Kyle Edmund Pledges To Keep His Focus Following Career-Best Win - UBITENNIS
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Kyle Edmund Pledges To Keep His Focus Following Career-Best Win

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Kyle Edmund celebrates winning a point during his first round match against Gilles Simon on day three of The Aegon Championships at The Queens Club. (Source: Zimbio.com)

Kyle Edmund is taking nothing for granted after achieving a milestone win in the first round of the Aegon Championships.

 

The South African-born Brit defeated world No.18 Gilles Simon, picking up the first top-20 win of his career. Edmund’s achievement at The Queen’s Club is impressive for a player who has only won one out of his eight previous pro matches on the grass. According to the statistics it is the best win in Edmund’s career, however, the 21-year-old is less convinced about the significance of his victory.

“I don’t know – on paper, it is my best win,” he said.
“It is tough to say if it is the best win in my career. When you look at your best wins you look at how you play, the situation, the opponent and everything together.”

A top-20 triumph was only a matter of time for the rising star. Currently ranked 85th in the world, Edmund has already won two Challenger titles this year and reach his maiden ATP quarter-final at the Doha Open. Now playing on home territory, Edmund is becoming more confident with the quick transition from the clay to the grass.

“I have had time to practice on it, which has really helped me.” Edmund said about the grass.
“I lost in the second round (at the French Open), so if you look at the advantage of that, I got more time to practice on the grass. So I think that has definitely helped me.”

Like every other British player, Edmund is preparing for the mecca of British tennis, the Wimbledon Championships. In his fourth consecutive Wimbledon appearance, the world No.85 will be hoping to end his run of three first round exits at SW19. Growing with confidence, Edmund feels that he can finally make his mark at the upcoming grand slam.

“I think how I have been playing, I feel like I have been playing well and a lot more consistent this year,” Edmund stated.
“I’d definitely say that going to Wimbledon this year I am better prepared than last year. I will probably say the same thing again next year.” He joked.

Prior to Wimbledon, Edmund still has unfinished business at this weeks ATP 500 event at the Aegon Championships. In the second round Edmund will play French veteran Paul Henri Mathieu, a player who has never won a title on the grass.

I don’t really know a lot about him, to be honest. I practiced with him two or three years ago I think.” Edmund said about Mathieu.

Fortunately for Edmund, Mathieu defeated fellow Brit Dan Evans in his first round match. The Brit plans to speak with either Evans or his coach about Mathieu’s game style prior to the upcoming clash.

Edmund’s second round match will be the first on Centre Court on Thursday at 12:30 GMT. If Both him and Andy Murray win their second round matches, they will play in the first all-British ATP quarter-final since the 2002 AAPT championships.

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Andy Murray’s ‘Tennis In 2020’ Caption Praised By Rising Star Gauff

Why a recent Instagram post from the three-time Grand Slam champion has been hailed by the teenage sensation.

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Coco Gauff has branded Andy Murray a ‘great ally’ for diversity after the former world No.1 highlighted an article about the lack of members from non-white backgrounds at the Lawn Tennis Association and All England Club.

 

The former world No.1 uploaded a screenshot of an interview conducted by The Times newspaper with MaliVai Washington who is the last black man to reach a Wimbledon final back in 1996. The article reported that none of the 24 board members of the two organisations are Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME). In Murray’s Instagram along with the picture he wrote the caption ‘Tennis in 2020’ followed by a confused emoji.

16-year-old Gauff has hailed the Brit for speaking out on the issue. Speaking to reporters following her 1-6, 7-6, 7-6(2), loss to Aryna Sabalenka in Ostrava on Thursday, the world No.55 said it was important to have people like Murray commenting on these issues.

“Nothing’s wrong with asking for more diversity. For him to say that is definitely inspiring, especially with him being a man and white,” Reuters news agency quoted Gauff as saying.
“For someone like him to call for diversity, it shows how great an ally he is… I love what Andy is doing on and off the court. He’s one of my favourite players to watch.
“It’s important we do have diversity, because there are people from all over the world from different backgrounds and areas and I think representation is important. At least for me, as a girl… seeing yourself being represented means a lot.”

Murray is renowned for speaking out about equality issues in tennis and was one of the first top players on the ATP Tour to hire a female coach when he collaborated with Amelie Mauresmo. In an article written for the BBC back in 2017 he said ‘anyone who has spent any time with any of the top women will know that they make those same sacrifices and are as determined and committed to winning as any of the top men on the tour.’

More recently Murray has also come out in favour of renaming the Margaret Court Arena at the Australian Open due to the former player’s controversial statements about the LGBT community.

Despite her young age, Gauff has also been vocal about social issues and addressed a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally in her home town of Delray Beach, Florida earlier this year where she called for change.

Coincidentally during the same week as Murray’s post, Wimbledon has appointed its first ever BAME member to its main board. The Daily Mail has confirmed that former player and Fed Cup captain Anne Keothavong will join the board in a bit to increase diversity. The 37-year-old was born in the London borough of Hackney after her parents left Laos in the 1970s.

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Milos Raonic reaches his fifth quarter final this season in Antwerp

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This year’s Western and Southern Open Championships Milos Raonic edged Cameron Norrie 7-5 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 49 minutes at the European Open in Antwerp to reach his fifth quarter final on the ATP Tour this season.

 

Norrie saved three break points in the first game of the opening set and one more chance in the the fifth game, but Raonic broke serve in the 11th game to win the opening set 7-5. 

The second set went on serve en route to tie-break. Raonic earned two mini-breaks to earn three match points at 6-3. Norrie got back one of the two mini-break points, but Raonic sealed the win on his second match point. 

The Canadian player has got through to his second consecutive quarter final one week after advancing to the semifinal in St. Petersburg last week. The 2016 Wimbledon finalist has improved his win-loss record to 19-8 this year. 

Raonic is bidding to win his first ATP Tour title since his win over Roger Federer in the 2016 Brisbane final.  

Raonic set up a quarter final clash against Grigor Dimitrov, who leads 3-2 in his previous head-to-head matches against his Canadian rival. 

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Aryna Sabalenka comes from a double break down to beat Coco Gauff in Ostrava

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Third seed Aryna Sabalenka came back from a double break down in the third set to beat US qualifier Coco Gauff 1-6 7-5 7-6 (7-2) after 2 hours and 13 minutes in the second round of the J&T Banka Ostrava Open.

 

Sabalenka avenged her defeat against Gauff, who won their recent head-to-head match in Lexington by the scoreline of 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-4 in 2 hours and 48 minutes. 

Sabalenka faced the first break point of the match in the fourth game , as she netted a smash. Gauff converted it with a backhand over the baseline. The US 16-year-old player went up a double break with two passing shots to race to a 5-1 lead. She closed out the first set 6-1 with three service winners. 

Neither player faced a break point in the first 11 games, but each came back from 0-30 down twice. Gauff netted a forehand at deuce on Sabalenka’s serve at 5-5 and was broken for the first time in the next game with consecutive forehand errors. 

Gauff went up a double break to open up a 3-0 lead, as Sabalenka sent a backhand over the baseline. Sabalenka pulled one the two breaks back in the fourth game to claw her way back to 2-3, but she faced a break point in the seventh game after three double faults. Gauff converted her double break point chance to take a 5-2 lead with a lob. 

Sabalenka broke serve to claw her way back to 3-5, as Gauff made three unforced errors and a double fault. The 22-year-old Belarusian player pulled the second break back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. 

Sabalenka had a chance for a double match point, but she sent a forehand volley into the the tramlines. Gauff forced the decisive set to the tie-break. Sabalenka got a double mini-break to race out to a 4-0 lead and closed out the match with her fourth ace. 

“I would say today was a really good level compared to last time. After the last match I knew there were going to be long rallies and short balls, and that I have to step in every time on court, and that I have to step in every time on court, stay aggressive and don’t be afraid to come into net. She is a great player, she is so young and she is moving really well. It’s long rallies all the time and it’s not easy to make a winner or find a way of finishing the point against her. She is great. She is 16 and she is playing on this level. I would like to be on this level when I was 16”, said Sabalenka. 

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