Tennis News

From around the world

Roig: ‘Rafa Is Playing Without Any Weaknesses’

  • Posted: Jul 07, 2019

Roig: ‘Rafa Is Playing Without Any Weaknesses’

Nadal’s coach revels in Spaniard’s performances thus far at Wimbledon

After a week of continuous buzz and bustle, the All England Club has gone silent — for one day, at least. Apart from organisers of The Championships, some machine operators and one section of the grounds, a small area of SW19 is mostly empty and eerily quiet.

It’s in Aorangi Park, which houses the practice courts, where the action is contained on the day that’s affectionately known as ‘Middle Sunday’. Here, former players can be found mingling with rising juniors; the professionals, who remain in the draw, are tweaking their game in hopes of advancing deeper into the tournament and ultimately lifting the trophy.

Ahead of the business end of the grass-court major, Francisco Roig has been working hard with Rafael Nadal, the two-time former champion. When their session is complete, Roig took time to discuss Nadal’s progress through the first three rounds at Wimbledon with

You May Also Like: Nadal Beats Tsonga To Reach Second Week At Wimbledon

Kudos to Nadal for a solid showing against Tsonga
The match against [Jo-Wilfried] Tsonga was one of precision and controlled intensity. Rafa maintained a state of fluidity throughout, and it makes matters difficult for his opponents when he’s in that kind of groove. His return was on point and his serves were on target. Rafa is playing without any weaknesses; even Tsonga commented he wasn’t sure where to attack or what to do. If a player like Tsonga can’t figure out how to handle Rafa, that says something about his game. No one has found a solution.

You May Also Like: Nadal Beats Tsonga To Reach Second Week At Wimbledon

“I feel like I have a lot more match play on grass than just three contests” — Nadal
Well put! I wasn’t aware he said that or even felt that way. He really seemed to be enjoying himself on the court during the match versus Tsonga. He wouldn’t say what he said if he wasn’t having a great time. Some matches are tougher than others; you don’t always emerge unscathed, even if you walk off the court with the win. In those circumstances, Rafa wouldn’t be as upbeat. All went according to plan on Saturday, though. He has a clear vision in his head of what he wants to do, and he’s been able to dictate play on his terms so far.

Nadal’s serve is clicking, and the results reflect that
We tweaked his stance a little bit; we’re trying to find a balance between getting the service just over the net at a higher success rate, while dropping the percentage of times he faults or lets by hitting the tape. We’re achieving the intended results by positioning his feet slightly differently. There was some doubt about the adjustments we made earlier in the year. At the Australian Open and during the clay-court season, we modified the start of his service motion. At Wimbledon, we’ve made alterations specific to grass-court play. We haven’t had much time to adapt to this surface, so comfort was key to the approach. It’s all about keeping Rafa calm, comfortable and in a position to generate power. We’ve been rehearsing and we’re happy with the results.

Nadal no longer looks out of place on grass
This is just another example of how Rafa believes he can take adjustments he’s made during training, then step on the court and put those adjustments to use. The better he’s prepared and the harder he works, the smoother things go during matches. Right now, Rafa feels he has everything covered; he doesn’t feel there are any cracks in his game. That reflects well on us as a team. He’s always going to have the skill; it’s about being ready for anything and having the right mindset going into any situation. This is especially so on grass but even on clay, there are moments when things aren’t going his way, but he can fall back on what he’s learned during training to carry him through. With all the work he’s done, I go into every match believing things will go Rafa’s way and that he can win.

Has this been one of Nadal’s toughest first weeks at Wimbledon?
In terms of opponents, yes. In previous years, he’s played [Karen] Khachanov [2017 third round], [Mikhail] Kukushkin [2018 first round] and Alex de Minaur [2018 third round]… all demanding matches, all before the fourth round. I think the fact that he played [Nick] Kyrgios so early this year overshadowed the fact he’s had tough early round matches in previous years. When he arrives healthy to Wimbledon, all he needs is a few days to prepare and he’s set for a good start to the tournament. It also allows us to set our sights on loftier goals later in the tournament.

Source link

'Facing Konta, advice for Coco & smiling on match point'

  • Posted: Jul 07, 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 before this week had not played since pulling out of the French Open in May with an arm injury, beat Poland’s Magda Linette 6-3 6-2 in the third round on Saturday to set up a last-16 match against Britain’s Johanna Konta.

It is a great feeling to have not dropped a set after three difficult rounds.

I think I played my best tennis of the tournament against Magda Linette in the third round, serving well, moving well and playing aggressively.

I even managed to smile on the first match point, which I didn’t convert, because she struck the ball with the frame of her racquet and still managed to hit a winner on the line.

I didn’t move at all as I thought it was going two metres out but suddenly it was on the line! This made me smile. Sometimes you have these things that you can be more relaxed about – this was a nice one so we smiled at each other.

Being back in the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2014 is amazing. I won the title that year but winning it again is just not something I am even thinking about at the moment – I’m worrying about my forearm injury, which could still flare up any time.

It will be great if I can continue the stats, though, of never having lost in the fourth round in the five times I have been there!

‘Special to play Britain’s Konta at Wimbledon’

Facing Johanna Konta in the fourth round will be special. I played her at Birmingham last year and also Heather Watson one year at Eastbourne, so I know what it is like to play a Briton at home.

It is always special because the crowd is cheering for the British player. British people are very polite and they are great at supporting other players, so I don’t think it will be that crazy on Monday.

Jo likes to play on grass and she is having a good grass season. It goes well for her when she plays kind of flat shots from both sides, especially from the backhand.

It is great that we are playing on Centre Court. Being there will bring back some nice memories of winning my two titles and I am glad to get that experience again.

I don’t think anything changes in the second week of a Grand Slam. You’re just deeper in the tournament, which means you are playing really good tennis – and that is always good for your confidence. It does mean, though, that every opponent will be very, very difficult.

Advice for Coco & dealing with distractions

It is great to see 15-year-old Coco Gauff doing so well. She has a big future in front of her.

When I was 15, I didn’t even know I was going to play professional tennis.

I was in my home town of Fulnek in the Czech Republic and practising with my dad and I was just enjoying time on the court. I never thought that I would play at Wimbledon at that time.

If I was to give her any advice, it would be to be patient.

Everybody has ups and downs and that will come to her for sure. She just needs those experiences where she has to handle pressure and to keep up the hard work.

One of the other things you sometimes have to deal with is distractions in the crowd, like the sprinkler spraying or the corks popping that we have had this week. For me, it’s been screaming from the crowd – it is not a positive distraction but you just have to keep focused.

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

Source link

Preview: Federer, Nadal Lead Bottom Half On Wimbledon's 'Manic Monday'

  • Posted: Jul 07, 2019

Preview: Federer, Nadal Lead Bottom Half On Wimbledon’s ‘Manic Monday’

Nishikori, Querrey also feature in Last 16 action

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal headline Last 16 action in the bottom half of the draw on manic Monday at The Championships with eight singles matches scheduled. Kei Nishikori, last year’s Wimbledon quarter-finalist, and 2017 semi-finalist Sam Querrey also feature.

Eight-time champion Federer, who is two match wins away from 100 victories at the All England Club, aims to reach his 17th Wimbledon quarter-final against No. 17 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy on Centre Court. It will be a first-time FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.

Federer, who has compiled a 35-4 record on the season, admitted, “I saw him play a little bit in Halle. Saw his run, of course, in Stuttgart. Now he’s backing it up here again. That’s not easy to do, especially when you’re sort of newer on the tour. He played a bunch of finals at [ATP] 250 level, as well… I’m expecting a tough one… He’s young. I’m sure we’ll see a tough match on Monday I guess it is.”

The 23-year-old Berrettini, who beat No. 24 seed Diego Schwartzman over five sets in the third round, will be attempting to become the first Italian man – and fifth overall – to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 21 years. He would follow in the footsteps of Uberto de Morpurgo (1928), Nicola Pietrangeli (1955, 1960), Adriano Panatta (1979) and Davide Sanguinetti (1998).

You May Also Like: Preview: Djokovic Headlines Top Half On ‘Manic Monday’ At Wimbledon


Third seed Nadal, who has safely negotiated a route past Yuichi Sugita, Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first three rounds, take a 2-0 lead against Joao Sousa of Portugal in their fourth round clash on Centre Court. Both Nadal and Federer have ATP Tour-leading 35 match wins in 2019 going into Monday’s play.

When asked about Sousa, Nadal said, “We know each other very well. Practised plenty of times together. He’s a player that when he’s winning matches, he’s a super dangerous opponent against everybody. He is very quick, very good physical performance. He’s aggressive with his shots, he’s going for the shots all the time.”

Read Feature: Five Things About Sousa

Nadal is bidding to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon title double in the same year for the third time and equal Bjorn Borg’s record. Additionally should Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut and Fernando Verdasco, who play in the top half of the draw on Monday, all reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals here, it will be the first time that three Spanish men have reached the stage at the All England Club. 

Eighth-seeded Japanese star Nishikori, who was beaten by Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year, takes an 8-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan into their encounter. On Saturday, Nishikori recorded the 400th match win of his career over Steve Johnson in the third round, while Kukushkin will compete in the Last 16 of a Grand Slam championships for the first time since the 2012 Australian Open.

Read Exclusive Feature: Kuskushkin Harsh Road To The Top

In the first meeting between two Americans in the Last 16 or later at Wimbledon since Pete Sampras defeated Jan-Michael Gambill in the quarter-finals en route to his seventh trophy in 2000, Querrey challenges Tennys Sandgren for the first time. The 31-year-old Querrey, who has a 22-11 record in matches at Wimbledon, beat top seed Andy Murray en route to the 2017 semi-finals.

World No. 94 Sandgren, who reached the 2018 Australian Open quarter-finals, is attempting to become the lowest-ranked Wimbledon quarter-finals since No. 144 Kyrgios in 2014.

Read Feature: Sandgren Outlasts His Apartment Rental

Are You In? Subscribe Now!


Centre Court start 13:00
[3] Rafael Nadal vs Joao Sousa
WTA match
[2] Roger Federer vs [17] Matteo Berrettini

No. 1 Court start 13:00
Two WTA matches
[1] Novak Djokovic vs Ugo Humbert

No. 2 Court start 11:00
Two WTA matches
[8] Kei Nishikori vs Mikhail Kukushkin

No. 3 Court start 11:00
WTA match
[21] David Goffin vs Fernando Verdasco
[15] Milos Raonic vs [26] Guido Pella

Court 12 start 11:00
WTA match
Sam Querrey vs Tennys Sandgren
[8] Henri Kontinen / John Peers vs [12] Rajeev Ram / Joe Salisbury
Mixed doubles match

Court 18 start 11:00
WTA match
[23] Roberto Bautista Agut vs [28] Benoit Paire
[7] Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan vs [11] Nicolas Mahut / Edouard Roger-Vasselin
Mixed doubles match

Click here to view the schedule for all other courts.


Source link

Sandgren Outlasts His Apartment Rental At Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 07, 2019

Sandgren Outlasts His Apartment Rental At Wimbledon

Sandgren to face Querrey for spot in the quarter-finals at SW19

Odds are that if you outlast the duration of your accommodation rental, you’re probably having a pretty good tournament. And that has been the case for American Tennys Sandgren, who on Saturday defeated World No. 10 Fabio Fognini to reach the second round of Wimbledon for the first time.

The 27-year-old was more than happy to book a hotel room after his AirBnB’s rental expired.

“I was in an apartment. I actually moved yesterday. I ran out of my reservation because I didn’t want to overbook my stay. I’m not going to plan for the two-week experience,” Sandgren said, cracking a laugh. “So now I’m in a hotel and it’s good, it’s comfortable. As long as the weather stays cool, then my room will be cool and that’s a big deal. When the sun gets out and the room gets hot, it’s tough.”

This run was not the most expected for the World No. 94, who lost nine consecutive first-round tour-level matches entering the year’s third Grand Slam. That streak started after he claimed his first ATP Tour crown in January at Auckland.

“It’s exciting to be in the fourth round. I didn’t expect to really be in this position,” Sandgren said. “It’s been a tough few months. I’ve been playing some better tennis recently, but I had a tough stretch in there when I wasn’t winning many matches. So to feel like my game is coming together, and to feel like I’m playing well and actually things are falling my way, which hasn’t been the case, it feels good for sure.”

Sandgren’s two most recent first-round losses came after qualifying. And only four of those defeats came in straight sets. So although it was a tough stretch, he kept working hard so he would be ready to seize the moment when an opportunity to get back on track presented itself.

“The thing is, everybody’s really good. All these guys are incredibly good players and they’re all doing their best to be ready to play and to beat you on any given day, so to think you’re more deserving or that you’re going to win more matches because of X, Y or Z is sometimes unrealistic,” Sandgren said. “The fact that it just wasn’t going my way and I was losing a lot of close matches is disheartening, but I knew that if I stuck with it and kept working hard that it would turn for me and I would get out of that kind of season of defeat and hopefully have a week like this.

“It is very much a mental game. When you’re out there by yourself and there’s nowhere to turn, there’s no help, it’s just your game and how you’re feeling on the day and how you can keep it together. So it’s all on you and if it doesn’t go well, it’s easy to beat yourself up. But staying positive and keeping believing in yourself is a big facet in how you can ride those waves in a season.”

Sandgren won his first-round match in four sets against Yasutaka Uchiyama, and then battled past Fever-Tree Championships finalist Gilles Simon in a five-set thriller in which he converted nine of his 13 break point chances. Then against Fognini, freshly minted into the Top 10, Sandgren made only 18 unforced errors and won 70 per cent of his second-serve points.

“It’s been a great week so far. Finding my game as I go, starting to play some good tennis. Today was a very good match for me. I knew I had to play well because Fabio is an amazing player,” Sandgren said. “We had a really good second-set tie-break, 14/12. I think the match kind of hinged on that one. But yeah, felt good about my game.”

It’s not a new experience for Sandgren, who made last year’s Australian Open quarter-finals in his main draw debut. There, he beat then-World No. 8 Stan Wawrinka and then-World No. 5 Dominic Thiem.

“I have more experience than I did the last time when I was in this kind of situation. So I think it definitely helps me to at least know what to expect as far as nerves and to be ready for it,” Sandgren said. “The margins are so slim in these matches, so to have just a little bit more experience than I did the last time I think definitely helps me.”

An American man is guaranteed to reach the last eight at SW19, as Sandgren will play countryman Sam Querrey on Monday. Prior to Eastbourne last week, Querrey had not played since Houston due to an abdominal injury. But he made the final at that ATP 250 tournament, and has been broken just once at Wimbledon.

“Obviously he’s playing very well. I haven’t seen him play too much this week, but every time I walk by a TV with him on it, he’s hitting an ace, so I’m going to be ready for some big serves,” Sandgren said. “Excited for the opportunity for sure. I’ve never played Sam, but he’s a good friend, and it’ll be a lot of fun.”

Source link

Federer, Djokovic, Nadal: Big Three Domination At Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 07, 2019

Federer, Djokovic, Nadal: Big Three Domination At Wimbledon

The all-time greats have won 14 of the past 16 Wimbledon titles

Dominating? Yes. Unbeatable? Almost. Untouchable? Together, without a doubt. The Big Three of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been all of the above during most of their careers. At the moment, on the cusp of another Grand Slam championship they’ve dominated, the three combine for 53 Slam titles.

But the trio has been especially selfish with Slam trophies during the past three years and nowhere more so than at Wimbledon, which starts Monday.

Djokovic, Federer and Nadal have won every Grand Slam title since the 2017 Australian Open, when Federer beat Nadal in five sets to complete his fairytale comeback from knee surgery. Since 2003, the all-time greats have won 14 of the past 16 Wimbledon titles – Federer with eight, Djokovic four, and Nadal two. Andy Murray, their friend and former rival who will be competing in doubles this fortnight with France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert, nabbed the 2013 and 2016 editions.

You May Also Like: Wimbledon: All You Need To Know

“If you ask me about Federer, Nadal, I am grateful to be part of the era with them, because I think they made me the player I am today,” Djokovic said. “The success that I had, especially on the Grand Slams, was also due to the need to improve and to get better to win against these guys.”

Djokovic is the top seed and defending champion at SW19. The Serbian finished runner-up at last year’s Fever-Tree Championships (l. to Cilic), an ATP 500 event, but opted not to compete on grass before Wimbledon this year.

Big Three Slam Streaks

Consecutive Grand Slams Won

Time Period


2005 Roland Garros to 2009 Wimbledon


2010 Australian Open to 2012 Wimbledon


2017 Australian Open to 2019 Roland Garros

He had his own fairytale story by winning his 13th Slam at last year’s Wimbledon. Djokovic hadn’t won a tour-level title in 379 days – 2017 Eastbourne on 1 July – and hadn’t hoisted a Slam trophy for 25 months. But as his son shouted, “Daddy! Daddy!” after Djokovic beat South African Kevin Anderson, the Serbian had another Grand Slam title to celebrate.

I couldn’t pick the better place, to be honest, in the tennis world to peak and to make a comeback,” Djokovic said.

Federer, who is the second seed at Wimbledon, has only kept rising after winning the 2017 Australian Open. The Swiss has won 14 tour-level titles since January 2017, including his eighth Wimbledon two years ago and his 100th title in February at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (d. Tsitsipas).

Get Prepped For SW19
Federer Promoted To Second Seed At SW19
How Nadal Shrugged Off Disappointment In Paris
Flashback: Djokovic Wins Fourth SW19 Title

But a record-extending ninth Wimbledon title evaded Federer last year. Anderson saved one match point and came back from two sets down in their quarter-final to pull off the upset.

Federer, however, started the Big Three’s domination at the All-England Club in 2003, and perhaps it will be Federer who continues it on 14 July. The Swiss won his 10th NOVENTI OPEN title last week in Halle, the first time Federer has won a tournament more than nine times.

“I’m aware that usually when it went well for me here in Halle I’ve also had very successful Wimbledons,” Federer said. “This definitely sets it up nicely and next to winning, I also feel good physically.”

Federer’s NOVENTI OPEN-Wimbledon Success


Halle Result

Wimbledon Finish


















Second Round










Nadal showed last year that he’s more than capable of competing on grass, despite a limited schedule because of injuries. The two-time Wimbledon champion (2008, 2010) finished better than the fourth round for the first time since 2011 and pushed Djokovic better than anyone, falling 10-8 in the fifth set of their semi-final.

The 33-year-old, who is the third seed, will be armed with belief in London, having won his past 12 matches and his unprecedented 12th Roland Garros title earlier this month in Paris.

“As everybody knows, I love to play on grass. And as everybody knows, I am not able to play so many weeks in a row like I did 10 years ago, eight years ago. So I have to do my schedule,” said Nadal, who also did not play a tour-level grass-court event before Wimbledon. “I know I played a great event last year. I have been able to be very close to winning another title there… Honestly, the last two years that I played in Wimbledon, I felt close again.”

Did You Know?
This is the first time since 2012 at Wimbledon the Big Three are the Top 3 seeds and the fifth time (2008, 2010-11-12, 2019) overall.

Source link

Gauff returns as Konta plays Kvitova – 'Manic Monday' preview

  • Posted: Jul 07, 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

Coco Gauff will face the toughest challenge of her Wimbledon campaign when she takes on Simona Halep on ‘Manic Monday’, with British number one Johanna Konta also in action.

After a day off on Sunday, play will resume as Konta plays Petra Kvitova.

Elsewhere in the women’s singles, world number one Ashleigh Barty – who is yet to drop a set – plays Alison Riske.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic and former winners Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal also return in the fourth round.

Djokovic will take on Frenchman Ugo Humbert on Court One, while on Centre Court, eight-time champion Federer faces Italian Matteo Berrettini and Nadal plays Portugal’s Joao Sousa.

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams plays Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro and Karolina Pliskova faces fellow Czech Karolina Muchova.

  • Nadal & Federer into Wimbledon fourth round
  • Williams & Kvitova ease into round four
  • Murray & Williams win on mixed doubles debut
  • ‘I hope Beyonce saw that!’ – Gauff’s wish after winning run continues

‘It’s cool that Michelle Obama knows I exist’

Week one of the Championships was a whirlwind for 15-year-old American qualifier Gauff, beating one of her “idols” Venus Williams before victories over Magdalena Rybarikova and Polona Hercog followed.

Twelve months ago, she was knocked out in the quarter-finals of the juniors competition at SW19 but has now become a household name around the globe, the world mesmerised by her journey.

Yet for this teenager, who can only enter 10 professional tournaments between her 15th and 16th birthdays, it’s the social media messages from Michelle Obama and Jaden Smith that have given her the biggest smile.

On the tweet by Obama, Gauff – who describes herself as “weird” and “goofy” – said: “I was super excited. She’s one of my role models, so it was just cool to see that she knows I exist.

“We don’t talk personally. I don’t have her number or anything. I would like that.”

In former world number one Halep, Gauff faces a player who, like herself, has dropped just one set in the tournament so far. Halep, though, has experience of the latter stages at Wimbledon, reaching the semi-finals in 2014 and two quarter-finals since then.

  • Live scores, schedule and results

‘Kvitova will be very inspired’ – Konta ready for battle

British number one Konta, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2017, faces Czech two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova in the fourth round. It is their fifth meeting, but only their second at a Grand Slam.

They have twice met on grass, the latter occasion coming in Birmingham last year, with Kvitova winning in straight sets.

Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, has yet to drop a set this campaign and Konta said she was looking forward to playing a “great champion”.

“I’m going to be coming up against a very, very inspired and very, very tough Petra,” said Konta.

“She’s also been playing incredibly well in the past couple of years.”

Kvitova acknowledged the British support for Konta, adding it would be a “difficult match”.

“Jo, I think for her, the grass is really going in the good way when she’s playing flat shots from both sides, especially from the backhand,” she said.

“I think she likes to play on the grass. Of course, the crowd will be on her side. I know what she’s able to do.”

  • Alerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone

Source link