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Why Machac is ready to meet the Murray moment at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 01, 2024

Tomas Machac’s first-round clash against Andy Murray is one of the most-anticipated matches of The Championships. The encounter has plenty to live up to after their match-of-the-year candidate from the Miami third round in March.

The pair battled for a gruelling three hours and 28 minutes, making the occasion the third-longest best-of-three Miami men’s singles match on record. It was not just a long clash, but a dramatic one.

After rallying from 2-5 down in the final set, Murray rolled his ankle and was in agony. He returned to the court and managed to lead in the tie-break before losing despite suffering a full rupture of his ATFL and a near full thickness rupture of his CFL. Machac said it was “for sure the toughest match of my career”.

Now they will meet again on one of the biggest stages of the sport: Centre Court at SW19.

“It’s a first round at a Grand Slam. But it’s a special kind of occasion that we will play on Centre Court with the local guy maybe at the end of the career, playing good tennis,” Machac told “So this occasion is something special, I would say. But normally it’s a first round for me. It’s different, but I’m thinking like it’s a normal match on the big stage.”

As Machac said, the winner will only advance to the second round, not lift the trophy. But the eyes of a nation will be glued to every shot. Murray has made clear this will be his final appearance at The Championships and he just underwent surgery for a back cyst after the cinch Championships.

Machac will hope to take what he learned from their marathon encounter in Miami and apply it to the Wimbledon grass.

“It took quite a lot of time there. I was shaking because it was something incredible for me,” Machac said. “But after that, I was feeling much better on the court and everything was going welI. I remember that moment and it helps me lots to think about it.” 

The Czech was shaking not just because Murray was across the net, but because there were big stakes. It was an opportunity to reach the fourth round at an ATP Masters 1000 event for the first time. He defeated Murray and then Matteo Arnaldi to make the quarter-finals.

One year ago, Machac needed to battle through qualifying to reach the Wimbledon main draw. He was No. 108 in the PIF ATP Rankings at the time and faced Cameron Norrie on No. 1 Court. He fell to the home favourite.

“I think last year, I was a little bit nervous from the beginning of the match,” Machac said. “When you are standing on this kind of stage against the local guy, it’s not easy from the beginning for you that you need to handle this situation. But I think I’m ready for that this year.”


Now the Czech is World No. 39 and a month ago he reached a career-high World No. 33.

“It’s much better. It’s much better for me, especially when I played against Sinner in the quarter-finals of a 1000 [in Miami],” Machac said. “It’s much better 1719872551 that I have [played] these kind of matches. It helps.

“[I am] more experienced, of course. Then I think my game improved a lot. I’m trying to play with the best parts of my game, I don’t need to change something. I’m resisting to the [top players] quite good. So it helped me to improve in every way.”

Machac earned the biggest win of his career in Geneva, where he stunned Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

“Of course, with Novak, it sticks out, of course. These kind of matches, if you win it’s something that you will keep in your head for a long time, and it’s helped you to become better,” Machac said. “The match point I was hoping that he will miss actually. I was on the return against him, so I was just waiting for his mistake to finish the game actually.

“[I was thinking] like, ‘Wow, I did it. I beat the best one’. And after that, I was trying to be as quick as possible at the net to show him the respect that I will not lay down or something and he will wait in the net. So I was trying to show him the respect that I was happy to share the court with him and enjoy the game against him.”

All the experience has prepared Machac to meet the moment on Centre Court against Murray. All eyes will be on the Scot, but Machac will be ready to put up a fight.


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  • Posted: Jul 01, 2024

Qasa Alom and guests look back at the day’s play at Wimbledon.

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Sinner sets Berrettini blockbuster at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 01, 2024

Jannik Sinner faced a tough challenge in the first round of The Championships, but remained calm to defeat German Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 on Monday and set a second-round blockbuster against 2021 finalist Matteo Berrettini.

Top-seeded Sinner appeared in full control after two sets, but Hanfmann significantly reduced his mistakes to work his way into the match. Ultimately, the 22-year-old Sinner’s power and poise were too much for the former University of Southern California star in the two-hour, 58-minute encounter.

Despite dropping the third set, Sinner said that he was happy with his strong recovery, adding that he was delighted to be making his Grand Slam debut as the World No. 1 at The All England Club.

“When you go a break down immediately it’s tough to recover but how I reacted in the fourth set was very positive and ending the match in a very positive way hopefully can help me to start the next round,” the Italian said.

“It’s a huge privilege and honour to be in the position that I am and there is no better place than here to play my first Grand Slam as a World No. 1. It’s an amazing feeling, but every match starts at zero, zero and every opponent wants to win, as I do.”

Sinner now leads Hanfmann 2-0 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series, with both of his victories coming at majors in the past year. He dropped just five games to the German at last year’s US Open.

The World No. 1 made a quick start to the grass-court season two weeks ago in Halle, where he claimed his first tour-level title on the surface. Sinner has also played well at SW19 in the past, having made last year’s semi-finals.


He hit a bump in the road against Hanfmann, who hit a backhand winner to go up a double break in the second set and grew in confidence as the match wore on. But Sinner never was in dire straits against the German and converted four of his five break points to move on.

The No. 1 Court roof was closed after the third set, further allowing the Italian to reset and finish the job. The top seed hit 16 aces and 47 total winners in the match.

Sinner will now ready for an even tougher test against Berrettini, the former World No. 6 whose hammer-like serve and big forehand have wreaked havoc on grass for years.

The Italian stars have been the faces of men’s tennis in their country since breaking onto the ATP Tour, but they have only met once. Sinner won their first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting last year in Toronto in straight sets.

Looking ahead to his tough second-round showdown, Sinner said, “It’s a tough one for sure. He played the final here and he knows very well how to play on this surface so it’s a big challenge for me.”


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My Wimbledon: Eubanks on Roddick memories & life-changing 2023 run

  • Posted: Jul 01, 2024

Christopher Eubanks enjoyed the biggest moment of his career last year at Wimbledon, where he earned a series of impressive wins to reach his first major quarter-final.

The American, who upset Stefanos Tsitsipas en route, reflects on one of the greatest moments of his career, remembers his early Wimbledon memories watching Andy Roddick and his love for the traditions at the grass-court major.


What is your first memory of watching Wimbledon?
My first memory was probably ‘Breakfast at Wimbledon’. Wimbledon is a pretty good Slam for waking up as a kid on the East Coast at six or seven a.m. and kind of getting to see the opening with ESPN and seeing the final on NBC as a kid. Those are my first memories and then with matches, that legendary final between Federer and Nadal in 08. I also remember two of Roddick’s finals. I remember watching it as an American thinking, ‘Oh man, an American could win Wimbledon. He played Federer in the finals and wasn’t able to, but still incredible matches.

So those finals and Rafa against Roger were probably two of the memories that stick out. But overall just kind of the joy of the summer waking up early and the excitement of seeing those first matches on and watching them bounce around from court to court is a memory I’ll always remember.

What were your thoughts about the aura of the venue when you first arrived?
I had played qualifying about three or four times and I had heard a few players say once you make main draw, it feels a little bit different when you get on site, so I didn’t really know what to expect. And then getting here last year and to experience it all for the first time as a player was truly remarkable. To just see how well manicured everything is. There’s not a piece of grass out of place, everybody is so orderly, they’re so respectful, so nice, things just kind of move like clockwork here. It was definitely a kind of surreal moment to say, ‘Oh wow, I’m here from a player standpoint’. It was truly special.

Can you reflect a little bit more on your QF journey last year and beating Stefanos Tsitsipas?
The Tsitsipas match is always one that I’ll say is the first time I think where I really kind of noticed things were a lot different. On the way to the match we walked from the main player area through the grounds, round the back of court three and onto court two. It was fine. Security was there. Some fans kind of waiting and saying, ‘Hey’, but all OK. And then when I came out of the door after the match, I think it was the first time that I noticed things were different.

The moment the doors opened, there were more people outside waiting. More people than I had ever seen asking for autographs, for photos. The security kind of grabbed me a little bit by my arms and we kind of just ran through to get all the way back to the players area. And I think just kind of seeing those doors open and seeing how different it was is when I had the ‘Aha moment’ of, ‘Whoa, things are a little different. This is pretty crazy’. Also the way the match went, just kind of up and down, topsy turvy. I lost the first one, won the second, lost the third. And then I won two straight and played some really, really good tennis to do it.

The crowd really got behind me. We produced some really fun tennis. I was pretty excited, obviously, as how things progressed. That match in particular is definitely the biggest of that run. It was really special.

<img src=”/-/media/images/news/2023/07/10/15/47/eubanks-wimbledon-2023-monday-2b.jpg” alt=”Chris Eubanks advances to the Wimbledon quarter-finals.” style=”width: 100%;” />
Photo Credit: Getty Images

What are your thoughts about the different Wimbledon traditions?
I think the traditions are what make Wimbledon so special. It’s why a lot of people look at it as the biggest tournament in the world. I’m not typically a fan of all white in any other part of the year because I just feel like it’s very easy to get it dirty.

As a kid playing junior tournaments I never really wore all white because I knew if I ate lunch, I would get a spill on it and it was too easy to see. But there’s something special about putting on all white here that I think makes it really cool. I love the tradition here. It is why I think a lot of players hold it in such a high regard.

What is your favourite thing about playing on grass?
I think serve and forehand have always kind of been good recipes for people to have success on grass. I think as a one-handed backhand, utilising the slice is really, really important for me to keep the ball low, force the opponents to have to hit up and then it’s just a little bit tougher to move on it. I think that’s the thing on the clay court or hard court, players are more comfortable defending out of the corners than on the grass, with the exception of a handful of guys. It takes a little bit of an adjustment to be able to get out of the corner and stop and then recover back to the middle. I think it’s just the movement aspect that allows for aggressive style players to really get the reward more so than on other surfaces.

How are you feeling ahead of your first match against Frenchman Quentin Halys?
It’s funny since being back here, I’ve had probably three or four of the best training days that I’ve had in probably the past few months, like consistently. I like where my game is going into my first round. I think that I’m playing some of the most consistent and solid tennis, at least in preparing for this week. The only thing I can focus on is how I prepare. I’ll focus on how I prepare and then we allow the rest to take care of itself on Tuesday.

I feel really, really good with my preparation. I feel, although coming in last year from Mallorca winning five matches and winning a title there, the confidence was high. But I still try to reflect back on how I play now versus how I played then and I still think I’m a little bit of a better player now. I think I’m more thoughtful. I kind of know a bit more about tennis. I think last year when confidence is high and you have a big game, you can just kind of catch heat. Things were just going well for me. But I think now I’m a bit more calculated. I think I’m a bit more aware of what’s going on.


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Shang & Zhang make Chinese history at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 01, 2024

When play began Monday at The Championships, no Chinese man in the Open Era had ever reached the second round. Shang Juncheng and Zhang Zhizhen wasted little time changing that.

Both Chinese stars advanced to the second round at Wimbledon with straight-sets victories on courts located right next to one another. Shang first defeated qualifier Cristian Garin 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 and Zhang then eliminated another qualifier Maxime Janvier 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-2.

“It’s exciting. I think we’re all excited to win at the biggest stage, especially here in Wimbledon,” Shang told “[It is the] first time me playing in the main draw, getting a win here. Also Z was just I think minutes behind. It’s really good that both of us are in the second round. Hopefully we can do more.”

Zhang began his match on Court 5 after Shang started his encounter on Court 6. Fans were able to watch history made on both courts.

“When I stepped on the court I just saw he was next to me. And also during the match I knew what was going on on the other side,” Zhang said. “It’s just right there. Actually when we were tossing the coin I was watching the other side. I was watching the score and then when we were playing I still can see some scores. Also when the fans were screaming, I didn’t know what was going on in the point, but in the end [I heard] they were screaming.”

Zhang Zhizhen
Photo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images
Shang said: “I think I was I was pretty focused. I know the courts are really tight with each other and there are people moving around obviously in between courts, but the overall atmosphere just gets you super focused, I think overall, and you’re just focusing on what’s on your court… It’s probably one of the biggest matches you’re playing in the year, in the first round in Wimbledon. So I think I was I was quite focused.”

When told Zhang had his eye on his court, Shang cracked a smile. “I mean he’s tall enough!” the 19-year-old said of his 6’4″ countryman. “So I guess he can peek over. For me it’s tough because of all the crowd in the middle for sure.”

Both men are happy with their effort Monday, but keen to continue forward at the grass-court major. Shang will next face 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion and 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov. According to the teen, the key will be to not think about tennis between now and then.

“I think that it’s hard to do because you’re all day in this tennis environment,” Shang said. “But I think we’ve been playing a little cards, Uno… just to get relaxed and then sometimes maybe even watch a movie and then read some books just to get me off thinking about tennis too much. So I get a good night’s sleep and then get ready for the match again.”


Zhang has already thought about his next opponent, Jan-Lennard Struff, who pushed Jannik Sinner to a final-set tie-break in Halle. Zhang is the highest-ranked Chinese player in PIF ATP Rankings history (career-high No. 33) and is the 32nd seed in London.

“I want to keep going but there’s Struff following me. It will be a tough match for the next one because he’s a really good player and especially on the grass,” Zhang said. “I watched the match against Jannik so next one I will say will be really tough for me, even with the seed. I will think he’s seeded.”

For now, the 27-year-old is happy to be through to the second round for the fourth consecutive major.

“Today it was three sets, but it was still quite tough for me in the beginning. Pretty much a lot of big pressure in the first set,” Zhang said. “It’s good. It’s always good to win the first match.”


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How Sinner can seize control of battle for World No. 1 at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 01, 2024

Jannik Sinner, who enters Wimbledon as the top seed at a major for the first time, has an opportunity to extend his lead as the No. 1 player in the PIF ATP Rankings.

The Italian begins the grass-court major with a 2,010-point lead over No. 2 Novak Djokovic in the PIF ATP Live Rankings. That gives the 22-year-old a cushion in the No. 1 battle.

Should Djokovic win his eighth title at SW19, he still would not pass Sinner for the No. 1 spot regardless of the top seed’s performance. Even if this year’s Australian Open champion falls in the first round, he will leave London as World No. 1.

PIF ATP Live Rankings entering Wimbledon

 Player  Points
 1) Jannik Sinner  9,180
 2) Novak Djokovic  7,170
 3) Alexander Zverev  6,825
 4) Carlos Alcaraz  6,140
 5) Daniil Medvedev  5,735
 6) Andrey Rublev  4,070
 7) Hubert Hurkacz  4,065
 8) Casper Ruud  3,990

One year ago, Sinner both entered and exited The Championships as World No. 8. Now he has an opportunity to strengthen his No. 1 position. 

Should the 2023 Wimbledon semi-finalist claim the title, he would earn at minimum a 2,710-point lead in the PIF ATP Live Rankings. With Alcaraz dropping 2,000 points and Djokovic dropping 1,200 points compared to Sinner’s 720, that limits Alcaraz and Djokovic’s ability to make up ground and gives Sinner an opportunity to add cushion to his lead.

Sinner will face German Yannick Hanfmann in the first round Monday. The Italian leads their Lexus ATP Head2Head series 1-0.

“I’m just trying to get used to it, building my confidence here on this court. That’s it. Thinking about seeding or all the rest, it doesn’t make any sense. Everyone wants to win and show their best here,” Sinner said. “I’m just looking forward to it, to compete, and hopefully I can show also here some good tennis.”


Zverev has moved past Carlos Alcaraz into the No. 3 spot of the PIF ATP Live Rankings because Alcaraz drops 2,000 points as defending Wimbledon champion. The two-time Nitto ATP Finals titlist only trails No. 2 Djokovic by 345 points.

Fewer than 500 points separate live No. 6 Andrey Rublev (4,070) and live No. 11 Stefanos Tsitsipas (3,575). With up to 2,000 points at stake, there could be plenty of movement within the Top 10.


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