A year ago British number one Johanna Konta was on the verge of something very big, having made it to the 2017 Wimbledon semi-final and reached the dizzy heights of number 4 in the world rankings. However, having been unable to reproduce her best form since then, her world ranking has slipped back to 22. As a result she now finds herself in the perilous position of dropping out of the world’s top 50. Unless she can have some success at Wimbledon, which provided her with almost half of her ranking points over the past 12 months but which will be wiped once the tournament begins, leaving her under pressure to replenish them by getting through a few rounds. Recent signs, however, have been encouraging, despite losing in the final at Nottingham, and accompanying her narrow defeat to Ashleigh Barty with an angry outburst aimed at the umpire, whom she described as “a joke.” Konta now heads to her home town of Eastbourne for the Nature Valley International, where she will hope to continue her preparation for Wimbledon 2018, whilst also breaking her recent habit of losing from winning positions against elite players.
News from Sporting Agenda
Published 24 June 2018
Murray at Queen’s
Published 20 June 2018
Well, Sir Andy Murray made it to Baron’s Court and the Fever Tree Championships at Queen’s Club, where he was faced in the 1st round by the maverick from Australia that is Nick Kyrgios, who had never defeated Murray in five previous meetings. Kyrgios was his usual unpredictable mixture of arrogance, elegance and brilliance, at once infuriating but entertaining. Murray started the strongest, hitting the ball as cleanly as ever, but, unsurprisingly, having been off court for 342 days, found his fitness began to count against him as the match went on, with Kyrgios finally prevailing after a fairly epic three set encounter over two and a half hours. Despite the defeat, if Murray comes out of the match unharmed, it will have provided him with just the sort of work out he needed, and he now heads to Eastbourne to continue his preparation for Wimbledon 2018. We watch with bated breath.
Published 17 June 2018
Whilst we remain hopeful for Andy Murray’s chances at Wimbledon 2018, the more pragmatic and realistic amongst British tennis fans will be looking to some of the up and coming British talent to fly the flag at this year’s event. Kyle Edmund has soared up the world rankings to overtake the recuperating Murray as the British number one, and, if he can avoid the distraction of the World Cup, he will be hoping to go deep into the tournament, drawing inspiration from the Three Lions.
Meanwhile, Dan Evans is making a comeback of his own, having served a lengthy ban for testing positive for cocaine and found himself languishing at number 340 in the world rankings, down from a high of 41. However, having been controversially denied a wild card into the main Wimbledon draw, he will be required to fight his way through the notoriously difficult pre-qualifying rounds, along with the likes of Marcus Willis and James Ward, whilst Cameron Norrie and Liam Broady are already assured of at least lining up with Kyle Edmund, and hopefully Andy Murray, for the first round of the men’s draw at SW19