US Open 2015 Men: Looking Ahead - UBITENNIS
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US Open 2015 Men: Looking Ahead



Roger Federer (image via

September 6th, 2015
By: MJ


The tournament has been in full swing since Qualifying Day on August 25, and we are on the verge of embarking on week 2 of the magnificent Grand Slam here in the Big Apple. Before we look ahead to the dramatic matches sure to come, let’s take a quick look back at all the exciting events that have led us up to this point.

One disappointment for the fans this year at the Open is the record number of first round retirements, which in turn has opened up the draw in unexpected ways. For those who aren’t keeping track, here is the rather long list. First there was Pablo Andujar who sent Gabashvili into the 2nd round. This was good news for the Russian, erasing all chance of an upset as happened to him in Washington D.C. weeks prior to Berankis, who takes the ball very early. Next was the veteran Stepanek, who is always a threat, but no longer this year. Sam Groth vs Dolgopolov would have been an interesting match up as well, but the Ukrainian succumbed to the New York heat next. A shame for the tournament as the amateur rapper’s quick serves and fast feet is always a pleasure to witness around the grounds, and he could have been a threat deeper in the draw. Another big shame is Monfils, who is always unpredictable in his play, but a guarantee in high entertainment value. Yen-Hsun Lu, who had a huge upset against Roddick at Wimbledon years ago, is yet another victim. Florian Mayer, whose ranking has dropped significantly now down to #216 did himself no favors when he bowed out early against Klizan. Finally, the vastly talented but inconsistent Gulbis retired in his match against Bedene.

As Day 7 gets underway in less than an hour local time, the road to the Quarterfinals and beyond is paved with numerous challenges for many. In the top half of the draw, Lopez is up against the Nadal slayer Fognini. The lefty Lopez has a big booming serve and very calm demeanor on court, plus a very low biting slice, but he hasn’t been truly tested this week so far, having had the pleasure of sending Mardy Fish to retirement, permanently. Foginini on the other hand is much more animated on court in his flashy red Adidas gear, and often plays with no fear. If he continues to rein in his nerves (as he did against Rafa), expect to see punishing groundstrokes unload off both sides going down the line for winners. I predict Fognini to move on.

Paire and Tsonga would normally be fairly boring, but the way the unseeded Frenchman have played this week, Tsonga would be wise to stay focused and play relaxed. Indeed, Tsonga is arguably among the best players in the world when he doesn’t play with nerves, even able to hit one hand backhands as he did to upset Federer at Wimbledon from 2 sets down no less! His serve is key. The author still favors the seeded Frenchman.

Cilic is up against another Frenchman in his next match, although Chardy is much less a threat than Tsonga. He had a tough match against Kukushikin, but mainly due to his own serves. To advance, he absolutely needs to keep them in check so he can swing through freely with more pace. The pressure and mental state is a crucial factor here. Nevertheless, I will put faith in the defending champ.

Wawrinka is quite lucky to be in the tournament still, as his match against the up and coming Korean Chung could easily have gone either way. Much like Cilic, he let nerves get the better of him for the majority of the match, hitting without conviction and playing even safer on serve returns. He must step it up this deep in the draw if he is to continue his campaign. On the other hand is the American Donald Young, who is having a break out year here on his home turf. Despite his constant switch of sponsors (he is with Boast now), his game has remained steady this week as he prevailed over and over again in marathon 5 set upsets. Can he refuel for yet another big upset against the French Open champ? Or will he run out of gas? The author is going for the big upset here! Or a complete blow out.

We find yet another Frenchman in the bottom half this time, as Gasquet takes on Tomas Berdych. This would be one of the closer matches I believe. Both players are very talented. Berdych tends to take the ball a little earlier than Gasquet, but Richard has a viscious backhand that rivals Stan’s, and his game lacks any glaring weaknesses. I think fitness is key here. Whoever takes the first set should prevail. Too close to call here. May the better player win today! Ok, the author hopes for Gasquet. Allez!

Other matches not mentioned here include Novak’s as he faces Agut. Should be an easy one here for the world #1. Murray is up against Anderson, which could be close, but expect Andy to continue into week 2. Perhaps a 5 setter here. Finally, we have Federer. How can we forget him? He faces the American Isner, who has been playing well this summer, including reaching the finals in D.C. To win, Federer must neutralize the big serve and stay aggressive, as John is known to play 5 set matches with tons of tiebreaks tossed in. Strike first, Roger! As for prediction, I have Roger capturing #18. You know what I am talking about!

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Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker

According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.



Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.


Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.

This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.

The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.

Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.

“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.

“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”

Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.

Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.

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Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development

Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.



(@tennisnewsbrazil - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.


The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.

Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.

“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”

It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.

One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.

Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.

“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.

“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.

“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”

Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.

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Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain



Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans. 


Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.  

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying. 
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”

Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.

“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’

Will Kyrgios play?

Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity. 

“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …” 

Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment. 

“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions. 

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