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Good afternoon. We have tennis! Yesterday, there was barely any. But
many thousand people stayed resolutely optimistic until about
half past six last night. And at seven o'clock this morning,
everybody came back. The people of Sussex were called to arms, and
after a few hours' really hard work, it was paying off. Who could be that
smiling face beneath the bobble hat? You certainly know who this is, the
star turn at Eastbourne this year, and actually he's been and gone
already, Novak Djokovic beat Pospisil in straight sets only one.
I actually went to watch him for half a night, and the aura he
generated was truly extraordinary. It was as if Ed Sheeran pitched-up
with a guitar and said, I'm going to play on Centre Court. There were
thousands and thousands of people who were surreptitiously taking
pictures of Djokovic at the change of ends, because they had a global
superstar in their midst. It was great to feel that. So, he's safely
through to the next round. And so is another big name, Simona Halep, who
beat the qualifier Duan. You will see the differential in size as
well. Halep and not at her best at safely through to the next round.
One of the amazing things about Eastbourne this year is that the men
are playing here now, as they will be in years to come, meaning you get
some incredible matches being played on the outside, outside, outside
court! Just over there, Sam Querrey is playing Daniil Medvedev on that
court. And those two last week were playing in front of 9500 people on
Centre Court at Queen's Club. And there they are playing in front of
400 people crammed around as close as possible, virtually handing the
Taiwan to Sam Querrey at the change of ends. I should say, because of
the weather break that we had yesterday, even though the main
courts are sold out for the next few days, there are still ground passes
for sale also if you fancy coming along, you will see some great
players up close and personal, in a way that you probably can't do
anywhere else. So, this is where we sit as far as the women's tour is
concerned. The top half of the draw looks like that... Angelique Kerber
is the first person we are going to see in action, live, in a few
moments' time. Jo Konta, by the way, against Ostapenko, but side that
might be, it will probably be tomorrow. This is our plan of
campaign for today. With Kerber and Jo Konta, it is a day for Special Ks
on Centre Court. And Heather Watson, after that fantastic victory a
couple of days ago, she plays Pavlyuchenkova this afternoon. The
seedings for Woodward and have been announced. Andy Murray is still the
world number one, despite a few slip-ups of late. And Novak
Djokovic, who is playing here at Eastbourne. Federer is now seeded
higher than Nadal. And so it goes on down.
Before we see Angelique Kerber in action, let's find out from her what
it feels like to be world number one and top seed at Wimbledon. We have
just been watching you looking up on the practice court, hundreds of
people around, talking about, there's Angelique Kerber, the world
number one - what is it like adjusting to being in that
spotlight? It feels good. Of course, it is a great feeling to be the
number one. But it's also like you have much more things to do, the
expectation is much higher than it was a year ago. Still, this was
always what I was dreaming of and working hard for. So it's nice to be
there. So the dream came true, but there is a chance this week that you
could lose that position as world number one, you've really got to do
well at Eastbourne - how are you coping with that pressure on teach
I've learnt already, so mini things, to deal with the pressure. At the
end, it's only a number before your name, and you always have to play
your best tennis and this is what I am working hard on doing, winning
matches and winning tournaments. This is the goal for the next few
weeks, to think more about the matches and winning. You are much
happier on grass, aren't you? I am for sure much happier to be playing
on grass again! I have great memories from last year's,
especially the final at Wimbledon. I'm feeling good and looking forward
to playing again here in England. What would the title means here,
hanging onto the world number one spot and taking the Eastbourne
title? Always, titles feel-good, but it's still a long way, and I will
try my best to get there. Right now I'm focusing on the first match. And
then we will see. So, they are under way on Centre Court, and it's a
pretty healthy crowd as well, they were there early to watch Djokovic.
And you can see, it's not raining, we have live tennis.
Good afternoon, everybody. As John said, it is lovely that it's not
raining. Some fantastic matches in prospect.
Comfortable hold for Angelique Kerber, the world number one. Sam
Smith, so much to talk about when it comes to Angelique Kerber, because
most tennis players will say it is a dream to be world number one, but it
is everything that comes with it? Yes, and she has struggled with it.
She has been very honest about that. I think last year, reaching world
number one, it was not a year that I should have prepared for.
This year has been a struggle for her. People have great admiration
for what Serena Williams has done over the years, managing that
expectation every time she goes on court, with players always playing
that little bit better because they're playing against the world's
best player. What will the conditions be like for the players
out there today? Actually, ideal. We would really like the courts to be
completely dry, they are safe to play on but there is an enormous
amount of moisture in the air. The courts will be a bit soft, certainly
in the early part of the day. The problem is, there isn't any wind
today, which is really strange for Eastbourne! Four weeks ago, they put
in a new irrigation system, which they were using, because the courts
were cracking, because they were so dry. It has helped these courts
become playable, far quicker than in previous years.
And I think we might see a fair few of those off the racket of Christina
Pliskova, having hit the most aces this year, just a couple ahead of
her sister. I feel for the first time this year,
angelic has looked a lot more relaxed. One way of reducing
pressure and expectation is to have results not going your way! Ace
So, six games played, no break points to speak of. For those of you
looking at Krystina, and thinking she looks familiar, she is the older
sister by a couple of minutes to Karolina Pliskova. She's 44 in the
rankings. And as you said the other day, Sam, the good thing about
Krystina's ranking, is that now she is at the same tournament as her
sister, so they get to spend more time together, and practice
together. Good signs, Angelique Kerber's
forehand seems to be working well, the timing is good. We have a very
relaxed looking world number one out on the Centre Court hearing
Eastbourne, and she edges ahead in this first set. It is the second
meeting between these two, the second this year. When they met at
the Australian Open, 6-0, 6-1 in favour of Angelique Kerber, and
Krystina said, I gave her the first set, or I could see was the number
one player in the world, and I crumbled. Which shows that this game
is very mental, Sam? Yeah. I was waiting for a Christian! There was a
question built into that. OK! When they played in Australia, I
commentated on that match, and she was much, much more uptight, even
though she had a couple of rounds under her belt. It was so stressful
for her, there was so much attention, and I thought that was
going to be quite dangerous meeting for her. I felt she could lose to
anyone. But she found her way through it. But Krystina would not
be the first player to lose the first set against a big name player,
because you don't think you can win. I think what has changed,
particularly over these six months, is the fact that the lower rank
players now will believe they can beat the top players, the or a has
gone, and it's gone from Kerber. That was Caroline Wozniacki's
father, and he's a man who watches so much tennis, he's the number one
scout! She is an imposing figure when she
gets herself to the net. And it is all set up by this wonderful Romy.
She's a lefty, and she gets this wonderful outswinging serve.
Apparently she was very happy when she was told that she had served the
most aces this year, and she's leading her sister. Would mean a
lot! She has been in her sister's shadows. Always asked why she isn't
as good as her sister. Some of it, and Karolina has alluded to this, is
that she has not been quite as single-minded as her slightly
younger sister. Angelique is pretty transparent,
whether she's uptight or relaxed. It has been a long year for her, she
been looking rather unhappy on the tennis court, but she looks happy
today. Job done for Krystina Pliskova in
this it is in the game of the first set. Angelique Kerber, who's still
looking for her first title of the year. Did get to the final in
Monterey. Withdrew from Birmingham due to a hamstring problem. So, this
is her first grass court match of the season.
That's a shot she lines up time after time. It has won so much money
for her, that shot, it should have its own bank account. Her forehand
is so good on the grass, because her grip is not too extreme on that
forehand side, it is natural for her. And you can see the reaction -
to miss that shot, that's a problem. Because it is the money shot!
Pliskova is not known for her movement, but that was a big mistake
from Kerber - you always play into the open court against a player that
doesn't move particularly well. And there we go, Krystina Pliskova
takes advantage of the first break point of the match, to get the break
and put her within one game of taking this first set. Yesterday was
very depressing, wasn't it, the weather? Yes, it was, in many ways.
It was fine for us, we get to come back here and work for the rest of
the week. I bumped into quite a few couples yesterday, there was one
staying at our hotel, they bought their ticket in October of last
year, and they only had it for yesterday. And they have Djokovic on
Centre Court! And they were so good about it - never mind, we'll come
back next year! That's tough! I was getting myself a bit more up-to-date
about string technology, because quite a few of the racket companies
have their stands. How did that go? It went well, actually, I'm looking
at switching up some of my strings. It's changed so much since I was
playing, and it is changing all the time. How much of difference it
make, take one of the modern rackets, with the modern technology,
is it out of this world different? Out of this world different. I
always thought, it's a racket, don't bother changing it, don't worry
about the strings. It is light years away. It makes such a difference.
Christina Pliskova, world number 44, 25 years of age, currently sitting
at a career-high, has the chance to take her first set off Angelique
Kerber. This is a very difficult serve to
break, particularly on this court today, with the ball swinging away.
If you watch her, she 6ft 1in, she gets up to it so well, and then she
snaps the rest. Really spreads her hands on that grip, she uses her
hand really well on the serve. I was out watching her practice on a sunny
Sunday afternoon, with Sister Karolina, and I kept thinking, apart
from the left right thing, what is the difference? I just think, I
don't think she makes is good decisions on court as Karolina, I
think the timing is not quite up to Karolina's and she doesn't read the
game in quite the same way. But Karolina has been talking about how
much she improving, she's starting to motor now.
31 minutes on the clock, first couple of set points.
Still a big deal, isn't it? When the player at the other end has got a
number by their name. That's sometimes where Krystina sometimes
just lacks a little composure and confidence.
But you turn to your biggest weapon, the serve, you serve it out at the
second time of asking. . 32 minutes on the clock, and Krystina Pliskova
has taken the first set against the world number one. This was always
going to be tricky for Angelique Kerber, then her first match on the
grass against somebody with this serve.
Well, started off with a lot of laughter, then it became quite
serious. Some, I am guessing your Czech is about as good as your
Slovakian, so I'm going to ask any viewers out there if you could
translate that for us! Important game, this, for Angelique
Kerber. She did not have her coach on, but the tactics are always, get
Krystina on the move. If I was Kerber, I wouldn't be too worried
about dropping the first set. I don't think this is the endgame
here. Actually wasn't a bad idea to serve
that the body, but you can see, she did not get quite at the hips.
An important game to hold from Angelique Kerber and get us under
way in set number two. Angelique Kerber has been a finalist here
before, in 2012 and 2014. She does have a tighter long grass, in
Birmingham, in 2015. She mentioned this in her interview at the start,
about the number one ranking. It is up for grabs, and it could change
hands as early as the end of this week? Yes, it could. Actually, if
she loses before the quarterfinals and Halep makes the semifinals, then
Simona Halep would have been world number one. I would rather have seen
it at the French Open, but I think Halep is right there now. Just
finishing up the point on the world rankings, she will be seeded number
one for Wimbledon, because that's the ranking this week, which will be
used for next week's rankings. But she is also defending points from
last year's final, so they will drop off. I sometimes wonder with tennis
rankings if they shouldn't model themselves on the golf and go with
prize money. It would be far simpler.
Using the front part of the court, not a bad idea to get Kerber off her
baseline. Nice, soft hands there. Kerber's job is to hold serve,
extend these Pliskova games. The ball is bouncing very low, it's very
soft, and she has a long way to go down. She looks like she may have a
slightly tight hamstring. UMPIRE: Miss Kerber is challenging the call.
Not by much, and this -- missed. From 40-0, Kristyna Pliskova holds
to make it one game apiece. She said, when you are young, you want
to be number one, but maybe taking the number one away from Angelique
Kerber would not be the worst thing in the world. I think you could have
said that in the first six months of the year, but she has turned a
corner now and she is finally comfortable as world number one.
Her job out here - keep holding serve. She has not even got to deuce
on the Pliskova games, and wait for a lapse in concentration from the
Czech. That will feel good. If it is OK!
It's funny, isn't it, left-handed players don't like playing
left-handed players. Angelique Kerber has a pretty good record
against them. Kristyna, not so much, but that will feel really good. That
was the first ace of the match for Kerber. And there is number two. She
waited a while, two at once, 42 minutes on the clock. Kerber holds
serve comfortably. It is 2-1 in Faber that my favour of cover. A
good win for Simona Halep earlier today in her Eastbourne debut. And a
much needed one, her very first match after the French Open. -- it
is in favour of Pliskova. It is important to get a match or
two under her belt before Wimbledon. A good decision, and it probably
gets her back into things, gets Paris that out of the way, and she's
on the of becoming -- get Paris out of the way, and she is on course for
being world number one. We all need a bit of alone time.
Ace number eight. Kristyna has got to a final this year in Prague. She
got to the quarterfinals in Majorca. She had a first round win here over
Naomi Brodie. Well, you are forced to hit lines
against Kerber, because she is one of the tough as players out there.
That was a miscue from Pliskova. There is the break. World number
one, Angelique Kerber. I don't know what came over Kristyna Pliskova.
That was the lack of concentration I was talking about. First .7 folly.
Opened up zero - 15, and then there was the break.
Just starting to get on the ball, get up the court, play this match on
her terms, and that spells trouble for Pliskova, because she cannot win
this by running and defending. A love hold for Angelique Kerber
consolidates the second set break, takes her to 4-1 in the second,
Pliskova with the first set by 6-4. I always find it fascinating with
the Pliskova sisters, when they are both in tennis, both playing, when
they were younger, it was Kristyna who cracked the top 100 for the
first time and a lot of people by saying it was Kristyna who had more
promise. A quick listen now. I got OK. It means our Czech viewers
will be busy, because you have a second Czech team talk to translate.
If you're going to serve there, you need to take a little more pace off
the ball, get it further up the box, with much more swing and accuracy.
You cannot serve in that spot. There is something wrong with
Kristyna's game out here. It is all about her intensity, and lack of it.
She has switched off. And there it is - a long break for Angelique
Kerber, for a double break in the second set to put the German world
number one, a former finalist here, one game away from taking us into a
decider. I am not sure what was said in the team talk, but it didn't have
an immediate effect. And that is 11 points in a row. Kristyna Mentor Lee
has gone away from this match. -- mentally.
I think Kristyna's waiting for the deciding set now.
The last few games tell you why her sister is ranked third in the world
and she is ranked 44th. Mentally not apply in herself. Waiting for the
final set is not a tactic. Investing in the second set is the way to go.
Wow... Triple set point. 52 minutes on the clock.
And there it is, a very comfortable second set for Angelique Kerber her
first set on grass in 2017, and that means we are heading to a decider
out here on Centre Court. I can't see any coaches coming on to court
to have a chat with their charges. Kristyna, that was a case of, this
set is gone and I will wait for the decider. It be interesting to see
how she resets against Kerber, who is now playing with more confidence.
It is not that easy to switch off and switch on again. Kerber I was
perhaps a little more solid than in the first set. She applied herself.
If you were giving the little chapter Pliskova, what would your
advice be against Gabba, who is starting to play the game that has
got her to world number one? -- against Kerber. For Pliskova, she
has to reset. She has to get her intensity back. Her feet have
stopped moving. She has got to get her head back in this match, and
this is where she differs from Karolina. You cannot switch off. She
lost the last 15 points. It must be hard when you look in the mirror and
see your reflection, she sees that in another person. That other person
is number three in the world, but I wonder how hard that is for
Kristyna, who as you say is maybe a touch more laid-back, to have
someone who is the mirror image of you doing exactly what you would
like to? It must be hard. That was an important hold for
Pliskova. We talked about her needing to reset, and it looks like
she has. She held serve and needed to. It is about hitting big first
serves, swinging the second as well, being more accurate. When you switch
off slightly, you don't have the same accuracy with your serving, and
it is vital against someone who returns as well as Kerber, who can
get you on the back foot. I think they have been generous with the
number of unforced errors out here. Kerber just didn't give anything
away, landed a few forehands. I think this set will be a little
closer. It's the only time you really get a
reaction from Angelique Kerber when she misses that particular shot.
That is a really good barometer of how she is feeling.
Despite Kerber winning that point, already, we are seeing a different
Pliskova. Yes, chasing a little bit more. Had to stop that run-off point
against. That is a great sign if you are a Kerber fan. When she became
number one, I think she expected to hit the ball beautifully in every
match, played lights out tennis. That just isn't possible.
She has got a really good pattern of play here - a lot of good first
serves, always making Pliskova stretch, distribution and better,
and that is what she needs, big margins, crosscourt, and then look
for the line. Serena Williams, if you think about
it, she did not play well in every single match when she became world
number one. Didn't mind losing asset here and there are she was a little
rusty. The top players don't play well every match. -- didn't mind
losing a set. When you consider Kerber's achievements, not bad for
one year's work. And then too much happening, too busy celebrating.
The funny thing is that it is not really Angie to go and celebrate.
She would rather be in Poland, where she practices and trains at her
grandparents' tennis academy. Obama visited Germany and she got an
opportunity to meet him. You will not turn that down, will you? German
sports Person of the year, all these awards shows.
You almost saw the relief when she lost against Coco Vandeweghe in
Australia. It was almost a relief when she lost that match. And she
hadn't had a proper preseason. It was just so many things she couldn't
turn down. What a shot, what a winner, what a
point. Angelique Kerber, world number one, gets the break in the
decider, Leeds 2-1. -- she is in the lead by 2-1. Any rust that may have
been there is a thing of the past for the German. In the first set, I
thought she was striking the ball well, driving up on that service,
which means that the hamstring and the back are OK. OK, so, we have got
the doctor on court. Just trying to figure what may have
happened with Pliskova. I think she may have been stung. It is one of
those Eastbourne bees. She has that yellow bag, it may have attracted
it. I did see Fed cup, Timea Bacsinszky was stung in doors at a
match. She had a big bag of ice, as we are about to see now. That is not
what you need when you are in the deciding set you and -- in the
deciding set and you are a break down. How was this possible? ! It is
cold and damp, but it is summer. I think it was trying to pollinate her
racket bag. Trying to pollinate her racket bag? Because of the yellow.
They are attracted by that. I said it was resting on her bag, you take
it one stage further! It has been given its marching orders and it
will not be pollinating there in the near future. Nasty, and it is on her
left arm as well. That will tingle and... Keep an eye on the elbow.
Kerber with the break, deciding set. Well, possibly distracted by her
opponent being stung, or this thing giving something extra to Kristyna.
She has had a couple of shockers in this game.
She will challenge it, but I'm not sure it will be overturned, and I
think that will be a break to love for Pliskova to get us back on
serve. She is still rubbing that elbow. From the woman who made one
unforced error in that second set, and no wonder she is frustrated. It
is the first poor game she has played in this match. I doubt her
laps will last as long as Pliskova's.
Fourth double fault of the match for Pliskova, sitting on nine aces as
well. UMPIRE: Miss Pliskova is challenging
the call on the right centreline, the ball was called out. Call
stands, second serve. UMPIRE: Mr Skipper has two
challenges remaining. For she does such good work, at the
top of the swing, she can just send it any direction.
SAM SMITH:, you never know with Krystina, when the lights are going
to go back on! GIGI SALMON: May be it the bee sting
effect, but she's called her coach back on. So, our Czech viewers, you
now have your third team talk to translate - that us know what they
say! It's funny, Czechs always seem to
coach Czechs. She practices at a very famous club over there. Hanna
Mandlikova, who I saw today. Lovely point from Kerber, said up by
the serve. Yeah, always looking for that forehand, it's the natural shot
for her. Clever pattern they for the German.
You really want to try and get it away from the forehand, because
she'll just control the point with it.
Double enough from Kerber puddling what for her was a very poor service
game. Krystina Pliskova has now had her coach on as much as she can in
this match. A lot of the top players, particularly leading up to
a Grand Slam, they like to have their coaches on, because you can't
have them on in a Grand Slam event. That is an opportunity. Did so well
on the return of serve. Hence the foot stamp.
Ace number 11. In the Australian Open, she fired down 31 in one
match, against Monica Puig. That is demoralising, isn't it, if you're
Monica Puig?! Krystina Pliskova keeps her nose in
front in this deciding set. The crowd enjoying themselves, a little
bit more wrapped up than they were at the start of the week. But we're
hearing that the weather forecast for the rest of the day, I don't
want to tempt fate, but it is OK, it is all right. We will take all
right! We will! There's a little bit more of a breeze blowing. They were
chatting this morning about the moisture, because there was a fair
amount of moisture which actually got onto the court yesterday. In
terms of how the players react, will they have to adjust anything ahead
of going out onto court, because the conditions, in terms of footwear
or...? Well, they are all wearing grass court shoes, which have little
temples on the bottom, which hopes you move about the court. -- little
pimples. You cannot have anything around the front of the shoe,
because it rips the court up. Back in the day, people like Virginia
Wade used to wear socks on the top of their shoes, to get to be able to
stand up on the court. But no, they will know that the bones will be
lower come they will just have to get their knees down, sing their
hips and just be prepared to work a little harder with their legs. --
sink their hips. It is a dangerous time in this match
for either player to switch off, because both have the firepower to
make the breakthrough. One bad service game for either player could
be enough at this stage. And the door just opens a little
tiny bit. With that serve out wide, Kerber
slams the door shut. The winner will face the Spanish player Lara
Arruabarrena re-round 16, and some players could find themselves
playing two matches today. Which is not ideal, but on grass, it's not a
problem. The more minutes you can get on this surface before
Wimbledon, the better. The depth on the shots of Kerber. Is
going to be interesting for Pliskova, in her development, as
soon as she pushed into the corners, she doesn't have a shot out of
there, she doesn't have the defence from those difficult parts of the
court. But you allow her to step up the
court, and give her the short ball, she can be very dangerous. Humby
she's always going to play matches on her terms. As soon she has to run
about and defend, she looks like a completely different player.
I am really surprised that the warning came right there, and I
didn't hear a soft warning from the umpire, unless I missed it. Well, it
has fired her up on the next two points.
Good defence from Krystina Pliskova, deserves a fist pump, because she's
held serve and she edges ahead in this deciding set. Because this
grass court season is so small, they do want as many games as possible.
It's not about resting. It's about getting onto these courts, playing
competitive matches and getting yourself into the best state of mind
possible ahead of Wimbledon. We saw a few changes at Wimbledon with the
seedings with the men, but women have gone with the rankings. Yeah, I
mean, Johanna Konta is seeded sixth, you're really looking to be in that
top eight. But I don't think the seedings in the women's really
matters any more, if you go by what's happened this year - look at
the French, look at Australia. And somebody who won't be seeded is
Krystina Pliskova. Whatever happens in this match, you can see in terms
of her grass court play, she probably should be seeded, and she's
someone that none of the top names will want to be paired with in the
draw when it comes out, on Friday, I believe. Yeah, because she's got a
few grass court game under her belt, this is her third grass court
tournament of the season. She's had a busy day, a bee sting, a time
violation. That first point when you are
serving to stay in the match, I need to underline its importance three
times - 0-15 puts so much pressure on the world number one.
Oh! What an opportunity, once again! It is fascinating watching Krystina,
just those tiny things, the feet were not quite as dynamic as they
could have been, she did not get into an absolutely perfect position.
It might have cost the match. Well, it's been a scrappy game from
both players, a couple of opportunities wasted by Krystina
Pliskova, mistake there by Kerber. But there is the perfect serve when
it's needed, bringing up game point for 5-5.
UMPIRE: Game, Pliskova. And an ace to seal it. And now, any pressure
reverts on the older of the Pliskova sisters, who's sitting at her
career-high ranking of the moment, of 44. Changed her coaching setup at
the end of last year. And I think there's Krystina
Pliskova in a nutshell. Its application, it's concentration. And
these errors, it's going to sent her out of this tournament and less she
can serve up a storm here. Two great serves, got a short high
ball, found the net, triple break opportunity for Kerber.
Horrible game for Krystina Pliskova. One she will want to forget in a
hurry, because she's been broken to love, and it puts Angelique Kerber
one game away from booking a place in the round of 16. So often we talk
about the difference between the players at the very top of the game,
because Krystina Pliskova has all the attributes, but it's those
little things, and in this case, as you were saying, with her, it's a
concentration. Yes, and the long-time coach of Angelique Kerber,
what a great guy he is. I'm sure before the match, he would have
said, just keep going, Angelique, maintain your focus, because the
locker room knows that Krystina is a lot more up and down mentally. When
she makes one poor error, they come in clusters, she's not able to reset
and go again, they just seem to come and come. And that game really was
thrown away, and the problem is, the locker room knows that. Karolina is
also a little up and down but not in the same way as Krystina. World
number one Angelique Kerber, who took a wild card into this event,
her first appearance here since reaching the final in 2014. The ball
kids were sowing grossed, they'd stayed out on the court watching the
players have! -- the ball kids were so engrossed. Angelique Kerber had
to say to the umpire, I think the ball kids need to move, I'm about to
serve, I might hit one of them! Definitely focused that time! You
can't really legislate for that shot, but that was just a swing, and
that's what Kerber doesn't want, she wants to tie her up right here. And
straightaway, at the body. Don't let those long levers...
Match points, Kerber, after an hour and 33, having dropped the first
set. The world number one, the wild card with a couple of points to book
her place in round of 16. And there it is. Just the one match
point needed for Angelique Kerber, the world number one, to book her
place in the round of 16. She comes through a tricky test against
fitting the Pliskova in three sets. -- against Krystina Pliskova. Great
reception from the crowd for Angelique Kerber, first time back
here since 2014, and importantly for her, it's her first match on grass.
She pulled out of Birmingham because of hamstring trouble. She said that
what she has learnt about herself in the first six months is that she
needs a little bit more time to herself, away, far from the madding
crowd, and everything that comes with being world number one. She
could lose that ranking, depending how results go here, but she WILL be
the top seed won Wimbledon starts next week. She will face Lara
Arruabarrena in the next round, and very shortly, she'll be speaking to
Annabel Croft. Well played, Angelique, it is the
first time we have seen you on a grass court since the finals of
Wimbledon - how does it feel being back on this surface again? It feels
good, I think it was a good match for both of us. It's so nice to be
back here in Eastbourne, I have been to the final here twice, I have so
many great memories, it is always full, it's raining but everybody is
here, so it's really great. It is great to have everybody supporting
us during the week. It is lovely to have you back here, as you say, some
fantastic memories. She made you work very, very hard - what made the
difference in that final set? I think she was serving very well and
I was trying to focus on my return, and at the end of the match I was
playing point by point, and just trying to go for it if I have the
chance. And I'm happy that I'm through. Absolutely. Many
right-handers don't particularly like facing left-handed players, but
how is it for a left-hander to play a lefty who also has a big serve as
well? Yeah, I think it's a little bit difficult. Most of the time we
are playing against right-handers, and it's not so easy to play against
a lefty, especially if there are two on court. But I've played so many
matches against left-handers now, so it's fine. Finally, we asked Novak
how much he had been enjoying it here in Eastbourne, have you been up
to Beachy Head and out on the Downs as well? Yeah, two days ago, it was
really lovely weather, I walked on the beach, it is a lovely place to
be, great restaurants, so it's nice to be back here. Well done today,
and we really look forward to seeing you in the next round. Angelique
Kerber! JOHN INVERDALE: So, the world number
one into the next round, not without the odd hiccup. But she's through.
It is absurd, actually, almost ridiculous, how many of the top
players' names begin with the letter K. How on earth has that come to
pass? Anyway, coming up next is our one.
Is a superb win for Johanna Konta. Johanna Konta up next. Speaking of
players whose names begin with Kei, Svetlana Kuznetsova won in three
sets. -- Mladenovic as just one against Zhang
of China. It was a much more ruthless contest in the second set.
6-0, 6-4 was the score there. The draw looks like this currently.
Kerber will now be playing Arrubarrena later today. Because of
the disruption yesterday, a few people will have to play two matches
in a day. Johanna Konta is included in that. Depending on how long...
We're getting ahead of ourselves, but if Johanna Konta were to win,
she would have the plague Jelena Ostapenko late tonight, and if that
is one of those games that might be at around 7:30pm and deciding
whether to go one not... That is all in the future. -- she would have to
play yell a note -- she would have to play Jelena Ostapenko late night.
Before that match, she had a chat about her approach to the grass
court season. This is the first time lots of
people will have seen you since the French Open final was the absolute
heartbreak to you - how hard has it been to bounce back from that defeat
to Jelena Ostapenko? It was not easy to lose that final again, but even
if I am still sad, I am motivated to go through. To go through this
feeling. I am motivated to start to play again and I want to have some
good matches here on grass. I want to thank the tournament director for
the wildcard, which is a big help. I want to enjoy and give everything I
have. How much help is it having Darren Cave hill back in your camp
-- Cahill back in your camp? He has just said that the attitude did not
help me in Miami. I changed my attitude, and he came back. It is
nice to have him back, and it gives me more confidence. That is why
maybe I played so well on the clay court. I am sure that the attitude
is helping me a lot, and I want just to keep it and get better as much as
possible. Did you say, Darren, I have changed, come back? He saw some
matches in Stuttgart, and he said I am ready to have him back. Together,
a great run of form at the French Open, and now coming to Eastbourne
on the grass - how does it feel to be back on grass after playing so
well on the clay? It is very different, flatter and faster. I
have to adapt as quickly as I can on this surface. I still have memories
from last year and I know how to play. We will see what will happen.
How much are you thinking about that world number one spot, so
tantalisingly close, just a few hundred points between you and
Angelique Kerber? If you do better than Angelique Kerber here, you
could take that spot - do you think about that? I am thinking about
that, and I cannot hide that I am thinking of that. It is a good
challenge for me, keeps me motivated, keeps me having the
desire. I wake up with that thought, and I am trying just to do the best
everyday. But still, I don't want to put pressure on myself. I just take
it like a big and nice goal. We have been lucky so far today, not a hint
of rain. At the moment, it looks OK. They have just stopped at Wimbledon,
or rather, at Roehampton, where qualifying is taking place. Several
British players were in action, and here is Harriet. , who had two match
points in her qualifying match and ultimately succumbed in three sets.
An agonising result. You can see yourself, day by day, getting closer
to the main draw, but sadly, those two match points went begging, and
her dreams are vanquished for another year. She is not the only
British player who has gone out in the qualifying today. There is a
nice plant. I will name that plant in one. There are four British
players who have lost in qualifying today. Dart was the only player to
win a set. Katie Dunn came through in straight sets. Plenty to talk
about with Sam Smith, who has popped over from the commentary box. First
of all, Kerber, how would you assess that performance? Hit and miss? I
thought she was OK. Kristyna Pliskova was a difficult opponent,
with that big serve under heavy ground strokes. I think Kerber will
be happy. I think it was good how she did not panic after losing the
first set. It was only one break. And she was steady throughout. It
was a tight match that she needed just to regroup and reset the
season. Steady is one of those words that you tend to apply to Angelique
Kerber. When you interviewed her earlier about being number one and
how much she loves it but doesn't love it, and Simona Halep talking
about how much she wants it, it is kind of like, being the world number
one forces you into a place where everyone is looking and you are
expected to behave in a more demonstrative manner, if you like,
and that is not her. Right now, I couldn't tell you who the best
player in the world is. There are quite a few characters and players
who could be world number one, but the two other contenders apart from
Kerber, Pliskova and Halep, they are not Kerber and they are certainly
not Maria Sharapova. If one of them becomes number one, I do not know
how they will handle it. Media training. Johanna Konta is about to
come the court. She is from this part of the world. Here she comes. A
good ovation for her. She is seeded here, but more importantly, she was
seeded number six for Wimbledon next week. And the women's draw was kept
pretty much as you would expect. When you look at the seeding from
1-10, you can see what a fantastic draw they had here at Eastbourne. I
was talking to a couple of people down below who are regular attendees
at Eastbourne, and they feel that this event really is going places.
It has a sense of tournament on the up. Petra Kvitova is seeded number
11, and what a great story it would be if she got to the latter stages
in the championship starting next week. What is your instinct about
what Johanna Konta might do, and not just here but in the next few weeks?
She can do well. She has played eight matches on grass, which is
what you need ahead of Wimbledon. She was the 16th seed last year, and
her status was changing rapidly. She made this semi-s of the Australian
Open. She has had 18 months at a very high level, and I think she is
expecting at least they get to the quarterfinals. Many big names will
go out early at Wimbledon, there will be shocked, and there would be
an opportunity for someone to take the Wimbledon title, I think. We
have talked about her, so let's hear her talk about herself. I have been
fortunate enough to have played this tournament for a few years now, so
higher I have been able to stay at home, which is lucky. To be able to
play in front of a home crowd, and also Centre Court, which is
beautiful, amazing, so I am looking forward to the experience this week.
I have had great matches in Nottingham, two great matches in
Birmingham, so my time on the surface, I feel fortunate with that.
I will be looking to stay here in Eastbourne as long as possible. I am
going into the Championships and I will do the best that I can. I will
definitely be hoping to make it a full two weeks, but most
importantly, I will look to produce the best level I can and really
compete in every match that I get to play. Hopefully, it will be seven
matches. That would be very nice to be able to contend with, but first
and foremost, it is important to take it one match at a time. My mind
has to be in Eastbourne right now, but once we get to Wimbledon, I will
be looking to prepare well for my first run. Can you profit from there
being no Serena in the field? Obviously, her presence is missed.
It is important to remember there have been some great champions
alongside her in the last couple of years. Obviously, we have some new
faces this year. I have been saying for some time that the depth in
women's tennis is truly remarkable. It showcases the level of our sport
in a great weight. It really shows that this is the 100 best women at
this sport in the world, and that is a positive thing to see. -- in a
great way. I know going into every single match that I will be faced
with a very tough opponent. Everyone can play at an incredibly high level
on any given day, so keeping that in mind, I need to make sure I keep
improving, keep maximising everything I have. STUDIO: So,
Johanna Konta is in action on Centre in Court a moment or so. Caroline
Wozniacki is on Court Number Two. She is playing Naomi Akasaka. It is
worth repeating what we said earlier - the wonder of Eastbourne is how
close you can get to big names. Caroline Wozniacki played well in
Paris, and here you are, you know, right on the courtside, seeing one
of the big names in the women's game. That is what is happening on
Court Number Two, as we head back to Centre Court, and Johanna Konta and
her opponent is going through the last of their warm-ups. It is worth
saying that there is an undercurrent of this match that goes back to a
Fed cup match a couple of months ago which I am sure you have read about.
There was a moment where someone said a few words that should not
have been said, and it led to an unpleasant set to
between Jo and her opponent. The winner of this match will play
Jelena Ostapenko, the French Open champion, later tonight. As a rough
guess, it is very cloudy, 17 Celsius the temperature, but that is not
relevant in terms of light. It is a question of what time the match
starts. If Johanna Konta can win in straight sets... But if it is three
sets, it could be 7:30pm, APM before the match begins, and they may have
to delay and have an early start tomorrow morning. We didn't -- 8pm.
We didn't get started until a bit later today because of clearing up
from last night. So far, we are uninterrupted in this fourth day of
the Eastbourne Championships, and we're ready to go with the British
number one in action at Eastbourne for the first time this year,
watched by Sam Smith and Gigi Salmon.
COMMENTATOR: There is an awful lot of tennis to fit into day-to-day --
to fit in today. No breeze, very overcast, but we have tennis.
John mentioned the Fed cup meeting earlier this year - this is the
first tour level meeting between the two.
We mentioned that the grass is a little slippy. A tumble for Johanna
Konta. She looks to be OK, but that is something they will have to be
wary of. And we have our first break point
opportunity of the match, in the first game, on the Cirstea serve.
A perfect start for the British number one, the fifth seed here.
Johanna Konta are playing in her home Tom and, breaks the serve of
Cirstea to lead 1-0. Welcome back to the commentary box. On your first
day here, when it was bright sunshine, it took a little longer
because of the picnic blankets, but what is this scene today? It is more
space, but obviously there is moisture. I have to be light on my
feet. You don't have pimples on your shoes? No. Jo, you might see her
slipping and sliding. She likes to use traction and drive of the court,
but it is hard to do that with the grass as it is at the moment.
Konta, there will be some nerves having had to wait around to play
this match. Someone who hits the cover off the ball...
That will help Konta. She is defending semifinal points from last
year when she lost a Karolina Pliskova. -- she lost to Karolina
Pliskova. Cirstea has the most amazing timing,
and the sound of her ball coming off the racket, you won't hear that from
many players. She seems rejuvenated after a big problem with her
shoulder and quite a lot of injuries in the last few seasons.
Did anyone hear the call of out? UMPIRE: Someone made a sound. We
will replay the point. Is not something you hear often -
the line judge made a sound. Immediate break back points
opportunities for Sorana Cirstea. Back-to-back double faults, which
means we have two games, to make breaks, and it is 1-1 in the early
stages of this second round match. -- two breaks.
Sorana Cirstea has been as high as 21 in the world, though that hasn't
been for a few years. Back in 2013. Currently sitting at 62 in the
rankings, and got into it Eastbourne as a lucky loser, having lost
initially in the final round of qualifying.
She is an awful lot better than 62 in the world. She is making her way
back up the rankings after the shoulder injury. You will notice she
has completely modified her service action.
UMPIRE: Miss Cirstea challenges the call. The call is overturned. First
For Sorana, everything is about the first ball hit, her serve and her
forehand, get those two working, and even though this is not her
favourite surface, the ball was too low, she is dangerous. Two good from
Konta. Jo's going to have to really play some tennis. I think ideally
she would like to get settled in this match, get some trading going
on from the baseline. That is where this match will be won for her.
Three games, three breaks, and it is Johanna Konta, British number one,
fifth seed at this tournament, world number seven... You mentioned, Sam,
that there might be a few nerves with Johanna Konta, playing in a
home tournament. How did you feel it as a player playing in front of a
home crowd? Did they get to you did you not really mind? How much of a
difference can it make? I was in a different situation to Jo. She is a
contender for the title, and I certainly wasn't. I was hoping to
have good run. I would get beaten by one of the better names and that
would have been an excellent tournament. I was enjoying the crowd
support. I didn't feel that much pressure. I probably put pressure on
myself to perform and play well, but that was it. I didn't have to deal
with all the press, only if I had a good result. Jo has all the run-up,
she is on all the posters, and that is a lot to cope with. Last year, I
think, it was a real shock to her to think how much the workload off the
court expands when you have success on the court and the ranking goes
up. She is used to it now, and I think she has a really good system
for dealing with it. Most of the top players manage their time extremely
well and have people helping them to do so. I think she knows where the
boundaries are. She seems to be OK, but there will be some nerves,
because all eyes are on her this week. They certainly are. Heather
Watson is still to play today. She had a great win here to get herself
along in this competition, defeating the defending champion, Dominika
Cibulkova. It is incredible, the journey that
Konta has been on in such a space of time, in terms of where she was a
couple of years ago. Now, she is a contender for the Wimbledon title.
UMPIRE: Miss Konta is challenging the call. The call is overturned.
40-15. Johanna Konta consolidates her break
and edges ahead, 3-1. If Cirstea sees it, she takes it on,
and there wasn't any hesitation. That is a big, heavy ball and feels
like a lead weight has hit your racket when that comes at you.
The start is super important for Konta, particularly against Cirstea,
who gets very down on herself, likes to be a front runner and swing at
the ball. She is a charming young woman, but I often feel the glass is
half full. The shoulders go down very quickly.
It's the first grass court event of 2017 for Cirstea, and she's matched
her best here, which was from 2010. For her, it is all about where she
hits the ball, she would much rather take it just below shoulder height,
and not below hip height, which is what you have to do on grass.
Her best results this year have come on the clay, where she's getting the
ball at the height where she would like it. Quarterfinal in Istanbul,
semifinal in Nuremberg. Did well in Madrid.
Cirstea gets her first told of the match, the winner to face, later
today, if the weather stays like, we don't get any rain, Jelena
Ostapenko. If it was Cirstea against Ostapenko, I mean, that's tin hat
time! We're staying in the commentary box, out of harm's way!
Probably the safest place to be! Talking about Konta, it's the mental
side, she seems so mentally strong, so mentally able to handle
everything that's coming towards her and everything she has to deal with,
which is such an important part of the modern game? I would say
outwardly, yes. I think underneath, there still is that very emotional
and fashion a person, who has had to work so hard to manage that part of
her game. She found it very difficult in juniors, super highly
strung, did lose her cool, and in the early part of her professional
career, but very uptight on court. And I do by her, she has applied
herself to the mental game, probably better than any other player I have
seen on the tour for a very long time. It is a transformation. And it
is a very interesting podcast you have done on BBC Radio 5 Live,
getting to know your helicon, -- getting to know Johanna Konta,
speaking to a lot of her early school teachers and coaches and it
was a really interesting insight. The job for Konta right now, up a
break, she's going to have to soak up a lot of pace, but she wants to
stay up on her baseline, but she's happy to be trading in these
baseline rallies with Cirstea, because Cirstea eventually will
miss. On the right there is Andrew Fitzpatrick, a hitting partner, an
English chap who used to be on the tour, and they've settled down into
a really good team, actually, those three. Former coach of Simona Halep
and Victoria Azarenka and others. This is really unusual for Konta,
because she has one of the best second serves in the women's game.
That all tossed at times just gets a little low on her. -- that ball
toss. Little bit of luck, so both hands go
in the air from Cirstea, giving us an opportunity to get back on serve.
Service direction is going to be very important here for Johanna
Konta. Tie her up to the body, and then swing one out to the flanks,
but just don't let Cirstea get into any kind of return with. Perfect! Jo
was, I would say, very thoughtful on serve, she seems to have a very good
idea of if the first serve percentage is dropping, and that
happens, she just pulls back a little trouble she manages this part
of her game so well. Lovely return of serve from the
Romanian. Keeps this game alive. Konta with the break advantage. The
first tour level meeting between these two.
Lovely play from Konta! Says a couple of break and holes serve.
Shows someone who normally doesn't find herself at the net, she
overcome its, it just went all wrong! It's a good sign from Jo,
very solid scrub up you can't take anything for granted in women's
matches, but she should be too consistent for Cirstea scrub.
Cirstea has done really well, because she went down to around 250
in the rankings, and when you're at that level, you have to go back to
the bottom rung. It shows the desire. Actually, it's almost like a
second career for her. Instead of going down to Australia, where she
would normally go, for many years, and forget, she was a French Open
quarterfinalist at 19 years of age, she was going to be the star of
Romanian tennis. That's great, that's the play from
Konta. Doesn't give a lot of angle. As I was saying, you're not going
down to the glamorous world of Melbourne, she was in South America,
playing $25,000 events, really small events. It helped that her boyfriend
was a South American, that took some of the pain away, but that's not
where you want to be. Are really gutsy effort in qualifying through
some of those smaller tour events and being back here.
She's striking the ball well, but I'd say she's allowing Jo Konta to
lean on that crosscourt backhand, and that's such a big shot for the
British number one. She's never going to miss that one.
There's the backhand crosscourt doing the damage, forcing the error
from Cirstea. It's another break of serve for Johanna Konta, the British
number one, and it puts her to within one game of the first set,
after 29 minutes. It was interesting for me finding out a bit more about
Johanna Konta. As we have a listen to our Romanian friends.
So, the Romanian team talk will continue. Johanna Konta, people
think she came from nowhere and suddenly she's here. But she was
saying, I have wanted to be number one since I was a child. She said
she was waking her father up as a child at 5am to go running. It's
admirable - I don't want my children to do that, but it's admirable of
Konta and it showed where she wanted to go from a very early age. To be
at the very top of the game, you need to have that. You do, and where
I really admire her is, that desire has never wavered. You think of all
the distractions you have growing up, as a teenager, there might be
other things that interest you. And she has been relentless towards the
goal. She's not there yet, number one, and Grand Slams, that's the
endgame for her, and she's still is focused as she was, that
five-year-old, getting up at 5am! That seems a bit young, going for a
run as a five-year-old. Let's say eight, better?!
Everybody says how hard she works but why doesn't everybody work as
hard as Jo? As you touched on, it's the sacrifices you've got to make
along the way. That ball toss is getting a little
long. It is funny how the media talk about sacrifices. When you are
following your dream it does not feel like it in any sense because
this is what you want to do. Have lacked, said Konta. You saw the
dynamic first step, the daily work that she does. She practices that
first move, before and after the session. She probably does it in her
sleep. It's a real priority. It's not just on court and around
the practice courts. In every aspect of her life she is disciplined and
hard-working and meticulous. That is the difference with Jo and a lot of
other players on the tour. With that it is the first set point
of the match for Konta. 34 minutes on the clock. Konta takes
the first set comfortably. I don't know if this is a question you can
answer. How good do you think she can be? She is a top 20 player and
probably maxed out on where she's going to go. What is your view?
Some of the best parts of that first set. Jo is still improving. There's
a lot more room for improvement but she is devoted daily to looking at
every aspect of her game and making it better. Coming forward is another
area. She's so good from the baseline and she's always working on
her movement. I don't think she sees any ceiling to where she can go and
it is not about how good she could be, it's about getting better.
Improving something. That's what she does. I can see all that work, and
she was explosive. That has come on in the last 12 months. She's got a
check list. She's got lots of problems because
when the rally goes over 4-5 shots she keeps hitting harder and harder.
She is either going to hit a winner or she's going to do it more times
often than not. Konta is using the pace of the
Cirstea bowled really well. The problem is you don't get a change in
flight. With Konta you do but she's adding more layers to her game.
What I would say is what Cirstea does is excellent. She can beat a
lot of very good players when it is all working well. The timing, I
don't know if you can teach that. It's just something that she has.
It came about from a cracking return of serve.
The second service just a slightly slower version of the first. She
always comes on the outside of the ball. It's quite effective on a
grass court where it skips through, not sure where it's going to go, she
doesn't have a good kicker, and I don't think you need it on a grass
court, personally. Hugely important first service game.
It has been five minutes. Jo nearly got a read on that because
so many of Cirstea's go swinging out wide. It always seems to slice at
it. And so the first game of the second
set goes on. Break point opportunity for the
British number one. That expression there says to me,
what do I need to do to win a point? You-10-mac is relentless, she's
making so tough. That Jo. So aggressive from Konta. She's good
to watch because any time Jo has a chance to attack she does. She's got
aggression from both wings. Superb from Konta. The late for her
camp. She leads by a game to love. No going back to the bench. Konta is
very meticulous. If she does something, she keeps doing
something. She's in no rush, she is under control. Nice place to be. The
second serve, a few doubles being thrown in there. Apart from that, a
very clean set of tennis. Konta will be the sixth seed at
Wimbledon. Seedings are the same as the rankings minus Serena Williams,
currently on maternity leave. Very good player, and has played
some high-level tennis, but I feel like she's playing individually good
points but not gaining any territory.
That was a real play and then challenge. She was having none of
it. She walked straight over to serve to the other court.
This is playing into contact's hand. I don't think there's any compromise
at all. Had a swing at everything. Even if it's not on. There is an ace
and consolidation of the break. Going along nicely. Third grass
court event for her. Runner-up in Nottingham, losing out. She's got
another big hitter against her. If you're going to make a challenge
you need to stop immediately, which is what she did. She was right to do
so. First double fault of the match for
the Romanian. A couple more opportunities to edge
even further ahead and get a double break. If she was not in control
before this she would be after. Good work from Konta. She leads by a
set and three games to love. Before the match we touched on the Fed cup
tie and the fallout, it was during a match with Cirstea where Konta was
very upset, and Cirstea said she would not have cried. Do you think
any of that would have come into this match? As players was that a
heat of the moment, an unpleasant situation but that was then and now
they are back on to this? You cannot see it in the game but would they
have brought any of that out here? It doesn't look to be the case. It
was back in early April. Emotions could not have frozen -- spilled
over anymore. That was crazy. But this is the tour, we are on the
grass. I don't think there's any animosity, I think Cirstea knows
that she's not playing at a high enough level. Jo might play the odd
point badly here and there, but every time she steps on the court
you know what you're going to get from Jo and there are is no letup.
You've got to match her in intensity and very few can.
That might be the pressure that Jo is feeling behind that serve and is
why she is three points behind. But she has maintained a very high first
serve percentage and you've just got to accept that it will happen from
time to time. Jo is very good at putting things to
one side, putting things quickly in the past.
Such has been the depth and the length of the ground strokes,
there's been the rare occasion where they've lent on the shots. She's
been pinned back and under so much pressure, and really hasn't had this
time to swing very often. Good play. A point to consolidate
the second break. I'm so impressed with the movement and the balance.
The first step. Just how in control she is of her game out here. She's
managing on the surface. There it is, a lovely point off the
serve. A little cry from the crowd. I'm
sure her coach is loving what she's right now.
We saw a slip at the early stages of this match. There is so much
moisture. There is the feeling that it could rain at any moment. That
there could be a downpour. We are still in the afternoon but in the
next couple of hours you will get a lovely evening dew. The court will
become quite difficult to play on. I'm a woman who never leaves the
house without an umbrella. The British number one has a double
break and Leeds. At the school as it is at the moment. What changes have
you seen? Here is a man who has coached the likes of Halep. What
changes have you seen? None, really. How do you think he has helped? He's
helped her stay calm. Yes, I think he has really helped
her work on staying calm in matches and continually excellent work from
her previous Spanish coach. He made the most enormous impact. There are
little things that outside the camp, it is impossible to know about. It
is continuing the work. I think he would have helped with certain
opponents in the upper echelons, particularly working with Victoria
Azarenka, giving her heads up on things she had not noticed about the
top players. There is not a lot to change. I do think he's got her to
cut out some of those drop shots, which I'm very pleased to see.
Little things. It can make all the difference.
French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko awaits the winner, weather
permitting, later today. Two titles for Konta initiate,
Sydney at the start of the year and Miami. A big win in Miami, Caroline
Wozniacki in the final. The final on grass in Nottingham.
A love hold, Konta, one game away from a round of 16 meeting with
French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
Joanna Konta has been very accurate out here this afternoon and without
having to hit the lines, I don't feel at any point she is going to
miss. The ground strokes on the way the ball is coming off her racket,
she will be very happy. And if she is not, there is
something wrong. The danger when you play Cirstea, it can become a
slugfest. You try to hit the ball harder than she does, and that is
not good if you want to beat the remaining. Jo has done such a good
job of absorbing the pace out here -- if you want to beat the Romanian.
This Konta has two challenges remaining.
It is interesting when Cirstea can pick the ball off the baseline and
get on her front foot how dangerous these strikes can be. We have not
seen her get up the Court Two finish off too many shots and that is
because Konta has been so good. Perfect placement from the remaining
and it keeps the match alive. And very shortly, it will be Johanna
Konta serving for a place in the round of 16, a meeting with Jelena
Ostapenko. Konta with semifinal points to defend from last year. I
thought it was interesting and I think this goes for most people when
you get asked about favourites for Wimbledon and maybe this title, it
doesn't come down to a couple. I'll has to force a body had of the
French Open and they gave me 15 names, -- I did ask somebody. They
can't even say ten, they could not narrow it down any less than 15.
Take out somebody like Serena Williams who has been so dominant
force along and Maria Sharapova is still working backhand Victoria
Azarenka returned after maternity leave. Take out the big names who
have win these prizes and it opens up so wide. For the Wimbledon title,
how many names, what kind of number in terms of people that could take
the title? I think 15 is a good number! There are fewer players that
can win because not as many players are as comfortable playing on clay
as they are on grass. So I would say ten. You have reduced it by five!
That is incredible, but exciting. These players, Jelena Ostapenko who
we watched win the French Open title, looking at her. Petra Kvitova
winning the title recently on grass, we know what she can do. It just
makes it so exciting at the moment. And Johanna Konta goes into the
Wimbledon is the sixth seed. 5-2, serving for the match.
This court is just getting a little more difficult to play on. Starting
to be a little slippy and Jo is having some problems. She likes to
set and the push of the court. You have to dance on the grass.
After one hour and 11 minutes on court, it is match point for British
number one Johanna Konta. Weather permitting, she will have to play a
round of 60 much later today. -- round of 16 match.
There it is! What a way to finish things off, Johanna Konta! What a
good afternoon's work for the British number one. Making light
work of the Romanian Sorana Cirstea. One hour and 12 minutes is the final
time, 6-2, 6-2 on the scoreboard. The crowd on their feet for Johanna
Konta. She talks about her love of this tournament and going home and
sleeping in her own bed at night, something tennis players rarely get
to do throughout the year. This is the Godin -- golden time when they
can be at home and feel normal waking up in their own beds. Job
done it for Johanna Konta. Jelena Ostapenko next. Semifinalists last
year, Konta. The seventh best player in the world, the fifth seed here,
already into one final in Nottingham. Early exit at Birmingham
got people talking about how she was playing on the grass and how she
handled the big hitting opponents, but no problem today against the big
hitting Sorana Cirstea of Romania. She dealt with her constantly and
she did what she needed to do and the result means she boxed her place
in the round of 16 at Eastbourne. Johanna Konta is your winner, with
Annabel Croft. Well played come up against a
dangerous opponent and on fire dropping four games. Your thoughts
on the match? Sorana is a dangerous player and has beaten great players
over the year and I knew it would be tough. She played a couple of
matches here in Eastbourne and she had more match routine. I was just
looking forward to coming back out here on this court and playing in
front of you lot! Looking like I will get to come back again in a
little bit of time if the weather holds up. But I'm really happy with
the way I was able to maintain my level throughout the match. You just
mentioned you have had a lot of success on this court in the past,
how special is it to be playing here in your hometown, in front of your
home crowd and home fans here? It is really special to me. I feel at home
here. It is something that not many players get to experience, and I get
to do that every year, so I feel very fortunate and hopefully I will
be playing in front of you lot to the entire week! I'm sure they would
like that. Have you enjoyed your mother's home cooking? I definitely
have enjoyed staying at home and sleeping on my own bed. You will be
against French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, your thoughts about
facing her? I played her once before this year during the set Cup and
that was an indoor hard surface, so a different surface here. -- the
FedEx Cup. She's coming in with a lot of confidence and match routine.
What she has achieved is absolutely incredible so looking forward to
playing at Grand Slam champion and looking forward to competing.
Everybody here is looking forward to it as well, we wish you the best of
luck. Thank you very much, Johanna Konta.
Resounding chant for Johanna Konta and a quick shower, relax, isotonic
drink and banana, back on court against Jelena Ostapenko later
tonight. While she goes through safely, a former grand slam champion
has just gone out. Garbine Muguruza beaten by Barbora Strycova of the
Czech Republic. Her form typical of so many of the
big names in the women's game and this is not the preparation she
would want for Wimbledon next week. A straight sets defeat. And really
good game taking place on Court Two between Naomi Osaka of Japan and
Caroline Wozniacki. Caroline Wozniacki winning the first set and
leading 5-4. It is on serve. Japanese player serving at 15-15 and
stomping a volley on the net. So Wozniacki two points away from
winning and going through to the next round. So when is and losers on
a day when we have had a full set of play. A couple of raindrops, not
wanting to be the harbinger of doom. But they have stopped now so maybe
all is well. Those are the winners today. I think the winner of the
second match was Svetlana Kuznetsova. Also going through,
Elena Vesnina. And looking in impressive form, Kristina
Mladenovic. We could have a very late finish and Heather Watson is in
action in the fourth match on Court Number One. This is her practising
earlier today. And talking about players having an up and down year,
you feel Heather is on the way up. Especially because a couple of days
ago here, at Eastbourne, she beat the defending champion ten --
Dominika Cibulkova. It was a performance where you thought this
was Heather as she can be, smiling and bouncy and raring to go and
seizing the opportunity. The crowd was amazing and the atmosphere. It
just makes it so fun as a player to be out there playing in that
environment. I absolutely love it and I thrive on it. And I was just
grateful for everybody that came out today and supported the players. Do
you feel you have turned your season around in 24 hours? Two big wins
after a disappointing run of results. Yes, absolutely. Last year,
I have not had the result are wanted. The last couple of months, I
felt in a better place. My game is coming together and I have got
coaches now and just waiting for the winds to come because I feel my
tennis has been there. Do you feel you need to be at Wimbledon, at a
Grand Slam days before to get some practice on the ports? I think the
most important thing for me is getting matches and getting a win
under my belt because that gives me confidence. That prepares me the
best four Grand Slams. And of course I want to stay here as long as
possible, and I don't need just practice because that is what I have
been doing the entire year! Heather plays Anastasia
Pavlyuchenkova later tonight, not sure, caught one of running late
today. -- Court Number One. But you will be able to see it later,
probably in the capable hands of Sam Smith. It is going to be a long day,
but you are paid by the word! I wish I was, I'm not going to be able to
swim Goodnight! It is great, 17 degrees outside and 18 degrees in
the water, so that is the place to be. Heather against Anastasia
Pavlyuchenkova is an interesting match. Yes, we thought Anastasia
Pavlyuchenkova would be a grand slam champion because she was such a
fantastic Junior and she has not delivered on that potential.
Suddenly realising in her mid-20s the time is running out and she has
to get her act together, and she has done this year. You don't know what
you will get when she goes out on court. And Heather has had a rotten
12 months with injury and results and losing matches she should have
win and when you win big matches, you get such a rising confidence.
Heather looks as we are used to have the looking, and she has not for
quite some time. Going back to Joanna Konta, she was ruthless in
elements of that match today. I would not want to play Johanna
Konta. If you look at Jo, she's not hitting winners all over the place,
but everything is so solid and consistent and relentless. She
played a couple of bad points in the entire match. The locker room knows
that now and the players think, I have got to play unbelievably well
to compete with Jo. Jo has got a lot of the tour in a headlock because
they don't want to play her. A lot of people think Jo Konta might win
Wimbledon and they think that because the way these things
sometimes go, people go, it is an anniversary and you can see the
headlines. 40 years on from Virginia, this could be Jo's year.
It was quite a fairy tale, in many ways.
Wimbledon has taken up so much of my life one way or another. It has been
the highlight of every year since I was 15 years old. And it still is.
And you arrange your entire schedule around Wimbledon. That is it! I
played it to so many times and every time you look forward to it and
virtually every time, you are disappointed. That was a very big
year for the Queen and for Britain. Everybody in England had parties. It
was the silver jubilee. It was such an emotional year for everybody. It
was cool because she was dressed in the same colour as my cardigan! That
was the biggest good omen that I had. I honestly felt that it was my
tournament to win. I felt I had done a lot of good work and I thought she
almost could not beat me. The satisfaction was just humongous.
After you have had a success like that, especially when it has taken a
long time getting there, I think the reward is that much greater. It just
feels like you set out to do something and you did it. Any time I
go to Wimbledon, I would have two go on Centre Court and make sure the
grass was perfect and say hello to the ghosts out there, it is a very
special place. 5:20pm on BBC One on Sunday, 90
years of Wimbledon. The pictures are amazing because the Queen and the
Duke of Edinburgh are still going strong after 40 years and I had to
see who was top seed, and it was Chrissie Everett and Martina was the
two, it was Virginia's year. And these are the seedings for next
week. Number three is Karolina Pliskova, not that that means
anything. We have said it repeatedly, so many players apart
from two have been competing here at Wimbledon and you realise the
Eastbourne tournament this year has a stronger field than ever before.
And other things elsewhere in the schedule mean that at number 11 is
Petra Kvitova. Jelena Ostapenko is 12. Garbine Muguruza has lost today.
There are players like Lucie Safarova, it is a strong draw. You
look at Garbine Muguruza losing in straight sets today, is that
symptomatic of what has been happening in the game in six months?
Yes, maybe longer than that, nobody expected Angelique Kerber to be
World Number 1 and that shook the tour to its foundations. And many
more players now going into Wimbledon, if they were ranked 60 or
70 a couple of years ago, they might be thinking subconsciously a couple
of rounds and it is a good tournament. Now they think, why can
I not winners? That puts the top players and are so many -- under so
much pressure because when you use to face the likes of Martina
Navratilova, you pretty much lost the first set before you got out on
court. That is not the case now. The victory of Jelena Ostapenko in
France makes anybody in the top 40 or 50 think they could go a long way
in the draw, irrespective of the draw, and financially that is a
massive incentive. I think the dynamic has changed. I find it so
strange now because in the locker room when I was playing in the late
1980s and the 1990s, the aura around Steffi Graf, you hardly saw her,
like a ghost, she would win in one hour and she would leave. And
Martina. They were untouchable. They had this incredible confidence.
Serena Williams has that as Maria Sharapova has that. A lot of the top
players now don't have that. They are not too nice, but almost too
human and they are too regular of court. That has an impact on the
lower ranked players and they think they can win. I wish I could play
now! Steffi Graf, the she have a special pack, almost a shield around
her, or what she won of the gang but not there very often? No, if Steefi
was in a corner of the locker room or Martina, that was her place and
you would steer away from it -- three. The top players dominated of
court as well. They would not be cold, but they lived on a different
planet. You would be too frightened to speak to them. Maria and Serena
have that sort of effect these days. So the likes of Angelique Kerber do
lose to those players without their talent because they don't have the
ability to intimidate people. Angelique Kerber is a wonderful
player, but she is beatable. And in the great days when Serena was World
Number 1 and I still feel she is the best player in the world, you feel,
what do I have to do to beat them? Nobody knew what to do. They feel
unbeatable. On a different plane. That is not the case at the moment
in women's tennis. Is there a flyer at Wimbledon by Jelena Ostapenko at
Roland Garros that you can see coming through from the middle ranks
to go a long way? Did anybody see Ostapenko in Paris? I feel that our
players like Coke of underweight and if she gets it together could be
super dangerous. But it would not be beyond the realms of possibility
somebody just comes in. Anybody. That is the extraordinary
conversation we keep having. Can I throw another name at you? A player
who can pick up cheap serves. We saw in the Harris that the early rounds
of the women's matches, bear with three sets always pushed, the top
players having to battle -- we saw in Paris. That was not the case a
couple of years ago. It is a different dynamic now. It is not any
better or any worse, it is different. We need some rivalries
and big superstars in women's tennis, but we are going through a
transition. It is different and very hard to be a pundit because you get
it wrong all the no easy game for Caroline Wozniacki because it is
five all and dues on Caroline Wozniacki serve after winning
against Osaka of Japan. Contractually, we are not allowed to
show you the men's tournament is taking place here this week but it
has greatly enhanced the tournament and Novak Djokovic packed them out
when he came through in straight sets against Vasek Pospisil and he
will play again tomorrow. We will show you a big name from the women's
tour, Simona Halep, playing a qualifier from China today. This
match began yesterday and they came back today, this is midway through
the second set. The first meeting between these two.
Both making their Eastbourne debut. The player from China, SYing-Ying,
she came through the qualifying tournament and came through the
third -- the first set, a French Open finalist. Simona Halep I wild
card entrant, and you thank the Tournament Director for allowing her
to play here. It's the first grass court event of
2017 for her. She needed a little bit of time to deal with the French
Open final. She ended up giving the runners-up
speech. She says she feels good, refreshed, had a little bit of a
break, and a holiday, now she's ready for the grass.
The fist pump, and rightly so from Halep, the second seed. Takes the
advantage. One game from levelling things up and taking us into a
decider. There is a scenario in which she could end the week as
Robert Halfon. Angelique Kerber will be the top seed but the ranking
could change hands -- and the week as world number one.
Duan band that six foot one. Halep and her coach had a brief break but
they are back working together happily.
Was upset about the match, he said it was not a loss but the attitude
and the feeling that she gave up. But she has shown him since that the
attitude is there. She worked hard on her mentality and psychology.
They got back together as a coaching unit.
There he is. Tiny fist pump from Simona Halep. She's taken the set.
Duan is a big hitter of the ball. Career high as 60 and if she were to
beat Simona Halep, would be her first top ten career win.
Two quarterfinals this year. Sydney and Kuala Lumpur. Her main strength
is her power. 61, there's a lot to move around.
An earlier opportunity for Simona Halep to get the advantage in this
set. Around 17-18d. Not much of a breeze around.
Lovely 1- to serve point from Duan. "By Moving Halep coats away. She was
able to finish it off. Good play from the Chinese player.
It's turning into a very important game. Dropped that second set to the
Romanian. Able to open up the court saw well
with that big serve. It's a game point opportunity.
And still we go on, first game, deciding set, she is happy
opportunities to close out this first service game.
Halep is a tenacious player who will not let anything go.
Alongside me is Sam Smith. We talk about how tricky it is for Simona
Halep, first grass court, she had first-round match, despite retiring
before the end of it, her opponent, she's got a lot of tennis on these
courts under her belt. I think she has a good game for it because she
moves so well. She did pretty well at Wimbledon quarterfinals. She
cannot play well on the surface. There is some adjusting to do. It
looks like she's feeling a little more settled now.
In an ideal world you want someone who has not played quite so many
matches against you in the opening round but it was quite a good
decision. She had to get back on the horse at some point after Paris. She
spoke about how hard it was. It looked tired. There's not a lot of
time to reset. Tennis carries on. In this case it has changed.
She's genuinely handled it well. I was around for her press day and she
ended up having her open access our at the table I was doing my prep on.
It was a little unusual. Did you stay and have a little
lesson? I was wedged in by these reporters, there was no way to go.
Genuinely, she's had some of the best you can have. That will keep
her together. And the point of the game to the
Chinese player, the deciding set being levelled up, I game apiece.
Dealing with the height of Duan can poke the ball is coming down from
such a fate. She can really get everything behind the ball. Some
quick adjustments for Halep to make. So quick around the court, really
knows her movement. She sees things in very early. As soon as she saw
Duan on the stretch she was right up the court. That shot she was very
comfortable with. She's pretty sharp out here.
It's been a feature of Duan's game, she goes is big on the second serve
as on the first. She doesn't have a lot of shape on it. Halep has been
pretty aggressive behind that delivery. Just feel, you look so
much quicker on the Centre Court. It is an unrelenting game style from
Duan. Every ball is hit like that. To do that against a top-10 player
very difficult. It has been hard for Halep, because
the ball is coming so quickly at her, not to be pushed off the shot.
Halep will be so frustrated. She's been on it and hasn't connected.
Sometimes with Halep she does it more on the play. I'd love to see
her hit the block to return. Great reactions. This is a match
about absorbing pace and being bright eyed and out there and
getting a sense of where Duan is going. Being an opportunist.
What is tough for the Chinese number three is she's at the limits of what
she can do. If she can get a racket on the ball she's got another level
she can go to. Had a long game of this sort of set.
Another struggle to try and hold serve.
You just suspect if the rally goes over five shots, Duan will
eventually make a mistake. On the odd occasion she will get a winner.
If she gets broken here then the challenge is over.
We've seen it a little bit today. Dampness in the grass. When you try
to get traction and Bischoff... The baselines are starting to get a
little more worn. It is not too bad at the moment.
Victory ended a four match losing streak for the Chinese player.
Having come through the qualifying...
Big hitting, a slip at the end, but luckily a smile on the face of the
Chinese player. It is not easy, this grass court
season. It really isn't. It is so different to how you move on a
hard-core. They've extended the season, as a
lot of the other grass court tournament is Avenue. Some of the
lower ranked players can play and get plenty of matches before
Wimbledon. What you will see is a much higher level of tennis from day
one. She was promised sunshine by the
sea. Halep's challenge at Wimbledon will
be interesting. In the last 12 months, they've done so much work on
the forehand. Did cause problems, did break down under pressure.
They've shortened it and made it more compact. That will be a huge
help. She can really reap the benefits.
She leads the deciding set to- one. I touched on the brief split with
Darren Cave hell. -- Cahill. He felt it was not because she lost the
match but it was her attitude. It is credit to both of them, saying it is
not right to step away, working on the mental side of things. She said,
let's work on this, I like what I've seen. There is a change to make and
Simona Halep has adjusted. It comes back to what we say about players
and the mental side being important. She worked on a side of her game
that was a weakness. She did not have a choice. She was going to lose
one of the best coaches in the game. He did not walk away lightly. This
has been an issue all the time he's been working with her. You'd run out
of options. He tried the softly softly approach. Good on him. It is
the making of her. Great attitude out here today.
Really good from Simona Halep. She phoned her red. Looking to
consolidate the break. There have been some rackets cracked over
dealing with this forehand. She's been through torment. Trying to fix
it and change it. That is a hold, a consolidation, 3-1
lead. She is an emotional player, Simona Halep, Halep lets you know if
she is not happy. She yells at her box and herself. But not as much. I
completely forgot this and I remember I'm -- and I remembered
during the cut they are a Latin country and they have that passion
and emotion and I love that about Simona and her fellow Romanian
tennis players. Very good match play from Simona
Halep. This is Duan closing of the net. But I love service game behind
is devastating for Duan, all the momentum is going against her now.
She finds a way to finish it off. Ankle trouble, Halep rolled it in
the final at Rome. She lost the final, she had doubts ahead of
Roland Garros. She felt good and she went the final.
We have seen a number of racket droppings now from the Chinese
player. Which is unusual for Chinese tennis players. They are normally
emotionally very wrapped up and under control. It is really frowned
upon in that part of the world. She is also maybe slightly out of the
Mold because she is 6'1" tall. That is pretty tall.
If she could play like this every single point, she would be top ten
in the world. It is some game when it comes together.
I was leading about Duan Yingying and do you know what her nickname
is? Does she have a Western name? No, a nickname given to her by fans
and by her friends. Thinking? I'm going to say no to that.
Duanvenport. Because her idol is linseed Davenport. You going to tell
her? Are you getting your phone out now? Lindsey would love that.
Duanvenport! Duanvenport! She did say Lindsey Davenport has been her
tennis idol as long as she can remember and they are a similar
stature. Nobody hit the serve at than Lindsey Davenport, devastating.
-- better than. We have to get these two together!
Some brutal hitting on that point! But Duan does hold serve. Simona
Halep is still a break ahead. I imagine if you brought them
together, Duan might go shy. This is her all-time tennis idol. Who is
your all-time tennis idol that left you lost for words and made your
knees shake? I didn't really have a tennis idol. My first idol was the
swimmer Sharron Davies. I thought I would be an Olympic swimmer. The
player that I really liked and not many people have her as their idol,,
it is an undercover. She did not hit the ball particularly well and she
was so graceful. She was all about skill
rather than power. Did you ask for a photo with her? No, you did not do
that in those days. Take your time, point by point,
don't overthink things. Use your slice backhand. Take it wide on the
backhand and you don't have time, at just the slice, hang in there, you
are winning a lot of points by making her play that extra ball and
that is the reason you got back into the second set. Stay true to that,
come on, you are strong in every service game. He is great! If I was
on court, I would like Darren to come on. He is so clear and he nails
it for her every time. He stops her mind from wandering and he keeps it
clear for her. Darren Cahill asking Simona Halep to
stay strong and serve. You're right, he is the person you would want
coming on, a very calming voice. Great hitting from both. Well, could
not get a ticket for Centre Court, not out here, this is really high
level tennis. I love to see the way Simona has re-bounded from Paris.
Just going back to Darren. The content is fabulous from him. The
quality of information. And it is the delivery. It makes all the
difference. Well, he said, stay strong and serve. She serves out the
love and she is leading 4-2. The winner will face a former
Wimbledon semifinalist, pretty handy on this surface.
Oh! She is so quick! Moving well, she looks very comfortable. I'm
surprised how good this is. Emotion on the face of Duan
Yingying. It is lovely from Simona Halep. When
you think a couple of years ago, she was, I would say, quite a positive
counterpuncher. And now, I mean, having much more aggressive play.
And the movement, which has always been such a big part of the Halep
game, when she gets around the court, the way she moves around the
ball and gets into position. She is looking to finish the point and win
it a little earlier. She is looking for where she can strike. A totally
different mindset she is bringing to the court. Break point, Halep. There
it is. A point from Simona Halep puts her a game away for a meeting
in the round of 16 with Tsvetana Pironkova. And can you remember the
permutations of how people become World Number 1 by the end of this
week? There are different ways Halep can do it and it does rely on for
instance Angelique Kerber losing before the quarterfinals, there are
different ways it can happen. As a player, how much do you think about
that, or is that secondary to everything else going on? I have
never been anywhere near that position! But I get the sense with
these women, Angelique Kerber and Halep that it is secondary. And we
in the media so much aware of the permutations and they are. I'm sure
that coaches are trying to keep that way. Don't add extra pressure. I
think in the final of the French, she was near the finish line, Simona
Halep, and winning a French Open and becoming World Number 1, I have a
feeling it might have got into her head. She got ahead of herself. Her
arm froze and it got away from her. Possibly, it was a factor. Now for
Simona, it is about regrouping after Paris and getting it together and
enjoying her tennis again, not worrying about this other stuff. If
you play well and you get the results, the ranking takes care of
itself. Simona Halep serving for a place in the round of 16.
A nice way to bring got the first of two match points. The current world
number two, wildcard in this event to get some matches ahead of
Wimbledon on the grass. A great performance. A really clean
performance from Simona Halep, after losing the first set, she turned
things around and she found her feet and her form on the grass. Simona
Halep, second seed, world and the two, goes through to the round of 16
and she meets Tsvetana Pironkova. Difficult to get going this morning?
Thank you, yes, so difficult. Hitting the ball very strong and it
wasn't easy to return them. Really happy I could win this match. It was
really important and looking forward to playing another one today because
yesterday was raining. I really want to thank everyone for coming. It was
a nice atmosphere and I really enjoyed the play here. That one hour
game in the third set seemed crucial. It was really long. How
vital was that the break serve? It was really important is the break.
After that, really. I said that now I have to hold the serve. Then I
felt really confident that I can finish the match. This is your first
time here at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, how has been for you
so far? It has been nice and already I have one week here. I last
Wednesday. I like the course, they are very good and I'm just trying to
win matches and to stay longer here. You have had a couple of weeks off
since the French Open, how have you prepare for the grass court season?
Well, I didn't play tennis, first. I had a break, I came here and I
started on the grass. A good period after the French Open and I enjoyed
the time and I was happy with my performance on the clay-court
season. How important is it to build confidence on the grass courts ahead
of Wimbledon? Actually, this tournament is really important for
me, it is not just preparation for Wimbledon. I really want to play
100% and to win every match I play. It is difficult, this level of
tennis is really high and I'm just giving my best every day on court.
All the best in the next round. Ladies and gentlemen, Simona Halep!
One big-name safely through and we were following Caroline Wozniacki
earlier and she came through against Naomi Osaka of Japan in two tight
sets. Sadly, not a lot going on behind me. They have not put the
covers on, it is not raining, but there is a Black cloud over there
and I suspect the likelihood is it will rain so get everybody off court
and we will see how things are in 20 minutes. One very funny thing I have
just seen and I never thought about this, if you are not 6-foot
temporary you don't. John Isner was playing on the court behind me and
his match was called off so he was standing there and he is a big name
and a big man. One think you don't consider when you are not 6-foot
ten, seven foot in our shoes or when people ask you for a selfie, the
angle of the camera is not very flattering because it is up your
nostrils. It was great to see John Isner taking everybody's camera and
take get like this so it is an aerial view. It amused me! Big names
have win, none bigger than that man, Novak Djokovic. He beat Vasek
Pospisil in straight sets in his opening match and he goes through to
the quarterfinals. And world 11 Angelique Kerber was in pretty good
form today as she went through. And Johanna Konta was in fantastic form
as she win in straight sets. And she could be back later tonight to play
her next round, but that depends on the weather. Live coverage tomorrow
begins at one o'clock. But we could be back on the red button tonight
depending on what happens. We really are mixing and matching. At the
moment, Wimbledon qualifying is live from Roehampton. And later tonight
at some points, Marcus Willis will play Liam Broady and that match will
be on the red button unless it is replaced by Heather Watson who will
play here or Johanna Konta who is playing Jelena Ostapenko. So you
have got to have your finger on the red button. And you will get what
you get. It is all dependent on the weather. And if you are a tennis
fan, it will be there. So back to Wimbledon, five days away, and we
will look at the seedings in a minute which came out today. Ten
great moments of Wimbledon, why not? That is it, and he has done it, he
really has done it! It is in! That is it, he has done
it! That is it! That is it, that is it!
And the dream has come true. That is it! And at last, he does it.
Game, set, match! There is a new man at the helm of
men's tennis. Rafael Nadal. Great moments and great memories and
it is funny to see John Isner in there. His name with Mahut will be
there forever as long as the game is played, that will surely be the
longest game. Tonight, Wimbledon's greatest moments. Sam Smith as of
that. And on Monday, Wimbledon will look like this.
Elina Svitolina has not been playing because of injury, but she is the
fourth seed. Venus Williams is the tenth seed, the only two players not
to play here at Eastbourne this week. Garbine Muguruza lost here
today. And Lucie Safarova is number 32. Don't bet against her going a
long way. And for the men, what hit you immediately, Roger Federer is at
number three in the seedings. Overtaking Rafael Nadal, which will
have an impact on which half of the draw people are written. And Dominic
Thiem is a real contender this year. And you have players like Grigor
Dimitrov who has played well. And the number 30 seed, nobody will want
to play him in the last 32. And Richard Gasquet at number 22. He win
his match here earlier today. But the number one seed is our number
one. Hello! How are you? How are things? All right, nice being around
here. Game, set and match, Andy Murray.
The waiting is over! Finals day, how nerve-racking is
this walk? Three, four hours before, you are nervous, but you are OK. As
it gets to one hour before, it gets worse. As you make the walk, you are
thinking, can I play tennis? Get this over with! Yes, but as soon as
you get on the court, I have done that my entire life and it is OK out
there, it is more the getting onto the court that is the hard bit. Is
it the longest walk of the Grand Slam? The US Open is very close and
the French Open. By far the longest walk. Who will your heroes growing
up? We would always support the British players. It was like
watching Tim four years at Wimbledon and I love to watch Andre Agassi. He
was a bit different. It big personality. And a great shotmaker.
And he did not play the same way as a lot of the players and in that
time, he was not playing serve and volley tennis. He was a bit
different. Are you a regular snooker player here? I was until I lost in
the semifinals of the club Championships. Me and my coach Jamie
Gelb -- Jamie Delgado put the snooker away after that. Whose fault
was it? To be honest, we were a bit unlucky. It was one frame all, I
mean, we were terrible and we played the four hours, three frames. And we
needed to get a pot on the last frame, the blue, the blue -- blue,
the pink, or the Black. He potted the blue and also the white we lost.
And that has been at, I gave up. Such a magical place. Do you have a
glance to the right as you go down? It is a shame you don't get to keep
that! The amazing trophy. It literally never leaves. Except on
finals day. We get a replica. A third of the size of that. There is
a lot of security. I know, they will not let me touch it! I take a photo
and they snatch it back. And away it goes.
20 past five, that programme on Sunday. A final word from us here.
With Wimbledon starting next week, interesting how so many players are
using Eastbourne as preparation for next week. The rain has not come, it
is hovering. We are prepared for it. But there is no action taking place.
Before everybody laughed, it is extraordinary. You see behind me on
court and above four, you had Simona Halep playing, the world number two.
Next door to her, you had Agnieszka Radwanska and you had John Isner
playing here. It is great to have the men and women playing here. But
clearly, so few people see these big stars and you see why they need to
have this big redevelopment programme. With the ambitions they
have got, it great, but they need to come up with the goods. That is why
the Lawn Tennis Association and the local council have invested 44
million in this area. Sorting out the theatre as well. There was a
time ten years ago, what was happening to the grass court season,
it has been extended by one week and it has been protected. That is so
important for Wimbledon because Wimbledon can't stand in isolation
as a grass court tournament. Their rivals from other countries, Holland
and Germany. That is what it forces this country to do. I had been to
this tournament. Many years and I'm so pleased to see where it is now
and where it could be in a couple of years. In 2020, when the grand plans
are supposed to come to fruition, displays could be magnificent. I
think the men's and women's tours are stronger together. If this was
always a women's tournament... Now I see this can work as a men's and
women's event. Your day has barely begun, you are on Radio 5 Live at
8:30 p:m.. Not quite sure what we are doing between now and then, but
we are going off air now on BBC Two, but we could be back on the red
button with Heather Watson if she is in action, or with Johanna Konta if
she explained Jelena Ostapenko and what a fantastic match that could
be. Or Marcus Willis and Liam Broady at the Wimbledon qualifier happening
very shortly. Monitor the red button and looked at schedules and we will
see you tomorrow at one o'clock. From everybody here, goodbye!
Karolina Pliskova takes the first set.
We are heading to a decider out here on Centre Court.
Just the one match points needed for World Number 1 Angelique Kerber.
British number one taking the first set against Sorana Cirstea.
What a way to finish things off for Johanna Konta!