Macháč started the variety show even in spasms. Incredible player for big games, the Briton looked on

He still unsuccessfully conquers the coveted position in the top 100 of the rankings, yet Tomáš Macháč regularly receives applause from the tennis world for his attractive style of play. At the Wimbledon premiere, he entertained the crowd on London’s second largest court. Even his opponent, local star Cameron Norrie, had to applaud him.

London (from our correspondent) – They have found their favorite Cameron Norrie, currently the best British tennis player, who is defending last year’s semi-final at Wimbledon. But in the end, they had fun, especially thanks to his opponent.

22-year-old Čech Macháč captivated the audience with a big game, not for the first time and probably not for the last time.

Even though the victorious qualifier lost to the heavy favorite in four sets in the first of the most famous tournament’s main competition, he was escorted off the field by thunderous applause.

Norrie has already cheered him on during the game, congratulated him at the net after the duel, and then raved about the Czech underdog’s enjoyable performance even in the press conference.

“He served well and some of his volleys were amazing. He enjoyed it a lot. I had to adapt to his game, but when I did he played even more amazing things,” shook the head the native of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Norrie knew what was coming. In 2021 he saw with his own eyes how Macháč beat his compatriot Daniel Evans in the Davis Cup. “He also played amazing there. I think he’s a player for big matches,” said the 13th ranked tennis player in the world.

“Obviously he’s comfortable on the grass, he’s played qualifying matches, he’s been played. I knew it was going to be tough, I knew the level he was capable of and the way he was. in his hands,” Norrie added.

At the end of the unequivocal third set, he noticed that Macháč had problems with cramps. He might have thought he would easily lead the match to a winning end, but there wasn’t much left and it was time for the fifth set.

“It’s a shame about the break points at 4:3 in the fourth set. Who knows what the fifth set would be like. Maybe I would have completely collapsed with convulsions there,” said the player from Czech tennis after the match.

He was sorry for the unnecessary mistakes, but he still appreciated the performance achieved despite the health problems.

“At the end of the third set, I had a cramp in my thumb. I couldn’t release my hand at all for a while. I was afraid that I couldn’t hold the racket. I tried to pull myself together, I drank a lot, the physio gave me an energy drink, I took more time,” zoomed in on the critical moments he got under control and was able to continue.

However, he had to change his style, he tried to shorten the exchanges as much as possible. He played an increasingly attractive serve style – volley, putting on shorts. And the favorite had something to do.

“I enjoyed it. I played very good and entertaining tennis,” he said. One of the strikes was even more special than the others.

“I even played a fishball and the ball came back in my half. I was happy with it, it was two in one. I had never done anything like that before. He passed me a cross, I was waiting for the line and at the last moment I had to jump because he was not there”, he smiled and congratulated the public.

“Even though I played with the player at home, they were very fair. Of course, they applauded him more, which is logical, but I was very surprised by the behavior of the public. A big hat their.”

Norrie named him exactly, Macháč is a player for big games.

In January, in the first round of the Australian Open, he tormented world number three Nor Casper Ruud until one o’clock in the morning. He thrilled the crowd several times at Margaret Court Stadium, and Grand Slam organizers wrote on social media after his four-set loss: “It was rock ‘n’ roll tennis.”

He put on another show at the end of February in Dubai, where he nearly knocked out Novak Djokovic in a huge battle. He lost in the tie-break of the third set.

“Amazing match, Macháč played like he was out of his mind,” praised Czech Serbian tennis journalist Saša Ozmo at the time. Djokovic cheered on his opponent during and after the game. “Tomáš certainly didn’t play like the 130th player in the world. He played great tennis and deserves a round of applause for that. He gave me all kinds of problems,” the twenty-three admitted today time Grand Slam winner.

It was during the memorable duel that Macháč experienced the same hand spasms as today at Wimbledon.

“I have to deal with it now, it happened to me for the second time. I didn’t deal with it the first time, I will definitely work on it,” he promised.

He would appreciate an easier draw at the next Grand Slam.

“At the US Open I had Van de Zandschulp, seeded 26th at the time. Then Ruud, who was third, and now Norrie, who was 12th. It’s just tough. I didn’t play badly in all three matches. I lost in five sets at the US Open, at the Aussie in four with two tiebreakers, and now I’ve also lost in four. And I had a chance to break at 5:3 in the fourth”, once again regretted Macháč.

He has set big goals for Wimbledon. He wanted to do two or three laps. But now he’s starting to look around New York. “I’m playing for the main competition at the US Open, there’s a chance I won’t have to play the playoffs,” said the second-best Czech in the world rankings.

John Robinson

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