Musetti continues his Roman run

At four-all in the second set the lights went out during the Italian Open which could have disrupted the concentration of Italy’s emerging starlet, the 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti, who was on his way to eliminating another top player from the Rome Masters listings.

ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup tournaments cancelled

The ATP and WTA jointly announced on Friday that the 2020 Kremlin Cup tournaments in Moscow have been cancelled by a mandate from health officials in the Russian capital, where there has been a surge in coronavirus infections.

Osaka withdraws from Paris, fans reduced

Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury, while the FFT is reducing the number of fans that will be allowed to attend Roland Garros due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

On the day of the Bagel 

Bagels are pretty rare in pro tennis but in Rome on Thursday, Johanna Konta and Victoria Azarenka scored three between them - Konta taking one against clay-court specialist Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-0 6-4, while just five days after losing the US Open final, Azarenka...

Battling mental health issues to return to the court

In a short film released this week, the LTA follows 38-year-old tennis player Steven McCann from North London, as he shares his inspirational story of battling addiction to reignite his love and passion for the sport. The feature brings to life Steven’s journey to...

Fans to return in Paris

No one at the beginning of this Covid year could have predicted that we here at Tennis Threads would be writing the French Open in September, just a couple of weeks after the US Open had concluded!

Fed Cup rebrands as the Billie Jean King Cup

Tying in with the 50th Anniversary of the Fed Cup, the women’s team competition has been re-named the Billie Jean King Cup by the ITF, it was announced at a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Halep and Plíšková start Rome campaigns

Top seed Simona Halep overcame an early scare as she was broken 5 times by local wildcard Jasime Paolini in her opening match of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but moved into the second round smoothly enough, 6-3 6-4, on Wednesday, while No 2 seed Karolina Plíšková...

Rafa and Novak back in action

The two players who have won the most Masters1000 titles between them were in action at the Rome stop for the first time having received byes in their opening matches.

Kerber falls as Muguruza kicks on in Rome

Falling victim to the quick transition from the slick fast hard courts of the US Open to the continental clay of Rome, No 15 seed Angelique Kerber was upset by Katerina Siniakova on Tuesday in straight sets, while Garbiñe Muguruza claimed the battle of Grand Slam...
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

It’s an Evans versus Edmund final

Those lucky enough to watch the semi-finals of the Battle of the Brits sponsored by Schroders, were served two excellent matches befitting the event’s title played out behind closed doors at the NTC at Roehampton under strict Covid-19 safety regulations.

At the start, he was flawless, overpowered me. His serve has been amazing, back to normal since his hip surgery. And he can work on the other parts of his game. He was playing big tennis on the big points. That’s why he’s been as good as he has. I just hung in there Dan Evans

Both matches saw the eventual victors fight their way back to reach the final which features the two players sitting at the top of the national rankings, eager to establish themselves at the top dog.

Both Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund, respectively British No. 1 and 2, came through the group stages unbeaten and in both cases their semi-final opponents came close to ending those runs.

In the first semi-final the spotlight was very much on Andy Murray. Could he contain the exuberant play of Evans? Would his lack of match-fitness let him down? Would he move as well as he has in the past?

Despite the questions and Evan’s word ranking of 28, Murray was the public favourite and as he came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders to completely overwhelm his opponent, it looked as if he would live up to his reputation despite not having played a competitive match since last November before this week.

His serving was powerful and accurate, his movement excellent with no sign of any hindrance from the hip related problems he has suffered since his operation early 2019.

Evans withstood the barrage winning just one game in the opening set but managed to lift his game and take advantage of Murray’s lack of fitness to work his way back into the match, level and force a match tie break which again, Murray dominated to start with only for his game to waver towards the end as Evans edged him out 1-6 6-3 10-8.

“I didn’t do much wrong. I’m immensely proud to have been on the court with Andy in a semi-final,” Evans said of his first win over the three-time grand slam champion. “I was very happy with the way I played, the way I moved. I was pretty resilient.

“At the start, he was flawless, overpowered me. His serve has been amazing, back to normal since his hip surgery. And he can work on the other parts of his game. He was playing big tennis on the big points. That’s why he’s been as good as he has. I just hung in there.”

Murray, who had sported a rather scraggy beard during the week, was clean shaven for the occasion, had also lost a tight group match to Kyle Edmund, and said following his second defeat of the week: “Dan plays a little bit differently to Kyle but when you’re playing at the highest level, you have to be able to adapt. It’s got me a lot of wins over the years.

“Playing matches on the Tour is very different to this, with coaches on court. Also we played behind closed doors and it’s maybe good to get used to that. There are things in a slam or a Tour event I’d certainly do differently out there. But from a physical perspective, I did really well.”

Kyle Edmund unleashes another powerful serve

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Battle Of The Brits

Edmund was clear favourite to win the second semi-final.

His powerful forehand, now backed up by an equally effective backhand and howitzer serves, he looked set to make light work of the British No3, Cameron Norrie but again, it was the underdog which drew the first blood.

His serve held out over the whole match only to be outsmarted in the opening set tie break which he lost having been confounded by Norrie’s variation of serve and solid ground strokes, especially down the line.

Like the earlier much, he hung on and quickly took advantage of a lowering of levels from the other side of the net to level at a set all to take it into another exciting match-tiebreaker where he clinched his place in the final 6-7(3) 6-4 10-8.

“Evo is the British No 1 and it’s going to be tough,” Edmund commented on his prospects against Evans on Sunday. “I’m finding ways – perhaps not the best executed – but getting there.

“I felt he was a bit happier with his game than I was,” the British No.2 continued. “Had to dig deep, get my energy up. The close games are key when you look back. My backhand winners at 8-all [in the tie-break] was not too precise but it came off – also for match point. Had to work for it.”

Psychologically, Edmund has the edge over Evans having beaten him on all their three previous occasions but both players are now showing a new found resilience as evidenced in their successes over the week, and more specifically, their respective semi-final wins.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.