TENNIS – The Draw of The Championships at Wimbledon, which was held today at the All England Club, pit seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer and 2008 and 2010 champion in the same bottom half as Rafa Nadal. The two super-stars could meet in a possible blockbuster semifinal. Defending champion Andy Murray has been drawn in the same top half as 2011 Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic. Diego Sampaolo
Possible quarter final: Djokovic vs Berdych
Novak Djokovic, who won in 2011 against Nadal and finished runner-up last year to Murray last year, will meet Andrey Golubev in the first round and either Radek Stepanek or Pablo Cuevas in the second round. Stepanek upset Murray last week at Queen’s and could be a potential threat as he plays well on grass.
Djokovic could meet Vasek Pospisil in the third round and 2011 and 2012 Wimbledon semifinalist Jo Wilfred Tsonga in the fourth round. The Frenchman will play against either Jurgen Melzer in the first round and and US Sam Querrey in the second round.
Djokovic could face 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych in the quarter final. Berdych will start against Romanian Victor Hanescu before a possible second-round match against 2011 Wimbledon quarter finalist Bernard Tomic, Marin Cilic in the third round and Roland Garros semifinalist Ernests Gulbis in the fourth round. The Latvian player will play against Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round and Fernando Verdasco in the third round.
Possible quarter final: Murray vs Ferrer or Dimitrov
Defending champion Andy Murray, who ended a 77-year-old British drought with his last year’s triumph over Novak Djokovic, will start his title defence against Belgian David Goffin. before facing either Pablo Andujar or Blaz Rota in the second round, Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round, either Fabio Fognini from Italy or Kevin Anderson in the fourth round.
Murray is on collision course with 2014 Australian Open quarter finalist Grigor Dimitrov who won his fourth title last week at the Queen’s which added to his previous triumphs in Stockholm, Acapulco and Bucharest.
Dimitrov also reached his first Master 1000 semifinal in Rome but was surprisingly beaten in the first round at the Roland Garros. The young Bulgarian star could face a fourth round match against David Ferrer who who will start his Wimbledon campaign against his compatriot and clay specialist Pablo Carreno Busta
Ferrer could square off against either German Dustin Brown or Marcos Baghdatis in the third round. Brown a crowd entertainer of Jamaican origin, was the big surprise last week in Halle where he beat Rafa Nadal before losing against Phillip Kohlschreiber in a very spectacular and unpredictable match.Ferrer may face Andreas Seppi in the third round if the Italian will be able to beat Leandro Mayer in the first round and the winner of the second round match between Brown and Baghdatis. The match between Brown and Baghdatis promises to be a highly spectacular match.
Possible quarter final: Federer vs Wawrinka
Roger Federer will be looking to avenge his shock defeat in 2013 against Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round. He started his grass campaign with his seventh career title in his “backyard” in Halle. He won 14 titles on grass (7 at Wimbledon and 7 in Halle) and will be chasing his eighth crown two years after his last triumph at the famous All-England Club in Church Road.
The Swiss Maestro will start his campaign against Italian Paolo Lorenzi before a possible second-round match against either Frenchman Julien Benneteau or Gilles Muller in the second round. His potential rival in the third round could be Spaniard Marcel Granollers. He could face Australian 2002 Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt who will make his debut against last year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz in the second round. Janowicz has not played well recently and has won just two matches since February.
Federer is on collision course with his friend and rival Stan Wawrinka in a potential all-Swiss quarter final. This year’s Australian Open champion suffered early exits at the Roland Garros and Queen’s and has had a difficult period since his first clay Master 1000 triumph in the Monte-Carlo final against Federer, will play against Portugal’s Joao Sousa in the first round before potential clashes against Dmitry Tursunov in the third round and either Feliciano Lopez or John Isner in the fourth round
in the second round Lopez could play against Halle finalist Alejandro Falla who thrives well on grass as he showed last week in the Gerry Weber Tournament. Falla famously came very close to upsetting Federer in the first round at Wimbledon in 2010 after winning the first two sets and serving for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set. before Federer edged him 5-7 4-6 6-4 7-6 6-0.
Wawrinka’s build-up to Wimbledon has been hampered by high fever on Monday. He has been advised by doctors to rest.
Lopez is in very good form and was edged by Grigor Dimitrov in a hard-fought final at Queen’s last week. This year he went on to reach the semifinal in Eastbourne. Isner is well-known at Wimbledon as he won a 11-hour marathon match against Nicholas Mahut in 2010.
Possible quarter final: Nadal- Raonic
Rafa Nadal will open against Martin Klizan (winner in Munich on clay last May) in the first round before facing a possible second-round repeat match against Lukas Rosol. The Czech player famously upset the Mallorcan legend in the second round at the All-England Club in 2012. Nadal faced difficulties in the transition from his favourite clay surface to grass suffering a shock defeat last week at Halle against German Dustin Brown. Nadal could meet Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic in the third round and a possible French rival (either Gael Monfils, who reached the quarter final at the Roland Garros or Richard Gasquet, semifinalist this week at Eastbourne)
Nadal’s possible quarter final rival could be Milos Raonic who recently reached the semifinal in Rome and became the first Canadian player to reach the quarter final at the Roland Garros (losing to Novak Djokovic).
Raonic, who will play his first-round match against Australian Matthew Ebden, could face a mouth-watering fourth round match against Japanese Kei Nishikori, who has made a major breakthrough this year reaching his first Master 1000 final in Madrid and winning in Barcelona and lost the semifinal against Federer on grass last week in Halle. Nishikori will open his campaign against France’s Kenny De Schepper who reached the fourth round last year at the All-England Club.
The possible fourth round matches could be: Djokovic vs Tsonga, Gulbis vs Berdych, Murray vs Fognini, Dimitrov vs Ferrer in the top half of the draw and Wawrinka vs Isner, Janowicz vs Federer, Raonic vs Nishikori and Gasquet vs Nadal in the bottom half
Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament which does not stick to the ATP World Ranking to seed the men’s tournament but uses a formula based on grass-court form in the past two years. This means that Djokovic has been seeded the Number One seed ahead of Nadal who was knocked out in the second round in 2012 and in the first round in 2013 and lost in the first match against Dustin Brown in Halle this year.
Murray, who has reached the final two years ago and won last year at the All-England Club, has been seeded Number 3 overtaking Stan Wawrinka who lost in the first round at Wimbledon in the past two years
Canada Daily Preview: Two Clashes Between Top 10 Seeds in the Third Round
On Thursday, all third round matches will take place in both Montreal and Toronto, making for another extremely busy day of tennis. And two of those third round encounters see top 10 seeds collide. In Montreal, Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime faces Cam Norrie in a rematch from last Friday’s Los Cabos semifinals. In Toronto, Aryna Sabalenka plays Coco Gauff, who survived an extended battle on Wednesday against Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.
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 11:00am local time in Toronto and 12:00pm local time in Montreal.
Aryna Sabalenka (6) vs. Coco Gauff (10) – 11:00am on Grandstand in Toronto
Gauff’s second-round victory on Wednesday was a grueling affair. After failing to convert four match points in the second-set tiebreak, Coco finally prevailed in a third-set tiebreak. And she did so despite striking 13 double faults, a part of her game that continues to trouble her. Sabalenka spent over an hour less time on court, defeating Sara Sorribes Tormo in straight sets. Gauff leads their head-to-head 2-1, though all three meetings have been rather tight. And of late, Coco has been the much stronger performer. Going back to her run to the French Open final, Gauff has claimed 15 of her last 19 matches. By contrast, Sabalenka arrived in Toronto having lost three of her last four. While Coco will surely feel a bit tired on Thursday, she’ll also feel relieved having escaped what would have been a heartbreaking loss a day earlier, and should play a bit more freely. And most importantly, she’s currently feeling much more confident than Sabalenka.
Cameron Norrie (9) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (6) – Not Before 4:00pm on Court Central in Montreal
Last week in Los Cabos, Norrie took out Auger-Aliassime in straight sets. However, that was Cam’s first victory over Felix in five tries. The previous four had all gone the way of the Canadian, including another hard court matchup earlier this year in Rotterdam. Auger-Aliassime pulled out a dramatic first-set tiebreak on Wednesday night over Washington runner-up Yoshihito Nishioka in thrilling fashion, eventually prevailing in straights. Earlier in the day, Norrie advanced comfortably, allowing Botic van de Zandschulp only three games. Just six days removed from their last encounter, Felix will be eager for revenge, especially at his home country’s biggest event. But playing at home comes with a lot of pressure, and Auger-Aliassime is only 3-4 in his last seven matches. Cam is the more in-form player, and should be favored to earn his second win over Felix in less than a week.
Other Notable Matches on Thursday:
Jessica Pegula (7) vs. Camila Giorgi – Giorgi is the defending champion, and is yet to drop a set through two matches. Last year in the semifinals of this same event, she defeated Pegula in three. But overall the American leads their head-to-head 5-2 at all levels, and has twice defeated Camila since that semifinal.
Nick Kyrgios vs. Alex de Minaur – It’s Australian versus Australian, and the Washington champ against the Atlanta champ. Kyrgios upset world No.1 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday, and has now won 13 of his last 14 matches. De Minaur has already defeated Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov this week.
Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Beatriz Haddad Maia – In typical Swiatek fashion, she required just over an hour to prevail over Ajla Tomljanovic in her opening match. Haddad Maia eliminated Canada’s Leylah Fernandez on Wednesday, and won 13 straight matches on grass in June.
Bianca Andreescu vs. Qinwen Zheng – Andreescu outlasted Alize Cornet on Wednesday night in a tight three-setter. Qinwen benefitted from Ons Jabeur’s retirement due to abdominal pain during their second round matchup.
Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.
‘Super Confident’ Nick Kyrgios Admits Admiration for Medvedev Ahead Of Clash
Nick Kyrgios has had positive things to say about Daniil Medvedev ahead of their second round meeting in Montreal.
Nick Kyrgios has spoken highly of world number one Daniil Medvedev ahead of their second round clash in Montreal.
Kyrgios is in some of the best form in his career having reached the final of Wimbledon last month.
That has been followed up by a doubles title in Atlanta and a singles and doubles triumph in Washington.
Now the Australian is into the second round in Montreal after defeating Sebastian Baez 6-4 6-4.
Now Kyrgios takes on the ultimate challenge as he takes on world number one Daniil Medvedev who heads into the match in form himself having beaten Cameron Norrie to win the Los Cabos title.
Speaking ahead of the match the Australian admitted he was confident but has nothing but admiration for Medvedev’s game style, “I know I’ve got Medvedev next which kind of sucks,” Kyrgios told the Tennis Channel.
“I feel like against pretty much any player right now, I’d feel extremely confident. Obviously I feel confident going up against him, but we all know what he can produce. It’s going to be a good match for sure. I’m a bit tired but I’m gonna try and give him a good run.
“I’d like to play 95 per cent of the draw in the next round but if it’s anything like today, I know there’s going to be a lot of balls coming back and it’s going to be tough. A part of me wants the challenge, but a part of me knows it’s not going to be easy at all. I’m not gonna shy away from it, I’m going to do everything I can to recover and rest.
“But he’s a hell of a player and it’s incredible to see how he plays. He returns so far back, hits some crazy shots that we’ve never seen before. He does it his own way, he’s unorthodox and really special in the game. I love watching him play because he just looks so crazy out there, it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.
“I love people who just play the way they want to play. He’s comfortable in his own skin so hopefully it will be two contrasting styles as well. Not going to get much different tennis from me, I’m going to serve massive and play big and try to dictate. If I do that well, usually it works.”
Kyrgios is hoping to have good results this week as well as next week in Cincinnati so he can be seeded for the last grand slam of the year at the US Open.
The duo have met on three occasions with Kyrgios leading the head-to-head 2-1 but it’s Medvedev who won their last meeting at the Australian Open in four sets.
Bianca Andreescu survives thrilling match against Kasatkina in Toronto return
Bianca Andreescu reached the second round in her home tournament while Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu crashed out.
The 2019 champion made her return three years after winning the title and reached the second round to the delight of the Canadian fans.
Bianca Andreescu is into the second round of the National Bank Open being hosted at Sobeys Stadium in Toronto, Ontario after beating the San Jose champion Daria Kasatkina in straight sets 7-6, 6-4.
Although the scoreline seemed pretty routine this match had everything with highs and lows for both players but the Toronto native managed to get through.
“She played really well, super consistent and I am so happy I had that mental toughness to get through in two sets and that was key for me.”
In the first set both players got off to a very nervous start as the first five games of the match were breaks of serve before Andreescu was able to secure the first hold of the match to take a 4-2 lead.
At 5-3 with the Russian serving the Canadian earned two set points but was denied by the number 11 seed and the next game broke the world number 53 to go back on serve at 5-5.
The Toronto native responded by breaking right back once again and served for the set for the second time but Kasatkina broke once more to force a tiebreaker.
The Russian found herself up 4-2 but lost the following two points and the Canadian fought back and managed to take the tiebreaker 7-5 and the first set 7-6 in one hour and 25 minutes.
Dealing with high blood pressure she was seen by the trainer and the doctor during the break between both sets and she was given medication to rectify the problem.
Once again holding serve seemed to be the issue as after the world number 53 held the opening service game of the second set she broke to take an early 2-0 lead.
Kasatkina responded by breaking right back and holding to even the set at 2-2 and broke once again using her powerful forehand on breakpoint to seal the break.
Again she failed to consolidate the break and the Canadian broke her right back and after consolidating the break broke again to take a 5-3 lead and a chance to serve out the match.
Andreescu wasn’t able to close it out as the number 11 seed broke right back but in the following game, the Canadian responded by winning the match on her opponent’s serve.
After the match in her post-match on-court interview, she was asked if she felt the exact same emotions she had back in 2019 and what she will remember from the match.
“I wished I enjoyed it a bit more and I was really looking forward to having that positive attitude that I always have.”
Andreescu will now face Alize Cornet on Wednesday after the Frenchwomen was able to beat another Frenchwomen Caroline Garica in a tough three-set match on Monday night.
A busy Tuesday in Toronto
It was a busy day in Toronto and here are some of the other results from day 2 at the National Bank Open.
Belinda Bencic the number 12 seed got by the Czech qualifier Tereza Martincova in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, and Naomi Osaka was forced to retire down 7-6, 3-0 against Kaia Kanepi due to a back injury.
Amanda Anisimova beat the Canadian wild card, Carol Zhao, in straight sets as well 6-3, 6-1, and Camila Giorgi, the defending champion, ousted the number nine seed Emma Raducanu also in straight sets 7-6, 6-2.
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Felix Auger-Aliassime Delights Home Crowd As Top Three Seeds Crash Out Of Montreal
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