Today we didn’t have any matches finished in Eastbourne due to heavy rain for the majority of the day. My feature match was Novak Djokovic v Vasek Pospisil but only one game was played before the rain came. This review won’t be as long as normal because there weren’t as many matches completed.
The first match we saw in Antalya was the recent resurgent Janko Tipsarevic moving past Lloyd Harris 7-5, 6-3. Neither of them were playing very well, especially in the first set, but it was Tipsarevic who got some really good returns in and was hitting less unforced errors than Harris. Both men looked nervous as they came but after they exchanged breaks midway through the set it was on serve until 5-5. Harris, who is still very young and doesn’t have much experience on the big stage, got nervous while serving to stay in the set but Tipsarevic started playing well when he needed to and he eventually took the opener. The second set started out without any breaks but eventually Harris was broken while serving at 4-3. When the time came for Tipsarevic to serve it out he didn’t falter and he comfortably held to take the match. Tipsarevic has had some great results on the Challenger circuit this year but hasn’t been able to convert that success on the ATP tour and this event is a big opportunity for that with the top seed, Dominic Thiem, being knocked out today as well.
We then saw the biggest shock of the week so far as the qualifier Ramkumar Ramanathan, who is ranked outside the top 200, shocked the world number 8 Dominic Thiem in an easy 6-3, 6-2 match. Thiem wasn’t serving very well but he wasn’t playing to badly either and this win can all be out down to the Ramanathan serve. Thiem started slowly and Ramanathan went up an early break which he carried through to a very comfortable set. I don’t think people were too shocked to see Thiem lose the first set but I think everyone expected for him to bounce back and win the last two sets. It was clear that this probably wasn’t going to happen from the start of the second set as he broke Thiem twice in quick succession to go up 5-2. There was a long game at that point when Thiem was returning to stay in the match and eventually the big serving Ramanathan held serve and captured the biggest win of his career. I think that this is a blessing in disguse for Thiem because it gives him an opportunity to go to Wimbledon early and get in some good preparation at the All England Club. No matter what this means for Thiem this is an incredible result for Ramanathan and he should really celebrate this moment no matter what happens in the next round.