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Fritz 'Choked', Then Upset Top Seed In Eastbourne

  • Posted: Jun 26, 2019

Fritz ‘Choked’, Then Upset Top Seed In Eastbourne

Verdasco, Querrey also advance on grass

American Taylor Fritz willed himself to his third quarter-final of 2019 on Wednesday, overcoming a late stumble to upset top seed Guido Pella of Argentina 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne.

The 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier hit 13 aces and won 83 per cent of his first-serve points to notch his first victory of the grass-court season. Fritz also made the quarter-finals at the ASB Classic in Auckland and the semi-finals at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon.

You May Also Like: Troicki Beats Paire To Reach Antalya Quarter-finals

“I tried to just attack with my backhand, take my backhand early, crosscourt as much as possible. I knew he was going to play the forehand cross to my backhand. I wanted to rush his forehand and just be aggressive whenever I was able to,” Fritz said.

The 21-year-old was broken while serving for the match at 5-3 in the third set but refused to stay down.

“I just played a really poor game. I didn’t make any first serves. The only way to say it is I really choked that game,” Fritz said. “I switched sides and told myself, ‘I can’t lose’, because I’ll be so mad if I lose this match because of how I played that game when I was trying to serve out the match.”

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Fritz will next meet Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who also competed at last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. The 22-year-old Hurkacz beat Steve Johnson of the U.S. 6-3, 7-6(5) to also make his third quarter-final of the season (BNP Paribas Open, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships).

Third seed Kyle Edmund of Great Britain saved all three break points to beat countryman Cameron Norrie 6-2, 6-2. Edmund, No. 31 in the ATP Rankings, is through to his first tour-level quarter-final of the season and improved to 7-11 on the season. He will next meet Brit Daniel Evans, who dismissed Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3, 7-5.

Read More: Herbert Narrows His Vision

Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano upset second seed Laslo Djere of Serbia 7-6(5), 7-6(6) and will next meet France’s Gilles Simon. American Sam Querrey, who made the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2017 (l. to Cilic), didn’t face a break point and dropped only eight service points (37/45, 82%) to beat Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-2, 6-3 in only 50 minutes.

Querrey will next face fifth seed Fernando Verdasco, who beat Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(2). Verdasco, who saved both break points faced, trails Querrey 1-4 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, but the two have never played on grass.

Top Seeds Advance In Doubles
In doubles, Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah beat home favourites Daniel Evans/Lloyd Glasspool 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 to setup a semi-final showdown with Dominic Inglot/Austin Krajicek, who beat Marcus Daniell/Wesley Koolhof 3-6, 6-4, 10-7.

Third seeds Fabrice Martin/Edouard Roger-Vasselin dismissed Ben McLachlan/Frederik Nielsen 6-3, 6-4 and will next meet second seeds Maximo Gonzalez/Horacio Zeballos, who beat Rohan Bopanna/Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-3.

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Eastbourne International: Dan Evans reaches quarter-finals

  • Posted: Jun 26, 2019

Briton Dan Evans reached the Eastbourne quarter-finals with a determined display to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Evans, who trailed in the second set, won 6-3 7-5 to set up an all-British encounter with Kyle Edmund or Cameron Norrie.

Wimbledon starts on Monday, and Evans will head to the grass-court Grand Slam in good form after titles at Surbiton and Nottingham this month.

Top seed Guido Pella lost 6-4 3-6 6-4 to American Taylor Fritz.

  • Konta loses in Eastbourne third round
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Meanwhile, Britain’s Liam Broady is one win away from the Wimbledon main draw after beating Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 6-2.

He faces France’s Gregoire Barrere, who is ranked 170 places higher at 117 in the world, in the final qualifying round on Thursday.

In women’s qualifying, Gabriella Taylor lost 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to Belgium’s Ysaline Bonaventure.

The Wimbledon draw takes place on Friday at 10:00 BST.

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Trans athletes face 'huge' equality fight, says Navratilova

  • Posted: Jun 26, 2019

Martina Navratilova says the struggles faced by trans people are too often underestimated and wants sport to change its rules so trans athletes are not excluded.

The 18-time Grand Slam tennis champion was criticised earlier this year after using the word “cheating” when discussing whether trans women should be allowed to compete in women’s sport.

She later apologised but was dropped as an ambassador by LGBT sport body Athlete Ally.

Now the 62-year-old has made a BBC documentary exploring the issue.

For the film, The Trans Women Athlete Dispute with Martina Navratilova, she meets and discusses trans women in sport with a range of athletes, trans women and scientists.

“What I have come to realise, the biggest thing for me, is just the level of difficulty trans people go through cannot be underestimated,” she says.

“The fight for equality and recognition is just huge.”

She tells Trans Media Watch founder Helen Belcher: “I hurt people with my comments – that bothers me. I campaigned all my life for LGBT rights.”

Later she adds: “That being said, still for me the most important thing in sports – and we have to remember trans rights and elite sport are two different things, although of course they are connected – what’s the right way to set the rules so that everybody feels like they have a fighting chance?”

As well as hearing the experiences of trans athletes, she explores the science to find out whether trans athletes have a competitive advantage in women’s sport.

“It feels to me that it’s impossible to come to any real conclusions or write any meaningful rules until more research is done,” she says.

“But for now I think we need to include as many transgender athletes as possible within elite sports while keeping as level a playing field as possible.”

Sociologist Ellis Cashmore tells Navratilova sport will have to change in the same way other parts of society are adapting to gender fluidity – but admits he has been struggling “to figure an alternative”.

“I don’t think women’s sport will look the same in 10 years’ time,” he explains.

“I think a great many sports are going to have to come to terms with the fact they are going to have to mix sports – in other words, dissolve the binary completely and just say they’re open.”

“Society has changed so much. The rules certainly need to evolve,” Navratilova agrees.

“If you don’t adapt, you’ve got problems. So we’ll keep adapting and try to find a happy way forward.”

The Trans Women Athlete Dispute with Martina Navratilova will be shown on BBC One at 21:00 BST on Wednesday, 26 June and will then be available on BBC iPlayer.

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Troicki Beats Paire To Reach Antalya Quarter-finals

  • Posted: Jun 26, 2019

Troicki Beats Paire To Reach Antalya Quarter-finals

Serbian to face Kecmanovic on Thursday

Viktor Troicki recorded his biggest match win for 21 months on Wednesday for a place in the Turkish Airlines Open Antalya quarter-finals. The Serbian qualifier knocked out top seed and World No. 32 Benoit Paire of France 7-6(4), 7-6(5) in one hour and 40 minutes.

“Those were some of the toughest conditions I’ve ever played in,” Troicki told “I’m very happy that I got through and managed to win in two sets. I also want to thank the crowd for showing up and supporting us. [The heat was] tough for the players and for the fans as well.”

The former World No. 12, who missed three months of last season due to a back injury and competes this week at No. 193 in the ATP Rankings, notched the last Top 20 win of his career over then No. 16-ranked John Isner in October 2017 at the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

The 30-year-old Paire, winner of ATP Tour titles this year at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech (d. Andujar) and at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon (d. Auger-Aliassime), hit 11 aces and won 29 of his 34 first-service points against Troicki.

Troicki will next play Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic, who knocked out sixth-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-4, 7-5 in 86 minutes.

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Eastbourne: Johanna Konta loses to Ons Jabeur in third round

  • Posted: Jun 26, 2019

British number one Johanna Konta’s final tournament before Wimbledon ended in defeat by world number 62 Ons Jabeur in the third round at Eastbourne.

Konta had led by a break in the first set before the Tunisian fought back to win 6-3 6-2.

French Open semi-finalist Konta has failed to transfer this season’s clay-court success on to grass, losing in the Birmingham second round last week.

Konta is the 19th seed for Wimbledon, which starts on Monday.

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Konta lets match slip away on greasy court

The start of the match had been delayed by around half an hour because of rain at Eastbourne and, when they came back on, the players had a brief discussion at the net about whether the surface was playable.

Konta wiped her hand on the grass and asked Jabeur what she thought, with the Tunisian shrugging but raising no objection.

The Briton got off to a good start, holding to love in her first service game before breaking for 3-2. But Jabeur broke back in the next game and grew in confidence.

Konta seemed tentative on the surface – as if not quite trusting that the court was dry enough – and she was punished for it by the Tunisian.

The Briton’s serving, which powered her through a clay-court season where she reached two WTA finals and the last four at Roland Garros, was below par – she won 60% of first-serve points and just 29% of second-serve points. That first figure had been well over 80% in recent weeks.

“I think the rain brought me luck and the win,” said Jabeur, who will face Alize Cornet for a place in the semi-finals. Frenchwoman Cornet beat China’s Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-2.

“I like the way I played. I like to make crazy shots. The crowd are very fair. Konta is a great player and has inspired me in the past. I hope the crowd can come with me now.”

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LTA to spend £125m on 96 new indoor centres within 10 years

  • Posted: Jun 26, 2019

The Lawn Tennis Association will spend £125m on 96 new UK indoor centres, which are expected to be built within 10 years, to take its total to 396.

England will get 72 new centres with 12 each in Scotland and Wales.

Three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray has previously criticised the LTA for failing to build on his legacy.

LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd said: “The goal is for 95% of the population in England and Wales to have an indoor centre within a 30-minute drive.”

Lloyd added: “We can’t quite guarantee that for Scotland because of its geography but we have already started the planning process for seven projects there which will provide 28 new indoor courts over the next 12-18 months, so we are filling the gaps.

“We want to break the perception that tennis is just a summer sport, or it’s only for people in the south.

“With our climate, indoor facilities are crucial. We have lagged behind other European countries in terms of absolute numbers but we are blessed with the resources to do this and we want to inject pace into the process.”

The LTA will use its reserves of around £160m to provide £125m to the initiative.

The national governing body hopes partners in the public and private sector will match its funding, taking the potential investment up to £250m.

In January, Murray said he could not understand why participation in the sport was dropping.

Scott added: “We have a great relationship with Andy, Jamie and Judy Murray. Our views are completely aligned and we have an open dialogue about how to build on their successes.”

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World number two Nadal seeded third for Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jun 26, 2019

World number two Rafael Nadal has been seeded third for Wimbledon this year behind top-ranked Novak Djokovic and world number three Roger Federer.

It means the Spaniard, rather than eight-time winner Federer, is likely to be in the same half of the draw as Djokovic and thus in line to face the defending champion in the semi-finals.

The women’s seedings reflect the world rankings, so Serena Williams is 11th and Britain’s Johanna Konta 19th.

The 2019 championships begin on Monday.

  • Nadal says Wimbledon seeding ‘doesn’t seem right’

Wimbledon seeding is different from the other Grand Slams in that it does not always follow world rankings and is affected by grass-court performances.

Nadal said it “doesn’t seem right” when asked about his likely seeding behind Federer.

Last year’s finalist and world number eight Kevin Anderson is seeded fourth, and John Isner moves up to ninth after his run to the 2018 semi-finals.

Anderson’s elevation to fourth seed means Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas all drop down one position in the seedings compared to their world ranking.

Britain’s Kyle Edmund, the world number 31, is the 30th seed while British duo Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski are 10th seeded 10th in the men’s doubles.

French Open champion Ashleigh Barty tops the ladies’ seedings for the first time at a grand slam, with Naomi Osaka second and defending champion Angelique Kerber fifth.

The women’s seedings follow the WTA ranking list but changes can be made for a ‘balanced draw’, which is the reason seven-time champion Serena Williams – ranked 183rd before last year’s championship – was seeded 25th in 2018.

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Wimbledon 2019 Seeds Announced

  • Posted: Jun 26, 2019

Wimbledon 2019 Seeds Announced

Seeds announced for the grass-court major

The All England Lawn Tennis Club committee has announced the 32 singles seeds and 16 doubles seeds for The Championships at Wimbledon, which begins on Monday, 1 July.

Eight-time former champion Roger Federer, currently No. 3 in the ATP Rankings, has been promoted to second seed ahead of 2008 and 2010 titlist Rafael Nadal, the World No. 2. Novak Djokovic, who came into last year’s tournament as the World No. 21, is top seed and will be attempting to add to his 2011, 2014-15 and 2018 Wimbledon crowns. Last year’s runner-up and No. 8-ranked Kevin Anderson is among the top four singles seeds, while 2017 finalist and World No. 18 Marin Cilic is 13th seed.

You May Also Like: Djokovic Returns To Grand Slam Winners’ Circle At Wimbledon

Since 2002, The Championships has employed a unique seeding system, where they take into account previous results over a two-year period on grass courts.

• Take the ATP Ranking points on 24 June 2019
• Add 100 per cent of the points earned for all grass court tournaments in the past 12 months
• Add 75 per cent of the points earned for the best grass court tournament in the 12 months before that

The singles main draw ceremony takes place on Friday.

Singles Seeds [ATP Ranking]1. Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] 2. Roger Federer (SUI) [3] 3. Rafael Nadal (ESP) [2] 4. Kevin Anderson (RSA) [8] 5. Dominic Thiem (AUT) [4] 6. Alexander Zverev (GER) [5] 7. Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) [6] 8. Kei Nishikori (JPN) [7] 9. John Isner (USA) [12] 10. Karen Khachanov (RUS) [9] 11. Daniil Medvedev (RUS) [13] 12. Fabio Fognini (ITA) [10] 13. Marin Cilic (CRO) [18] 14. Borna Coric (CRO) [14] 15. Milos Raonic (CAN) [17] 16. Gael Monfils (FRA) [15] 17. Matteo Berrettini (ITA) [20] 18. Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) [16] 19. Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) [21]
20. Gilles Simon (FRA) [25] 21. David Goffin (BEL) [23] 22. Stan Wawrinka (SUI) [19] 23. Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) [22] 24. Diego Schwartzman (ARG) [24] 25. Alex de Minaur (AUS) [29] 26. Guido Pella (ARG) [26] 27. Lucas Pouille (FRA) [28] 28. Benoit Paire (FRA) [32] 29. Denis Shapovalov (CAN) [27] 30. Kyle Edmund (GBR) [31] 31. Laslo Djere (SRB) [30] 32. Dusan Lajovic (SRB) [33]

Doubles Seeds
1. Lukasz Kubot (POL) / Marcelo Melo (BRA)
2. Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL)  / Robert Farah (COL)
3. Raven Klaasen (RSA) / Michael Venus (NZL)
4. Mate Pavic (CRO) / Bruno Soares (BRA)
5. Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) / Horia Tecau (ROU)
6. Nikola Mektic (CRO) / Franko Skugor (CRO)
7. Bob Bryan (USA) / Mike Bryan (USA)
8. Henri Kontinen (FIN) / John Peers (AUS)
9. Maximo Gonzalez (ARG) / Horacio Zeballos (ARG)
10. Jamie Murray (GBR) / Neal Skupski (GBR)
11. Nicolas Mahut (FRA) / Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
12. Rajeev Ram (USA) / Joe Salisbury (GBR)
13. Kevin Krawietz (GER) / Andreas Mies (GER)
14. Oliver Marach (AUT) / Jurgen Melzer (AUT)
15. Dominic Inglot (GBR) / Austin Krajicek (USA)
16. Robin Haase (NED) / Frederik Nielsen (DEN)

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ATP Teams Up With AXS To Provide Capped Resale Prices For Nitto ATP Finals In London

  • Posted: Jun 26, 2019

ATP Teams Up With AXS To Provide Capped Resale Prices For Nitto ATP Finals In London

Resale tickets for the ATP’s year-end showpiece at The O2 to be sold through AXS Official Resale

ATP has today announced that the resale of tickets for the 2019 and 2020 Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 in London will be through an exclusive partnership with AXS and its platform AXS Official Resale, strengthening the two companies’ long-standing relationship in the primary market.

AXS Official Resale is a new platform that incorporates state-of-the-art ticketing technology. Already launched in the UK and expanding to European markets, AXS Official Resale will provide tennis fans with the option to resell tickets at face value with a cap of no more than 10% above the price paid.

The ticketing solution allows fans to buy and then resell through the same platform. For the first time ever, all Nitto ATP Finals tickets for sale through AXS, including primary and secondary, will be visible to consumers at the point of purchase in real time.

Buy Your London Tickets

The move by the ATP to partner with AXS for resale at The O2 – one of Europe’s biggest and busiest entertainment venues – underlines a commitment to a fairer and more transparent experience for fans.

The method of delivery for AXS Official Resale – ‘Flash Mobile Delivery’ – is a mobile-friendly, identity-based system. Tickets are assigned directly to fans attending, replacing the standard PDF attached to an email. The fact the tickets are sold through AXS, The O2’s Official Ticketing Partner, will eliminate any purchase confusion and remove anxiety fans may have about whether their resale ticket is valid.

To alleviate the problems surrounding counterfeiting, all tickets are assigned to individuals via Flash Mobile Delivery’s unique digital ID technology. This includes a changing barcode system, which ensures that tickets cannot be copied or shared illegally – emphasising AXS’ ongoing commitment to combatting fraud.

By eliminating paper tickets, fans will have quicker and simpler access to the venue by simply scanning the app.

Commenting on the partnership, Adam Hogg, Event Director of the Nitto ATP Finals, said: “We have a great relationship with AXS as the Official Ticketing Partner of the Nitto ATP Finals and we’re looking forward to carrying this relationship over to the resale market. Our partnership with AXS and their resale platform enables tennis fans to buy and sell tickets at a fair price in a safe and secure environment. Our aim is for the Nitto ATP Finals to be accessible to everyone and this partnership helps deliver that.”

Robert Byrne, Managing Director of AXS Europe said: “AXS is proud to provide the iconic Nitto ATP Finals with a fully integrated platform across both the primary and resale markets – selling 100% of the ticket only allocation and giving everyone the opportunity to purchase and sell tickets at a capped, fair price. AXS Official Resale is already in place for events at The O2 and The SSE Arena, Wembley and the system is already exceeding expectations. We can’t wait to go live for the Nitto ATP Finals and give fans the opportunity to use it.”

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