Day 5, Part 3 Tennis: Eastbourne

Day 5, Part 3

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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.


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