US Open 2014 – Marin Cilic: “I'm serving much better. That allows me to have more opportunities” - UBITENNIS
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US Open 2014 – Marin Cilic: “I'm serving much better. That allows me to have more opportunities”

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TENNIS US OPEN – 2nd of September 2014. M. Cilic d. G. Simon 5-7, 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. An interview with Marin Cilic

 

Q. What do you feel as though you’re doing especially well right now that has gotten you to this stage in the tournament?

MARIN CILIC: Well, I’m playing more consistent in this last four, five months. I think overall I improved my game and I learned actually to play with my sort of new style. I’m serving a bit better than what I used to a couple of years ago. I needed definitely some matches just to find my game, what to do in the court, how I feel in the court, and I feel now that it’s really on a good spot.

Q. How would you describe that new style? What exactly do you mean?

MARIN CILIC: I mean, not new style but just a little bit different. I’m serving much better. That sort of allows me to have more opportunities in the match on the return service, return of serve, as I can be more aggressive. I can play more risky, as I can, you know, rely on my serve that I’m going to win those service games comfortably. Definitely, you know, that puts a lot of pressure on the guys so I can, in the return games, play very differently from one to the other and change up my game.

Q. And the next match? What are your thoughts if it’s Berdych?

MARIN CILIC: Yeah, we played in Wimbledon not too long ago. I mean, Tomas is very dangerous player. He’s very consistent throughout the year. He’s always pushing you to play your best to actually beat him. I hope I’m going to be on a good level of tennis if we gonna match up. Definitely very interesting too. I mean, for me as well he’s not unbeatable, but definitely very tough task. But for quarterfinals in a major, I think for both of us is good opportunity.

Q. This match that you won, can you describe the physical toll that it took and what maybe you even proved to yourself by coming through it as you did?

MARIN CILIC: Yeah, it was amazing victory. Just very difficult to go through different stages during the match. We started the match and was very hot. You don’t know how long you gonna last and how long the match is gonna be. I knew that Gilles, he likes tough conditions. He’s grinder, counterpuncher, runs a lot and doesn’t mind. I wanted to, in some moments, shorten up the points, mix it up, and expand a little bit the game that we don’t end up all the time in the same routine of the rallies. It was, I think, very, very good from my own side that I came back very strong in the beginning of the fifth. Mentally I was there. I think that made, you know, huge difference for me to build up the game in the last set.

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Miami Open Daily Preview: Thursday’s Action Features Azarenka, Thiem, Rybakina

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A look at the grounds of the Miami Open (twitter.com/HardRockStadium)

Women’s second round action begins on Thursday, including Major champions like Victoria Azarenka and Elena Rybakina, as well as American top seeds Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff.

 

The highest profile WTA match of the day sees Azarenka, a three-time Miami Open champion, face Italy’s Camila Giorgi, who is always a threat on a faster hard court.  Meanwhile, men’s first round action concludes on Thursday, headlined by 2020 US Open champ Dominic Thiem facing Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego.

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.


Lorenzo Sonego vs. Dominic Thiem (WC) – Not Before 7:00pm on Stadium Court

Dominic Thiem continues to struggle to regain his form after missing nearly a year of action due to a wrist injury.  He showed some signs of his former self during the fall, reaching the semifinals of both Gijon and Antwerp.  However, he is just 1-8 at all levels to start 2023, with his only win coming on clay in Buenos Aires over Alex Molcan.  Thiem has lost two of his last three matches in a final-set tiebreak, including two weeks ago to Adrian Mannarino at Indian Wells, a tournament Dominic won four years ago.

Sonego was ranked as high as 21st in the world just 18 months ago, but is now 59th, and owns a 5-8 record in 2023.  Yet it’s worth noting he’s also had some tough draws.  Five of those eight losses have come against top 20 opposition.

These players have split two previous meetings., both on clay.  In 2019 in Kitzbuhel, Thiem prevailed in straight sets.  In 2021 in Rome, Sonego prevailed in an epic encounter on his home soil, claiming a third-set tiebreak after nearly three-and-a-half hours.  While neither man arrives in Miami with much confidence, it’s hard to favor Dominic until he gets back to his winning ways.


Camila Giorgi vs. Victoria Azarenka (14) – Not Before 7:00pm on Grandstand Court

Azarenka’s three Miami titles came in 2009, 2011, and 2016, defeating Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Svetlana Kuznetsova in those finals.  She is 38-10 lifetime in Miami, and 10-6 on the season, with half of those victories coming during her semifinal run at the Australian Open.

Giorgi is also 10-6 this year, with half of her wins coming during her title run last month at a hard court event in Merida.  In the first round on Tuesday, she survived a dramatic affair against another of the WTA’s hardest hitters, defeating Kaiai Kanepi in a match that consisted of three tiebreak sets and lasted over three-and-a-half hours.

Giorgi leads their head-to-head 2-1.  That includes a victory nine years ago on grass, as well as a win five years ago on a hard court, though Azarenka retired after only eight games in that match.  Most recently, four years ago on a hard court in Toronto, Vika won in straight sets.  On Thursday, I give Azarenka the edge in a city where she has enjoyed much success, especially considering Giorgi may be a bit physically depleted after her opening round.


Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Jessica Pegula (3) vs. Katherine Sebov (Q) – Pegula is 15-5 in 2023, and lost a heartbreaker at Indian Wells to Petra Kvitova in an extended third-set tiebreak, during which both players held multiple match points.  Sebov is a 24-year-old Canadian who has claimed two ITF-level hard court titles within the past few months.

Rebecca Marino vs. Coco Gauff (6) – Gauff is 14-4 this season, and is just 3-3 lifetime at her home state’s biggest event.  Marino is a 32-year-old Canadian who has taken several extended breaks from competitive tennis, but won 49 matches at all levels last year.  At the 2022 French Open, Coco defeated Rebecca 7-5, 6-0.

Elena Rybakina (10) vs. Anna Kalinskaya – Rybakina is now 16-4 on the year, coming off her Indian Wells title run last week, where she avenged her Australian Open final loss to Aryna Sabalenka.  Kalinskaya is 6-4 in main draws this season, and while she’s never played Elena at tour level, she did defeat her four years ago in the final of an ITF-level event in Australia.


Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.

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SuperTennis Granted Rights To US Open Until 2027

SuperTennis will be the home for the US Open in Italy until 2027.

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SuperTennis have been given exclusive rights to show the US Open in Italy until 2027 after a new agreement was reached.

 

The USTA and SportCast reached the agreement as announced in a press release.

SportCast are the Italian Tennis and Padel Federation Group company that manages the SuperTennis TV channel in Italy.

In the press released the USTA confirmed they reached a five year agreement with SportCast for SuperTennis to show the US Open until 2027.

The deal means that SuperTennis will show the best daily matches live and delayed alongside coverage on the SuperTenniX digital platform, which gives FITP members and subscribers access to stream all matches across the two week tournament.

It also means that the US Open joins Wimbledon, Davis Cup and a number of ATP and WTA events to be shown on SuperTennis.

Chief Commercial Officer at the USTA, Kristen Corio, had this to say on today’s announcement, “SuperTennis has proven to be a trusted home for the sport in Italy,” Corio said in the press release.

“With a number of Italian players at the forefront of this rising generation of talent, it’s an exciting time to begin this new partnership and we look forward to working together with SuperTennis to continue growing the audience for the US Open.”

Meanwhile the president of Italian Tennis and Padel Federation, Angelo Binaghi, was delighted with the latest news and talked about the impact it has on Italian tennis, “The Italian Tennis and Padel Federation continues its development policy through the promotion of great tennis in our country, and with the founding of the SuperTennis channel 15 years ago, it brought back the sport of tennis to our dedicated audience,” Binaghi said.

“Alongside providing extensive coverage of Wimbledon, we are now proud to make another tennis Grand Slam available to all Italian tennis fans. The US Open is a tournament that has recently provided some incredible stories, including the historic 2015 US Open final won by Flavia Pennetta over Roberta Vinci.

“The level of access that SuperTennis can provide to its viewers will only contribute to the further promotion of tennis and the increased support of our national tennis players.”

This year’s US Open will take place from the 28th of August until the 10th of September with Iga Swiatek and Carlos Alcaraz looking to defend their titles.

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Miami Open Daily Preview: US Open Champions Bianca Andreescu and Emma Raducanu Collide

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A look at the grounds of the Miami Open (twitter.com/HardRockStadium)

On Wednesday, Major champions Bianca Andreescu and Emma Raducanu will meet in a blockbuster first round matchup.

 

Main draw action is already underway in Miami.  The women’s singles draw started play on Tuesday, with the men joining them on Wednesday.  Just like Indian Wells, the top 32 singles seeds receive first round byes, so the big names will begin play later this week.

Those top names include Indian Wells champion Carlos Alcaraz, who needs to defend this Miami title in order to maintain the No.1 ranking he just regained on Monday.  WTA No.1 Iga Swiatek looks to defend this title after failing to do so at Indian Wells, and is one of 11 Major singles champions in the women’s draw, which also includes Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka and newly-crowned Indian Wells champ Elena Rybakina.

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 11:00am local time.


Bianca Andreescu vs. Emma Raducanu – 12:00pm on Stadium Court

Andreescu is just 6-6 on the year, but played well against Swiatek earlier this month at Indian Wells.  She’s only played the Miami Open twice, reaching the fourth round in 2019, and the final in 2021, eventually retiring during that championship match against Ash Barty.

Raducanu is 5-3 in 2023, and also lost to Swiatek at Indian Wells.  While Emma only managed to claim four games against the World No.1, but she did manage to win three matches earlier in the event.  Raducanu made her Miami Open debut last year, losing her opening round match 7-5 in the third to Katerina Siniakova.

Their only previous meeting did not reveal much.  It took place last May on clay in Rome, with Andreescu prevailing after Raducanu retired during the second set.  Both players have suffered from many injuries of late, so hopefully they’re both fully healthy for what could be a great match if they are.  But based on recent form, as well as her previous success at this event, I like Bianca to win again on this day.


Sloane Stephens vs. Shelby Rogers – Not Before 7:00pm on Stadium Court

Stephens is just 4-6 to start the year, and lost in the first round of Indian Wells two weeks ago to another American, Sofia Kenin.  Sloane won this event in 2018, the only WTA 1000 title of her career.

Rogers is 5-6 this season, and had a losing record in 2022.  She’s only 5-4 lifetime in the main draw of the Miami Open, but two of her biggest results have come on American soil: a US Open quarterfinal as well as an Indian Wells quarterfinal.

Surprisingly, this is the first career meeting between these two WTA veterans.  Both are now 30-year-old, after Stephens celebrated her birthday on Monday.  I give Sloane the slight edge in this all-American matchup based on her superior movement, as well as her fond memories of playing in Miami.


Other Notable Matches on Wednesday:

Alexander Bublik vs. J.J. Wolf – Wolf reached the second week of the Australian Open in January, and the semifinals of the Dallas Open in February.  Bublik has struggled this season, losing his first eight matches in 2023.  This past October in Florence, Wolf defeated Bublik in three sets.

Andy Murray vs. Dusan Lajovic – Murray is now 8-4 on the year, and has played and won some of 2023’s most dramatic matches.  Lajovic is 7-5 this season, but hasn’t won a hard court match in six months.

Sofia Kenin vs. Storm Hunter (Q) – Kenin is 6-7 this year, but is showing signs of her 2020 level, losing two very competitive sets at Indian Wells against Rybakina.  Storm has not won a WTA tour main draw singles match in nearly two years.

Ugo Humbert vs. Gael Monfils (PR) – Monfils is 0-2 at all levels since returning from an extended injury leave.  His fellow countryman is a former top 25 player who reached a Challenger final on a hard court earlier this month.


Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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