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Johanna Konta beats Maria Sakkari to reach Eastbourne International third round

  • Posted: Jun 25, 2019
Eastbourne on the BBC
Venue: Devonshire Park, Eastbourne Dates: 23-29 June
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, Connected TVs and BBC Sport website and app; follow live text commentary on selected matches. Full details.

Britain’s Johanna Konta beat Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the third round of the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne.

The world number 19 was 5-3 down in the second set but fought back to secure victory in one hour and 37 minutes.

Konta, 28, will play Ons Jabeur in the third round after the Tunisian defeated Mandy Minella 2-6 6-2 6-1.

“There was so little in this match. I felt she was playing better than me for most of that match,” Konta said.

“I’m really pleased to have stayed tough and created as many opportunities as possible.”

Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber progressed by beating Sam Stosur 6-4 6-4 and plays Rebecca Peterson in the last 16 after the Swede saw off Lesia Tserenko 7-6 (8-6) 6-4.

Konta had to save two break points in the fourth game of the match before a drop shot-volley combination saw her break Sakkari for a 3-2 lead.

Having taken the first set, the French Open semi-finalist appeared the more likely player to break through in the second set until a fall seemed to unsettle her and Sakkari broke to love for a 5-3 lead.

However, she was unable to serve out the set and Konta wrapped up the win in a tie-break with a forehand winner.

Earlier, France’s Alize Cornet knocked out Ukrainian fifth seed Elina Svitolina 7-5 6-2 in a match delayed by rain on Monday. She will play Zhang Shuai in the third round after the Chinese player saw off Daria Gavrilova 6-3 6-1.

Dutch third seed Kiki Bertens defeated Yulia Putintseva 6-4 6-1 and next plays Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam who upset 16th seed Anett Kontaveit 6-3 6-4.

  • GB’s Evans & Norrie win at Eastbourne
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  • Eastbourne tennis: How to follow the women’s tournament live on the BBC
  • Live scores, schedule and results

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Defending Champion Dzumhur, Mannarino Reach Antalya Quarter-finals

  • Posted: Jun 25, 2019

Defending Champion Dzumhur, Mannarino Reach Antalya Quarter-finals

Third seed Thompson to face Dzumhur

Defending champion Damir Dzumhur earned a confidence boosting 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over Turkish wild card Altug Celikbilek on Tuesday as the fifth seed started his Turkish Airlines Antalya Open campaign. Having spent time on the sidelines this year with lower back, abdominal and shoulder injuries, it was just a seventh win for Dzumhur in 17 matches this year.

Dzumhur now plays third-seeded Australian Jordan Thompson, who knocked out American Bradley Klahn 7-6(7), 6-3 in one hour and 45 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals.

France’s Adrian Mannarino, runner-up at the ATP 250 tournament for the past two years, edged past Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 in two hours to set up a last-eight clash against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, who completed a 6-7(3), 6-0, 7-5 comeback win over Indian Prajnesh Gunneswaran in just over two hours, winning 27 of 30 points in the second set.

“I think I am serving pretty well, but it’s never easy,” said Mannarino. “You can win or lose against anybody.”

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Elsewhere, German qualifier Kevin Krawietz recorded his first ATP Tour singles match win over Turkish wild card Cem IIkel 6-4, 6-4 in 59 minutes. Afterwards, Krawietz told, “It was a bit surprising as my focus is mostly on doubles now. Serve and volley works well on grass and I feel good at the net. Today, I played great volleys, didn’t commit any errors at the net.”

Krawietz, who captured the Roland Garros doubles title earlier this month with Andreas Mies, will now face Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta. Looking to the second-round match, Krawietz said, “I have already played a few matches. That could help me as it will be the first match here for him.”

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Eastbourne: Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie reach second round

  • Posted: Jun 25, 2019

Britons Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie reached the second round of the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne with straight-set victories.

Evans progressed with a 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 win over Moldovan Radu Albot and will face France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert or American Denis Kudla next.

Norrie, 23, beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in a match delayed by rain on Monday.

He will play British number one Kyle Edmund, the third seed, in round two.

Norrie, the British number two, saved a set point at 5-6 in the second set before sealing victory on his first match point.

Evans, 29, saved nine of the 10 break points he faced against Albot in the first set, which he took on a tie-break.

It was more straightforward in the second set as two breaks of serve ensured victory in one hour and 46 minutes.

Evans had lost to Albot in the final of the Delray Beach Open in February.

Potential opponent Kudla got into the draw as a lucky loser after Queen’s singles and doubles champion Feliciano Lopez withdrew from the event because of fatigue.

Evans, now ranked 65 in the world, won back-to-back titles at Surbiton and Nottingham this month but lost in the first round of Queen’s to Stan Wawrinka.

Another Briton, 20-year-old Jay Clarke, lost 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-3 to Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero.

  • Eastbourne tennis: How to follow the women’s tournament live on the BBC
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Becker trophies – and his socks – up for £200,000 at auction

  • Posted: Jun 25, 2019

Memorabilia valued at an estimated £200,000 belonging to former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker is up for auction to help pay off his debts.

Replica Wimbledon, US Open and Davis Cup trophies, medals and clothing are all being sold off.

Bankruptcy trustees appointed to make payments to the 51-year-old German’s creditors have organised the sale.

“We consider this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said auction house Wyles Hardy & Co.

“Examples of these have rarely been available on the open market.”

Six-time Grand Slam champion Becker was declared bankrupt in June 2017 over money owed to bank Arbuthnot Latham.

An auction of goods was arranged but then postponed after Becker claimed diplomatic immunity from legal action.

He said he had been appointed a sport and culture attache for the Central African Republic.

However, Becker dropped his immunity claim in December, paving the way for a new auction to take place.

As well as the replica trophies, the online auction that runs until 11 July features watches, racquets, commemorative goblets, sweatbands – and even socks.

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Would You Answer Andy Murray’s Text At 2.30 A.M.?

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2019

Would You Answer Andy Murray’s Text At 2.30 A.M.?

Scot recalls funny exchange before second event back from hip surgery

What would you do if you got a text message from Andy Murray at 2:30 a.m.? In the case of his hip surgeon early Monday morning, she answered within five minutes.

During a pre-tournament press conference Monday at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne, where he is playing doubles with Brazil’s Marcelo Melo, Murray was asked if he had spoken to his surgeon about how his hip held up during his title run at Queen’s. That led to this light-hearted exchange with reporters.

“She came to watch last week. Got some tickets for her on the day where I played the two matches, quarter-final, semi-final matches. And then messaged her yesterday when I got in, actually from when I got in from dinner at like 2:30 in the morning and she responded within five minutes,” Murray said. “I was, like, ‘God, she’s supposed to be operating tomorrow morning. I don’t want to be the first one on the list Monday’.”

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Murray returned from a January right hip surgery last week at the Fever-Tree Championships. But not only did the Scot play, he captured the doubles title alongside Feliciano Lopez at The Queen’s Club, where he previously won five singles trophies. The 32-year-old hasn’t heard his surgeon’s thoughts on how he looked, though.

“I haven’t actually asked her about that, because obviously when I had gone to see her for a checkup and to chat, obviously she sees you walking in, but she’s not seeing all of the training and things that you’re doing. So it’s just sort of going off what you’re saying and what your team is telling her,” Murray said. “But obviously she got a chance to watch a few days ago. I haven’t actually spoken to her since she’s seen me play. I think she’s just happy that my hip doesn’t hurt really anymore.”

It was Murray’s first ATP Tour doubles title since 2011 Tokyo, which he won with brother Jamie Murray. It was the former World No. 1’s first singles title since 2017 Dubai.

<a href=''>Andy Murray</a> and <a href=''>Feliciano Lopez</a> celebrate at Queen's Club 2019

“I went out for dinner with Feli the other night, because when I won that tournament in Dubai, I was trying to get my team to — I said before the week, ‘If I win the tournament, I want to do a skydive’,” Murray recalled. “All of my team rejected it and were, like, ‘No chance we’re doing that’. Obviously that turned out to be the last tournament that I won, and I had a lot of health problems after that, because I had the issue with my elbow straight afterwards in Indian Wells, and then I had the issues with my hip quite soon afterwards.

“I was saying to them, you’ll need to make sure you enjoy those moments, because you don’t know what’s around the corner and what might happen. And at the time you sometimes forget that winning a tournament like that is really, really special.”

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Preparing for Tuesday’s Eastbourne opener against top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah (whom Murray and Lopez defeated at The Queen’s Club), the Scot and Melo were able to practise for less than an hour Monday. “Me and Feli were playing quite conventional doubles, and he expects to play a bit more I-formation and a lot more of moving around at the net and stuff,” Murray said. “So that will be again a different sort of challenge tomorrow, but it can also be very effective if done well.

“He’s good fun, a pretty laid-back guy. Hopefully we’ll do well.”

More Murray News
Murray To Partner Melo Tuesday In Eastbourne
Murray/Lopez Complete Dream Week At The Queen’s Club

A reporter asked Murray whether he would bungee jump off Beachy Head, a chalk headland in the area, if he lifts the trophy again this week.

“I’d be up for it, but I’m not going to do it on my own,” Murray said. “I’d do it if all my team were up for it, although I don’t know if my hip surgeon would be particularly happy with me trying that.”

If in doubt, Murray knows he can always text her at 2:30 a.m. and ask.

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Fever-Tree Championships Honoured As ATP 500 Tournament Of The Year

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2019

Fever-Tree Championships Honoured As ATP 500 Tournament Of The Year

Queen’s Club tournament honoured for fifth time in ATP Awards

The Fever-Tree Championships celebrated its distinction as the ATP 500 Tournament of the Year on Saturday at The Queen’s Club, as Mark Philippoussis presented Tournament Director Stephen Farrow with the 2018 ATP Awards trophy.

Players selected the Fever-Tree Championships as a Tournament of the Year for a fifth time last season. The tournament previously won in the ATP World Tour 500 category in 2015-16 and the 250 category in 2013-14.

“The ATP-500 category is full of excellent tournaments, so for the players to vote the Fever-Tree Championships as their favourite event is immensely satisfying for everyone involved, particularly our tireless tournament team and The Queen’s Club grounds staff who maintain our magnificent grass courts year after year,” said Farrow. “I’d like to thank the players for voting for us, and our spectators, sponsors and media partners for their support.

“The Lawn Tennis Association has a vision to open up tennis in Britain to anyone with an interest, from players of all abilities and backgrounds to its millions of fans. As part of that vision, we want to entice people who have never experienced live tennis to come along to our tournaments and see it for themselves.”

You May Also Like: Indian Wells, Queen’s & Stockholm Named 2018 Tournaments Of The Year

The grass-court event, staged for more than a century at The Queen’s Club in London, increased its centre court capacity by more than 30 per cent over the past two years. In 2018, the tournament welcomed Fever-Tree, the premium mixer drinks company, as its title sponsor.

The tournament awards, voted annually by ATP players, recognise the leading standards set across events on the ATP Tour. The BNP Paribas Open and Intrum Stockholm Open were named Tournament of the Year respectively in the Masters 1000 and 250 categories.

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#NextGenATP Popryrin Leads Aussie Assault In Wimbledon Qualifying

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2019

#NextGenATP Popryrin Leads Aussie Assault In Wimbledon Qualifying

All eight Aussies in action advance

#NextGenATP Aussie Alexei Popyrin made a good start to his pursuit of a Wimbledon main draw berth on Monday, defeating Argentine Federico Coria 6-2, 7-5 to reach the second round of qualifying.

Popyrin, currently in 11th place in the ATP Race To Milan, is trying to make a move to better his chances of qualifying for November’s Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. Earlier this year, the 19-year-old advanced to the third round of the Australian Open, where he lost to eventual semi-finalist Lucas Pouille in five sets.

Popyrin wasn’t the only Aussie to make it through; all eight Aussie men in action Monday moved into the second round. Alex Bolt, who also reached the third round in Melbourne, outlasted #NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner 2-6, 7-5, 12-10 in two hours and 36 minutes. That was the longest third set, by games, of the day.

Bolt qualified for Wimbledon for the first time last year, losing to Kyle Edmund in the main draw. He will next play Austrian Dennis Novak.

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The other Aussies who battled on in the first round were James Duckworth, Andrew Harris, Jason Kubler, Marc Polmans, Akira Santillan and John-Patrick Smith.

German Dustin Brown, who advanced to the MercedesCup quarter-finals with a win against reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev, beat China’s Zhe Li 7-6(2), 6-3 in one hour and 21 minutes. Brown has competed in the Wimbledon main draw seven times, and he defeated Rafael Nadal at the grass-court Grand Slam in 2015.

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Broady reaches Wimbledon qualifying second round

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2019
Wimbledon qualifying
Venue: Bank of England Sports Centre, London Dates: 24-27 June
Coverage: Live streaming on the BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and app. Full details

Liam Broady has advanced to the second round of Wimbledon qualifying, but last year’s Wimbledon boys’ singles runner-up Jack Draper was knocked out.

British number eight Broady, 25, beat Slovakia’s Andrej Martin 6-3 6-1.

Promising British 17-year-old Draper lost 6-4 7-6 (7-0) to Japanese world number 182 Yasutaka Uchiyama.

Broady, who has played in the singles main draw at the All England Club three times, will face the Netherlands’ Tallon Griekspoor in the second round.

However, Britain’s Jan Choinski, Evan Hoyt, Mark Whitehouse and Ryan Peniston also lost in the first round of qualifying.

The 16 players who make it through three rounds of qualifying will earn a place in the Wimbledon main draw.

  • Jack Draper – can 17-year-old prodigy unlock his true potential?
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Verdasco Battles Back From The Brink In Eastbourne

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2019

Verdasco Battles Back From The Brink In Eastbourne

Three Americans advance to the second round

Fifth seed Fernando Verdasco was on the brink of defeat Monday in the first round the Nature Valley International, losing the first set against Aussie John Millman and dropping the first 10 points of the second set. But the Eastbourne crowd began urging him on, and things changed for the Spaniard.

Verdasco turned the tide on Millman, defeating the World No. 58 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-1 after two hours and 32 minutes. The veteran lefty saved 11 of the 12 break points in his first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against the unseeded Aussie.

Millman took a 4-2 lead in the second set, moving to within just two service holds of victory. But Verdasco claimed 10 of the match’s final 11 games to set a second-round clash against wild card Jay Clarke or Argentine Leonardo Mayer.

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It was a successful day for the Americans in Eastbourne, with three men from the United States advancing on the grass. Taylor Fritz defeated British qualifier and this year’s NCAA singles champion, Paul Jubb, 6-2, 6-3 in exactly one hour.

The 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier struck 12 aces and won 50 per cent of his return points against the 19-year-old Jubb. Fritz is currently World No. 42, just two spots off his career-best ATP Ranking, and he will try to upset top seed Guido Pella in the second round.

Former World No. 11 Sam Querrey battled past Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 7-6(4) in one hour and 26 minutes. The victory came in the American’s first match since the second week of April in Houston, where he made the semi-finals. Querrey will next face fourth seed Dusan Lajovic.

Steve Johnson, the 2016 Eastbourne champion, won a battle of Americans against reigning New York Open champion Reilly Opelka, withstanding the 21-year-old’s 13 aces to triumph 7-6(4), 6-3 in one hour and 21 minutes.

Johnson is coached by Craig Boynton, who also coaches Hubert Hurkacz, Johnson’s next opponent. Hurkacz upset seventh seed Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 6-4 in 66 minutes.

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