Voices from the US Open: Day 7 - UBITENNIS
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Voices from the US Open: Day 7

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TENNIS US OPEN – Our Giulio Gasparin has selected the best quotes from Day 7 at Flushing Meadows. Errani, Lucic-Baroni, Federer, Wozniacki, Sharapova, Simon and Bencic.

 

Sara Errani advanced to the quarter-finals of the US Open by defeating in a tough battle one of the big stories of this Slam: Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3 2-6 6-0. (Find more about the match here)

The Italian based her tactics on a ferocious defence, which led to only four winners, but only nine errors in three sets.

“I don’t have the chance to make what really I want to play,” she said. “So to move the ball, to be long point with her is impossible.

She hit the ball very strong. She made winners and she made unforced errors. So I just have to try to make her make mistakes. This is my game against her. Is difficult for me to make winner when she hits ball that strong.”

The Croat was well aware of the statistics, but she stayed classy and refused to take away credits to her opponent.

“You want me to say something I really don’t want to say because you want to write something fun,” she said to one of the journalists. “But I’m not going to do that, because I’m a fair competitor.

“She plays the way she plays and she fights well. You know, she had five winners in the whole match and missed maybe three balls. You know, she runs and she fights hard. That’s the way it is. I wish her good luck. Respect.

In the second match on Arthur Ashe stadium, Maria Sharapova suffered the biggest upset of the day as she lost by the hands of Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 2-6 6-2. (Find more about the match here)

“I thought she played really well,” said the Russian. “She made me hit a lot of balls. That’s always been her strength. But she did extremely well today.

She’s a great retriever, especially in these types of conditions. I just felt like I maybe went for a little too much.

“She is very fit, but there is a little bit more on her defence shots. It’s not just balls up in the air. She’s doing a little bit more with them. But she did that really well today.

It was a great win for the Dane, who is feeling that her game is finally coming together after a couple of difficult seasons.

I’m serving well, I’m running well, I’m staying aggressive when I have to, and I make the right decisions at the right moment,” she said. “And I enjoy playing.

“By the end of the second set I just thought to myself, ‘Try to hit through the ball. Just go for your shots. You know, prepare yourself for the third set’.

“You know, when we had that break and I went — I said, ‘Okay, win or lose, I’m going to go for my shots. I’m going to go for it. This is the only chance I have to win. If I’m going to lose, at least I’m going to do it with dignity’, you know. (laughter)”

In another upset of the night, Belinda Bencic defeated Jelena Jankovic 7-6 6-3 becoming the youngest player to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open since her part-time coach Martina Hingis.

“I mean, I don’t know,” she said astonished. “It’s amazing. I knew in the fourth round I’m the youngest since Paszek since I don’t know when. So amazing to hear it, and I’m so proud of it.”

She went on saying: “It was amazing. At the beginning I was too impressed. I didn’t play well. I was just, not nervous, but just overwhelmed from everything.

“After I got used to it and the court was little bit different. It was different to play there. And also night session is different than in the day, so I had to have some time to adapt to everything.”

Roger Federer won a match that started under the worst possible conditions for the Swiss, but eventually turned out to be a routine win 4-6 6-1 6-1 6-1 over Marcel Granollers.

The rain signed the change in the economy of the match, as the 17-time Slam champion said: “I definitely I guess played better after that. But then again, the first seven games all happened very quickly.

“It was quite windy when we got out. When we came back, basically it was gone. I just tried to play solid, you know, figure things out a little bit, because he did come out and play really aggressive.

“He served well. He was doing a lot of things really well.”

Gilles Simon was the man of the day, causing the first big upset in the men’s draw as he defeated David Ferrer 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-3.

“I feel it was one of the hardest days for me on the court because it was hot and it was so humid,” he admitted. I never sweat like this in the last ten years.

“Plus, I was not really prepared because everyone was talking about the cooler day with maybe some rain. I didn’t see it. So, yeah, to play David in this condition is really demanding physically.”

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Laver Cup Daily Preview: Team Europe Goes for a Fifth Straight Laver Cup

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The lineup for Day 3 (twitter.com/lavercup)

Heading into Day 3, the 2022 Laver Cup is feeling extremely familiar.  Team Europe has an 8-4 advantage, and only needs two wins on Sunday to secure their fifth consecutive Laver Cup.  Team World needs to win three matches to pull off the upset and obtain their first. 

 

Sunday’s play gets underway in London at 12:00pm local time.  And each match on Sunday is worth three points.


Matteo Berrettini and Andy Murray (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock (Team World) – 12:00pm

Berrettini was victorious in both singles and doubles on Saturday, defeating Auger-Aliassime in singles, and teaming with Djokovic to overcome Sock and de Minaur in doubles.  So Matteo gained victories over both of his Sunday opponents on Saturday.  Murray lost to de Minaur in singles on Friday.  Andy and Jack are the most accomplished doubles players in this match, as Sock is pretty much Team World’s doubles specialist.  If he and Felix cannot pull of the victory on Sunday, it could be a pretty short day.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World)

Like Berrettini, Djokovic won in singles and doubles on Saturday, comfortably dispatching of Tiafoe in singles.  While it was his first match in over two months, Novak showed no rust whatsoever.  Auger-Aliassime’s loss to Berrettini on Saturday will not help his confidence against the 21-time Major champion.

Novak and Felix have only played once before, and that occurred four months ago in Rome on clay.  It was a pretty tight affair, but Djokovic prevailed 7-5, 7-6(1).  And there’s not much evidence to support a different outcome on Sunday.  Novak is surely eager to re-assert his authority after missing so much of this season due to his vaccination status.


Stefanos Tsitsipas (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – If Necessary

Tsitsipas easily beat Diego Schwartzman on Friday, dropping just three games.  He is 3-2 against Tiafoe, and 3-1 on hard courts.  However, Frances claimed their most recent encounter, last fall in Vienna, which was also on an indoor hard court.


Casper Ruud (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – If Necessary

Ruud defeated Sock on Friday, while Fritz defeated Norrie on Saturday.  If this match takes place, it will be their first career meeting.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

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Laver Cup Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic to Play Singles and Doubles on Saturday

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The lineup for Day 2 (twitter.com/lavercup)

In the wake of Roger Federer’s incredibly emotional retirement on Day 1, the focus of this event shifts to the rest of the competitors on Day 2.  And for the first time in the five-year history of the Laver Cup, Team World goes into Day 2 without a deficit.  With both Federer and Rafael Nadal replaced by alternates for Day 2 and Day 3, is this Team World’s opportunity to capture their first Laver Cup? 

 

Each day, this preview will look at all four scheduled matches, while taking an extended look at the most notable match of the day.  Saturday’s day session gets underway in London at 1:00pm local time, and the night session at 7:00pm.  And each match on Saturday is worth two points.


Matteo Berrettini (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World) – 1:00pm

These two good friends have played four times, with Berrettini winning on three of those occasions.  Matteo’s wins came three years ago in the final of Stuttgart on grass, in the quarterfinals of last year’s Wimbledon, and a year ago in this event.  Auger-Aliassime’s only win occurred last summer in Cincinnati.  Matteo is coming off a quarterfinal run in New York, as well as three victories last week in Davis Cup.  Felix was upset in the second round of the US Open by Jack Draper, and went 2-1 in Davis Cup.


Cameron Norrie (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – Second in the Day Session

Norrie was also an alternate in last year’s Laver Cup, but did not play.  Fritz was a part of Team World in 2019, when he went 1-1 in singles, defeating Dominic Thiem during Sunday’s play in a must-win match to keep his team alive.  Cam is now 45-22 on the year, while Fritz is 36-17.  Both men achieved their best-ever Major performances two months ago at Wimbledon.  They played each other just last week in Davis Cup, with Norrie prevailing after three tight sets.  Overall they have split 10 previous meetings.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – 7:00pm

Is Tiafoe ready to upset another member of “The Big Three” on Saturday?  He earned the biggest win of his career by taking out Rafael Nadal at the US Open, and defeated Nadal and Federer in doubles on Day 1 alongside Jack Sock.  Meanwhile, this will be the first match for Djokovic in over two months, since he won the Wimbledon final over Nick Kyrgios.  The unvaccinated Novak was unable to travel to North America for the hard court summer season.

Djokovic has only played seven tournaments this year, amassing a record of 23-5.  Tiafoe is 26-19, and is coming off his exciting semifinal run in New York.  Their only previous matchup was at the 2021 Australian Open, when Novak defeated Frances in four sets.  Frances is certainly the much more match-tough player on this day.  But despite his recent inactivity, Djokovic should still be considered the favorite.


Matteo Berrettini and Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Alex de Minaur and Jack Sock (Team World) – Second in the Night Session

Novak will have only a few minutes of rest ahead of this doubles match, so the length of his match with Tiafoe could impact the result here.  This will be Novak’s first time playing doubles since last year’s Davis Cup finals.  Berrettini played three doubles matches this past January at the ATP Cup, going 1-2.  De Minaur overcame Andy Murray in singles on Friday in what was a grueling contest, while Sock was defeated in singles and victorious in doubles.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

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Frances Tiafoe And Jack Sock Ready To Rain On Federer’s Parade At Laver Cup

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Frances Tiafoe describes his first match at this year’s Laver Cup as ‘iconic’ but he is determined to seal victory with doubles partner Jack Sock. 

 

Tiafoe, who reached the semi-finals of the US Open earlier this month, will feature in what will be the final match of Roger Federer’s illustrious career. The Swiss maestro has announced that the team competition will be the last event he will play before retiring from the sport at the age of 41. Federer will partner up with long-time rival Rafael Nadal in what promises to be an emotional encounter for all involved on Friday evening. 

“It’s going to be iconic to be part of that,” Tiafoe told reporters in London. “Both guys are absolute legends, and obviously Roger’s last dance. We are definitely just out there trying to get a win.”

Looking at the wider picture, Tiafoe knows a win in the doubles could prove vital in team World’s bid to win the Laver Cup for the first time in history. Whilst on paper his achievements are overshadowed by those he faces, his current form gives him the edge. Federer hasn’t played a match since Wimbledon last year due to a knee injury. Furthermore, Nadal is still trying to get back to his best shape following an abdominal injury and was beaten by Tiafoe at the US Open. 

“This is a special night. I just think me and Jack are just looking for a special night, come out there, have fun,” he continued. “The crowd is obviously going to be for them. You understand that kind of moment, and just go out there and do your part and just try to get a win. It’s going to be a special night tomorrow. I’m just happy I get the opportunity to do it with Jack.”

Sock, who has won three Grand Slam titles during his career, echoes Tiafoe’s desire to seal victory over the two tennis giants. 

“I’m just stoked to be a part of it with my guy Foe (Tiafoe),” he said. 
“We will go out and enjoy the moment, but not going to hold anything back. Sorry, Roger. Don’t want to spoil the night.”

Federer’s final match at The O2 Arena in London is set to take place in front of a sellout crowd. Following his retirement announcement, ticket sales for the three-day event have exploded. Ace Odds have reported a 4020% rise in demand for tickets with prices starting from £900. An extraordinary outcome considering the most expensive ticket for the Laver Cup was originally £510. 

The doubles match involving Federer, Nadal, Tiafoe and Sock is estimated to start around 20:20 BST on Friday. 

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