Today, the sun is out and so are the top players. Centre Court is open to the paying public and a stacked card features top draws Liam Broady in the mens and world number 20 Naomi Osaka opening up for the ladies.
The journey down the M1 was nothing short of a nightmare, the previously quiet traffic had built up with vehicles broken down on the slip road towards Brian Clough way, I made it in just before 11.15am. Today’s is donation day, a charity day effectively with cut price tickets on Centre Court as low as £3 – a great gesture.
Not only can you see singles today but doubles also begins. Liam Broady also features following his singles match partnered with fellow Brit Scott Clayton. Rising star Katie Swan partners Katie Boulter in the ladies doubles.
Naomi Osaka opened up on Centre Court against American Sachia Vickery with a fairly decent crowd in attendance. Osaka began slowly as Vickery took advantage of some long shots over the baseline. With Vickery nailing the first set 6-3. It looked as though a shock was on the cards.
The form book corrected itself in the final two sets as Osaka’s quality finally began to show. Vickery was left visibly frustrated during the second set as Osaka cruised to a 6-1 victory to even things up before stepping on the gas to take the third 6-2. An impressive performance in the end from the Japanese player.
SaiSai Zheng, my other emerging favourite, was once again occupying court number two. I took up residence next to her coach as we both watched her take on Magdalena Frech of Poland. Frech had already taken the first set 6-2 but Zheng, as against Ella Taylor in the previous round, was on the comeback trail.
That backhand slice, now becoming a trademark shot, Zheng was looking decent. SaiSai then took the second set 6-3. It felt like by turning up that I had become her lucky charm. Sadly, Zheng’s luck ran out in the third and final set, Frech completed an impressive performance to take it 6-3. Sadly Zheng’s singles adventure this year at Nottingham had come to an end.
The weather towards the end of Sunday was scorching. I got back into the car and the temperature read 29C! I looked at my face and I swear I could have passed for a strawberry served at Wimbledon. My knees were burned in the one spot that I had missed with the suncream, who would have thought you could get such a good tan in Nottingham?
Tournament Dates: June 9-17th