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Wimbledon 2018 qualifying: Dan Evans beats Ilya Ivashka in straight sets

  • Posted: Jun 25, 2018
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app; Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra.

Britain’s Dan Evans won his first-round match at the Wimbledon qualifying event, beating Ilya Ivashka.

Evans, 28, overcame the 24-year-old from Belarus 6-4 6-4 in Roehampton in one hour and 32 minutes.

“I played well and it was a tough match against one of the better guys in the draw,” said Evans, who needs two more wins to qualify for the main draw.

Evans, who has served a 12-month ban for taking cocaine, was not awarded a Wimbledon wildcard last week.

The All England Club’s decision was said to have been taken on a matter of “principle”.

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Evans had already come through a Wimbledon pre-qualifying event where he played three matches across two days, including two in one day.

Birmingham-born Evans got early breaks in both sets against Ivashka on court 11 and he confidently held serve to clinch the match.

“I missed tennis a lot and it’s just good to be out again. It’s great to be back on court,” he added.

Evans will face Matthias Bachinger in his second qualifying match following the German’s 6-3 4-6 8-6 win over Australian Marc Polmans.

Should he ultimately qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon Evans will have already played six matches to get there.

Evans’ best performance at Wimbledon came in 2016, where he reached the third round and was beaten by Roger Federer.

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ATP Rankings Movers: Nadal Bounces Back To No. 1

  • Posted: Jun 25, 2018

ATP Rankings Movers: Nadal Bounces Back To No. 1 looks at the top Movers of the Week in the ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 25 June 2018

The close nature at the top of the ATP Rankings in 2018 is such that Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have traded the No. 1 position on six occasions in the first six months of the season. The all-time record for most changes in the top spot is 10 in 1983. Today, Nadal is back at the summit of men’s professional tennis.

No. 1 Rafael Nadal, +1
The 32-year-old Spaniard returns to No. 1 after Federer lost in the final of the Gerry Weber Open. In the week beginning 18 June, Federer, with 8,920 points (to Nadal’s 8,770), had been attempting to defend 500 ATP Rankings – as a result of winning his ninth Halle title in 2017 – but he earned 300 points. Nadal now leads Federer by just 50 points (8,770 to 8,720 points) in this week’s standings and will hold onto the top spot until at least 16 July.

Nadal, the winner of four clay-court trophies this year, began the year in the top spot, and today starts the 178th week of his career at No. 1. He has now held No. 1 for a total of 18 weeks, over four stints in 2018. Federer gained No. 1 for six weeks from 19 February, one week from 14 May and last week.

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No. 17 Novak Djokovic, +5
The Serbian, who spent the last of his 223 weeks at No. 1 in the week of 6 November 2016, is on the rise once more, up to No. 17 — a five-spot promotion — after he reached the Fever-Tree Championships final. The 31-year-old was unable to convert one championship point against Marin Cilic and lift the 69th tour-level trophy of his career on Sunday in his first final since 1 July 2017 at the Nature Valley International. Djokovic, who missed six months of last season due to a right elbow injury, did become only the 10th player in the Open Era (since April 1968) to record 800 match wins on Friday with victory over Adrian Mannarino in the quarter-finals at The Queen’s Club.

No. 21 (Career High) Borna Coric, +13
The 21-year-old Croatian beat Alexander Zverev en route to a 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-2 final victory over Federer at the Gerry Weber Open. It guaranteed Coric a 13-spot rise to a career-high No. 21. It is his biggest single jump since moving from No. 49 to No. 36 on 19 March 2018, after he reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final at the BNP Paribas Open (l. to Federer 5-7, 6-4, 6-4). Coric won his first ATP World Tour trophy in April 2017 at the Grand Prix Hassan II (d. Kohlschreiber).

You May Also Like: Coric Stuns Federer To Lift Halle Title

No. 46 Jeremy Chardy, +15
The 31-year-old appears in the Mover of the Week story for the third straight week after another fine week on grass courts. On the back of a sixth ATP Challenger Tour trophy at the Surbiton Trophy (d. de Minaur) and a run to the Libema Open title match (l. to Gasquet), the Frenchman moved into the Fever-Tree Championships semi-finals (l. to Djokovic) last week. Chardy, who was a career-high No. 25 on 28 January 2013, has today moved up 15 positions to No. 46, his highest ranking since 8 August 2016 (No. 39). Just three weeks ago, he was at No. 86.

Other Notable Top 100 Movers This Week
No. 51 (Career High) Matthew Ebden, +9
No. 52 (Career High) Frances Tiafoe, +10
No. 76 Nikoloz Basilashvili, +9
No. 83 Denis Kudla, +26

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Stakhovsky Captures Ilkley Title, Earns Wimbledon Wild Card

  • Posted: Jun 25, 2018

Stakhovsky Captures Ilkley Title, Earns Wimbledon Wild Card

Revisit the week that was on the ATP Challenger Tour as we applaud the achievements of those on the rise and look ahead to who’s in action in the week to come

Fuzion 100 Ilkley Trophy (Ilkley, UK): Sergiy Stakhovsky had one foot out of the tournament in the first round. Staring down four match points in his opening affair against Liam Broady in Ilkley, the Ukrainian stormed back to stay alive. And he did not drop a set from there.

Stakhovsky would go on to oust top seed Jordan Thompson and #NextGenATP star Michael Mmoh, before defeating Oscar Otte 6-4, 6-4, in Sunday’s final. With the title, he earns a wild card into the main draw of Wimbledon, as has long been tradition for Ilkley champions.

It was Stakhovsky’s 11th professional crown – four at the ATP World Tour level and seven on the ATP Challenger Tour – and second on grass. He previously lifted the trophy at the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2010.

Internationaux de Tennis de Blois (Blois, France): The script was nearly complete. Felix Auger-Aliassime was one victory from securing a historic fourth Challenger crown, moving the Canadian teen into solo second place among players aged 17 & under. But Scott Griekspoor had other plans.

The Dutchman entered the week in Blois with just one Challenger match win in the past two years, and he would leave with his maiden title. Griekspoor stunned fifth seed Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 53 minutes on Sunday, saving seven of eight break points faced. The 27-year-old had never defeated a Top 200 opponent entering the tournament and he would reel off four straight such wins to lift the trophy. He rises 66 spots to a career-high No. 216 in the ATP Rankings.

Internazionali Tennis Citta L’Aquila (L’Aquila, Italy): The inaugural tournament in L’Aquila, located in central Italy, saw sixth seed Facundo Bagnis capture the title on Sunday. The Argentine celebrated his 12th ATP Challenger Tour crown and first since 2016, upsetting home favourite Paolo Lorenzi 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. It was his third three-set victory of the week.

Poprad Tatry Challenger (Poprad Tatry, Slovakia): Fourth seed Jozef Kovalik streaked to the title in Poprad Tatry on Saturday. The Slovak dropped a combined seven games in a semi-final win over Zdenek Kolar and final triumph over Arthur de Greef, securing his third ATP Challenger Tour title and first in more than two years. Kovalik, age 25, rises 33 spots to No. 117 in the ATP Rankings, as he continues his charge towards a Top 100 debut.

Fergana Challenger (Fergana, Uzbekistan): Top seed Nikola Milojevic notched his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title on the hard courts of Fergana. After three previous runner-up finishes, including one in the Uzbek city last year, Milojevic earned his moment in the spotlight with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Enrique Lopez Perez on Sunday. The 23-year-old Serbian rises 20 spots to No. 164 in the ATP Rankings.

With the majority of today’s ATP Challenger Tour stars competing in Wimbledon qualifying, there is only one event on the calendar. Surging teens Felix Auger-Aliassime and Nicola Kuhn join top seed Laslo Djere at the Aspria Tennis Cup in Milan. Auger-Aliassime and Kuhn will hope this won’t be their only trip to Milan this year, with the Italian city hosting the Next Gen ATP Finals in November.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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Andy Murray practices with Kyle Edmund before facing Stan Wawrinka at Eastbourne

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2018
2018 Nature Valley International on the BBC
Venue: Eastbourne Dates: 24-30 June
Coverage: Watch live coverage of the women’s tournament on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and app. Live text coverage of the men’s tournament, including Murray’s matches, on the BBC Sport website

Andy Murray practised with British number one Kyle Edmund before his first-round match at Eastbourne against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka.

Both Murray and Wawrinka are wildcards at the Nature Valley International, which starts on Monday, as they continue their comebacks from injury.

The 31-year-old Scot made his competitive return on Tuesday at Queen’s, where he lost to Nick Kyrgios.

He had been out for almost a year with a hip injury that required surgery.

  • Andy Murray column on his ’emotional’ comeback
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If Murray reaches the second round he will face fellow Brit Edmund, who has a bye and is the second seed at the event.

Edmund, 23, tweeted a picture of himself and Murray on Instagram after practice with the message “Always a pleasure! Great to see you Muzza. Practice smiles before I put my game face on.”

Former world number one Murray – now the British number two – has fallen to 156th in the world rankings, while Wawrinka is 261st following knee surgery.

Wawrinka, 33, lost to American Sam Querrey in the second round at Queen’s.

The Eastbourne tournament is the final warm-up event before Wimbledon begins on 2 July.

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Murray & Soares lose Queen's doubles final

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2018

Britain’s Jamie Murray and Brazilian partner Bruno Soares lost to Henri Kontinen and John Peers in the Fever-Tree Championships final at Queen’s.

Australia’s Peers and Kontinen of Finland recorded a routine 6-4 6-3 win over 2017 champions Murray and Soares.

“We got four great matches and played three on Centre Court in a fun atmosphere,” doubles specialist Murray told BBC Sport.

“We are looking forward to going and playing at Wimbledon next week now.”

  • Cilic beats Djokovic in marathon Queen’s final
  • Federer loses number one ranking after Halle defeat
  • Live scores, schedule and results

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Olsson beats Houdet to win Queen's wheelchair singles

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2018

Sweden’s Stefan Olsson won the inaugural wheelchair singles event at Queen’s with a straight-set victory over Stephane Houdet of France.

Reigning Wimbledon champion Olsson, 31, posted a 6-1 6-4 win over the 47-year-old in the 53-minute final at the Fever-Tree Championships.

Houdet gained a measure of revenge with victory over Olsson in the doubles alongside compatriot Nicolas Peifer.

The duo claimed a 6-3 6-2 win over Olsson and Spain’s Daniel Caverzaschi.

Elsewhere, Britain’s Dermot Bailey won the singles title at the Slovakia Open with a 6-1 6-2 win over world number three, top seed and doubles partner Tadeusz Kruszelnicki.

Bailey and Poland’s Kruszelnicki had won the doubles title on Saturday with a 6-1 6-2 success over Slovakian duo Marek Gergely and Tomas Masaryk.

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Cilic beats Djokovic in marathon Queen's final – highlights & report

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2018

Marin Cilic saved a match point before beating Novak Djokovic to win his second title at Queen’s Club.

The 29-year-old Croat fought back to win the Fever-Tree Championships 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in the longest final in the tournament’s history.

Cilic, who won the title in 2012 and was runner-up last year, saved match point at 5-4 in the second set and came back from 4-1 down in the tie-break.

His serve was crucial in the final set as he won in two hours and 57 minutes.

“It was a special win for me because last year I had a match point and didn’t convert it,” said Cilic.

“It was a tough match, with no breaks for me until the final set.”

  • Relive Cilic’s marathon final with Djokovic
  • Federer loses to Coric in Halle final
  • Live scores, schedule and results

Former world number one Djokovic, seeking to secure his first title since winning at Eastbourne last year, was upbeat despite his loss.

“I have to congratulate Marin on a fantastic week,” said Djokovic, who was playing in the tournament for the first time in 10 years.

“He deserved to win and came up with some big shots. It’s a tough loss for me. But I have to see the positive because I haven’t played a final in almost a year.”

Cilic fightback stuns Djokovic

Djokovic, 31, took a wildcard in an attempt to regain his best form before Wimbledon, having had surgery on his elbow in January.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion went into the 99th final of his career with a 14-1 head-to-head record over his opponent.

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His return of serve and athletic play blunted Cilic’s powerful serve in the first set and with the Croat struggling to assert himself looked on course to end his long wait for a trophy.

But Cilic denied Djokovic match point with a blistering serve and went to take the game and then force a tie-break.

Djokovic led 4-1 in the tie-break but nerves seemed to affect him and Cilic won six points in a row to set up the decider.

It was a tense final set and Cilic produced a moment of quality to tee up the only break of serve at 4-3.

Chasing down a wide ball, the Croat fired a stunning forehand winner that left Djokovic applauding.

The world number six then served it out to love to complete his victory.

‘Victory will boost Cilic’s Wimbledon hopes’

Analysis – BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

For much of this match, many of Djokovic’s trademark qualities were in evidence. He was serving well, defending resiliently and showing great speed across the court – and seemingly on his way to a first title for a year.

But he wobbled a little when just three points away from the prize, as a double fault and a backhand error contributed to Cilic’s run of six points in a row in the tie-break.

Cilic had lost his three previous finals, but he grew in confidence in the final set. His serving improved and his running forehand pass to set up the pivotal break of serve was breathtaking.

A second consecutive win over Djokovic, after 14 prior defeats, should further fuel his confidence ahead of Wimbledon.

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