Browse content similar to Day 1. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Welcome to Eastbourne, Sussex by the sea. The whole world is out there.
But one week a year, the tennis world comes right here. The biggest
star in women's tennis is taking time out to start a family. In her
absence, a host of established names and new talent from across the globe
are vying for glory. Heading up those names, the top
three players in the game at the moment.
From Poland, Slovakia and Denmark, we have three former champions with
real crosscourt expertise. A former Grand Slam champion,
looking to recapture her best form. What a breath of fresh air. The
hottest and possibly most unexpected new property in the sport, the
French Open champion. What an achievement! And the local girl,
turned into a top ten contender. They are all here and ready to play
at Devonshire Park. And there is something about
Eastbourne that is for all times. A Stone Age settlement, a Napoleonic
fort, magnificent Victorian architecture. Once a year, a tennis
tournament that enlivens a town that revels in its Gentiletti, but also
its geographical isolation. This is a great event for the family. You
can get so close to the players. It is a chance to engage and inspire
the thousands of kids that come here. This year, more than ever, the
inspiration and attention comes in the form of the temporarily fallen
giant that is Novak Djokovic. This time last year, overrun by grand
slam titles. This year, searching for his lost Mojo permit the sand
and shingle of Eastbourne seafront. He plays for the first time
tomorrow. While he is here, sadly in the last few minutes it has been
announced that the double Wimbledon champion Patrick -- is not going to
be here because of the injury she sustained yesterday. Arguably, this
is the best field that has been assembled for many years. If you
take the Williams sisters out of it, this is effectively Wimbledon by the
sea. They have moved SW19 60 miles south, to whatever the postcode is
here. Just the big names wherever you
look. Three British players made it into
the main draw, a few fell by the wayside in the qualifying condition.
Sadly, that has been reduced to two. Naomi Broady has just been beaten,
emphatically 6-1 in the third set. And she is not the only British
player to go out so far on this first Monday. Kyle Edmund, the
British and a fraternite, has just lost to Donald Young of the USA. I
am sure you saw him in action a lot at Queen's. He lost in three sets,
as you can see. Sadly, because of contractual reasons, we are not able
to show you the action from the men's drawer. We will be overrun by
the action from the women's draw. We have Pliskova against Alison Riske,
and then Heather Watson against Cibulkova.
I mentioned Pliskova against Alison Risk, their first set ended a couple
of moments ago. I think we are in the first game of the second set.
It was going along quite nicely for both players in the first set. Then
the first break point opportunity that Pliskova outcome of the world
number three, that was it, done and dusted. That is the way she likes to
play. That is why she is one of the best players in the world, arguably
one of the favourites for the title this week, and also at Wimbledon. It
has all gone very quickly. She is the ace machine. What really
impresses me is the amount of first serves, 67%. Normally she is 10%
lower than that. She will be thrilled. She lost a handful of
points behind that, so that is really bad news for Alison Risk.
Pliskova put down more cases than Williams last year. That is
astonishing. I was out watching her practice
yesterday afternoon. It was considerably windier than it is now.
She was playing with her identical twin sister, Kristyna. The sound of
her racket, she is timing the ball so sweetly.
Could you tell the difference between the Pliskova twins, with one
of them two minutes older? Yes, because Kristyna is left-handed.
Without them holding a racket? It is quite hard!
We saw at the start of the show, the women's draw, Eastbourne. Pliskova
is one of three players that could end of the summer as the number one.
It is a different world, it really is. Talking to Martina Navratilova,
she has been picked out as a future number one by the great champions.
And she won this 11 times, I think she knows what she's talking about.
Still question marks about Pliskova. Beautiful ball striker, wonderful
servant, which is improving. The second serves are getting better as
well. It has been transformational in the last 12 months. But she
doesn't always win titles when she's supposed to.
Her Grand Slam record was pretty dreadful until last year, when she
got through to the final at the US Open. Until then, as you mentioned,
she came to the big tournaments and was not getting the results.
Favoured to win the Australian Open, got offended. Favourite for Indian
Wells, and Miami, where she made the semis. Again, playing well,
everything in place. We didn't expect so much of her through the
clay-court season. Actually, you know, it went beyond expectations of
the French. It's difficult for her to move, she has got incredibly long
limbs. It is an incredible weapon to have.
That was ace number six. The third of the second set. Keeps us on
serve, the second set. As a player, how did you feel when you first felt
the grass beneath your feet? Relieved! It is very tricky. Stiff,
as well. You use completely different muscles to the clay-court
season. You are using much more of your thighs and your calf muscles.
On the grass, you are pushing so much. It is your backside that gets
very sore. The first thing you have to get is low, that is what your
coaches will tell you. I was busy yesterday, watching the French Open
champion. It was all about getting low. That would be what the coaches
would tell you. It comes through lower, quicker and lower than it
does at Wimbledon. I think that is really good practice. The biggest
thing you have to change, from the clay to the grass, it is all about
movement. You know you will not be on the surface very long and then
you have to change courts. I think they say tennis is an easy game! It
is your movement, your foot plant, your centre of gravity and your
contact point, which goes from shoulder height and can be around
your ankles. Pliskova is very happy and comfortable with that, how the
Balkans through to her. -- how the ball comes through to
her. One small slip-up, that is all it
was in that opening set. It is pretty tough for the American number
seven, having to serve second against Pliskova.
Very aggressive game style for the American, Alison Riske, sitting at
45 in the rankings. Had a career-high 36. It is her third main
draw appearance here. She has only ever won wants here. I don't
understand that record. She is known as a very good grasp player. They
will be fighting over surfaces, because they like the same ones.
Home That expression tells you the nightmare of trying to return the
Pliskova served. It explodes off the court, the same way as Venus
Williams' does. She has hit one, she has blocked one. She has moved back,
she has moved forward. Very difficult serve to return.
Beautifully disguised as well. That his practice for next week. You
can do that at 40-0, when you are serving as well as she is.
Just too much power from Karolina Pliskova. This is her first match on
grass. She withdrew from Birmingham with an elbow problem. This is her
grass debut for 2017. I think she will be pretty happy with how things
are going. She will. She looked very relaxed, sitting with his sister
yesterday, she went down pretty early to Eastbourne. She really
enjoys it down there. It is a huge factor. It's not easy having to play
somebody, she had a bye in the first round, it is not easy to play
somebody who really loves the grass and who has already had a match. She
has been practising on the practice courts, which are quite a lot harder
than the match courts, simply because they had been played on so
much. So, there is a transition not only from surface, but also from the
practice courts playing differently to the match courts, certainly for
the first few days. These courts were quite soft. The ball is not
coming through as much. You have to get up to it. That is quite tough
for Karolina. I am sure her coach would be very much on that her about
her footwork, getting up to the ball. We had so much sunshine last
week, it really baked it hard, and they have been played on. There was
a lot of adjustment to make. Actually, very tricky situations.
But they are handling it very well so far. You mentioned sunshine, I
didn't want to be so negative early on, but I don't think we are going
to have much of it this week. I had better have my ice cream today!
If you would like to get in touch, and there is so much to say about
tennis at the moment, there are so many stories in this week, use the
hashtag and we are looking forward to hearing from you.
A very good place to serve two, out wide, on the right court. If you
haven't watched too much tennis over the last few months, out wide, the
forehand, you can get a few freebies out there.
Second double fault from Alison Riske. Conceded the set, the first
break point on the Riske server. Double faulted. Pliskova took the
serve. Good hold for Alison Riske. When you
are facing a server of this stature, of Pliskova, you have watched her,
they have faced each other before. It is a lot of it guesswork because
of the disguise she puts on her serve? You've got to look at where
she is throwing the ball up, try to get some clues, some early clues.
These days, there is so much data out there. You certainly want to be
going with that, putting it all in with an innate sense of where it is
going. The most important thing is that she keeps trying to make
returns, get something on it. When you are returning the Pliskova
serve, the potential was very high for that set. For me, she is a great
server. But she doesn't make enough of her serves, unlike Serena
Williams. You have got a chance. The second service pretty predictable,
normally to the back end of the right-hander.
That was a really good example of what she's got to do. You've got to
get your racket on these serves. It just gets into her head that
somebody is making returns, trying hard, rather than just getting
demoralised. This is going to give her a tonne of
points. She's looking for the first ball forehand, after the serve. If
you give her that, point over. There it is. Another ace for
Karolina Pliskova, her seventh of the match. That is her ahead on
serve in the second set. In terms of rankings, Angelique Kerber, world
number one, in spite of not having the best of years. Pliskova is
currently sitting third. It could have changed hands at the French
Open, but it didn't. Ostapenko went on to take the title. It's
incredible, the permutations of the top of the women's game. To put it
into context, it is 600 points. There are 470 points for the winner
here. 2000 points if you win Wimbledon. It is not an
insignificant amount of points. I think women's tennis is in
transition at the moment. There are some very good players in the
mid-20s, who can take the top spot. Simona Halep at is only a couple of
games away from being world number one. What I find interesting, we are
used to Maria Sharapova being number one, or Serena Williams, they love
being world number one and everything that goes with it.
Pliskova becomes number one, head of court life changes, the pressure
changes completely. I'm fascinated to see who embraces it. It might be
Ostapenko. She is more of an extrovert than the other players
that are bidding to be number one. I think it is a great time in women's
tennis. She has landed a couple of
backhands. The reason why is that the centre of gravity is very low.
That is the work on the practice court, get down.
Sad pressure on Alison Riske. If she loses this point, she knows this
match is over. That was an effective match point
four Pliskova. -- for. Two titles per Karolina Pliskova this year.
Started the year really well in Brisbane. And she won in Doha.
Semifinals in Roland Garros, a tournament she laughed at the
thought she could ever win. She got very close to the final. Now one
game away from the third round here. She has really found her stride now,
Carolyn Priskin la. -- Karolina Pliskova. Remember how impressive
this is. She wouldn't have played on grass competitively since Wimbledon
last year. To pick up like this, great timing, top of the Pops. There
it is. Three match points four Pliskova. Three points for the win.
Double fault keep this alive. Taking the foot off Bigas a little bit with
the serve macro. -- Vicky Ford off the gas a little bit with serve.
UMPIRE: the ball was called in. Miss Riske has challenged the call.
UMPIRE: the call stands. Match point number four.
UMPIRE: game, set and match Miss Pliskova. Just over an hour on
court. One hour and eight minutes. 6-4, 6-3. The fifth meeting between
the two. It is a Pliskova double. Her older sister beat Naomi Broady
earlier on Court One. Karolina Pliskova, finalist from last year,
lost out in the end to Dominika Cibulkova, who is next against
Heather Watson. A good day from Pliskova. I saw her before she went
out on court and she looked relaxed. She always looks very relaxed. She
hasn't played on grass since Wimbledon last year. She withdrew
from Birmingham because of an elbow injury. She's looking good. The
serving arm is working. Seven aces. She did enough to get herself
through against Alison Riske. Still to work out who she will face in the
next round. Well played. First match on grass
against a tough grass court opponent. Your thoughts? I think I
played OK. I was expecting a little bit worse match. It was my first
one. I am just happy with how I played today and hopefully I can
improve in the next one as well. Very nice weather so I was enjoying
it. The last time we saw you was in the final last year. How did it feel
coming back here? I am coming back almost every year. It is my fourth
or 50 year. I was enjoyed to play in Eastbourne. Especially when the
weather is so nice. We know it can be really windy, as it was last year
in the final. I like coming back here. You have had a lot of success
on grass courts over the years. They win in Nottingham last year. Is this
a great surface? What do you enjoy about it? It is a good service for
my serve. I hope I can play well this year. I think this is the best
preparation for Wimbledon. We look forward macro to you in your next
match. Through to the next round. Karolina Pliskova. From the sunshine
in Eastbourne, let's hope the same is replicated next week. This time
next week, you know what will be well and truly under way.
That is eight! He has done it! She has done it!
That's it! That's it! He has done it!
That's it! That's it! That it! The dream has come true.
And at last he does it. There is a new man at the helm in
men's tennis, Rafael Nadal. Ten great moments but there are
hundreds. There is a tremendous programme on radio five Live on
Wednesday evening at eight, expanding on those, and getting you
involved in your great Wimbledon moments. Sam Smith is here. If you
had to pick one, what would it be? It is hard. There are so many. I
would say 1977, Virginia Wade winning Wimbledon. Even though I
only saw it retrospectively. That is my great moment, too. Is it? We
actually agree on something! I couldn't believe the gladiatorial
nature of it. I wasn't a Bjorn Borg fan. I liked John McEnroe. And the
disk error lighters have this extraordinary image about him. He
was two sets up. I was mortified. There are certain things you do
remember. I remember that moment because I was not allowed to go and
watch it. I got sent to a summer picnic. I was really upset because I
wanted to see the final or listen on the radio. I had to watch it
retrospectively. That is one of my various memories of not being
allowed to watch the final. Max Robertson's great radio commentary,
where on the final point he says, and Virginia will take tea with the
Queen. Those were the days. Moving on to the women's game, we have an
amazing draw. Three British players. Naomi Broady has gone out. We only
have Heather Watson and Johanna Konta. A lot of the British women
lost in the qualifiers as well. Are you a bit down? We will talk about
Johanna Konta a lot this week. You a bit downbeat at the moment? Yes,
because I think we felt this time. Johanna Konta is more of a surprise.
She was in the quarterfinals struggling are few years ago. The
stars were going to be Heather and Laura Robson. Laura has had many
injuries. She is not where we would like to be. Heather has not
progressed, when you think she was playing on the Centre Court nearly
beating Serena Williams a couple of years ago. I thought she was heading
for the world top 20. Never listen to me, I was get it wrong! I was
very pleased to see she won yesterday. I know what it is like to
be on a really awful run. She drowned out a very big win yesterday
on court. That can do wonders for her. I thought Naomi Broady would be
firmly fixed in the world top hundred. There is so much strength
in depth. You cannot rest on your laurels in tennis. You are on the
diving board otherwise with your ranking. Weaver having the same
conversation in France, saying that going into a Grand Slam tournament,
you could almost have picked one of 30 names. That may be slightly
exaggerated. We ended up with a shock winner. Really looking forward
to seeing her play. A week away from Wimbledon. You are none the wiser,
are you? Many more women grow up on clay and feel more comfortable on
clay. There is a large part of the jaw that does not feel comfortable
on grass. -- draw. It is plain not quite like the old days where the
ball used to skip through and really sort people out, and really
absolutely defy the clay court. It is middling now. I think there is a
much smaller bands that can win. This match for Heather Watson, it is
a wonderful opportunity, isn't it? She is playing the defending
champion, a lot of pressure. She is like the energise a woman of women's
tennis. She is struggling with expectation having won the WTA final
last year. Talk about Angelique Kerber struggling with world number
one. She is struggling. She has had a pretty nasty wrist injury. There
is a big advantage for the lower ranked players like Heather, having
won a round and playing somebody who has had a bye. I don't think that
helps many of the top players. If they are lacking confidence. And out
of form. Cibulkova is out of form. You could see last week at Queen's
Court -- Queen's Club how people in a rich vein of form on grass were
upsetting the apple cart. I don't see why Eastbourne should be any
different to other tournaments we have seen, were so many of the big
names have not delivered when you expect them to. A few years ago you
could must pencil in six of the top eight and project through. I think a
number of the big names will go in the early couple of rounds. That has
become the new norm in women's tennis. Talking about Heather
Watson, she is about to walk out on course to play her second match.
Right on cue. The Channel Islands finalist. As Sam said, perhaps
reaching a crossroads in her career. Maybe the next couple of months may
define her career. Here is the defending champion.
APPLAUSE. And actually, we are talking about wrist injuries, arm
injuries, let's talk about Petra Kvitova. She pulled out this morning
having won in Birmingham at the weekend. That was a phenomenal
performance. It would have been great to see her here. You do kind
of wonder, and I'm not suggesting that she doesn't have an abdominal
injury, but she must be thinking, I can do really well at Wimbledon. She
must be thinking she can get to the last four. We have her now as a
contender. When you haven't competed for a good seven months, and she
hadn't even practised for most of that time either, your body, however
fit you are, I don't think she is as conditioned as she could be, but
even if you are a superfit, your body is not hardened to playing
matches. You do things in matches you wouldn't do in practice. It
doesn't surprise me that she has a little Paul or a twinge because she
has done so far beyond what he has done in the last seven or eight
months. You have one body and it needs to be coaxed. She must did
better than she needed to last week although it is a great story. It was
interesting speaking tour in France our enthusiasm for the game has been
massively rekindled, because she realised when she was out of the
game how much she missed it. She has returned renewed and with an
extraordinary desire to actually achieve even more and enjoy it
whilst she is doing it. What happened was so unexpected and
completely life changing. And also, to go through what she did, it seems
as if she has really thought about things very deeply, as anybody
would. And to have time out of the bubble as well. You spent enough
time around tennis to know what a bubble is and how divorced it is
from the real world. I was feel she is underachieving. I
feel she should have seven or eight Grand Slams. Her motivation in the
last few years... She is a lovely young woman. Very honest. She has
been struggling, saying, do I really want to play?
The toss taking place. Cibulkova, diminutive but full of energy. Last
year she had a fantastic moment in the sun when she won the title. It
was a great occasion. She played some fantastic tennis. I remember
doing an interview on court with her afterwards. She was about to get
married as well at a few weeks later. This was the summer of 2016.
An amazing few months for her. She does come here, as Sam says, with
some injury concerns and with an element of a loss of form. She will
look at the jaw. Her overriding emotion will be, goodness me, this
will be tough. The four quarters of the draw feature all of the best
players in the world apart from... There is a cliche. And Eastbourne
deckchair. Angelique Kerber is top seed. In
that section, Ostapenko, the French Open champion, and Johanna Konta.
She could play Ostapenko in two arounds. What a match that could be.
In the next section, Pliskova. Mladenovic. And Kuznetsova. Seventh
seed here. Agnes Kirkbride Zak -- Agnieszka Radwanska. Mother routes.
Caroline Wozniacki down at the bottom. The extra entry here that we
were not expecting perhaps was Simona Halep, runner-up in France.
The number two seed. That is an embodiment... People get injured
sometimes. Let's say Venus Williams was injured, and obviously Serena is
absent for other reasons, this basically is Wimbledon? It is. I
came to watch as a ten-year-old. Played in the tournament. I was
allowed to come to that! I remember the days when it was just packed.
There was tennis going on everywhere. Navratilova, Tracy
Austin. Everybody was here. They all came here. That was what he did
before Wimbledon. Then over the years it didn't become so
fashionable. Serena didn't like to play. Steffi Graf didn't like to
play. The draw shrunk. Now you have to win a lot of matches. This is
what you should do the week before Wimbledon. The penny has finally
dropped for everyone. There is a match on court to at the moment and
it is absolutely packed. This is great. It really doesn't live in the
whole of Devonshire Park when you have got matches of this quality
taking place on the outside courts. I have got friends who will come
down for the day. They want to see tennis. There are a lot of fans.
They would stay in a Hotel all week and they don't want to see the
courts thinning out. It is wonderful down here. They want to see
high-level tennis all over the park. That is what you will get from
Monday to Sunday. You can get so close to the action. Not to diminish
Wimbledon in any away, but sometimes, especially the big names,
there is inevitably a distance between you and them. But here you
can almost literally hand them the towel between points. I don't know
who's in these days, but I would bus juniors down here for the day and
get them to watch how these players play and train. That is far better
than another day's training. Then you get an idea of what you have to
do to be a great tennis player. It had a huge impact on me when I was
very young. That is the best way if you want to have a dream. There is
Cibulkova. Talk about Heather. If we had been sitting here five years
ago, we would have thought the world was that her feet. It hasn't quite
turned out that way. Is it too simple to say that the lack of a
really big shot has cost her at the high-level? It has made it harder.
But I think with Heather, her when -- or unwillingness... If you speak
to her, she is very careful about everything she does. She is just too
careful on its tennis court. She has wonderful attributes. Brilliant
anticipation. She is beautifully balanced. An incredible mover. That
is why she plays so well on the grass. I think Heather has been a
little scared to develop a game, to make some big changes. I think she
got to around 40 in the world are doing what he did. Then she needed
to move on. It wasn't going to sustain that ranking. I see her and
we don't really chat about tennis. That is the feeling I get. When you
see someone like Ostapenko, it is not just hit ball, receive ball, hit
ball. She has an aggression and a dynamism in her game that perhaps
Heather didn't have. I don't think that should stop her. I think it is
about how she cuts the cake with what she has got. I would like to
see her play much more on the baseline. She has an all court game.
To take what he has got with use it differently and be prepared to
evolve and make mistakes. Firmly, she has been so safe in what she has
wanted to do. It has really helped her back. Maybe now she has hit rock
bottom. So -- what should her tactics be? She has to make
Cibulkova play a lot of balls. She has two run her socks off. She can
match athletically. That gives her a fighting chance. She has two start
well. When you are not confident, as Cibulkova can't be, you don't want
to go down in the score early. This is a big chance for Heather to get a
notable scalp. We will let Sam go to the commentary box. GG salmon is
there. You must have a great view? It is fantastic. I have been keeping
an eye Macron the wind, looking at the flagpoles. It is not too bad
today. It can get very windy. It is not too bad today. It is 21 degrees
on court. I checked the weather forecast for the rest of the week. I
think we will just leave it at that. Today is a data weather-wise. -- a
day to savour. There is only a little bit of
previous history between these two. 2014 they met twice. They each won
one. They haven't faced each other for a while.
A good start for Heather Watson. She holds the first service game.
Difficult to come into these tournaments when the player you're
playing has had a bite. Cibulkova lost in the first round on grass
this year recently. Heather Watson has one win and one defeat under her
belt. She won in three sets yesterday. That will give her some
confidence. She is here on a wildcard against the world number
six, the fourth seed and the defending champion, Dominika
Cibulkova. Welcome back, Sam. I thought I
covered the ground quite well. I will tell you what is so
difficult... The stairs? They are fine. There are so many fans sitting
on the grass. It's lovely to see, like a summer picnic. It is way past
lunchtime, they had all of these fantastic things going on. It was
quite hard picking my way through there. I had to be very good on my
toes. The good thing is that they will not be there for the rest of
the week or they will get wet! You are like the prophet of doom!
OK, job for Heather. She has to play upon her baseline, she doesn't want
to get pushed back. That is Colin Beecher, former Davis Cup player.
Looking after Heather at the moment. She is playing out of Chiswick. She
has to stay on her baseline, that is number one.
If she stays on her baseline and serves well, it will give her
opportunities to move forward. She has wonderful volleys. She has to
take out the forehand of Cibulkova from the centre and left of centre.
Just to explain that a little bit more, she doesn't want to allow
Sybil Covert to get onto her forehand in the centre of the court.
-- Cibulkova. Watson just a point on serve, 2-1 on
serve. Sam, it must be nice to have a bye. But it can be a disadvantage,
particularly on the grass court, when it is so short. Heather Watson
was out there, yesterday, three sets. Cibulkova is out there, and
then you are suddenly up against somebody who has just had a tough
3-set match on these courts. It's not ideal.
I have never been over there, it is a difficult name to say, but
regardless, the courts will play difficulty. British players don't
play as much grass as they would have done in my generation.
Everybody thinks you are British, you play on grass. We don't any
more. This is a great habitat for Heather. She loves the big stage,
she loves playing on this surface. She would prefer to be competing
than on the practice court. She is a fan of practice. We mustn't forget
she is a reigning Wimbledon champion, taking the mixed doubles
champion. I followed their route through. This is tricky. I think she
is one of the seas that is vulnerable. All of the pressure is
on her as the defending champion. A couple of semifinals for Cibulkova.
She has got past the second round in her last four tournaments.
If you are a Watson fan, this is a point you don't want to see replayed
too often. There, Cibulkova had four forehands from the centre of the
court, and was able to set things up. She set up a much improved
backhand. That is one of the reasons she played so well last year.
That is the second time Cibulkova has attempted the drop shot. I'm
really surprised she would do that. I think it shows a lot of anxiety
that she has added to her game. But I don't think it is a shop that you
play early on, when you are not feeling very confident.
So far, Heather is getting is absolutely right, for me, making a
lot of returns. Generally keeping the ball away from the centre of the
court, with that forehand. Just making Cibulkova play a lot of
balls. You can still see this court is a
little soft. The ball, a little bit of backspin and it just kind of died
on the surface. That was a mixture of the spin, the backspin, but also
just clumping on the court. That brings up the first break point
of the match. It is for Heather Watson.
Incredible from Heather Watson, forced the error from Cibulkova.
Heather Watson, 3-1, first set. Heather has done everything right so
far. You've always got a chance to break it. Neither of them has an
overwhelming serve. Athletically, she is one of the few players that
can match Cibulkova. Doing a great job of making balls.
Heather Watson a wildcard into the event. She started the year at 81,
she is sitting at 126. This is a very strong field in Eastbourne.
That is the side Cibulkova who want to play on. One of the reasons I
feel Heather has struggled in her career, particularly in recent
years, is that the forehand is not a solid shot, technically. I don't
know if she has refused to address it all just can't change it. It is
where everybody will go. There it is. Cibulkova, targeting
the forehand, forcing the error and gets the point.
Heather slows down the rocket had. There is husband, Mr Cibulkova come
on the right. -- slows down the racket head. Her mum and dad are
here as well, her dad is quite a character.
She also travels with two Yorkshire terriers. Spiky and Woody. It is a
good dog for her to have. She's never going to have a golden
labrador. I don't see her with a great Dane.
They are two little Yorkshire terriers, exactly the same she is.
The canine version. They say that dogs and owners resemble one
another. There it is, and immediate break
back. The defending champion, Dominika Cibulkova. Heather Watson,
3-2. Sam, when USB key about the forehand, you said maybe she doesn't
want to address it, or couldn't. Why would you not be able to adjust?
Because you have been doing something for too long? Possibly. Or
maybe just not... The way you take in the information. I mean she has
had quite a few different coaches over the last 18 months. It has been
very unsettling for her. There was a coach she had her best years worth,
the Argentinian, they had a great working relationship. He has a young
family and want to go back to Argentina and have a different life,
not travelling so much. She has had a lot of different coaches. The
forehand, for me, even the game that you saw, in these big matches she
gets very passive and doesn't trust it. It's technical, more than
anything, which gets into your head. But it is changeable. Johanna Konta,
her forehand was very ordinary. It was a liability. But she has
transformed it. How much of that is just making technical adjustments? I
think it is all about Heather not been prepared to let go.
Maybe accept the fact you will make mistakes at first when it is
adjusting. I think that has been the problem.
UMPIRE: Challenging the call, the call was out. The call stands. Miss
Cibulkova has two challenges remaining.
You're going to see that pattern a lot from Cibulkova. She will go
towards the backhand, then switched to the forehand. Heather, I am not
going to say it too much, but she decelerates and gets locked, she is
trying to steer the ball back rather than letting the racket head go
through. A couple more break point
opportunities for Heather Watson. Back-to-back breaks. Another chance
to edge ahead with the brakes. I think the Cibulkova camp will be
quite worried about what they are seeing in the opening 25 minutes.
Cibulkova's feet stuck to the ground and that is very unusual.
That is the third opportunity in this section game for Heather Watson
to regain the break and the advantage.
A little bit of luck, a racket in the air. Heather Watson with her
third break point opportunity, taking the sixth game, regaining the
advantage. That was a game, for me, that Heather had to take. She came
in here lacking confidence, and she will have got a huge confidence
surge from winning the match yesterday. When you haven't been
winning and you get a big win on a major court. But it is not deep
confidence that she has. I would like to see her now be very
aggressive in this game. In what seems like they blink of an
eye. She got on so much trouble with the first serve, she put it right to
wear Cibulkova wanted it, middle of the box, forehand. If Cibulkova is
backing off, she will be super aggressive, whatever the scoreline.
Heather Watson has broken, we have had four games, four breaks of
serve. We are now back on serve. A missed opportunity, after taking the
opportunity she needed to take on the Cibulkova service.
For me, I do feel, psychologically, when I watch these, it could not be
more different in terms of their personalities. Cibulkova is not
feeling the ball very well, and hasn't for a while. Injuries, not
getting the results she wanted. When she is under pressure, she steps
forward. Heather, when she is struggling, she steps back. It is
how she overrides it. I have seen Heather do that. But more when she
is confident. Heather doesn't have any pressure out here at all. The
first pressure is not to look ridiculous on the court against a
top player. That is gone. But that is a huge pressure, when you walk
out against the best in the world, that is the pressure you feel, as
the lower ranked player. You can be humiliated. That is not going to
happen. She is matching her physically, tactically she is doing
the right things. She has to be more careful about where she serves,
because with Cibulkova you want to serve as close to the lines as
possible. She hasn't got the reach. You need to make a stretch on every
single return. She hasn't done that as much as I would like. I think she
can come out here and have a swing. .
Cibulkova won the finals at the end of last year, one of the best
players in the women's game, when were fighting it out for the current
trophy. With new balls, it is 3- on serve.
Caught just inside the baseline. It is already starting to harden up.
That is nice. The son-in-law giving mum a cuddle. Hopefully they get on.
After four breaks in a row, the defending champion holes. -- holds.
Serving patter ands out here are so important for Heather. --
Pattersons. She is serving down the capital tee. For me it is a mistake.
She has got to make Cibulkova stretch. Go down that center line.
From 40-0, Heather Watson serves it out to 30. 5-4. I read an interview
with Heather Watson in which she talked about her ultimate goal. It
was to become a tennis commentator. You were kidding me, aren't you? I'm
not making it up. I don't know if that is our ultimate goal away from
tennis. But it is to be a Tom and -- tennis commentator. But this is
easy! What she's doing out is difficult. It is not a goal. What is
she doing at 25 even thinking about after tennis? I find that very
worrying. You do? Yes, I do. I think this may worry you even more. But
she also said she is more competitive when she plays Scrabble
with her family than when she plays tennis. How are you feeling now? I'm
feeling really worried! I believe she has top 20 potential. At
Scrabble or tennis? I don't really care about Scrabble or designs to be
a player. What she has movement wise, balance, anticipation, a
wonderful backhand, she has got so much out there. For now it is
tennis. Cibulkova serving to stay in the first set. Are you sure you were
reading this interview correctly? I want to see it. I will show you
afterwards. OK. This is a side he don't want to see
if your Heather Watson. -- site. She hardly misses those kind of shots.
Very dangerous when you have the advantage on multiple occasions in a
set against a top player and you don't press it home. They then
believe that you don't believe. Here is the athleticism of Heather
Watson. A beautifully balanced. Read this. This is when the forehand is
good. She lets the racket head girl. She didn't have a choice. And look
at the result. The first ace of the match for
Cibulkova. Perfect timing. Serving isn't easy for Cibulkova at
that height. That is one area which is a challenge for her. She is
always having to hit up on the ball. She stands at five. But having said
that, Rosie to cells, a great American player of the 1970s, she
was a similar height. And apparently she had the most fantastic serve. I
would love to know how she did it. That was the last place Heather
wanted to hit that ball. She had the advantage. That was the aggressive
play. She didn't want to take that. This is when she is great, when she
is looking to come forward. She has got such good volleys. It is a waste
not to see her in the forecourt. On par Mrs Cibulkova challenging the
ball. -- call. You cold when she hit the ball. Is
it right? De Leeuw hit the ball? Didn't he called out? On par and no,
I did call it. He didn't call out. It was a few seconds after. Why? I
would have to be Superman to be in the same time. It is not the same.
You are not calling out. You are just overruling.
Cibulkova believes she should have won the point and should not be
replay in the point. I wish the umpires could have a replay on the
screen. This is really about her. It is a judgment call. It is really
tricky for the umpire. On par I understand that you think
that way. I can didn't call it late. I called it at the time.
It is not going to be this conversation.
It is going to be this conversation because you just talk my point.
-- talk. I think she is right. But it is
fractions. And it wouldn't have changed
anything because the decision was made. I couldn't remember without
seeing the replay. Generally umpires tend to error on the side of
caution. This will fire her up. Five games apiece. They fired up
Cibulkova. You think the umpire should have a little screen? Yes, I
do. It will solve all the problems. It would take five or six seconds.
Her long-time coach, also the Slovak captain. They were exceptionally
well together. -- work. That was a good spot from Cibulkova.
She saw Heather Watson was back on her heels at the baseline.
There was a lot more pace on that serve. That is the spot she needs to
hit it. Every time. There we go. A lovely to wait to finish off the
game for Heather Watson. -- a lovely way. It is sometimes dangerous to
fire up a player. Especially Cibulkova. The Slovak pot was
boiling. Watson did a very good job of putting the lid on. I am
impressed by what Heather is doing. I think she realises, and I think
she has been told, were to serve against Cibulkova. It has got more
pop and pace on that serve, and it is very accurate. When she serves
accurately, it sets up the next ball. She once first ball back and
after the serve and she can get on top of the point. The more she is on
top of the point, everything comes together and she looks great. You
talk about Cibulkova's height. She stands at five foot three. What
would be the advantages of being that height? Sometimes you can be
too tall, like Bambi on ice. As a shorter player, what advantages do
they have? You said it, a lower centre of gravity. Cibulkova is an
exceptional tennis player at her height. Her energy, her personality,
her footwork and work rate. She is special. Serving to stay in the
first set. We have been caught for just shy of an hour. Still blue
skies. A slight breeze. As well as Heather is doing in this
game, I would love to see her move up the court, really have a swing,
and put pressure right here. See what she does? She is back
behind the baseline. Hodd and there it is. At the first
time of asking. A pump of the fist. A wildcard into this event. She is a
set to the good with 56 minutes on the clock against Cibulkova, taking
it by 7-5. She will be absolutely delighted with how she turned it
around. How is your Slovakian? ! I'm not even going to enter that! There
will be quite a few will understand. Well, I got position and block. She
is still not going properly. Get in touch if you understood that and you
can speak Slovakian. Tel us what they discussed, apart from position
and block. And OK! And aggression. Starting the second set as she
finished the first, Heather Watson, confidently and in style. More fist
pumping from the Brit. That is an extraordinary passage of play from
Heather Watson. Ten points in a row against one of the best players in
the world. She had the cushion of the first set, feeling more
confident, she lets the forehand go, plays more aggressively. She is
making it look really rather easy. Cibulkova is doing a lot better
behind her second serve. It is incredible the difference a
little bit of confidence can make. Dominika knows how important this
game is. She's going to step forward and be very dangerous. I am sure,
despite not understanding a word of it, that he was saying to use her
forehand more. Raise the intensity. That is the ball I was talking about
earlier in the match, that you don't want to see Cibulkova hitting, if
you are a big fan of Heather, or if you are Heather, you want to see her
running along the backcourt. Ace number five for Heather Watson
in the match. Court position is everything for
Heather. She is right on the baseline and she has a world-class
backhand. There is no argument about that. It allows her to take the ball
on. It is most important take away from Cibulkova. -- take time away
from Cibulkova. That has been a problem for Heather against a lot of
players, sometime she is to careful. I like to see Heather with her toes
on the baseline, taking the ball on the fly. She's got the hands to do
that. Yet to drop a point on serve in the
second set. 2-1 on serve in the second set. Took that into the first
set just under an hour. When we got to this grass court season, an oasis
in the tennis Kamal -- calendar, how nice is it playing in front of a
home crowd? They talk about sleeping in their own beds, how much of a
difference to the crowd make? It is not a lot of fun if you are not
playing well, because you hear the groans. There is a lot of
expectation. They are willing you to do well. I think Heather enjoys the
big stage and I think she has used this ground extremely well,
certainly Cibulkova will feel that is very much the case. If you are
playing well, there was nothing like it. That weather vane is meant to be
Virginia Wade serving. A magpie is sat on her head! Disrespectful! I
was shocked when I saw that. Get off the 1997 women's champion's head!
But I am sure it was modelled on that. She has a comfortable head for
birds to sit on. It doesn't look that comfortable. But there is
something special about playing in front of the home crowd, when you
are playing well. It does lift you. Heather needed a boost. She needed
the grass court season because this year has not gone particularly well
for her. She also has a wildcard into Wimbledon. A draw later this
week. I always forget, is it Wednesday or Thursday? Thursday.
That shot says to me that Monica is slightly running out of ideas
against Heather Watson. She's not finding the gaps on the court,
because Heather is such a fantastic number.
Doing everything right at the moment, Heather Watson.
There is some wind today, Heather at the southern end, from time to time
it seems like the wind is behind her, blowing down the court into the
face of Cibulkova. She could do with a few more mph on her ground
strokes. I think that is with a challenge.
Maybe she is saving them for later? She's got three left, you get three
per set. Cibulkova, targeting the forehand
side. Now we have a challenge. If she had challenged the last point,
she would have lost it. UMPIRE: Call stands. Miss Watson has
two challenges remaining. A look over to her camp from the
defending champion. Saved a couple of break points. 2-2 in the second
set. One hour and 11 minutes on court. Still lovely temperatures.
Are you sure it is about to rain any second now? You seem to be doom and
gloom. I am a positive person. I am doubting that. Just not with the
British weather! That is the first point Heather
Watson has dropped on serve in the second set.
I thought the last few games were a big opportunity for Wharton. It was
the last few with the old balls. She doesn't like the new balls because
she feels she can't control them as well.
Have and son-in-law fallen out? -- Mum son-in-law. He is such a great
supporter of hers. He has been on the tour a long time. They are a
very happy band of travellers, usually, her husband and coach. And
the parents have come along as well. The first serve has been working
really well for Heather Watson. Has been good, because it has protected
her weaker second serve, which can be a problem sometimes.
This is why she's good on grass. She played the backhand, where she is
more confident. She really happy and provides. She saw the space, lovely
soft hands on the bully and she is so confident that the net. Good to
see. -- on the volley. Says the break point, hold serve.
3-2, Heather Watson, in the second set. Talking about hand, the feel,
the touch around the net, we know how good she is on the doubles
court, but is this something also on the singles court, the more
confident she gets, the more she will come forward? Yes, the service
will allow you to do that. It is far more difficult now, because the
racket technology has changed so much. The strings, it allows
opponents, when you come in, to dip the ball in a way that you couldn't
do 20 years ago. When I was in the studio, John was asking me about
Heather. She lacks a big shot. Yes, she does. She is not a Cibulkova,
she is not an Ostapenko. Does that hold her back? No, but it would be
nice if she had a big shot. But she has so much else. Heather can make
yourself more of an awkward opponent. I would like to see her
mix the pace, the flight, more. She had the same ball back so much it
makes a wonderful practice partner, but it gives opponents rhythm. I
would like to see her on the baseline, taking risks. She has the
soft hands to do it. It is like getting a pack of cards and
shuffling them in a different way. It's not all about making her hit
the ball harder, and more power, because she doesn't have that. Look
at Radwanska, look at how she uses what she's got. I think Heather can
be more like Radwanska. That is the way I would like to see her tennis
go. Whole court game. All court game. Still plenty of time. She has
to see it, though. It is easy from a peer. We have a great view. -- easy
from up here. Cibulkova survived a couple of
points in the first game of the second set. She has a couple more to
defend here. There is the break. Heather Watson
now a set and a break to the good, 4-2 in the second.
Her distribution has been excellent. Watching Cibulkova, I see her year
in, year out, I think she's a fraction slower than normal. That is
a lack of match play. Now is the time for Heather, best foot forward.
Very aggressive in this game. You are right about that groaning
from the home crowd. You can hear it? When you are down on that court
and you are for- two down, taking a beating, you just want to get out of
there. She is being watched out here by the
cup captain, and we have done a lot of commentary on her matches. This
is what drives us crazy. She freezes on these occasions, it is like she
can't get her arm through the ball. Really intelligent serving now from
Watson. I really like the sweatshop in the -- switch up in the pattern.
From here, you've got such a good view of how dare to the court is,
the front part of it. This time of year, this time of the week, you can
put as many balls there as you want and it is always going to be
difficult. One game away now, Heather Watson.
5-2 she lived in the second set. She took the third set against the
defending champion. Cibulkova cannot get her coach on, but we have had
some viewers get in touch with a translation of the Slovakian team
talk. Thank you to both of you. Susannah said he was telling her to
play closer to the net and that she needs to calm down, because she
plays to aggressively. I heard the word aggressively. But not the
context? I am going to be picky! I didn't have a clue. But I did get a
few of the words right. Another the USA's he was saying for her to get
harder with the serve and get into the court. I agree with getting into
the court, taking time away from Watson. The problem for Dominika is
that she is lacking confidence. She has felt a lot of pressure coming in
here as defending champion. When you're not feeling the ball terribly
well, it is very hard. She's got the sort of game where when she is on,
she is devastating, one of the best in the world. Is not a B+ game, a
game to pull back off when she's not playing terribly well. With Heather,
it is the opposite. There is a lot of B+ game. But she has had a
sprinkling of A game. Heather Watson is a game away from game three, a
game away from knocking off the defending champion, world number
six, fourth seed, Dominika Cibulkova.
As dominant as Watson looks in the scoring, it's a lot easier to break
than serve out, and still be aggressive. Dominika has played
below her best, and Watson has had a part in that. At the top players
don't give it to you. Excellent from Heather Watson,
bringing up the first match point. The top players don't give it to do.
This young woman, she has one of the best attitudes in women's tennis.
You're going to have to rip this match away from her. It doesn't
matter about the scoreline, she doesn't care.
Well played under pressure, Cibulkova. She has held serve. She
was serving to stay in the tournament. Now the pressure
switches to Heather Watson. 5-2, one break. It looks a lot, 5-2.
But one break is not a lot, not against one of the best players in
the world. We shouldn't forget that for one moment.
Two points away, Watson. It'll be interesting to see what she does. I
would like to see her go down T. -- the T.
Heather Watson had a match point in the previous service game. Now she
has two match points on her serve. It is very hard to close out a match
anyway. It is very hard when you have not been winning a lot of
matches over the year. It is even harder when you have got a top
player at the other end. Right now, Heather is pushing the ball. She
once said the cover to give it to. It is not going to happen. -- she
wants Cibulkova to give it to her. A total of three match point of come
and gone. There is a break back opportunity for the defending
champion. And we play on. Three match points
have come and gone. Cibulkova has broken back. She is on serve. 5-4.
You were down in Australia. Remember the match Heather played in the
second round. She -- it was an epic. She had a lot of match points in
that match. It was a boiling hot day. She had maybe 67 match points.
There have been a couple of other matches this year where she has had
other match points and lost. It has become something of an issue for
Heather. I really feel for her. You can see what happens. She gets to
match point and the arm is freezing. It is a horrible place to be. I'm
not sure how you get over it. There is a lot of psychological scar
tissue, particularly from the Brady match. That was to go into the third
round of the Australian Open. That would have helped its to stay inside
the world top 100. Matches like that can really knock you. I think it has
knocked her. It has had an effect. She has lost other matches with
match point is again this year. She parted ways with her coach as well.
It is turbulent. I am not saying she is going to lose but it is not
looking a done deal. No. But she knows how to break the Cibulkova
server. The pressure back on the defending champion.
Cibulkova has been very smart the last ten minutes. She does not have
too much of a B plus game. She has pulled in her margins ever so
slightly. Not aiming for the lines as she normally does.
What Defence from Heather Watson on that point.
Defending out here is not a long-term solution against
Cibulkova. That might just give her a hope in this game.
Match point number four for Heather Watson. We can feel the stance
shaking beneath us. -- stands. There it is. What a win for a
Heather Watson. On a wildcard. Lost in the first round last year. Note
defeats the defending champion, Dominika Cibulkova. -- note defeats.
Great, great victory. It is a long time since we have seen that smile.
Personally I am delighted for her. Having had those match points and
just getting over the line. That sets her up for Wimbledon and the
rest of the season. I thought she was the better player. She took
advantage of Cibulkova being off her best. You still have to do it. The
best match I have seen from this year. You still have to beat a
player who is the world number six, defending champion. Not the
Cibulkova she was at the end of last year. She is a tough competitor.
Watson, low on confidence, had to come out here, had to get through
it. And she did. Straight sets. Tactically excellent from the start.
Per serving got over the line. Outstanding. Great movement. Enjoy
this one. Absolutely. The winner will face Mertens are appropriate...
Well, many congratulations. That was such an inspiring performance. Your
second win over a top ten opponent. Some up your emotions? Firstly, I'm
so grateful again for everybody who came out and supported today. The
atmosphere again was just incredible. I was getting goose
bumps at the end. It is no secret I got a little nervous. But I'm very
pleased that I got through in the last game. I mean, obviously, she is
an amazing player. She won this tournament last year. A hard worker
and a fighter. I knew it was never going to be easy. It definitely
wasn't. But I thought I played really well. It wasn't as Wendy, so
I got the serve going. You certainly did that. It felt as though
everything you touched turned golden. What was the game plan that
was so effective? I just ran! I just ran. She is a very aggressive
player, so I knew I wouldn't always be on the front foot. I'm OK with
that. I have got some wheels and I have to use them. You used them
today. It was a terrific serving day. Where does that rank in terms
of serving free you? I really like my serve. I feel like I hit some
aces. My second serve maybe can improve but I'm happy with my serve
and especially how it is going right now on the grass. Finally, you had
an amazing crowd support here today. How much did they help to lift
queue, and particularly as things were getting tired towards the end?
So much, honestly, so much. I love it. This is my favourite part about
tennis, is competing in front of audiences and crowds like this that
get so involved. It is fun and exciting for me as a player. I think
it was fun and exciting for them, too.
Well done Heather Watson. CHEERING. Heather saying Cibulkova
is a gritty competitor but she was very gritty, Heather. It was
nerve-racking watching. After weeks and months where her ranking has
dropped to the point where she has been looking for a wildcards to get
into events, including here, that is a fantastic victory to back up one
yesterday. It will give a huge confidence going into next week.
Talking about Wimbledon, if you have been multi-skilling at home, maybe
watching this on your TV with your watch, your phone, whatever it might
be on your lap, you will know when leading qualifiers have been taking
place. Here is match point for Marcus Willis, one of the poster
boys of Wimbledon last year. We got familiar last year with that
celebration as he got through to play Roger Federer last year. Here
he is playing Andre Martin of Slovakia. Willis is a winner.
He talked to Selena Hinchcliffe. This is a special place for you. A
fairy tale last year. What emotions were you going through stepping back
on court at Roehampton? You have to forget it. As soon as emotions get
involved, you can easily crumble. It is easy to choke under the pressure.
I have been doing quite well at taking it a point at a time and
trying to win a tennis match. The support helped as well. But
ultimately I'm taking it a point at a time and trying to play well. It
has been quite a year for you. You got married, your wife was watching.
His baby Martha here? Yes, she is over there. My lucky mascot. She
hasn't got a clue what is going on but as long as she has got her milk
she is fine. She hasn't a clue. At least she is smiling. And
nonorthodox style on the court. -- and nonorthodox. Is it your comfort
on grass that makes a difference? Yeah, I'm confident. I haven't
played as many tournaments as I would have liked due to injury and
having a baby and getting married. But I'm back full time now. I would
like to get my ranking up and compete with these guys on every
surface. I have a lot of work to do. Grass suits me very well. It is
probably not his favourite surface but I think he did pretty well.
Congratulations. What price him being in the main draw next week? He
will outdo come through another couple of rounds. He has to play
Liam Broady in the next round. Broady gracious enough to say he
expects the crowd to be on Willis' side in the next match.
Alex Ward was the final British winner today. Qualifying continues
live from Roehampton. That is online. Access it however you wish
until Thursday. Liam Broady is through in the qualifying at
Wimbledon. His sister, Naomi Broady, was earlier today playing Kristyna
Pliskova. Here we are at the start of the second set tie-break,
Pliskova having won the first. Kristyna Pliskova.
Taking the first point of this tie-break. And going on to win
comfortably in the end in three sets. -- two sets.
A good win for Kristyna Pliskova. We rather pre-empted what happened
in the tie-break of there! You can probably guess how this match ended.
But anyway, sorry about that. If you weren't aware what happened earlier,
obviously use map of the end result. It was a victory for Pliskova. Naomi
Broady played well. We can show you the -- we can show it to you now.
Great potential she has. Who knows what you can achieve in the next
couple of weeks? Great first point of this tie-break,
a tie-break Naomi Broady needs to win to hang in against the elder of
the Pliskova sisters. She is doing extremely well. Kristyna Pliskova is
the elder by two minutes. She is a top 60 player and has been improving
a lot this year. Naomi has a wildcard but fancies her chances on
grass. She is against somebody who is also comfortable in this -- on
this surface. She is a leftie as well. This court is laid on cement,
saw the ball comes through fast and quick. Yesterday afternoon I was
watching the Pliskova sisters hit with each other. Their ranking is
high enough so that they are playing the same tournaments. The ball was
coming off her racket very sweetly. Kristyna Pliskova took the first set
by 6-2. Naomi Broady has done really well to get herself into the second
set tie-break. Is not easy because this young woman has such a big
serve. You don't get a lot of rhythm, you don't get a lot of time
on the ball. Naomi Broady is unbeaten in
tie-break in 2017. Admittedly, it is just her third. Something to hold
onto. Yeah, you often favour a player with a big serve and a
tie-break. But it is neutralised out here because they both have great
serveds and they both have big games. And they're both very, very
tall! You are looking at differences
between the two Pliskova sisters. Not just the way the ball comes off
Kristyna Pliskova's racket, she doesn't move quite as well as her
sister. Just subtle differences like that can make a big difference in
the rankings. Big hitting and a little bit of luck
for Naomi Broady. Her game is lopsided. It is all about the server
and the forehand. The backhand can go in one day and at the back fence
the next. It is a shame for her. It has improved but it is a big
weakness. Players do like to go there. But she has great strengths
as well. She is a difficult player to play against. Results are up and
down. I spoke to her at the start of the
year and she said it had almost dawned on her that she had to think
of herself as a big server. It may mean she lost a few points and she
would have to go down the ranking, but she would work on her game. It
needed to take in her mind before she did it. -- to click.
You can see the problem with that shot. She do -- she almost wants to
get rid of it. She doesn't trust it. But she can read some winners off it
as well. -- rip. Just getting some frustration out.
It is better out than in. There is a lot of pressure on her. She wants to
take advantage of these wildcards. It can change the course of a year,
getting a win or two at this event, and as a launch pad into Wimbledon.
Very few players in the world get these opportunities.
Kristyna Pliskova looking to finish things off here.
Brave play from Broady but it had to be. She always is. They have similar
games. If Naomi has a little more time on the backhand, it is a very
big swing, she has time to get the racket head back, and then through,
and then do it with control as well. She is a very likeable person on
court and off court. She competes well. She gives it everything. She
is an honest player. She takes risks and goes for it. Whatever the
outcome. I don't think I'd like to be a passenger in a motor car with
her, the way she plays her tennis! It is a little too high-rolling and
high risk for me. I did find when she did commentary with me, she was
very honest. It was quite refreshing.
An opportunity for Broady to take this into a decider. She has got to
be thinking the slide is coming into my backhand. Maybe just nudge over.
Forcer opponent to make the... We have had a match point, we have
had a set point. You have to admire Naomi Broady's
ability to improvise. Use the forecourt. It is so new they are. It
is so dead. It is so soft. We are going the distance. Naomi
Broady closes at the tie-break, 9-7. The world number 111, the wildcard.
As you may have guessed, sadly that was the end of the joy for Naomi
Broady. She lost 6-1 in the third set. From a British perspective,
from one extreme to another. Heather Watson won a fantastic victory
against Dominica Cibulkova. The defending champion, world number
six, fourth seed. The second victory in her career over a top ten player.
Someone we have enjoyed seeing for so many years at Eastbourne and
elsewhere. On court, and here in the studio. How good was that?
Very good. I knew it was going to be a very tough match. She's a great
player, very aggressive. We have played each other a few times
before. I felt really good out there.
Playing that long match yesterday in the wind, those conditions, it
prepared me well for today. It was not as windy today. I was seeing the
ball better, my serve was coming together. I'm pleased with how I got
through that. I was at Queen's, and the final was immense. It was a
fantastic match. I took my eye off the ball about what was happening
elsewhere. I looked up the results, so you had won yesterday and thought
it was a really good win. A lot of people thought you might win today,
because momentum is such a big thing in this sport, isn't it? Absolutely,
momentum and confidence are two big things in tennis. Yes, I felt ready
to go today. I wasn't tired at all from my match yesterday, even though
it was a long one. It set me up for today. There are little moments when
you feel the pendulum turning. When he went 5-2 up, 4-2 up, 30-0 up,
then she got it back to 30-30. Then he produced a massive serve. And
your serve was good from start to finish? I thought it went better as
the match went on. It has to be, really. I got a little nervous at
the end. I thought Dominika upped her game, so it was a little bit of
both. I kept fighting and got through it in the end. We were
talking about the fact that, given the way your ranking has dropped a
bit, you have been relying on wildcards and things like that. How
does that change the way you approach the week in, week out
business being a tennis player? It hasn't changed too much, just
because I have been the main draw of these tournaments for many years. It
is not different for me playing in Eastbourne, or Birmingham last week.
But I'm very thankful for the wildcards. I felt I had been playing
great tennis and I love playing on grass. I'm glad I've had an
opportunity for the last few weeks. When you look at your diary in
January, do you look at the block from the beginning, the middle of
June, to the end of July, do you say that is my time, that is when I'm
really looking forward to it? I always look forward to the grass,
every single year. It is my favourite time of the year for
tennis. How much of that is because it is nearly home? I think it is a
big part of it. I also think the service does suit my game. --
surface. It's great, I feel I am home wherever I am, Eastbourne,
Birmingham, Nottingham. One final question, Petra Kvitova has sadly
pulled out of the competition. It has been an extraordinary year for
the women's game, Serena being pregnant, some people out of the
game at the moment, the way that Ostapenko took things by the scruff
of the neck in France. Suddenly we have Kvitova back in the game, and
here she is, seven months on, having won in Birmingham yesterday. Even
though she has pulled out from here, it is amazing to see her as a
contender again for the big trophies. What is the general
chitchat in the dressing room about that? It is great to see her back.
It is horrible what she has been through. I heard that she was told
she might not be able to play properly again. To come back, she
has won Birmingham now, it is great to have her back. She is a really
nice girl. Obviously a great player. Can you imagine her winning
Wimbledon again? Might have to beat you in the final? I was going to say
that! Best of luck, great to see you winning again, and smiling again.
Are you back in action tomorrow? Probably Wednesday now? I hope so,
but I don't think I will be. I think it is going to rain tomorrow, so you
might get a day off. I mentioned Petra Kvitova, and she has been
speaking about having to pull out here, and also about things that
have been happening to her over the last few months.
We understand you're not going to be playing at Eastbourne this year. You
have just pulled out of the tournament, why is that? Yes, I had
to pull out, my body is not prepared for a tournament like that. I had a
long-running Birmingham and my body did not respond well. Especially my
abdominal muscle, which is a bit more tightened than normal. Is it a
fitness thing, or a problem with your injured hand? It is the fitness
thing. Still some work to go before Wimbledon in the gym? Yes, a lot of
treatment as well, to get back into shape. What are you doing this week?
I assume you still hope to play at Wimbledon? Yes, I will do my best to
get to Wimbledon. I need to take some days off and then I need to
start to train slowly, hopefully. Congratulations, a brilliant win in
Birmingham. Your first title since coming back from that horrific knife
attack six months ago, in your own home. A remarkable story. How did it
feel to be back on the tour and back with a trophy in your hand? Well, I
cannot describe it in words. It is something very special for me to
come back to play tennis, to win titles. It is unusual, I think. It's
just after I came back and I already won. I still don't know if it is
true. For me, it is a dream. I'm just living in a dream right now.
It's a beautiful story to have. Was there any point when you thought,
I'm never going to play tennis again, let alone win titles? Yes,
for sure. Those thoughts were there in my mind as well, when it
happened. The first few months were very difficult, when I didn't know
if I would move my fingers properly, if I will ever play tennis. I
appreciate now that I am able to play tennis and play well. Do you
think it has helped, the moment when you thought it might not happen, it
made you realise how much you want to be back out there, how much you
want to be playing? Do you think that's helped with your
performances, maybe with your mental preparation for games, that
expectation is pretty low because you have had so much time out? I
think so. Sometimes, when it has taken something from you that is not
your choice, it shows you how much you love something. That is what I
find now, that I love to play tennis. It was difficult to sit at
home, watching girls playing tennis on the TV. There was huge motivation
for me to come back as well. I always knew that I loved playing
tennis. But now it is more deep. I'm enjoying it more every time. What
about Wimbledon? As you say, your body is struggling to get you
through these tournaments at the moment. Wimbledon is another kettle
of fish. Two weeks of top competition. Is there a chance, with
no expectation at all, there could be another Wimbledon title for you?
No idea. I don't have an expectation. I didn't have
expectation coming back to play tennis, in Birmingham, playing on
the grass. I am so happy that my hand is OK, it is not in pain. That
is the most important thing in the world right now for me. It was a
dream to make my come back. It is better to be prepared for Wimbledon.
I can't wait to step onto the court there. It is great to have you back.
Well done. We are sorry we will not be seeing you playing in Eastbourne
this week. Thank you very much. It is with saying that she will be in
Wimbledon next week. Wimbledon qualifying continues and you can
watch it on the red button, online and on the BBC Sport app. Sam has
popped down from the, the box. Let's talk about three individuals with
differing fortunes. Dan Evans, there has been a lot written in newspapers
over the last 48 hours about his positive test for cocaine. Are you
inclined to be conciliatory, or do you think the book needs to be
thrown? Conservatory. I think there has to be a punishment. I also think
that he needs a lot of support. Really, for the first time, figure
out why he self-destructs in this way. That has been the pattern
throughout his junior career and his senior career. He is a really
talented guy, very popular. There is a lot to like about him. Super
honest, he has great opinions. But he has this tendency, and I think
some of it stems back to the way he was handled by the tennis
authorities when he was 13 or 14. We have seen this story many times in
British tennis. He was the poster boy for being a
bad boy who was reformed. I was so sad, it would give a lot of other
players that have a bit of a reputation, we have lots of them in
British tennis, every country has them, it would give them a lot of
hope. Let's give him some support. What do you hope the authorities do?
He has to have a band coming have to have a judgment. Cocaine is a class
A drug, it is illegal, whether it is performance enhancing or not. People
look up to sportswomen and men, and you cannot be seen to be taking
recreational drugs. It is a very bad thing. I hope he will go away and
have a lot of support, I am sure from family and friends. Whatever
happens with his tennis, this is only one chapter in his life. He has
the rest of his life to live, whatever he is going to do, come
back and play tennis, go into business, coaching. For him, as a
human being, this is a really important moment. I have obviously
thought about it a lot. I feel incredibly sad for him. But he is a
human being, is this going to continue to happen? Unless he really
gets the right help and sorts out why he does... You know, there has
been a pattern for many years. On a different subject, somebody that
maybe has lost his way a bit, Kyle Edmund has just lost to Donald Young
in three sets, a tight game. Donald Young is a good player, played very
well at Queen's last week. He has just parted company with his coach.
Do you feel he is at a crossroads? He is still young. He has pretty
much made all of the right steps at the right times. It is very tough on
the mend's tour. He has everything to be a top ten player in terms of
his ability. What I see is that when he's on court, I don't know who he
is. I don't see his personality coming out. I think it is more of a
personal development era for him, where he has to find his personality
on court. But you mustn't be afraid to make changes. Look at Andy
Murray, the Djokovic, it is not always about the coach. You've got
to be bold. If you feel it is right, he has to be his own man. We will
talk about Heather Watson in a second. We are back at Eastbourne
tomorrow on BBC Two from one o'clock. We are one hour earlier
than we were today. Johanna Konta will be in action tomorrow. Today,
from a British perspective, great to see Heather Watson. She was smiling,
happy, upbeat, bubbly. That is how we like to see her. We like to see
her playing extremely well. I thought that was an outstanding
serving performance. I love the fact in her interview she knew what she
had to do, run and worked his socks off. Tactically, she did everything
right. She is a far better player than her ranking suggests. I was
very happy to see that, particularly when she had the match points and
got there in the end. Excellent, thank you. An upbeat way to stop the
coverage weather-wise as well. Fantastic day. I cannot promise the
same tomorrow. But today has all been about Heather. You know what
the last word is going to be? Elementary!
The world number three, against Alison Riske from America. A pump of
the fist from Heather Watson. A set to the good. There is the break, 4-2
in the second. There it is. What a win for Heather Watson.