US Open: Tough draw for Novak Djokovic - UBITENNIS
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US Open: Tough draw for Novak Djokovic

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TENNIS US OPEN – World Number 1 Novak Djokovic will face a very tough path in his attempt to reach his fifth consecutive final at Flushing Meadows as he has been drawn in the same quarter as 2012 US Open champion Andy Murray and 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka. Five-time US Open champion Roger Federer could face Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter finals and David Ferrer in the semifinal. Diego Sampaolo

 

The Men’s singles draw

The Women’s singles draw

First quarter: Djokovic vs Murray

Novak Djokovic, who won the US Open for the first time in 2011 against Rafa Nadal, will open against Diego Schwartzmann from Argentina in the first round before facing either Gilles Muller or Paul Henry Mathieu in the second round, Guillermo Garcia Lopez in the third round and John Isner in the fourth round. Isner could play against Phillip Kohlschreiber in the third round for the third consecutive year at Flushing Meadows (with the German leading 3-0 in the previous matches in this tournament).

The winner of the possible blockbuster fourth round match between Andy Murray and Jo Wilfred Tsonga could clash against Djokovic in the quarter final. Tsonga beat Djokovic in this month’s Toronto Rogers Cup before beating Roger Federer in the final. Tsonga will open against Juan Monaco in the first round. Murray will face a very tough draw. After his opening match against Robin Haase, the Scotsman could face Radek Stepanek in the second round, Fernando Verdasco in the third round, Tsonga in the fourth round and Djokovic in the quarter final. Djokovic leads 12-8 in the previous head-to-head matches against Murray. They met in four Grand Slam finals at the 2011 Australian Open, at the 2012 US Open, at the Australian Open and at Wimbledon in 2013.

Second quarter: Wawrinka vs Raonic

Djokovic could face a potential semifinal against Stan Wawrinka in a possible re-match of this year’s Australian Open quarter finals. Wawrinka, who reached the semifinal last year at the US Open, will play against Czech rising star World Number 76 Jiri Vesely in a very interesting first round and either Thomas Bellucci or Nicholas Mahut in the second round and Jeremy Chardy in the third round. In the fourth round Stan could play against either Australian rising star Nick Kyrgios, a surprising Wimbledon quarter finalist this year, or Mickhail Youzhny. Wawrinka might meet the winner of a possible fourth round match between Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori.

Third quarter: Ferrer vs Berdych

The third quarter of the draw features two interesting first round matches like Marin Cilic vs Marcos Baghdatis and Kevin Anderson vs Pablo Cuevas. One of these players could be the third round rival of David Ferrer.

Ferrer might play against Tomas Berdych in the quarter finals. The Czech player will open against Lleyton Hewitt before possible clashes against Martin Klizan in the second round and Santiago Giraldo in the third round.

After reaching the Master 1000 final in Cincinnati Ferrer has moved up to Number 5th in the ATP Ranking and is the fourth seed following the withdrawal of defending champion Rafa Nadal who has been forced to pull out because of a wrist injury.

A possible second round match in this half of the draw could be played between Ernests Gulbis and Austrian rising star Dominic Thiem who train together under the guidance of coach Gunther Bresnik. If Gulbis overcomes this second round hurdle, he could meet Feliciano Lopez in what could be a spectacular third round clash. The winner of this third round match could play against Berdych in the fourth round.

Fourth quarter: Federer vs Dimitrov

Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion and six-time US Open finalist Roger Federer will open his US Open campaign against Marinko Matosevic. He might meet Sam Groth in the second round, Croatian big server Ivo Karlovic in the third round and Italian Fabio Fognini in the fourth round. Federer’s possible rivals in the quarter finals could be either this year’s Wimbledon and Rome semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov, who won in Acapulco, Bucharest and the Queen’s this year, or Richard Gasquet.

Gasquet could take on Gael Monfils in a possible all-French third round match.

Federer is in very good form as he reached the final in Toronto (losing to Tsonga) and won the Cincinnati title against David Ferrer last Sunday.

Federer and Ferrer could renew their rivalry in a possible semifinal at Flushing Meadows. Federer has never lost against the Spaniard in their previous 16 head-to-head matches. Ferrer will start against Damir Dzumhur in the first round and either Bernard Tomic or Dustin Brown, a German player of Jamaican origin who plays a very spectacular tennis and beat Rafa Nadal last June at Halle.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Sidesteps Question Over Vaccination Status

The Greek also jokes that he will be having less bathroom breaks in Indian Wells due to one particular reason.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas has declined to confirm if he has received a COVID-19 vaccination despite previously saying he planned to do so later this year.

 

The world No.3 was questioned about the vaccination during his pre-tournament press conference at Indian Wells on Wednesday. Earlier this year Tsitsipas came under fire after saying he doesn’t see a reason why somebody his age needs to be vaccinated and expressed concerns over the potential side effects. He also added that young people catching COVID-19 is a good thing as it helps build up their immunity. Prompting criticism from various people, including a spokesperson for the Greek government.

However, in recent weeks Tsitsipas has changed his stance on the issue and recently told Antenna TV that he will have his first dose by the end of this year. When asked by a reporter in Indian Wells if he has had it yet, the French Open finalist declined to answer.

I’m sorry but I’m not able to provide any of my medical records,” he said.

Player vaccination rates in tennis are becoming a growing issue amid reports that the Australian Open may only allow fully vaccinated players to participate due to a health mandate which has been implemented by the local government. There is yet to be a formal announcement by Tennis Australia regarding their entry requirements. However, The Age newspaper reports that there is a ‘strong likelihood’ that only vaccinated players will be allowed entry by Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.

Tsitsipas’ immediate focus is on this week’s BNP Paribas Open where he is the second seed behind Daniil Medvedev. Speaking about the conditions, the 23-year-old joked it was ‘very dry’ and therefore he will be having less bathroom breaks during matches. Referring to the recent criticism he has received from some of his peers over the timing of breaks he takes.

“It’s very dry here,” Tsitsipas said.
“That is good for me because I sweat less, which makes for less bathroom breaks, which makes for less complaints. So a very good sign so far,” he added with a smile.

The hope for Tsitsipas is that he will be able to build on his recent experience at the Laver Cup where he helped Europe secure their fourth consecutive title. The event provides players with the opportunity to work alongside each other in a team format. Something Tsitsipas relished but he is ready to get back to singles duty.

“I think team competitions are necessary for our sport and we don’t get to be united a lot,” he said. “We always kind of focus on ourselves and our things and environment and that is what you usually see on Tour. Players doing their own thing. Not much socialising.
“At the Laver Cup, we all get to have dinners together and all get to hang out with each other. Of course, though, we all have our competitiveness and if we get stuck around we might share too much with one another, that is the mentality behind it.”

Tsitsipas is yet to win a main draw match in Indian Wells. He will start his 2021 bid against either qualifier Roberto Marcora or Spain’s Pedro Martinez.

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