AO 2015: Murray and Nadal in Federer's half - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

AO 2015: Murray and Nadal in Federer’s half

Avatar

Published

on

TENNIS AO 2015 – The Main Draw of the Australian Open men’s tournament which starts on Monday 19th January in Melbourne was held today. Last year’s finalist Rafa Nadal will face a very tough path and may clash against Tomas Berdych in the quarter finals and Roger Federer in a possible blockbuster semifinal. Federer may face Andy Murray in the quarter finals. Novak Djokovic could clash against Milos Raonic in the top-half quarter. Last year’s Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka could battle against either Kei Nishikori or David Ferrer in the quarter finals Diego Sampaolo

 

AO 2015 men’s draw

AO 2015 women’s draw

First quarter: World Number One and four-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic will open his campaign against a qualifier before facing the first tough test against Fernando Verdasco in the third round before a possible fourth round match against either John Isner or 2014 ATP Most Improved Player Roberto Bautista Agut. In the opening round the Spanish player will play against Austrian rising star Dominic Thiem, who reached the fourth round at the 2014 US Open and is currently leading the new generation’s challenge against the old guard.

Djokovic will be bidding to win his fifth Australian Open title after the wins in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and the eighth Grand Slam in his career which also features two wins at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014 and the US Open in 2011. Should he win his fifth title Down Under, he would become the most successful male player at the Australian Open in the Open Era. He is currently second most successful player in the Australian Open history together with Roger Federer and André Agassi behind Roy Emerson who clinched six titles at Melbourne Park.

He will be looking for a re-match of last year when he was beaten by Stan Wawrinka with 9-7 in the decider in a thrilling five-set quarter final match.

Djokovic withdrew from the Mubadala final in Abu Dhabi against Andy Murray before suffering an upset quarter final 7-6 6-7 4-6 loss against Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic in the ATP 250 in Doha after a very tough match. This was the second loss for Djokovic in 23 matches since the US Open

Djokovic will have to face a possible quarter final clash against Milos Raonic The Serbian player leads 4-0 in his career head-to-head matches against Raonic. Djokovic’s possible rivals in the semifinals will be Wawrinka or Nishikori.

The top-half also features 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro from Argentina. Del Potro will have to face a difficult test against 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz who won the Hopman Cup last week in Perth together with her compatriot Agnieszka Radwanska. The winner of the match between Del Potro and Janowicz will face the always dangerous Gael Monfils who reached the US Open quarter finals last year.

Raonic’s potential fourth round rivals could be Feliciano Lopez, Monfils or Del Potro.

Del Potro, nicknamed the Tower from Tandil, has made his come-back this week in Sydney after being sidelined for one year because of a career-threatening wrist injury. Now ranked Number 338 player in the world, Del Potro played two encouraging matches in his first tournament in Sydney where he beat two tough players Sergiy Stakhovsky in the first round and Fabio Fognini in the second round before losing against Mikhail Kukushkin in the quarter finals.

I did more than what I expected. I played three matches in a row and I played against good players in this tournament, which means a good comeback for me. I didn’t expect to play three matches in a row. We go day by day. It’s dangerous for me if I am looking forward to the next tournaments or the next month. I have to be patient and do my best every day. This is my biggest challenge in my new career”, said Del Potro in Sydney.

Second quarter: The second quarter of the draw could feature a potential quarter final between Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori in a re-match of the 2014 US Open quarter final. Defending champion Wawrinka, who will play against Turkey’s Marsel Ihlan in the first round, could face either Pablo Cuevas in the third round, Aleksander Dolgopolov or Fabio Fognini in the fourth round. Wawrinka will be looking to clinch his second consecutive Australian Open-Chennai double after winning in the Indian Tournament last week for the second consecutive year by beating Slovenian qualifier Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-4.

Wawrinka could renew his battle against Novak Djokovic in the semifinal in a possible re-match of the epic 2013 fourth round match and the 2014 quarter final. On both occasions they played two very tight five-set matches which came down to the wire. Djokovic won in 2013, while Wawrinka took the re-match in the quarter final in 2014 before lifting his first ever Grand Slam Trophy.

I am happy to be back for sure. I am playing well and have confidence with my game but everything starts from zero again and you have to be ready for two weeks. Against Novak last year changed everything. To finish as the winner, it gave me the confidence and put me in the semifinals there. I was feeling great. It feels great to see the picture of me with the Trophy in the corridor. The first thing I did was to check to see if it was there and if it was a good picture. When you have the picture, it’s always a good picture. Starting the year with a Grand Slam and finishing with the Davis Cup, it was an incredible 2014”, said Wawrinka.

Last year’s US Open champion Nishikori, who reached the semifinal in Brisbane last week, will start his campaign against Nicholas Almagro in a difficult first round before a possible fourth round against David Ferrer, who is always a difficult rival at Grand Slam level. Ferrer got off to a very good start to his 2015 campaign by winning his 22nd career title at the Qatar Open in Doha where he beat Tomas Berdych in the final with 6-4 7-5. It was his first title for Ferrer under the guidance of his new coach Francisco Fogues. It was his first trophy since Buenos Aires in February 2014 and his first ever Doha win in five appearances after losing the 2013 semifinal against Nikolay Davydenko. Ferrer will not have a tough draw as he will face Thomas Bellucci in the first round, Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round and last year’s Shanghai Master 1000 finalist Giles Simon.

Third quarter: Rafael Nadal, last year’s finalist in Melbourne, was drawn against Mikhail Youzhny in the first round before a possible tricky third round match against Lukas Rosol, who upset the Mallorcan legend at Wimbledon in 2012. If he overcomes these difficult hurdles, Nadal could meet either Kevin Anderson or Richard Gasquet in the fourth round and Tomas Berdych in the quarter final. Nadal suffered a surprising first round loss against Michael Berrer in Doha, needs to play matches to get into shape after being undergoing appendicitis surgery on 3rd November.

Nadal will be looking to complete a double Career Grand Slam after losing against Wawrinka last year.

Berdych was drawn in the same section with Phillip Kohlschreiber, Ernests Gulbis and Bernard Tomic. The most intriguing match of the third quarter of the draw will pit Ernests Gulbis and Australian tennis hope Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Fourth Quarter: This is the most interesting section of the draw as it features Roger Federer and Andy Murray who may square off against in a potential blockbuster quarter final. It could be a possible chance for Murray who lost 6-0 6-1 in the ATP Finals in London last November. Federer and Murray were drawn in into the same half as Nadal. There is a possibility that Federer or Murray could face Nadal in the semifinals. Murray’s possible rivals before the fourth round are David Goffin (semifinalist in Chennai last week) and Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round. The young Bulgarian, semifinalist in Brisbane last week, will face a tough debut match against Dustin Brown, a German player of Jamaican origin who beat Rafa Nadal last year in Halle and always produces a spectacular tennis.

Federer, four-time winner at Melbourne in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2012 and semifinalist last year against Nadal, will start against Yen Shun Lu, before facing either in-form Italian Simone Bolelli or juan Monaco in the second round and Croatian rising star Borna Coric in the third round. Coric, the youngest player in the top-100 in the ATP Ranking, who will start against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. Federer could meet either Tommy Robredo, who upset the Swiss legend in the 2013 US Open, or Ivo Karlovic, who upset Djokovic in Doha before losing a hard-fought semifinal against Ferrer last week. In Qatar Karlovic became the third player in history to reach the 9000 aces milestone. With 9092 aces Karlovic is currently ranked second behind Goran Ivanisevic (10183 aces) but he is ranked ahead of Andy Roddick (9074 aces). The second round could feature a very interesting second round match between Karlovic and Australian rising star Nick Kyrgios, who famously beat Rafa Nadal in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2014.

Federer is one of the strongest favourites to win his 18th Grand Slam title after his impressive start to the season in Brisbane where he became the third player in history to reach the 1000th match win milestone after beating Raonic in a fantastic final in three sets with 6-4 6-7 6-4. Only Jimmy Connors (1253 wins) and Ivan Lendl won more matches than the Basel legend. During the Brisbane award ceremony Federer received the Roy Emerson Trophy from Australian tennis legend Roy Emerson. Federer clinched his 83th career title in Brisbane

It was a special day for me, winning a title plus getting the magic number of 1000. This figure means a lot because it’s such a huge number. Just alone to count to 1000 is going to take a while. To get to 1000 match wins in front of such legends as Roy Emerson and Rod Laver means a lot to me. I will never forget this match”, said Federer.

The most interesting first round matches are Del Potro-Janowicz, Grigor Dimitrov vs Dustin Brown, Sam Querrey vs Vasek Pospisil, Jiri Vesely vs Viktor Troicki, Ernests Gulbis vs Thanasi Kokkinakis and Rafael Nadal vs Mikhail Youzhny, Roberto Bautista Agut vs Dominic Thiem, Gael Monfils vs Lukas Pouille and Jeremy Chardy vs Borna Coric. Former World Number 1 Lleyton Hewitt will play against Chinese wild card Zhang Ze.

ATP

Playing Clay Events After Wimbledon Was A Mistake, Says Diego Schwartzman

The former French Open semi-finalist is seeking to win his first title since March 2021 at the Tel Aviv Open this week.

Avatar

Published

on

Diego Schwartzman (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Diego Schwartzman will likely reevaluate his schedule for next year after admitting that part of his plans for this summer backfired. 

 

The world No.17 enters into the final quarter of the season with 31 wins against 22 losses on the Tour but is yet to win a title. Although he did reach back-to-back finals back in February in Argentina and Brazil. He has won two out of eight matches against top 10 opposition, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Cup and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Barcelona. 

Reflecting on his performance, Schwartzman admits that his decision to return to European clay after playing at Wimbledon was a mistake. He lost his second match in Gstaad to Pablo Carreno Busta and then his first in Hamburg to Emil Ruusuvori. 

“It’s difficult to play at the same level every tournament, I’ve made a bad decision playing clay tournaments after Wimbledon, I didn’t have time to rest,” he said during his pre-tournament press conference at the Tel Aviv Open. “I paid the price and had some bad losses. But I started to feel much better in USA hard court season, lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas who reached the final in Cincinnati and to Frances Tiafoe at the US Open. Now I am feeling very good, I really love playing indoor tournaments.”

The 30-year-old has headed straight to Tel Aviv from the Laver Cup where Roger Federer played the last match of his career. Despite Schwartzman’s Team World winning the title for the first time, his only contribution to the tie saw him lose 6-1, 6-2, to Tsitsipas. 

Retirement was very much the topic of conversation during the Laver Cup with others such as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic questioned by reporters about their plans in the sport. As for Schwartzman, he stayed coy about how much longer he would continue playing after saying in the past he might stop at the age of 33. 

“33 — is a good age to retire, isn’t it? South Americans are in different situations compared to European players. We travel too much, and sometimes we are not coming back home for 2-3 months, while Europeans can fly home every week. It’s tough,” he said. 
“As for Roger — he’s a special player, I think he is just the greatest in our sport.”

The Argentine is seeded third this week in Israel and will begin his campaign against Arthur Rinderknech who defeated qualifier Marius Copil in his opening match. 

Continue Reading

ATP

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

Avatar

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

ATP

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

Avatar

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending