TENNIS – The US Open men’s draw took place today at the Billie Jean King Tennis Centre and before any ball has been struck, this final major is set to be an incredible event. There are so many blockbuster matches set to take place from the very first round to the last. This is surely the biggest event on the tennis calendar all year.
For the top 8 seeds, if they hold true to form, this is how they are set to meet in the quarterfinals
Novak Djokovic (1) v Rafael Nadal (8) [Top Half/First Quarter]
Kei Nishikori (4) v David Ferrer (7) [Top Half/Second Quarter]
Andy Murray (3) v Stan Wawrinka (5) [Bottom Half/Third Quarter]
Roger Federer (2) v Tomas Berdych (6) [Bottom Half/Fourth Quarter]
However, there might be a few problems in the way of some of the top 8 getting to that stage. Murray has to face the young hot Australian Nick Kyrgios in the opening round. Kyrgios who has been the source of much controversy is known to be a big match player having taken out Nadal at Wimbledon last year and beating Federer earlier this year in Madrid. Nadal himself has to face Croat Borna Coric in his first round match, a player who has beaten him before, last fall in Basel, Switzerland. This is not the end of the Spaniard’s troubles as Fabio Fognini (32) looms in the 3rd round,Milos Raonic (10) in the Round of 16 and then Djokovic for a place in the semifinal.
Nonetheless, despite these huge first round encounters, some things remain unchanged. Djokovic should have a relatively easy route to the quarterfinals at least. He remains the player to beat despite losing two hardcourt finals this summer in Montreal and Cincinnati. However, he lost those to Murray and Federer which are not bad losses to say the least. He is unlikely to be troubled by the likes of Andreas Seppi (25) or Roberto Bautista-Agut (23). If he meets Nadal there, he would hope to even their head-to-head record here at the Open as Nadal is 2-1. It would be earliest they have ever met at this event as their three previous encounters were all in the final. Nadal won in 2010 and 2013 with Djokovic taking the title in 2011.
Last year’s finalist, Nishikori (4) has a relatively easy section and should be able to get back to the semifinal stage as he did last year to beat Djokovic. He is again in the same half as Djokovic. Neither Gael Monfils (16) nor Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (19) has shown any level of consistency to be able to challenge the Japanese. However, they are dangerous floaters and tend to come alive on the big stages. Ferrer still remains a questionable element at this event since he has not played an event since the French Open due to injuries. This leaves defending champion Marin Cilic (9) with an excellent opportunity to make it to the quarterfinals again where he might face Nishikori, a re-match of last year’s final. However, Nishikori beat Cilic in their most recent meeting this summer at the Citi Open in Washington DC.
If Murray gets by Kyrgios, he should get to the quarterfinals especially since Kevin Anderson (15) who he might face in the Round of 16 proves to be unreliable in the big matches. Defending French Open champion Wawrinka has a possible tricky 3rd round encounter against American Jack Sock followed by Gilles Simon (11) in the Round of 16. Nonetheless, it should be a battle between Murray and Wawrinka if they both get to the quarterfinals. The winner would play Federer fresh off his 7th title in Cincinnati. Federer has a relatively easy route to the semifinals again with only Philipp Kohlschreiber and either Ivo Karlovic (21) or John Isner (13) in the round of 16 before he possibly faces Berdych in the quarters. The Czech started off so well with year making the semifinals of the Australian Open. However, his form has definitely fallen off since late Spring and he is struggling to show any consistent form. Berdych does have a win against Federer at this event back in 2012, so he might be confident to repeat.
All in all, this US Open event is set to be a massive event and we are not even factoring the fact that Serena Williams is on tap to complete the calendar grand slam here.
Borna Coric Still Feels Shoulder Pain Seven Months Into His Comeback
Playing professionally with niggles is never ideal but it is a price the Croat is willing to pay.
The phrase ‘no pain, no gain’ is one that world No.28 Borna Coric can closely relate to.
Exactly 12 months ago Coric was in the middle of a lengthy hiatus from the sport due to a serious right shoulder issue which required him to undergo surgery. He didn’t play a match between March 2021 – March 2022 and previously admitted he contemplated if he would be able to return to the sport again.
Fortunately the 25-year-old was able to resume his career and enjoyed a breakthrough moment during his comeback by winning his first Masters 1000 title at the Western and Southern Open in August. It was at that tournament where he scored three wins over top 10 players. Since then, he suffered a loss to Jenson Brooksby in the second round of the US Open before winning two out of his three matches played at the Davis Cup.
Seeking to break back inside the world’s top 20 for the first time since October 2019, it appears that Coric’s injury woes are behind him. However, things are never as simple as they look.
“I do feel good. I can play tennis and extra training, way more than I was before the surgery,” Coric told reporters earlier this week. “Still I have sometimes a little pain and I need to manage that. But I can play. A little bit of pain, sometimes I think that’s fine.
“I’m not very young anymore so I need to be ready to have some pain sometimes, If that’s what it takes, I’m fine with it.” He added.
Coric is currently playing at the Japan Open where he is the eighth seed in the draw. On Tuesday he began his campaign with a straight sets win over Thanasi Kokkinakis to record his first-ever win in Tokyo.
He will play his second round match on Thursday against Brandon Nakashima, who has Japanese heritage from his father’s side but is playing an ATP event in the country for the first time in his career. Nakashima defeated Shintaro Mochizuki 6-3, 6-2, in his opening match earlier this week.
“The love for tennis here (in Tokyo) is a thing to experience,’ Coric wrote on Instagram.
Coric has won ATP titles in three separate continents but is yet to be triumphant in Asia.
Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal, A Spanish Dominance
Ubitennis looks at the biggest movers in this week’s ATP Pepperstone rankings.
Let’s start from the title winners of last week.
Marc-Andrea Husler paid a most worthy tribute to the retirement of his fellow countryman Roger Federer by winning the ATP 250 in Sofia and showcasing a style which thrilled all net game lovers. As a result, he soars to his career highest of No. 64. Yoshihito Nishioka tops his excellent second part of season by securing his second career title in Seoul and moving up to No. 41, his best ranking ever. Finally Novak Djokovic consolidated his chances to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin thanks to his win in Tel Aviv.
A few comments:
- Rafael Nadal overtakes Casper Ruud. The two Spaniards are towering over the rest of the pack.
- Hubert Hurkacz and Taylor Fritz both gain one position since Jannik Sinner, former title holder in Bulgaria, had to withdraw in the semifinal due to an ankle injury, and failed to defend the points he had earned in 2021 in Sofia.
- Marin Cilic is back in the top 15 players of the world, after reaching the final in Tel Aviv.
NITTO ATP FINALS RACE TO TURIN
Alcaraz, Nadal, Ruud and Tsitsipas are already qualified for the ATP Finals scheduled in Turin from 13 to 20 November; Djokovic is another likely contender in the star-studded event, since, as a Grand Slam winner, he just needs to be ranked in the top 20 in order to qualify.
Six places are yet to be conquered, including the 2 reserves, which means that 9 players will be battling to book their ticket to Turin in the next weeks. 2021 ATP Finals winner Sasha Zverev, still grounded by injury, is not among them.
2500 points are at stake in the upcoming weeks featuring one ATP Masters 1000, two ATP 500 and two ATP 250.
This is the week of the ATP 500 Astana Open in Nur-Sultan and of the Japan Open in Tokyo, which have just kicked off. Alcaraz, Ruud, Tsitsipas, Medvedev, Rublev, Hurkacz, Fritz and Djokovic are out for the glory and the points, whereas Sinner and Berrettini are in the pits. Berrettini will be back on the tour the following week in Florence.
INTESA SANPAOLO NEXT GENERATION FINALS
Qualifying for the Next Gen Finals in Milan from 8 to 12 November is going to be a tough battle. Alcaraz and Sinner are likely not to take part in the event and all the other players are so close that anything could happen.
This week seven players in the top 100 are celebrating their career highest.
A double applause for the two winners of Seoul and Sofia: Yoshihito Nishioka and Marc-Andrea Husler.
Article written by By Roberto Ferri for ubitennis.com, translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye
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.
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.
Miomir Kecmanovic saves six match points to beat Daniel Evans in Tokyo
Novak Djokovic Storms Past Van De Zandschulp To Reach Astana Quarters
Billie Jean King Praises Grand Slam Semi-Finalist Nadia Podoroska For Coming Out
Roger Federer’s Legacy Will Be Greater Than Nadal And Djokovic, Says Berdych
Nick Kyrgios Relishing Double Duty And Local Culture At Japan Open
Roger Federer To Make Last-Minute Decision Over Laver Cup Participation, Says Coach
Juan Martin Del Potro Reveals Physical And Mental Trauma From Tennis Retirement
Should Roger Federer Become A Super Coach? Djokovic And Murray Give Their View
Andy Murray Calls For Earlier Start To Davis Cup Ties After Great Britain Loses Late-Night Thriller
Carlos Alcaraz Is Playing At 60% Of His Potential, Says Coach Ferrero
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) ITF President David Haggerty ’Satisfied’ With Davis Cup Format Despite Issues
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) ITF President David Haggerty Reacts To Federer’s Retirement
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Elena Rybakina’s Wimbledon Win Was Good But The Level Wasn’t Great
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE): Novak Djokovic Battles Past Norrie, Faces Kyrgios In The Final
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Brad Gilbert Makes A Bold prediction on Sinner, Backs Kyrgios To Trouble Nadal
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