ATP Young Stars Dominic Thiem, Bernard Tomic and Alexander Zverev Get Through The Rain-Plagued Day - UBITENNIS
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ATP Young Stars Dominic Thiem, Bernard Tomic and Alexander Zverev Get Through The Rain-Plagued Day

All 4 seeded players that got to finish their matches today advanced. Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev got through in straight sets. Bernard Tomic finished his five sets drama with Fernando Verdasco, and Tomas Berdych struggled to close out his match against Ivan Dodig.

Jakub Bobro



The 8th seed Dominic Thiem only started his match against Florian Mayer yesterday. Their match was interrupted with rain today as well, but Thiem managed to keep himself above his tough opponent. Mayer defeated Thiem just two weeks earlier, in the semifinals of Halle. The German ended up the surprise winner of the tournament.


“I was really not scared, but I had a lot of respect from him,” he said. “I was really, really happy when I made the match point, because he won a 500 [tournament] on grass. Beat five really good players on the way. It was for sure one of the toughest draws in the first round for me.”

“I was feeling not comfortable all the last two years on grass,” Thiem said. “The biggest difference this year is of course I got a lot of self-confidence, but the biggest difference is my movement. I am much more down and much more stable.”

Thiem kept his cool, and in all three sets he was in control and the better player. The scoreline read 7-5 6-4 6-4 for the young Austrian. His next opponent will be also a young player, Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic. Vesely defeated the Dutch Igor Sijsling 6-2 6-4 7-6(7).

19th seed Bernard Tomic came out today to come to a conclusion in the first round match against Fernando Verdasco. Today the play started with the fifth set, and Tomic broke for 4-2. Verdasco got a 0-40 lead on Tomic’s serve to make it 4-4, but Tomic kept on fighting and kept the lead. He won the final set 6-4. The final scoreline read 4-6 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-4 and pure match play time was 2 hours and 50 minutes. However Tomic will be far more exhausted, having to be constantly ready to play with the rain delays.

“I was a bit tired in the fourth set and was happy to get the chance to stop,” he said. “But it also makes it tough because you have to go to sleep with one set to go and then you need to come out playing well.”

The Australian had solid results on grass prior to this tournament, reaching semifinals of Queen’s Club. En route to that result he defeated 3 quality grass player, one of them being Verdasco. Tomic’s next opponent will be Moldavian qualifier Radu Albot. Albot got through an equally matched opponent Gastao Elias in four sets.

Easiest of the matches was definitely for Alexander Zverev. The German young star reached finals of the tournament at Halle, falling to Florian Mayer. Zverev is the 24th seed at Wimbledon, and got by with a smooth win over Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3 6-4 6-2. Zverev was going into the match today with a 3-0 lead in the third set, and made sure to finish strong. Zverev will face either Mikhail Youzhny or Horacio Zeballos in the second round.

The most experienced of the seeded players playing today, 10th seed Tomas Berdych was finishing off his match against Ivan Dodig. Berdych was leading 4-1 in the fourth set, but Dodig did not give up and kept on fighting. The Croat broke back, but two more breaks came and Berdych had his first match point. Dodig saved it and saved another at 5-6. Berdych finally finished the match, winning 7-2 in the tiebreak. 7-6(5) 5-7 6-1 7-6(2) was the final score of the match after 3 hours and 20 minutes for Berdych. The Czech No. 1 will face Benjamin Becker in the second round.



Intriguing Team-Ups Lure Eyes Doubles’ Way. Will They Stay For The Problems, Too?

Will the recent surge in high-profile double partnerships have any impact on the long term future of the discipline?



Cincinnati Open, Western and Southern Open, Andy Murray, Feliciano Lopez
Photo Credit: ATP Tour Twitter

In one of his press conferences at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Andy Murray said he would not be playing the US Open. His announcement came a day or so after his initial declaration that he would be playing only the two doubles events in the final Major of the season. A few things came out of Murray’s remarks. The first and the obvious was that the former world no. 1 was ready to give it his all (yet again) to play singles. The second, the understated aspect, was that doubles while seeming easy vis-à-vis singles required just as much focus, if not more. Then, there was a third.


In tennis’ continuity though, the relevance of the doubles game is not a recent epiphany. However, the last few tournaments of the 2019 season that featured some eclectic partnerships – Stefanos Tsitispas and Nick Kyrgios, Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez, the Pliskova twins, Andy and Jamie Murray, and so on – has made doubles slightly more prominent than singles.

Singles has become monotonous with the same set of players making it to the final rounds. On the other hand, doubles has brought in more verve to the existing status quo of the Tour, with each player’s individuality adding to the dynamics of the team. After his first outing as Kyrgios’ doubles partner at the Citi Open in Washington in July, Tsitsipas pointed this out.

“It’s the joy of being with a person who thinks differently and reacts differently. I would characterise him (Kyrgios) as someone who likes to amuse. I’m very serious and concentrated when I play, but he just has the style of speaking all the time. It’s good sometimes to have a change,” the Greek had said.

These changes – as seen with Murray’s recent decision – may not extend for a longer period. The culmination of these short-term team-ups does – and should – not mean the end of the road of doubles piquing attention, per se. At the same time, these transitory partnerships also reroute the discussion back to the financial side of the doubles game.

In a recent interview with Forbes, Jamie Murray – a doubles specialist – shared how conducive it had become for players to take up doubles as the sole means of a tennis career these days, as compared to in the past.

“Because the money is always increasing in tennis, it is a much more viable option to go down the doubles route a lot earlier than previous generations. Before, people would play singles and then when their ranking dropped, they played an extra few years of doubles. Now it is a genuine option to start off much younger and have a career in doubles,” the 33-year-old said.

Despite Murray’s upbeat attitude, these increases have not exactly trickled towards doubles, especially at the Slams including the upcoming edition of the US Open. For 2019, the USTA showed-off yet another hike in the prize-money coffer. The men’s and women’s singles champions will be awarded $3.8 million. In comparison, the men’s and women’s doubles teams winning the respective title will get $740,000. This sum gets further diluted for the mixed-doubles’ titlists who will get $160,000 as a team.

This is the third and final takeaway that emerged from Murray’s US Open call. For several of these singles players, intermittent doubles play is an option. For those who play only doubles, that is the only option they have. The doubles game requires similar effort – travel, expenses and fitness – the costs continue to outweigh the benefits. These momentary team formations are a gauge revealing the disparity of tennis’ two sides, visible yet obliviated beyond tokenism.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career



Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.


Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.


Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.


“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati



David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.


Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”



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