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
Felix Auger Aliassime Goes The Distance To Win First Match In Rome
The Canadian was pushed to three sets in his opening match by Filip Krajinovic.
Felix Auger-Aliassime is into the second round of the BNL D’ Italia Masters in Rome after beating his Serbian opponent Filip Krajinovic in three gruelling sets 6-3, 6-7, 6-4.
The marathon encounter saw the Canadian hit 45 winners and 12 aces en route to victory. Avenging his loss to Krajinovic at the same tournament last year. His win-loss for the season now stands at 13-8.
” It’s always a tough match against him and I was happy I was able to win today,” the world No.20 said afterwards.
It was Krajinovic who got off to a fast start earning a breakpoint on the Montreal natives opening service game of the match and broke to take an early 1-0 lead. The Canadian responded at 2-1 earning his first two breakpoints of the match and breaking with a solid forehand winner to get the break back and go back on serve. At 3-2 the world number 20 had a chance to take the lead but it was saved by the world number 36. Nevertheless, he would go on to break for a 5-3 lead before serving out the match.
Auger-Aliassime started the second set with confidence and broke the Serb’s opening service game. It stayed on serve until the world number 20 was serving for the win when he ended up getting broken to level the set at five. The very next game the Montreal native had three looks at a breakpoint but again was denied and the second set would be decided by a tiebreaker.
The tiebreaker stayed on serve until 4-4 when Auger Aliassime managed to get the crucial break but squandered it the following point and gave his Serbian opponent a chance to serve it out which he did following a double fault.
The third and decisive set was a roller-coaster with the Canadian holding his opening service game and than having three more breakpoints which he would convert to take another early 2-0 lead. Krajinovic would respond once again earning a breakpoint the following game and getting the break back to go back on serve until 3-3 when the Serb had his first chance to take a lead in the third set but the Canadian would come up with a huge point to save it.
The next game Auger-Aliassime would have a look at another breakpoint and this time would convert to take a 5-3 and serve for the match but struggled to close it out and the world number 36 broke serve once again.
With the Serb serving to stay in the match the Canadian increased his game to another level and managed to earn two match points. Sealing his first match win in Rome with a huge forehand winner down the line.
After the match in his post match press conference Auger Aliassime spoke about how he was able to overcome the adversity of having two chances to serve it out.
” You have to believe and be resilient at times, I wanted to win badly so I dug deep and I found a way so I am happy that I was able to find a way with all the circumstances,” he said.
Auger Aliassime will next face the number eight seed at the tournament Diego Schwartzman. The Argentine currently has a 1-0 lead in their head-to-head with their last meeting coming last October in Cologne, Germany on a indoor hard court.
Madrid Open Daily Preview: Sascha Zverev Plays Matteo Berrettini for the Men’s Championship
Three years ago in Madrid, Sascha Zverev won this event, defeating Dominic Thiem in the final. That was Zverev’s third Masters 1000 title, all earned within one year. Sascha’s results at Majors have progressed since that time, though Sascha is yet to achieve his fourth Masters title, despite reaching three further finals. The 24-year-old German has not dropped a set this week, which includes noteworthy back-to-back victories over the two best clay court players of the last five years: Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem.
Three years ago in Gstaad, Matteo Berrettini won his first ATP title, and his first of three on clay. The 25-year-old Italian has claimed a total of four 250-level titles, including one just two weeks ago in Belgrade. But this marks Berrettini’s first time advancing to the final of an event outside the 250 Series, though he notably reached the semifinals of the 2019 US Open. Matteo has taken eight of nine sets played this week, and came back from a set and a break down in the quarterfinals against Cristian Garin, winning the last 11 games of that match.
Sascha Zverev (5) vs. Matteo Berrettini (8) – Not Before 6:30pm
Zverev leads their head-to-head 2-1, though they’ve split their two clay court encounters. At the 2018 Rome Masters, Zverev prevailed. A year later at the same event, Berrettini prevailed. Their only other meeting took place at the 2019 Shanghai Masters, which went to Sascha. All three of their matches have been decided in straight sets.
Including his victories this week over Nadal and Thiem, Zverev is now on a three-match winning streak against top 10 opposition, ending a streak of five consecutive losses against the top 10. Berrettini has only played two matches against the top 10 since the 2019 ATP Finals, as injuries have forced him to miss significant time from the tour. Despite that, he’s now 16-3 this season, and currently on an eight-match win streak.
Zverev certainly has the experience edge in matches of this caliber, and has a bit more variety in his ground game, specifically his backhand. Berrettini will look to dictate play with his powerful forehand. Both players are capable of racking up a high ace tally, though Sascha’s second serve can be a recurring weakness. While we’ve had two consecutive Masters events with first-time 1000-level champions crowned, Zverev should be favored to win his fourth Masters title, and his second in Madrid.
Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic (2) vs. Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos (3) – 3:30pm
The men’s doubles championship will also be decided on Sunday. Mektic and Pavic are 32-3 in 2021, and looking to win their sixth title of the season. A few weeks ago in the Monte-Carlo semifinals, they defeated Granollers and Zeballos in a deciding set tiebreak.
Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.
Sabalenka Wins 10th Career Title In Madrid
Aryna Sabalenka won her 10th career title in Madrid with a three set win over Ash Barty.
The Belarusian beat the world number one in three sets to claim the title in the Spanish capital.
Aryna Sabalenka is your Mutua Madrid Open champion after beating the world number one and Aussie Ash Barty in three sets 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 hitting 34 winners and serving nine aces in the win.
“I’m really happy with the win, it was a crazy match and I’m really happy and it feels amazing right now”
The Belarusian got off to the best possible start holding her opening service game and going right to work on getting the early break which she did the following at the second time of asking with solid return forehand winner.
The Aussie looked out of sorts and in 25 minutes the number five seed had blitzed through the first set and won it not losing a game.
The world number one was determined to stay in the match and had four chances to break in the very first game of the second set and did at the fourth time of asking to take an early 1-0 lead.
At 2-1 the number five seed earned two chances to get the break back and go back on serve and she did just that with one of her powerful forehand winners.
The very next game the Belarusian struggled on serve and gave the world number one another chance to break after a double fault and she would break again.
That break was enough for the Aussie to take the second set and force a deciding third set for the title.
The first three games went with serve and at 2-1 it was the Aussie once again with two chances to break after another double fault but the number five dug in once again and managed to save both breakpoints and hold serve.
At 4-4 it was the Belarusian turn to apply pressure on the world number one and she earned three breakpoints and she would get the crucial break with a stunning return winner.
She would serve out the match to extract revenge on her Aussie opponent for beating her the previous week in Stuttgart and on Monday will be the new world number four.
After the match in her post match press conference Sabalenka told Ubitennis how she was able to overcome the adversity of losing the second set.
“That is why she is number one, she is always trying to find a way and she did it really well in the second set, the first set was a really quick one and I was surprised and in the second set she started using the slice more and moving better and was a little bit more aggressive, it was a great level during the entire match and I am really happy that I could finish it with a win”
Sabalenka will now travel to Rome to play in the Italian Open and as of Monday will be the new world number four when the new rankings are posted which is a career-high.
Alexander Zverev Fights Back In Thriller To Win Madrid Open
Marcell Granollers and Horacio Zeballos claim their third Masters 1000 title in Madrid
David Goffin and Pablo Carreno Busta advance to the second round in Rome
Felix Auger Aliassime Goes The Distance To Win First Match In Rome
Aryna Sabalenka Explains Reason Behind Recent Breakthrough On The Clay
Daria Kasatkina Opens Up About Her Sexuality
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