2015/07/03

Brad Gilbert Talks Tennis “Glossary”

Gilbert's Glossary

(June 29, 2015) Brad Gilbert has a new series of unique video shorts entitled “Gilbert’s Glossary,” which will air online during Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. The former world No. 4 and ESPN Tennis commentator puts his own spin on explaining tennis terms such as “Buggy Whip,” “Love,” “Breadsticks” and “Bagels,” “Can Opener” and Moonball to name a few. These video shorts are produced by Voya Financial and coincide with the company’s sponsorship of ESPN’s telecasts of the last two majors of the year.

Tennis Panorama News asked Gilbert a few questions about his own personal tennis glossary and about his tennis nicknames.

Tennis Panorama News: Brad, you have a unique set of glossary terms of your own, including a number of player nicknames, how did that begin? Was Bud Collins an influence on why you do it, since he’s done it for ages?

 

Brad Gilbert: The glossary of terms and nicknames has been more of a natural progression of having fun. I always kind of did it as a player and then as I progressed into coaching I used it for levity and memory/code words, etc.  For TV it really took off, just because I feel it’s important to have fun and keep things simple for the viewer and fans. It’s just my thing. It’s always respectful and more to the strengths of the player than anything else. Plus there are so many players, it’s a way to remember and keep it fun. As far as it stemming from anyone, not really, but if anybody, I’m a Chris Berman fan.

 

TPN: What’s your favorite term from your “own” glossary?

BG:  Favorite terms:

FEARhand:  Massive Forehand

SURF & TURF: A one-two term for a big serve and big fearhand winner.

LARGE & IN CHARGE:  Refers to a player dominating on the court.

BACHHAND – (always liked it Vic Braden accent as a kid.)  Just a beautiful looking shot on the backhand side.

All-time favorite: DISHEVELED when a player looks gone in the match (plus it irritates the grammar police)

 

TPN: Any plans to produce a master list of your unique nicknames any time soon?

 

BG: No, it’s more of a cult following approach. My Twitter followers always attempt at creating one, but it’s a never ending thing and should remain elusive. Also, I don’t have a staff – with the exception of Mrs. G and doubtful she’d be in agreement, she has her limits!

 

TPN: With this new Voya Financial sponsorship for the U.S. Open and Wimbledon will you do different glossaries for each?

 

BG: Throughout Wimbledon and the US Open, Voya will distribute a total of 12 ‘Gilbert Glossary’ videos, six for each tournament. In the videos I hope to change the way people think about tennis just like Voya is helping change the way consumers think about retirement.

 

TPN: With both slams being very different, what new types of glossary terms would you use to describe each of them?

 

BG: Wimbledon Terms? Grass related, it’s a Cathedral of Tennis. It’s unique because it’s a club. The US Open and Wimby are two completely different events, atmospheres, fans, and flow. I’ll have to come up with something for the weather during the “Fortnight” (one of the unique Wimby terms), as they are anticipating an unprecedented heat wave. I’m predicting I’ll have a lot of weather references…something will come from that I’m sure. In general, The Glossary is spontaneous, there’s no forethought, no over-thinking, no planning – it just comes to me. It’s what the moment speaks – it’s just my style.

Look out for Gilbert’s videos throughout the summer. Each video ends with a tag line, “Brad Gilbert: Changing the Way You Think About Tennis. Voya Financial: Changing the Way You Think About Retirement.”

Follow Brad Gilbert on Twitter at @bgtennisnation

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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Serena Williams Rebounds from Slow Start, Venus Dishes Brengle a Double-Bagel at Wimbledon

(June 29, 2015) No. 1 Serena Williams bounced back from a 1-3 first set deficit to close out 113th-ranked qualifier, making her Wimbledon debut, Margarita Gasparyan 6-4, 6-1 on the first day at 2015 Wimbledon.

Williams who is seeking her second “Serena slam” and third leg of a calendar Grand Slam.

“I’ve had such an amazing year, I ended up winning the Open, the Championships, the Australian and France,” said the 20-time major champion.  “I couldn’t have dreamt of a better 12 months.  So it’s been really great.  Yeah, I’m just excited about that and really focusing on that.

“I always focus on the moment.  You know, I don’t live too far in the future, and I don’t live in the past, I just live in the present.”

“When I (saw) her before match,” Gasparyan said, “I thought, `Oh, my God. I’m playing Serena.'”

Serena’s sister, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus, dismantled U.S. countrywoman Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-0.

This was the first double-bagel at the All-England Club in six years.

“She’s had like a great last 52 weeks,” Venus said of Brengle.”  “She’s had really great results in the majors.  Definitely playing a higher‑ranked player in the first round is a challenge. But thankfully everything worked for me.

“I don’t think she played badly.  I was just able to convert on the important points.”

On the topic on sister Serena’s chances on winning a calendar Grand Slam, Venus said: “It’s a pretty good chance. Hasn’t been done that often. But then again, she’s done a lot of things that haven’t been done that often.”

There could be an all-Williams fourth round contest. When asked about the possibility, Serena said: “You know what? I’m going to just focus on right now.”

Serena Williams is 33-1 on the year.

Other former No. 1’s advancing were Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and Ana Ivanovic. American Sloane Stephens won her first match at Wimbledon in two years defeating No. 27 Barbora Strycova 6-4, 6-2

Defending Gentlemen’s champion Novak Djokovic and the man who beat him for the French Open title three weeks ago, Stan Wawrinka won in straight sets on Monday.

No. 1 Djokovic defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

“Honestly, I thought I started the match really well, breaking Philipp, losing the serve right away,” Djokovic said.

“All three sets were decided in the 10th game.  After I broke him to win the first set and the second set, it was the same situation.  I felt like in the third, as well.  That’s where maybe I can have a mental edge over him.  He missed couple shots.

 

“I thought return was exceptionally well, good from my side.  Serving efficiently.  Just overall a great performance against a quality opponent.”

 

The fourth seed Wawrinka stopped Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-2, 7-5, 7-6.

 

“The mentality is the same as last year,” said the Swiss.  I know I’m playing well.  I have a lot of confidence.  It’s a new year, new tournament.  We all start from zero.  We need to win match after match.  We take match after match if we want to go through and go further in the tournament.

“I’m confident with myself, but I’m really careful with how mentally I get ready for every match.

“So far I’m really happy with the first one today. In general I feel good.  I know where is my game.  I feel ready for the next one.”

 

WIMBLEDON – WIMBLEDON, LONDON, GBR
GRAND SLAM – £26,750,000
29 JUNE – 12 JULY 2015

RESULTS – JUNE 29, 2015
Women’s
Singles – First Round

(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. (Q) Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 64 61
(4) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (WC) Johanna Konta (GBR) 62 62
(6) Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Alison Riske (USA) 36 75 63
(7) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (Q) Yi-Fan Xu (CHN) 61 61
(WC) Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) d. (9) Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) 62 60
(11) Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. Irina Falconi (USA) 64 46 61
(14) Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Shelby Rogers (USA) 60 60
(16) Venus Williams (USA) d. Madison Brengle 60 60
(19) Sara Errani (ITA) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 62 57 61
(22) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Danka Kovinic (MNE) 64 64
(23) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (WC) Anett Kontaveit (EST) 62 61
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) d. (24) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 63 26 64
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. (27) Barbora Strycova (CZE) 64 62
(29) Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) d. Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 76(6) 61
(30) Belinda Bencic (SUI) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 36 61 63
(32) Caroline Garcia (FRA) vs. Heather Watson (GBR) 61 36 (play suspended: poor light)
Timea Babos (HUN) d. (Q) Petra Cetkovska (CZE) 7-6(4) 63
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 75 60
Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 62 64
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) d. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 76(5) 75
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 62 61
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) d. Annika Beck (GER) 06 63 64
Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) d. Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS) 36 63 75
(Q) Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) d. Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 63 62
(Q) Richel Hogenkamp (NED) d. Qiang Wang (CHN) 64 64
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) d. Nicole Gibbs (USA) 63 63
(Q) Aliaksandra Sasnovic (BLR) d. Lin Zhu 46 75 61
Mariana Duque-Marino (COL) d. (WC) Naomi Broady (GBR) 76(5) 63
CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) d. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 64 62
Urszula Radwanska (POL) d. Edina Gallovits-Hall (USA) 62 61
Lauren Davis (USA) d. Polona Hercog (SLO) 64 76(3)
(Q) Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) d. Kaia Kanpei (EST) 61 64

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Hewitt Says Goodbye to Wimbledon, Falls in Five sets to Nieminen

(June 29, 2015) The 2002 Gentlemen’s singles champion at Wimbledon has played his last match on the green grass of the All- England Club. Lleyton Hewitt put up a fight against Jarkko Nieminen but fell just short on Monday 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0, 11-9.

“I was always going to leave it out there, everything I had in the tank, said the 34-year old two-time major champion.  “I certainly did that.”

 

“I didn’t, you know, leave any stone unturned preparing.  But also on the match court today.  You know, there was a couple of times the match could have gotten away from me at certain stages and I found a way of hanging in there.

 

“In the end obviously disappointing to lose.  I would have loved to have played Novak in the next round.  But, yeah, Jarkko is a tough competitor and it was never going to be easy.”

 

Why is Wimbledon so special to Hewitt? For me, it’s the home of tennis,” the former No 1 said.  “I don’t get the same feeling walking into any other grounds in the world, no other tennis court, no other complex, than I do here.  I do get goosebumps walking into this place.

 

“I’m so fortunate.  One of the greatest things about winning this Championship is becoming a member of it. For me to be able to go in the member’s locker room four weeks before Wimbledon, yeah, in there with some of the older members, sit down and have a cup of tea and a chat, it’s a lot of fun.

 

“That’s something I can always come back and enjoy over the years.”

There is a new Aussie “Generation Next” among the men which include 20-year-old Nick Kyrgios, the 26th seed, Bernard Tomic, who is 22 and seeded 27th as well as 19-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis . who is playing doubles with Hewitt this fortnight. For the first time since 2000, there are 11 Australian men in the Wimbledon draw.

“I think he’s huge,” Kyrgios said.  “His attitude and competitiveness I think is second to none.  Maybe Rafa (Nadal) and him are the greatest competitors of all time. When you got him still playing Davis Cup, leading the charge, I think when he’s training and you watch that, it’s pretty special.  I think it carries a little bit towards us guys.”

 

“I’ve spoken, especially the last couple years, probably more so to Bernie,” Hewiit said.  “He’s had his ups and downs the last couple of years. I’ve built a pretty strong relationship with Bernie.  I think I’m probably one of the closer guys that he trusts now.

 

“You know, obviously little things I try and point out.  I’m not going to say everything here.  But he knows some of the stuff that I think can help him.

 

“Nick, I’m getting to know Nick a little bit better, when I played especially Davis Cup ties with him.  I was in the Asian League with him last year, spent a lot of time getting to know him there.

 

“Some of the young kids in this generation are a lot different.  Even going to dinner with Davis Cup ties, you talk about totally different things, stuff I’ve never heard of.  I sort of sit down with Rochey (Tony Roche), Wally (Masur), and Pat (Rafter), the older blokes.

 

“It’s more trying to build a trust where they feel comfortable coming and asking if they need certain pointers in certain ways.”

 

“Coming back knowing that it’s your last time competing, as I’ve said all year, I’m fortunate that I can have that opportunity to do that,” the 34-year-ol reflected.  “I have tried to soak it up.”

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Notable Quotables from Pre-Wimbledon Weekend with Djokovic, Serena Williams, Federer, Sharapova, Nadal and Others

228 Djokovic being interviewed-001

(June 28, 2015) Saturday and Sunday some of Wimbledon’s top seeds held court with the media, here is a look at some of the notable quotables:

Defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic on recovering from losing a mentally tough French Open final:

“Yes, it was. Not just Roland Garros, but all the five months of the year have been really intense for me.  I played a big amount of matches.  Before Roland Garros, I’ve lost only two.  I had one of the best season starts in my career.  Of course, Roland Garros finals wasn’t easy.

 

“All in all, it was another great tournament.  But I needed some time to just mentally recover, rest ‑ more than physical rest, I needed that emotional, mental rest to recharge my batteries and get myself in a proper state of mind so I can start all over again.”

 

 

“I mean, right after I lost the match, of course, there was this sense of disappointment. There is no doubt about it.  I felt that for, you know, some days after it.

 

“Because I have a family, I have different things in life, different interest, I’ve managed to move on because of the experience that I talked about previously of learning how to handle these particular situations and circumstances. I managed to get the necessary reset in my mind.”

 

 

Djokovic says that coaching from the player’s box is fairly common:

“We can’t pretend like that’s not happening in tennis.  Of course, there’s situations when it happens, and not just with the top players, with everybody.  This is a very competitive sport.  You’re alone on the court.  Of course, there’s certain rules.

 

“But also there are times when, you know, the team of the player communicates with the player when he gets to go and take the towel in the corner, which is closer to the box, or, you know, different ways.

 

“I think it’s all fine as long as it’s not regular.  I think it just depends.  Also that’s up to the chair umpire or supervisor to decide if somebody’s breaking the rules or not.  I think as long as it’s something that you can tolerate, let’s say, within the ways of communication, I think it’s fine.”

 

He was also asked about his communication with his coach Boris Becker. Earlier in the day Becker was on radio saying that he has ways of telling Djokovic whether what he is doing is good or bad.

 

“I don’t think that we’re cheating.  I don’t think that’s how you can call it.  I mean, there are special ways of, I would say, communication.  As he mentioned, the way you look at each other, the way you feel your box, and box feels what you’re going through on the court. I think that’s something that just gives you that reassurance, gives you that confidence.

 

“It’s not necessary that, you know, he tells me where to serve or to which side of the opponent’s court I have to play, because that doesn’t happen.  But it’s more of a, you know, encouragement, and more of a support and reassurance, as I said, that’s basically present in those moments.”

 

In what seemed to be the most awkward questions of the weekend, defending champion Petra Kvitova was asked about wearing white on court while menstruating.

 

Q. Heather Watson was applauded earlier this year for breaking taboo and talking about what was phrased as girly things.  How much do you think that affects other females’ players game?

 

PETRA KVITOVA:  To be honest, I think it’s quite tough.  Of course, I have these experiences from before.  It’s never really easy to deal with one more tough thing.  I think always the beginning of this kind of period, it’s tough.  I think that for normal woman, they know about.  If we have to play the match or training or something, it’s difficult.

 

It’s one more extra thing for us.

Q. Does having to wear white as well…

PETRA KVITOVA:  No, I think it’s fine.

 

 

Roger Federer on Serena Williams’ playing at such a high level:

 

“I’m not surprised.  I just think she’s a great talent.  She’s worked also very hard.  I think to be mentally ready for the challenge when she wants to be up for it, I think that’s what’s so admirable about her.

 

“Also Venus, I must say.  We don’t talk about Venus that often because Serena has been so dominant.  Actually that they’re both still playing is more of a surprise to me.

 

“But that they are playing, it doesn’t surprise me they’re actually playing well.  It goes hand‑in‑hand.

 

“I wouldn’t imagine them still playing and playing poorly.  Let’s put it that way.  They’re too good for that.”

 

Serena Williams was asked about coming into Wimbledon holding the first two majors, make her preparation different or make her feel any different.

“Personally, uhm, it doesn’t make it feel any different, which I think is a good thing ’cause I don’t feel any pressure to win all four.  I’ve been saying that, but I really don’t feel that pressure.  Maybe if I would happen to win here, then maybe I might start feeling it after that.

“Ultimately, I’m taking it one day at a time and I’m not thinking that far.”

 

Serena is very motivated this year:

“I think the fact that I lost so early the past couple years definitely makes me motivated.  But I think that also gives me a little less pressure because I haven’t done well here in the past two years.  It makes me feel like, Okay, I’ll be fine.  I have nothing to lose here.  I don’t have many points to defend here.  So it’s just like trying to have fun, go through it.”

 

The 20-time major champion talked about her biggest strength:

“I think for me being mentally tough is probably my biggest strength.  And my dad always said growing up, you know, Tennis is so mental, you have to have your mental, you have to be really mentally tough.  I guess I really took that to heart.

“I think also being the youngest of five really made me have to scrap and be tougher.  I think all those things kind of played into action.

“Yeah, I think that’s probably one of the biggest things in tennis.  It’s great to have a big serve, too.  But I think ultimately sometimes when you’re down and out, you could be the best player in the world, you still get down, but you have to be able to come back.”

 

She actually hates playing on grass:

“You know, oddly enough, it never has been my favorite surface, but I’ve always done really well here.  I think my game is really suited for the grass.

“You know, yeah, it’s never been someplace like, I love playing on the grass, which is just really weird.  But, again, my game works for it, so…”

 

 

Maria Sharapova on Serena:

“She’s certainly the player to beat.  With all the confidence in the world having won the last three majors, not just the two in this year.  I think those results speak for herself, and she’s certainly the one to beat.”

 

 

Andy Murray was asked about the “feminine influence” on his life – marriage and hiring Amelie Mauresmo.

 

“I mean, I’ve said as well, it’s not so much marriage.  Me and Kim have been together like 10 years now, so…

 

“You know, she’s always been a huge support to me, especially when I’ve gone through, you know, tough, tough times as well.  She’s always been there for me.

 

“Obviously, yeah, I mean, Amélie, really the last sort of 12 months that I’ve been with her, I feel like I’ve come through some difficult moments.  I feel last year, there was ‑ not me, myself ‑ I know there were a lot of people doubting me.  I feel like she stuck with me during that period.

 

“I had an extremely tough loss at the end of last year.  She was one of the people that really, yeah, stuck by me and supported me.

 

“I’m glad that I’ve been able to kind of repay her faith in me with some good tennis this year.

 

“Obviously she’s a very different character to some of the coaches that I’ve had in the past.  I’ve really enjoyed working with her.”

 

Rafael Nadal on the current problems of the Spanish Tennis Federation.

“The situation have been very unusual, let’s say, not nice for a country that has big tradition in this sport, for a country that the last, let’s say, 15, 20 years, we have been the first country in this sport around the world.  So is not nice to watch the situation that we are having today.  But things are like this.

“The thing that we have to do is to stop these crazy things that are happening.  You know, it’s not good to see bad news on our sport in the media every day.  It’s not good for our sport.  It’s not good to catch sponsors.  It’s not good to make the people involved on our sport.

“So all these kind of things are bad for everybody.  At the end of the day, you know, we are here today.  We will live tomorrow.  Players, presidents, everybody who is making this show last couple of months, what really suffers on all of this is tennis, tennis in our country.

“All the things that goes against tennis in our country is a bad news.”

Stan Wawrinka the fashion icon:

Are you surprised by how much of a fashion icon you became after the French Open?

STAN WAWRINKA:  It’s not me, my shorts (laughter).

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2015 Wimbledon Broadcast Schedule on ESPN

Wimbledontrophies

ESPN & WIMBLEDON 2015

Date Time (ET) Event Network  
Mon, June 29 – Sun, July 12

(no play Sun, 7/5)

6:30 a.m. All TV Courts (up to 15), all day; Live@Wimbledon ESPN3 Live
   
Mon, June 29 – Fri, July 3 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN Live
Sat, July 4 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN Live
Sun, July 5 3 – 6 p.m. Highlights of Week One ABC Tape
Mon, July 6 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Round of 16, No. 1 Court & others ESPN2 Live
  8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Round of 16, Centre Court ESPN Live
Tue, July 7 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ladies’ Quarterfinals,

 Centre Court

ESPN Live
  8 – 4 p.m. Ladies’ Quarterfinals, Court One ESPN2 Live
Wed, July 8 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals, Centre Court ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals,

Court One

ESPN2 Live
Thur, July 9 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ladies’ Semifinals ESPN Live
Fri, July 10 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gentlemen’s Semifinals ESPN Live
Sat, July 11 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Ladies’ Championship ESPN Live
  3 – 6 p.m. Ladies’ Championship ABC Tape
Sun, July 12 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Gentlemen’s Championship ESPN Live
  3 – 6 p.m. Gentlemen’s Championship ABC Tape

 

Highlights

  • The first five weekdays, ESPN begins at 7 a.m. ET for daylong coverage (scheduled to end at 4:30 p.m.).  ESPN3 gets started at 6:30 a.m.
  • On Saturday, July 4, ESPN again begins at 7 a.m., but with the one-hour Breakfast at Wimbledon before another day full of action (scheduled to end at 4 p.m.).
  • “Cross Court Coverage” returns the first three days of the second week, with ESPN starting at 8 a.m. and focused on Centre Court all day while fans will enjoy a “grounds pass” with matches from No. 1 Court and elsewhere on ESPN2 beginning at 7 a.m. on Monday, July 6, and at 8 a.m. on July 7 and 8.
  • From Thursday, July 9, to the Championships, all the action is on ESPN, beginning each day with Breakfast at Wimbledon hosted by Hannah Storm (7 a.m. on July 9-10 leading into the semifinals, 8 a.m. on July 11-12, previewing the Championships).
  • On the “middle Sunday,” July 5 – Wimbledon’s traditional annual day of rest – ABC will broadcast a three-hour review of the first week at 3 p.m.  ABC will also present encore presentations of the finals on the day they take place, July 11 and 12, at 3 p.m.
  • ESPN3 has increased its multi-screen offering to a tennis Major record 1,500 hours – 15 courts (Centre, Courts 1-3, 5-12, and 16-18.) presented from first ball to last ball each day, with action available on demand afterwards.  In addition, ESPN3 will again offer AELTC’s daily Live@Wimbledon.  As in 2014, for the semifinals and championships an additional “ESPN3 Surround” feed will be added with three boxes – the primary TV view, plus two more, each focusing on one player.  ESPN3 is available to 99 million homes.  The entire offering is also available in Spanish via ESPNDeportes+.
  • WatchESPN will deliver the ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the award-winning WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV to more than 93 million households nationwide via an affiliated video or internet provider.

MORE TV & DIGITAL MEDIA, AT HOME AND ABROAD

ESPN.com will have previews, reviews, the latest news and videos and more:

  • Courtcast: A multi-tool application with live events via the ESPN3 syndicated player, all-court scoring, match stats, “Scribble Live” conversations, poll questions, rolling Twitter feeds and scrolling bottom line
  • Five Things We Learned: Video series reviewing the top news of the day
  • 60-Second Slice:  Everything from Wimbledon each day in one minute
  • Digital Serve: Daily original videos previewing the next day
  • Baseline Buzz:  Greg Garber, Melissa Isaacson and Matt Wilansky weigh in on the hottest topics with a daily, written, roundtable discussion.
  • In addition, writers for com and FiveThirtyEight will be on site, developing unique and thought-provoking analysis and features.

                                                          

espnW.com

  • Complete analysis of the women’s draw when it is announced.
  • Melissa Isaacson will provide on-site coverage for espnW.com (and ESPN.com), including daily columns and analysis of matches.
  • A special emphasis on Serena Williams, as she tries to win her fourth consecutive Grand Slam title.
  • Daily espnW.com analysis segments.
  • Weekly video reports from, discussing play to date.

 

ESPNDeportes.com will provide live scores and draws, in depth news and coverage of Latin American players, columns, blogs, live chats, video, highlights and news, including ESPiando Wimbledon that will recap the day’s play. The site will also feature Slam Central, a special index page dedicated to all four Grand Slams.

 

ESPN Interactive TV, now in its eighth year at Wimbledon, will provide multi-screen coverage with commentary of five matches in addition to ESPN or ESPN2 network programs through the second Tuesday of the Championships, on ESPN3 and DirecTV.  Fans will also receive interviews, features, press conferences and studio analysis from the All England Club, hosted by anchor Allen Bestwick.  Match and studio analysts include former players Jeff Tarango, Chandra Rubin and Fred Stolle, working with Chris Bowers, Doug Adler, and Mark Donaldson. In addition to the video offerings, DirecTV viewers can access results, schedules, draws and other interactive features through the “Red Button” application on their remote. In total, ESPN will provide more than 350 hours of coverage through this unique application.

 

ESPN Classic is airing many memorable matches this month from Wimbledons past, including an upcoming 17-hour marathon of nine matches beginning late Thursday, June 25, at midnight/9 p.m. PT (June 26 at 12 a.m.) with the 2007 Gentlemen’s Championship won by Roger Federer over Rafael Nadal in five sets.   The marathon will conclude with the 2012 and ’13 Gentlemen’s Championships – Federer’s 17th Major win, over Andy Murray, and Murray’s dramatic win a year later over Novak Djokovic, ending Britain’s 77-year drought of men’s champions.

 

In addition, ESPN Classic will air six matches on the exact day of their 15-, 25-, 30-, 35- or 40-year anniversary:

  • 1980 Gentlemen’s Championship (John McEnroe vs. Bjorn Borg) on Sunday, July 5, at 5 a.m.
  • 1975 Gentlemen’s Championship (Jimmy Connors vs. Arthur Ashe) on Sunday, July 5, at 7 a.m.
  • 1985 Ladies’ Championship (Chris Evert Lloyd vs. Martina Navratilova) on Monday, July 6, at 5 a.m.
  • 1990 Ladies’ Championship (Zina Garrison vs. Martina Navratilova) on Tuesday, July 7, at 5 a.m.
  • 2000 Ladies’ Championship (Lindsay Davenport vs. Venus Williams) on Wednesday, July 8, at 5 a.m.
  • 2000 Gentlemen’s Championship (Pat Rafter vs. Pete Sampras) on Thursday, July 9, at 5 a.m.
  • ESPN International – the home of tennis’ Grand Slam events in the Caribbean and in Spanish-speaking Latin America – will air over 95 hours of live Wimbledon coverage to over 44 million homes on its multiple television networks throughout the region.  In addition, ESPN+ in the Southern Cone will produce almost 40 additional original live hours.  The pan-regional offering will feature the top-ranked players in the world, while the regional offerings will concentrate on players of local nationality. In addition to the live coverage, ESPN will offer a daily two-hour encore featuring the best match of the day, as well as daily compact airings of feature matches. Broadband’s ESPN Play — ESPN International’s multi-screen broadband service throughout Latin American and the Caribbean – will offer the ESPN3 coverage from the U.S., with 1,500 hours of live coverage from up to 15 courts simultaneously. In addition, ESPN Play will offer the ESPN3 Surround three-screen offering for the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Semifinals and Finals.  ESPN’s Spanish-language commentator team at Wimbledon is led by Luis Alfredo Alvarez and Edurado Varela calling matches with analysts Javier Frana and Jose Louis Clerc, along with reporter Nicolas Pereira.

 

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2015 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Contender Profiles – Fast Facts with Jack Cunniff

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(June 28, 2015) Profiles of the top Men’s Singles contenders for 2015 Wimbledon. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

 

Novak Djokovic

2015 Record: 41-3

Grand Slam Record: 193-34

Wimbledon Record: 45-8

Wimbledon Best Result: Won (2011, ‘14)

Fast Fact: Djokovic is currently 11th in Open Era Wimbledon match wins with 45, but could pass Agassi (46), Lendl (48), Ivanisevic (49), Edberg (49), and Borg (51) with a title defense.

 

Roger Federer

2015 Record: 34-6

Grand Slam Record: 285-47

Wimbledon Record: 73-9

Wimbledon Best Result: Won (2003, ’04, ’05, ’06, ’07, ’09, ‘12)

Fast Fact: Federer is trying to reach his 10th Wimbledon final, the most for a player at a single major in the Open Era; he’s currently tied for first (9 Wimbledon finals) with Nadal (9 French Open finals).

 

Andy Murray

2015 Record: 41-6

Grand Slam Record: 145-35

Wimbledon Record: 41-8

Wimbledon Best Result: Won (2013)

Fast Fact: In 2015, Murray has a 41-2 record (95.3%) against players other than Novak Djokovic, but an 0-4 record vs. Djokovic.

 

Stan Wawrinka

2015 Record: 30-9

Grand Slam Record: 94-39

Wimbledon Record: 13-10

Wimbledon Best Result: QF (2014)

Fast Fact: Wawrinka has won 20 matches in Grand Slam events over the last year, more than any man except Djokovic.

 

Kei Nishikori

2015 Record: 37-9

Grand Slam Record: 44-23

Wimbledon Record: 7-6

Wimbledon Best Result: 4R (2014)

Fast Fact: Nishikori’s career record vs. Top Ten players is 23-35, but over the past year he has a winning record vs. the Top Ten (10-8).

 

Tomas Berdych

2015 Record: 37-11

Grand Slam Record: 111-47

Wimbledon Record: 29-11

Wimbledon Best Result: RU (2010)

Fast Fact: Berdych’s career record vs. Top 50 opponents on grass is 17-17 (50%).

 

Milos Raonic

2015 Record: 23-10

Grand Slam Record: 39-17

Wimbledon Record: 8-4

Wimbledon Best Result: SF (2014)

Fast Fact: In his last 10 appearances in Grand Slam events, Raonic has compiled a 27-1 record vs. players ranked outside of the Top 25 (lost to Sijsling, 2R 2013 Wimbledon).

 

Marin Cilic

2015 Record: 10-9

Grand Slam Record: 66-28

Wimbledon Record: 13-7

Wimbledon Best Result: QF (2014)

Fast Fact: Cilic has won a professional title every year for the last 7 years (since 2008), but has yet to reach a final in 2015.

 

Rafael Nadal

2015 Record: 33-11

Grand Slam Record: 195-27

Wimbledon Record: 39-8

Wimbledon Best Result: Won (2008, ‘10)

Fast Fact: Until winning in Stuttgart two weeks ago, Nadal hadn’t defeated a Top 50 opponent on grass since the 2011 Wimbledon semifinals.

 

Grigor Dimitrov

2015 Record: 19-12

Grand Slam Record: 23-19

Wimbledon Record: 8-5

Wimbledon Best Result: SF (2014)

Fast Fact: Excluding Dimitrov’s run to the 2014 Wimbledon semifinals, his record in Grand Slam events would be .500 (18-18).

 

Gilles Simon

2015 Record: 28-13

Grand Slam Record: 61-36

Wimbledon Record: 12-9

Wimbledon Best Result: 4R (2009)

Fast Fact: In his 36 Grand Slam events, Simon has earned a Top 20 seed in half of his appearances, but has managed to reach the quarterfinals only once (2009 Australian Open).

 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

2015 Record: 11-6

Grand Slam Record: 89-29

Wimbledon Record: 22-7

Wimbledon Best Result: SF (2011, ‘12)

Fast Fact: All 18 players to have defeated Tsonga in Grand Slam events have career high rankings in the Top 25; only three of those players have never reached the Top Ten. (Klizan – 24, Karlovic – 14, Dolgopolov – 13).

 

Kevin Anderson

2015 Record: 25-14

Grand Slam Record: 35-25

Wimbledon Record: 6-6

Wimbledon Best Result: 4R (2014)

Fast Fact: Anderson is attempting to win his 200th career ATP match in the opening round of Wimbledon (199-149).

 

Feliciano Lopez

2015 Record: 16-15

Grand Slam Record: 76-54

Wimbledon Record: 29-13

Wimbledon Best Result: QF (2005, ’08, ‘11)

Fast Fact: Lopez enters Wimbledon with a losing record on grass for the year (2-3, 40%) the first time that’s happened since 2008.

 

John Isner

2015 Record: 21-14

Grand Slam Record: 40-28

Wimbledon Record: 5-6

Wimbledon Best Result: 3R (2014)

Fast Fact: In his past 2 Wimbledon appearances, Isner has a 3-2 record, and has played 155 total games in under 9 hours, less than his historic 2010 match vs. Mahut (183 total games, over 11 hours).

 

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2015 Wimbledon Ladies’ Contender Profiles – Fast Facts with Jack Cunniff

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(June 28, 2015) Profiles of the top Women’s Singles contenders for 2015 Wimbledon. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

 

Serena Williams

2015 Record: 32-1

Grand Slam Record: 273-39

Wimbledon Record: 72-10

Wimbledon Best Result: Won (2002, ’03, ’09, ’10, ‘12)

Fast Fact: This is the best year-to-date record entering Wimbledon (32-1, 97%) of Serena’s career.

 

Petra Kvitova

2015 Record: 24-7

Grand Slam Record: 70-26

Wimbledon Record: 27-5

Wimbledon Best Result: Won (2011, ‘14)

Fast Fact: In the last five years, Kvitova has won 26 of her 29 matches at Wimbledon, with her loses coming to Serena Williams (2010, ‘12) and Flipkens (2013).

 

Simona Halep

2015 Record: 32-8

Grand Slam Record: 32-20

Wimbledon Record: 7-4

Wimbledon Best Result: SF (2014)

Fast Fact: Halep has recorded only two wins vs. Top Ten players in 2015, both coming in three set matches in Dubai (def. Makarova, Wozniacki).

 

Maria Sharapova

2015 Record: 29-6

Grand Slam Record: 174-42

Wimbledon Record: 41-11

Wimbledon Best Result: Won (2004)

Fast Fact: Sharapova’s Grand Slam match winning percentage (80.6%) is second best among active players, trailing Serena Williams (87.5%).

 

Caroline Wozniacki

2015 Record: 27-12

Grand Slam Record: 81-33

Wimbledon Record: 16-8

Wimbledon Best Result: 4R (2009, ’10, ’11, ‘14)

Fast Fact: Wozniacki has reached the quarterfinals only once in her last 13 appearances in Grand Slam events (RU, 2014 US Open).

 

Lucie Safarova

2015 Record: 22-12

Grand Slam Record: 48-40

Wimbledon Record: 9-9

Wimbledon Best Result: SF (2014)

Fast Fact: Since 2014, Safarova has a record of 19-6 (76%) in Grand Slam events; prior to 2014, her Grand Slam record was 29-34 (46%).

 

Ana Ivanovic

2015 Record: 16-11

Grand Slam Record: 103-41

Wimbledon Record: 23-10

Wimbledon Best Result: SF (2007)

Fast Fact: In 2014, Ivanovic had a 37-9 record entering Wimbledon, winning more than twice as many matches as she has in 2015.

 

Ekaterina Makarova

2015 Record: 18-11

Grand Slam Record: 56-31

Wimbledon Record: 9-7

Wimbledon Best Result: QF (2014)

Fast Fact: Since 2013, Makarova is 24-2 in Grand Slam events when playing a lower ranked opponent, with her losses coming against Kuznetsova and Safarova.

 

Carla Suarez Navarro

2015 Record: 35-13

Grand Slam Record: 47-26

Wimbledon Record: 7-5

Wimbledon Best Result: 4R (2013)

Fast Fact: Suarez Navarro has a losing record vs. Top 50 players in Grand Slam events (13-20), including a 2-4 record since 2014.

 

Angelique Kerber

2015 Record: 30-12

Grand Slam Record: 50-30

Wimbledon Record: 12-7

Wimbledon Best Result: SF (2012)

Fast Fact: After compiling an 8-9 record in the first three months of 2015, Kerber has since gone 22-3 and won three titles (Charleston, Stuttgart, Birmingham).

 

Karolina Pliskova

2015 Record: 35-13

Grand Slam Record: 9-12

Wimbledon Record: 2-3

Wimbledon Best Result: 2R (2013, ‘14)

Fast Fact: Following the 2014 U.S. Open, Pliskova has more than doubled her WTA main draw match wins: 42 wins between April 2008 – August 2014, 49 wins between September 2014 – June 2015.

 

Eugenie Bouchard

2015 Record: 8-13

Grand Slam Record: 27-9

Wimbledon Record: 8-2

Wimbledon Best Result: RU (2014)

Fast Fact: Having lost her last six three-set matches, Bouchard now has a losing WTA record in three setters (20-25).

 

Agnieszka Radwanska

2015 Record: 22-15

Grand Slam Record: 93-36

Wimbledon Record: 31-9

Wimbledon Best Result: RU (2012)

Fast Fact: Radwanska’s grass court record in the last year is 10-3 (77%), compared to a record of 27-22 (55%) off of grass.

 

Andrea Petkovic

2015 Record: 20-12

Grand Slam Record: 34-22

Wimbledon Record: 5-4

Wimbledon Best Result: 3R (2011, ‘14)

Fast Fact: The highest ranked player Petkovic has defeated on grass is Garcia (No. 33) who she defeated in 2015 Eastbourne.

 

Venus Williams

2015 Record: 20-7

Grand Slam Record: 225-59

Wimbledon Record: 73-12

Wimbledon Best Result: Won (2000, ’01, ’05, ’07, ‘08)

Fast Fact: 2015 Wimbledon marks Venus’ 67th appearance in a Grand Slam event, tying her with Navratilova for second place in the Open Era (Frazier, 71).

 

Sabine Lisicki

2015 Record: 15-15

Grand Slam Record: 48-27

Wimbledon Record: 23-6

Wimbledon Best Result: RU (2013)

Fast Fact: Lisicki has appeared in 27 Grand Slam events, but nearly half of her match wins (23 of 48) are from her last 5 Wimbledon appearances.

 

 

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Wimbledon Order of Play for June 29, 2015

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2015
INTENDED ORDER OF PLAY FOR MONDAY 29 JUNE

Wimbledontrophies

CENTRE COURT – SHOW COURT – 13:00 START
1 Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] 1 vs Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 2
2 Maria Sharapova (RUS) [4] 33 vs Johanna Konta (GBR) 34
3 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) [4] 33 vs Joao Sousa (POR) 34

No.1 COURT – SHOW COURT – 13:00 START
1 Serena Williams (USA) [1] 1 vs Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 2
2 Simone Bolelli (ITA) 31 vs Kei Nishikori (JPN) [5] 32
3 Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) [11] 49 vs Federico Delbonis (ARG) 50

No.2 COURT – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START
1 Nick Kyrgios (AUS) [26] 57 vs Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 58
2 Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) 3 vs Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 4
3 Alison Riske (USA) 63 vs Lucie Safarova (CZE) [6] 64
4 Heather Watson (GBR) 7 vs Caroline Garcia (FRA) [32] 8

No.3 COURT – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START
1 Marin Cilic (CRO) [9] 17 vs Hiroki Moriya (JPN) 18
2 Yi-Fan Xu (CHN) 31 vs Ana Ivanovic (SRB) [7] 32
3 Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 63 vs Milos Raonic (CAN) [7] 64
4 Madison Brengle (USA) 15 vs Venus Williams (USA) [16] 16

COURT 12 – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START
1 Anett Kontaveit (EST) 23 vs Victoria Azarenka (BLR) [23] 24
2 Go Soeda (JPN) 23 vs John Isner (USA) [17] 24
3 Danka Kovinic (MNE) 55 vs Samantha Stosur (AUS) [22] 56
4 Lucas Pouille (FRA) 15 vs Kevin Anderson (RSA) [14] 16

COURT 18 – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START
1 Liam Broady (GBR) 45 vs Marinko Matosevic (AUS) 46
2 Belinda Bencic (SUI) [30] 25 vs Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 26
3 Luke Saville (AUS) 55 vs Richard Gasquet (FRA) [21] 56
4 Shelby Rogers (USA) 47 vs Andrea Petkovic (GER) [14] 48

COURT 5 – 11:30 START
1 Timea Babos (HUN) 3 vs Petra Cetkovska (CZE) 4
2 Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 19 vs Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 20
3 Juan Monaco (ARG) 59 vs Florian Mayer (GER) 60
4 Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) 61 vs Kaia Kanepi (EST) 62

COURT 6 – 11:30 START
1 Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) 19 vs Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 20
2 Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS) 27 vs Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) 28
3 Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM) 35 vs Benjamin Becker (GER) 36
4 Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 39 vs Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) [29] 40

COURT 7 – 11:30 START
1 Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 11 vs Marcel Granollers (ESP) 12
2 Darija Jurak (CRO) / Ana Konjuh (CRO) 29 vs Jelena Jankovic (SRB) / Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 30
3 Edina Gallovits-Hall (USA) 53 vs Urszula Radwanska (POL) 54
4 Pablo Cuevas (URU) [28] 25 vs Denis Kudla (USA) 26

COURT 8 – 11:30 START
1 Dudi Sela (ISR) 39 vs Dominic Thiem (AUT) [32] 40
2 Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) [9] 17 vs Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 18
3 Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 61 vs Tommy Haas (GER) 62

COURT 9 – 11:30 START
1 Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 47 vs David Goffin (BEL) [16] 48
2 Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 29 vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 30
3 Kenny De Schepper (FRA) 53 vs John-Patrick Smith (AUS) 54
4 Nicole Gibbs (USA) 37 vs Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 38

COURT 10 – 11:30 START
1 Flavia Pennetta (ITA) [24] 41 vs Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 42
2 Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) / Andreas Seppi (ITA) 53 vs Jonathan Erlich (ISR) / Philipp Petzschner (GER) 54
3 Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) 5 vs Hyeon Chung (KOR) 6

COURT 11 – 11:30 START
1 Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 21 vs Annika Beck (GER) 22
2 Casey Dellacqua (AUS) / Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) [9] 9 vs
Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) / Alicja Rosolska (POL) 10
3 Matthew Ebden (AUS) 21 vs Blaz Rola (SLO) 22
4 Tommy Robredo (ESP) [19] 41 vs John Millman (AUS) 42

COURT 14 – 11:30 START
1 Martin Klizan (SVK) 37 vs Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 38
2 Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 11 vs Roberta Vinci (ITA) 12
3 Polona Hercog (SLO) 59 vs Lauren Davis (USA) 60
4 Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) 27 vs Alexander Zverev (GER) 28

COURT 15 – 11:30 START
1 Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 51 vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 52
2 Lin Zhu (CHN) 43 vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 44
3 Lukas Lacko (SVK) 51 vs Steve Johnson (USA) 52
4 Marsel Ilhan (TUR) 13 vs Jerzy Janowicz (POL) 14

COURT 16 – 11:30 START
1 Leonardo Mayer (ARG) [24] 9 vs Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 10
2 Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 7 vs Bernard Tomic (AUS) [27] 8
3 Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 5 vs Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 6

COURT 17 – 11:30 START
1 Karolina Pliskova (CZE) [11] 49 vs Irina Falconi (USA) 50
2 Sara Errani (ITA) [19] 9 vs Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 10
3 Joao Souza (BRA) 29 vs Santiago Giraldo (COL) 30
4 Donald Young (USA) 43 vs Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 44

COURT 19 – 11:30 START
1 Sam Groth (AUS) / Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 47 vs Vasek Pospisil (CAN) / Jack Sock (USA) [3] 48
2 Rohan Bopanna (IND) / Florin Mergea (ROU) [9] 9 vs Tim Smyczek (USA) / Jiri Vesely (CZE) 10
3 Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 35 vs Qiang Wang (CHN) 36
4 Marina Erakovic (NZL) 13 vs Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 14

MATCHES TO BE ARRANGED
NOT BEFORE 17.30
1 Mariana Duque-Marino (COL) 45 vs Naomi Broady (GBR) 46
2 Barbora Strycova (CZE) [27] 57 vs Sloane Stephens (USA) 58

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Belinda Bencic Wins Eastbourne for First WTA Title

Belinda Bencic photo courtesy of the LTA by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images for LTA

By Ros Satar

(June 27, 2015) EASTBOURNE, England – On a bright and breezy day, it seemed fitting the moment could go to one of the WTA Rising Stars, as Belinda Bencic rode the winds of Eastbourne to claim her first WTA Singles title.

 

At first glance it looked as through former champion Agnieszka Radwanska would have all the momentum on her side. She was rounding out nicely to form, save for a worrying fade away in the Nottingham semi-final a couple of weeks ago, and she had pretty much coasted through the draw until the semi-final where she had to fight against a determined Sloane Stephens and dropped her first set of the tournament.

 

By contrast, even though players never like to admit they even cast an eye over the draw, Bencic had no idea she would be contesting the final when she first looked her draw.

 

She said, after advancing to the final after Caroline Wozniacki’s withdrawal: “I actually saw the draw and I saw like Barthel first round, which is not easy. Then Madison Keys second round. I was like, okay.”

 

The final was a nervy affair for the first two sets, with three exchanged breaks of serve towards the end of the first, Bencic having the advantage to edge the Pole for a one set lead.

 

Radwanska had spent a lot of the latter part of the first set exasperated that things were not going her way, and where she needed to be fare more inventive, she was so, stepping up the aggression for an early break. Even when a sloppy game allowed the Swiss teen back, Radwanska looked to be just slightly sharper, going for her shots more and breaking with conviction to level the match.

 

But grass is nothing if not terribly unforgiving, and Bencic did not panic, breaking the Pole twice before the first change of ends, as well as holding on to her serves with confidence that belies her young years.

 

We wondered what nerves might prevail as she stepped up to serve out for her first title. None, as it happened – serving it out to love, and more than making up for the straight sets loss to Camila Giorgi just a couple of weeks ago at ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

 

Not only that but this makes her a pretty useful prospect on grass, much like a couple of other famous Swiss players we could think of.

 

It was an emotional Radwanska who carried out her on-court interview after the 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 loss. In a somewhat turbulent year, Radwanska has suffered the embarrassment of her appointment of Martina Navratilova as a coach folding after barely a few months. The results have been average and Radwanska found herself slipping out of the Top 10 as the general hubbub around the latest crop of WTA Rising Stars has encroached on the old guard’s limelight.

 

She said: “I think I had a lot of good matches, Nottingham and here. I think that’s the main thing. I think I did the best preparation before Wimbledon, and I really played good tennis.”

 

With Radwanska in Petra Kvitova’s section of the door she can expect a Tuesday start.

 

Meanwhile there was just pure unadulterated joy in Bencic as she followed in Madison Keys’ footsteps last year and lifted her maiden tour title.

 

She described those final moments with a maturity that marks her out as one to watch at SW 19, saying: “I was very focused and really I played very free. Of course I was disappointed I didn’t close out the second set. I was also starting to get tired. It was a lot of running and, yeah, long rallies. But then I started very focused. I did the 3‑0, so after that I relaxed a little bit and could close it out very good. I think I will just realise maybe when going to bed or maybe tomorrow.”

 

She will start against Tsvetana Pironkova when Wimbledon begins on Monday 29 June.

 

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.

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Eastbourne Finals set

Aga Radwanska slides to a ball

By Ros Satar

(June 26, 2015) EASTBOURNE, England – On the day when the Wimbledon draws came out, there was still the small matter of the Eastbourne finals to be set, with some great grass court action on the menu.

 

First up was Agnieszka Radwanska, who lifted the trophy in 2008 in a pretty tough final against Nadia Petrova including a mammoth tiebreak for a 6-4 6-7(11) 6-4 win.

 

She might not have had quite the same battle to book her place in the final this time, as she faced Sloane Stephens in the semi-final and countering the American’s attacking play, as she was put under almost immediate pressure from the first game, saving four break-points there and six in her next game before even the first sit-down.

 

That did not stop her from making the first strike against Stephens, as she broke the American twice to wrap up the first set.

 

Stephens picked up the pace though, as the pair settled in to some perhaps tricky conditions. Despite the sun shining down on Eastbourne, there was a stiff breeze in the air. A competitive second set was forced to a tie-break, and Stephens ripped some impressive winners past Radwanska to level the match.

 

Radwanska started off the brighter in the decider, breaking Stephens, despite having to deal with a dive-bombing seagull, and took more risks in the swirling wind with an array of drop-shots and crafted returns, driving out a 6-1 6-7(3) 6-2 win.

 

She said: “I think the wind was changing, as well. Sometimes I was changing sides and I was against the wind, and I was going to the other side and still I was against the wind! That was weird. And of course there was another wind from the side, as well.

 

“So it was really tricky. You just had to know that the wind is going from each side and just to hit the ball strong, because otherwise it’s gonna fly wherever it will fly.”

 

But while the scene was set for a great match up between Swiss teen Belinda Bencic and Caroline Wozniacki, another former champion at the event. But from the start, Wozniacki looked ill at ease striking wild, missing volleys and after surrendering two breaks of serve before the first changeover, the doctor was called. As the conversation drew on and still no sign of a physical assessment, it was clear we were heading for a second withdrawal of the day. Earlier, Ekaterina Makarova withdrew from the second doubles semi-final with an Achilles injury.

 

Bencic said: “Definitely it’s not the way I wanted to win, of course. I’m also a little bit disappointed we couldn’t play a proper final because of course all the people and everyone.

 

“I didn’t know anything [about Wozniacki] before the match. Of course I also fell down a little bit yesterday, so I was more thinking of myself in that moment, so I didn’t notice anything what she had.”

 

Wozniacki confirmed that she had withdrawn with a back injury that had been troubling her for a few days, but had stiffened up considerably ahead of her match.

 

“I have had a slight back problem the whole week, basically. Today it stiffened up more, and I felt like I couldn’t move the way I wanted to and felt pain. I felt really bad for the crowd and everyone who had come out, but there’s nothing really I could do about it. It’s all about for me now just to look ahead for Wimbledon that’s starting in a few days. You know, just get as much treatment as possible and be ready for my first round there.”

 

Radwanska will face Bencic for the first time on Saturday. She surmised: “It’s always very interesting to play someone for the first time, especially not really happen very often. It’s gonna be interesting match, for sure. She had a really good season this year. Upcoming player on tour. So I’m really looking forward. Of course I think more pressure is on my side, but this is the final so we both want to win.”

 

Radwanska and Bencic will play the final on Saturday.

 

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.

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