British Tennis News

Wimbledon 2021: Raducanu’s dream Wimbledon run comes to an end against Tomljanovic

Emma Raducanu battled hard in her fourth round clash against Ajla Tomljanovic, but eventually had to retire with the Australian leading 6-4, 3-0. 

Raducanu – the youngest Brit to reach the fourth round of the women’s singles draw – signed off her extraordinary Wimbledon journey in front of the British crowd on Court 1.

A slightly nervy start from the Brit saw her hit two double faults in her opening service game, but facing an early break point she held it together. A couple of big serves and the first look at her signature double handed backhand put Raducanu on the scoreboard with an important hold.

Growing in confidence she held for love at 3-3 and launched an attack on the Australian’s serve. At 30-30 she forced Tomljanovic to blast her forehand long to set up a break point, but couldn’t take her chance.

More break point opportunities came and went for Raducanu in her opponent’s next service game as well, with the British star struggling to take advantage. The World No.75 eventually saw out the game with her one and only ace of the set and an expertly constructed point pushing Raducanu out wide before finishing on the short cross court winner.

Errors proved costly in the end for Raducanu – she hit 12 unforced errors in the first set – and Tomlijanovic started to find some rhythm. The Australian ramped up the pressure once again and it seemed to throw the 18-year-old off – Raducanu sprayed a forehand past the baseline facing break point to give Tomljanovic a one-set lead.

Tomljanovic looked much more confident heading into the second set and quickly broke the Brit to take an early advantage.

Raducanu didn’t look herself and despite pushing the Australian for a break to get back in the set, she was forced to take a medical timeout and eventually called an end to the match and what has been an incredible tournament for the young British star.

Joe Salisbury became the first British player to book his spot in the Wimbledon quarter-finals as he an Rajeev Ram defeated Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (10).

A comprehensive performance from the 2019 Australian Open champions saw them save five break points in the match, as well as six set points in the third set to win in straight sets.

Up next they will face familiar foes in third seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah – who Salisbury and Ram recently beat at the Viking International Eastbourne.

Harriet Dart and Heather Watson won the first set in their third round clash against Hao-Ching Chan and Latisha Chan, but the seventh seeds came back to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Also missing out on a place in the quarter-finals are Cam Norrie and Jaume Munar who retired in their opening set and Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara who withdrew from today’s match.

Rain disrupted play in the mixed doubles with Joe Salisbury and Harriet Dart returning tomorrow to play a deciding set against Wesley Koolhof and Demi Schuurs. Meanwhile Arthur Fery and Tara Moore will be looking to close out a win over Fabrice Martin and Alexa Guarachi with the scores at 6-3, 5-3.


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Wimbledon 2021: Raducanu stuns former French Open finalist on day four

Emma Raducanu, 18, progressed to the third round at Wimbledon after upsetting former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 13 minutes.

Raducanu – who is making her main draw Wimbledon debut this year as a wildcard – defeated her first opponent ranked in the world’s top 50 with an impressive performance against Vondrousova.

The young British star is currently on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme (PSP), the LTA’s highest level of support. This means players can access individually tailored support and world class coaching from the LTA Performance Team both at home and on Tour.

And in this contest she played well beyond her years with a masterful display of power and composure, which put her in complete control from the start of the match.

When the pressure was on, Raducanu shone the brightest – she broke the World No.42 in just her second service game before breaking again to go 5-1 up.

Not only did she take her chances in the opening set but she showed great toughness to save a couple of break point opportunities of her own - serving well throughout the match and winning 79% of points on her first serve.

A WTA title winner in Biel back in 2017, Vondrousova came out fighting at the start of the second – clinching the much needed early break to lead 3-0.

If anyone thought the occasion may have got to the Brit, they were soon proved wrong. After a minor blip, she soon picked up where she left off at the end of the second set. She grinded to save more break points and marched on from there to win six of the last seven games.

In the third round she will play Sorana Cirstea who stunned Victoria Azarenka in a three set victory earlier in the day.

Cam Norrie is through to the third round at Wimbledon for the first time in his career after a commanding 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 win over Australia’s Alex Bolt.

Norrie joins Andy Murray and Dan Evans in the next round – the first time that three British men have reached the third round at The Championships since 1999.

Playing for the third day in a row and off the back of a gutsy performance against Lucas Pouille in the opening round, Norrie started slightly tense. The Australian – who recently won the Nottingham Trophy challenger event – took full advantage, wasting no time in stretching out to a 3-0 lead.

Norrie steadied himself with a hold and started to show glimpses of the play that took him all the way to a cinch Championships final earlier this month. He was moving more freely and started to put the Australian in difficult positions at the baseline, forcing a couple of errors to break back.

The British No.2, who was the first player to graduate from the LTA's Pro-Scholarship Programme at the end of 2019, is fast developing a reputation as one of the best strategists in the game. After only a few opening exchanges, it was clear that he was beginning to recognise how and where to exploit his opponent. He pushed on to win 11 consecutive games in a row to go a set and 5-0 up.

In the end, Bolt found it difficult to trouble the Brit who seemed to have an answer for everything he threw at him. On one point, he had Norrie racing side-to-side and then brought him in on the drop shot, only for Norrie to guide it down the line.

Norrie wrapped up the win in just an hour and 36 minutes and will now take on eight-time champion Roger Federer in the next round.

“It’s unbelievable to be back at Wimbledon this year," he said. "For everyone out here who came to support today, you guys were amazing and it was such a nice round of applause at the end there, it definitely made it feel more special.

“It's obviously unbelievable to have three British guys in the third round, especially for Andy. It's great for us to have each other to bounce off. All of us have good opportunities to go even further. It's great that we're all going deep, especially at Wimbledon.

“I've watched him (Federer) and I have a lot of respect for him and his team, what he's done to the sport and for the sport. It's going to be unbelievable regardless.”

The doubles draws got under way today with many of the Brits competing in both the men’s and women’s events.

Neal and Ken Skupski got off to a positive start to their campaign, winning in their battle of the Brits against Liam Broady and Ryna Peniston, clinching a 7-5, 6-3 victory. Next they will play the fourth seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, who they recently defeated in an ATP Tour final in Acapulco.

Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara are also through to the second round after pulling a stunning comeback to beat 10th seeds Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

Joining them are Dom Inglot and Luke Bambridge who also defeated fellow Brits in a 7-6 (6), 6-4 win over James Ward and Stuart Parker.

Billie Jean King Cup duo Heather Watson and Harriet Dart kick-started the day with a big win as they beat Kaia Kanepi and Viking Open Nottingham finalist, Zhang Shuai 6-3, 6-2. Up next they take on Petra Martic and Shelby Rogers.


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Wimbledon 2021: Murray, Evans, Norrie and Raducanu all progress on day three

Andy Murray came through a five-set thriller to defeat German qualifier Oscar Otte 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in a three hour and 52 minute match to close out the day on Centre Court.

Coming off the back of his victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili, Murray started brightly. He looked positive and had clearly set out to attack early and play on the offensive. He broke Otte twice without facing a single break point and wasted no time in going 3-1 ahead in the second.

It seemed like there would be no way back for the German, but he’s shown already this week that he’s a fighter – coming through his first round match in five sets against Arthur Rinderknech. Murray’s concentration seemed to waver slightly and Otte won four games in a row and eventually stunned the crowd by levelling the scores.

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Otte soon became the aggressor in the third set, punishing Murray for every short ball or mistake he mad and frustrating the two-time champion. The qualifier looked on his way to an emphatic win, wrapping up the third set

Murray seemed to benefit from a short break as the roof closed, coming back rejuvenated with the German’s flow seemingly disrupted. He edged 4-2 ahead with a loose forehand from Otte sailing wide and Murray turned to ramp up the crowd’s cheers once again.

The former World No.1 looked a different player and despite being broken back, he summoned inspiration to once again attack Otte’s serve and he got his reward – the match was going to a decider.

An early break would prove the difference in the final set, but it was a nervy finish for the British fans. Otte continued to test the Murray serve time and time again but he couldn’t find a way past the British star. In true Murray style he crowned a classic win with a trademark backhand lob.

“What an atmosphere to play in at the end – the whole crowd was amazing but there were a few guys in there who were getting me fired up” he said. “I needed everyone’s help tonight and they did a great job.”

“I think because of the lack of matches in important moments I didn’t make the right decisions a lot of the time but I think I played the right way in the last couple of sets and in the first.

“I think considering everything I feel alright – hips feel good. I get a rest day tomorrow and hopefully I’ll get another atmosphere like this and I can perform well.”

Rising British star Emma Raducanu upset Vitalia Diatchenko 7-6 (4), 6-0 to win her first match at Wimbledon on her main draw debut.

The first set had just about everything. A pair of opening service breaks would be the first of five in the set with little to split between the two players.

Diatchenko – who ranks 188 places higher than the 18-year-old Brit – had led the set 4-2, but Raducanu showed immense mental strength to come through a couple of lengthy games and level things up. In the tie-break she just started to pull away from the Russian, with an impressive array of shot making.

She took the set and it seemed to drain the life out of the World No.150. In the end it was an easy finish for Raducanu, who was almost faultless as she picked up what will hopefully be the first of many wins at SW19.

“I still can't quite believe it,” she said. “The support I had today was quite incredible. They definitely pushed me through some of the tough moments.”

British No.2 Cam Norrie came back from a set down to defeat France’s Lucas Pouille 6-7 (8), 7-5, 6-2, 7-5 and pick up his 30th win of the season.

With poor light interrupting the match yesterday, after Pouille sealed the first set, Norrie had it all to do on day three. Norrie showed up in the big points right from the start – a pivotal break at 6-5, gave the Brit the lift he needed. From there he wrestled control of the match, racing through the second set to go 2-1 up.

Pouille looked like he may force the fifth, serving out for the set, but once again, Norrie’s relentless consistency and clean striking proved too much. The Brit won three consecutive games to book a second round match against Alex Bolt.

World No.26 Dan Evans became the first British player through to the third round at Wimbledon after he picked up a commanding 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Dusan Lajovic.

The British No.1 returned to court less than a day after defeating Feliciano Lopez but showed no signs of fatigue, but Evans was a level above Lajovic and relished the chance to play in front of the home crowd on Court 1.

Evans equals his best run at The Championships to date and will be hoping to go at least one step further when he faces either Sebastian Korda or Antoine Hoang later this week.

Katie Boulter came within touching distance of completing one of the upsets of the tournament, pushing second seed Aryna Sabalenka all the way before losing the contest 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

The British star has been in good form on the grass – reaching the quarter-finals in Nottingham earlier this month – and she looked far more comfortable than her opponent in the opening set. She broke Sabalenka twice and with a killer forehand winner and a roar from the crowd, she took a one set lead.

But in the end it came down to who was going to step up in the big moments – Sabalenka took her one and only break point in the second to level the scores and then saved six in the decider to see out the victory in two hours and five minutes.

It's definitely the best court in the world.

“I think my first and only takeaway is that it's definitely the best court in the world,” she said.

“I've not had a chance to play on it yet, that's my first time. I absolutely loved every minute out there. The British crowd were incredible. Yeah, I thought it was a really good match, one I won't forget.”

Despite an extraordinary display to win the first set, Liam Broady also exits Wimbledon in the second round, losing to ninth seed Diego Schwartzman 4-6, 6-2, 6-1,

Samantha Murray Sharan has gone out in the first round after she lost 6-3, 6-3 to World No. 45 Sorana Cirstea.


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Viking International Eastbourne 2021: Broady misses out on quarter-finals as seeds fall at Eastbourne

Britain’s Liam Broady put up a strong fight against World No.18 Alex de Minaur in the second round of the Viking International Eastbourne, but eventually lost 6-3, 6-4 in a match lasting an hour and 41 minutes.

Broady – who defeated Viking Open Nottingham champion Frances Tiafoe in the opening round – had chances to get ahead at a number of stages in the match, but the Australian showed great defence to save seven out of eight break points.

The British No.5 certainly started the brighter of the two. Bouncing around at the back of the court and hitting his groundstrokes with venom, Broady picked up a comfortable hold and very quickly had two break points, but failed to capitalise.

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De Minaur has enjoyed a brilliant start to the grass court season, which has seen him reach the semi-finals at the cinch Championships last week and he quickly found his feet in the match.

After a rather slow start, he began showing his world-class levels of consistency, making Broady work hard for every point and coming out on top in the big moments. In the end the pressure told as a double break from De Minaur, wrapped up the set.

It was a similar story in the second set. Once again Broady was gifted opportunities to break early but just couldn’t get past the wall that was De Minaur as a passing shot at the net inched just wide. The pair exchanged breaks late in the set, but serving to stay in the match Broady made a couple of costly errors which sealed the win for the second seed.

“It was a very tough match at a very hard level against a tricky opponent,” said de Minaur. “It’s a great win and I’m very happy to come out here and play some great tennis especially in front of a crowd, which as a player you truly miss.

“I’m always looking forward to the grass court swing – we missed out last year so it’s safe to say I’m here and I’m really enjoying myself on the grass.”

In a day of upsets at the Viking International Eastbourne, second and third seeds Elina Svitolina and Bianca Andreescu were defeated in the second round.

World No.5 Svitolina was beaten 6-4, 7-6 (3) in an inspired performance by Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina. Rybakina – who came through against Britain’s Harriet Dart yesterday – showed phenomenal power to hit 32 winners on her way a sixth win against a top ten opponent.

Former US Open champion Andreescu lost to World No.27 Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and seven minutes. Having won her one and only WTA title on grass back in 2017 at the Libema Open, Kontaveit will hope that she can add to her tally this week off the back of her second biggest win of the season.

In the men’s draw, top seed Gael Monfils was edged out in a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 defeat to Australia’s Max Purcell. Entering the tournament as a lucky loser from qualifying, Purcell picked up his best career victory in a match where Monfils led 3-0 in the deciding set.

Normal service resumed later on Court 1 as World No.4 Aryna Sabalenka put on a clinic in grass court tennis, beating Alison Riske 6-1, 6-4. Having defeated the American in the 2019 finals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, Sabalenka wasted no time in showing why she’s the favourite in this year’s event.

The 2018 Viking International Eastbourne runner-up blasted 34 winners past Riske and won 85% of points on her first serve to round off a commanding victory. She will meet Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi in the quarter-final.

In the doubles, there were plenty of positive results for the Brits as Joe Salisbury, Jamie Murray, Luke Bambridge and Lloyd Glasspool all came through their opening matches without dropping a set. Meanwhile Jonny O’Mara and Hugo Nys picked up the scalp of the first round defeating brothers Ken and Neal Skupski in a deciding tie-break, 2-6, 6-3, 10-8.

See all the WTA and ATP results here.

Viking International Eastbourne

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