Wimbledon Day 1: How Did The Brits Do? - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 1: How Did The Brits Do?

You already know that Andy Murray and Jo Konta are through in straight sets, but what about the other Brits?

Jakub Bobro

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Almost everyone already knows that the biggest British favorites- Andy Murray and Johanna Konta are through without losing a set. But what about the rest of the Brits? Read to find out!

 

Best result from a Brit today was definitely by Aljaz Bedene. Bedene isn’t known for his grass prowess, so when he was drawn against 21st Ivo Karlovic, there wasn’t much hope. The Brit led the head-to-head 3-0, but two of the matches were retirements and the other one was on clay. Bedene not only held his own on serve and pushed Karlovic to tiebreaks, but came out on top.

The final scoreline for Bedene was 6-7(5) 7-6(6) 6-7(7) 7-6(7) 8-6 after 4 hours and 31 minutes. It was wonderful to see the crowd line up behind Bedene for all his struggles with Olympic and Davis Cup eligibility. Th Brit fired 27 aces to Karlovic’s 44. The Croat failed to convert any of his 8 break points. Bedene’s consistency was definitely one of the keys, getting 79 winners to only 18 unforced errors.

Bedene’s next opponent will be Damir Dzumhur

Post Match Quotes:

“Yeah, I mean, it wasn’t easy to see because he was getting actually tired. Basically the only thing he can do at the end was serve. I was still okay. I wouldn’t say I was fresh, but I felt good on the court. I was hoping we’re going to finish today, end the match.”

“Well, I don’t think I was dreaming about winning 8-6 in the fifth set. But any win’s a good win. It’s a good win. I was getting goosebumps even before that when everyone was clapping. I think it was maybe 5-4 in the fifth set. I mean, I was enjoying the match. Probably I wouldn’t say that if I would lose, but I was enjoying it that moment as well.”

I know Damir for a long time. I actually lent him two match shirts and two shorts for today’s match. He’s a really nice guy. We hang out a lot.

Heather Watson is another Brit that scored a win today. Watson was given an alright draw, opening against the Belgian Maryna Zanveska. The wild card took the first set 6-1, but struggled a bit to close the set out. Watson was leading 5-3 in the second set, but after dropping 3 match points at 5-4, she was in trouble. The second set went to a tiebreak, but Watson regrouped and won the match 6-1 7-6(5).

Heather Watson will play 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova, hoping that she could pull off the upset in front of a crowd on a big court.

Post Match Quotes:

“Yeah, well, first I’m happy to get through the first round. First rounds are always tough. I’d never played Maryna before. I wasn’t really sure. Like, you can watch as many videos as you want, but it’s different being out there on the court against them. I felt I got off to a great start. I felt very solid. In the second set, I felt the same. I just felt that she served extremely well in that second set, especially on the deuce side she hit a lot of aces down the T. Then that game at 5-4, you know, I thought I served very well. She just made me play the extra ball. It didn’t go my way.”

“I feel like the grass for me always takes a few weeks to get used to it, then I start playing really well on it, which is the same for every surface really with me. But especially last week is some of the best tennis I’ve played in a long time.”

Laura Robson did not please the British crowd with her loss to Beatriz Haddad Maia. Haddad Maia does have a solid game on grass, especially with her big serve. The Brazilian wasn’t broken in the match, winning 79% of 1st serve points. She also converted 3 out of 3 break points on Robson’s serve. Robson kept on misfiring, giving Haddad Maia a comfortable 6-4 6-2 win.

Post Match Quotes:

“No, it was just how I felt going into the match. I thought I had a really good chance. With the way that I’d been playing the last few weeks, there is no reason I couldn’t have won that match. Yeah, just let myself down.”

“Well, I definitely would like to qualify for US Open again. That’s always a highlight, playing in New York, for me. Ranking goals, I’m not really overly concerned. It is what it is. I think as long as you get as many matches as you can, you know, grind through these 60Ks and things like that, you move up with the wins.”

Cameron Norrie faced a great challenge this morning in his first Wimbledon appearance. No smaller than 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Norrie is playing his first Wimbledon with a wild card after a successful career in the NCAA college tennis. However he was quite far behind the sheer power and experience of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Tsonga took control at 2-3 in the first set, and remained in control throughout. The final score between No. 10 Tsonga and No. 221 Norrie was 6-3 6-2 6-2 after 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Post Match Quotes:

” I think I just lost a little bit of focus. Missed a few easy volleys in the first set, got broken, and then I think it was just the same in each set. I played one loose service game in each set, and it cost me. I’m not used to playing guys at this level. It’s a good learning experience, and I will know next time to work on my concentration and work on my volleys a little bit (smiling).”

” Oh, no, no. I have turned pro now. I can’t actually play for the uni at all anymore. I’m going to head back to the States and play a lot of tournaments on the hard courts over there and kind of look to base, if I have like an off week or something, then I will go to my uni at TCU and kind of base out of there. My favorite surface is the hard, so it’s the best time of year for me now.”

Naomi Broady was also a wild card recipient this year. Broady was drawn against Irina-Camelia Begu. The match was deemed a coin flip, decided by the particular form on the day. Broady had a chance to break for 3-2, but Begu held and she was the one to take the break and win the first set. Begu was in charge of the second set, and won 6-4 6-2 after an hour and 17 minutes.

Post Match Quotes:

“With my ranking being just on the border of not being enough ranking anyway, I don’t think I felt as much pressure as maybe if I was ranked in the 200s and I was way off, because I know that I have played in main draw here off ranking and in the other Grand Slams before. As I said, I’m only a couple spots off. In the bigger picture I really wanted to win to get in the US Open main draw. That was my goal for the grass season. I think I’m going to be literally two or three spots off that. I don’t know if the tournament after Wimbledon counts or not, but I’m entered in it, so I’ll probably go play there in Kazakhstan and try and get the last couple points I need to get up for that.”

“Well, I have women’s doubles here. I don’t know if I play tomorrow. I haven’t checked the schedule. Does women’s doubles start tomorrow? I don’t know. And I’m going to sign up for mixed doubles. I will see with that, as well. Then I’m entered in a 100,000 in Kazakhstan directly after Wimbledon, the second week of Wimbledon. Then it’s over to the U.S. for the hard court season. Possibly some more ITFs mixed in with the WTAs and then potentially qualifiers for US Open if my ranking is not with the main draw.”

 

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Danielle Collins blasts past Iga Świątek and into the Australian Open final

Danielle Collins comprehensively beat Iga Swiatek to reach the Australian Open final.

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Danielle Collins (@AustralianOpen - Twitter)

American Danielle Collins made light work of Iga Świątek to move into her first Grand Slam final.

 

The Pole looked exhausted, particularly in the second set, after her exploits in the quarter finals against Kaia Kanepi, and was no match for the explosive Collins. Świątek going down 6-4, 6-1.

Collins will face Ash Barty in the title match, who also came through in a comfortable straight sets, against another American, Madison Keys, 6-1, 6-3.

It’s looking to be a procession for the world number one in Melbourne, who has yet to drop a set.

On Saturday, the two-time Grand Slam winner will look to become the first Australian women to win on home soil for 44 years.

Having recovered from endometriosis last year, Collins’ run to the final is even more spectacular.

She immediately stamped her authority, breaking Świątek in the opening game.

This was backed up with a comfortable hold, that was sealed with a barnstorming backhand drive. Collins soon nabbed the double break and raced into a 4-0 lead.

But Świątek, to her credit, battled back, holding serve and breaking the American with some explosive hitting.She now trailed 4-2.

A topsy-turvy set of tennis saw Collins break the Pole for the third time, but the drama was only just getting started.

Świątek miraculously saved three set points, the second with a sublime backhand volley, to the delight of Rod Laver Arena, and broke the American, again.

This was backed up with a hold serve, to beg the question, could Collins serve it out and she did, converting her fourth set point in a marathon rally, 6-4.

The 27th seed had all the momentum going into the second set and clinically broke the Pole with some irresistible hitting.

More power tennis flowed from the American’s racquet and she secured the double break, moving into a 4-0 lead.

The seventh seed simply had no answer to Collins’ dominance, and although she saved a match point, the American was far too strong and made no mistake on her second.

After the match she spoke to the crowd.

“It feels amazing. It’s been such a journey and it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s been so many years of hard work and hours at an early age on the court,” she said.

“Yesterday I was talking about all the early mornings where my dad would get up with me and practice before school.

“It’s just incredible to be on this stage, especially with the health challenges, and I’m just so grateful. I couldn’t be happier.”

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Nick Kyrgios Refuses To Engage With Doubles Player’s Criticism After Reaching Doubles Final With Thanasi Kokkinakis

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis are into the men’s doubles final at the Australian Open.

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Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis (@AustralianOpen - Twitter)

Nick Kyrgios has refused to engage in criticism from Michael Venus after he reached the Men’s doubles final with Thanasi Kokkinakis.

 

The controversial Australian reached his first grand slam final with good friend Thanasi Kokkinakis as they defeated third seeds Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers 7-6(4) 6-4.

The Australian duo have also knocked out top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic as well as sixth seeds Tim Puetz and Michael Venus.

Speaking of Michael Venus it was the New Zealander who had a problem with Kyrgios’ behaviour in their match branding him as ‘an absolute knob’ as well as stating he has the maturity of a 10 year-old.

After the match Kyrgios refused to hit back at the doubles specialist as he wanted to focus on the victory, “Michael Venus, I’m not going to destroy him in this media conference room right now,” Kyrgios said in his post-match press conference.

“But Zeballos and Granollers are singles players. They’ve had great careers. I respect them a lot more than I respect Michael Venus. I think the balance was there today. The quality of tennis was amazing. I think the festival atmosphere was still there. I think they embraced it. They knew it was an incredible atmosphere.

“Zeballos took a selfie with us before we walked out. That’s how you embrace an atmosphere. You’re not losing a match and then getting salty about it afterwards. It’s ridiculous.”

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis’ reactions have caused a stir among opponents with their over-the-top celebrations after points.

However Kokkinakis told journalists that they are not disrespecting their opponents, “I think for the most part it’s not us trying to disrespect the opponents,” Kokkinakis said.

“It’s us trying to get the crowd going to just increase the atmosphere. Sometimes the opponents take it personally. That’s what happened with the Croatians that we played, the No 1 seeds. That’s obviously Michael took offence to that.

“We’re not doing anything directly to them to try and disrespect. We’re just trying to get the crowd even more hyped, and then some of them take it personally.”

Regardless of their reactions, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis have put a lot of attention on doubles as they bid to win their first grand slam title.

On Saturday they will have an all Australian final with Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell after they knocked out second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6-3 7-6(9).

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Ash Barty Storms Into Australian Open Final, Ends 42-Year Wait For Home Country

The world No.1 said it is ‘unreal’ that she now has a shot of winning the title.

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Ash Barty has broken new ground at the Australian Open by producing an emphatic win over Madison Keys to reach the final for the first time in her career.

 

Bidding to become the first Australian women to reach the title match in Melbourne Park since Wendy Turnbull back in 1980, the top seed powered her way to a 6-1, 6-3,win over her below-par American rival. Keys is a former top 10 player who was aiming to reach her first major final since the 2017 US Open. Barty dominated play with the help of 20 winners as she impressively won 78% of her first points. It is the third time in her career she has reached a Grand Slam final.

“It’s unreal. It is just incredible. I love this tournament and I love coming out here and playing in Australia,” Barty said afterwards. “As an Aussie we are exceptionally small but we are a Grand Slam nation and get to play in our backyard.’
“I’m just happy that I get to play my best tennis here. I have done well before and now we have a chance to play for a title – it’s unreal.”

Despite carrying the hopes of her nation on her shoulders, Barty settled into her semi-final clash instantly and displayed no sign of either nerves or tension. She launched her first attack in the opening game by using her slice to apply pressure directly onto Keys’ serve. A drop shot from the American was punished by Barty who hit a cross-court winner to break. She went on to secure a double break for a 4-1 lead by hitting a shot towards the baseline which forced an error from her opponent.

As for Barty’s own serve, she dominated throughout the opener by winning 15 out of 20 points played. It took just 26 minutes for the Australian to secure a 6-1 lead after she returned a tentative Keys serve with a forehand winner down the line.

Inevitably, as the match progressed, Barty looked more tight on the court with the prospect of ending Australia’s long wait for a home player in the final of their biggest tennis event. Nevertheless, she continued to weather the storm before going on to secure a vital break midway through the second frame. After saving a break point in the previous game, a winning Barty passing shot secured another break in her favour to move ahead 4-2. Storming towards the finish line, a serve out wide that was returned out by Keys set her up with two match points. She prevailed on the first of those with yet another forehand winner.

“The conditions were different tonight. It was humid and the ball was a little bit heavier off the strings. I just tried to run and adapt, make as many balls as I could and keep Maddie (Keys) under the pump on her serve,” Barty reflected.
“It was important to stay point-by-point and do the right things each and every time.”

There is a silver lining for Keys who exits Melbourne with a surge in confidence after what was a troublesome 2021 season marred by injury and a loss of form. Last year she only managed to win 11 matches on the Tour compared to this month where she has been able to win 10 alone. Keys has been ranked as high as seventh in the world.

“It’s nice to see her back where she belongs. She is an amazing human being. You see the way she carries herself out on the court,” the two-time Grand Slam champion said of Keys.
“The thing I love most about Maddie is that she is a great person no matter what happens on the court.”

Barty run to the final is yet another success story for Australian tennis this year. Nick Kyrgios and Thanassi Kokkinakis are through to the men’s doubles final where they will play compatriots Matthew Ebden and Max Purcerll. Australia also has representation in the mixed doubles final with Jamiee Fourlis and Jason Kubler. However, Barty says the highlight of her country’s success is that of wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott, who played his last match today before retiring.

“Dylan for me is in front of that. He’s inspired a nation and the whole globe,” she said.
“The way he and the Australian Open have worked together to open up the opportunities for more disabled people around the world to play tennis is exceptional and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Barty will take on either Danielle Collins or Iga Swiatek in the title match. She leads Collins 3-1 in their head-to-head and has won both of her previous Tour meetings against Swiatek.

The last Australian woman to win the Australian Open was Chris O’Neil in 1978.

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