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The 2019 tennis season begins....

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    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.


      Venus won 6-3, 6-4 today, and turned 39 on Monday.


        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.



          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.

          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.


          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.

          *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).


          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

          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

          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.


            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.


              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.



                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!

                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.


                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.

                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

                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.


                  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!


                    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.


                      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.


                        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.)


                          The doubles is ongoing... and pretty bloody good.


                            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.


                              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.


                              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.

                              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.


                              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.

                              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

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


                                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.


                                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.


                                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.

                                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.


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


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


                                      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.


                                        On-court interviewer "What is the plan for tonight. How do you intend to celebrate?"
                                        Barty "Get into the car and drive to Eastbourne!"
                                        The whoop barely audible in the background was from the Eastbourne Tournament Director.


                                          Originally posted by Janik View Post
                                          On-court interviewer
                                          Who is, according to my brother, Blue Peter's Mark Curry.

                                          On the LTA website it says "The doubles final will continue indoors due to the weather. Sadly there are no viewing areas for spectators. " Shame.

                                          Anyway, it seems to have been won by Strycova and Hsieh, the number two seeds.


                                            That is a pity. Hsieh/Strycova would be a very subtle and watchable team. The champions roll from last week ran as follows:-


                                            Singles – Ashleigh Barty
                                            Doubles – Hsieh/Strycova
                                            Ash Barty two set win over Julia Goerges (cover above) means she is now the World no.1 and no.1 seed for Wimbledon. She is also over 1000 points ahead of the race standings. Win Wimbledon, which is a very distinct possibility, and she will reach a points total that it’s unlikely that anyone will surpass in 2019 (Kvitova is still #2 in the race and she is injured).

                                            Singles – Sofia Kenin
                                            Doubles – Flipkens/Larsson
                                            Tight singles final, Kenin beating Belinda Bencic 6-4 in the third after the first two were shared on breakers. Second career title and second of 2019 for the young American (20), who has played her way into a Wimbledon seeding.


                                            Singles – Feliciano Lopez
                                            Doubles – F.Lopez/A.Murray
                                            Lopez beat Gilles Simon 7-2 on a final set tie-break to claim his second Queen’s title. His first, two years ago (also secured via a final set tie-break vs Cilic) was a rather emotional victory, as it was effectively the biggest and most prestigious title of Feliciano’s career and one he had been chasing for years. That was also his last tournament win and indeed final prior to yesterday. The win has lifted the veteran Spaniard back up to 51 in the world and means his record-breaking run of Grand Slam singles draw appearances won’t need a wild card to reach 71 at the US Open as no.70 at Wimbledon requires.
                                            Lopez then dusted himself down and won the Doubles at the same event. I don’t remember the last time that happened on the Tours, though a few have come close mostly on the WTA [looked it up, Berrettini, Gstaad 2018 was the last on the ATP so not as long ago as I thought]. It’s rather common for players making deep runs in the singles to pull out of the Doubles (cf. Barty/Goerges at Edgbaston), but Lopez couldn’t do that given the partner he had…
                                            And I’m focusing on Lopez, because in a fair world he ought to be the biggest story of Queen’s 2019. But he isn’t. That is his doubles partner who pretty unexpectedly won a title in his very first tournament back after hip surgery once thought to be career ending. Whilst singles remains an open question, I think last week shows Andy Murray could be the World No.1 in doubles if he wants that.

                                            Singles – Roger Federer
                                            Doubles – Klaasen/Venus
                                            Not just one 37-year-old winning a prestigious title, but two as Federer beat David Goffin in two to win his 10th Halle title. There were only two events on the ATP last week. For both to be won by what is, in Pro tennis terms, ultra-veterans is remarkable. I’ll bet that has never happened before!

                                            ITF and ATP Challenger
                                            Men’s – Dominik Koepfer
                                            Women’s – Monica Niculescu
                                            Both get Wimbledon main draw wild cards as a rather large bonus.

                                            As for this week, Eastbourne got well underway yesterday. Indeed, all the British Women in the main draw played their R1 matches yesterday. Harriet Dart’s good but ultimately futile showing against Anett Kontaveit is covered above. Katie Swan was in her third set against Zhang Shuai when I wrote that. That also went against Swan. Heather Watson was beaten in two by Alize Cornet. #14 Jo Konta won though, 2&4 against Dayana Yastresmka. She now plays Maria Sakkari in R2 with the possibility of a meeting with top seed Barty in R3.
                                            The Men’s main draw is yet to commence (they have one round fewer to fit in, of course). It will feature not one, but two British qualifiers. Paul Jubb’s win over #3 Andrey Rublev was noted above, which was a good win. It was later followed by James Ward impressively downing #2 Denis Kudla for the loss of just five games. That is the second week in a row that Ward has qualified, and against much higher ranked opponents in each case (Kudla is WR 79). Ward plays fellow qualifier Thomas Fabbiano in R1 (Fabbiano is still (just) a top 100 player mind). Jubb, fresh out of the US College system and obviously a much better player than his current ranked of 500+, plays Taylor Fritz in his main draw match, which is also his full Tour debut. Well that isn’t that surprising. This was his first ever attempt at qualifying for an ATP event. In fact, he played his first ever Challenger Tour tournament in Surbiton three weeks ago (l to Ward, which we now know as a tough draw!).

                                            In other news, the last singles wild cards for Wimbledon have been awarded. In addition to the ones listed a few posts up thread, main draw places go to Lopez and Koepfer in the Men’s and Niculsecu in the Women’s as noted above. The other two Men’s and three Women’s spots have been left vacant, with the place instead going to the next direct acceptance on the entry lists. Wimbledon is absolutely the only slam that ever does this.
                                            The play-offs for the two Qualifying wild cards were held last Thursday and Friday. The Men’s ones were taken by Ryan Peniston and Mark Whitehouse and the Women’s by Eden Silva and Samantha Murray. Whitehouse will be playing his first ever Wimbledon qualies, aged 26, whilst Silva and Murray’s wins came over previous Wimbledon regulars Naomi Broady and Tara Moore, who therefore miss out this year.
                                            The Men’s qualies are already underway at Roehmapton, I’ll post the draws up ASAP.
                                            Last edited by Janik; 25-06-2019, 10:19.


                                              Wimbledon Men's qualifying draw (the bits with Brits)

                                              Henri Laaksonen Sui [2] vs Jason Kubler Aus
                                              Norbert Gombos Svk vs Zdenek Kolar Cze
                                              Jack Draper GBr [WC] vs Yasutaka Uchiyama Jpn
                                              Mirza Basic BiH vs Evgeny Donskoy Rus [23]

                                              Yannick Maden Ger [3] vs Hiroki Moriya Jpn
                                              Ryan Peniston GBr [WC] vs Andrea Arnaboldi Ita
                                              Evgeny Karlovskiy Rus vs Kimmer Coppejans Bel
                                              Filip Horansky Svk vs Pedro Martinez Esp [21]

                                              Stefano Travaglia Ita [5] vs Blaz Rola Slo
                                              Daniel Brands Ger vs Mark Whitehouse GBr [WC]
                                              Marc Polmans aus vs Mohamed Safwat Egy
                                              Joao Domingues Por vs Kwon Soon-woo Kor [24]

                                              Antoine Hoang Fra [10] vs Kaichi Uchida Jpn
                                              Arthur De Greef Bel vs Marcos Giron USA
                                              James Duckworth Aus vs Jan Chionski GBr [WC]
                                              Viktor Galovic Cro vs Facundo Bagnis Arg [28]

                                              Gregoire Barrerr Fra [12] vs Emilio Gomez Ecu
                                              Evan Hoyt GBr [WC] vs Rogerio Dutra Silva Bra
                                              Tallon Griekspoor Ned vs Pedro Cachin Arg
                                              Liam Broady GBr [WC] vs Andrej Martin Svk [20]

                                              Dennis Novak Aut [14] vs Thiemo de Bakker Ned
                                              Jannik Sinner Ita vs Alex Bolt Aus
                                              Li Zhe Chn vs Dustin Brown Ger
                                              Adrian McHugh GBr [WC] vs Mikael Ymer Swe [19]


                                                Zhang Shuai makes a pitch for "second most dis-likeable player on the WTA Tour".



                                                  She has quite a lot of competition on that one. But expecting an opponent to overrule a line-call in your favour? That very rarely happens. It's not something most players would expect of their opponents. Double bounces, yes, players have a professional understanding with each other that they will own up to those (and go ballistic when someone doesn't and, um, but also). But line-calls? No.

                                                  It does look like a bad call on Zhang for what it's worth. Which isn't much.

                                                  What happened yesterday? Well, a rash of withdrawals in the Women's event at Eastbourne. The most notable being Ash Barty after all. A pity for the event, but probably wise for her. If she had played, and got a distance in, it would have meant four straight weeks of Tennis assuming a deep Wimbledon run. And six out of seven, given the French Open win. That is too much. Barty cited a long standing arm injury as her reason, but it's only a niggle and her participation in SW19 is not in doubt.
                                                  Julia Goerges also pulled out (reason given: a bug) and Anastasija Sevastova and Wang Qiang. That is a quarter of the Women’s seeds gone (no.s 1, 9, 12 and 15) without hitting a ball and too late to bump players up to the replace them. The draw is now really distorted with Lucky Losers in seeded spots. Six of these in total in fact, as two non-seeds also backed out. There were only six matches in the final round of qualifying, so all the players who played in that are now in the main draw!
                                                  Actually on court, #5 Elina Svitolina was struggling again against Alize Cornet when the weather intervened. Apart from that, not a great deal of action occurred yesterday on the Women’s side.
                                                  On the Men’s, one completed match was Paul Jubb losing to Taylor Fritz on his ATP Tour debut. Cameron Norrie got to 3-0 in the first set against Jeremy Chardy before being curtailed. A doubles match involving Brits was played though Evans/Glasspool (WC) beating Bambridge/O’Mara.

                                                  Lots of Brits in action today. The highest profile is hometown girl Konta (seeded #4), who plays Maria Sakkari third on Centre Court. That follows Dan Evans vs #8 Radu Albot (nominal start 11:00am) and the conclusion of Norrie vs Chardy, which may take a while to get through given it’s barely started! Other British singles players in action are Jay Clarke, who plays Juan Ignacio Londero first on Court 2 (Londero in as a lucky loser following a scratch from Clarke’s originally scheduled opponent Leonardo Mayer) and James Ward who plays Thomas Fabbiano third on Court 1. If anyone had ground tickets for Eastbourne today, I would suggest making a beeline for Court 3, which has some extraordinary matches for an outside court, Marketa Vondrousova vs Elise Mertens and Hsieh Su-wei vs Simona Halep the standouts.
                                                  A fair number of British doubles players in action as well. Not before 4pm on centre is A.Murary/Melo vs Cabal/Farah. There is a Women’s Doubles (non-British) that follows this, for gender balance which is obviously important at Eastbourne. On the more usual outside courts, Dart/Watson, Clayton/Ward, N.Skupski/K.Skupski, Norrie/Londero and Inglot/Krajicek are all scheduled to play their R1 matches, weather depending.

                                                  Meanwhile, in Antalya, Bernard Tomic won a match! Three sets against #7 Andreas Seppi. That is just Tomic's 4th ATP main draw match win of the season, his first since Houston back in April, and only his 7th of 2019 if we also include qualifying and Challenger levels.
                                                  Last edited by Janik; 25-06-2019, 10:10.


                                                    Over in Roehampton, they got all of the Men’s Q1 matches played yesterday. And for the British Men, it was rather a massacre. Liam Broady was the only one to win, though he did so comfortably, 3&1 over #20 Martin. He plays Griekspoor in Q2. Ryan Peniston came the closest of those eliminated, beaten 8-6 by Arnaboldi in the deciding set. None of the others got a set, though Evan Hoyt would feel hard done by not to have done so after both of his versus Dutra Silva went to tiebreakers that he lost 12-10 7-5.

                                                    Will the Women do better? Here is what they face, starting today.

                                                    Aliona Bolsova Esp [1] vs Cori Gauff USA [WC]
                                                    Ma Shuyue Chn vs Valentina Ivakhnenko Rus [Alt]
                                                    Emma Raducanu GBr [WC] vs Liang En-shou Tpe
                                                    Julia Glushko Isr vs Greet Minnen Bel [19]

                                                    Lauren Davis USA [3] vs Bibiane Schoofs Ned
                                                    Maryna Zanevska Bel vs Francesca Di Lorenzo USA
                                                    Naomi Broady GBr [WC] vs Kristie Ahn USa
                                                    Robin Anderson USA vs Tamara Korpatsch Ger [32]

                                                    Misaki Doi Jpn [4] vs Kimberly Birrell Aus
                                                    Arina Rodionova Aus vs Asia Muhammad USA
                                                    Naiktha Bains GBr vs Danielle Lao USA
                                                    Danka Kovinic Mne vs sachia Vickery USA [25]

                                                    Whitney Osuigwe USA [9] vs Cristina Bucsa Esp
                                                    Peng Shuai Chn vs Samantha Murray GBr [WC]
                                                    Liu Fangzhou Chn vs Deniz Khazaniuk Isr
                                                    Patricia Maria Tig Rou [PR] vs Paula Badosa Esp [22]

                                                    Nao Hibino Jpn [11] vs Fanny Stollar Hun
                                                    Katarzyna Kawa Pol vs Francesca Jones GBr [WC]
                                                    Elena-Gabriela Ruse Rou vs Sesil Karatencheva Bul
                                                    Irina Bara Rou vs Allie Kiick USA [18]

                                                    Ysaline Bonaventure Bel [12] vs Jamie Loeb USA
                                                    Gabreilla Taylor GBr [WC] vs Chloe Paquet Fra
                                                    Ekaterine Gorgodze Geo vs Anna Bondar Hun
                                                    Magdalena Frech Pol vs Arantza Rus Ned [26]

                                                    Olga Danilovic Rus [14] vs Eden Silva GBr [WC]
                                                    Rebecca Sramkova Svk vs Amandine Hesse Fra
                                                    Anna Zaja Ger vs Myrtille Georges Fra
                                                    Paula Ormaechea Arg vs Beatriz Haddad Maia Bra [17]

                                                    Tereza Smitkova Cze [16] vs Barbara Haas Aut
                                                    Valeria Savinykh Rus vs Yanina Wickmayer Bel
                                                    Maia Lumsden GBr [WC] vs Kaylah McPhee Aus
                                                    Han Xinyun Chn vs Liudmila Samsonova Rus [31]

                                                    You may have noticed Naomi Broady’s name in there, after I said she was missing out on playing singles this year. She has benefitted from qualifying coming a week too soon for Katy Dunne.