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



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.


Andrey Rublev: “I don’t expect anything from myself in Melbourne”



Russian 22-year-old rising star Andrey Rublev started the 2020 season on a high note winning back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide. He beat French Next Gen player Corentin Moutet in the final of the Doha Qatar Exxon Mobil Open in the first week of the new year and repeated the feat by beating South African rising star Lloyd Harris in Adelaide.


Rublev has extended his winning streak to 12 matches, including 8 wins in the first two weeks of the 2020 season. He won the Doha title without dropping a set during the week. In Adelaide the Moscow native had to dig deep to beat Felix Auger Aliassime 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 in a hard-fought semifinal match. With the Doha-Adelaide double Rublev became the first player to win back-to-back titles in the first two weeks of the season since 2004, when Slovakia’s Dominik Hrbaty won two consecutive trophies in Adelaide and Auckland.

Rublev picked up where he left off in 2019, when he won the Kremlin Cup in his hometown Moscow beating Adrian Mannarino in the final and finished runner-up to Nikoloz Basilashvili in the Hamburg final. The player coached by Fernando Vicente scored the biggest win of his career when he beat Roger Federer in Cincinnati to reach his first Masters 1000 quarter final before losing to eventual champion Danil Medvedev. At the US Open he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios en route to reaching the fourth round at the US Open before losing to eventual semifinalist Matteo Berrettini.

“I was not thinking about this statistic, but it’s an amazing feeling. I am really happy. I hope I keep working. I hope I keep improving, and we’ll see what’s going to happen”, said Rublev.

Rublev will open his Australian Open campaign against local favourite Christopher O’Connell in the first round. The Russian player is projected to play against David Goffin in a potential third round match, Alexander Zverev in the fourth round and Danil Medvedev in the quarter final.

Rublev, who has never advanced from the third round at the Australian Open, has no expectations for the first Grand Slam of the season.

“I am not waiting anything from myself in Melbourne. The only thing is that I want to fight and I believe well on court in my first match. Then we will see. I don’t think  I am invincible, but for sure I am more confident in what I do after two titles in a row. I am working to be more consistent, to be more mentally strong. This is what we were working for and I am happy that these two weeks went this way. I got two titles. It’s amazing. I never had this before”, said Rublev.


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Ugo Humbert claims the first title of his career after winning all-French final against Benoit Paire in Auckland



Twenty-one year-old Ugo Humbert beat Benoit Paire 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 7-6 (7-5) after 2 hours and 34 minutes in the all-French final of the ASB Classic in Auckland to claim the first title of his career.


Humbert has become the first French player to win the Auckland tournament. He enjoyed a great week beating Denis Shapovalov and John Isner en route to reaching the final.

Humbert earned the first break of the match in the second game after a double fault from Paire and held his serve with a service winner in the next game to open up a 3-0 lead. Paire broke back in the fifth game with a backand return winner. Humbert broke serve again in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Paire broke back in the seventh game to claw his way back to 3-4. Humbert earned three set points, when Paire was serving at 5-6. Humbert reeled off five consecutive points from 2-2 to claim the tie-break with three mini-break after a forehand error from Paire.

Paire fended off three break points in the third game of the second set before breaking serve in the fourth game after a double fault from Humbert. Paire saved a break point at 5-3 with an ace and closed out the second set with a backhand down the line winner.

Humbert earned an early break in the second game of the decider with a backhand crosscourt passing shot, before saving three break points at 4-2. Paire hit three consecutive backhand winners, as Humbert was serving for the match at 5-3 30-0. Paire got the crucial break in the next point, when Humbert sent a forehand long. Paire saved a championship point with a backhand volley winner in the 10th game. Paire held his serve with a backhand volley winner to draw level to 5-5. Paire rallied from 0-30 down in the 12th game to force the decisive set to the tie-break.

Humbert earned a mini-break on the sixth point with a forehand return to take a 4-2 lead and earned three championship points at 6-3. Humbert sealed the win on his third chance when Paire sent a backhand wide after 2 hours and 35 minutes.

“It’s a tournament of revenge because I have lost to four of five players I played this week. It’s a great improvement for me and I could not dream of a beginning for the season”, said Humbert.

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Roger Federer Plays Down Air Quality Concerns Ahead Of Australian Open

Roger Federer has rejected concerns that air quality will affect the Australian Open ahead of his first round match on Monday.



Roger Federer (@AustralianOpen - Twitter)

Roger Federer has rejected the idea that air quality concerns will be a factor at this year’s Australian Open. 


Recently air quality has been fairly unsafe as a recent result of the Australian bushfires that have impacted many parts of the country.

Melbourne has been one of the cities that has been impacted the most with many animals, firefighters and civilians suffering.

As the Australian Open approaches, it has also affected the first grand slam of the year with many players in qualifying suffering on Tuesday and Wednesday with conditions being deemed unsafe to compete in.

This has raised concerns about the tournament itself, which starts on Monday and one player that has been criticised in his lack of action is Roger Federer.

The 20 time grand slam champion is on the ATP Players Council and today he broke his silence, insisting that the air quality shouldn’t be a factor at this year’s Australian Open, “No, I don’t worry. From what we were told yesterday in the player meeting, the Olympic Games and other competitions have the numbers set at 300. Ours is set at 200,” Federer told the media on Saturday.

“From that standpoint, I think we’re moving in a very safe range. We’re not here for six months straight at over 200, 300, you know. That’s when maybe effects really become bad. No, I don’t worry too much, to be honest. I worry more for everybody else who is in the fire, in the smoke. Also we can stay indoors all day, quickly go out and play, go back in again. It’s not like we’re stuck outside at all times. 

I think communication is key from the tournament to the people, to the media, to the fans, to the players, because you do hear it’s not safe to be outside, keep your pets inside, close your windows. You have court calls, then you look at the haze and everything, it doesn’t look good. I think we’re going to get through it and it should be fine. It shouldn’t move, no.”

Conditions are expected to get safer in time for the first week of the grand slam as rain has hit the latter stages of the past week in Melbourne.

Although Federer has played down concerns of the air quality causing harm to the players, it is still is a cause for concern amongst tournament directors if the conditions played a part in the second week.

As for Federer, he starts his Australian Open campaign against Steve Johnson on Monday and is taking the tournament one match at a time, I got to really make sure I get out of the gates quick,” Federer said.

“Practice has been going well. Had plenty of time to pace myself and do all the things I had to do to get ready. I hope it’s enough. I know it’s a super long road to victory. That’s why I got to take it one match at a time. My expectations are quite low. No, I’m excited to play Steve. He’s a good guy. I think with his old-school playing – big forehand, slice backhand, good serve – I think it’s going to be a nice match for me, as well.”

The Swiss will be looking for his 7th Australian Open title in Melbourne and his third in four years but will have to play Novak Djokovic before the final. The match with Johnson will be third on Rod Laver Arena on Monday after Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams play their matches.

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