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A STUDIO: Welcome to Devonshire bark.
You left us an hour ago with Heather Watson really on the ropes in the
semifinal against Caroline Wozniacki, but she landed a barrage
of blows in the second set and now we are in the third, live, on serve,
on a knife edge, really. This game could go anyway. Let's go to Gigi
Salmon and Sam Smith. COMMENTATOR: This is the business
end of the deciding set in the Eastbourne semifinal.
Watson has been more aggressive at the end of the second set, to take
it into this decider. Facing a player with 25 singles titles, one
of them here, world number six. She is playing one of the best match
players on the tour, someone who does not fear these situations. She
thrives when it is close and she has to battle.
Her father and coach and hitting partner of Wozniacki watching on.
The first meeting between them on grass, but the third overall. The
previous two coming last year. The head-to-head is level.
Fairly consistently first serve today. Heather's serving has been a
feature of her success this week, and in this match.
Great ball striking from both players, but Watson brings up a game
point. Look where she is, toes write-up on
the baseline. That has been a factor in the first set. A couple of metres
behind, it has improved dramatically in the past hour.
What a shot from Heather Watson. Wozniacki will go for the challenge.
And it was right to challenge. The crowd settles back down. We find
ourselves at deuce. How important is the technology? This is why we have
it, for pivotal movements. -- moments. Great to see Heather really
going for it, getting on the front foot and looking to make it happen.
A nice 1- to punch from Watson off the serve.
And that is the game. One hour and 53 minutes on court. Nothing to
split these two. Caroline Wozniacki coming into this
contest had spent half the time on court than Watson had. She had been
despatching her opponent until she met the world number two, Simona
Halep, in the last round. Interesting, new balls here. Some
players like them. Neither of these two have changed their brackets,
which you would see on the men's tour. And I wonder how secure
Heather feels in continuing to be aggressive with these new balls.
Wozniacki is also serving as good as she has been in this match. In the
high 70s. Constantly taking something off the first serve,
because she is managing an abdominal injury and she does not want to be
fallout, to a full extension. As a result, the first serve
percentage has gone up. Wozniacki took a medical time-out of
the court after the seventh game of the second set to treat that injury.
Had the trainer on a couple of times since, to apply tape to the area.
That was a confident and comfortable hold for Caroline Wozniacki, winner
here in 2009 and in her fourth Eastbourne semifinal will stop
putting her within one game to returning to the final. I'm sure
Heather, in her mind will be, just hold serve, put what pressure you
can back on Caroline Wozniacki. She is the one under pressure in this
deciding set. Although she broke first, she was immediately broken
back and since then Caroline has only lost four points in the last
three service games. She has found a comfortable place with the injury
and her serving rhythm. Heather, in the past couple of service games,
she has had to battle through. And the hold to love from Caroline
Wozniacki, puts pressure on Heather. We are on serve, but I feel momentum
with Wozniacki, and she is as tough as they come in these situations.
She has done a lot of wedding this year. 34 match wins on the main
tour, Heather has nine. It is in these conversations at the end of
these matches, where that stat matters. By contrast, Watson had won
only five top-level matches this year before this tournament. That
was the difference between them coming into this.
The pressure on Heather Watson as dark clouds gather above Centre
Court. We have avoided them so for. Watson with it all to do.
The coaching team of Caroline Wozniacki watch on.
It did not miss by much. Wozniacki going for the challenge. She is
pretty good with the technology, Caroline, two from two in this
match. Heather zero from three. There we go, she is three from
three. That is the shot of the match, it was extraordinary. It just
puts a little pressure on Watson here.
Great play from Heather Watson. Once again she drew the short ball, she
came in, she attacked. Before the score is confirmed we
will have a challenge to get through.
UMPIRE: Miss Watson is challenging the call.
Heather Watson confident the ball did miss. She has not been
successful, as Sam said, with her challengers. But there we go.
Success for Watson with Hawk-Eye. Write to take it on but she did not
quite moved her feet to make room for the swing. I think it was a
better second serve than she was thinking might happen, but good to
see the intent and that will certainly be logged by Wozniacki if
she has another second serve in this game.
Yes, that is when she just armpit. She did not load onto the right leg,
she did not get the hit back -- she armed it.
There is the frustration from Heather Watson. She felt she should
have done better. It means Caroline Wozniacki is again within one game
of booking a place in the final. Sam, as much as you can teach the
technical, you can sit down and work on the mental side of things, when
you are out there, the nerves hit. You mentioned the tension in a
couple of shots from Heather. It does not matter how much you talk
about it, I imagine you cannot replicate being out on the court in
those situations. As Billie Jean King has said many times, poor
technique breaks down under pressure and it is well-known in the locker
room, Heather's forehand can be good when she is confident and committed
to it that you want to go there in the big moments because she tends to
fear it and not commit to the shot and often make a mistake. She was
just starting to get to Wozniacki at 30-30 and then missed two forehands.
You cannot do that, Caroline is one of the best in the world. If Heather
can address that and the second serve, which has looked better in
the matchup, the ranking will take care of itself. With the live
rankings, should Heather Watson's run at Eastbourne and here she will
remain 102. If she won the title, she would go to 69. 470 points up
for grabs. Carolina Pliskova, she has defended her find points from
last year. He will she face? -- who will she face?
It is the difference for Watson between waiting for something to
happen and making it happen. She kind of walks that line carefully,
sometimes too carefully, in so many of her matches.
A good change up again from Watson. I have not seen the drop shot for a
while from Heather Watson. I have been watching Caroline since
she was 15, winning junior Wimbledon, and I have to say, her
work ethic, her desire to scramble for every ball, I do not think I
have ever seen her give up on a single ball on court in all those
years. Match points, Caroline Wozniacki,
two of them for the Dane and world number six.
There it is. Heather Watson's great run at Eastbourne is over and it is
the world number six winner here in 2009. Her father and hitting partner
get on their feet. A lovely embrace from the players at the net by
Caroline Wozniacki goes through to the final, it has taken two hours
and nine minutes. A huge smile as he would expect on the face of the
Dane, because she is through against Heather Watson.
Great reception for Heather Watson from the crowd and she applauds them
herself. What a week at Eastbourne, in as a wild card, 126 in the
rankings. As we see the father of Caroline Wozniacki making his way
around the court. Her hitting partner was formerly with Serena
Williams. There was a slight abdominal problem with Caroline
Wozniacki, so we will have to keep an eye out for that. For the first
time since 2009, and she fell in the semifinal 2013, 14 and 15, but back
in the final since 2009. On that occasion she won. She will look for
singles title number 26. What a perfect way to set up going into
Wimbledon. The sun is still shining. We have avoided the rain. And here
is Caroline Wozniacki speaking with Annabel Croft.
Well played, a terrific contest, over two hours. What made the
difference in the final set? It could have gone both ways, honestly.
Heather and I have played two times before and both of them were tough
matches. I knew it would be difficult. I got lucky today. It did
not look like luck. You pulled out terrific tennis. What did she do
that was so tricky and what did you do particularly well? She is a great
player, she mixes up the pace and serves well and on the grass she
really knows how tactically to play it. A lot of credit to her. You
played a lot of tennis yesterday. You are probably suffering
physically today. You had treatment. How are you feeling physically? We
played seven sets in a day and a half, it is a lot. I am happy to be
through to the final and it is great to be hair. It is your fourth final
this year and second at Eastbourne and you will face Karolina Pliskova.
You have a good record against her but your first meeting on the grass.
What match do you expect? She will be more rested. She did not play
today. I will go out and do my best. I have been grinding all week and
fighting and I feel I have played well so I hope I can continue. We
look forward to you in the final. Caroline Wozniacki!
STUDIO: Having laid waste to the best Eastern Europe can throw at
her, including Cibulkova, Strycova of the Czech Republic, the Great
Dane that is Caroline Wozniacki beat her. Heather will be encouraged,
despite the obvious disappointment of the moment, will be in courage by
the upswing in her performance. We began by saying we had two British
players in the semifinals at Eastbourne for the first time ever.
We do not have a representative in the final because Heather has lost
an Jo Konta announced because of the fall sustained yesterday, she felt
it was best not to take part in her semifinal. Those are the pictures of
her in her press conference earlier. She looks in good spirits and is
walking quite well, but the injury she sustained, and that was one
almighty fall at pace, to her thoracic spine. A lot of people
saying that Eastbourne is a big deal, but Wimbledon is a big deal on
a grander scale. So if you are not fit to play today do not risk your
hopes at Wimbledon in a couple of days, because she hopes to become
the first British champion at Wimbledon in 40 years.
How are you feeling? You have an injury and have withdrawn from the
match today. I had a nasty fall yesterday and we were doing the best
to recover well today but it was not quick enough. I am still saw through
my thoracic spine so looking to recover well and taking one day at a
time. Last night you felt OK apart from the shock and you were checked
for concussion. Did you have a bad night's sleek? I did not sleep too
well. I am not diagnosed a concussion yet but we are monitoring
my symptoms. What prevented me playing today was my pain through my
thoracic spine. It is your home tournament, the fans love you here,
so presumably a disappointing decision? We kept it until the last
minute to really give myself the best chance of playing today. It is
the best decision for my health, and that is the most important thing. A
couple of days from Wimbledon, which is part of the precaution, but do
you feel you will be OK? The decision is purely based on where my
health is right now. It is a big tournament next week for all of us.
It is something I have to disregard when it comes to my health, which
has to come first and I am doing everything I can to be ready for
Wimbledon. I am taking it a day at a time and whatever is best for my
health. This is what the campaign would be
in an ideal world for Jo Konta. She plays on Monday in her first round
match say she has 24 hours less to recover than if she were playing on
Tuesday. But that is a hard route. Vekic. Petra Kvitova, given
everything that has happened to her, she seems like a player reborn and
twice a champion here. Angelique Kerber, it would be a rematch of the
match here yesterday. Sam Smith, that is a nice easy route to the
final! Hsieh Su-wei, lost two at the French Open and Vekic at Nottingham,
but I bank on some of the names will not be there. Because of the erratic
nature of the draw. The erratic nature of women's tennis will come
to the fore. A wise call not to play today? I was in commentary and she
took all the impact on her back. I think she might have tweaked her
ankle. It was one of the worst falls I have seen in a long time and I was
surprise she got up from it. There has to be bruising and the fact she
plays on Monday, and look at the opponent she was playing, Karolina
Pliskova. No point going out against her, even at 80%. It was a shame for
the tournament. I woke up this morning thinking two Brits in the
semis, a good day, but a smart move. I do not know whether she will have
scans. Probably worth checking because you do not know if you have
a stress fracture. I would imagine bruising, which will take days to
come out. Is the key thing to do nothing tomorrow and hit on Sunday?
I think the physios, when you are a top player you have an advantage
because you are not queueing up for the WTA therapists, who do an
amazing job, but there are only so many. She can have treatment all
day. She will have everything she needs, everything they have now. I
do not think it will be sit around. They will want to get the body
moving and they will do all the right things to get her ready for
Monday. The thing is she is playing at the top of her game and yesterday
with the win over Ostapenko and the win over Angelique Kerber, that is
the best day she has had in her tennis career in terms of results.
Get the body sorted and she is ready to go.
What about Heather? I feel frustrated because it is all there
with Heather. She was up against one of the best match players in the
game but she was a break up in the final set and turn things around
from the opener, where she was too passive. In the end, the forehand
let her down slightly. The plus side is she has lots of confidence, she
is playing as well as ever as she can start to feel good about tennis
and go into Wimbledon with this behind her.
We have spoken many times about her allowing other players to dominate
her, but today, there were times when she was energised and positive
and aggressive, and that transforms the dynamic of any game she plays
in? Well, the first set, she looked 126 in the world, second set, she
looked top 20, which is I think is where she should be at the moment.
Her coach came on in the first set and had to say, come on come get up
the court. Heather. It is very frustrating, because she hits the
ball really hard in practice, but she seems to leave it in the locker
room because she cannot override the need to be, oh, so careful. Here's
the draw for the British players are -- for the British players. There is
a huge financial incentive for the players to be in the first-round,
but also, gives them an opportunity, especially if they are in reasonable
grass court form, to get through a couple of rounds of. The big news
today is centring on Andy Murray. Depending on what paper you read
this morning, either everything was fine, which Ivan Lendl was saying,
or, people were saying, his participation in Wimbledon was
endowed. Judy Murray on the radio this morning was hedging her bed is
a bit. But we have got some pictures of Andy Murray hitting at Aorangi
Park at Wimbledon today. I suppose, it is one of these classic things,
Ivan Lendl on the right, you can read into these pictures what you
want. There he is hitting a few forehands. But I think we also have
some pictures of him creaking a bit. He gets up from his chair here, and
he's not looking 100%. I suppose it's one of those situations for
Andy, this matters to him so much the last thing he will want to do is
to not take part in Wimbledon. He is playing a qualifier in the first
round, from Kazakhstan, ranked 134 in the world, a 20-year-old,
actually a lucky loser, because he lost in five sets of qualifying. And
he will not want to go into a match like that, against somebody who is
grass court fit, and not be able to play his best. Because whatever you
may say, he will be a good player. And if he gets through that,
Fognini, there is a long history of matches between him and Andy. Round
four would be tough. And then, Wawrinka, Nadal, Federer, and Jo
Konta thought she had it hard! What do you think? One thing I would have
to say, he has a genius of a physio in his camp, called Mark bender. And
he will be getting the best possible advice about what to do and the
treatments will be quite unorthodox, I'm sure. If they can get him fit,
they will. There is no way Andy will not want to play. Even if he's 80%,
I think he will try and go out of there. I was going to ask you, what
is the percentage figure? You can't really put it on. Andy at 80% could
still probably be told players on what is his best surface. You've got
all of hullabaloo which goes around Andy at Wimbledon as the defending
champion. As great as he is, it's a lot for any human being to cope
with, what he's going through right now. Something he's not really
experienced before. Yes, he's had a few nasty injuries and, but not
really so close to a major event. Certainly he's never do dealt with
this situation before. Meanwhile, the world number 855 - do you know
who it is? He's the lowest ranked qualifier to get through to the main
draw of Wimbledon since 1998. Well done, Hill. He had the most
fantastic week at Roehampton this week, and he got an interesting
reward. Look at that face. His reward is going to be a first-round
match against the British number two, Kyle Edmund. He spoke to Selena
Hinchcliffe after what must have been the best day of his tennis
life. We are with the only British player standing, Alexander ward,
congratulations - what does that mean to you? Yeah, it means a hell
of a lot. I've been struggling quite a bit this year with my form, even
coming into the pre-olivine play-offs, just scoop up some
momentum and it is amazing to qualify. Worded that self-belief
come from? I don't know, really. Just match by match, started to play
better. And the same here, really. I started off pretty poor in the first
round and step-by-step, got better and better. Put it into context for
us what this means to you, in financial terms, reaching the
Wimbledon main draw and how it will help you with all of your expenses
and everything? Massively, it can keep you playing, basically. I was
out injured for six months last year, and I was struggling with the
cash, as I am now. So, the financial gain is huge. You can't quite get
over it, can you? No. It's strange, because I had never won goal in
qualifying here before, so it's a bit of a dream, to be honest. When
you go through those gates on Monday, who will you be looking
forward to seeing in the locker room? Hopefully not too many guys,
but we will see! I would like to play one of the big names, that
would be amazing, on a big court. On centre? Of course, why not. Happy
interview, and just a repeat, I think he will like playing Kyle
Edmund, I'm not sure if that is on Monday or Tuesday. Anyway, good luck
to Alex Waller. Somebody else to say good luck to is Cameron Norrie, who
was playing here this week. He lost to Gael Monfils in the second round.
He's sort of the new kid on the block in British men's tennis and he
has been given a wild card for Wimbledon next week. He came up to
tell us all about himself. I was born in South Africa and I moved to
New Zealand when I was about three. Grew up in New Zealand, both my
parents were squash liars and just played tennis in the driveway with
them, with sawn off squash rackets. And then I moved to London when I
was 16, by myself, my parents still live in... Specifically for tennis?
For tennis, yeah. In New Zealand, there is not much tennis. Both my
parents are British, my dad is Scottish, my mum was born in Wales,
so I have quite British woods. I moved there for three years and then
I went to college, in Texas, finished at uni there, and this is
one of my first pro tournaments. It's been good and I'm enjoying it.
The big question is, given all of that, who do you want to win in the
second Lions Test on Saturday? I'm a big fan of the All Blacks, such
beasts of athletes, I've grown up, when I was younger, some of my
heroes. It's a tough one! I think the All Blacks. By the next Lions
tour, in 12 years' time, you might be leaning towards the Lions. Maybe.
How is it, in the big time of tennis? It's been real good. I'm
pretty grateful and lucky to have these wild card opportunities that
these tournaments. I think it's really good for me to play on the
big stage on Centre Court. My match today against Monfils was such a
great experience, I really enjoyed it and I played well. It was nice to
show what I have against such a great player like him. When you walk
on court with Gael Monfils, yesterday, is there a bit of you
which is thinking, this is me and him on the same court?! Yeah, just
before the match I was warming up and I was like, I'm about a play
Monfils on Centre Court. I could not really believe it. It has been a
quick turnaround, and I just went out there and tried to enjoy the
match. Did you enjoy it? It was good, yeah, I worked my way into the
match, played a couple of loose points but it is nice to know I am
right there with those guys. You have got a wild card for Wimbledon.
I know, exciting times for me. This match today was just a great
experience for me, and I gained a lot of confidence, I got my first
win on the ATP Tour on Monday, my first top 50 win, so I'm feeling a
lot more comfortable on the grass. At the back of your mind, when the
draw comes out, are you thinking, yeah, I fancy Murray in the first
round, or is it, I would like to have some random person that I could
beat? I don't really mind. I'm playing at Wimbledon, so I'm happy.
I'm just go out and play my game. If it's Andy on Centre Court, I'm
happy. Having played Gael Monfils here, he gets another Frenchmen
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, in the first round. That is going to be on a
decent show court, I would think. James Ward against Marcus Baghdatis.
And Aljaz Bedene, he's playing Ivo Karlovic. Good luck on the returns!
Final tomorrow to go where is the balance of power, Pliskova not
having had a match today, is that good for her? I don't think it
really matters. For me, it is Pliskova's to go out and take it if
she plays near the top of her game. Caroline is a wonderful player but
you would always go with the attack on grass, and Pliskova for me is the
out-and-out server and baseline attacker. I was talking to John
McGinn were last night, and he thinks that Pliskova could win
Wimbledon because of her ability to have short shots, big serves and
take the game away from her opponent? No, there is a great
player there. There's a couple of things which worry me. She was the
favourite for the Australian Open and some of the big tournaments in
America, and she came up short. Her coach said, I thought it was a great
line - somewhere inside her, a champion is sleeping, it's my job to
wake it up. If the coach can do that, then she's going to win a
Grand Slam. The final tomorrow is on BBC One. It's quite early, actually,
so if you have been following the Lions earlier on, you can have a
tea-break and then you can come back to us on BBC One at 12.15. You might
be able to spot that the covers are on, and it's almost like they knew
that semifinal had to be done and dusted, and then, only then, would
they allow the rain to come down. And it is bucketing down at the
moment. Did you bring your brolly? No. You're going to have to be nice
to me, then! I am always nice to you! With the amount of tennis, all
over the park, not just on Centre Court, everyone needs to see these
great players. I played this tournament many years ago when it
was a showcase event, everybody came here before Wimbledon. Report
describes as Wimbledon by the sea - that's what it should be like. I'm
passionate about this event, and I think we are getting back there, and
it's going to grow over the next few years, with all the changes.
Absolutely, they're spending ?44 million on all of the changes here,
so book your tickets for the next few years now! That's it for the
moment, because obviously, no more tennis for us to show because of the
injury to Jo Konta. The sun will be out tomorrow, I guarantee! See you
Saturday lunchtime - bye-bye! COMMENTATOR: Caroline Wozniacki
moves to within a set of being back in the Eastbourne final. We have
ourselves a decider in this semifinal. It is Caroline Wozniacki
who will go through to tomorrow's final.