Judy Murray Warns Against Pressuring British Prospect Kyle Edmund - UBITENNIS
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Judy Murray Warns Against Pressuring British Prospect Kyle Edmund

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Kyle Edmund (zimbio.com)

Former Fed Captain Judy Murray believes pressure should not be piled onto Kyle Edmund following his steady rise in the ATP Emirates rankings.

 

The 22-year-old is currently ranked 45th in the world and is the second highest placed British player on the ATP Tour after world No.1 Andy Murray. At this week’s Atlanta Open, Edmund reached his second tour-level semifinal after defeating top seed Jack Sock. He was denied a place in his first ATP final following a three-set loss to Ryan Harrison.

Whilst the run is encouraging, Murray is remaining cautious about what the future holds for him. Edmund’s recent success comes during what has been a mixed season for him. After reaching the third round at the French Open for the first time in his career, he only managed to win one match in three tournaments during the grass-court swing (defeating Alexander Ward at Wimbledon).

“He’s a great prospect, but what people need to be careful of is not putting pressure on them too quickly to be something they are not yet ready to be,” Murray told The Ealing Times.

Edmund has been playing under high expectations since his junior career, when he won two grand slam titles in the boys doubles competition. Last year world No.1 Andy Murray said he has the ability to ‘rise to the top of the game.’

Whilst the praise is welcomed, consistency continues to be the problem for Edmund. He has a win-loss record of 18-20 so far this year and is yet to achieve back-to-back quarter-final appearances in his pro career.

“Like everything it’s consistency of performance. To move yourself up the rankings you have to put in good performances week in, week out, and in order to do that you need to put in the hard yards.” Murray pointed out.
“That’s the work physically, on the tennis court and in the gym, but you also need to have that attitude when it comes to training and competition.
“That’s the key to consistency and success, taking yourself forward on and off the court. He’s cemented himself in the top 50 in the world over the past year or so, had some big wins and he is still pretty young with the ability to climb up the rankings even further.”

Edmund aims to maintain momentum

With the US Open approaching, Edmund will be bidding to reproduce his run from last year. In 2016 he stunned Richard Gasquet and John Isner on route to the fourth round. This time round, he is hoping to capitalize on the confidence he has gained from Atlanta.

“It is nice to get wins under your belt and get some momentum for the rest of this hard-court swing.” Edmund said earlier in the week.

The Brit will next play at the Washington Open, an ATP 500 event. He will face South Korea’s Hyeon Chung in the first round.

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Neil Stubley: “It is impossible to host Wimbledon in late summer because the courts would become slippery”

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Wimbledon groundsman Neil Stubley explained to the British newspaper that the change of date was not possible at the All England Club. It is impossible to stage Wimbledon in late summer. Wimbledon became the highest-profile tennis tournament to be called off due to the coronavirus. The All England Club confirmed that the 134th edition of the Championships will be held from 28th June to 11th July 2021.

 

According to Stubley it is impossible to host Wimbledon in late summer because the courts would become slippery much earlier than in July. It would shorten the window for matches making it extremely difficult to organize many matches between 11.30am to 17pm.

“In late summer the sun gets lower in the sky. The dew point on the grass arrives earlier and the courts get slippery. The window for play becomes shorter at both ends. As much as it would be lovely to play in late summer and autumn. It’s not possible. We have indeed staged Davis Cup matches in September, but the the play would start at 11.30 or noon and finish by 5pm. Whereas, at the Championships, you are going from 11am until 9 pm every day. To get through 670 matches over 13 matches is a challenge in the height of summer, let alone at other times of the year”, said Stubley.

Stubley said that he will miss the adrenaline rush he gets on the first day of Wimbledon.

 “One of the beauties about my job is that to showcase my work to the world every day. When the eyes of the world are looking to how Centre Court is for that first day of the Championships, it’s always a nervous feeling. It will be a funny feeling, through June and July, not to have that adrenaline rush again”, said Stubley.

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‘He Did Everything I did, Only Better’ – Pat Rafter Names The Toughest Rival Of His Career

The two-time grand slam champion opens up about his toughest rivalry as he predicts a bleak outlook for the 2020 tennis season.

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Former world No.1 Pat Rafter has named an American tennis legend as the player who he struggled the most against throughout his professional career.

 

The 47-year-old was a star of Australian tennis during his playing days after achieving a series of milestones. His accolades include becoming the first player from his country in 28 years to reach the top of the ATP rankings in 1999 and becoming the first man to win the Rogers Cup, Cincinnati Masters and US Open within the same year. Rafter is also the last player outside of the Big Three to have won back-to-back US Open titles after triumphing in 1997 and 1998.

Despite his successes, there was one player that caused him difficulty. Rafter played Pete Sampras 16 times on the ATP Tour, but could only win four of those encounters. At one stage he lost to the 14-time grand slam champion eight times in a row.

“The toughest player I played against was definitely Pete Sampras – he did everything I did, only better.” Rafter told Eurosport.
“His record was the best so there’s no doubt about it Sampras the stand-out. I enjoyed playing Andre Agassi the most – I thought we had a really good battle, I really enjoyed playing him.”

The rivalry between the two was tense at times. Highlighted best by their encounter in the 1998 US Open semifinals. Sampras complained of a quadriceps injury following his loss to the Australian. Prompting Rafter to famously say ‘he’s becoming a bit of a crybaby.’ A few months before that comment, he admitted that his relationship with the American wasn’t solid by saying ‘We’re not the best of mates. I wouldn’t go out for a beer with him, put it that way.’

22 years on from the verbal exchange between the two, Rafter now describes it as a thing of the past. Insisting that his rival never took what he said to him ‘personally.’

“I can’t remember the exact words, but we had a run-in in Cincinnati one year – I probably told him to grow up.” He recounted.
“He cracked it when I beat him one time. But that was back in the old days, emotions were running high and don’t take it personally. It’s all good.”

No tennis in 2020

Besides reminiscing about his playing career with Eurosport, Rafter has also predicted a bleak outlook for this year’s tour. All professional tournaments have been suspended until July 13th due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the first time since 1945 Wimbledon has been cancelled due to the situation.

Many are now speculating as to when it will be possible for the tour to resume. The US Open is still optimistic that they can hold their tournament as scheduled later this summer. Meanwhile, the French Open is set to be played during the later part of September. However, Rafter doubts that either of those tournaments will happen.

“No, I think this (the virus) is going to be around for a long time.” Rafter commented on the chances of the 2020 season resuming. “Until they get a vaccine I can’t see how anyone is going to be playing.’
“Personally, I think it’ll be like the flu and we’ll have to get used to it.”

Potentially one solution for the tournaments would be to host matches without spectators. In order to minimise the risk of the virus spreading. An approach that has already been taken by other sports such as football. However, Wimbledon refused to consider that option this year.

“I think they could. No spectators. Sure. No ball-boys – I’d love to see the players pick up the balls themselves!” he concluded.

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Judy Murray: “Wimbledon faces big challenges in terms of postponising it”

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The ATP and the WTA have extended the tour suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak until 13th July as Wimbledon was called off for the first time since the Second World War in 1945.

 

Judy Murray, former British Fed Cup captain and mother of Andy and Jamie Murray, explained why it was hard for Wimbledon organizers to postpone the tournament at the All England Club and find a new date in the calendar.

“I think the calendar is already starting to become congested towards the end of the year because everybody who has had tournaments cancelled is fighting for spaces to try to complete the season as best as they can. I think one of the big challenges for Wimbledon is that it’s played on grass, which is not an artificial surface and also the further that you go on in the year or down in the calendar you have less light and of course Wimbledon has just two covered courts. I think there are big challenges in terms of postponing it”, said Judy Murray on BBC Breakfast. 

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