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Nadal Chasing Borg, Wimbledon History

  • Posted: Jun 28, 2019

Nadal Chasing Borg, Wimbledon History

Spaniard looking to win the RG-W double for a third time

Doubt Rafael Nadal for the umpteenth time at your own peril. Before last year, the Spaniard had not made a Wimbledon quarter-final since 2011, when he reached his fifth consecutive final at SW19.

His critics said that Nadal’s time on grass had come and gone. Maybe he should skip Wimbledon and preserve his body? Nadal proceeded to make his first Wimbledon semi-final in seven years and pushed eventual champion Novak Djokovic better than anyone, falling 10-8 in the fifth set.

Earlier this year, on clay, there were similar rumblings when the World No. 2 failed to win a title before the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome for the first time in 15 years. Nadal then won 12 straight matches, including his record-setting 34th ATP Masters 1000 title and record-extending 12thRoland Garros title.

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Of course to have this trophy with me means a lot,” Nadal said after winning in Paris earlier this month. “But the personal satisfaction of changing the dynamic is the thing that I am more satisfied.”

More history beckons for the Spaniard at SW19. The two-time champion (2008, 2010) is trying to join Swede Bjorn Borg (1978-80) by completing the Roland Garros – Wimbledon double for the third time. Nadal was only four sets away from the feat last year.

He beat then-No. 4 Juan Martin del Potro to make the semi-finals in one of the matches of the season 7-5, 6-7(7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. The two ended their contest near Del Potro’s baseline in a long embrace.

I am very happy the way that I survived a lot of important points in that fifth set. I think I did a lot of things well, I went to the net,” Nadal said at the time. “It’s difficult to explain the feelings because, of course, you appreciate it. In some way you enjoy it… You enjoy because at the end of the day we are playing in one of the best courts in our sport, against a great opponent, with full crowd, fifth set, great level of tennis. Of course, you have to enjoy.”


The victory propelled him back to the last four at the All England Club, a place at the Grand Slam his critics doubted he’d ever see again. The Spaniard had been hampered with early-round losses in prior years.

Four of his past six losses at Wimbledon have come to opponents ranked No. 100 or lower: No. 100 Lukas Rosol (2R) in 2012, No. 135 Steve Darcis (1R) in 2013, No. 144 Nick Kyrgios (4R) in 2014 and No. 102 Dustin Brown (2R) in 2015. The Spaniard could have another crack at Kyrgios. The two could meet in the second round.

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Edmund loses to Fritz in Eastbourne semi-finals

  • Posted: Jun 28, 2019

Britain’s Kyle Edmund lost in straight sets to big-serving American Taylor Fritz in the semi-finals of the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne.

Third seed Edmund had four set points in the first set but failed to take them and lost 7-6 (10-8) 6-3.

The 24-year-old was bidding to reach his first final since winning the European Open in October.

Fritz, 21, will face Sam Querrey after his fellow American overcame Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3.

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Having lost in the first round at Queen’s, Edmund took a wildcard to give himself more match practice on grass before his first-round match at Wimbledon against Jaume Munar of Spain on Monday.

He beat fellow Britons Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans to reach the last four in Eastbourne and said there were plenty of positives to take.

“For sure I wanted to win this week. It didn’t happen, but it’s nice just for me to play matches,” he said. “I probably haven’t played as many matches as some of the players, but it’s good to be building some momentum again.

“I would have loved to have taken the first set or a break in the second just to get myself in the match in terms of the scoreline, but couldn’t take them. That’s the most frustrating thing.”

Edmund struggled against Fritz’s big serve, which at one point surpassed 140mph and often got the world number 42 out of difficult situations.

The British number one had set point in the 12th game only for Fritz to fire down three unreturnable serves to win the game and set up a tie-break.

Further chances came when the Briton led 6-3 in the breaker but he sent a backhand volley long, double-faulted on his own serve, and then when he finally looked to have sealed it on his fourth set point his shot was called out.

Edmund decided not to challenge the decision and that proved costly as replays later showed the ball to be in.

And he compounded his error by sending a wild forehand out to give Fritz the set.

Fritz rammed home his advantage by breaking Edmund’s serve to take a 2-0 lead in the second set and although the Briton gave everything, the American held his nerve to reach his second tour final.

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Why Is Federer Missing From This Top 10 Wimbledon Serving List?

  • Posted: Jun 28, 2019

Why Is Federer Missing From This Top 10 Wimbledon Serving List?

Goran rode his first serve to a Wimbledon title but Roger’s sustained grass success can be found in his second-serve stats

Who has the best first serve on grass? Goran Ivanisevic, that’s who…

The 6’4” Croatian won Wimbledon in 2001, defeating Patrick Rafter in the final, and lost the 1994 and 1998 finals to Pete Sampras, and the 1992 final to Andre Agassi. His lefty serve was feared just as much down the middle as out wide on both sides, with his lightning-quick motion pretty much impossible to read.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of career first-serve points won on grass sees Ivanisevic sitting at the top of the table, being the only player to win north of 85 per cent behind first serves.

Top 10 Career First-Serve Points Won On Grass



First-Serve Win Percentage



Goran Ivanisevic




Marc-Kevin Goellner




Pete Sampras




Ivo Karlovic




Mark Philippoussis




Richard Krajicek




Wayne Arthurs




Greg Rusedski




Milos Raonic




Sam Groth



What’s fascinating is that Ivanisevic’s first-serve prowess did not spill over to his second serve. He is ranked way down the list with the 159th best second-serve win percentage on grass, at 50.47 per cent (1823/3612). His first serve was a hammer, but if he missed it, he barely won half of his second-serve points on grass.

It’s also interesting to note that Australia boasts three players in the Top 10 of the category, while Croatia has two. Germany, The Netherlands, Great Britain, USA ad Canada all have one Top 10 representative.

One player that is conspicuous by his absence from this Top 10 list is eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer. The Swiss star is ranked only 32nd with first-serve points won on grass, at 79.54 per cent (9097/11437). Federer has performed much better behind his second serve, being ranked second with a win percentage of 59.05 per cent (3550/6012).

Wimbledon 2001
Ivanisevic steamrolled to the 2001 title, continually taking out big names and fellow big servers as the tournament progressed.

2001 Wimbledon: Ivanisevic Opponents & First-Serve Win Percentage



First-Serve Win Percentage

First-Serve Points Won

First-Serve Total Points


Fredrik Jonsson





Carlos Moya





Andy Roddick





Greg Rusedski





Marat Safin





Tim Henman





Patrick Rafter




Average / Total




Ivanisevic’s first-serve performance taking the title in 2001 was slightly better than his career average, winning 87.15 per cent, compared to 86.98 per cent for his career on grass. He was in especially devastating first-serve form in the middle of the tournament against Greg Rusedski and Marat Safin, losing only 12 first-serve points against both of them combined in seven sets.

In the final against Rafter, Ivanisevic won a thrilling encounter 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 9-7. His first-serve performance was at its very best in the thrilling fifth and deciding set.

2001 Wimbledon Final Per Set: Ivanisevic First-Serve Points Won Percentage & Aces


First-Serve Points Won

















Ivanisevic won 22 titles from 1990 to 2001, with the Wimbledon title being his last. What a way to go out with a bang.

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#NextGenATP Kecmanovic Edges Into First ATP Tour Final In Antalya

  • Posted: Jun 28, 2019

#NextGenATP Kecmanovic Edges Into First ATP Tour Final In Antalya

Carreno Busta and Sonego play in second semi-final

#NextGenATP Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic held his nerve to advance to his first ATP Tour final at the Turkish Airlines Open Antalya on Friday.

In a match featuring no breaks of serve, the 19-year-old edged past in-form third-seeded Australian Jordan Thompson 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(1) in two hours and 51 minutes. Currently in eighth position in the ATP Race To Milan for a spot at the 21-and-under Next Gen ATP Finals in November, the Serbian awaits the winner of fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain or Italy’s Lorenzo Songeo.

Kecmanovic, whose previous-best tour-level finish had come with a quarter-final run at the BNP Paribas Open in March, lost just 10 of his first-service points in 18 service games, which included 14 aces. Thompson, who saved six break points, struck 22 aces.

Two weeks ago, 25-year-old Thompson, who has a 21-13 match record in 2019, reached his first ATP Tour final at the Libema Open (l. to Mannarino). With six wins from eight grass-court matches, he will now travel to London and prepare to face Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon first round.

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Pliskova to face Kerber in Eastbourne final – highlights & report

  • Posted: Jun 28, 2019

World number three Karolina Pliskova will face Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in Saturday’s Nature Valley International final at Eastbourne.

Second seed Pliskova, the 2017 winner, overpowered Dutch fourth seed Kiki Bertens 6-1 6-2 in 56 minutes.

Pliskova of the Czech Republic has yet to drop a set in her four matches.

Germany’s Kerber progressed without having to hit a ball after her Tunisian opponent Ons Jabeur withdrew with an ankle injury before their semi-final.

“It’s not the way I would like to reach the final because getting another match before going to Wimbledon was the goal,” said 31-year-old Kerber, who has twice lost finals at Eastbourne.

Pliskova hit 21 winners and dominated with her powerful serve in a comprehensive victory.

“I am so pleased how I have coped this week,” said Pliskova, 27. “It’s not easy because it’s always quite windy, but I am improving every day.

“I am happy all my matches have been quite fast so I haven’t spent too long on court.”

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Murrays could meet in third round; Nadal & Federer in same half of draw; Konta faces Bogdan

  • Posted: Jun 28, 2019
Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, BBC Radio and the BBC Sport website with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full times and channels.

Andy Murray’s return to Wimbledon could see him face his older brother Jamie in the third round of the men’s doubles.

Rafael Nadal is in the same half of the men’s singles as eight-time champion Roger Federer – and could play Nick Kyrgios in the second round.

British men’s number one Kyle Edmund, seeded 30th, will play Jaume Munar of Spain in the first round on Monday.

Johanna Konta, Britain’s leading female player, will play Romanian qualifier Ana Bogdan on Tuesday.

Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic, who is the top seed, will play Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first match on Centre Court at 13:00 BST on Monday.

Last year’s women’s champion Angelique Kerber, seeded fifth, starts against fellow German Tatjana Maria on Tuesday.

Kerber could then face American 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, who opens against Italian qualifier Giulia Gatto-Monticone, in the last 16.

New world number one Ashleigh Barty will play China’s Zheng Saisai, ranked 43rd, and is projected to face Spanish 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza in the third round.

American 15-year-old Cori Gauff, the youngest player to qualify for the main Wimbledon draw since the Open era began in 1968, has been rewarded with a first-round match against five-time champion Venus Williams, who is 24 years older than her compatriot.

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Murray returns to SW19

Two-time singles champion Murray is playing alongside France’s doubles expert Pierre-Hugues Herbert and they have been drawn to face Romania’s Marius Copil and France’s Ugo Humbert in the first round.

Murray, 32, pulled out on the eve of last year’s tournament with a hip injury, going on to have surgery in January which left him fearing for his career.

But he made his competitive return in the doubles at Queen’s last week – and won the title alongside Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

His 33-year-old brother, who has twice won the mixed doubles at SW19, is partnering fellow Briton Neal Skupski.

The 10th seeds meets Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Slovakian partner Filip Polasek in their opening match.

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Tough draw for Nadal

Two-time champion Nadal faces Japanese qualifier Yuichi Sugita in the first round, with Kyrgios meeting fellow Australian Jordan Thompson for the right to face him.

The Spaniard, 33, is the world number two but has been seeded third behind 37-year-old Swiss Federer.

Nadal has said it “doesn’t seem fair” to be seeded behind Federer, who is ranked third in the world.

It meant the Spaniard was projected to face either top seed Djokovic or Federer in the semi-finals.

And the 18-time major champion, who is two titles behind Federer’s all-time leading tally, was pulled out in the same half as the Swiss when the draw was made at the All England Club on Friday.

Wimbledon seeding is different from the other Grand Slams in that it does not always follow world rankings and is affected by a special formula which takes into account a player’s grass-court performances.

Nadal could also face Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a two-time semi-finalist, or Canadian 29th seed Denis Shapovalov in round three, with 2017 finalist Marin Cilic projected to be his last-16 opponent.

Federer opens his campaign for a record-extending ninth title against 22-year-old South African Lloyd Harris, who is making his Wimbledon debut.

What about the Britons?

Ten British players will play in the singles and some favourable draws should leave each of them thinking they have good opportunities to advance.

Konta, 28, is considered the greatest hope of home success, having reached the semi-finals in 2017 on her favoured surface.

However, some tricky tests could await the 19th seed, who has suffered early exits in Birmingham and Eastbourne in the run up to Wimbledon.

Konta could face American seventh seed Sloane Stephens – who she beat in the French Open quarter-finals – in the third round, with two-time champion Petra Kvitova, who has been an injury doubt, potentially awaiting in the last 16.

Heather Watson, an ever present in the main draw since 2010, could be posed problems by talented 17-year-old American qualifier Caty McNally, while Harriet Dart meets American Christina McHale and Katie Swan plays Laura Siegemund of Germany.

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If Edmund beats Munar, who is ranked 88th in the world and has never played in the Wimbledon main draw, the 24-year-old could then face another Spaniard in Fernando Verdasco.

Greek seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who starts against Italian Thomas Fabbiano, looms the third round.

British number two Cameron Norrie plays Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, who famously beat Djokovic at the 2017 Australian Open, while 20-year-old Jay Clarke is aiming for the prize of meeting Federer.

Clarke faces American qualifier Noah Rubin with the winner likely to face a second-round match against the Swiss great.

British number three Dan Evans will open against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis and could play compatriot James Ward in the second round.

Ward, who was given a wildcard, has a tough task against Georgian 18th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Evans or Ward could then potentially meet Paul Jubb, the teenage wildcard who won the prestigious NCAA college title in the Unite States recently, in the third round.

First, Jubb would have to get past Portuguese world number 66 Joao Sousa, and then potentially former finalist Cilic in the second round.


BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

With defending champion Djokovic in the other half, Nadal looks to have the rockiest route to negotiate.

A second-round match with Kyrgios, who called him “super salty” in a recent podcast, could be followed by meetings before the quarter-finals with Denis Shapovalov and the 2017 runner-up Cilic.

Serena Williams is in a loaded top quarter, along with the world number one Barty, the defending champion Kerber, Muguruza and Maria Sharapova.

But the British players have been handed remarkably benign first-round draws. With the exception of James Ward, who has drawn the 18th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili, the other nine singles players face opponents outside the world’s top 65.

If Konta were to progress to the third round, she is seeded to play Stephens, whom she beat at Roland Garros.

And if Edmund makes similar progress, he could expect to face Tsitsipas at that stage.

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Nadal, Federer In Loaded Half At Wimbledon; Several Top First-Round Clashes

  • Posted: Jun 28, 2019

Nadal, Federer In Loaded Half At Wimbledon; Several Top First-Round Clashes

Thiem, Anderson handed challenging opening matches

Rafael Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 titlist, has been drawn in a loaded quarter at The Championships, and in the same half as eight-time former winner Roger Federer. Defending champion Novak Djokovic, a four-time winner at the All England Club, headlines the top half of the draw with last year’s finalist Kevin Anderson, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The draw ceremony, held at the All England Club on Friday morning, has pitted Nadal in the same section of the draw as No. 29 seed Denis Shapovalov, Nick Kyrgios, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Bernard Tomic. Early popcorn matches include fifth seed Dominic Thiem against Sam Querrey, No. 12 seed Fabio Fognini versus Frances Tiafoe, 2017 runner-up and No. 13 seed Marin Cilic versus Adrian Mannarino and No. 27 seed Lucas Pouille versus Richard Gasquet.

View Singles Draw

Popcorn First-Round Matches At A Glance
Anderson v Herbert
Thiem v Querrey
Tiafoe V Fognini
Cilic v Mannarino
Tomic v Tsonga
Kyrgios v Thompson
Fritz v Berdych
Pouille v Gasquet

If Nadal, who plays Yuichi Sugita in the first round, is to complete the Roland Garros-Wimbledon title double for the third time (2008, 2010), the Spanish icon may need to work his way past Kyrgios, Tsonga or Shapovalov in the third round, Cilic in the fourth round, Thiem in the quarter-finals, second seed Federer in the semi-finals and Djokovic in the championship match. Nadal, who has won 18 Grand Slam championship trophies and has a 40-18 match record at Wimbledon, lost to Djokovic 10-8 in the fifth set in last year’s fourth round.

Djokovic, who lifted the Wimbledon crown ranked No. 21 in the ATP Rankings last year, will open his campaign against Philipp Kohlschreiber and could meet No. 16 seed Gael Monfills, MercedesCup finalist and No. 19 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime or 2014 semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round. Should Djokovic reach the quarter-finals, the World No. 1 may potentially challenge seventh-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, who advanced to the fourth round in 2018, or No. 11 seed Daniil Medvedev.

Nadal and Djokovic, who are in the top two spots in the 2019 ATP Race To London, could both potentially qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November, as a result of deep runs at The Championships. Buy Your Tickets Today

Federer, the second seed, who will be looking to add to his 20 Grand Slam championship crowns, competes at the All England Club for the 21st year. With a 95-12 record at the grass-court major, the Swiss superstar will open his campaign for a ninth trophy against Lloyd Harris. The 37-year-old, who captured a 10th Noventi Open trophy last week, could face Pouille or Gasquet in the third round, No. 14 seed Borna Coric in the fourth round, and potentially eighth seed Nishikori or ninth seed Isner in the quarter-finals.

Fourth seed Anderson, who beat Federer in last year’s quarter-finals prior to a 26-24 fifth-set finish against Isner in the semi-finals, continues his comeback from an elbow injury and takes on Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round. He may face 2015 finalist and No. 15 seeds Milos Raonic or two-time former quarter-finalist Wawrinka, the No. 22 seed, in the fourth round. Sixth seed Zverev, a two-time quarter-finalist at Roland Garros, faces Jiri Vesely first up, while No. 10 seed Karen Khachanov, who also features in Anderson’s quarter of the draw, takes on Soon-woo Kwon in the first round.

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I believe I can win Wimbledon, says British number one Edmund

  • Posted: Jun 28, 2019
Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, BBC Radio and the BBC Sport website with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full times and channels.

Kyle Edmund says he is “living the dream” by going into Wimbledon as British number one – and thinks he can cause a major surprise by winning the men’s singles title.

The 24-year-old’s best Grand Slam result to date was a run to the 2018 Australian Open semi-finals.

In six visits to the All England Club, he has never been past round three.

But when asked if he is feels he can lift the trophy, 30th seed Edmund told BBC Sport: “Yeah, definitely.”

He added: “I believe that. I know I have the game for it. There’s a point where you really have to start believing it if you want to do it and I’ve really started to believe it over the last few years.”

Edmund has struggled for form this year, dropping to his lowest ranking since January 2018, and has recently been troubled by a knee injury that forced him to retire from his French Open second-round match.

However, the world number 31 says he is now “feeling good” and “a lot more positive” since he lost in the first round of Queen’s to top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

On Friday, Edmund faces Taylor Fritz in the semi-finals at Eastbourne, his last tournament before Wimbledon begins on Monday.

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With Andy Murray opting only to play doubles at SW19 as the three-time Grand Slam champion continues his recovery from major hip surgery, much of the British singles focus will fall on Edmund.

“It’s pretty cool,” explained the Yorkshireman, who was beaten in four sets by eventual champion Novak Djokovic 12 months ago.

“Everyone turns on the TV for that time of year and the first name you go to is the British number one, that’s where the expectation is.

“Andy has done it for so long and done very well. After being at that position it shows how well he did cope with it and how much pressure and expectation was on him.

“Now it’s me, it’s my turn to deal with that – you really have to try to embrace it and take it on. Last year was the first time I played on Court One and then twice on Centre – it was an amazing experience.

“You could say I’m living the dream. I was once the kid watching Tim [Henman] and Andy playing at Wimbledon, thinking it would be amazing to be there and how cool it would be.

“Now I’m there. Now I’m trying to live it and it’s not easy because when you’re in the moment, it can become quite intense, but once I look back at the end of my career the things that hopefully I achieve now, I can be really pleased when I’m done and say I lived my dream.”

In late April, the BBC accompanied Edmund on a visit to Liverpool, the football club he supports, and he said the Reds’ glittering history is a source of inspiration.

“The bottom line is you are never considered great or good in people’s minds without silverware – that’s just the nature of sport, that you do get reflected on your success,” he said.

“Looking at these guys [Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic, Murray] who’ve been so consistent winning trophies throughout these years is impressive, but there’s a time now where those guys are going to be coming out of it, there’s a gap to be filled and it’s down to me to do it.

“I’ve got the game to do it, I’ve got the tool set, it’s just about getting my head screwed on and doing it basically. You have to believe. If you don’t believe then there’s almost no point starting.”

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