set and 4-3 overnight. Given the bittiness of the draw as a consequence of the delay it's not really possible to identify a most interesting last 8 match-up. Bertens might have a busy couple of days, as she is also seeded #2 in the Doubles, but still has her QF to play in that (the only one not yet done).

              Nottingham
              Somehow the organsiers have got this to the QF stage by the end of Thursday. With three somewhat drier days coming up, getting the singles done by Sunday evening looks well possible. The QF line-up features 6/8 seeds, but not Brits, #1 Caroline Garcia knocking out the last in Maia Lumsden since the last update. #8 Kiki Mladenovic vs #2 Donna Vekic stands out as the best match on the QF schedule.
              The Doubles is also at the QF stage. Grey/Silva are involved as noted up thread. They are the only Brits as Bains/Christie lost in R1.


              ATP Challenger

              Nottingham
              If the Women's draw in the East Midlands is pretty well up-to-date, the same cannot be said of the Men's. These guys are likely to be busy over the next few days, particularly with further showers due today and tomorrow. As things stand it's reach R3, which is the last 16 of this 48-man draw event. Two Brits are still involved, #1 Dan Evans having saved himself in set 1 against Jack Draper (see previous post) and won in straight sets to join Ryan Peniston at that stage. Evans plays #15 Mikael Ymer and Peniston #14 Antoine Hoang.
              The Doubles is also behind, with just 4/8 R1 matches played to date and no QFs done so far. All British pairs are still alive, though Evans/Glasspool and Hoyt/Johnson are yet to hit a ball in anger as team. #3 K.Skupski/Smith won their R1 match yesterday, as did Broady/Clayton (WC) who toppled the 2nd seeds.


              ITF

              Manchester
              As noted yesterday, the singles draw did not progress due to the rain. They are only at R2, with three days left. Gonna be busy bees there, with all R2 and QFs scheduled for today. If it's dry, which is what it's forecast to be. Bizarrely, two of the R2 singles matches are already underway as they are being played on the Indoor courts. These are the ones featuring Brits, Sam Murray vs #7 Marie Bouzkova and the all-local affair of Naomi Broady vs Gabby Taylor. Two others follow, with the other four singles matches on the Outdoor courts at 13:00. Then the QFs outside on Courts 1 and 2.
              What did get played yesterday (Indoor) were the Doubles matches, the Brits going 3/4 as #1 Broady/Muhammad, Barnett/Nicholls (WC) and Appleton/Murray (WC) all winning, Taylor/Webley-Smith (WC) the only ones to fall.

              Comment


                Tatjana Maria vs Donna Vekic is ongoing in the Nottingham Semis, and it's a real fun watch (Eurosport 2 for those in Britain). Maria is playing old school grass court Tennis, slicing loads and chip-charging. She has hit some awesome forehand sliced crosscourts returning from the deuce side, which I've no idea what Vekic was meant to do with in response. For a set the Croatian looked bemused about how to counteract this but now she has worked out that she needs to get to the net herself. So now we have a contest of 'who can get to the net first' and 'pass me if you can!'.
                Last edited by Janik; 15-06-2019, 12:16.

                Comment


                  Maria is German, but married to a Frenchman, who is also her coach (they have a kid together). When he was called for an on-court coaching session, it was in French. But more than that, Maria just responded to serving a double fault with an "Ooh la la!". She's gone native!

                  Comment


                    The match got to 5-0 to Vekic in the third set, then the heavens utterly opened. Pity.

                    Comment


                      Right, so as they wait to restart or move indoors (see below), a QF update or thereabouts.

                      ATP

                      Stuttgart
                      The most interesting looking QF also proved to be the closest, #7 Felix Auger-Aliassime beating Dustin Brown (Q) 7-2 2-7 7-2. Those being the tie-break scores, as each set needed one of those to end it. Itís a wonder how long a match such as this would have lasted if Van Alen hasnít dreamed up a way of curtailing sets. The other QF winners were #6 Milos Raonic, Jan-Lennard Struff and Matteo Berretini, the latter two translating good form on clay onto the grass.
                      The Semis here are also done. The all-Canadian affair was a disappointment as Raonic didnít take to the court. Hopefully itís precautionary and nothing too serious. Berretini won the other Semi, which is not the way I would have predicted it. Good final in prospect though as Auger-Aliassime and Berretini have both made two previous ones this year (all on clay). Auger-Aliassime is 0-2 and Berretini 1-1 in those (2-1 overall as he won a title in 2018 as well).
                      There is also a Canadian in the doubles final here, Shapovalov/Bopanna beating Kyrgios/Reid in the Semis. They will play Peers/Soares in the title match.

                      Rosmalen
                      #8 Richard Gasquet had a busy day yesterday, finishing off both his match with Mikhail Kukushkin and then beating Nicolas Jarry in the QFs. His Semi today is against Jordan Thompson, who beat #5 Alex de Minaur in three in the all-Aussie clash. The other Semi is Adrian Mannarino, a winner in three over #5 David Goffin and #2 Borna Coric, who won a long one over #7 Cristian Garin.
                      In the Doubles, Dom Inglot is one match away from defending his title with the aid of Krajicek following a Semi win over de Minaur/Vega Hernandez. They play Daniell/Koolhof in the final. Koolhof is a local, so good for the crowd.


                      WTA

                      Rosmalen
                      Lots happened yesterday, the headline probably being home favourite and top seed Kiki Bertens wrapping up her R2 win over fellow Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus and then following it up by beating Natalia Vikhlyantseva in the QFs. Bertens now plays Elena Rybakina (from Kazakhstan and a qualifier) in the Semis. Bertens has never previously made a singles final on grass at any level, not even ITF, and last played one on home soil in a $10k event a decade ago. Rybakina has never made a Tour final of any sort, and also doesnít have even an ITF level one on grass to her name.
                      The other Semi has already happened, Alison Riske winning it against Veronika Kudermetova in three. Kudermetova beat Greet Minnen in three the QFs, Riske downed consecutive Russians having beaten Ekaterina Alexandrova in the QFs. For all Riskeís undoubted grass court prowess, itís just her second Tour level final on the surface and that previous effort (Nottingham 2016) came up narrowly short against Karolina Pliskova. Riske also has a run of defeats in Tour finals matches to reverse, losing her last six (three of them in Shenzen) after winning her first back in 2014.
                      If Bertens doesnít win her Semi, the Dutch will still have home players to cheer on finals day as the remaining Doubles semi features four Dutchwomen. It still might be Bertens, as she is one of these.

                      Nottingham
                      The QF winners here were #1 Caroline Garcia, Jennifer Brady and as reference above #9 Tatjana Maria and #2 Donna Vekic. Garcia was the only one to need three sets as she beat qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse. Brady got the best result beating #4 Maria Sakkari. Vekic and #8 Kiki Mladenovic was two close sets, which sort of lived up to its billing. A number of these matches were played on the indoor courts out of necessity, which is where the Semis may now end up being finished off/played fully. The existence of these is why the tournament is up-to-date, though this isnít great for spectators and rather nullifies the claim to be a grass court tournament.
                      The last British pair in the Doubles, Grey/Silva, lost in the QFs. The similarity of the colour of the skies to the sound of their names didnít help then!


                      ATP Challenger

                      Nottingham
                      Still playing catch-up, but #1 Dan Evans (WC) is through to the Semis after a R3 win over Mikael Ymer yesterday and one over Dominik Kopfer today. Both three sets though, which, with the amount of Tennis coming doesnít sound ideal. He will play Go Soeda in the last four after Soeda beat #16 Lukas Rosol in the QFs (in two, as were all Soedaís previous matches). Both are previous Nottingham finalists, Soeda in 2010 and Evo last year. The other QFs are #5 Dennis Novak vs #13 Evgeny Donskoy and Ruben Bemelmans vs #14 Antoine Hoang.
                      The Doubles is still only up to the QFs. Hoyt/Johnson lost in R1, Evans/Glasspool withdrew, presumably because of Evans and not Glasspool.


                      ITF

                      Manchester
                      The Indoor matches yesterday suited the Brits, Samantha Murray beating #7 Marie Bouzkova and Naomi Broady topping Gabriela Taylor (well a Birt was sure to win in the latter). The same two players subsequently played doubles matches on the same courts, #1 Broady/Muhammad beating all-brit pairing Barnett/Nicholls and Appleton/Murray going down to #2 seeds Jiang/Tang, before repairing outside to play each other in the Singles QFs. Murray won that 7-6(4) 6-2 and then presumably both went for the Worldís longest ice bath to avoid muscle injuries through overwork.
                      Murray plays Magda Linette in the singles SFs today (Linette also had two singles matches yesterday) whilst Appleton/Broady have a Doubles SF to play.

                      Comment


                        ATP

                        Stuttgart
                        The Final is #7 Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Matteo Berrettini as noted above

                        Rosmalen
                        Talk about a time for the heavens to open over in Holland - both Men's Semi were being played simultaneously in an attempt to get them done. One Richard Gasquet against Jordan Thompson was standing at 7-5 5-3 to Thompson. The other Adrian Mannarino vs Borna Coric, was even more certainly right at it's conclusion with a final set tie-break about to start. And then play was suspended. Given it's now twenty to 10 local time, one assumes that is it for the evening.
                        The Doubles Final did get played as planned, and Dom Inglot successfully defend his title as he and Krajicek beat Daniell/Koolhof in a match breaker, 10-4. Well done, Dom!


                        WTA

                        Rosmalen
                        Somewhat better news for the Women in Holland, as both of their Semis were completed. Alison Riske winning we already knew about. She will try and break her run of reverses in Finals against #1 Kiki Bertens, who beat Elena Rybakina in two. Bertens will be going for her first senior grass court title at any level, and her first Tour title on home soil tomorrow.
                        She wasnít playing in the Doubles final though as she and Schuurs (the 2nd seeds) lost to Kerkhove/Schoofs (WC) in the Semi. Schuurs vs Schoofs feels like peak Dutchness in name terms. The Doubles final, against #4 Aoyama/Krunic started, but didnít reach the end of the first set before play was halted.

                        Nottingham
                        Donna Vekic completed victory in the match I was watching against Tatjana Maria, needing just one game on the resumption. The scoreline is bizarre, 5-7 6-0 6-0. Honestly, sets 2 & 3 were much, much closer than that. Loads of games went to deuce. Itís just Vekic won them all! The other Semi, #1 Caroline Garcia vs Jennifer Brady, started outside and got to 4-6 6-3 4-3 in Garciaís favour. Based on what has happened earlier in the tournament, they will probably complete it indoors this evening.
                        The Doubles Final is know, Perez/Ar.Rodionova (both Aus) vs Krawczyk/Olmos (USA/Mex).


                        ATP Challenger

                        Nottingham
                        Semi line-up is #1 Dan Evans vs Go Soeda and #13 Evgeny Donskoy vs #14 Antoine Hoang. Busy day in the offing tomorrow, I guess. The forecast is currently dry all day, so fingers crossed.
                        Doubles is also at the Semi stage, or will be once this evenings matches are completed. #3 K.Skupski/Smith will be in it, but not Broady/Clayton (WC).

                        Manchester
                        Everything got played here, and outdoors to boot. Not that it went well for the Brits, Samantha Murray going out of the Singles at the Semi stage to #1 Magda Linette (she plays #3 Zarina Diyas in the final) and #1 Broady/Muhammad losing their Doubles Semi to Anderson/Paar.
                        Last edited by Janik; 15-06-2019, 19:58.

                        Comment


                          Some of the draws for next week are out, with higher profile events on the schedule. On the ATP itís a pair of 500 events at Halle and Queens. The WTA have a standard International in Mallorca but a Premier in Brimingham (Edbaston Priory Club).

                          Halle suffered a couple of significant late withdrawals, Dominic Thiem and Kei Nishikori pulling out. However the most important entrant should still be there as he goes for his 10th title at the event. That is Roger Federer, of course. He doesnít have a particularly soft draw either, with John Millman in R1 and then either Jo-Wilfred Tsonga or Benoit Paire in R2. Other notable entrants are #2 Sascha Zverev, #3 Karen Khachanov and #5 Gael Monfils. There are three top 10 and a further four 11-20 players in total involved even after the loss of Thiem and Nishikori. Good work by the TD.
                          The only Brit in Germany is Inglot, who continues his new partnership with Krajicek. They play #2 Klaasen/Venus in R1.

                          Fascinating looking draw at Queens, which hasnít suffered any late scratches (yet). A whole host of excellent R1 matches are in prospect, not least the one at the top of the draw #1 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Kyle Edmund! Working down we also have Nick Kyrgios vs Adrian Mannarino (of the two, only Mannarino has reached a Tour grass court final), Grigor Dimitrov vs #8 Felix Auger-Aliassime (Dimitrov was champion here in 2014), #3 Juan Martin del Potro vs Dennis Shapovalov, Fernando Verdasco vs Daniil Medvedev, #7 Stan Wawrinka vs Dan Evans (WC) and Cameron Norrie vs #2 Kevin Anderson (Anderson was runner-up in 2015). Not particularly easy draws for the Brits in there. One other British player has a wild card in addition to Evans, and that is Jay Clarke who will play Lucas Pouille in R1.
                          The third singles wild card went to Feliciano Lopez, the champion in 2017 and runner-up in 2014 and Andy Murrayís doubles partner. Murrayís return to the competitive stage will be tricky, as they have drawn #1 seeds Cabal/Farah in R1. I guess the Colombians are in two minds about this; it means a much bigger stage to play on than they usually have (it will surely go on Centre Court) but they are clearly cast in the role of heels! Other British or half-British doubles pairs involved are J.Murray/N.Skupski, Salisbury/Ram, and wild cards Evans/K.Skupski and Bambridge/OíMara. As ATP500ís have a Doubles qualifying there was a chance that Draper/Norrie would join those pairs, except they handed over a walkover in Q1.
                          Draper did take to the court in singles qualifying, but lost in Q1 of that. Honourably though, beaten in three by #3 Bublik. The set Draper won was 6-1. One other Brit had a wild card into singles qualifying and James Ward has made use of it, beating #7 Gunneswaran in Q1. He now plays (ulp) #4 Ivo Karlovic in final Q.

                          The Queens draw has two top 10 and five 11-20 players in total. But the strongest draw of the week by rankings is in Birmingham, with the World No.s 1, 2 and 3 Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova all due to rock up. All excellent grass court players as well. But not defending champion Petra Kvitova, who has pulled out with the injury that kept her out of the French and is now a doubt for Wimbledon. 
                          Two other top ten players, again both excellent grass courters, are involved in Elena Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka taking the total to five. And also back amongst the seeds is World No.18 and British No.1 Johanna Konta (yet another comfortable with turf under her feet), who takes the #7 spot in the seeds list. There are nine top 20 players in total, and only 8 seeds meaning one of the top 20 is a dangerous floater (see below for who and whom she plays).
                          With all these names showing for the event, just like in London there are some superb R1 match-ups here. Again, going from top to bottom, #1 Naomi Osaka vs Maria Sakkari is a brilliant opener, Anett Kontaveit vs #7 Jo Konta is a tossup as a nasty draw for Jo (Kotnaveit is the highest ranked non-seeded player in the event), #Aryna Sabalenka vs Hseigh Su-wei offers a fascinating contrast in styles, Venus Williams (WC) vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich is an incredibly rare chance for British fans to see a Williams sister anywhere other than Wimbledon (Venus and Serena have only ever previously played a warm-up event once, I believe) and finally Donna Vekic vs #2 Ashleigh Barty is two very in form grass court players facing off. If this was a Wimbledon final in future no-one would bat an eyelid in surprise.
                          The two British main draw wild cards have gone to Harriet Dart and Heather Watson, who will play Yulia Putinseva and Barbora Strycova respectively. The chances are slim of anyone joining them from qualifying, but not none. All four wild card entrants, Freya Christie, Eden Silva, Tara Moore and Sarah Beth Grey, lost in Q1 to Aiava, #5 Pera, McNally and #4 Sharma respectively. However the same reason that Destinee Aiava was playing, the rain delays making for a lot of automatic scratches of players still playing elsewhere and opening up spaces for alternates like Aiava, has also benefitted a (freshly minted) Brit, Naiktha Bains taking advantage of a late invite to beat Liu in Q1, 10-8 in a deciding set break. Tight!
                          The Doubles draw for Edgbaston is yet to be released.

                          While Birmingham draws most of the attention, being a higher ranked tournament, some decent players are off to sunny Spain. And probably hearing stories of the weather in Britain this week, are glad of their choice. Leading the list in Mallorca is Angelique Kerber, with Anastasija Sevastova, Belinda Bencic, Elise Mertens, Amanda Anisimova and Caroline Garcia also due to play. They are all top 25 players, Kerber top 10.
                          Last edited by Janik; 15-06-2019, 20:42.

                          Comment


                            We're off to see the semis day of the Birmingham tournament again this year (weather permitting!) If either match is as good as the semi last year between Strycova and Rybarikova, we're in for a treat.

                            Comment


                              Nottingham Finals were confirmed this morning. Women's is #1 Garcia vs #2 Vekic and Men's is #1 Evans vs #13 Donskoy.

                              Comment


                                Who was it a couple of weeks ago winding up the doubles players by saying none of them could make it on the singles tour, or words to that effect?

                                Has Andy Murray's admission that he can return to play doubles at Queens but is nowhere near fit enough for singles going to reignite that? Only I can't see any reason why doubles is any less strenuous than singles?
                                Last edited by Rogin the Armchair fan; 16-06-2019, 15:13.

                                Comment


                                  It was Dan Evans. Jamie Murray slapped him down.

                                  The tramlines are not an extra 100%. There is significantly less court for each player to cover in Doubles than Singles. That is why it's less physical, and players have still be competing in that into their late 30s and even 40s for a many years, way before the recent trend in singles for this to be possible. For example, Daniel Nestor last played a main draw singles match in a Slam in 2001, aged 28. He last played a Doubles match in 2018, aged 45. He made the Aussie Open Men's Doubles Final in 2016 as a 43 year-old. See also the Bryan brothers, current age 41 and still being seeded in Slams.

                                  Comment


                                    Dan "ought to keep his mouth shut" Evans has won the Nottingham men's final. Challenger level it may be, but the 125 ranking points for the title will push him back to 63rd in the rankings, and up to 34th in the YTD scores, which is higher than he's ever been ranked for a full year so if he keeps up that pace he will reach new career best level before long.

                                    Comment


                                      I had a ticket for today's second qualifying round of the Edgbaston WTA tournament today but I couldn't make it, unfortunately. My brother went and said it was a great day for star-spotting - most of the top names are there and its much more intimate than Wimbledon.

                                      As for the Brits, Dart and Watson have been handed wildcards to join Konta in tomorrow's first round. Dart is paired with Venue Williams in the doubles - Williams has played the vast majority of her doubles games with her sister, except once with Wozniacki in 2008 and once with MAdison Keys in 2018.

                                      Another Brit, Naiktha Bains (a new name for me) won yesterday but lost in the final qualifying round today.

                                      Comment


                                        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.

                                        Comment


                                          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 isnít 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 didnít help her there as it wasnít 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 ďpass me if you can!Ē question. The fifth was even a serve-volley. Bertens didnít 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 ďshockedĒ.
                                          It wasnít just this round where Riske was playing with the houses money as she had been on the point of defeat Ė 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 itís 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 wonít 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. Krunicís win meant she went from singles champions in 2018 (her only singles title to date) to doubles one in 2019. The Menís Doubles also saw a Dutchman lose in the title match. It wasnít 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, Vekicís 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 Womenís 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 Ė Venus Williams. Itís to be hoped she isnít 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 itís come out there is a surprise name involved Ė 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, wasnít it? Itís 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/OíMara take on #4 B.Bryan/M.Bryan in the evening on a court TBD.
                                          Everything else is due up tomorrow, weather depending. Iíve 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 Womenís main draw isnít 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 itís 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.

                                          Comment


                                            Well the question of whether Jo Konta was going to struggle with the transition from clay to grass was emphatically answered there Ė 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. Itís 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.

                                            Comment


                                              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 Aiavaís 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. Yesterdayís 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) Ė Kristyna Pliskova vs Karolina Pliskova! Apparently, itís 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 wonít even help much, as both are amongst the biggest serves and greatest ace-gatherers on the WTA. If Womenís 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 Riskeís 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 todayís 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/OíMara. 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 itís 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 didnít 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.

                                              Comment


                                                Originally posted by Janik View Post
                                                The final match is a fascinating and difficult one for the players involved (and the spectators) Ė Kristyna Pliskova vs Karolina Pliskova! Apparently, itís 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 wonít even help much, as both are amongst the biggest serves and greatest ace-gatherers on the WTA. If Womenís 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

                                                Comment


                                                  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.

                                                  Comment


                                                    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!

                                                    Comment

                                                    Working...
                                                    X