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Eastbourne International: The Full Breakdown

Daria Kasatkina showed her ruthless streak on the court, as well as an affable personality off it, as she sealed the WTA Eastbourne title. Aidan Williams reflects in his diary of the event.



Being effectively my home tournament and the primary one I attend for multiple days, Eastbourne is always the tournament that gets my brain whirring the most. 


There's too much to discuss, from one tournament I could write several essays, so at risk of being sued by Jon Wertheim, here's the Eastbourne mailbag. 


Dasha The Deserving


For her outspokenness off the court and her relentless defence on it, I find myself a huge fan of Daria Kasatkina. It wasn't hard not to crack a smile when she lifted the Eastbourne trophy. 


It was a maddening second-set tiebreak last year in her straight-sets loss to Madison Keys, so immense credit to Daria for coming back and going one further this year.



Favourite WTA event in UK

  • Eastbourne

  • Nottingham

  • Birmingham



The One Cloud…


From Sunday to Wednesday there wasn't a cloud in the sky, yet there was one hanging over the tournament quite clearly. It was pretty common to overhear people discussing the looming downgrade from a WTA 500 this year to a 250 next.


There were several withdrawals and it's easy to suspect that the proximity to Wimbledon is a big reason. Yet with the numerous slips in Berlin and elsewhere, would the issue not have been better fixed by adding a week to the grass court season?


With how short the grass season is, I'd expect this debate to rear its head again during Wimbledon.


Can't Separate Sport…


I'd had some frustrating news on Tuesday. I was pretty honest about it on Twitter, which affected how much I paid attention despite still being sat in the stands. By coincidence, I'd had a similar experience during last year's tournament. 


It reminded me of the insanity of people saying "You have to separate sport from politics." From the employees to the players to absolutely everyone else, life is politics and it doesn't matter how bright the sun is, or how great the play is, you can't completely separate yourself.


A Telling Nod


I don't remember who - and I wouldn't name them if I could - but there was a telling nod from a British player in a post-match interview to what people say about the Brits.


I'm watching the England - Slovakia football match at the Euros as I type this. The British public has a problem with negativity and it is suffocating. You can't expect to attract fans to a sport if you have extremely high expectations with a litany of harsh criticism when they don't hit them and no praise when they do. 


in the week building up to a Slam, you cannot fault how the Brits did. Neil Skupski won the doubles, Emma Raducanu secured her first top 10 win, Katie Boulter produced an assured win against Jelena Ostapenko while Billy Harris reached a first ATP semi-final.


It was a fun week. I can only hope the downgrade doesn't cause this bright spark of the calendar to dim at all. 


Call It A Night…


I was amazed to see the third set between Barbara Krejcikova and Leylah Fernandez. The light had dimmed quite considerably and being in the crowd I could sense their incredulity at play continuing. 


I doubt either player will be bothered enough to voice their honest opinion by that point, but it seemed like a ridiculous decision. Would one more set on the next day have been a problem? The call to move the match from centre to the long-empty court two was made surprisingly late.




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