RG 2015 Day 5: Djokovic, Nadal, Williams survive as Schiavone wins epic battle - UBITENNIS
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RG 2015 Day 5: Djokovic, Nadal, Williams survive as Schiavone wins epic battle

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TENNIS – Novak Djokovic (1) beat Gilles Muller from Luxemburg 6-1 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 50 minutes, although he received treatment on his hip. Djokovic scored his second win against Muller in a Grand Slam tournament this year after prevailing in the fourth round at last January’s Australian Open. Diego Sampaolo

 

Djokovic converted on five of his 12 break points and hit 35 winners.

“There are no significant injury concerns. Thankfully it’s nothing major. It’s not a concern for the next match, which is the most important thing. It wasn’t pleasant with the conditions that were changing today. I think a bit of heavier conditions made the court a little bit more wet and it was pretty slippery”, said Djokovic

Andy Murray (3) dropped the second set but clinched the match in four sets with 6-2 4-6 6-4 6-1 against Joao Sousa. The Scotsman cruised to 6-2 in the first set in which he dropped just three points on serve but he was seriously tested in the second set where he won just 36% of his first serve points. In a trade of break Murray dropped his serve for 3-5 but he broke straight back. However Sousa broke again to clinch the second set.

Sousa got two chances to take an early break in the third set but he failed to convert it after hitting his return long. Murray earned a break point at 3-3 with his backhand winner down the line and took the break with a forehand into the corner. He served out for the third set with 6-4.

Murray broke early in the fourth set before taking a 3-0 lead with a cross-court forehand winner. He got another break to close out the match after two hours and 30 minutes.

Rafael Nadal (6), the 9-time champion here had a tough test against fellow countryman Nicolas Almagro but the defending champion was able to come away unscathed 6-4 6-3 6-1. David Ferrer (7) also faced a fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-3 6-2 6-1. Several other seeded players also won including Marin Cilic (9), Kevin Anderson (15), Leonardo Mayer (23) and David Goffin (17).

This year’s French Open might be the tipping point for the next generation of ATP stars as four of them find themselves in the 3rd round of the French Open. 20-year old Nick Kyrgios (29) got through to the 3rd round without playing Kyle Edmunds withdrew from the tournament with injury. Borna Coric, 18, knocked out Tommy Robredo (18) in 5 sets 7-5 3-6 6-2 4-6 6-4. 19-year old Thanasi Kokkinakis had a similarly epic match against his compatriot Bernard Tomic (27) coming from 0-2 sets down to take it in 5th set after denying Tomic the chance to serve out the match, 3-6 3-6 6-3 6-4 8-6.

Although American Jock Sock is slightly older than the others at 22 years old, his stocks too are rising. He recently won his first ATP title in Houston this year and already knocked out 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov in the 1st round. In his next match, he battled hard against Pablo Carreno-Busta taking the match in 4 sets 6-7 7-6 6-1 7-6. In the 3rd round, Kyrgios will face Murray, Coric against Sock and Kokkinakis will face Djokovic. These all make for some very interesting encounters come Saturday in Paris.

Schiavone battled past Kuznetsova after 3 hours and 49 minutes

In a clash between two former French Open champions, 2010 winner Francesca Schiavone battled past 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in an epic three-set match with 6-7 (11-13) 7-5 10-8 in a repeat of the legendary Australian Open 4 hour and 44-minute match in 2011 where the Italian prevailed yet again 6-4 1-6 16-14 in the longest women’s Grand Slam match in the Open Era. Many felt that the Russian had a chance to win this title as she had recently shown good form in Madrid when she got to the final.

In the 1st set, Kuznetsova (18) edged Schiavone 13-11 in the tiebreaker after an hour and 20 minutes. Schiavone rallied from a 0-2 deficit in the 2nd set to take it 7-5 and forced the match to a decisive 3rd set. Kuznetsova took a 4-2 lead in the third set and served for the match four times at 5-4, 6-5, 7-6 and 8-7 but each time she would be denied the opportunity to close out the match. Schiavone was relentless fending off the match point with a backhand winner before clinching the win when Kuznetsova hit her volley into the net after 3 hours and 49 minutes in the third longest match at the Roland Garros.

Schiavone will face Andrea Mitu who recovered from a set and a break down to upset Karolina Pliskova (12) with 2-6  7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

“I don’t know how much of it is magic or how much of it is working and just keeping going and believing in something that looks so far away but it’s so close. I feel like every match for me is great history now. It doesn’t matter where I am. The score doesn’t matter.Everything is a bonus for me,” said Schiavone

Serena Williams (1) had to dig deep when she recovered from a set down to edge Anna Lena Friedsam with 5-7 6-3 6-3. The German came close to breaking serve in the second set in the 1st and 5th games but Williams recovered to win the second set with 6-3 before getting the early break in the decider en route to clinching the third set with 6-3. Williams set up a blockbuster third round match against Victoria Azarenka (27) who defeated Lucie Hradecka 6-2 6-3. In their most recent encounter in Madrid, Williams had to fend off three match points before clinching the match in the 3rd set tiebreaker.

Julia Georges upset Caroline Wozniacki (5) 6-4 7-6 (7-4). The German hit 39 winners, including a forehand winner on her match point which enabled her to close out the match after one hour and 46 minutes. Georges scored her sixth win over a top-five player and her first at Grand Slam level. Other winners on the day include Andrea Petkovic (10), Irina Begu (30), Sara Errani (17), Timea Bacsinszky (23) and Madison Keys (16). Several unseeded players also made it through to the 3rd round, Sloane Stephens, Irina Falconi, Alison Van Uytvanck, Tsetvana Pironkova and Kristina Mladenovic.

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Andy Murray Outlines ‘Big Concern’ About His Current Fitness Ahead Of US Open

The 35-year-old is looking to see if he can find a reason behind his latest problem on the Tour.

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Andy Murray (GBR) - Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Britain’s Andy Murray has admitted that he is alarmed about the frequency of cramping he is experiencing during matches played in North America this season.

 

The three-time Grand Slam champion crashed out of the Western and Southern Open on Wednesday after losing in three sets to compatriot Cameron Norrie. During the closing stages of their encounter, it was visible that Murray was once again struggling with cramps. A condition that occurs when a muscle shortens and causes a sudden pain that can make it hard to move.

It is usual for athletes to experience cramps but for Murray the issue is a ‘big concern’ for him. Saying that this year is the first time in his career he has suffered from the issue on a regular basis.

“I think pretty much every tennis player in their career has cramped usually in these sorts of conditions,” Murray said during his press conference.
“But the consistency of it for me is a big concern. It’s not something that I have really experienced. I have experienced cramping but not consistently like over a number of tournaments.
“It’s a big concern for me because it’s not easy to play when it gets bad like it was at the end (of his match against Norrie). I feel like it had an impact on the end of the match.”

Murray says his cramping occurs ‘predominantly’ in his legs but different parts. The former world No.1 is now looking into seeing if he can find a possible explanation as to what might be triggering the cramps. The issue comes less than two weeks before the start of the US Open.

“It’s a big concern for me that and something that I need to address and find a solution for,” he said. “No one knows exactly why cramps happen. There are many reasons, whether its hydration, whether it’s the food that you have taken in, whether it’s fatigue and lack of conditioning, stress.’
“I need to try and understand what’s going on there.”

Since Wimbledon, Murray has achieved a win-loss record of 3-4 on the Tour with his best run being to the quarter-finals in Newport. He is currently ranked 47th in the world.

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Cincinnati Daily Preview: A Loaded Schedule Features All Third Round Matches

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Emma Raducanu on Monday in Cincinnati (twitter.com/cincytennis)

Thursday’s schedule in Cincinnati is overflowing with appealing contests.  ATP third round singles action is especially stacked, featuring 11 of the world’s top 20, including world No.1 Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz.  WTA action features top names such as world No.1 Iga Swiatek and reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu.

 

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.


Jessica Pegula (7) vs. Emma Raducanu (10) – Not Before 7:00pm on Center Court

It’s been a tough season for Raducanu, but she seems to be peaking just in time for her US Open title defense.  The 19-year-old followed up her comfortable victory over Serena Williams by dominating Victoria Azarenka 6-0, 6-2.  She is currently in a trial coaching relationship with Dmitry Tursunov, who in recent years guided the careers of two other WTA players to new heights (Sabalenka, Kontaveit).  That partnership appears to be paying immediate dividends for Emma, much like Tursunov’s coaching did for Aryna and Anett.  Pegula has become the American No.1, and since last August, has reached the semifinals at three WTA 1000 events in North America, including just last week in Toronto.  But in their first career meeting, Raducanu’s blistering form this week makes her the favorite.


Felix Auger-Aliassime (7) vs. Jannik Sinner (10) – Not Before 7:00pm on Grand Stand

This is a rematch from three months ago at the Madrid Masters 1000 event, where Auger-Aliassime crushed Sinner 6-1, 6-2.  That was an especially surprising result on clay, which is not Felix’s best surface.  The 22-year-old Canadian is now 35-19 on the year, and defeated Alex de Minaur in straight sets on Wednesday.  Sinner has a slightly better record of 38-10, and on Tuesday, outlasted Thanasi Kokkinakis in an over three-hour match decided by a third-set tiebreak.  Over the last few months, Sinner has been the more in-form player.  Jannik has won nine of his last 11 matches, while Felix has only managed five of his last 10.  With not much separating their abilities, confidence may be key, and that’s to Sinner’s advantage.


Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Taylor Fritz (11) vs. Andrey Rublev (6) – Fritz easily dismissed of an obviously-hampered Nick Kyrgios on Wednesday.  Rublev came back from a set down to take out Fabio Fognini.  Taylor is 3-2 against Andrey, which includes a straight set victory earlier this year at Indian Wells.

Petra Kvitova vs. Ons Jabeur (5) – Jabeur saved three match points on Wednesday against Ohio native Katy McNally.  A round earlier, Kvitova saved match point against last year’s runner-up, Jil Teichmann.  Petra leads their head-to-head 3-1, though Ons earned her first win in their friendly rivalry this season.

Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Madison Keys – On Wednesday, Swiatek outlasted the other finalist from the 2017 US Open, Sloane Stephens.  On the same day, Keys ousted another French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko. 

Daniil Medvedev (1) vs. Denis Shapovalov – This week, Shapovalov has earned his first back-to-back wins since May.  He has split four previous meetings with Medvedev, though Daniil has claimed their most recent two. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) vs. Diego Schwartzman (13) – Schwartzman already survived two three-setters this week.  He’s 2-2 overall against Tsitsipas, though Diego has taken both of their matches on hard courts. 

Marin Cilic (14) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (3) – Cilic won this event in 2016.  He’s 1-1 against Alcaraz, who is now 43-8 in 2022.


Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Cincinnati Daily Preview: Brits Andy Murray and Cam Norrie Meet in the Second Round

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A look at Center Court at the Lindner Family Tennis Center (twitter.com/cincytennis)

On Monday, Andy Murray overcame another three-time Major singles champion, Stan Wawrinka, in a three-hour thriller.  In the second round, he meets the new British No.1 Cam Norrie, who reached his first Slam semifinal last month at Wimbledon.

 

WTA action is headlined by three matches between Slam singles champs, which includes world No.1 Iga Swiatek.  Also on Wednesday, Rafael Nadal will play his first match since withdrawing from the Wimbledon semifinals.

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.


Andy Murray vs. Cameron Norrie – 11:00am on Center Court

Murray will be happy he had a day of rest after his emotionally and physically taxing match against Wawrinka.  He has compiled a solid record of 23-14 this season, with 2022 being his most active year since 2017, when his hip issues began.  But Norrie has taken his place as the top British male, and has really come into his own over the past 18 months.  Cam is now 38-18 this season, and has reached 10 finals since the start of last year.  Their only prior meeting occurred three years ago in Beijing, with Murray prevailing in a long, tight three-setter that lasted nearly three hours.  But three years later, Norrie is a much-improved competitor.  While playing your fellow countryman is often tricky, especially when they’ve been knighted, Cam should be favored to even their head-to-head.


Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Sloane Stephens (WC) – Not Before 3:00pm on Grand Stand

Swiatek is vying for her 50th win of the season on Wednesday, with 37 of those victories coming consecutively between February and July.  But since those 37 wins in a row, Iga is only 3-3, and suffered a frustrating loss last week in Toronto to Beatriz Haddad Maia 7-5 in the third after three hours of play.  Stephens continues to be a streaky player, as the 2017 US Open champion has gone on multiple winning and losing streaks of four matches or more throughout the year.  On Monday night, she crushed Alize Cornet 6-1, 6-0.  Sloane often plays her best tennis in American hard courts, and advanced to the third round or better of this tournament in seven straight appearances between 2012 and 2019.  These two Major champs have never played before.  Stephens could be primed for another win streak, and it would be understandable if Swiatek experienced a dip in her level after all the tennis she’s played this year.  Yet after dominating the tour for most of the year, Iga should still be favored.


Other Notable Matches on Wednesday:

Victoria Azarenka vs. Emma Raducanu (10) – It’s a two-time Australian Open champ against the reigning US Open champ.  Azarenka defeated Kaia Kanepi in three sets on Tuesday, while Raducanu easily prevailed over Serena Williams 6-4, 6-0.

Elena Rybakina vs. Garbine Muguruza (8) – It’s another two-time Major champ against the reigning Wimbledon champ.  Rybakina is 2-2 since her surprising run at The All-England Club, while Muguruza is a subpar 9-13 on the year.  They split two meetings last year, with Elena victorious in the more notable encounter, in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics.

Taylor Fritz (11) vs. Nick Kyrgios – Fritz started the summer by winning the title in Eastbourne, while Kyrgios was the champion in Washington.  This will be their first career meeting.

Rafael Nadal (2) vs. Borna Coric (PR) – Despite his injury issues, Nadal is a staggering 35-3 in 2022, and 20-1 on hard courts.  Coric missed a full year of action due to shoulder surgery, and is just 12-12 at all levels since returning.  Borna has won two of their four previous meetings, including six years ago at this event.


Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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