Tennis News

From around the world

Rain suspends start of play at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 05, 2024

Rain has suspended the start of play on Friday at Wimbledon.

The action on the outside courts will not start before 12:00 p.m. with light rain falling in west London. Daniil Medvedev is scheduled to take on Jan-Lennard Struff on No. 2 Court, where Tommy Paul will open proceedings against Alexander Bublik when the play starts.

American Ben Shelton is scheduled to face Canadian Denis Shapovalov in a lefty battle on No. 3 court following the conclusion of a WTA match between Daria Kasatkina and Paula Badosa.


Play will begin as planned at 1:30 p.m. on Centre Court and 1 p.m. on No. 1 Court, with both stadiums fitted with a retractable roof.

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz opens proceedings on Centre Court against Frances Tiafoe, with No. 1 player in the PIF ATP Rankings Jannik Sinner taking on Miomir Kecmanovic in the final match of the day. Grigor Dimitrov faces Gael Monfils on No. 1 Court. Frenchman Monfils leads the Bulgarian 4-1 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series.


Source link

Why Nakashima is ‘a completely different player’

  • Posted: Jul 05, 2024

Brandon Nakashima cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 lead in his second-round Wimbledon match on Wednesday against a dangerous grass-court player in Jordan Thompson. The 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals presented by PIF champion hit 24 winners to just five unforced errors through two sets in as flawless of a performance as you will see this fortnight.

But then the thoughts began. One year ago against the same opponent, Nakashima won the first two sets 6-2, 6-2 and lost the match in five sets.

“Obviously those thoughts kind of came into my mind, up two sets again and playing really well. But the player I am this year compared to last year, I feel like it’s a completely different player,” Nakashima told “Whether it’s game-wise, serving and returning, obviously having more confidence playing a lot more matches on the grass definitely helped. But I just try to stay focused and not let those thoughts translate into my game.”

This year, the 2022 San Diego champion finished the job, ousting Thompson in a tidy one hour and 37 minutes to reach the third round. Nakashima has won more main draw matches this week than at his past six Grand Slam tournaments combined.

“I think more than anything, it was just confidence. Last year at the Slams, I lost first round in all four of them. I was playing well, just wasn’t able to get past that first round,” Nakashima said. “Most of them were five-set matches and it was tough to go through those moments. But you kind of have to experience those to have these moments where you play better and you can gain more confidence to win these matches.”

It is easy to look at Nakashima’s 2023 and see that he plummeted from a career-high No. 43 to outside the Top 150 in six months. But the numbers do not tell the whole story.

“Last year was definitely a lot of firsts for me, gaining more experience as an established player inside the Top 100. Maybe at the start of the year, I was a little bit injured, and wasn’t playing as many matches as I would have hoped,” Nakashima said. “So, definitely, the confidence was a little bit low. As a player, those tough moments are tough to get out of at some points. But I’m happy with the way we’re progressing this year and bouncing back from last year.”

Although the American did not blame it for his tough stretch, Nakashima struggled with a left knee injury early in the year that kept him out for nearly two months. He played just eight matches in the first four months of the season and was never able to get back up to speed.

The 22-year-old has taken pride in how he has responded to that adversity. By reaching the third round at Wimbledon, he is back up to No. 53 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings. He reached an ATP Tour semi-final in Stuttgart, the third round in Barcelona — there he upset Andrey Rublev — and tallied a 26-8 record on the ATP Challenger Tour this year.

“For talented young players, it’s nice rising and getting to the top and getting the ranking high. But your next few years, if you have more expectations, that’s where it kind of shows your personality, shows your character a little bit more trying to deal with those expectations,” Nakashima said. “Even after the year that I had last year, people can think, ‘Oh, it was just a one-year thing that he did well, and he’s always going to be an average player’. But just the way I dealt with that adversity and brought myself back to where I want to be, I think a lot of people should think about [that].

“It’s not easy as a young player, especially after the great year that I had a couple years ago… I was training hard every day last year, similar to how I was this year, and I’m just happy the results are paying off.”

Last October, Nakashima began working with a new coach: Davide Sanguinetti, the Italian who won two ATP Tour titles and cracked the world’s Top 50.

“We’ve been working a lot. I’m working a lot on his mind more than his shots,” Sanguinetti said. “I’m working a little bit on the shots. But he has such good groundstrokes and everything. Good serve. We’re working a lot on his forehand and right now it looks like it is working, so I’m happy right now. We are on the right path because we want to be Top 20 at the end of this year. But even if it’s tough — I’m not saying it’s easy — let’s see. Maybe if we get some luck in some tournament, who knows?”


According to Sanguinetti, his favourite thing about Nakashima is both good and bad.

“He’s really calm all the time,” Sanguinetti said. “And sometimes I would like him [to be] a little bit [of a] firecracker, like [to] explode, but he doesn’t. But also when he’s focused, he’s a machine.”

The former World No. 42 raved about his charge’s dedication and work ethic.

“He always listens, he always tries to do what you ask him to do, which for a coach is great,” Sanguinetti said. “He is always looking for something. He’s like a sponge. He’s trying to get from me all the secrets, even if he doesn’t ask. But he’s always trying to listen to everything that I try to tell him.”

Nakashima will hope that continues to pay off as he tries to work his way through the Wimbledon draw. He will try to reach the fourth round at the grass-court major for the second time on Friday when he plays 16th seed Ugo Humbert.

“It feels great, especially after the year I had last year and having some troubles at the Grand Slams last year, to be having some good matches here and to be advancing to the third round,” Nakashima said. “It’s a good feeling.”


Source link

Why there is no such thing as a perfect day for Tommy Paul

  • Posted: Jul 05, 2024

Tommy Paul might already be flying high, but the American has no intention of slowing his ascent any time soon.

The 25-year-old two weeks ago won the biggest title of his career at the cinch Championships, a tournament that has been won by legends of the sport from Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe to Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. But the Wimbledon 12th seed, who will face 23rd seed Alexander Bublik on Friday in the third round, knows there is still progress to be made.

“Tennis is a weird sport. I’m on a winning streak right now, but I meet with my coach after the match, and we’re going to talk about the things I did wrong,” Paul told “You always look back at matches and think of what you could have done better. So it’s not like I’m going home every day and being like, ‘I had a perfect day’.” 

It helps that Paul has a team around him, led by veteran coach Brad Stine, determined to continue pushing forward. Stine notably led Jim Courier to some of his greatest heights. But he spent multiple stints with the former World No. 1. Stine began coaching Paul in 2020 and feels their relationship has not gotten stale.

“We’re always trying to get better and work on things,” Paul said. “I am happy with how I have been playing, and I’ve been getting a question about Queen’s a lot. But it’s a whole new week. I’m coming into the first round like everybody else here at Wimbledon. I have a challenge every round… I’ve just got to take every match one at a time.”

It would be easy for Paul, the No. 13 player in the PIF ATP Rankings, to be content with his recent success. He became the American No. 1 for a week and lifted one of the most historic trophies in tennis. But immediately he made clear that he still has goals to pursue, including cracking the Top 10 for the first time.

“I think that’s what keeps people interested in sport. You look at Novak being at No. 1 forever. He was the best player in the world and he was still working on things,” Paul said. “He still wanted to get better and I think that’s the coolest part about any sport. You’re never satisfied. I’m definitely not satisfied. There’s still a lot of work to do.”


Paul is one of the quickest players on the ATP Tour. In recent years, Stine has worked on developing Paul’s attacking game, specifically with his transition to the net and his abilities once there. That has paid dividends in making him a consistent Top 20 player.

According to Paul, this year they have been honing in on his footwork. Fitness coach Franco Herrero has been leading the charge in that area.

“We have a great team around me. And the way that my coach will talk to my fitness trainer, and they’ll kind of write up a plan, create a plan on what my coach wants me to work on in terms of footwork, and we’ll go in the gym and we’ll do it a million times until it’s right,” Paul said. “Footwork has been a big thing for me. Obviously, over the past couple of years, I feel like I’ve gotten stronger and been able to last longer in matches, but the footwork is at the end of the day what allows you to have a higher quality of shot throughout the entire match.”

At the start of the season, Stine said of his player: “Tommy is dedicated to wanting to be a great tennis player. He doesn’t want to just be average. Obviously anybody that makes Top 100 and plays at the top echelon of the game is not average anyway.

“But within the game itself, we look at your ranking and the rounds that you’ve achieved in tournaments, and those kinds of things and established [what is] an average type of career. Tommy’s not satisfied with that. He wants to be better than that and that’s pushed him.”

One of the most endearing qualities about Paul for fans is that what you see is what you get. As competitive as he is, the American is also laid back as they come on the circuit.

Paul loves tennis, but he enjoys other sports too, and is a big fan of Philadelphia teams. Jason Kelce, the brother of Travis Kelce, NFL star and partner of Taylor Swift, was a longtime standout offensive lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles before retiring at the end of last season. On his team losing Kielce, Paul said: “It’s a tough tough guy to replace. But I’m excited about the Eagles season, big time. I like who they drafted, I like the way that they drafted, just got to finish the season this time.”

The Philadelphia 76ers have been busy this offseason, set to sign star Paul George.

“I love Paul George,” Paul said, cupping his hands to amplify his voice into the phone recording this interview. “Love him! And they just resigned [Tyrese] Maxey. Yeah, I love that. That pumps me up.”

As much as Paul enjoys tennis, he also has interests off the court that keep him busy. It is not all tennis all day.

“I’m a sports guy. I love watching all sports, really, especially American sports,” Paul said. “It’s nice to have another interest. It sometimes gets a lot to talk about just tennis, tennis, tennis, as much as I love the sport. But yeah, I definitely follow a lot of sports and it’s a nice distraction at times.”

Source link

Wimbledon salutes great champion Murray after doubles defeat

  • Posted: Jul 04, 2024

Andy Murray’s Thursday night may have involved a doubles defeat on Centre Court at Wimbledon, but that did not stop the grass-court major from offering a fitting tribute to the two-time singles champion and home favourite in London.

Rinky Hijikata and John Peers delivered a clinical performance to overcome Murray and his brother Jamie Murray 7-6(6), 6-4 in a first-round clash. With Andy making what he has said will be his final appearance at the grass-court major, the home crowd offered vociferous support to the two-time Wimbledon singles champion and former No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings throughout.

It was not enough to carry him and his brother to victory, but the cheering for Murray did not stop once Hijikata and Peers had wrapped their 88-minute win. Former WTA star and legendary British broadcaster Sue Barker came onto Centre Court to pay tribute to Murray, a 46-time tour-level titlist, before a tribute video was played that featured his great rivals Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, as well as Serena Williams.

Despite Thursday’s defeat, the former No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings Murray is still set for at least one more match at SW19. He will team with fellow British major winner Emma Raducanu in the mixed doubles, but has said he is likely to retire later this summer. He has been named in Great Britain’s team for the 2024 Paris Olympics in late July.

“It is hard, because I would love to keep playing, but I can’t,” said Murray said in an interview with Barker during which he reflected on some of his career highlights and paid tribute to his family. “Physically it’s just too tough now. All of the injuries have added up and they haven’t been insignificant.

<img src=”/-/media/images/news/2024/07/04/20/00/murray-wimbledon-2024-thursday-doubles.jpg” style=”width:100%;” alt=”Jamie Murray and Andy Murray” />
Photo Credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images

“I want to play forever. I love the sport. It’s given me so much, taught me loads of lessons over the years that I can use in the rest of my life. But I don’t want to stop, so it is hard.”

During his press conference after leaving Centre Court, Murray said, “When the video was playing, my head was spinning a lot. I know I’m about to have to speak. It’s difficult in those moments ’cause there’s a lot of people you want to thank and address, but it is not easy. It was pretty emotional, as well. Yeah, watching the video was nice, but hard as well, for me because you know it’s coming to the end of something that you’ve absolutely loved doing for such a long time. So that’s difficult.”


Murray revealed that he did not know two of his daughters would be in attendance. “When we were waiting in the locker room beforehand, I saw on one of the TVs that they were there sitting next to my wife. It was nice,” Murray said. “They’ve only been to one other match that I played and sat in the stands before, in Nottingham last year. I didn’t even know. I didn’t know they were there. It was nice they managed to make it.”

At the end of the interview, Murray was congratulated by a lineup of past Wimbledon champions including Djokovic, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Lleyton Hewitt and Conchita Martinez. He was also embraced by current WTA World No. 1 Iga Swiatek and British stars Tim Henman, Cameron Norrie, Jack Draper and Daniel Evans, as well as Holger Rune.

<img src=”/-/media/images/news/2024/07/04/21/41/murray-wimbledon-2024-sendoff2.jpg” style=”width:100%;” alt=”Novak Djokovic shares an embrace with Andy Murray.” />
Photo Credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images

In the minds of much of the British public, Murray is the man who took over the task of snapping the host nation’s long wait for a Wimbledon men’s singles champion from Henman. The four-time semi-finalist Henman was the last person to congratulate Murray, who ultimately ended the nation’s 77-year wait in 2013, before he shared a long embrace with his brother Jamie and walked off court to a standing ovation.

Jamie said: “I think it was a fun experience for me to be out there and play with him. Obviously it was kind of strange knowing what the sort of background to the match was.
But yeah, it was cool to be able to do that. I think the club did a really nice kind of tribute at the end. It was really nice that so many players stuck around for that, as well. It was nice to see some of the guys on court with Andy afterwards.”

<img src=”/-/media/images/news/2024/07/04/21/42/murray-wimbledon-2024-sendoff3.jpg” style=”width:100%;” alt=”British fans give a rousing farewell to their favourite tennis son, Andy Murray.” />
Photo Credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images

To conclude the brothers’ press conference, Andy said: “They did a really nice job this evening. I’m glad that it’s done now. Obviously [I will] try and enjoy the mixed doubles in a couple days’ time. It should be fun.
Then got a family holiday planned after this, then the Olympics, that’s it.”

In other Thursday doubles action, third seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury made a confident start on the All England Club grass with a 7-5, 6-4 triumph against Willem Blumberg and Casper Ruud. Fourth seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Mate Pavic also advanced after defeating N.Sriram Balaji and Luke Johnson 6-4, 7-5.

<img src=”/-/media/images/news/2024/07/04/21/06/murray-wimbledon-2024-thursday-walkoff.jpg” style=”width:100%;” alt=”Andy Murray” />
Photo Credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images


Source link