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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Former Roland Garros champions and five top 20 players to highlight a great edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo

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The Ladies Open WTA International in Palermo will be the first tournament to be held next August since last February.

 

The Italian tournament will feature a great line-up which includes two confirmed past Roland Garros champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Ostapenko and five top 20 players. There is a good chance that 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep could be added in the field.

“We are glad about Simona Halep’s great interest in Palermo Ladies Open. We will be waiting for her at the Country Club for an historic edition of the Palermo tournament. We have been in contact with Halep’s manager for some time. We have been talking for days about her potential participation in Palermo. She is one of the best players in the world and her presence would contribute to make an already high-level tournament extrahordinary. We will leave our doors open to her for as long as possible, as well as for other top ten players that will want to resume their season in Palermo”, said tournament’s CEO Oliviero Palma.

The other stars who have signed up to the Ladies Open are 2019 Roland Garros champion Marketa Vondrousova, two Grand Slam semifinalists Elise Mertens (2018 Australian Open) and Anastasija Sevastova (2018 US Open), Aryna Sabalenka (winner at the Wuhan Open in 2018 and 2019, WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai in 2019 and Doha in 2020) and Elina Rybakina (winner in Hobart and finalist in St. Petersburg and Dubai in 2020), Dayana Yastremska (winner of three tournaments in Hong Kong in 2018, Thailand and Strasbourg in 2019).

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Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova lift the titles in Perugia

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Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova won the Zzz Quill Tennis Tour in Perugia. Sonego followed up his Italian title won the previous week in Todi with a 3-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 win over Croatia’s Viktor Galovic (world number 269 and number 7 seed) in the final of the Perugia tournament.

 

“Galovic started very well. It was difficult to adjust to his game and improve during the match. I maintained the right attitude and I managed to win the title. I enjoyed two fantastic weeks in Todi and Perugia. This confirmed my good work in training in the past two weeks. I gave my best and I am confident for the rest of the season”, said Sonego.

World number 117 Liudmila Samsonova won the women’s title came back from one set down to beat world number 307 Stefania Rubini 4-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in the women’s final after saving two match points.

“I won a very tough final with a lot of ups and downs. I am happy that I played many matches. It was one of my goals on the eve of the tournament. I showed that I am able to keep the level of my tennis high, when I play focused”, said Samsonova.   

 

 

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[EXCLUSIVE] Brandon Nakashima: “I Love Federer, But My Game Resembles More Djokovic’s”

Nakashima speaks to UbiTennis about his liveliest memory of training with Nadal at Wimbledon. The duels he had with Lorenzo Musetti and Tseng Chun-Hsin, the high praise for Sebastian Korda and Hugo Gaston. Why he doesn’t like clubbing and what his new coach Pat Cash has been advising him to do.

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The latest instalment of UbiTennis’ video series sees Ubaldo Scanagatta and Steve Flink speak with Brandon Nakashima. An 18-year-old American tennis star born on August 3, 2001, who goes by the nickname B-Nak.

 

He is at No.220 in the ATP Rankings (with a career best at 218) and is second-best among those who were born in 2001, trailing only Jannik Sinner. His surname is of Japanese origin, but it was his Vietnamese maternal grandfather who initiated him to the game of tennis when he was three. He is 1.85 metres tall and weighs 78 kilograms. He was born in San Diego, and his father Wesley was also born in California – his parents are both pharmacists. He played for the University of Virginia, where he was the Freshman of the Year for the Atlantic Coast Conference, before moving on to the pros.

Since Delray Beach, in February, he’s been working with Pat Cash, immediately reaching the quarter finals and beating four Top 100 players. His best shot is his two-handed backhand, and his favourite player is Federer. A superb athlete, he is considered the best American prospect. He is self-described as shy, but he actually isn’t that much, once he gets going. He loves sushi, but also admits to having a sweet tooth. Given the status of some of his victims, it can be assumed that he’s already better than his ranking.

VIDEO SCHEDULE

Minute 00:00: Introduction and recap of his highest-profile wins.

03:40: His behaviour during the Covid-19 pandemic: “I wear a mask whenever I’m outside. I’ve been trying to stay cautious as much as possible in public areas”. He also appreciates the chance of being able to train at some local private courts.

05:07: The special relationship with his grandfather: “My mom’s dad is from Vietnam. He first started to get me out on the court when I was about three and a half years old, just feeding me balls at a local park and from that time onward I started practicing more and more everyday”.

06:45: Bonding with his main coach, Pat Cash, during the pandemic.

07:38: Cash claims he noticed immediately Brandon’s “extraordinary racquet control” – does he think that this is his best quality too?

08:42: Their first meeting: “We had a couple of mutual friends; at the time I had just turned pro and I was looking for a good coach…”

11:53: His idols growing up: “I always liked to watch Federer play, but I think now my game is more similar to Djokovic’s”.

12:40: The experience of hitting with Nadal: “A couple of years ago I was playing the junior Wimbledon tournament…”

14:36: His thoughts on the best future prospects…

17:20: His transition as a pro aged only 17: “It was crucial on and off the court for me to go to college and to then play a full season at 17 [Editor’s Note: at the University of Virginia], it helped my game and made me mature as a person. I’d advise most players to go to college and get that experience…”

19:45: Recapping his best junior Slam results.

21:25: Developing his game with Pat Cash: “During these training blocks here in California, we definitely decided to work a lot on the transition and net game to add more variety into my game…”

23:55: What are his current plans? “It’s tough to plan tournaments right now since we don’t know when or if they’re even starting…”

25:35: How does he feel about the issue of playing behind closed doors? “It will be interesting, everybody is so used to people watching, so I think most players will find it maybe a little weird at the beginning…”

26:47: His off-court life: “I try to relax and have fun. I like playing other sports, on days off I play golf with friends or relax at home watching TV, just getting the mind away from tennis. I don’t like going to dance or clubs, it never was my type of feeling of going out; I like a more chill state with my friends.”

30:04: His knowledge of tennis history.

31:30: Where does Brandon see himself in 2022/23? “The goal is to keep improving my results and my rankings, and maybe…”

33:20: After the Big Three era, who is his pick to become the next world N.1?

36:10: Pat Cash’s most frequent tip: “I have to train to get ready for the Slams…”

Article written and translated by Tommaso Villa

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