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A day and a half a brain means that we get to Thursday at Eastbourne and
it is manic - matches, people, players everywhere. It's crazy. -- a
day and a half of rain. What a way to finish things off for
Johanna Konta. She has got it. What an achievement. Good afternoon from
Devonshire Park. The British number one against the French Open champion
tops the bill today, and it should be a thrilling afternoon here. We
have been playing for a couple of hours, and there is a glimmer of
sunshine behind me. We should be back on schedule by the end of
today. One big name has gone out today, Agnieszka Radwanska, a former
champion here, who lost in straight sets to American Lauren Davies, who
belies her size. 6-1 in the second set there. That was an unexpected
result, but by and large, things have gone pretty much according to
plan here at Eastbourne over the first few days, between the showers.
That is how the top half of the draw looks. We are at the stage of the
last 16. The winner of Kerber's match will play Ostapenko. It is
worth repeating that from day one the quality of the draw has made
this like Wimbledon by the sea this week. You can see that on Centre
Court, the first match we will see at some point in the next few
minutes is Johanna Konta against Jelena Ostapenko, followed by an
either up or match. -- and either -- an either or match.
I'm delighted to say that alongside me, and obviously tailored by the
same Savile Row Company, Leon Smith, the Davis Cup captain. And we're
wearing the same shoes? I am just taking tips! Big Davis Cup news
today, kind of out of the blue, almost, with the ITF announcing that
the final of the Davis Cup and the Fed cup should be played at a
neutral venue, and they have chosen Geneva for the first three years.
What was your reaction when you heard? I am not overly shocked
because it has been talked about for a long time. I would not say there
has been a formal consultation process, but I have had various
meetings and conversations with the likes of the ITF president, David
Hagerty, so I am not shocked. From the point of view of the players,
what will happen with players committing to the Davis Cup, which
ever wants to see? There will have to be information. It is all very
well saying a neutral venue, but the initial reaction from players will
be, we don't like that. I have seen some reaction from players, saying
that they have destroyed the cup and this is insanity, some more
vitriolic comments as well. It is all very well when Great Britain
play Belgium in Ghent, because you get a great event with a great
atmosphere, but if you ended up with the USA against Argentina in Geneva,
that will be a nonevent, won't it? By playing it in a neutral venue,
what does that secure for the players, from the various
federations who have to travel differences? I can't go back to the
players now and say, OK, this isn't hugely popular, but in terms of
ranking points, purse strings, this is what it could look like you, and
then they could put their energy into coming up with ways of dealing
with it. There is a big debate about whether Davis Cup fits into the
calendar. The thing that sets it apart is the atmosphere, the crowd,
the gladiatorial nature, the nationality element, which we don't
have in the normal treadmill of tennis. If you suddenly play it in a
neutral venue, it takes away part of the reason for playing it at all.
That is why people are sceptical. We played France, and the atmosphere
was unbelievable. It was the fact that it was in France, in a great
venue, and everyone was passionate about it. I don't know how we will
get fans to the new venue, what proportion of tickets there will be.
It is the trickling information. I get the impression from you that you
don't think this will happen. I think it might happen, but we need
to see the information. It might be sounding the death knell of the
Davis Cup. I hope not. If there is a huge amount of money brought in that
can rival what the players are getting week in week out, because it
is not worth it for the top players, let's be honest. The top players
play because of the fans and the experience. If you put the Davis Cup
and FA Cup finals together, does that give it credence? -- the Fed
cup. You can promote tennis around those events. It is like World Cup
finals, there can be a lot more activity. We saw pictures of Andy
Murray, that unforgettable lob to win the Davis Cup, but an
announcement this morning that he will not play the second exhibition
match he was scheduled to play because of the continuation of this
hip injury. People are saying at home, this is all sounding rather
alarming. Are we being unduly alarmed here, or is there actually
something perhaps seriously wrong? Everyone looks forward to Wimbledon
a lot because of Andy Murray, having won it twice, it is his best
surface, and he loves the event, but this is not ideal. He hasn't played
as much tennis as he would have liked, both in competition, where he
likes getting matches under his belt... And we saw him losing at
Queen's. He could go to Wimbledon having played just one match and
having had one defeat. Which is why he wants to get more practice in. He
puts a lot of pride and effort into doing hours on the court, and when
you take that away, you need to build up to it. In Paris, people
were questioning his form, the number of matches he had played, and
I don't see it being any different at the moment. If he navigates his
way through those early rounds, we will see him build on servers that I
think he is the best on. Because it is Wimbledon, and Andy has won it
twice, and everything else, how much does it matter to him to be in peak
condition come Monday or Tuesday? It is his home tournament, and he has
had his greatest success there, so of course, he wants to be in peak
condition. He has so much experience of how you go through the fortnight,
so if you can work your way through early on, build your confidence and
your hours on court, that is how we will see him work his way into this
tournament again. Great to have you here. You will be commentating as
well, so we will talk more later about your involvement with Kyle
Edmund, and we will talk about one or two signed out there that had
been encouraging this week. We have two big names in the British game
taking part today. We are going to see Johanna Konta later Ron against
Jelena Ostapenko. That is the big match on Centre Court but asked. And
then -- later on. Then Heather Watson will be in action on Court
number four, which is sadly not covered by TV cameras, but we will
update you on how she gets on. We will show you live Caroline
Wozniacki in action, and here is her first set point, against Elena
Vesnina, which he won 6-1. An emphatic first set. That is taking
place on Court Number One. Here we are at 3-1 in the second set. Gigi
Salmon and Sam Smith are in the commentary box.
COMMENTATOR: Good afternoon everybody. A tough time out here for
Elena Vesnina. She is a break down in the second set and facing a
second break point in this fifth game of the second.
APPLAUSE Another good save from Elena
Vesnina. Sam Smith, the pressure is well and truly on the Russian. Yes,
this is someone she has struggled with over the years, but good
memories for her back in Eastbourne. And it is a surface she enjoys, but
so does Caroline. The problem she has is that was the Aki knows
exactly how to play her. Caroline plays it directly down the middle.
You do not want to play with width with Vesnina, because you can always
see her aiming down the line. She loves the", was the ackee, and very
smart match player, and she has Vesnina's number. -- was the
... A great second set from Vesnina, under pressure, says a third break
point in this game. Vesnina is the 16th seed. She had a bye in the
first round. And there it is - a lovely pass from
Caroline Wozniacki. A pump of the fest, a little apology on the way
back to the chair, but all that matters for Caroline Wozniacki is
that she now leads by one set and a double break. Sam, I would like to
have a word about conditions, because we started the week like we
were in Miami - sunny, hot, lovely - then it was a complete wash-out.
Yesterday, not much of a breeze. And today, conditions have changed once
again, a little more breeze. It is also cooler. Players are not
terribly keen. They will be glad it is not too windy, although yesterday
was terribly still. The breeze should blow the rain clouds away.
You can always banked on Caroline Wozniacki, because she is a gritty
cell. When everyone is moaning that they don't have enough time to
practice or stretch, or that it is raining or cold, she is like, I am
not too worried about that, and she will be on an indoor court or in the
gym. She is a cup half full kind of lady. There is this wittiness, this
resilience, about Caroline that maybe we don't talk enough about.
She is someone you can rely on, and she will get on with it. If
conditions stay like this, you have to back her picking up another
Eastbourne title, because she is left standing when everyone else is
standing around complaining. No complaints from the Dane at the
moment. The winner of this will face either Simona Halep or Svetlana
Pironkova, a former finalist at Wimbledon.
You can tell the conditions are cooler, the players wearing
long-sleeved tops out there. We saw Lauren Davis out earlier with
leggings on underneath the skirt. Yes, we have moved on a long way.
There is Dad, a firm fixture in the Vesnina camp. We have moved a long
way since back in the day. You would throw up tracksuit top on 20 years
ago. It billowed up and you felt you were a stuffed turkey if you had a
jumper underneath it. They have these Lycra, skintight tops now. A
much better look. If you had a choice, you would not
go for the stuffed Christmas turkey look, would you? That was a smart
point from Wozniacki. She is far too consistent for Vesnina. Vesnina
cannot hit enough winners versus her errors. Wozniacki works it up and
down the middle. Talking about how hard Caroline Wozniacki works, she
has 25 singles titles, the most without having won a Grand Slam. She
is a worker. She is a former world number one.
There it is, a comfortable hold. She drops just four points on serve in
the first set, around the same in the second. She is one game away
from booking her place in the quarterfinals, and that would be one
better than last year's exit at this stage.
Too many of those for Vesnina in this match. That is double fault
number five. I was adding one onto her total. It is not as bad as I
thought. A little bit of luck everybody
needs. I don't think it is enough to get her back in this contest. Yes,
Caroline is relentless. Wonderful concentration and an outstanding
match player. Pretty much back to her best, or I would say, better
than ever, the way she is hitting the ball these days.
Vesnina has had a good couple of years, getting her ranking up to as
high as 13 in March, a career high. She is currently sitting at 16. She
took her biggest title to date in the singles at Indian Wells earlier
this year on the hardcourt. Yes, played so well at Wimbledon
last year. She is someone who has developed later in her career with
her confidence and game style. Good use of the court. We know she
has good hands at the net, Elena Vesnina. She is a champion in
doubles Grand Slam level, winning a gold medal at the Rio Olympics. You
have to think about when you come up against Caroline Wozniacki, it must
be frustrating, because she is like a wall. She will run and run all day
long. She is one of their best athletes, with a huge engine,
stamina and a willingness to run. I kind of suspect that Caroline, I
wouldn't put past her, there is a party tonight, and I think she might
go up there and come back before her match tomorrow. She is playing as
if, yes, I have got the dress ready. It is only an hour up the road...
And if you have had the dress for a while, and it could be the one
opportunity to wear the dress, if there is a window, you take it. And
she is creating that window if she finishes this right now. She will be
saying to her dad, who is the coach, I will be back and in bed on time. I
will be ready for the final. She is always party- ready, and I say that
in a positive way. She's great with the media, gives an awful lot of the
tour. She appeared on the front cover of a magazine in Denmark with
not a lot on, which has caused quite a fuss over there, but she looks
incredible. Arms and legs strategically placed, I would say,
from that shot. But it looks fantastic. Serving out for a place
in the quarterfinals in her first event since her final eight showing
at Roland Garros on the clay. From what I have seen from Caroline
this week in practice and her early matches, she is striking the ball
well, looks confident, and could have gone even further in the
French. If that was her on clay, what will she be like on grass,
which she has such a good game for? She will be very happy with this
clean match. No dramas, last eight, tiptop. Three match points for the
sixth seed, Caroline Wozniacki. And there it is, at the second time
of asking, a cool, clean, composed performance from Caroline Wozniacki,
a former winner here in 2009. The sixth seed, straight sets, one hour
in six minutes. 6-1, 6-2, over Elena Vesnina. -- one hour and six
minutes. She will be very happy with that performance. She is through
into the last eight. STUDIO: That was conclusive enough. Goodness me!
Barely an hour, on and off. She looks in good form. We will see
Johanna Konta in action shortly, but one British player we will not see
is Katie Dunn, who has just lost in qualifying at Roehampton. Leon Smith
is with us here, and there is a lot to talk about in British tennis. We
discussed Andy before that match, so let's go in ranking order. Kyle
Edmund 's obviously lost in the first round here come you are now
working with them, so is he someone now who has hit a crossroads in his
career and needs to kick on somehow, and maybe you are the man to be the
catalyst for that? Let's clarify - I am loosely helping him in my role as
Davis Cup captain. He recently finished working with Ryan Jones,
who did a terrific job, but these things happen. The life span is
about 18 months on the men's tour, so we shouldn't be surprised by that
change. He is now looking for a new situation, so I am helping very
loosely. Kyle is going at his own place. Some players, if they have a
certain characteristic that they shook through, he is making
progress. He might be a bit sticky where he at just now. He has the
right mindset. All the predictions that he is a top 20 player, you
don't see any reason to revise that? Know, when you see him practice and
some of the matches he has won this year, he came alive at the French
Open, he gets too many good results, and he also pushes the top players
hard, which is a good indicator. That shows that he has good weapons.
Dan Evans, from one extreme to the other, the LTA took the media out
for a bite to eat on Monday night, and the subject of Dan Evans came
up. There was quite a vitriolic discussion taking place, with a lot
of people thinking he has had so many chances and he has shot himself
in the foot, basically, by testing positively for cocaine. Other people
say that we need to be more conciliatory and understand that he
is still a young guy, that he makes mistakes - whether you sit? I have a
different relationship than many would have with Dan. I have known
him well since he was 13, and he has gone through many ups and downs, and
this is obviously a low point, the lowest that can get. It is a sad
situation. Everything in front of him, everything. Even this year, he
is in the top 50 and started the year well. The important thing from
his point of view is, he has put his hand up, and he has to. He has made
a stupid mistake and he will pay a price for that. How big a price
should he pay, do you think? It is not for me to say. What ever the ITF
end up giving him as a suspension, that is up to them, but he will
serve it, and during that time, it is a question of us offering
support, education, as we talked about, with the hope being that he
will come back. He can come back but it will be tough, starting at zero
and working through. He has done it, not from this low a point before,
but it is possible and he will have to take responsibility for his
actions. Have you spoken to him since it was announced? Yeah. How is
he? He is gutted. He knows he has made a mistake. It is a really sad
situation because we have all seen him groaning as a player, and this
is... It will hit him hard, and he knows that, and he will have to take
whatever comes his way. OK, talking of British players, Jelena
Ostapenko... Maybe one day she will be an honorary Brit. She is walking
on court to play Johanna Konta, who will appear shortly, I'm sure. Here
is the reception for the local girl. She looked very impressive in her
first match a couple of days ago. A gentleman walked in who had a
sizeable bets on her to win. The odds were great, she's 5-2 favourite
to beat the champion here in Eastbourne, which shows the kind of
form she is in. Going back to the men's game, Dan Evans being out of
the equation, does that mean that you, as Davis Cup captain, will
start campaigning ever more eagerly to get Ali jazz playing? We help and
support where we can, and the door is not shut. We have to keep looking
at ways to keep the dialogue going. Is it opens like this are like that,
the dog? It is narrowing, but there is a possibility. We have had
discussions with the idea. -- the door. It is not closed yet. At some
point in the future, the next generation will have to play in the
Davis Cup. J Clark, he was in the last round of qualifying at
Wimbledon, and most people watching at the moment will not know anything
about him, so tell us about him. Jay is from derby come he works very
closely with his family, just turned 19, he has recruited a coach for 25
weeks a year to add some experience into the coaching team, and that's
working well. I actually brought him into the last Davis Cup match
against France, and he was absolutely fantastic, and you could
see the qualities. He's got a lot of points from the Futures tour, which
is the normal route for someone coming out of juniors, and just
started to play Challengers recently, and just starting to find
his feet. There was a lot of healthy discussion around coming into wild
cards, with the All England Club, and it was decided that qualifying
felt right for this stage. And actually, if he can get through this
match which he is set and a up come he will have won a couple of
matches... We're just hearing, he's serving for the match. It is
absolutely terrific he's a terrific lad who is working hard, with a good
family and coach, and he has got a game. And I think this is a better
route for someone, winning a couple of matches, if he can get through
three matches, best-of-five sets, that is a signal of intent. And
actually, Andy Murray has had a huge influence on Kyle Edmund, and we can
see a picture from the French Open of Jay with Andy. Andy is an
enthusiastic supporter of him as well? Yeah, he knew what he was like
at Davis Cup, which Andy often does with the younger ones, Kyle Edmund
and others, he took him to Paris, for the preparation for the French
Open. Unbelievable experience for them, with Andy when his team. I
think he's certainly one for the future. I don't know if you had half
an eye on Marcus will is against Liam Broady in qualifying late last
night, when Marcus Willis came through - is he someone who has
missed the boat, or is the boat perhaps still in dock and he could
yet get on it? I hope so, he plays great tennis, especially on grass.
We saw that last year, and he's got great personality. That was a good
match, and Willis is playing well, and he will cause people problems.
He's got a great serve and a lot of skill in his game. I hope he can go
away now and play a fuller schedule. As we walked up here, I bumped into
Michael Downey, the chief executive of the LTA, and tomorrow is his last
day, and then there is a six-month hiatus before Scott Lloyd takes
over. Where do you think elite men's tennis is in this country now,
compared to where it was, say, five years ago, when Michael took over?
Well, it's a lot better. And most of that's down to the players and their
teams, obviously. We have continued to help when we can, as a
federation, but once the players get into tour level, it is really an
independent, professional business. Off the back of what Andy and Jamie
have been doing, and what Jo Konta continue to do, there is a feel-good
factor and a belief, and we have got a lot of success out of Davis Cup,
with those players being able to rub shoulders with Andy and Jamie. It
helps, when you hear stories like Jay Clarke Putin making inroads,
because he can then access time to these players as well. There's
certainly been improvements at the top end. It is a big shame what has
happened to down, obviously. But there needs to be more. There's
still too many gaps between where the tour players sit, and I include
down in that, for now, but then there is a chunk, not much, between
100 and 200. And that level is really important to have. We need to
have people entering the top 100. But is where the likes of Willis and
Clarke and Norrie and others will come in, hopefully. How far can Jo
Konta go, in terms of a Grand Slam, is she a Grand Slam winner in
waiting, do you think? I think so, I think she absolutely terrific. She
has got weapons, she has got an all court game as well, which I think is
very important. Because of her athleticism, she can hit big
winners, and that's really important. I have been fortunate
enough to spend some time with her, and I was with her as part of the
team for a couple of weeks in Rio, and her hunger and drive is off the
charts. We were watching the match between Kuznetsova and her opponent,
which is now all square, and you were saying that Kuznetsova, you
have never seen anybody with a work ethic like her, but Jo Konta is up
there? She is, she works so hard. If you're going to win a slam, you have
to, but she has it in abundance, Jo. She's another player, playing Fed
Cup, it all helps, with the younger players. I think you're going to,
take on Jo are you not? I am, and it is a great match to do some
commentary on. It is a great match, and it is also a long walk! Here's
Karolina Pliskova. And I think this is the match point, if I'm not
mistaken. It is. So, the mandatory handshake at the net, and she's
through against Peng of China. And so, this is what the draw looks
like, with Radwanska having gone out. Pliskova is one ahead of
everybody else, into the quarterfinals. But all the players
are expecting to play two matches today, although that will be
dependent on how long some games go, if we have some long ones. But by
and large, they are hoping that we will have the quarterfinal line-up,
maybe even semifinal line-up, sorted out by the close of play today.
Let's go to Centre Court, Leon Smith is on his way there, to join Sam
Smith. SAM SMITH: Jo Konta came out onto
this court to rapturous applause, and my goodness, when she was out
here, it was a day or so ago, she was outstanding, beating hi, assist
a of Romania, and it took just over an hour. -- beating Cirstea of
Romania. Today, she's up against Jelena Ostapenko, a name which was
sort of in the next 12 months ago as a very good junior, but now she
comes here as the reigning French Open champion, this hyperactive
20-year-old who is taking the tennis world by storm. We needed a new
star, we have certainly got one in Jelena Ostapenko, who loves playing
on the grass. She's an absolute star, but she's got a very tough
assignment here, in Britain's number one. Ostapenko won the toss, elected
to receive. It will be Jo Konta get this third round match under way.
Jo comes here as part of a pretty good grass court season. She went up
to Nottingham, and did well, at Nottingham, not so good, losing in
the second round to Coco Vandeweghe. Second appearance here for Latvia's
Jelena Ostapenko. She had a tricky match against Soares Navarro. But
was also a couple of days ago. And it is the Centre Court's first
to look at this incredible ball striking from this young player.
It's what Jo has got to deal with out here, how does she stop this
flow of winners? It's the first time these two have
met, so a little bit of settling down in the opening few minutes for
both players. And an ideal start for the French
Open Championship just to put Ostapenko into contact, if you
haven't seen her play - three years ago, she was the junior Wimbledon
champion. She furnished that year in the senior rankings at 300 in the
world. 12 months later, she was in the world's top 80. A year later,
she was in the top 50, and now, she's on the verge of the top ten.
It has been a very quick rise for her, only just turned 20, on semi
finals day at Roland Garros, and she took it all in her stride. Now,
superstar back home. This time last year, she was only
just graduating from the International House school in Riga,
where she specialised in languages, including English. If you are only
just getting your first look at what a precocious young woman and player
she is developing into. The American commentator Mary would
call this big baby tennis, there's going to be some heavy striking from
the baseline from both these two. This is going to be a matchup to
save over the next couple of hours. A cold and breezy day in Eastbourne.
Fearless tennis and a start with some confidence from Jelena
Ostapenko. I think we already realise after six minutes, Jo Konta
has got quite match on her hands. Leon, well done, you made it over,
up to the top of the stand! You covered the ground well! It was not
what you call a sprint for me, but I got here!
UMPIRE: Miss Ostapenko is challenging the call. It is a close
one, she's hacker to challenge it. She has got it right. Shy in coming
forward, and she's very pleased with herself.
Leon, the court is playing pretty low, its soft, but with this young
woman, it seems she could play on glass. What are the problems here
facing Jo Konta one I think that is a good example of what she's going
to have to do, use her hand skills, and other skills, just to cope with
the power. How big is this ball from Ostapenko? Well, we all watched with
astonishment what happened in Paris, the sheer pace that she has got, but
the fearlessness as well, that's what makes it dangerous. You can see
already, she's standing inside the baseline to receive.
I guess a bit of the danger is when the ball is coming so fast that
Konta, she feels the need to go back fast again, but she's probably just
going to have to try and lengthen the rallies kinder she can.
The coaching team of Jo. Andrew Fitzpatrick on the right, hitting
partner. They've settle down this year very well.
That is a gritty hold from the British none one -- number one, down
an early break in this opening set. Leon, you've obviously been around
Andy Murray for a very long time, and you seen him grow and fame and
everything that goes with it - where are the pitfalls? Jo now comes into
this event is the fifth seed, one of the contenders, and she got a lot
more going on for her. What can she learn from what Andy has been going
through, because next week is going to be something which even this man
cannot prepare her for, and he's been working with Grand Slam
champions? Yeah, and for Jo at Wimbledon, her home event, it goes
to another level. Andy, in his early days, had to learn on the job well,
that is part of it. But the team around her is going to be really
important. And Jo has done such a great job of becoming much, much
more composed, not just on the court but off the court, and that's going
to help her as she heads into all of these expert nations over the next
fortnight! It doesn't sound a nice place, does it?! But it comes with
it, and she's earned that the petitioners well, and she'll learn
from it as the years go by. And another player in the expectation
zone is Ostapenko, at the far end, seemingly dealing with it very well
here. She made a call, but you already
missed the shot. And then she corrected. That's why I just want to
know if you want to challenge or not. Miss Konta, challenging the
call. So, the serve was called out, and then it was said that Jo hit the
ball after the call, missed it, and then really, her only play was to
challenge it. And it was a correct call. That was a bit of adult
dinner! It certainly was, we got there!
There's an example of what Jo can do, she can certainly step inside
the court and look to be very offensive on the return of that
second serve. That's pretty impressive, to be able
to generate that sort of power off a lower ball.
She is a very self-confident young woman, spent her formative years as
a competitive ballroom dancer. Had to make the choice at 12. Not too
many of those in the sport! Think she made the right choice! And
that's a very good hold. We have had ex-swimmers and ex-footballers and
basketballers, Simona Halep was a gymnast for a few years. Apparently
she kept having to go away to tennis camp and missing out on ballroom
answering, and she could not get a decent partner when she came back.
That type of serving will certainly help Jo. She has got a great serve,
and good variety with it as well. It's important to get as many first
serves in as possible, so she's not facing those aggressive returns off
the second serves. Do you think that's an area she can
target, into that forehand wing of Ostapenko?
She's got one of these late contact points, ala Steffi Graf. And if she
is rushed, the racket tips open, and the ball can fly. But you go there
at your peril. Her racket work, it's something else. What I can't get
over, Leon, she on a grass court, she loves playing on this surface,
but her take-backs are so high, and the ball is so low. She drops it
down so quickly. I think we are looking at something really special.
Yes! Really solid game from Konta. Just keeps it to the one break.
Leon, I think we were all quite surprised that Jo switched coaches
at the end of last year. I have to say, the women's game's loss is Jade
Clarke's gain. Esteban Toledo has a phenomenal reputation. Can you see
what he has brought to her game this year, or is it just going to be very
small changes? One thing which springs to mind is,
it is either someone who has been there and done it as a player or
someone who has a very strong record of working with Grand Slam winners.
I know Esteban really well now, and I am super impressed with him as a
person, and as a coach, he is absolutely terrific, so it's no
surprise to see Jade Clarke and his family really enjoying this working
relationship. But with Wim Fissette, he has been there with Kim clusters
and other players. That's got to help, it gives you something else to
fall back on someone, knowing you're going to go deep into these
tournaments, to have those sorts of conversations.
Tell me about this serve. I'm amazed it held up in a French Open final!
So am I. That second serve, that could be an Achilles' heel,
especially has her reputation grows and people get to know her game
world. -- her game well. We have seen Andy Murray having to
work hard on his second serve to increase the speed.
Konta was broken rather easily in the opening game - a couple of
chances to get back on level terms now.
Jo Konta, feeling her way into this first meeting with the French Open
champion. It's the right mindset to have there from Konta. She's going
to win a lot of points by being very aggressive on that second serve
return. Signs that things are just starting
to turn, momentum with Konta. APPLAUSE
3-1 down just a few minutes ago, Johanna Konta, but no signs of
panic. She played so well in her opening match a couple of days ago.
Not too much tennis played yesterday.
That's an emphatic service game for Johanna Konta. Ahead now for the
first time in this opening set. Leon, just broadening out our
discussions about women's tennis, what are you seeing in the women's
game at the moment? We are going to hold fire here for one second...
After 3-2, you begin to open the court. Remember your speed in the
middle, then you open the court. On the second serve, don't give her a
lot of angles, because she is going for it all the time. Move into the
court and then you start to move her. At the beginning, fast middle,
and then you open the court. With the serve, stop to think what you
need to do. You arrive there, bounce and serve, without thinking. Put the
ball high above your head and use your arm. It's OK. But attention on
your legs. Stay low with the legs, pushing against the floor. Work with
the legs, active. She is a very good player, retired a few years ago, and
she knows her apples. That is a great piece of coaching. If I am a
player listening to that, I am starting to feel good about myself.
Important to have a clear plan. A couple of breaks so far. New balls,
Ostapenko at 3-4. I like what she was saying about
simple strategies. You can play fast through the middle on the first
ball, get her on the back foot, and then look to open the door.
UMPIRE: Miss Konta is challenging the call. You are allowed three
incorrect challenges per set. You get an extra one if it goes into a
tie-break. UMPIRE: The call stands. 30-0. Lots of things going on these
days in tennis, on court coaching just for the women's tour. If you
haven't watched too much tennis since Wimbledon last year, it is
good to have a little refresh. APPLAUSE
Well, Ostapenko has listened to her coach, who said, don't worry too
much about the angles on your second serve return, you can play it into
the body to take away the angles, and even by getting a little early
success with that change of tactics it will help, build that confidence.
I don't know quite what that was that was being moved off the court,
but it is gone. So, Ostapenko now very much back on
track. We have heard about the tactics that
Ostapenko will use, but what about Jo? How will she utilise what she
has got at the other end? Again, we are seeing this very calm,
composed young woman here, routine almost in the extreme. No sign of
panic yet from the fifth seed. APPLAUSE
I do like that serve, the swinging serve. You can go into the Ostapenko
forehand with quality, even though it is a strength.
Ostapenko is clearly using the tactics given. It must be great to
have player who rides to orders. No, Ostapenko on the march again. --
oh, Ostapenko on the march again. That one travelled as straight as an
arrow through the court. She has the ability to flatten the ball. She
just leans right through the shot. UMPIRE: Miss Ostapenko challenges
the call. A second challenge from Ostapenko, who already has got one
right. UMPIRE: The call stands. Not such a good challenge.
'S they will constructive point, that. We talked about getting good
depth, and she certainly got it there. It is important once you find
that depth and you get the easier ball, that you move into it quickly.
She did that superbly well there. That is a really tough hold from a
break point down will stop Johanna Konta, ahead once more in this
opening session, leading 5-4. Before we were rudely interrupted at the
last changeover, I was going to ask you about the wider sense of women's
tennis, and why you feel that maybe the top players are not performing
week in, week out. Do you have any idea what might be happening? It is
a really tough question. I didn't bring you all the way over from the
studio to throw you soft walls! I think, the emergence of other
players. Obviously, with Serena and then obviously Sharapova, years ago,
Azarenka, the ones that started to have a lot of power in the game, the
one not as many power players around, and it makes it more
difficult to establish yourself as consistently as they were able to.
But it has thrown everything open. Not one player has that dominant
game. We saw Kerber have such a terrific 2016, but then people
started to figure out a way of, OK, I know shout -- how she plays and I
can combat that. There was no one really emerging as that one player.
Maybe it is Ostapenko. Although she is diminutive in size, she has
unbelievable weapons, and that will be interesting to see if she starts
to pull back together. -- poll that together.
We talked about that late preparation, like contact time that
she has. It allows her to change direction at the last second. She
catches the opponent off balance. I'm sure Konta thought that last
ball would go back across the court. It was certainly the right option
there, the ball was hanging in the air, so why not? Take it out there
with a swing volley. Well, this is turning into some
first set. Ostapenko levels up with ease. This is the first event she
has played since winning the French Open, and she seems completely
unfazed by all the success. She is a superstar back home, and here she
is, composed, reset, 20 years old. Unbelievable. It is. It's a great
quality to have, especially with the way she plays, that fearless tennis.
And probably smart scheduling from her team, not to delve into the
tournaments beforehand. It allows you to settle and come back on your
own terms. We are seeing a lot of those plays,
aren't we? The swinging serve and then going big into the forehand. It
is a good tactic. Amazing how low back ball stayed. We
mentioned earlier the load balances. Barely a couple of inches there. She
does -- it does traditionally play a little quicker than Wimbledon.
She hasn't made too many wrong shot selections, but that one was a tough
one to pull off, defending that ball, going for a drop shot. The
wind is westerly, and it is funnelling around the Centre Court,
making things very tricky. This opening set is an arm wrestle. Konta
pushes ahead once more, 6-5 she leads, first set. Jo still trains
quite a lot at the NTC when she's in London. Her parents still live down
here, and I think that Eastbourne is home as well. You must have been
around a few years ago when she was in that 150-160 mark. What was she
like then in terms of training, personality? There was about a year
where I was head of men's and women's tennis. Lucky you! It was a
privilege. It was clear then that she was always looking for answers,
looking to learn and develop, very serious about tennis, and this was
her thing. It was her profession. Can I just ask, she plateaued for
about three years after being a good junior. Did you ever see her be down
and demoralised because she wanted it so much? You saw it come out in
frustration, especially the tension. Wanting it so badly. And often, that
type of character, when you are pouring yourself in, day in, day
out, and you don't get the fruits of that on the court, the frustration
and tension gets to be even more, and of course, everyone knows that
in the last couple of years, she has managed to get that composure. One
thing I know for sure is that she has not left any stone unturned. She
is always looking to improve. Ostapenko, for a second time,
serving to stay in this opening set. Oh, she is just nailing these second
serves. And how well Jo Konta has turned this opening set around, down
a break, 3-1 down, triple set point for the British number one.
That is Ostapenko all over. Would you describe that as fearless? Why
not? It will take something special to save this service game, and that
is a pretty good start. A little wry smile from Konta. The
top players know all about this. Word has got round the locker room
about how fearless Ostapenko is, mac ten, no matter what the score. And
that is a very popular outcome to the end of this opening set, and it
is Britain's number one, Jo Konta, who takes it 7-5. STUDIO: That is a
proper match on Centre Court. There have been some really good games
being played on the outside courts as well. Simona Halep not very happy
at being banished to Court number four. She has beaten Pironkova of
Bulgaria in three sets to go through to the next round with Caroline
Wozniacki, who won very easily against Elena Vesnina. This is
Svetlana Kuznetsova just a couple of moments ago, winning her third set.
It was a fantastic match against Kristina Mladenovic. I mentioned
Simona Halep winning on Court number four, and she has been replaced
there by Britain's Heather Watson. There she is. She will be playing
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the world number 14, from Russia, that match
about to get underway. Here we are, back on Centre Court. Let's tell you
about J Clark. We were talking to Leon Smith about him. It is not
funny, because there is a certain irony to it, because everyone on the
courtside at Roehampton was under the impression it was the best-of-3
sets, so when he won a second set, there was rapturous applause because
everyone thought he had won, but it is the best of five Imran three. He
is still two sets to the good. The Austrian is 2-1 in the second set,
on serve. Right, back to this match with Jo Konta one to the good.
Anyone watching this match, Leon, who is playing at Wimbledon next
week will not fancy playing Jo Konta on grass when she is playing like
this. Absolutely not, a terrific first set from Konta, especially
when you think about the start of the set, when she went a break down.
She then started to stamp authority on the match, and that is how much
she has grown as a player, that she is able to carry that early
disappointment and turn it round in her favour. Doing great.
With the news that Konta has won the first, I think the sun has briefly
come out, the wind is up, which will dry the court and make it play a
little more truly. I'm not sure the players will enjoy the wind. You
can't have it all. She has had a lot of success with
that swinging serve, but that time, you would think Ostapenko would
start covering that serve and move a little earlier.
That was a tough shot to take on, because looking at the flags from
the southern end, where Jo is, the wind is blowing from left to right,
so you would need to aim towards the middle of the court to get it
anywhere near the tramline, and that is the adjustment. This is a hard
court to play on. Ostapenko... Disgusted with herself
not making that passing shot. This is why it is sometimes worth
venturing to the net. There is another example of the
relentless but easy power she is able to create on the ball.
It's not surprising that the double fault will come in on key points
because of the way that Ostapenko is really being aggressive on the
second serve return. It is normal for a player to put a little bit
extra on it. Nicely done. What is the best
serving pattern for Konta in this matchup? As we have been alluding
to, she has been using the swinging serve, trying to rush the forehand,
then opening into the backhand side, which is an obvious pattern. She's
changing it up a bit more, maybe because she senses that Ostapenko is
reading it. Very interesting that in the French
Open semifinal, against Timea Bacsinszky, Timea Bacsinszky came
off and said she could not believe how many winners Ostapenko hit. She
was taking a one in ten chance of making it and making it all the
time. She just couldn't believe it. It was outrageous.
Just drifted long. I think a lot of the top players who play Ostapenko
for the first time have got to contain that outrage, that, I can't
believe she has made that, because that can get you in a negative
spiral. You have to accept people who play like John Isner, on the
men's site. You have to accept and take your chance.
This is gritty from Konta, she's trying to keep the Genie in the
bottle out here. She's doing a good job, finding those Serbs again,
going big into the backhand this time. Not quite sure why Ostapenko
decided to challenge that one, that was pretty obvious, even from where
we are. Third deuce in this game. And it's another break point for
this young Latvian. It's interesting. Sam, you were asking
about the pattern of serving, just little signs that Jo Konta is not
white sure where to go just now. The danger of going into the backhand is
that I think the Senna counters on that side very well. -- I think
Ostapenko counters on that side very well.
Not sure whether Jo's mum and dad are here. They live down on the
marina, I know that mum gets very, very nervous, tends to watch from
behind the server! -- from behind the sofa.
Just look at the numbers, Leon? Thanks for giving me just a split
second to compute them! The important thing from Jo Konta, when
you're playing somebody as aggressive as Ostapenko, really high
percentage of first serves in is going to be crucial. That's the
third line down. At 63%, that's good, especially because we know
Konta is going after her serve. But she's being smart, she's using the
swinger, and every now and then, she will go for the big flat once.
There's some good signs of how she's serving.
I was about to say, that was the perfect return, but that was an
amazing reply from Ostapenko. Difficult shot there to try and
make, a drive volley when the ball is that low.
Yeah, that was inside the line. We need characters, and we've got one
in spades here, haven't we? We certainly have. She is a cracker!
She's not taking herself too seriously. She is a lovely young
woman, I tell you. Gee whizz! . I mean, that is
precision tennis at its best, just near the sideline. That is a
difficult shot, but she's able to direct it with great accuracy. There
is a wow factor to Ostapenko, we've seen it in games is throughout her
junior career, and first few years in the prose. She plays with passion
and love of the game. See certainly does. And she's got the weapons to
go with it. I can do it, too, says Jo!
Not about three points in a row there from Ostapenko. Vicky Brooke
come her agent, who has had a busy assignment than she might have
realised when she took over 18 months ago! Yes. Also agent to Jay
Clarke as well. That phone will have been ringing nonstop, I would of
thought, with the rise and rise of Jo Konta. Vicky and Jo played a lot
of junior tennis together, and Jo requested the as her manager. Konta
has got a chance to make a significant move here. She has
created this pressure, she has done a great job in this game of getting
balls back. I think Jo might have been called in
two minds there. There was a lot of space on the other side, but she
decided to go back across. Both women having to save break
points, and Ostapenko comes through with aplomb.
It's such a good serve, that one that Jo has, creating such a short
angle. How does she do it?! It's like a
luminous green! It's just unbelievable that you're able to
send the ball but hard and that accurately back. Amazing rhythm and
timing to be able to do that. It just feels out here that there is
a little fire burning up the other end, and Jo is trying to put water
on it, foam, blankets, to try and keep it from becoming some sort of
huge situation. And she's doing a very, very good job so far.
I don't know how you legislate for this kind of tennis from this
extraordinarily self-confident 20-year-old, who says, I back
myself. She's got a break point here.
What a wonderful smoked, and how often we've seen that today, when
she has needed to come up with a big first serve, she's managed to find
it. Serving her way out of trouble. Jo
Konta keeps control of this third round match, 2-1 she leads, second
set. Anabel Medina Garrigues is back on.
She has to go back, her speed is going down, so try to play a more
deep at the beginning, the first one or two shots, to make her to go
back, and then, you're going to have the opportunity to move her. Move
more on the forehand side, she has more problems with the forehand
side. And with the serve, she's serving 80% to your forehand. Why?
And on the more important point. But it's good, you are playing good. How
do you feel? Tell me. She's taking my mistakes, two errors in the whole
match. It's OK, if you push your level a little bit higher, it's
going to be better. And the score is very close. So, keep working, and
keep playing aggressive, but deeper. If you could combine the attributes
that Anabel showed on the tour, of toughness and hard work and
relentless effort, with the talent of yelling, you've got a superstar.
Yeah. I like her coaching, I think it's some of the best I've heard.
I'm not saying I'm a fan of the coaching taking place, incidentally!
But I think the coaching is really good! Next change of ends, we are on
it! Very interesting, they have had on
court coaching on the women's tour for close to eight years, and
they've got some data from the last three. What the data is saying is
that after on court coaching, the player does not always win the next
game, but there is always, pretty much a bump up of performance.
That's some response, a second love hold for Ostapenko in this match.
You are allowed to have your coach on once in a set in the women's
tour. She will not be allowed to bring Anabel on at Wimbledon, not in
the slams. But if your opponent takes a medical time-out or there is
a bathroom break, you can bring your coach on for an extra session.
That's pretty much how it works all year round on the women's tour. Some
players use it, some don't. It looks like Jo isn't going to use it.
There's a slightly different serve, we haven't seen too much of that.
Once or twice, Jo has served it into the forehand body of Ostapenko,
which is a good idea when somebody has a fairly high swing.
What unbelievable athleticism from both players. Yeah, this match has
only just got going! SAM SMITH: Not afraid to show how
she feels, Jelena Ostapenko. Anabel has been clamping down on a few of
the histrionics! LEON SMITH: Terrific point from
Konta, just stamping her authority. I like it when she looks to take the
forehand early. Makes the swing a little bit more compact.
Ostapenko wants to have another look at it. Well, that's not a surprise -
she likes to challenge. That's taken a big piece of the
line, and so we are on serve here in this second set, Konta having won
the first. Leon - on court coaching on the women's tour, thumbs up,
thumbs down? I'm moreover thumbs down, I think. Maybe not enough
consistency behind it. I think... I think it would make more sense if
you do it at every event, including the slams. They don't do it there,
so why would you do it the rest of the tour? I'm not sure there's a
huge amount to gain from it. It does put some accountability on the
couch, in that moment. We've seen Anabel Medina Garrigues, who has
spoken terrifically well to her player, and is no doubt making a
difference. But for other coaches, it depends on their style, whether
they're going to get enough out of it, have they got the communication
style to go on and deliver succinctly in that moment? But I
just think the consistency thing for me, if you're going to do it, do it
the whole time, if not, leave it alone. And also, the way that our
sport is played is the ability to think your way out of trouble. I'm
not saying one conversation per set will change everything, but I like
that part of our sport, where you're constantly problem-solving. You're
in company, on that one. What we must say is, the standard of
tennis is excellent out here. The long-time coach of angelic calibre
there. -- of Angelique Kerber there. I don't know how she does that
sometimes. It is a great return from Konta, it's early, it's accurate,
somehow with that forehand, she's able to wrap the racket around the
outside of the ball and create that angle. A true counterattack in every
sense of the word in those situations.
And it's back-to-back love service game for Jelena Ostapenko. Her level
is on the rise. I have to say, the opening service game of this set
were a real battle for both of the players. The last few service games
have gone by pretty quickly. Just absolutely terrific watching
Ostapenko's backhand, when she's got time on the ball, with a slightly
longer swing, she's really able to hit through the line of the ball.
There's another one of those screeching winners. At the French
Open, they clocked the speeds of her various groundstrokes, and I think
we were all rather amused to hear that in Paris, Jelena Ostapenko hit
her forehand harder than Andy Murray. Not sure what Andy made of
that? No comment! That was a chance, it wasn't the
best of second serves from Konta. Plenty of time for Ostapenko to line
up that forehand, but it was one of the few that she did not get hold
of. Eight aces now for Konta, it's not
just a number of them, it's when she has been serving them, at the
critical moments. Absolutely. What a shot that is! That ball was
barely bouncing off the court, so therefore it is difficult to get it
up and down in time. Such are her skills and the racket speed, she's
able to get just enough topspin so that it tips before the baseline.
Steffi Graf raced this court on many an occasion, and I have to say,
these shots are Graf-like. Absolutely. I don't know what the
Latvian is for Fraulein forehand, but she has got it. And Ostapenko
gets the breakthrough. I'm not sure Konta did an awful lot
wrong in that game. Looking at her serve percentages, she's at 67% in
this second set. Impressively, Ostapenko is at 90% of first serves
in, which is impressive. What has blown everyone away about Ostapenko
is, she's just suddenly able to produce winner after winner at any
given time in a match. And at the moment, Serena is not out there, nor
is Maria, Azarenka has just come back there's not really anyone out
there that knows what to do with this game. I'm sure a lot of the
coaches will be on their devices, looking at the stats, and over the
next few months, they're going to try and work out a game plan. I'm
sure. And that's the beauty now of the analysis tools that are out
there. The WTA creating a lot of the information. That's what Wim is on
right now, the tablet which has been specifically designed for lunar
coaches on the tour, and that is giving him up-to-date information,
service direction, first-served speed, everything you could ask for,
it's an amazing innovation. Especially if you're being called on
for on court coaching. For example, 80% of your first -- of her first
serves are going to your forehand, fact - start covering it. Talking to
Colin, who's working with Heather Watson. He says the information is
absolutely terrific. There is a sense out here that this
crowd who have been enjoying watching this match have not been
investing in it. They have understood that Jo is in a little
trouble here. Yes, it just sometimes takes a bit
of time for the crowd to get that energy and maybe drop some of their
inhibitions and make some noise. It is OK to make noise cinema it helps,
and players like it. -- it is OK to make noise - it helps, and players
like it. Konta has done very little wrong
here. But suddenly, there is a breakaway in the second set. The
British number one finds herself serving to stay in it, which happens
so quickly. It was quick. Even the game where she got broken at 3-3,
she didn't do much wrong. Even at deuce, she had a second serve of 97
mph, which is big, but Ostapenko was able to get onto her forehand and
start dictating play, and it is her who has that extra bit of confidence
right now in her ground strokes. Just one break in the second set,
three in the opener, a very tight match.
Water terrific response from the loose error in the previous point,
and she constructed that point on the front foot, looking to come
forward as well -- what a terrific response. She volleys well. UMPIRE:
Less Konta challenges the call. She might want to have a look at that
one. -- Miss Konta challenges the call. UMPIRE: The call stands.
Well, that is certainly tennis of the highest quality, just when she
needs it as well. Crucial, crucial point there.
Well, it is the irrepressible force of the French Open champion, Jelena
Ostapenko. She is now at set point. UMPIRE: Miss Konta is challenging
the call. She still has two left. UMPIRE: The call stands.
What a response from Jelena Ostapenko! And she levels the match.
The Latvian takes this second set, 6-3. STUDIO: Some serious hitting
there, and if you did not see her during the French Open, Ostapenko's
forehand is several miles an hour faster and harder than Andy
Murray's. That is the kind of ammunition that is heading Johanna
Konta's way now. On Court number four, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
against Heather Watson, and this is set point. Well done, Heather, one
set to her. 6-4. That is happening at this moment. News from Wimbledon
qualifying, where we were talking about J Clarke, the 18-year-old from
Derby, who was 2-0 up in sets against his Austrian opponent. You
can see it is now 2-1 and 2-2 in the fourth. Anybody's guess at the
moment. This match on Centre Court, because of the schedule changes, the
next match on Centre Court will be Caroline Wozniacki against Simona
Halep, the sixth seed against the second seed, and that will be on
after this match. Johanna Konta at the start of this contest was 5-2 on
to win this. I wonder what the bookmakers see as the balance of
power now? Let's go back to the Smith team. COMMENTATOR: Scotland
and Essex in one commentary box - it probably shouldn't be allowed. What
now for the decider? What Ostapenko does will dictate a lot of that.
You're right, Jo did not do a lot wrong, but Ostapenko raised her
medal. She made a lot of returns and started to make a lot of winners. I
think she caught Konta off-guard. She was serving well, the stats were
good, up at around 70% of first serves in in that second set, but
they kept coming back, and it will be interesting to see if Ostapenko
can keep her level now. At the same time, we need to see Jo just cut out
a few of those errors. She has to apply pressure early in this third
set. It is that type of play that can
really help her. If she tries to go toe to toe, Ostapenko has a slight
edge in the weapons. Jo Konta can throw those angles on. She can play
with more top-spin on the forehand, play with more width. The variety
could help her. Already an important moment here
early on in this opening service game. Konta doing a good job just to
establish a lead. Well, you can just see her getting a
little hitchy at the back of the swing. It stops the racket
accelerating at the back of the ball. -- up the back of the ball. Jo
had a break point the opening game of the second set, couldn't take it,
and it will be the ease little micro-moments for Jo that will
decide the outcome of this match. What a shame she couldn't just keep
extending that rally, keep the pressure on.
UMPIRE: Miss Ostapenko challenges the call. Jo seems pretty confident
on this call. UMPIRE: The call stands. That is one from five now.
Well, what a second serve that is, especially at that moment. It tells
you an awful lot about the character of Ostapenko, being able to come up
with this type of second serve, when she has not got a great second
serve, let's be honest, but she finds it when she needs it.
Four games in a row now for Jelena Ostapenko. The momentum of this
third-round match going with the young Latvian. And we have blue sky
- it feels like days since we have seen one. I did not pack my
sunglasses, thought it was a pointless exercise. Maybe I should
have thought again. Some more perplexing and confusing numbers for
you, Leon. OK, the second set summary, what springs out? The serve
percentage springs out, yet again. Look at Ostapenko, 87% of first
serves in, a big shift from what happened in the first set, and that
is why the momentum is starting to come with her, she was able to hold
those service games more comfortably.
Jo was involved and has been involved in quite a few 3-set
battles over the years. Garbine Muguruza in this round a couple of
years ago. And Petra Kvitova last year. So, very happy to go the
distance. Particularly in the third round. It may be an omen.
I think that is the other thing that happened throughout the second set,
Konta still serving well but look at that return, just deep, fast, giving
Konta no time on the ball. She has not found a way to solve
this particular problem. That's what tennis matches are always about,
they are a Rubik's Cube for you to deal with. She got a lot more free
points in the first set, Konta, from those type of service, now the ball
is coming back and she's having to work that bit harder.
She loves that play. She loves the backhand after the survey. She had
lots of control that, creates good width and
that felt like an important moment early in the third set to weather
the storm, hold serve, despite the pressure Ostapenko is putting Konta
under. It's a good response. That's a tough shot to change
Limond, it came back with interest, really fast and low over the high
part of the net. That was a tough one.
Yes, she is looking but it's very early to go with the challenge.
Looking straight at her coach, he's probably about ten metres to the
right of her. You cannot write this. That is a
supercharged forehand. She has been given the window of
opportunity to get back into this. Just a nice reminder from Konta that
she can also connect with some of these returns in that way.
That was awkward. Not entirely intentional. Konta can build
pressure here, another break on the Ostapenko serve.
Konta raising her level, she gets the early break in the deciding set.
She leads to- one. I said before, keep going, OK? Start
to play more aggressive. Who hits first is who won the point. Keep
thinking on that. Every shot, behind the ball, push against and
aggressive, OK? You changed your mentality here, you were saying,
come on, that makes the change. Think on that. Sjoholm you are going
to fight until the last -- show her. Remember what she does on the serve,
the directions. They started working together in April this year a few
weeks before the French Open and the chemistry has been excellent. That
was the last throw of the dice, early throw of the dice from Jelena
and you can come on willy-nilly. This is the final and deciding set.
There will certainly be an actress bring in the step of Konta at the
moment. Looked like it was going to be an easy hold for Ostapenko in the
last game but she let Konta into it and took a chance.
This is what players face when up against Ostapenko. When you
mentioned it earlier, Sam, all of a sudden she connects with the ball
and there is nothing you can do, you are not serving badly, making the
wrong decisions, she's just got it on her racket that is often is going
to be on her terms at the outcome of point.
That ball has been bouncing within inches of the baseline forced a very
hard to get hold of. Jo was getting a grip on the final set and finds
herself at break points down in this game for an immediate break back of
serve. There goes up they grown around the
tennis court. Ostapenko, who I don't think many will know much about.
Just over an hour and three quarters long, high-level contest, and we are
none the wiser as to the outcome. -- a groan. It is set fair for the rest
of the afternoon into the evening. So, Ostapenko, new bourse. Who do
the new bourse favour in this matchup? There is a big difference
from the last old balls to the ones that come fresh out of the can. In
this situation it gives her a bit of extra pop in her serve and it helps
Ostapenko. Yes. You could see that ball flying along. It helps her get
on the front foot early on, and helps her on the front foot as well
if it comes to that. The men are so much more aware of the change of
balls than the women. With the women it just goes by, they don't realise.
There was no change in racket and string tension. The men decide
exactly when they will change the racket. Everyone has their own
routines on that, of course. But, of course, the new balls are a little
greasy and they can fly on new. That's probably the main reason for
the last double fault. She went to be aggressive with it but there was
not enough spin on it. She has served seven in a match
against Carla Suarez Navarro. It is something that her and Anabel work
tirelessly on the practice court. They know it is an issue. A foot in
the door again for Konta. That was a smart serve. Based on those double
faults. She doesn't have a lot of spin on her second serve so there
isn't much margin. That's something that could be worked on overtime.
She went to Konta can't get the breakthrough
despite those couple of double faults from the young Latvian.
Ostapenko rather confidently walks to the chair 3-2 ahead on serve in
this deciding set. You would say sitting here that you can sense the
tension has gone up here. The quality just dipped a little with
some errors and double faults from Ostapenko they gave Konta those
opportunities. She wasn't able to get momentum into the game. You can
tell we've gone through the stage of flawless tennis, both players
playing well. Now we are into the third set the stakes are high and a
few more errors are creeping in. When it gets to that stage it is who
can step up and who can get momentum and rhythm and get some consistency
in the play again. Conditions have certainly changed out here. When you
came to the studio from the commentary box, a couple of hours
ago, it was heavy and dark and damp. Now the court is drying and the sun
is out. I think it might be time for an ice cream. I think the van might
be doing some good business and after a quiet few days. This is a
proper Eastbourne sunny afternoon. Cream tea just around the corner.
You can tell I missed lunch! Are you OK, Sarah? Those other nasty clouds,
they can go away, the ones over the South, they are OK.
Konta is on serve, 2-3, third set. UMPIRE: Miss Konta is challenging
the serve. She was getting ready to walk across
the court. It has to be. That has to be Konta's point, the call came so
late. The umpire is clear on that, she knows that Ostapenko is not as
clear as the umpire or Konta, but she is now.
That is very much an Ostapenko point, going the ground strokes. She
is quick to come in for those drive volleys.
Yet again it's the power off the racket of Ostapenko that is causing
the issues. Just look at the intent of Ostapenko
right now. Right on the line, that's another
one of those superb returns. It might be the difference in this
matchup. Ostapenko, more break points on the Konta serve.
Terrific point from Konta. She needs to reassert herself right now. She
has fended off six of ten break points in this match.
I'm afraid it's long. That might just be the decisive break. At the
first meeting of these two, the battle of the Js, Jelena against
Johanna. Especially on return of serve she just keeps asking
questions of Konta. Getting her first serve return back and on her
second serve she is able to really impose herself. That's more like it.
All of a sudden Johanna Konta decides to step it up, couple of
fantastic returns. A couple of doubles in her last
service game looked as if they might be expensive. They weren't. But that
one might be the one that allows Konta to break back. She's got three
chances to do so. UMPIRE: Miss Ostapenko is
challenging the call. Considering her record out there she is one from
five at the moment. We always try and glance at the umpire to see what
sort of signals they are giving off. You don't need to tell me what just
happened. Huge roar from the Eastbourne crowd and we are back on
serve in this final set. Sometimes there is patterns in matches,
sometimes there isn't. Only a few minutes before. There is some
confusion about Garrigues coming on for coaching. She's already had her.
You are allowed one per set. Konta has not been off for a bathroom
break and she will not want to. She will not give any little window to
get her on. And looking down at Johanna Konta's coach and I'm pretty
sure he has not been miked up and there has been a decision, loss of
the players do this, Johanna Konta is seven in the world a lot of the
players a few weeks before the stands on the tour they don't have
their coaches on. It makes complete sense, why would you do something
you will not do at the biggest event? That is a no-brainer, good
decision from Konta. One thing I'm going to pick up from the coaching
team that we mentioned, I feel sorry for Andrew Fitzpatrick when labelled
as a hitting partner. It doesn't sound in a. Former player himself,
600 in the world. -- in a. Dani Vallverdu, travelling with Andrew, I
thought that's not fair, they do weigh more than that. I am with you
there. On serve after four breaks in this deciding set, 3-4, Konta.
Unsurprised Ostapenko is often able to get that ball under control,
below one, she is a flat hitter of the ball. She adjusts really well on
those low ones to get just enough top-spin to bring the ball in.
This is a big moment. This is when Konta will need to draw upon her
experience. I would label that one bonus point.
You've been given that one, so now go and win this one,gen-mac. Lucero
on the forehand side of Ostapenko. We don't see many of those. -- Jo.
-- loose error. There is a word everyone uses about
Jo: relentless and meticulous, she has needed both of those qualities
to stay in this match, despite having won the opening set.
Another tough holes after being broken in her two previous service
games. It is all to play for in this third-round match. Especially when
she was faced at 0-30 in that last game, Konta, and put in a couple of
first serves that she dumped into the net. That was a very important
hold of serve. She got completely caught out by the speed of the
second serve. 94 mph, far faster than she normally hits it.
This matches into its third hour. Because of the rain delays this week
and matches backed up, the winner of this match will have to again later
this evening. Yes, write to the line. Jo Konta giving Ostapenko some
of her own medicine. Absolutely. Two in a row. Phenomenal returns. She
has enormous experience at the tournament. Semifinalists last year,
quarterfinalist, the year before. This is looking good for the British
number one. Can she take these chances right here?
There it is again. Konta in front in this deciding set. 5-4, she leads.
What a time to find your returns. Absolutely phenomenal response. Just
when we thought Ostapenko really had a foothold in the match, Konta
responds with a terrific run of games. She must have a backlog of
confidence, playing brilliantly at Sydney at the beginning of the year,
and demolished Radwanska in the final. The win in Miami. One of the
biggest titles on the wooded's tour. She is every inch a top player. On
the women's tour. Those returns off the first serves of Ostapenko, three
of which have landed pretty much on the baseline in that game, to get
that break. We see her sitting there, composed, ready to go, being
clear in her game plan. The sideshow what a good place she is in. --
these signs show. She came back to win the opening set. The second set
went away a little. There have not been any anxious looks at the
coaching team, she has not called them on for on court coaching. The
camera zoomed in and he does have a microphone. She is taking full
responsibility. That is the right move. Why would you when you are
moving into a Grand Slam, way you will not get on court coaching? It
has been a battle for the British number one. She is serving now for a
place in the quarterfinals. That is an important point to win,
the ground stroke exchanges. It is as if the Ostapenko returns
have a magnetic attraction to the baseline. I think the wind has
picked up. We can see with the flags and trees in the background. More
blustery conditions. I liked when Jo uses the angle
forehand. She does play with more top-spin when she wants to but it is
more difficult on the grass to create that angle.
She will be seeded 13 for Wimbledon. Number 14 in the world. The seeds
bumping up because of the absence of Serena Williams.
We saw that across the first set when she needed a service winner, a
big serve, Konta was able to come up with it.
Konta in her hometown. This has been a labour of love for the British
number one and here she stands at match point.
It is just a winner machine. It is but I think Konta was caught out in
two minds. Do I go in, do I not? Not a great position. Take nothing away
from the passing shot. I do not think she would have got there
anyway, Konta. She has needed all her composure
over the last two hours and a quarter, Johanna Konta.
It is long. Just for the moment we thought it might drop. And now,
these fans, they are living every point. They are feeling it and made
no Konta needs that support. Ostapenko was pretty lucky. She
thought, I will leave it, no, hang on, it might go in, and she ended up
running for the ball. That was a solid second serve from
Konta. You do get thrown about when you are up against Jelena Ostapenko.
It is a different experience for these top players.
There it is! It is battling brilliance from Britain's Jo Konta.
No wonder she is getting a great round of applause. Now the noise
comes through. What a gutsy performance from Johanna Konta. She
had to dig deep. It looked like it was slipping away in the third set.
Ostapenko will be back here many years, a popular figure, but it is
all about Jo Konta. She deserves that victory, she fought hard, there
was quality. Nerves and tension in the final set, but she kept
composure. No matter what happens, a match like that before going into
the Championships next week is gold dust. She has grabbed her bags. A
third quarterfinal for Jo. She has just gone down to the interview
position and any second now... We will hear from her.
She is with Annabel Croft. Well played, a terrific contest
today. Give us your thoughts on beating the French Open champion for
the second time. I think the scoreline and match itself shows it
was an incredibly tough battle. There was little in it and she was
playing very well and against a player like her it is difficult to
accept you do not have much say in some points, but I tried to fight
for every point. I did the best to stay solid and also to try to take
advantage of the chances I created. There was a lot of tension in the
last game with match points and facing a break point. How did you
hold your nerve? On pretty much both of the match points before, she
played incredibly well and hit two winners and won those points like
that. I had good access. I knew I was trying to play the right way and
had trust in that sooner or later I would keep taking my chances. You
have a busy afternoon because you have to get back out against the top
seed and world number one Angelique Kerber. Give us your thoughts on how
you match up against her. I have not had the opportunity to beat her yet
and I will try again this afternoon. It will be a different match than it
was this morning, early afternoon, so I will prepare the best I can and
most importantly recover as quick as I can after this round and really
enjoyed the fact I got another match today.
We interrupted you eating a banana. I need to let you get back to that.
Energy all right? I am all good. I am not the only one in this position
today and everybody is playing, I am sure, mainly on adrenaline. Back to
the banana. Get the energy on board. We look forward to the next one.
STUDIO: Next update is Angelique Kerber, the world number one, and
that match will be at some point this evening but there are issues
about scheduling. Next we will see Caroline Wozniacki against Simona
Halep and depending on how long that lasts, it might be Britain's Heather
Watson going on to play next against Barbora Strycova because she has
come through against Pavlyuchenkova stock she said how much she enjoys
the grass court season and she is playing well at the moment. I was
watching from afar and she was playing aggressive, positive tennis.
Barbora Strycova, her opponent after beating Lauren Davis of the USA 75,
6-2. Lauren Davis was blighted by injury time-outs and medical
interventions, so it was not the hardest match for Barbora Strycova,
who will have to play Heather Watson this evening. Mentioning the next
opponent of Johanna Konta, this is confirmation of Angelique Kerber's
victory, which was straightforward. The world number one is through to
play Jo and this interview was done before Konta won.
How are you feeling? You must be delighted it was not three sets like
yesterday? I am happy about my game today. I was playing aggressive,
trying to go for it if I had the chance. I am happy about my game
today. You have two wins, how are you feeling going into the next? I
am feeling OK and will get ready for the next today and trying to play
like I played now. You had a left eye injury before the tournament and
pulls out of Birmingham, but how are you feeling now? The body is good.
Having two matches today, we will see tomorrow, but right now I am
feeling good. It is good to be healthy again, because I had
problems the last two weeks but I am good to go now for the next. Do you
feel you have settled into the grass court season? I love to play on
grass and I am happy to be here and playing again on one of my favourite
surfaces and I am looking forward to the next ones. You have Johanna
Konta or Ostapenko, a tough match. I am just happy to be in the next
round and I will try to play good tennis again and try to have fun and
trying of course to win the next match. All the best in the
quarterfinals. Ladies and gentlemen, Angelique Kerber.
STUDIO: We reached the point at 4pm on Thursday and organisers thought
they would hope for a 10am on Thursday morning but we got there in
the end. All of these matches will have to be played tonight which
means everybody will have had to play twice. Lauren Davis of the USA,
if she had beaten Barbora Strycova, would have had to play three games.
This is some disappointing news for Jay Clarke. Two sets to the good
against his opponent. He would not have been human if he had not allow
thoughts of getting through to the first round of Wimbledon next week
and never mind anything else, ?35,000, which pays bills at 18. But
he faded away and lost in the end. Leon Smith is here. That is
disappointing for him. It is tough but he should be proud. One year out
of juniors and had not won a Challenger until last week and here
he is in the last round of qualifying getting to play in the
pressure moment and five set match, and it will help a lot. He's a great
kid with a wonderful attitude and will go from strength to strength.
The good thing is that he has a main draw wild card for the doubles and
he will experience the Championships in that capacity. Never under
estimate the difference between best-of-3 and best-of-5. You can do
it in practice but it is not like doing it for real. Never mind the
physical attributes, it is the emotional. Two sets up and he starts
thinking, this is going to happen. He will learn from it but he has had
a terrific two weeks. What a shame the Johanna Konta Ostapenko match
was not best-of-5. It was very good quality. We looked forward to that
match and it lived up to expectations, terrific
entertainment, and Jo Konta shows how far she has come in handling
those moments. Her serve is an attribute. For Jo Konta, it is, it
saved a lot of moments in the first set and the final set. She managed
to come up with it importantly when it mattered. That is the key, and
she is able to swing it out wide, but has the flatter up the T, or the
wider on the ad court. The second serve, although Ostapenko is sitting
far inside the court, Johanna Konta is serving well and that serve will
help over the next fortnight. Ostapenko took the tennis world by
storm in Paris. She is a staggeringly entertaining person to
watch although I imagine unbearably frustrating to coach because the
forehand especially, when that is going well, it is like watching
Steffi Graf. But there is not much percentage tennis. As you say it
makes her difficult to play because normally the feeling that someone
might just come down to third gear at key moments, she does not, she
goes after the ball. It is probably why she will become a popular figure
because she just goes after it. It is difficult to get rhythm that way
because you do not know what will come off the racket and she keeps
going after it. If you were coaching her, could you incorporate into her
game, just get it back and see where we are, or would that diminish the
product? I think so, sometimes you can say where you will play it with
the same offensive hit. She will go after the ball, but what I enjoyed
was hearing the coaching, it was terrific coaching. You get a mixed
bag on some coaching moments but she was clear with a plan and when you
hit the ball that hard and that often, if you know where you will
play at it takes some of the decision-making away and you can
focus on execution. How would you assess Johanna Konta's performance.
She has just beaten French Open champion and that is good. She
played a long match and she was down in the third set. Quite a day to
beat the French Open champion and world number one in the same date.
You would have to say that would be above average! But she have earned
it. A quick word about the business at Eastbourne. It has been a
phenomenal few days and even allowing for weather interruptions
and the reason for that is Novak Djokovic sprinkling stardust on
sleepy Eastbourne. It is great for the game. For people to watch
someone of his stature within world sport, to be able to watch him at
close quarters in this environment? It is, and Gavin Fletcher the
tournament director when he got the call from his team saying he would
like to come down, he must have fallen off his chair and then some
because that is a great phone call to get. The layout at the practice
courts, you are at the side, you can get the sound of the ball hitting
the strings, how hard he is working. You are a matter of feet away from
one of the greatest ever players. It is huge for the tournament and it
has caused a lot of excitement. Depending on when the phone call
came, he might have thought it was somebody in the bar somewhere! This
is the men's drawer. We cannot show the men's matches for contractual
reasons. Djokovic, he will play Medvedev. He will be a big star in
the years to come. Gael Monfils has beaten Bernard Tomic. They both seem
to be grinning all the way through that. John Isner against Richard
Gasquet is a match of contrasts. An interesting semifinal line-up in the
men's draw. We have Simona Halep playing
Caroline Wozniacki now on Centre Court. What did you make of Simona
Halep falling at the final hurdle in Paris? Having had another look at
Ostapenko, you can see how it would happen. Sometimes you look at the
player who have the lead, like Simona Halep, but there was someone
on the other end of the court to have something to say about it
because of the way they played. It is not about a collapse. Her game
style is not to go after the ball. She is solid, in incredible mover,
she will grind opponents down but when Ostapenko goes up a gear from
nowhere, it is difficult to change your game and it runs away with you
at Ostapenko then got a wave of confidence. She will have other
moments in her career. She is too good not to create moments when she
will challenge for Grand Slams. Now is the time, and that is a good
thing about what happened from Paris, not a huge amount of time,
you can regroup and get focused. She is a Harrier and she scurries. Is it
more of an advantage on clay? Yes she becomes difficult to break down
on the clay court as we have seen many times. On the grass, players
can get more free service point winners so do not have too
entertained long exchanges, or they can get first strike in the points
and attack the second serve. But she is a good player and the way the
court is playing, it is quicker here, and in Wimbledon you can get
more extended points. For her, it will be the clay she has more
opportunities on. We will let you go back to the commentary box. You are
earning your body today! This is the next live match. Depending on what
happens later for Heather Watson and Johanna Konta, you will be able to
see those matches on the red button later, depending on the schedule.
Here we go with the next match. COMMENTATOR: I will time Leon Smith
from studio back to commentary box. A fifth meeting between these two.
Expect a big hitting from the baseline from these two. The second
Match Of The Day with the Straits sets win for Wozniacki against
Vesnina. Simona Halep was playing a match that continued from last
night. Wozniacki entered the tournament
last year in the 30s in terms of ranking. She has moved up 30 places
to number six in the world. And number six seed here. A former
winner in 2009. By contrast for Simona Halep, it is
her Eastbourne debut. Taking a wildcard in the event and playing
her first event since losing in the French Open and also her first grass
event, for Caroline Wozniacki, who is looking for her fourth semifinal.
It is going to be slightly brittle from the back of the court from
these two. Both aggressive on the baseline, good on defence, good
movement. The first time they have met since 2015 and their first
meeting on grass. Great accuracy from the Romanian.
Fought - zero becomes deuce, first game of this contest at Barbora
Strycova or Heather Watson awaits the winner in the semifinals, their
match to come a little later due to all of the bad weather we have had
barring the first day which was glorious. And had to play match
after match just to catch things are. -- 40-0.
It is good hitting for both of them but for the moment it is Simona
Halep forcing the errors off the racket of the Dane. Opting to wrap
up a bit in the long sleeve top and three quarters length leggings
underneath the skirt. Conditions have warmed up a bit but it's still
cooler than it has been. What a shot from Halep. From 40-0,
Wozniacki, she is broken. Simona Halep takes that game. It is the
fifth meeting between these two. For Simona Halep it's been a pretty good
season. She likes playing on clay. Looking for a bit of confirmation
from the chair umpire. Wozniacki saying if it was a bit later on I
might have challenged. As it is Simona Halep has game, break and the
balls and now serve. With their heavy breathing you might
be able to hear it is Leon coming up the stairs. That was tough work! I
don't think it was a record. I got stopped at the barrier, the Stuarts
did their job. It is a fairway from the studio to
hear. As the weather gets warmer I bet you have found more and more
people throwing rocks at around the court. I was pretty nimble. I was
trying to give you some excuses. I was slow, that's it. It's OK.
Immediate break back points for Caroline Wozniacki, a lot quicker
than the Wozniacki serve when she won the first three only to be
broken. Simona Halep lost the first three on serve.
Loose shot from Halep, break to love. What we are going to see is
lots of aggressive hitting from the baseline. Yes and probably a lot of
rallies as well. Both more comfortable with extended points.
They both play aggressive tennis but it's mainly at the back of the court
and they both like to move a lot. Both players enjoy that side of the
game and pride themselves on their ability to cover the court really
well. So this could be a really long one.
I mentioned it's their first meeting since 2015 and their first meeting
on grass which might change things a little.
We should not be surprised to see that type of rally. Both players
trying to move around the court but in the end excellent from Halep
opening up the court. S we still have the westerly breeze
going from left to right and I'm pretty sure I've seen the sun. There
is a bit of sun around. Not a lot left now. I will be honest. Clinging
onto some sun. That is the first hold of the match
and it goes the way of Caroline Wozniacki, holds to 15. The last
game is an example may be of where Wozniacki on a grass court might
have the slight edge, the ability to take the ball that little bit
earlier. Flatten out the ball a little bit more. She will certainly
not look to come forward is that much but she can make her swings
that little bit more compact and take it away from Halep who prefers
to sit deeper and control points from behind the baseline. You think
if Wozniacki can keep imposing herself that bit more inside the
court near the baseline, that could give her the edge. Something we
spoke about a little earlier with Sam, Wozniacki's first match, was
the work ethic of Caroline Wozniacki. She has been as high as
world number one. Lots of people say she never won a Grand Slam, Wilshere
true Grand Slam? She was, she has 25 single titles to her name and
despite slipping down the rankings she is back at world number six. It
is a phenomenal career. To get to number one is about the process of
day-to-day work. We talked about Andy Murray's experiences, what he
had to go through to get to that moment, and she will have done the
same. It is the consistency of the work and approach that gets you to
your number one ranking. Perhaps she has not had the weapons to go
through the slams to win the major title. But certainly she will be
very proud. I read somewhere she is eighth in the all-time list of
earnings. Her bank account would suggests she has had a pretty good
career. Plenty of money shots off the racket of Caroline Wozniacki.
I think if you are a spectator it would be wise to take a break at the
end of the Konta match because we could be here for a while. They
could be. What is amazing is the extra match the ladies have to play
today. Get the match done, if you win, back in the locker room, sort
yourself out and back out on court. It is not easy and not something the
players are used to. The good thing is everyone is in the same boat
today. Simona Halep is yet to win a point
on serve. Didn't leave much margin, Halep.
Good to see her being offensive in that play. She will have to do more
like that against Wozniacki, who looks to be the one taking the ball
that bit earlier. Interesting to see what she does on this second serve
opportunity. She didn't have to do much.
Disappointing for Halep so far. Just one point, two service games.
Caroline Wozniacki, 3-1. First set. Fifth meeting. Between herself and
Simona Halep. Halep, the world number two, could become the world
number one by the end of this week. That is a good return from Halep but
Wozniacki managed to hold her ground on the baseline, although she missed
it it is a good sign she is looking to stay as close to the baseline as
possible. It's just so clean from Wozniacki at
the moment. I watched her match against Elena Vesnina, she was so
clean around the court. It helps as well when she is serving like she
has started here, not the biggest serve but she is hitting it well and
keeps her percentage up, she should be able to get onto the second shot
in the rally. Big serving from Caroline Wozniacki. There will be a
challenge. Both players will wait. I am not sure the call is going to
change. Just hovering near the benches. UMPIRE: The call stands.
There it is, the court stands. Caroline Wozniacki takes a 4-1 lead.
In the first set. It is pretty quiet on the court just now. It is
understandable after the Konta match which just finished, which was a
terrific match full of entertainment, especially with the
home girl playing in front of her home crowd. This match has started
with one-way traffic now with Wozniacki completely in control. The
way you look at it, Halep does not look particularly comfortable just
now. Often when she has had such success on the clay she relies so
much on her movement and ability to slide into the shops, hang in on
some of the points and build the points much more on her terms. She
will have to make some adjustments. Something I touched upon was the
possibility of a number one ranking change. For Halep to get it with
Angelique Kerber already progressing to the quarterfinals Halep would
have to get the and they have to lift the trophy depending on
Angelique Kerber ends up. Pliskova is also in the mix it is incredible
in this situation, a handful of women could be number one by the
start of next week. It is and you have done the maths brilliantly. All
I can say is there is a bit of tennis to be played. Does it away on
a player's mind? Are we just obsessed with rankings and points
and who is doing what, or are they aware of it? -- weigh on a player's
mind. Those that have not had the number one next event name it is
huge gnome Dummett moment and those who have been number one, less so.
Roger Federer has talked about it and he said it's not so much about
the number one, it's winning those titles. If you ask either of the two
on court right now what they want I would think they slam title will be
the one at the top of their list. That is better play. This is what
Halep will have to find herself doing, start dictating some more of
the points, she cannot rely on the one being hustling down in the
rallies. She will have to start being more offensive.
That wasn't the best of football skills from Wozniacki. Is she a
Liverpool fan? Yes, she's a big Liverpool fan.
A little bit loose from Caroline Wozniacki. Just a bit. That is what
Halep can do, she is good if she can get a service hold and start getting
some confidence. As the sun makes a brief appearance.
There we go, that will make Simona Halep feel a little better. It's her
first service hold up until this game she had just won the point on
serve. 4-2 Wozniacki with the break. Players are having to make their own
energy out here just now. Incredible field. Eight of the top
ten started in this tournament. Yes, it's very strong. We were talking
about that earlier. Tournament director Gavin Fletcher probably
couldn't believe what was happening. The women's field is very strong.
Simona Halep said she was very grateful to have been given a
wildcard. Can you imagine ringing of the tournament and they said, no,
sorry, we are full. It's a good bit of business for the tour here
getting players like Halep for free, Djokovic.
Welcome Wozniacki is currently serving, 71% first serves in, which
is obviously very good. It is not giving Halep the opportunity to get
the look on the second serve when she could have an opportunity to get
on the return. UMPIRE: The call is being
challenged. The ball was called in. So many challenges today. We have
Hawk-Eye on the squad. Maybe if they'd play on the outside courts,
and then they come here, they put in a few challenges. Just go for it.
UMPIRE: Replay the point. This Wozniacki has challenges remaining.
It is great use of the court from Caroline Wozniacki. She holds serve,
once again she looks comfortable, aside from being broken in the first
game of this first set she has looked comfortable and less taken
the lead 5-2. She is dictating nearly all of the points. She is
obviously getting a lot of help from her first serve. She is serving 70%,
around that mark, she will be able to get the first hit in the rally as
well and she is doing it to good effect. Rang out because one-way
traffic, she has won more than pretty much doubled the number of
points so far so Halep will have to change something. Maybe like we
discussed in the previous match, do they call the coach on for some on
court coaching where most of the top players will resist that because
obviously in preparation for Wimbledon when they cannot ask for
their personal coach to come on the court to give some coaching then it
makes sense to figure things out for yourself at this moment. Whether or
not there is some help needed for Halep to try and get herself into
the match in some way. Is there something you have seen in the first
seven games about the way Halep has changed if you were her coach Andy
had come on court? I think the obvious thing is she has to try and
even win or lose more points on her own terms. Right now it is basically
if Wozniacki wants to step up and dictate the point she does it. How
can she do that? Make sure she gets her first serve percentage up, it is
around 53 right now and she hasn't got a great second serve. She must
get the first serve percentage up and try and stay closer to the
baseline and be the one that gets Wozniacki moving a little more. It
is probably easier said than done. There you go, there is a really good
example, using the serve welcome opening of the court with that
swinging wide serve and then be prepared to be aggressive on the
next forehand. Not far. I mentioned it was the
first grass court tournament for both of them. In terms of their
pedigree on the grass, Wozniacki has more of one, including being the
winner here in 2009. Looking for her fourth Eastbourne semifinal.
That double fault probably the result of knowing what will happen
next, she tried to put a bit extra on it. It is just coming back with
interest at the moment. That is a terrific return on any surface. It
works well if you can hit the ball back deep through the middle of the
court. Well, that's unusual. We don't often
see many of them. Hitting the forehand. That certainly wasn't
intentional. But she will take it. She needs it.
Slight pause while we find a rogue Paul Black needs collecting. --
rogue ball that needs collecting. Another challenge. UMPIRE: The call
stands. She was playing on court four earlier, there was no Hawk-Eye.
That was the carry-over match against Pironkova.
There we can see the qualities that Halep does have on any surface, the
ability to return the point in the first place by scraping around,
defending, but then she turned it well there.
Looked a bit unsure as she made her way towards the net, Wozniacki,
Simona Halep holds serve but the difficulty for Halep is she cannot
get anything off the Wozniacki serve aside from the first game. She must
look for the opportunity to defend the first serve as best you can
neutralise it. On the second serve situation, she try and impose
herself that little bit more. Wozniacki is serving for the set.
UMPIRE: Fault, Miss Wozniacki is challenging the call. The ball was
called out. There is not much crowd interaction. There is normally some
kind of clapping going on. I can hear a couple of people. There was a
little Ooo from the crowd. It just looks, doesn't it, that
Wozniacki has got that bit more power, she has more of a physical
presence out there, the weight of shot, especially on these crooked
Eastbourne courts, the ball is carrying that bit faster through it.
That is a great point. The way she utilises the clay-court game she has
and uses the angles on the court, she is able to open it up really
well. That is her job, exposed the movement of Wozniacki as much as
possible, get her off balance when she can.
Set up wonderfully from the serve. Yes, she just waited and waited for
that ball. I thought she had left it to drop too low before she hit it
but she waited until she saw way Halep would move so she could send
it the other way. No challenge? No challenge but it's
amazing how quickly became concerned and now this pressure on the
Wozniacki serve, and double fault at 30-15 proving costly. The first
break point since the first game for Wozniacki to try to save.
And there it is, the set goes on. Simona Halep breaks, gets us back on
serve, Wozniacki 5-4. That was a cheap game to give away from
Wozniacki's point of view with that double fault and then she wasn't
under a huge amount of pressure, even on the last backhand, just a
couple of steps away, and wasn't able to control over the net, but at
least we saw Halep able to take the ball on a bit more there. Certainly
started to show she's able to play more offensive tennis. Simona Halep
talked about this after losing to Ostapenko in the final of the
French, she wanted to win, it was her second final and she said she
wanted to win for her coach, Darren Cahill. It must have hurt and she
did a very gracious speech on court and then it was about how quickly
she could regroup for a few days, she went on holiday. It feels like
mentally she is in a good place, she is ready to carry on. That must be
tough to put behind you. It must have been bitterly, bitterly
disappointing. You know, she was the much talked about favourite command
as much as she tries to that await from the focus of what she can do on
the court, you are aware of it. It is a surface that she is definitely
the strongest on. Everything points in the direction of the Halep win.
The good thing, which I mentioned earlier, is the timeline is between
French Open finishing and Wimbledon starting is that time when you have
to park the disappointment and start focusing on the next Grand Slam.
That is what she will have been able to do. She said in recent weeks and
months she has worked on the mental side of things, Simona Halep, to
make herself stronger mentally. You felt she just saw Halep charging
towards that size. No doubt that put her off. That feeling of, I had
better hit it that little bit harder because I know she will get to the
ball. That is the type of point, if you
are in the Halep coaching team, that is encouraging, that she is
gradually starting to assert herself, using the forehand as a
weapon, which is a good sign. She has had tough 3-set matches to get
to this match. That is much better. When she sits
on that backhand as she did at the start of the match, probably to
content to trade on the ball, and now she is running around the
backhand more often, looking to pull the trigger on the forehand.
When she is in full flight, Simona Halep, she is graceful to watch,
very elegant. She is praised for her fighting spirit and her court
coverage, which is exceptional. But a lot of times, people watch that,
and when you are defending, counterattacking, but if you have
court coverage as she does you can use it offensively to get around a
backhand, look for your forehand, get up to the ball early.
That is absolutely exceptional. There is a challenge, but if ever
you saw a player who earned a point, it was probably that one. She
covered a lot of ground, Halep. That is a final challenge for Caroline
Wozniacki. Plumb on the line. An amazing point from Halep.
Great stuff from these two. The amount of court they will cover in
this contest, it is going to be quite incredible.
She did pretty much everything right there, Halep. You do not often see
her coming towards the net but she had quite a good backhand during the
point, giving her the shorter ball. The breezy conditions making the
last ball tricky. There it is. Running around the
backhand, hitting the forehand. Does seem to have a lot of time on the
ball, Halep. As the set has gone on, she has got more aggressive with her
play. What's defence from Simona Halep.
That is terrific to see. Wozniacki controlling the point, sending Halep
side to side, but there we see the best of her defensive qualities. Not
just getting to the ball is impressive, it is what she can do
when she gets there. That is the type of thing that can
have an affect on the opponent. I'm sure Wozniacki did not want another
exchange like they just had, so that was not easy to go for, not the line
winner. Halep looking for back-to-back breaks.
And she has got it. How things change in tennis, how quickly things
change. From serving for the set, Wozniacki will have to break the
Halep serve to stay in this first set and this is what we love about
the game, how quickly things can change. It is amazing. We said it
throughout that set that Wozniacki was controlling everything put to
the credit of Halep, she has problem solved herself. Wozniacki has called
on her father. Not that I can do anything to help the translation. We
might have some Polish listeners who can translate.
What do you think? Have you got any words? No, but I am quite enjoying
the exchange between the two of them.
I think I heard the word positive. Well, there was a Lott said! Is that
all you have got? I'm afraid I cannot translate. But it was good
time to bring your coach. That momentum has completely gone from
her that she had early in the set. The way Halep has played, she will
have to do something significant to stop that. The father and coach of
Caroline Wozniacki. Simona Halep three points away from
the first set. Now it is Wozniacki who cannot get
near the Halep serve. She is finding and mailing those
lines, Simona Halep. With 44 minutes played, we have a couple of set
points for the world number two. And she just needs the one. A fist
pump over to her team. Simona Halep hat to come from behind, get the
lead, and with 44 minutes played, she takes the first set against
Caroline Wozniacki. STUDIO: There is fantastic tennis
being played today. The quarterfinals are taking place. What
has led to this situation is Heather Watson beat Pavlyuchenkova in
straight sets. She is waiting to play her quarterfinal match against
Barbora Strycova and not only is what's on in the last date but so is
the British number one Jo Konta, who came through a magnificent match
against Ostapenko, the French Open champion, in three sets. She plays
Angelique Kerber. The other quarterfinal is Karolina Pliskova
against Kuznetsova. We will have Angelique Kerber against Johanna
Konta and that match will not be on before 6pm which means will -- we
will be on the red button at that point. We will be on the red button
all the time along with our coverage here on BBC Two.
By the way, we are on tomorrow, 1pm, BBC Two.
Thank you, John. The sun is shining and more people are taking their
places, but I think they had a well-deserved break after the Jo
Konta match. I think they have heard we are getting some good ball
striking and they have come back in. Two phenomenal players, two of the
best in the game. Such is the strength of the field in the women's
event. Half the crowd bathing in nice sunshine and half,
unfortunately for them, or in the shade. Some are under the roof,
which earlier in the week was the place to sit. Not now. They still
have a pretty good view. Work to do for Wozniacki. The winner
here in 2009. A set down to Simona Halep.
This is an important moment for Wozniacki to re-establish herself in
the match. She has been so dominant for a large part of the first set.
Now you see Halep, her eyes wide open. She knows that Wozniacki will
be feeling very disappointed with how the first set runaway. Now is
the time for Halep to turn the screw as much as possible.
Halep broke in the first game of the first set. Looking to do the same
here. She has three opportunities. Oh, dear, Caroline Wozniacki, double
fault, broken to love, first game, second set. We spoke about the
importance of that game for Wozniacki and it was over in the
blink of an eye. Sammy, tree earlier was telling me about the research
data they have collated from what happens after on court coaching and
the success it has had but unfortunately it has not had that
effect on Wozniacki. Weak start. She will have to snap out of this
quickly. Halep will not change what she is doing.
Good serving from Halep. Did not start the best, but she has warmed
into it. She has come about is an ideal serve for her. She is not
going to serve above that sort of speed. It is just mailing the
placement. That is important. When you serve around a hundred mark,
which she is, that accuracy and also the variety that she can offer is
important. There is the point, the game, the
consolidation of the break for the Romania. It will be interesting to
see the next service game of Caroline Wozniacki. I think praise
Halep. She has upped her game from what was a poor start. And now she
is aggressive, focus. She is doing everything well. It will take
Wozniacki to really up her game significantly now.
Even Halep, who loves to run chase every ball, she decided enough is
enough that. Great play from both ladies, though.
I mean, it is quiet out there just now. It really is.
Maybe it is quiet appreciation. It could be. That was a better point
from Wozniacki. Costly in the point previous way she missed the
forehand. That was a poor miss. But that was better.
It is amazing with Halep, she goes forward but immediately retreats
back to the baseline where she feels comfortable. She will not be looking
to go to the net. Very rarely will she venture there. She is
understanding where her strength lie and is playing to that.
She tried to change things up, Wozniacki, and she drew Halep
forward. It was not a bad play, to bring Halep into the net, where she
does not want to be, but she could not control the passing shot. Halep
was very quick up to the drop shot. Huge, huge shot and point from
Simona Halep. She takes another break point opportunity. Hats off to
Halep. As much as Wozniacki dipped, has dipped, Halep's level has really
improved, dramatically improved from where it started in the match. She
is doing everything well now. We know she will move and hustle well
and defend great. Now, anything that is slightly short on the court she
latches on with confidence, takes it early. And she is serving well. Her
game has moved to a good level. She did not get down on herself in the
first set when she was trailing and getting nothing from the Wozniacki
serve. For Darren Cahill, it was the attitude of Simona Halep. She said
it was shock therapy and she went away and worked on things. She seems
to be stronger in these situations. She has spoken openly about that
situation with Cahill and it scared her, because they have a very good
relationship. It has been working well. It would have frightened her,
losing the coach she wants to work with. She will know he can move on
to pastures new, he would be sought after. She had to fight to keep the
coach, and fight she has done. A terrific run in Paris. Even here,
you can see that mentality. She is in a very good place. She won the
title in Madrid on the clay. There were doubts about her coming into
Paris, and she made her way through to the final.
Very quick between points, Halep. Does not take a lot of time to get
into the service motion. It is amazing, the amount of ground
Halep covers. She just looked over to her box, to confirm that was
indeed the right call. Got the thumbs up.
UMPIRE: Miss Wozniacki is challenging the call. She had a long
look. There was a real pause. I think Hawk-Eye was surprise. They
were nowhere near ready to push the buttons on that one.
Both players being told it is coming.
That was good play from Halep. Excellent depth on the forehand.
Wayward from the Romanian, who discards these spare ball in
disgust. She still has a break, but Wozniacki has got one back. What do
you put that game down to? Bad for Halep, all good for Wozniacki? Good
for Wozniacki. Her spirit and attitude were there. She had to play
long rallies and she looked determined to make every ball. I
think she earned the right to get a break back.
That was not an easy shot. Showing excellent racket skills to be able
to whip the ball with as much spin. Suddenly, Wozniacki is feeling a lot
better about herself. We have had exactly one hour on court in this
quarterfinal match. There it is. A shift in momentum.
Wozniacki breaks the serve of Simona Halep, she holds and Halep still
leads in the second set. STUDIO: It has been a tremendous
morning and afternoon and still three hours to go. For people who
got in with a ?7 ground pass, it has been one of the great days. We are
on BBC Two tomorrow at 1pm. From Eastbourne, we will swap the blue
sky for the red button right now. We will see you tomorrow at one.
COMMENTATOR: That is a popular outcome to the end of this opening
set. What a response from Ostapenko.
It is battling brilliance from Jo Konta.