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  1. Tennis

Tennis: Weekly Preview

With Wimbledon on the horizon, a number of potential All England Club contenders will put the finishing touches to their grass preparation in Eastbourne and Mallorca this week.

The likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have opted to rest up for 2022's third Grand Slam, but strong ATP and WTA fields head to Eastbourne, with Great Britain's Cameron Norrie the top seed in the men's draw.

WTA number three Paula Badosa headlines the women's singles, but the big story on the South Coast comes in the doubles, with Serena Williams making her competitive return alongside Ons Jabeur.

World number one Daniil Medvedev - a finalist in Halle - is unable to play Wimbledon and instead signs off his grass-court season in the Balearic Islands. He's joined in the Mallorca draw by sixth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Norrie aiming for a pre-Wimbledon boost

What: ATP Eastbourne

Where: Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Club, Eastbourne

When: From 10:00am, Monday 20th June 2022

How to watch: Amazon Prime and Sports Live Streaming

British number one Cameron Norrie is the headline act in an intriguing ATP Eastbourne draw, as he bids to head to Wimbledon in winning form, just as he did when claiming the Lyon title on the eve of the French Open.

The world number 11 - the highest-ranked player in the Devonshire Park draw 0 has generally been consistent in 2022, but a first-round exit at Queen's was far from ideal.

He'll get a first-round bye in Eastbourne before a second-round meeting with British wildcard Jay Clarke or a qualifier, so he should make the quarter-finals at a minimum.

However, he's set to meet one of Dan Evans, Adrian Mannarino, Maxime Cressy or Reilly Opelka in the last eight - all of whom are dangerous grass performers.

Fellow Brits Jack Draper and Ryan Peniston wowed the crowds at Queen's, but both now face tough openers with Peniston, in particular, seemingly up against it against hugely talented Dane Holger Rune, who reached the quarter-finals in Paris.

The winner, though, could come from the bottom half of the draw. Jannik Sinner headlines that section, but the Italian has a bit to prove following a knee injury, and the vote goes to Sebastian Korda, who reached the Wimbledon fourth round last year and has a perfect game for grass.

Keys could challenge Jabeur on grass

What: WTA Eastbourne

Where: Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Club, Eastbourne

When: From 11:30am, Sunday 19th June 2022

How to watch: Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and Sports Live Streaming

Ons Jabeur, a finalist in Berlin on Sunday, leads the market for WTA Eastbourne and she'll be in the news for her exploits on the doubles court as she partners Serena Williams this week.

Jabeur - second seed in the singles - was an early casualty when well fancied at the French Open, but she issued a positive response in Berlin and has to have a decent chance in Eastbourne having reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals last season.

However, high-profile challengers are queuing up to tackle both the Tunisian and number one seed Paula Badosa, who is making her first grass start of the season.

The same applies to Madison Keys, but the 27-year-old American is an experienced grass performer who won this title in 2014 and also claimed the Birmingham title in 2016.

Keys played with credit at the French Open, reaching the fourth round, and there is every chance she goes well again from a weak section of the Eastbourne draw.

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Medvedev signing off in Mallorca

What: ATP Mallorca

Where: Mallorca Country Club, Santa Ponsa, Mallorca

When: From 14:00pm, Sunday 19th June 2022

How to watch: Sports Live Streaming

Odds: Daniil Medvedev 9/4, Nick Kyrgios 4/1, Stefanos Tsitsipas 13/2, Denis Shapovalov 9/1, Botic van de Zandschulp 12/1

Daniil Medvedev will contest the Halle final against Hubert Hurkacz before jetting to Spain to take part in the Mallorca Open, a tournament for which the world number one is a deserving favourite.

Medvedev's claims are clear cut and, given his non-participation at Wimbledon, there is no reason to think he won't take aim at another big week with pre-Grand Slam fatigue not a factor.
 
Nick Kyrgios, beaten by Hurkacz in the Halle semi-finals, is the obvious fly in the ointment as he could well meet Medvedev in the quarter-finals, but he faces a meeting with former Wimbledon semi-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut, which will test his patience.

If Kyrgios is knocked out, then Medvedev should expect to at least reach the final, where there is no guarantee he meets Stefanos Tsitsipas for the title - the Greek continues to look all at sea on grass, winning just 50 per cent of his career matches on the surface.

Queen's semi-finalist Botic van de Zandschulp could appeal for each-way punters.

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