This is always one of my favourite times of the tennis season and watching grass court tennis in the evening just feels so good. When I got home from work, the opportunities were endless! After Johanna Konta wrapped up another impressive win in Birmingham, I switched my attention to ATP. My focus will be on Eastbourne next week so i’m eager to watch some of the action from Queens and Halle over the next few days.
In Halle, Roger Federer was two points from going out but survived to live another day, beating Philipp Kohlschreiber, 7-6(8) 3-6 7-6(5). Kohlschreiber saved two match points serving at 4-5, one on an insane rally where he found two consecutive lines on shots where he slipped. Kohlschreiber had the ascendancy in the third set tiebreak at 5-4 with two serves to serve out his first ever win over Fed… I hate to say it but rather predictably, Kohlschreiber didn’t get the job done. This wasn’t a vintage performance from Federer, but a win is a win. Federer lost his footing on several occasions and missed a lot of volleys. It was an crucial win for Fed though as I doubt he would have wanted to go into a Wimbledon with just one match on the grass. He plays Sergiy Stakhovsky or Ernests Gulbis in the second round.
At Queens, Milos Raonic came from a set down to defeat the Brit, James Ward, 5-7 6-3 6-2. Ward fully deserved to win the opening set and finished it with aplomb, serving out to love. Raonic though, coming back from surgery on his foot, started to look more comfortable as the match wore on and eventually his far superior ranking shone through. One downside of this match was trying to watch it with a commentary team that didn’t make me want to stick pins in my eyes. I can’t bear Andrew Castle on BBC, but Chris Bradnam was equally infuriating with his pronunciation of “Ray-on-itch”. I like to watch with some commentary but mute is looking like an attractive proposition during the grass court season.
In the last match of the day, Grigor Dimitrov and Sam Querrey split sets with time called for bad light. Querrey played some superb tennis, going up a set and a break, and having points for a double break in the second set. Dimitrov, not playing at his best, but not playing terribly, hung around and then benefitted from one of Querrey’s gifts. Unfortunately, the rest of the set was rather predictable as Dimitrov took hold of the momentum and Querrey’s good form evaporated. The pair will resume their match on Tuesday to add to what is already a rather magnificent order of play. Kyrgios v Wawrinka first up… *sad face*
WTA Birmingham 2nd Round predictions
Simona Halep d. Naomi Broady in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)
Andrea Petkovic d. Katerina Siniakova in 2 tight sets