Eastbourne International: Kyle Edmund & Dan Evans reach quarter-finals

Kyle Edmund hits a forehand

Kyle Edmund beat compatriot Cameron Norrie to set up an all-British encounter against Dan Evans in the Eastbourne quarter-finals.

The British number one beat the British number two 6-2 6-2 in a match suspended for around 50 minutes when a spectator fell ill.

Evans put in a determined display to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3 7-5.

Top seed Guido Pella, the Argentine world number 26, lost 6-4 3-6 6-4 to American Taylor Fritz.

With Wimbledon starting on Monday, Edmund and Evans will be pleased to be getting more match time on grass.

Evans, in particular, heads to the grass-court Grand Slam in good form after winning titles at Surbiton and Nottingham on the surface this month.

Against Herbert – who will be British former world number one Andy Murray’s doubles partner at Wimbledon – Evans fought back from a break down in the second set to win.

He shouted “that’s woeful tennis” at himself before going on to celebrate victory with a loud roar.

Meanwhile, Edmund’s victory against Norrie was never in doubt with the third seed dominating from the start, breaking in Norrie’s second service game.

Play was suspended at 5-2 in the first set, with the players staying on court while a medical incident was tended to in the stands.

When the match resumed Edmund wasted no time taking the first set on Norrie’s serve.

He broke again early in the second set, and did not face a single break point in that set on his way to victory.

Elsewhere, Britain’s Liam Broady is one win away from the Wimbledon main draw after beating Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 6-2.

He faces France’s Gregoire Barrere, who is ranked 170 places higher at 117 in the world, in the final qualifying round on Thursday.

In women’s qualifying, Samantha Murray advanced with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 win over Spaniard Cristina Bucsa, but fellow Briton Gabriella Taylor lost 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to Belgium’s Ysaline Bonaventure.

The Wimbledon draw takes place on Friday at 10:00 BST.

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Andy Murray & Marcelo Melo beaten in doubles at Eastbourne International

Andy Murray plays a volley in his doubles match alongside Marcelo Melo at Eastbourne

Andy Murray fell to a first defeat since starting his comeback in doubles in the first round of the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne.

Murray and his Brazilian partner Marcelo Melo lost 6-2 6-4 to Colombian top seeds Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal.

The Briton struggled on serve, being broken three times out of four.

Murray had won the doubles alongside Feliciano Lopez at Queen’s last week in his first tournament since hip surgery.

They defeated Farah and Cabal in the first round of that tournament but the Colombian pairing were always in control at Devonshire Park.

Murray will partner Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the men’s doubles at Wimbledon, which starts on Monday, but is yet to finalise a partner in the mixed doubles.

The Scot, 32, thought he might not play again before having his hip resurfaced in January but is now “pain free”.

Farah and Cabal will play British pairing Dan Evans and Lloyd Glasspool in the quarter-finals.

More to follow.

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Johanna Konta beats Maria Sakkari to reach Eastbourne third round

Johanna Konta plays a forehand at Eastbourne

Eastbourne on the BBC
Venue: Devonshire Park, Eastbourne Dates: 23-29 June
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, Connected TVs and BBC Sport website and app; follow live text commentary on selected matches. Full details.

Britain’s Johanna Konta beat Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the third round of the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne.

The world number 19 was 5-3 down in the second set but fought back to secure victory in one hour and 37 minutes.

Konta, 28, will play Ons Jabeur in the third round after the Tunisian defeated Mandy Minella 2-6 6-2 6-1.

“There was so little in this match. I felt she was playing better than me for most of that match,” Konta said.

“I’m really pleased to have stayed tough and created as many opportunities as possible.”

Earlier, France’s Alize Cornet knocked out Ukrainian fifth seed Elina Svitolina 7-5 6-2.

Cornet had led by a set and a break when the match was delayed by rain on Monday.

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‘It doesn’t seem right’ – Nadal concerned about Wimbledon seeding

Rafael Nadal prepares to hit a forehand

World number two Rafael Nadal says “it doesn’t seem right” that he could be seeded behind world number three Roger Federer at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon seeding is different from the other Grand Slams in that it does not always follow world rankings and is affected by grass-court performances.

It means Federer may be seeded ahead of Nadal, who could be in the same half of the draw as Novak Djokovic.

“It’s just Wimbledon that does it,” said 12-time French Open winner Nadal.

Speaking to Spanish TV station #Vamos, Nadal added: “If everyone did it, I think it would be appropriate or correct. Either way, being second or third seed, I have to play at the best level to aspire to the things I aspire to.

“It is better to be second than third, but if they consider that I have to be third, I will accept.”

Wimbledon seedings will be announced on Wednesday and Nadal, 33, is likely to be behind defending champion Djokovic and eight-time winner Federer, who won his 10th title at the grass-court tournament in Halle last week.

The Spaniard lost in the Wimbledon semi-finals to world number one Djokovic last year but had not made it past the fourth round in his five previous appearances.

If he is seeded third, Nadal might have to beat Djokovic and Federer to win his first Wimbledon title since 2010.

The world’s top 32 players will be seeded, but the order may not follow that of the world rankings.

Wimbledon’s system favours grass-court specialists – taking a player’s ATP ranking points, doubling the points earned at grass-court tournaments in the past year and adding on 75% of the points earned on grass the previous year.

The women’s seedings follow the WTA ranking list but changes can be made for a “balanced draw”, which is why Serena Williams, ranked 183rd before last year’s tournament, was 25th seed in 2018.

The 2019 tournament begins on Monday.

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Eastbourne: Dan Evans beats Radu Albot to reach second round

Dan Evans celebrates during his win over Radu Albot

Dan Evans reached the second round of the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne with a 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 victory over Moldovan Radu Albot.

The Briton, 29, saved nine of the 10 break points he faced in the first set, which he took on a tie-break.

It was more straightforward for Evans in the second set as two breaks of serve ensured victory in one hour and 46 minutes.

He will face France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert or American Denis Kudla next.

Kudla got into the draw as a lucky loser after Queen’s singles and doubles champion Feliciano Lopez withdrew from the event.

Albot beat Evans in the final of the Delray Beach Open in February.

Evans, now ranked 65 in the world, has won back-to-back titles at Surbiton and Nottingham this month but lost in the first round of Queen’s to Stan Wawrinka.

Fellow Briton Jay Clarke, 20, lost 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-3 to Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero.

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Wimbledon 2019: What’s changed at the All England Club this year

Fans sat on the hill at Wimbledon

Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, BBC Radio and the BBC Sport website with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details.

Wimbledon – a feature of the British summer as essential as barbecues in the rain and ice creams on the beach.

Players all in white on luscious green grass courts and spectators perched on a hill snacking on strawberries is a comforting and familiar sight when July comes around.

But all is not quite the same at SW19 this year. Here, BBC Sport takes a look at what’s changed at the All England Club.

Andy Murray, but not as we know him

Many thought Andy Murray had played his last competitive tennis match when he outlined retirement plans in a tearful news conference at the Australian Open in January.

But one hip surgery later and the two-time Wimbledon champion was back to winning ways in the Queen’s doubles on Sunday.

After missing last year’s Wimbledon, Murray is back but the big difference is he will be playing doubles rather than singles.

The Brit is partnering France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who has won the doubles title at every Grand Slam. Good choice Andy!

Murray and Flipkens in 2006

A covered Court One

Rain is like kryptonite for tennis tournaments, but Wimbledon now has a roof over Court One.

That means play can continue on there as well as on Centre Court until 23:00 BST whatever the weather.

The roof got its first taste of the limelight when it was unveiled back in May. Handily, it was a rainy day so the roof was put to work immediately.

A tweet from Wimbledon showing two fans in the rain saying: It's a good thing we've got a second roof

No more marathon matches

Play may be able to continue later on Court One, but there will not be any more marathon matches because a tie-break in the final set will be introduced at Wimbledon this year.

Previously, players had to win by two games in the last set but now it will go to a tie-break at 6-6, as in every other set. Never again will we see anything like the 11 hour and five minute-long match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut on the SW19 grass again.

The first player to seven points wins the tie-break, but they have to win by two points so it could still last quite a while…

Going green(er)

There is no shortage of greenery on show at the All England Club and now the tournament will be more sustainable, too.

Water bottles will be fully recyclable and made from 100% recycled material while 4,500 fewer plastic bags will be used as they have been removed from the racquet stringing process.

More early play

Fans will get more tennis in the mornings this year because the start time has been moved ahead by 30 minutes on the outside courts, so the first matches will begin at 11:00 BST.

There’s no change on Centre and Court One, though, where play will still start at 13:00 BST.

More quad wheelchair tennis

A quad doubles wheelchair tennis exhibition tournament was played at Wimbledon last year and this time around there will be a competitive quad singles and doubles draw.

The two events join the men’s and women’s wheelchair singles and doubles competitions in the Wimbledon programme.

Of course, one thing that will surely never change is the unpredictable British weather. Tennis fans were treated to scorching weather in south-west London last year and at the moment clouds and sun are predicted for the first week. But you never know…

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Wozniacki wins but world number one Barty withdraws at Eastbourne

Barty holds up the Birmingham trophy

Eastbourne on the BBC
Venue: Devonshire Park, Eastbourne Dates: 23-29 June
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, Connected TVs and BBC Sport website and app; follow live text commentary on selected matches. Full details.

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki won in the Nature Valley International first round at Eastbourne, but new world number one Ashleigh Barty has withdrawn with a right arm injury.

World number 14 Wozniacki, 28, beat Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens 6-3 6-4.

Australia’s Barty won the Birmingham title on Sunday to top the rankings, but said she must “rest and recover” before Wimbledon starts on 1 July.

Denmark’s Wozniacki will play German Andrea Petkovic in the second round.

“It’s an injury we’ve had to manage since I was 16 years old,” explained Barty, who won her first singles Grand Slam at the French Open earlier this month.

“When I have a spike in load it comes up – it’s a bone stress injury and I need to look after it, particularly in these first few days. We know how to manage it but it’s important to get on top of it straight away.”

Julia Gorges, a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, has withdrawn through illness, along with world number 12 Anastasija Sevastova, who is out with a right thigh injury.

The British challenge

After his doubles triumph at Queen’s on Sunday, Andy Murray will play at Eastbourne with Brazilian Marcelo Melo – their match will start after 16:00 BST on Tuesday.

British number one Johanna Konta won her first-round match against Ukrainian qualifier Dayana Yastremska on Sunday, and will play Greece’s Maria Sakkari next.

Meanwhile, British men’s number one Kyle Edmund received a bye in the first round and will face either compatriot Cameron Norrie or France’s Jeremy Chardy in the second round.

Norrie was 3-0 up against the Frenchman on Monday when play was suspended for the day because of rain.

Teenager Paul Jubb, who has a wildcard for the Wimbledon main draw and was playing in his first ATP Tour-level event at Eastbourne, lost 6-2 6-3 to world number 42 Taylor Fritz.

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‘I’m not going to rush a singles return’ – Murray keeps calm after doubles win

Andy Murray

In his regular BBC Sport column, Andy Murray discusses if he will return to playing singles, winning the Queen’s doubles with Feliciano Lopez, continuing his comeback at Eastbourne this week with Brazilian Marcelo Melo and hugs from former Chelsea and Manchester United football manager Jose Mourinho.

By winning the doubles at Queen’s, it is quite easy to get carried away in these moments and excited with what has happened.

I still haven’t given much thought to when exactly I could come back in the singles.

I know how my body has felt after the matches over the past few days and, although I’ve had no pain in my hip, I’ve still been sore and a bit stiff.

That’s because my body needs to adapt to the new hip and the new movements, the stresses and strains I’m putting on it.

So I know I need to respect that process.

I’m not going to rush this and I’ve no interest in doing that.

I’m perfectly happy doing what I have done in the past week at Queen’s.

If my body continues to feel good and keeps progressing then I would like to try to and play singles.

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But if it doesn’t – and I get to a point where I’m playing and practising singles, and think I’m not quick enough or able to compete at a level I’m happy with – then continuing playing doubles is maybe something I’d consider.

I’ve said since my operation I ultimately would like to return to playing singles, but honestly I don’t mind either way.

If a return to singles happens in September, or next year, I genuinely don’t mind.

After Wimbledon I think I will have a couple of options.

I could start practising for singles through the US Open swing, while I continue playing doubles and then try to maybe play singles after that.

Or maybe I will take a month or six weeks off after Wimbledon to get myself ready for singles. Then I might be able to play singles close to the US Open.

But getting to the US Open this year and being competitive isn’t the target.

‘You have to be less selfish as a doubles player!’

So after winning Queen’s, I’m going down to Eastbourne to play in the doubles alongside Marcelo Melo.

I think he’d heard I might play in Eastbourne and he wasn’t going to play that week with his regular partner Lukasz Kubot.

They played the first two weeks on the grass and then he was thinking, maybe, of going back to Brazil.

But he decided he wanted to play in Eastbourne and asked me if I would like to play.

I said ‘yes, of course’. He’s a good partner, having been the doubles world number one and won Grand Slam titles, and he is someone I get on with. So that was it.

Lukasz Kubot

With certain people you know you’re going to have some chemistry.

I’ve spent time with Feli for the last 14 years on the tour and we’ve got on well with each other, so it was a natural fit.

It’s difficult to be part of a team when you’re so used to playing singles and that is a challenge for me – to be part of a team, to be part of something.

Because of how much tennis Feli had been playing this week, with him also winning the singles title at Queen’s, you feel like you have to gee him up and keep trying to give him as much energy and help as you can.

Also, with Feli and because of how well he serves, when I’m serving he might think ‘Oh Andy, come on serve better!’

And when I’m returning it’d be easy if he missed a return to think ‘Oh you should have made that’.

But no tennis player, or doubles partner, has everything and it’s about being able to complement each other and work together around your strengths.

You need to come up with a winning strategy and winning tennis – thankfully Feli and I did that at Queen’s.

But it is a challenge mentally and very different to singles.

Basically you have to be less selfish as a doubles player!

That’s a good thing for me and something you have to continually learn, which I hope to do with Marcelo this week.

A big hug and no words – ‘man management’ from Mourinho

Jose Mourinho in the crowd at Queen's

On Saturday I met up again with Jose Mourinho on the practice courts at Queen’s.

He’s a big tennis fan; I’ve met him a few times and he’s come to Queen’s a few times as well.

One of the times I met him – and for me this was very interesting – was after I lost to Roger Federer at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in 2014.

I lost 6-0 6-1 and I was 5-0 down in the second – I got absolutely killed by him.

When I was walking back to my locker room from the court I saw Jose, and he just came up to me and hugged me.

A big hug, no words. That was it.

It was nice because often in those situations people try to find words and nothing really works.

He didn’t have to speak because I got the feeling he felt for me that night and he wanted to show that.

So it was great to see him again at Queen’s and I always enjoy chatting to him, especially about football.

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Andy Murray wins Queen’s doubles title with Feliciano Lopez

Breaking news

Andy Murray’s dream comeback from potentially career-ending hip surgery ended with a fairytale triumph with playing partner Feliciano Lopez in the doubles at Queen’s.

Briton Murray and Spain’s Lopez beat Briton Joe Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram 7-6 (8-6) 5-7 10-5.

The Scot, 32, thought he might not play again before having his hip resurfaced in January.

Lopez, 37, added the doubles to the singles title he won earlier on Sunday.

Left-hander Lopez, who beat France’s Gilles Simon in three sets, is the first man since Australia’s Mark Philippoussis in 1997 to win both the singles and doubles titles at Queen’s in the same year.

Murray, who had not won a doubles title since 2011, described ending his comeback tournament with victory as “brilliant”.

“I’ve enjoyed it, I felt very relaxed at the beginning of the week, then I started getting more nervous as the week continued and my competitive instincts were kicking in,” he said.

To loud cheers from he crowd, he added: “My hip felt great, there was no pain.”

Lopez said he never expected to win both the singles and doubles titles.

“It happens maybe once in a lifetime, with how difficult it is to win the singles, I cannot believe I won both,” he told BBC Sport.

More to follow.

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