Australian Open Day 4: Our Preview and Predictions! - UBITENNIS
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Grand Slam

Australian Open Day 4: Our Preview and Predictions!

Will tonight be the last match in the career of Lleyton Hewitt? Andy Murray and Victoria Azarenka also in action on day four at the Australian Open. Our preview and predictions for Thursday in Melbourne.

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Rod Laver Arena

 

Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) vs. Ana Ivanovic (SRB)[20]

Ranked outside the top 100 and with no matches prior to the Australian Open won this year, not even in the qualifying draws, Sevastova shouldn’t be able to beat Ivanovic. The Serb is facing a tough moment however, and she will certainly give something away. Probably not enough to lose the match.

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) vs. Garbine Muguruza (ESP)[3]

Hopefully Kirsten will be coming at the net to make the match more entertaining. After watching Muguruza playing in the first round, it is hard to believe she could be losing anytime soon. With Azarenka she is the favourite to reach the final in the bottom half of the draw.

Sam Groth (AUS) vs. Andy Murray (GBR)[2]

Murray has already faced Groth’s serve in Davis Cup. Already against Zverev, the Brit seemed focused and on form. Andy should win in three sets, possibly lose one set in a tie-break.

David Ferrer (ESP)[8] vs. Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)

This could be Lleyton’s farewell to tennis. Something tells me he is not ready for it yet. Let’s forecast another win for Hewitt…

Julia Goerges (GER) vs. Karolina Pliskova (CZE)[9]

Pliskova faces a player that has her same style of playing, but not as much power. The Czech should win easily in two.
Margaret Court Arena

Gael Monfils (FRA)[23] vs. Nicolas Mahut (FRA)

Not an easy match for Monfils, especially having to play a compatriot and friend. The 23rd seed should come out on top, but could probably lose one set on his way to victory.

Victoria Azarenka (BLR)[14] vs. Danka Kovinic (MNE)

Victoria is on a roll this year and World No.54 Kovinic will hardly manage to keep up with Azarenka’s rhythm, let alone cause an upset.

Madison Keys (USA)[15] vs. Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)

Angelique Kerber (GER)[7] vs. Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU)

Kerber slightly tested, but should win in two sets.

Bernard Tomic (AUS)[16] vs. Simone Bolelli (ITA)

Bolelli last year played a solid season, but this season he seems back to being too inconsistent. Tomic shouldn’t have too many problems in beating the Italian, who could possibly win a set.

Hisense Arena

Marcel Granollers (ESP) vs. John Isner (USA)[10]

Isner should manage to edge the Spaniard in straight sets, thanks to his serve and better state of form.

Jelena Jankovic (SRB)[19] vs. Laura Siegemund (GER)

Jankovic can lose to anyone these days, if she has a bad day on the court. The Serb should be too much of a good player anyway for the German, who won in Melbourne her first match in a Grand Slam main draw.

Radek Stepanek (CZE) vs. Stan Wawrinka (SUI)[4]

An entertaining match hopefully, and definitively one to watch close. Wawrinka should be tested, but come out on top in four sets.

Show Court No.2

Naomi Osaka (JPN) vs. Elina Svitolina (UKR)[18]

Svitolina can be inconsistent, but she should be able to advance in two sets.

Milos Raonic (CAN)[13] vs. Tommy Robredo (ESP)

A tougher test for Brisbane winner Raonic. The Canadian should manage to keep Robredo far from the baseline, cutting the rallies short to prevail in four sets.

Alizé Cornet (FRA) vs. Shuai Zhang (CHN)

The Chinese has won the match of her life against Halep in the first round, but Cornet should prove to be too solid. The French is in great form after the win in Hobart and has the confidence she needs to go far in Melbourne now.

Jack Sock (USA)[25] vs. Lukas Rosol (CZE)

This could be an interesting matchup and not an easy one for Sock. Jack already struggled in the first round against promising rising star Fritz, but Rosol isn’t someone to give matches away for free. A tough 4-set battle, possible a 5-setter, and Sock could end up losing it.

Show Court No.6

Joao Sousa (POR)[32] vs. Santiago Giraldo (COL)

Despite losing in the first round to Fognini, Sousa showed a solid game on hard courts in Auckland. The Portuguese should advance to the third round.

Feliciano Lopez (ESP)[18] vs. Guido Pella (ARG)

Not really a test for Feliciano, who should be able to close the match in three or four sets maximum.

Annika Beck (GER) vs. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)[11]

Here is a chance for Timea to do well in Australia, where she has the third round as her best result. A win today means she has equalled her best performance in Melbourne, but she could go further, if she were to face Jankovic next.

Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)[21] vs. Tatjana Maria (GER)

Not really a tough test for the Russian, who likes to play in Australia. Makarova should win in two.

Show Court No.8

Johanna Konta (GBR) vs. Saisai Zheng (CHN)

Konta was impressive in her win over Venus Williams in the first round. All is set for the Brit to repeat herself, and she shouldn’t fail her chances, just as she did in New York few months ago.

Denisa Allertova (CZE) vs. Sabine Lisicki (GER)[30]

Lisicki should use her serve to win the match in straight sets.

Tim Smyczek (USA) vs. Viktor Troicki (SRB)[21]

Sydney winner Troicki the favourite against the American. Viktor is in splendid form and can go farther deep in the draw.

Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) vs. Jeremy Chardy (FRA)[30]

After the record marathon won against Gulbis, the French could be tired and face fatigue, especially in the heat of Melbourne. This could be an upset.

Grand Slam

Wimbledon Set To Change Historic All-White Dress Code Rule

The clothing policy at the the grass-court major, which dates back to the Vcitoria era, has been under increasing scruity in recent years.

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Ons Jabeur (TUN) playing against Venus Williams (USA) on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 3 Wednesday 30/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jon Super

It is understood that The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) are having discussions about making changes to its dress code following concerns from female players. 

 

The Telegraph is among a series of sources to report that organizers are speaking with the WTA about changing their policy to address players’ concerns about playing in white whilst going through their menstrual cycle. Whilst no official announcement has been made, it is underwood that there will be a relaxation on what colour underwear and bras are worn. Although the top layer of clothing must remain completely white. 

During this year’s championships, there was a protest shortly before the women’s finals called ‘Address The Dress Code.’ During an interview worth The Guardian, protesters said they wanted to highlight the anxiety women face whilst playing in their whites. 

More recently, tennis coach and former British Fed Cup captain Judy Murray told The Daily Mail that more players needed to speak out on the issue to drive a change to the policy. Murray, who is the mother of three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray, has also called for the inclusion of women in the decision-making panel when it comes to these matters. 

“One of the biggest problems previously in sport was that it was always white shorts, white kit and so on in lots of different sports. Everything was white. Nearly all sports have moved over to colour now.” Said Murray. 

“I think it’s certainly a much more open talking point, but it would probably need more of the players to speak out openly about the trauma it can cause you, if you are wearing all white and then possibly have a leak while you’re playing. I cannot think of a much more traumatic experience than that.”

In a statement sent to The Telegraph, the AELTC confirmed that they are currently looking into making adjustments to the dress code. As it currently stands, the rule states that all players must wear almost all white whilst playing and practising at the Grand Slam. However, around the neckline and the cuff of sleeves can be in colour but no thicker than 1cm. The same applies to Caps (including the underbill), headbands, bandanas, wristbands and socks. 

“Prioritising women’s health and supporting players based on their individual needs is very important to us, and we are in discussions with the WTA, with manufacturers and with the medical teams about the ways in which we can do that.” The AELTC said. 

The all-white policy can be traced back to the 1870s when it was widely considered that white was best at not showing sweat. During the Victorian era, it was viewed as improper to visibly sweat. The tournament has since continued with this tradition. 

Next year’s Wimbledon will begin on Monday, July 3rd. 

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ATP

Nick Kyrgios Urges Officials To Allow Djokovic To Play Australian Open

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Nick Kyrgios has lent his full support to Novak Djokovic and his bid to be allowed to return to the Australian Open next year. 

 

Nine-time champion Djokovic is currently waiting to see if government officials will waive his ban from entering the country. Earlier this year, the former world No.1 was deported from Australia following a high-profile dispute regarding the legality of his visa. Djokovic said he was told by Tennis Australia that a medical exemption would allow him entry into the country despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19. Something the border force and government deemed not to be a legitimate reason. After winning his first court case regarding the process of how his detention was handled, a second at the High Court ruled in favour of the government, who decided to deport him. 

Under Australian law, deportations such as these result in a three-year ban from returning to the country. However, Djokovic is hoping his ban will be removed by the latest administration who are said to be more sympathetic to the matter. 

Weighing in on the debate during the opening of the NBA store in Sydney, Kyrgios said it was important for the sport that the best players participate. Citing the recent retirement of Roger Federer, he argues that the remaining members of the Big Three must continue showing their presence at major events. 

I hope he is here, for the sport,” WAtoday quoted Kyrgios as saying.
“We just saw one of the legends leave the sport, Roger, and that’s going to be some shoes that no one is ever going to be able to fill.
“While Novak and Rafa [Rafael Nadal] are still around, we need these types of players. Otherwise, the people of Australia love the AO, Ash Barty brought us crowds, me and Thanasi [Kokkinakis] won it.
“We want to see the best players in the world there. Me being a competitor, I want to see Novak there.“

Djokovic’s potential presence at Melbourne Park would make him one of the key contenders for the title and could make it tougher for Kyrgios to claim his first Grand Slam title. The two locked horns in the final of Wimbledon earlier this year with Kyrgios claiming the first set before losing in four. 

“Of course, you want to have those guys there,” he said.
“He’s some of the reason why I play. As a kid, you want to play the best players in the world in the best stadiums. Hopefully, he is there.
“He’s had a rough run the last nine months and not being able to play here, play here, not being able to play here, hopefully, Australia welcomes him with open arms this time.”

Djokovic has won the Australian Open men’s title more times than anybody else in history. It is unclear when a final decision regarding his participation in the 2023 tournament will be made. 

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‘Unofficial’ Signs Give Novak Djokovic Hope Of Australian Open Return

The tennis star has given an update on his chances of returning to Melbourne Park following his deportation from the country.

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NOVAK DJOKOVIC OF SERBIA - PHOTO: MATEO VILLALBA / MMO

Novak Djokovic says he is cautiously optimistic that he will be allowed to play at the 2023 Australian Open as legal negotiations continue. 

 

The 21-time Grand Slam champion was deported from the country in January following a high-profile legal battle with authorities over his visa. Djokovic said he was told he could use a medical exemption to enter the country despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19. At the time all arrivals needed to be vaccinated. The Australian border Force declared that exemption to be invalid and therefore his visa. Djokovic was then moved to an immigration facility before winning a court hearing over how his case was handled. However, in a second legal hearing, the High Court backed the government’s decision to deport the tennis star. 

As a result of being removed from Australia, Djokovic is currently banned from re-entering for three years. However, there is hope that this ban could be waived with the help of a new administration coming to power which is understood to be more sympathetic to the situation. 

“When it comes to Australia, there are some positive signs, but unofficially,” Djokovic said during a recent interview with Sportal“We are communicating through my lawyers in Australia. In fact, they are communicating with the authorities in charge of my case. I hope to have an answer in the next few weeks – whatever that answer might be, but of course I am hoping for a positive one – so that I have enough time to prepare for the start of the season, if that start is going to happen in Australia.”

Not everybody is thrilled by the prospect of the Serbian being allowed back into Australia. Former Home Affairs minister Karen Andrews has previously described such a move as a ‘slap in the face for those in Australia who did the right thing and got vaccinated.’ 

Djokovic is still not vaccinated against COVID-19 and has repeatedly stated that he doesn’t intend on doing so. In an interview with the BBC earlier this year, he explained that he had reservations about what is injected into his body and was cautious about the side effects. The COVID-19 injection has been deemed safe by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

“I respect that everyone has a different way of thinking in relation to my situation and my circumstances. After all, I have never offended anyone or ever tried to be disrespectful in any way. I always tried to show that it is important for everyone to have the right and freedom of choice.” He said. 
“For the choices I made, I knew there would be certain consequences like not going to America, and that is it. For Australia it was a different case, I had the exception, but in the end it did not work out. We know what happened, let’s not go back. This time I am waiting for the permission again. It is a good thing that they have now opened the borders for unvaccinated foreigners travelling to Australia. I have that ban, I hope it will be lifted. As I said, it is not in my hands, I hope the people in the Australian Government will give a positive answer, that is all.”

Djokovic is the most decorated male tennis player in Australian Open history with nine titles to his name. That is three more than his nearest challenges (Roy Emerson and Roger Federer both won the event six times). It was at Melbourne Park where he won his first major title back in 2008. 

“I really want to go there, I am over what happened this year and I just want to play tennis, it is what I do best. Australia has always been the place where I have played my best tennis, the results speak for themselves, so I am always extra motivated to go there. This time even more, so. I am hoping for a positive answer.” He concluded. 

The Australian Open will start on January 16th. It is unknown when a final decision regarding Djokovic’s participation will be made. 

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