Heather Watson Targeting Top 100 Return Following Aegon Open Defeat

Heather Watson is disappointed but is remaining positive following her defeat to fourth seed Alison Riske at the Aegon Open in Nottingham on Tuesday.

The British number two is delighted to be back on the grass and is targeting a good run at the home tournaments as she aims to get back into the world’s top 100.

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“I can’t remember 90% of them!” – Johanna Konta Reflects On 300 Career Singles Wins

Johanna Konta marked a career milestone at the Aegon Open in Nottingham today after her victory over compatriot Tara Moore saw her chalk up her 300th career singles win.

The world number eight was not aware of this achievement being on the horizon but naturally was delighted. She said: “It’s a nice surprise, but obviously not under the best of circumstances, more of a celebration of all the other victories I’ve had along the way and the flowers are beautiful!”

Continue reading ““I can’t remember 90% of them!” – Johanna Konta Reflects On 300 Career Singles Wins”

Eddie Howe eager to surpass last season’s 42 points total ahead of Burnley clash

Eddie Howe was in a buoyant mood as he faced the media on Friday ahead of AFC Bournemouth’s clash with Burnley in the Premier League.

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Eddie Howe delighted with away win at Stoke but bemused by referee’s decisions

AFC Bournemouth secured their first away win of the season after defeating Stoke City 1-0 at the Bet 365 Stadium, but the score line could have been more flattering for the visitors as Eddie Howe believed that referee Roger East made two poor decisions.

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Post Match: AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur – Both managers pleased with a point

AFC Bournemouth extended their unbeaten run at home in the Premier League to four games after holding Tottenham Hotspur to a goalless draw at The Vitality Stadium.

Post-Match Reflections

Cherries manager Eddie Howe was delighted with the point, “I’m very pleased, although there were no goals I thought that it was a very good game. Real high intensity, high quality, two teams really going at it.

“It was great to watch and I was really proud of the players today, probably more proud than I was this time last week when I sat here on the back of a 6-1 win, because of the quality of the opposition we were up against.”

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Match Preview: AFC Bournemouth v Hull City

AFC Bournemouth prepare to take on Hull City this weekend on match-day eight in the Premier League.

The action gets underway at The Vitality Stadium at 3pm on Saturday in this crucial bottom half of the table clash. The Cherries currently sit in 13th position on eight points, while opponents Hull sit in 15th place just one point behind.

Continue reading “Match Preview: AFC Bournemouth v Hull City”

ATP Nottingham: Steve Johnson reflects on the highlight of his career so far

Steve Johnson captured his first ATP World Tour title after overcoming a second set slip to defeat the second seed Pablo Cuevas in straight sets 7-6(5), 7-5 at the Aegon Open.

Johnson arrived in Nottingham after a fine quarterfinal run at The Queen’s Club last week (l. Cillic) and captured his first ATP World Tour singles title, after narrowly missing out in Vienna final to David Ferrer in a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 loss. The American began the week with straight sets wins over John Millman and Vasek Pospisil, before completing a three sets win over Kevin Anderson in a match which went over two days, coming back onto court later on the Friday to defeat Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-4 to book his place in the final where he defeated Cuevas Saturday afternoon.

That first time as a champion feeling and the confidence which it brings

As one can imagine the American was absolutely delighted. “Not going to lie to you, it feels really good. I’ve had some ups and downs so far this year, some rough patches, and to find my groove here on the grass has been fantastic. I had a good week at Queen’s last week and felt pretty comfortable on the grass and came here”, he said.

“You always expect to win when you enter a tournament, but once I got here I played first couple of days I knew I was definitely a contender to win this if I kept playing at that level, so I’m just very happy to be sitting here right now.”

Johnson, seeded sixth in this tournament, will take lots of confidence from his performance as he prepares for Wimbledon, which starts on Monday. The world number 38 said, “any time you can be the last guy standing at a tournament. I’ve probably tried 80 times and this is the first time I’ve come out a winner so it’s definitely a great feeling.

“I’m super happy and pretty tired emotionally just from the stopping and the starting in the last couple of days and always staying pretty engaged on the match. I’ll probably sleep well tonight and then Sunday and then Monday comes Wimbledon so there’s no time to relax, there’s another big tournament right around the corner.”

Johnson was the fourth highest ranked player without an ATP title to his name prior to his win on Saturday. Photo: Getty
Johnson was the fourth highest ranked player without an ATP title to his name prior to his win on Saturday. Photo: Getty

Johnson’s assessment of the match

The American had to recover from a second set blip as he lost his break advantage when just two games away from the title, but the sixth seed stayed calm. “It was kind of normal and strange all at the same time. Up a break and at 4-2 I have a break point, hit a really good return that I thought I was going right at his feet and maybe have a good look at a pass to get up 5-2”, he said.

“It clips the tape and he plays a couple of good points, plays another good game and all of a sudden I’m thinking ‘alright 5-2 serve it out’, now it’s 4-4 and I’m right back to even so I’m really happy to play a good game at 5-5 and hit those couple of good drop shots at 6-5 and to close it out.

“I’ve served out hundreds of matches in my life no problem, and you’ve just got to take it just like another match. I felt I did a good job after I got broken at 4-3, it sucks, you’re up a break on grass and all of a sudden it’s back on serve so I just said ‘you know I’m up a set, I’ve been in a bunch of return games, so I’ll likely get another look, if not I feel like my chances in a tie-breaker and if that doesn’t go well you still leading, so he’s still playing from behind. I just took it point by point at that point.”

A moment to share with all the American’s family

“My coach was here, my girlfriend has been with me this whole trip, my agent came up today from Wimbledon, my trainer is here, my physio, my dad is here. It was such a blessing. My last final, my only other final, was in Vienna. It’s so far away, it’s tricky for family to just get on a plane and head there and get there in time. To have people around who have supported my tennis my whole life, it’s exciting to share that with them. It’s going to be a fun memory we’re all going to have together.”

A wonderful moment for not only Johnson, but his family as well. Photo: Getty
A wonderful moment for not only Johnson, but his family as well. Photo: Getty

Thoughts on Nottingham and the crowd, as the city bids farewell to the ATP event

“The crowd here has always been fantastic. Even when I was playing the Challenger last few years, same with Wimbledon, they just appreciate good tennis. They’re not disrespectful by any means one way of the other. They respect good tennis both ways and I thought the crowd was awesome with the rain and everything all week. They stayed around and it’s pretty impressive to have three or four rain delays and to have the entire crowd stay.”

The ATP event will move back to Eastbourne next year as part of a grass court season schedule shake up by the LTA. Johnson will be sad to see it leave the East Midlands city. “I just won here so let’s have it here every year! It’s just the way the ATP is, it shuffles tournaments around and it’s the way things are but to have won it here, I won the Challenger back in 2013 on the Saturday to get me out of qualys (for Wimbledon) on Monday”, he said. “I’ve had a couple of good trains rides on Saturday night from here back to London, no doubt about that!”