Berrettini, Jabeur, Humbert & Samsonova victorious in Wimbledon preparations

It has been a wonderful week of tennis on the grass courts across Europe as preparations for Wimbledon are a bit shorter and for some have been very good.

In Berlin, Halle, Birmingham and London we have seen some of the biggest names in sport this last week, rising stars, home favourites and some surprises as silverware was lifted on Sunday.

Matteo Berrettini – Queens Club

A very good week for Berrettini, the top seed becomes the first debutant since Boris Becker in 1985 to win on his Queens Club debut.

I liked a lot of what the Italian has done this year and this week, he got some unfair criticism in his match vs Djokovic in Paris and I didn’t know why, it feels like every time he goes on a good run it’s an opportunity for people to criticise parts of his game which might be missing instead of praise.

I liked a lot of what he did in London, he won fans despite seeing off Andy Murray, Dan Evans and then Cam Norrie in the final in a three set battle. Wins in the week also included an opening round win over Travaglia and semi-final win over De Minaur winning both in straight sets.

The more I see of him the more I see his backhand improve, I liked how he conducted himself on court, the sliced / pushed return was a comfortable shot and it set him up nicely especially in his forehand and moved very well en route to winning the biggest title of his career!

Ons Jabeur Birmingham

Unfortunately I couldn’t head down to my local tournament in Birmingham this year but I am pleased to see Ons Jabeur winning a maiden WTA title.

The Tunisian has been knocking on the door of the WTA’s winners circle for a couple of years taking her tennis to another level and has done so and become the first Arab woman to win a WTA singles title!

It was a good week with some wins against some good players which included a three set battle with Leylah Fernandez in round two, the only set the Tunisian dropped before going onto win the title against Daria Kasatkina on Sunday.

Ludmilla Samsonova – Berlin

A wonderful week for Ludmilla Samsonova who had a longer week than any in Berlin having come through qualifying to win an unexpected title in the German capital.

The 22 year old celebrated her amazing run winning seven matches including against Vondrousova, Keys, Azarenka and from a set down to Bencic in the final with a trophy but also the news that Wimbledon had upgraded the Russian to a well-deserved main draw wildcard.

It is the first event in Berlin which was upgraded to a 500 event following Birmingham’s move to a 250 on the WTA Tour and a wonderful moment for the Russian who before this year hadn’t won a match at a major and has now on her first final despite trailing 1-6.

Ugo Humbert – Halle

I saw a wonderful stat from Humbert this week, the Frenchman has beaten two top ten ranked players to winning his first title in Germany but Roger Federer in his ten titles in Halle has only ever beaten one top ten ranked players.

It has been a week of battles for the Frenchman who continued to fight against some top players and to the wire in most!

4-6 7-6 7-6 vs Querrey
7-6 3-6 6-3 vs Zverev
6-2 6-7 6-4 vs Korda
6-4 3-6 7-6 vs Felix
6-3 7-6 vs Rublev

Quite the week for the man who turns 23 in a few days’ time. Big wins of Zverev and Rublev to lift the biggest title of his career ahead of Wimbledon!

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