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Halle 2018

  • Posted: Jun 17, 2018

Halle 2018

The content of this article took place at Gerry Weber Open

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Norrie set to face Wawrinka on opening day at Queen's

  • Posted: Jun 17, 2018
2018 Fever-Tree Championships on the BBC
Venue: Queen’s Club, London Dates: 18-24 June
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and app.

British number two Cameron Norrie will play three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka at Queen’s Club on Monday.

Andy Murray, making his comeback after a year out with a hip injury, plays Australian Nick Kyrgios on Tuesday at the Fever-Tree Championships.

Kyle Edmund, who has replaced Murray as British number one, meets American Ryan Harrison the same day.

Twelve-time major champion Novak Djokovic faces Australian qualifier John Millman, also on Tuesday.

Fifteen of the world’s top 30 male players, plus Murray, Djokovic and Wawrinka, are competing in the west London tournament, although 18-time Slam champion Rafael Nadal and world number four Juan Martin del Potro have withdrawn.

You can follow all the action on the BBC across television, radio and online.

  • ‘How I recovered from lowest point’ – Murray’s BBC Sport column
  • Murray says he can still win Grand Slams
  • Queen’s order of play
  • How to follow Queen’s on the BBC

Murray, Djokovic but no Nadal – who else is playing?

Queen’s is set to have the strongest line-up in its 128-year history with 15 of the world’s top 30 taking part.

The tournament is seen as an important marker for players in their build-up to Wimbledon, which starts on 2 July.

It is also an ATP 500 event, the third tier of tournaments on the men’s tour below the Grand Slams and Masters, giving them opportunity to earn a significant number of ranking points.

Former Queen’s champions, Croatia’s 2017 Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic and reigning ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov, are among the top-10 players appearing.

Cilic, the top seed, plays 2013 Wimbledon quarter-finalist Fernando Verdasco on Monday.

The first match on Queen’s Centre Court sees highly-rated Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov play veteran Gilles Muller, a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon last year.

Murray nervous before return

Scot Murray, who has dropped to 157 in the world rankings, has not played competitively since Wimbledon last year and had hip surgery in January.

He admitted he will be nervous when he returns to action at Queen’s where he has won the title a record five times.

“There are a lot of doubts when you’ve not played for a long time,” he said. “I’m expecting to be very nervous when I go back out there.

“Coming back from injury you’re always kind of second guessing yourself. You never know exactly when you’re going to be ready, but I’m looking forward to getting back out there and competing, and hopefully playing well.

“I’ve obviously got lots of great memories from here, from winning the tournament and playing here the first time when I was 18. I’m sure I’ll have the same nerves and stuff as I did all those years ago.”

Djokovic back at Queen’s

Djokovic is playing at the Queen’s Club for the first time in eight years, having suffered injury problems this season.

The former world number one had said he may skip the grass-court season after losing in the French Open quarter-finals to Marco Cecchinato.

But he has now accepted a late wildcard for Queen’s and said it would be “great preparation for Wimbledon”.

The Serb also said he hopes to see Murray, against whom he has played seven Grand Slam finals, return to the top of the game, adding that “tennis misses” him.

Edmund on British ‘buzz’

The tournament sees Kyle Edmund play the British grass-court events as British number one for the first time, having replaced Murray in March.

“Throughout year we travel so much so it is nice to be home and play in front of a home crowd and get that support. It’s a really buzz,” said Edmund, 23, who reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at the Australian Open in January.

“Attention has picked up,” he added. “You get used to it and learn how to deal with it in your own way, but I get on with it and see it is a good problem.

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“Look at Andy who has done it for so many years and is able to get the results like he has. That shows there are ways of doing it that help you.”

Queen’s coverage on BBC TV

All times BST. Matches and coverage times are subject to late changes. The BBC is not responsible for any changes that may be made.

Monday, 18 June

13:15-18:00 – BBC Two

12:00-13:00 & 17:55-19:45 – BBC Red Button

12:00-19:45 – Connected TV & Online

Tuesday, 19 June

13:00-18:00 – BBC Two

12:00-13:00 & 17:15-19:45 – BBC Red Button

12:00-19:45 – Connected TV & Online

Wednesday, 20 June

13:00-18:00 – BBC Two

12:00-13:00 & 17:55-19:45 – BBC Red Button

12:00-19:45 – Connected TV & Online

Thursday, 21 June

13:00-18:00 – BBC Two

12:00-13:15 & 17:45-19:45 – BBC Red Button

12:00-19:45 – Connected TV & Online

Friday, 22 June

13:00-18:00 – BBC Two

12:00-13:15 & 17:55-19:45 – BBC Red Button

12:00-19:45 – Connected TV & Online

Saturday, 23 June

13:00-17:00 – BBC Two

15:00-19:00 – BBC Red Button

13:00-19:00 – Connected TV & Online

Sunday, 24 June

14:30-17:30 – BBC Two

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Nature Valley Open: Angry Johanna Konta loses in Nottingham final

  • Posted: Jun 17, 2018

A furious Johanna Konta lost out to Ashleigh Barty in the final of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham.

Konta had recovered from 4-1 down in the decider to level at 4-4 but a controversial call allowed Barty go 5-4 ahead.

The Briton got into a heated discussion with the umpire, which seemed to affected her concentration.

She was broken in the next game to give Barty a 6-3 3-6 6-4 win and did not shake the umpire’s hand at the end.

Konta had been seeking her first title since Miami in April 2017 but only managed 52% of her first serves in the opening set with Barty the more solid.

But she got back into the match and levelled it at one set apiece, finally converting her seventh break-point opportunity.

The Briton, who is now ranked 22 in the world after a poor first half of the year, was looking to maintain her momentum in the decider.

However, Barty, ranked five places higher, broke in the fourth game to make it 3-1 before holding serve for 4-1.

It looked like Konta’s chances were disappearing fast but she battled back to make it 4-4 before her emotions boiled over.

The 27-year-old was furious with the umpire for not overruling a Barty shot that looked long as the Australian held for 5-4, saying to the official: “It’s an absolute joke. You’re making decisions that affect our lives. Do you fully understand that?”

Konta, who then had to serve to stay in the match, won only one more point as Barty clinched victory with a backhand pass.

Both players will now be in action at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham from Monday with Barty up against a qualifier while Konta will take on two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

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'I love playing tennis. I miss it a lot' – how Murray recovered from 'lowest point'

  • Posted: Jun 17, 2018
2018 Fever-Tree Championships on the BBC
Venue: Queen’s Club, London Dates: 18-24 June
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and app.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray is set to make his competitive return to action at Queen’s Club this week after almost a year out with a hip injury.

The 31-year-old Briton talks about the decision to have surgery in January, and his recovery, in his regular BBC Sport column.

Moving towards the start line now feels great and I’m really looking forward to playing again. There have been times where I have been practising on the court and not managed to get to the start line.

With sport you play to win but when you are away from something you love doing for almost a year you realise you’re playing because you love it.

I didn’t start playing to win Wimbledon or get to number one in the world. I never believed that was something I was going to do or something I thought about when I was a kid growing up.

I played tennis because I loved it and continued doing that throughout my whole career.

Of course pressure comes as you get older and start to do better but when you step away from the sport for a long time then you look at things a little bit differently.

  • Winning Grand Slams still possible – Murray
  • Will surgery give Murray a new lease of life?

Emotional Instagram post showed I was hurting

I posted a message on my Instagram page just before the surgery – that was a tough time for me.

A lot of things get written and you don’t always have the opportunity to respond to what has been said.

When, after six months of not competing, you’re still not good enough to be where you want to be and looking like you’re going to have to have surgery, it’s the lowest point you can get to in your professional career.

People might say, “oh, you’ve got it great” – which I’m aware that we do and I’m very lucky I get to play tennis for a living.

But that’s what I’ve been doing since I was a child, and when you’re not able to do something that you love it’s tough.

That was why I posted on Instagram, because at the time I was getting asked lots of questions and I didn’t have all of the answers.

Surgery was the only option

It had been six months since I last played, in the quarter-final at Wimbledon, but I wouldn’t say I gave the hip a fair chance to fully recover until after the US Open.

I was trying to play the US Open at the end of August, which I said at the time was probably a mistake, but after that I did pretty much everything that was recommended by doctors.

I love playing tennis. I miss it a lot

I was rehabbing, trying to get stronger, not spending much time on the court, trying to take a bit of the load off my hip and allow it to calm down. Then I tried to build up a little bit and tried to get ready for Australia.

I was doing lots of really good stuff in the gym but then I wasn’t translating it on to court.

I was still feeling uncomfortable when I was on the court, and then that was when I decided I had to have the surgery.

No athlete wants to go through surgery. You want to avoid it. But it was at the stage where that was what was being recommended me and I went ahead with it.

I was surprised by the ‘very little’ pain

Surgeries can go wrong but I’ve never had the mindset – like when I had back surgery – that it was going to go badly.

I thought this is going to go well.

I’d been in pain for quite a long time. With my hip it had been six months but I had been in a bit of discomfort for quite a few years before that as well.

I wanted to get better, I wanted to feel like my normal self again. I wasn’t seeing the negative side of it.

After the operation I had very little pain actually.

Because of the way they do the surgeries now, I think it was a little different to before when they had to cut you open to do it.

The scars are very, very small and I wasn’t in much pain but also I wasn’t allowed to do a whole lot. I was on crutches for two days and after that got rid of the crutches and started to move around a bit – slowly.

That was something that surprised me, I was expecting to be in a lot more pain after the surgery from what I’d heard but I was back up and walking after 48 or 72 hours.

That’s why the recovery from a lot of hip surgeries are a bit faster now because before it was crutches for four to six weeks.

That means you have a lot of muscle wastage so it then takes time to build that back up before you can start training properly again.

Whereas with this I was back on the bike after 10 days, doing some exercise, and that feels good.

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Recovery didn’t affect family life

After surgery in Melbourne, my mum was there and my team, so I was in the house watching the Australian Open, not doing a whole lot.

When I got back home, it didn’t really affect my family life too much. I was trying not to be on my feet for hours and hours a day, but there were no restrictions in terms of walking around.

I’d like to tell you I watched lots of box sets to get me through the long hours, but that wasn’t really the case.

When I got back the rehab started. Spending six to eight hours a day rehabbing. And it is boring, not a whole lot of fun.

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Because I was also doing that before the surgery it had been like the best part of nine months that I had been doing that stuff, so it’s frustrating and tiring at times.

But the thing that keeps you going is that I love playing tennis. I miss it a lot. That’s why I’ve been doing everything to try and and get back playing again.

The support I have received has also been amazing and I’m thankful for all the messages, it makes going through everything that bit easier.

While I’ll be nervous, it will be great to finally step back on the court.

Andy Murray was speaking to BBC Sport’s Jonathan Jurejko.

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Dan Evans beaten by Alex de Minaur in Nature Valley Open in Nottingham

  • Posted: Jun 17, 2018

Britain’s Dan Evans was beaten in the final of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham by Australian teenager Alex de Minaur.

Evans was competing in his first final since he returned in April from a year’s ban for taking cocaine but lost 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 in an entertaining match.

It is just his fourth defeat in 20 matches since his return.

The win for 19-year-old De Minaur, ranked 96 in the world, gives him his first ATP Challenger title.

De Minaur took the first set on a tie-break before the pair exchanged breaks of serve in the second set.

The Briton, 28, denied De Minaur when the Australian was serving for the match at 5-4 but, after being broken to love in the following game, failed to repeat the feat shortly after.

Evans, who will rise from his current ranking of 530 after reaching the final in Nottingham, will continue his comeback Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s next week after being awarded a wild card.

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Federer beats Raonic to win Stuttgart title on return

  • Posted: Jun 17, 2018

Roger Federer beat Milos Raonic to win the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, his first event for two and a half months.

The Swiss had not played since the Miami Open in March, after choosing to miss the clay-court season, but the win in Germany gives him a 98th Tour title.

Federer, 36, beat Canadian Raonic 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in the final.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion had already secured his return to number one in the world rankings with victory over Nick Kyrgios in the semi-final.

The only break of serve came in the third game of the match with Federer clinching it with a backhand winner.

The second set was again tight as both players’ serve dominated on the grass court but Federer edged it on a tie-break.

“I played very well throughout the tournament, it is a great comeback for me. I am so happy to have won,” said Federer.

“I was hoping to play a couple matches here but I have played four and won them all. The last few have been very good.

“I hope I keep it up at Halle and Wimbledon. It will give me a boost as well being back at world number one.”

Federer also sat out the clay-court season in 2017 but last year lost on his return in Stuttgart before going on to win the Gerry Weber Open in Halle and claim an eighth Wimbledon title.

He will again compete at Halle next week, aiming for a record 10th title, before Wimbledon which begins on 2 July.

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German Joy: Petzschner/Puetz Win Stuttgart

  • Posted: Jun 17, 2018

German Joy: Petzschner/Puetz Win Stuttgart

German duo defeat Lindstedt/Matkowski in straight sets

Philipp Petzschner and Tim Puetz captured their first tour-level title as a team, defeating Robert Lindstedt and Marcin Matkowski 7-6(3), 6-3 on Sunday at the MercedesCup.

Petzschner and Puetz become just the second all-German team to win the MercedesCup, joining 2008 titlists Christopher Kas and Philipp Kohlschreiber. The German duo won 90 per cent of first-serve points and did not face a break point in the 82-minute clash.

Petzchner has now won eight tour-level doubles crowns after his second triumph in Stuttgart. The 34-year-old lifted the title in 2011, alongside Austria’s Jurgen Melzer. It is Puetz’s first tour-level title.

“[To win my] first title is amazing… with a good friend in Germany,” shared Puetz.

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Lindstedt and Matkowski were bidding to win their 23rd and 19th tour-level titles, respectively. The Swedish-Polish tandem was contesting its first tour-level final.

After solid serving from both teams, a tie-break was needed to decide the first set. After trading mini-breaks in the opening stages, Petzschner and Puetz pounced at 6/5. After a strong return from Petschner, Puetz took the initiative at the net, using quick reactions to get the better of Matkowski.

The Germans added to their advantage early in the second set, extracting early errors from their opponents, before capitalising on a Lindstedt double fault, to lead 2-0. From there, Petzschner and Puetz continued to dominate on serve, winning their fourth love service game of the set to secure the title on their first championship point.

“They were serving pretty well, especially in the first set with a high percentage of first serves. We didn’t really get our chances but we knew if we could get to the tie-break we would have a good chance,” said Petzschner. “We stared connecting way better on the returns late in the first set… We were raising our level in the match and I think it was a deserved win in the end.”

Petzschner and Puetz receive 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points and split €35,550 in prize money for lifting the trophy. Lindstedt and Matkowski gain 150 points and share €18,690.

“From the second match we played pretty well… I think we relaxed a bit after winning the first match and [it was] a wonderful week and I am very happy to end it with a title,” said Puetz.

Did You Know?
Tim Puetz has now won five doubles titles this season. Prior to securing his maiden tour-level title at the MercedesCup, the 30-year-old won four ATP Challenger Tour doubles crowns. Puetz captured titles in Noumea, Yokohama and Lille before success at Aix En Provence with Philipp Petzchner in May.

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