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Preview: Nadal & Kyrgios Face Off At Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 03, 2019

Preview: Nadal & Kyrgios Face Off At Wimbledon

Federer plays Clarke on Thursday

All eyes on will be on Centre Court on Thursday as third seed Rafael Nadal takes on Nick Kyrgios on Day 4 at Wimbledon. Second seed Roger Federer also features in second-round action against #NextGenATP Brit Jay Clarke.

“He’s one of the greatest tennis players of all time. I go into that match as an unbelievable underdog. I know if I play the right type of tennis, I can have success against him,” said Kyrgios. “I have to come with the right attitude and be willing to fight. If not, it’s going to be butter for him.”

You May Also Like: Kyrgios On Nadal Clash At Wimbledon: ‘You Want To Play The Best Players’

The contrast in playing styles and personalities between Nadal and Kyrgios have made them one of the most entertaining rivalries on the ATP Tour. Nadal’s deliberate and explosive baseline play is a stark opposite to the trick shots and flashy all-court hitting from Kyrgios.

They’re even in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry at 3-3, but Kyrgios won their most recent battle by saving three match points in an epic second-round clash in Acapulco. The Aussie used that momentum to score back-to-back wins over John Isner and Alexander Zverev for the title. Kyrgios also prevailed in their only previous grass-court meeting five years ago at Wimbledon, when he made full use of his wild card to stun the Spaniard in the fourth round.

<a href=''>Nick Kyrgios</a> and <a href=''>Rafael Nadal</a> at <a href=''>Wimbledon</a> 2014

Four of the six previous meetings between Nadal and Kyrgios have taken places before the quarter-finals, when Nadal is arguably is at his most vulnerable before sinking his teeth into the business end of tournaments. On the eight occasions when Nadal has cleared the second week at Wimbledon, he’s made it to the championship match in five of them.

Although facing Nadal early in a tournament might be a more preferred option, it’s hardly an ideal one. But while many players would be disappointed to see Nadal in the second round, Kyrgios is relishing the opportunity.

“As soon as the draw came out, I was super happy that I saw him in my section. It’s more exciting,” said Kyrgios. “When you’re a kid, you want to play the best players in the world on [what] I think is the best court in the world. This is something that I can’t take for granted. There’s no guarantee I’m going to be here again in this position. I’m going to grasp it with both hands, go out there and give it my best shot.”

Apart from his early Acapulco loss to Kyrgios, Nadal has been a model of consistency over the past 12 months. He’s reached at least the semi-finals in every other event he’s played and clinched his 12th Roland Garros title last month (d. Thiem). His dominant opening-round win on Tuesday over Yuichi Sugita made a statement that he’s ready to contend for a third crown at The All England Club.

But as always, Nadal isn’t looking past his next match. Given Kyrgios’ penchant for big upsets on big courts, the Spaniard said he will bring the same intensity as if they were playing for the title.

“I’ll play against a top talent player, a very dangerous player,” Nadal said. “He’s a very dangerous opponent. Of course, [for a] second round it’s a super tough one. I know that. I need to be at my 100 per cent. I’m going to fight for it.”

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* View Draw
* Clarke On Federer: ‘He Could Kill Any Player’
* The Big Three Domination At Wimbledon

The No. 1 Court will see eight-time champion Federer face Clarke, a 20-year-old wild card who won his maiden Grand Slam singles match this week against qualifier Noah Rubin. Clarke has won two ATP Challenger Tour titles in the past 12 months, but knows that the World No. 3 will present the toughest test of his career.

“You could be embarrassed. He could obviously kill any player… That’s never nice,” Clarke said. “I’ll go out there and I wouldn’t play above myself, I’ll just play my game. That’s the best test to actually see where I’m at.”

Federer’s Wimbledon success is well-documented. The Swiss makes his 21st consecutive appearances at The Championships and holds a 96-12 career record. He’s lost before the quarter-finals just once in his past 17 visits.

Read More: Five Keys To Federer’s SW19 Domination

Other major matches on Day 4 include eighth-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori taking on Brit Cameron Norrie and ninth-seeded John Isner squaring off with Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin.



Centre Court start 13:00
[8] Kei Nishikori vs Cameron Norrie
WTA match
[3] Rafael Nadal vs Nick Kyrgios

No. 1 Court start 13:00
WTA match
[2] Roger Federer vs Jay Clarke
WTA match

No. 2 Court start 11:00
WTA match
[18] Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Daniel Evans
WTA match
[17] Matteo Berrettini vs Marcos Baghdatis

No. 3 Court start 11:00
WTA match
[9] John Isner vs Mikhail Kukushkin
[12] Fabio Fognini vs Marton Fucsovics

Court 12 start 11:00
WTA match
[12] Marin Cilic vs Joao Sousa
WTA match
[24] Diego Schwartzman vs Dominik Koepfer

Court 18 start 11:00
[25] Alex de Minaur vs Steve Johnson
Two WTA matches

Click here to view the schedule for all other courts.

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Klaasen/Venus Set Wimbledon Date With Hewitt/Thompson

  • Posted: Jul 03, 2019

Klaasen/Venus Set Wimbledon Date With Hewitt/Thompson

Top duos Kubot/Melo and Cabal/Farah also advance

Returning finalists Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus set a second-round meeting with Australians Lleyton Hewitt and Jordan Thompson after both duos kicked off doubles action at Wimbledon with straight-sets victories on Wednesday. 

Klaasen and Venus, the No. 3 seeds and recent Halle champions, extended their winning streak on grass by beating Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara 7-5, 7-6(3), 6-4 in two hours and nine minutes. Hewitt, the 2002 singles champion, and Thompson were 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 winners over India’s Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Purav Raja.

The other top teams in action also made their way safely through their opening matches. Top seeds and 2017 champions Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, who lost to Klaasen and Venus in the Halle final, opened their bid to reclaim the title at the All England Club with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 win over 2018 quarter-finalists Ben McLachlan and Jan-Lennard Struff. 

Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, the No. 2 seeds, cruised into the second round by dismissing British wild cards Jack Draper and Paul Jubb 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.  Cabal and Farah won their first grass-court title last week in Eastbourne.

They will next face the Kazakhstani duo of Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin, who edged Leander Paes and Benoit Paire 4-6, 6-7(1), 6-3, 7-6(4), 9-7 after three hours and 22 minutes. The 46-year-old Paes, who made his Wimbledon debut in 1993, was making his 24th appearance in the men’s doubles draw.

Fourth seeds Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares battled for a win in their first-round match against Dutchmen Sander Arends and Matwe Middelkoop, prevailing 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3 after two hours and 47 minutes.

You May Also Like: Murray Brothers Could Meet In Wimbledon Doubles Third Round

Reigning Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters champions and No. 6 seeds Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor were untroubled in their opener, defeating Ricardas Berankis and Marton Fuscovics 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. They could next meet Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Andy Murray, who play Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert in the first round.

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, recent finalists at the Queen’s Club, opened their campaign by defeating Radu Albot and Malek Jaziri 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Meanwhile, ‘s-Hertogenbosch champions Dominic Inglot and Austin Krajicek fell to Jaume Munar and Cameron Norrie 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(11), 6-3.

Jurgen Melzer, the 2010 doubles champion (w/Petzschner), teamed up with fellow Austrian Oliver Marach for a hard-fought 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 2-6, 11-9 win over Cheng-Peng Hsieh and Christopher Rungkat.


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Andy Murray on playing with Serena Williams in Wimbledon 2019 mixed doubles

  • Posted: Jul 03, 2019
Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details

Andy Murray says playing with Serena Williams in the Wimbledon mixed doubles is potentially a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which he could not miss.

Britain’s Murray, 32, will play with the American great as he continues his recovery from major hip surgery.

“The chance to play with her is brilliant and not something I expected to happen,” the Scot said.

The decorated pair will play Germany’s Andreas Mies and Chile’s Alexa Guarachi in the first round.

Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou contacted Murray’s Jamie Delgado to see if the Scot was available and the blockbuster partnership between two of the sport’s most high profile players, who have 26 Grand Slam titles between them, was confirmed on Tuesday.

“I was talking to my wife about it and, with everything that has gone on over the past couple of years, you don’t know what is coming around the corner,” Murray said.

“The opportunity to play with Serena, who is one of the best tennis players of all time and one of biggest female athletes ever, is something I might not get another chance to do again. Potentially I might not play mixed doubles again.

“If I am going to do it once, the chance to play with her is obviously great.”

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Partnership offers another chance for more Wimbledon glory?

For two-time Wimbledon singles champion Murray, the high-profile partnership with 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams represents another chance to win a Wimbledon title, this time less than six months after having hip surgery.

The 32-year-old Scot feared a hip resurfacing operation might signal the end of his career, yet he returned to competitive action in the doubles at Queen’s last month.

The former world number one, who decided playing doubles was the best option for the first stage of his comeback, went on to win the Queen’s title alongside Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

At Wimbledon Murray will partner Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, a doubles expert who has won all four Grand Slam titles, in the men’s event.

Murray approached several players as he also looked to play in the mixed, including world number one Ashleigh Barty, before linking up with 37-year-old Williams, who has won seven doubles titles at Wimbledon.

The American’s playing time has been limited by a knee injury this year, but she beat Giulia Gatto-Monticone in the first round of the singles on Tuesday.

“We wanted to see how her match went before making a final call on it,” Murray said at the Wimbledon practice courts on Wednesday.

“She felt fine after her match yesterday, I saw her briefly today and she’s up for it.”

Murray played mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 2006 where he teamed up with Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens and reached the second round.

He was also a silver medallist with Laura Robson at the London 2012 Olympics which were played at the All England Club.

Williams has won two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, having partnered Max Mirnyi to win Wimbledon and the US Open in 1998.

Andy and Serena can be ‘perfect match’ – Judy Murray

Murray’s partnership with Williams, where the Briton’s returning game complemented by the American’s strong service game, has got his mum Judy’s approval.

“It’s fantastic,” she told BBC Sport. “What an opportunity, it will be great fun.

“It looks like a really strong partnership – obviously! They’ve both got good form in singles and doubles so hopefully they can be the perfect match.”

While his mum is excited by Andy’s mixed doubles partner, she is far from thrilled at the prospect of her sons potentially facing each other in the third round of the men’s doubles.

Asked if she would be watching courtside, she laughed: “No chance! That would be torture.

“If it happens I will go to the pub and wait for a text.

“They played each other quite a lot when they were young – in those situations I always wanted Jamie to win because he’s the older one and it was because it was the natural order of things and it was easier to handle.”

Clarke to partner Gauff – after ditching Dart

Briton Jay Clarke will partner 15-year-old American Cori Gauff, who beat Venus Williams in the singles, with the pair facing Sweden’s Robert Lindstedt and Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko.

Clarke reached the semi-finals with fellow Briton Harriet Dart last year, where they lost to eventual runners-up Jamie Murray and Victoria Azarenka.

Clarke and Dart agreed to play together again in February, but BBC Sport understands Clarke messaged Dart on Monday to say that he had decided to play with Gauff instead.

Jamie Murray and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who face GB’s Joe Salisbury and Katy Dunne, start on the opposite side of the draw to Andy Murray and Serena Williams, meaning the brothers could only meet in this competition in the final.

Welshman Evan Hoyt will also play with fellow Briton Eden Silva against India’s Leander Paes and Australian Samantha Stosur.

Another eye-catching partnership sees Venus Williams, a six-time doubles winner at Wimbledon, link up with Frances Tiafoe.

The American pair, in the same half as Andy Murray and Serena Williams, open against British wildcards Scott Clayton and Sarah Beth Grey.

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Opelka Hangs Tough To Edge Wawrinka At Wimbledon; Now Plays Raonic

  • Posted: Jul 03, 2019

Opelka Hangs Tough To Edge Wawrinka At Wimbledon; Now Plays Raonic

Tournament debutant awaits the winner of Haase or 2015 finalist Raonic

Reilly Opelka caused a big upset on Wednesday at The Championships when he knocked out two-time former quarter-finalist Stan Wawrinka.

The American, who is making his debut this week at Wimbledon, recorded a 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 victory over No. 22 Wawrinka in three hours and 13 minutes on No. 2 Court.

Opelka, who saved one break point at 6-6, 30/40, struck 59 winners that included 23 aces, and won 20 of his 33 serve and volley points for a place in his first Grand Slam championship third round. Wawrinka committed 30 unforced errors, 21 of which came in the fourth and fifth sets.


It was Opelka’s first five-set win (1-2) and Wawrinka was playing in his 49th five-setter (27-22), second among active players only behind his fellow Swiss Roger Federer (51). Wawrinka is now 1-5 lifetime in five-setters at Wimbledon, winning his first in the 2006 first round against Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic.

The 21-year-old Opelka, who captured his first ATP Tour title in February at the New York Open (d. Schnur), will now challenge Canada’s Milos Raonic, the No. 15 seed and 2015 finalist (l. to Murray).

“You know you’re not going to have a lot of chances to break,” said Wawrinka. “But I think it was a tough match to lose, that’s for sure. I had some chances. I start a little bit slow. I was hesitating a bit, not really moving well enough. I started to play way better, I had some chance in the fourth set… At the end he went for it. He went bigger than me and he deserve to win.”

Wawrinka, who had employed Daniel Vallverdu to work alongside his regular coach Magnus Norman during the grass-court swing, is now 21-14 on the year that includes a run to last month’s Roland Garros quarter-finals (l. to Federer).

Raonic dominated on serve, hitting 32 aces, to beat Dutchman Robin Haase 7-6(1), 7-5, 7-6(4) in two hours and 33 minutes. It was the pair’s first meeting since October 2013 at the Rolex Paris Masters.

You May Also Like: Opelka Crushing Aces, Milestones To Start 2019

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Petra Kvitova column: 'Surprise' at performance, slower grass & plans for day off

  • Posted: Jul 03, 2019

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who has won 27 singles titles on the WTA Tour, is writing a column for the BBC Sport website during the championships at the All England Club.

The 29-year-old Czech, who had not played since pulling out of the French Open in May with an arm injury, beat Tunisian Ons Jabeur 6-4 6-2 in the first round at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

I’m taking away a lot of positive things from my win over Ons Jabeur – I’m pleased with how I played and I surprised myself as well.

I had only hit for three hours in the past five weeks since I had to pull out of the French Open because of the tear in my left forearm.

During my warm-up I thought ‘OK, it’s fine’ but you never know what will happen in the match. The body gets more tired and you’re just going full power and the adrenalin is in there. So I was a bit worried before my match, definitely.

During the match I sometimes thought about my arm, like ‘it’s fine’ or ‘what’s going on there?’ but most of the time when you are seeing the ball coming pretty fast, you don’t really have time to think about it.

My serve also surprised me, it helped me a lot and it hadn’t been great in practice. It’s also good that I only had to play two sets.

But now my arm is going to be sore tomorrow so I’m going to have a day off.

‘No shopping for me tomorrow – well, ok, maybe online!’

I’m definitely not doing any hitting on Wednesday but I will do some fitness work.

I will do some exercises and have some treatment on my body, especially on the arm. So the work is still there but just not with the racquet or the ball.

I have hit three days in a row so my arm is just a bit tired – I just need a day off to get back to work. I will get a massage tonight. Maybe some mobilisation on my back, release everything so my arm doesn’t have to do anything.

I will put ice on it, some cream on it during the night, I will do everything on it!

I’m also going to sleep a lot probably – well, try at least! We’ll go for some dinner, maybe I’ll watch a movie or read a book. I don’t think I’ll go shopping – maybe just online shopping!

Maybe I’ll just go for a walk in Wimbledon village. Sometimes I get recognised but people are very polite so it’s nice.

‘Grass is playing slower here this year’

Like some other players, I have noticed that the grass is playing slower here than in previous years, especially on the match courts.

The Aorangi practice courts are a little bit faster than the match courts.

For me, it’s not great – I like it faster with the type of game plan I have.

The slower grass means the rallies are a little bit longer, it’s not really serve and volley anymore. We’re not seeing it, not even on the men’s side. Maybe Roger Federer is still playing like that, which is nice to see.

The players who are not really playing that fast can still do well in the tournament.

‘Win has not changed my expectations’

My expectations for the tournament have not changed at all despite the win.

Every match the pain could come back and that will mean ‘stop’ for me.

It’s really tough to think like that – maybe you’re going to play well and then suddenly you feel the pain. So hopefully that will not happen to me, I need to stay positive.

I can’t really have high expectations even though I played a good match today. We’ll see how it goes in the next match when I play against Kristina Mladenovic in the second round on Thursday.

I’m not sure how well she is playing on grass but the main thing is that I know I’m playing well on grass.

Petra Kvitova was speaking to BBC Sport’s Sonia Oxley at Wimbledon

Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.Full details
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Fognini Honoured For Cracking Top 10 Of ATP Rankings

  • Posted: Jul 03, 2019

Fognini Honoured For Cracking Top 10 Of ATP Rankings

Fognini became third Italian to join elite group

Fabio Fognini received a double dose of good news on Tuesday at Wimbledon. First, the Italian fought past #NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to advance to the second round at SW19.

Later, the 32-year-old was honoured and presented with an ATP Tour trophy for cracking the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time on 10 June.

You May Also Like: Fantastic Fabio! Fognini Makes History By Cracking The Top 10

Fognini, No. 10, became the oldest player to break into the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time since 38-year-old Ken Rosewall and 35-year-old Rod Laver on 23 August 1973, when the ATP Rankings were first established. Fognini is just the third Italian man to join the elite group, along with Adriano Panatta and Corrado Barazzutti. Fognini will next face Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.

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