The Swiss Dismissed: Wawrinka ousted in 1st Round - UBITENNIS
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The Swiss Dismissed: Wawrinka ousted in 1st Round




TENNIS ROLAND GARROS – There was a lot of talk regarding this year’s French Open championships about who has a legitimate chance to dethrone Rafael Nadal. 2014 Australian Open champ, Stanislas Wawrinka was mentioned, but the Swiss lost in the first round to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-4 5-7 6-2 6-0. Cordell Hackshaw

Interviews, Results, OOP, Draws from the Roland Garros

There was a lot of talk regarding this year’s French Open championships particularly about who has a legitimate chance to dethrone Rafael Nadal. 2014 Australian Open champ, Switzerland Stanislas Wawrinka’s name was mentioned. He after all had done the near impossible of defeating Nadal in a major final, something that was only done by two other players; Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Many had predictions but it is almost with certainty that none figured that world’s number 3 would be casually ousted from these championships in the first round. Not even the most clear of clairvoyants could have foretold of such a “magnormous” upset. Nonetheless, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain seemed hell bent emerging victorious from this match up and did so in spectacular fashion 6-4 5-7 6-2 6-0. Wawrinka stated “[T]he match wasn’t good at all. I was trying to find my game, trying to find to be aggressive, trying to find anything, and I didn’t.”

The match started out pretty much exactly as most people would have expected; Wawrinka was up an early break 3-1. However, the script got flipped. Wawrinka was unable to consolidate the break. Soon, the Spaniard reeled off four straight games to force the Swiss number one player to serve to stay in the set down 3-5. Wawrinka held serve and now it was the Spaniard’s turn to step up to the service line at 5-4. Wawrinka breaking serve at this point looked almost inevitable as he got to 0-30 but then he continued to be erratic dumping shots into the net, long and wide. This gave Garcia-Lopez a set point and he did not waste this precious point, 6-4 in 36 minutes.

In the 2nd set, again Wawrinka took the early advantage and raced out to a 4-1 lead but then soon lost the plot and things were soon even at 5-5. Wawrinka held serve for 6-5 and then showed himself to be a prodigious player as he broke Garcia-Lopez at love and took the 2nd set 7-5. Many would have predicted that this was the spark that Wawrinka needed that would lift him to take this match in 4 sets. That spark never turned into a flame as Wawrinka wilted away. Garcia-Lopez broke the Swiss early which Wawrinka later described as “a stupid break to begin the third set.” Garcia-Lopez was now breaking Wawrinka at will and was inclined to so again in the 7th game to lead 5-2. Garcia-Lopez was determined now more than ever to see this match through for a win. He closed out the set 6-2. Errors were spilling from Wawrinka’s racquet in particular on his forehand wing. He just never got any rhythm on his shots nor seemed inclined to motivate himself and come up with a new game plan. He remained passive throughout the last 2 sets of the match and in the 4th set, he all but capitulated to the Spaniard as he was bagelled; 6-4 5-7 6-2 6-0 Garcia-Lopez.

The strange thing about the match-up was that Wawrinka looked like the lower ranked player on court and Garcia-Lopez the top ranker. This was clearly illustrated by the stats from the match. Wawrinka was only able to put in 57% of his first serves winning a measly 54% of those points and 55% on his 2nd serve. He had 37 winners and a staggering 62 errors. Garcia-Lopez won 75% of his 1st serve points and 51% of his 2nd serves but he had 23 winners to 28 errors. The final set was almost a golden set as Wawrinka won only 6 points on his serve and 3 return points. There was absolutely no commitment from the Swiss on court as Garcia-Lopez remained positively animated throughout as though he was the overwhelming favourite. Wawrinka said it best about his own performance in the match, “I think I was completely flat. I was not really relaxed with my game. I wasn’t aggressive. I was playing some bad rallies, I was thinking too much my backhand from the middle. Everything was terrible.” Nonetheless, with Wawrinka’s departure, there are many other players in this quarter of the draw that are more than capable of rising to the occasion of making the French Open semifinal.


Miami Open Daily Preview: Elena Rybakina Plays Jessica Pegula in the Semifinals



Elena Rybakina two weeks ago at Indian Wells (

Due to rain on Wednesday, only one WTA semifinal will be played on Thursday.


Elena Rybakina is just two wins away from completing the “Sunshine Double,” which is winning both Indian Wells and Miami.  But in Thursday’s WTA semifinal, American No.1 Jessica Pegula stands in her way.  The other semifinal is still to be determined, and will not be played until Friday, as Petra Kvitova and Ekaterina Alexandrova will contest their rain-delayed quarterfinal on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the ATP quarterfinals will be completed on Thursday.  Indian Wells finalist Daniil Medvedev faces American Chris Eubanks, who has been the breakout story of this tournament thus far.  Also, Karen Khachanov takes on Francisco Cerundolo, who is vying for his second consecutive semifinal in Miami.  And delayed from Wednesday night, Carlos Alcaraz battles Taylor Fritz in another ATP quarterfinal.

You can find a preview of the Alcaraz/Fritz and Kvitova/Alexandrova quarterfinals in yesterday’s daily preview here.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Thursday’s play gets underway at 1:00pm local time.

Chris Eubanks (Q) vs. Daniil Medvedev (4) – 1:00pm on Stadium

Medvedev leads the ATP with 26 wins this season, as well as with three titles.  Daniil has not dropped a set to this stage, though he’s only played two matches thus far due to a walkover earlier this week.

Eubanks has already won six matches this fortnight after coming through qualifying.  And the 26-year-old achieved a career goal of breaking into the top 100 with this quarterfinal run.  Chris became emotional on-court after clinching that feat on Monday, and followed it up with another upset the next day, over Adrian Mannarino.  The American is projected to become ranked 85th in the world on Monday, but a win on Thursday would propel him into the top 60.

In their first career meeting, of course the self-proclaimed “hard court specialist” Medvedev is a strong favorite.  But I’m quite interested to see how Eubanks performs in the biggest match of his career.  During a rain delay on Monday, Frances Tiafoe provided Eubanks with some advice in the locker room, which Chris credited with helping him come back in the second-set tiebreak once play resumed.  He’s played more freely since that comeback, and Eubanks may feel as if he has nothing to lose on Thursday.

Elena Rybakina (10) vs. Jessica Pegula (3) – Not Before 8:30pm on Stadium

Rybakina is 20-4 this season, and is currently on a 10-match win streak.  If her 2,000 points from winning Wimbledon last summer counted, she’d currently be ranked third in the world.  Elena easily dispatched of Martina Trevisan in the last round.

Pegula is 19-5 on the year, and 10-3 in Miami.  This is her second consecutive semifinal at this event, and she’s the No.3 player in the world without Rybakina’s Wimbledon points counting.  She saved multiple match points to come back and defeat Anastasia Potapova during Tuesday’s quarterfinals.

Pegula is 2-0 against Rybakina, with both matches taking place on hard courts during 2022.  A year ago at this same tournament, Jess prevailed in straight sets.  And last fall in Guadalajara, Pegula outlasted Rybakina in a final-set tiebreak, another match in which the American saved multiple match points.  As confident as Elena currently is, with her big serve and groundstrokes dictating play, it’s hard not to favor the reigning Wimbledon champ.  But based on their recent history, as well as Pegula’s rising confidence after saving match points in the last round, I give Jess the slight edge in Thursday’s semifinals on home soil.

Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Francisco Cerundolo (25) vs. Karen Khachanov (14) – Cerundolo was in danger of falling out of the top 40 with an early loss in Miami, defending the best result of his career at this level, but has impressed by returning to the quarterfinals, defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime on the way.  Khachanov upset Stefanos Tsitsipas in the last round, and is looking to reach his first Masters semifinal since 2019.  Last summer in Canada, Karen defeated Francisco in three sets.

Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Novak Djokovic Set For US Open Return

Novak Djokovic is all set to return to the US Open for the first time in two years.



Novak Djokovic (@RelevantTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic is set for a return to the US Open after the US senate voted to eliminate some of the COVID-19 restrictions.


The restrictions have been in place for the last two years which have denied foreign travellers the chance to visit America if they are unvaccinated.

As is well documented Djokovic hasn’t had his vaccination which is the reason for his absence at Indian Wells and Miami.

However Djokovic could be set to return to America after the US senate passed a bill to eliminate the COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

US president Joe Biden is expected to put the final signature on the bill which will then allow unvaccinated travellers from abroad to enter the country.

This means that Djokovic will be allowed to play the US Open for the first time since the 2021 final where he missed out on the chance to complete the calendar Grand Slam after losing to Daniil Medvedev.

Djokovic will look to win a fourth US Open title when he returns to Flushing Meadows on the 28th of August.

However in the short-term, Djokovic will look to reclaim his world number one ranking over the clay court season as he plays Monte-Carlo on the 9th of April.

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Miami Open Daily Preview: Indian Wells Champs Carlos Alcaraz and Taylor Fritz Collide



Carlos Alcaraz two Sundays ago at Indian Wells (

On Wednesday in Miami, 2023 Indian Wells champion Carlos Alcaraz faces 2022 champ Taylor Fritz for the first time.


Alcaraz is just three wins away from defending his Miami title, which he needs to do in order to remain World No.1.  Wednesday’s other ATP quarterfinal sees Indian Wells semifinalist Jannik Sinner take on Emil Ruusuvuori, who is the first Finnish quarterfinalist at a Masters 1000 tournament in a decade.

In the WTA singles draw, Aryna Sabalenka and Petra Kvitova are one round away from a big-hitting semifinal.  But first, they must get past Sorana Cirstea and Ekaterina Alexandrova, respectively.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Wednesday’s play gets underway at 1:00pm local time.

Ekaterina Alexandrova (18) vs. Petra Kvitova (15) – Not Before 7:00pm on Stadium

Kvitova is 14-5 this season, and has now reached the quarterfinals of both Indian Wells and Miami this month.  Petra has also now advanced to the fourth round or better of this event for the fifth straight time, and has not dropped a set this fortnight.

Alexandrova had a losing record this year before arriving in Miami.  She defeated Belinda Bencic two rounds ago, and advanced in the last round after Bianca Andreescu’s upsetting ankle injury.  This is Ekaterina’s second WTA 1000 quarterfinal, after first achieving that feat last year in Madrid, when she advanced to the semifinals.

Their only previous encounter occurred three years ago at the Australian Open, when Kvitova comfortably prevailed 6-1, 6-2.  Ekaterina does not possess the same offensive weaponry of Petra, so on a hard court, the two-time Wimbledon champion is a considerable favorite to win again on Wednesday.

Carlos Alcaraz (1) vs. Taylor Fritz (9) – Not Before 8:30pm on Stadium

Alcaraz is 17-1 on the season, despite missing all of January due to injury.  His only loss came to Cam Norrie in the final of Rio, a match in which Carlitos reaggravated his leg injury.  He’s yet to drop a set during this tournament.

Fritz is 20-5 in 2023, and has now reached the quarterfinals or better at his last five events.  This is Taylor’s first quarterfinal in Miami, and his third consecutive quarterfinal as Masters 1000 events in North America.  Like Alcaraz, he’s also yet to lose a set in Miami, but he’s 1-4 in his last five Masters quarterfinals.

This is the first career meeting between the World No.1 and the American No.1.  Fritz certainly has the firepower to threaten Alcaraz on this day.  But based on Carlitos’ recent sharp form, the 19-year-old is the favorite to advance to the semifinals.

Other Notable Matches on Wednesday:

Sorana Cirstea vs. Aryna Sabalenka (2) – Sabalenka is now a stellar 20-2 on the year, and has allowed her opponents this past week an average of just 2.5 games per set.  Cirstea is having an excellent March, having advanced to her second consecutive WTA 1000 quarterfinal, a stage she hadn’t reached since 2017.  This is another first-time career meeting.

Emil Ruusuvuori vs. Jannik Sinner (10) – Sinner is vying for his second consecutive Masters semifinal, and has not dropped a set thus far in Miami.  This is Ruuuvuori’s maiden Masters 1000 quarterfinal, at the only Masters event where he had ever previously advanced beyond the third round.  Jannik is 4-0 against Emil, with all of those wins in straight sets, except a match in Miami a year ago that went to a third-set tiebreak, and saw Sinner save three match points.

Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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