Rio 2016, Day 5: Nadal,Murray On Centre Court - UBITENNIS
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Rio 2016, Day 5: Nadal,Murray On Centre Court

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Day 5 in Rio de Janeiro with men’s third round matches, women’s quarterfinals and mixed doubles kicking off. 

On centre court, Spaniard Rafael Nadal will play Frenchman Gilles Simon, Croatian Marin Cilic will face Gael Monfils and British Andy Murray will have a very tough test against Italian Fabio Fognini.

On court one, Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro will look for a spot in the quarterfinals as he will face Japanese Taro Daniel.

Also, fourth seed Kei Nishikori will play Slovakian Andrej Martin and Belgium’s David Goffin will meet home star Thomaz Bellucci.

Furthermore, mixed doubles competition will kick off during the day, with first seeds Nicolas Mahut and Caroline Garcia facing Brazilians Teliana Pereira and Marcelo Melo.

Full schedule, with local time:

Centre Court
starting 10:45
WS QF (7) KEYS Madison (USA) vs KASATKINA Daria (RUS)
Not before 12:30
MS 3 (3) NADAL Rafael (ESP) vs (15) SIMON Gilles (FRA)
MS 3 FOGNINI Fabio (ITA) vs (2) MURRAY Andy (GBR)
Not before 18:45
WS QF (15) SVITOLINA Elina (UKR) vs (11) KVITOVA Petra (CZE)
MS 3 (6) MONFILS Gael (FRA) vs (9) CILIC Marin (CRO)

Court 1

starting 11:00
MS 3 DEL POTRO Juan Martin (ARG) vs (ITF) DANIEL Taro (JPN)
Not before 12:00
WS QF (10) KONTA Johanna (GBR) vs (2) KERBER Angelique (GER)
MS 3 (ITF) MARTIN Andrej (SVK) vs (4) NISHIKORI Kei (JPN)
MS 3 BELLUCCI Thomaz (BRA) vs (8) GOFFIN David (BEL)
XD 1 (1) GARCIA / MAHUT (FRA) vs (ITF) PEREIRA / MELO (BRA)

Court 2
starting 11:00
XD 1 BERTENS / ROJER (NED) vs (ITF) WILLIAMS / RAM (USA)
followed by
MS 3 (10) BAUTISTA AGUT Roberto (ESP) vs MULLER Gilles (LUX)
MD SF JOHNSON / SOCK (USA) vs (5) MERGEA / TECAU (ROU)
MD SF Winner of: vs Winner of:
(6) LOPEZ / NADAL (ESP) vs (7) NESTOR / POSPISIL

Court 3
starting ore 11:00
MS 3 DONSKOY Evgeny (RUS) vs (12) JOHNSON Steve (USA)
followed by
WD QF (4) MUGURUZA / SUAREZ NAVARRO (ESP) vs (7) MAKAROVA / VESNINA (RUS)
WS QF PUIG Monica (PUR) vs SIEGEMUND Laura (GER)
XD 1 STOSUR / PEERS (AUS) vs (4) MIRZA / BOPANNA (IND)
XD 1 MATTEK-SANDS / SOCK (USA) vs KONTA / MURRAY (GBR)

Court 4
starting 11:00
WD QF (5) BACSINSZKY / HINGIS (SUI) vs (3) CHAN / CHAN (TPE)
followed by
WD QF SAFAROVA / STRYCOVA (CZE) vs (8) ERRANI / VINCI (ITA)
WD QF (6) HLAVACKOVA / HRADECKA (CZE) vs KASATKINA / KUZNETSOVA (RUS)
XD 1 NICULESCU / MERGEA (ROU) vs SUAREZ NAVARRO / FERRER (ESP)
XD 1 RADWANSKA / KUBOT (POL) vs BEGU / TECAU (ROU)

 

Court TBD

not before 18:00
XD 1 (3) MUGURUZA / NADAL (ESP) vs (ITF) HRADECKA / STEPANEK (CZE)
not before 18:00
XD 1 (ITF) VINCI / FOGNINI (ITA) vs (2) MLADENOVIC / HERBERT (FRA)

 

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More Recovery Required For Dominic Thiem As Grand Slam Hangover Continues

The world No.4 reflects on his lacklustre performance at the Rio Open this week.

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Dominic Thiem - Australian Open 2020 (via Twitter, @AustralianOpen)

As the only top 20 participant in this week’s Rio Open Dominic Thiem had his sight set on both the title and a milestone ranking position. However, the South American clay proved to be too problematic for the world No.4.

 

Playing his first tournament since reaching the final of the Australian Open last month, Thiem struggled from the onset. During his first two matches he was taken to three sets by world No.341 Felipe Meligeni Alves and world No.99 Jaume Munar. Two players who certainly played some of their best tennis to expose some uncomfortable weaknesses in his current game.

On Saturday Thiem’s Rio campaign was ended by Italian underdog Gianluca Mager, who is yet to crack the top 100. 25-year-old Mager is yet to play a grand slam main draw match, but did win a trio of titles on the lower tier Challenger tour last year.

“Everything is basically fine, but of course it is always very tough to have an exhausting grand slam tournament and then the body comes down.” Thiem explained following his exit from the tournament.
“Trying to get things going again on a different surface in a completely different country on the other side of the world is not easy. Of course I was not playing my best tennis this week (in Rio).’
“A lot of times my tennis gets better as the week goes, but unfortunately it didn’t happen this week.”

Thiem is only the second top-five player to return to the tour following the Australian Open. After Daniil Medvedev, who has suffered early exits in Rotterdam and Marseille. The top two players – Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal – will return to action next week in Dubai and Monterey. Meanwhile, Roger Federer is sidelined until at least June with injury.

“There is not a lot of time between Australia and here, and it is a really big challenge to get 100% again.” He commented about the short turnaround.
“I’m only home home for a week and then I’m flying (to Rio) again.”

Whilst not feeling his best on the court, there was an incentive for the Austrian to do well this week. If he made the semi-finals, he would break into the world’s top three for the first time in his career. Becoming the first male tennis player from his country to do so since Thomas Muster. Fortunately for Thiem his place in the top three is inevitable thanks to the absence of one of his rivals in the coming weeks.

“To be honest I’m not very worried about that right now because I’ll be number three in a couple of weeks anyway. I’m sad because I lost this match. It makes no difference to be at the Top 3 this Monday or next week”, he said.

Thiem is next heading off to Los Angeles for some rest before resuming training once again. He will be eager to regain his form from earlier this year ahead of his next tournament in Indian Wells. It will be there where he will be defending a Masters 1000 title for the first time in his career. Last year he defeated Federer in the final.

“I will try to do the same as last year which worked out perfectly as I played great tennis in Indian Wells.” Thiem outlined.
“I arrived 10 days prior to the tournament and I am going to do the same again in Indian Wells. Get used to the conditions which are unique. I’ll try to do something similar to last year which worked out amazing and I hope to be at the back at the top of my game.”

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Epic Dubai Triumph Fuels Belief And Motivation For Simona Halep

The world No.2 reacts to the latest milestone achieved in her career.

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On Saturday Simona Halep survived a marathon encounter at the Dubai Tennis Championships to become only the sixth active player to win 20 on more WTA titles on the tour.

 

The two-time grand slam champion, who was the top seed in the tournament, required almost two-and-a-half hours to see off the in-form Elena Rybakina 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5). A player who has reached the final in four out of her five tournaments played so far in 2020. The clash was far from easy for the Romanian, who trailed 1-3 in the decider and failed to serve the match out when leading 6-5 before eventually prevailing in the tiebreak. Earning her first WTA trophy since lifting the Wimbledon trophy last July.

“It feels great that I could win it,” Halep said. “Actually, it was amazing. She fought till the end. She didn’t give up any balls. It was really tough mentally. The pressure was very high. But I wanted it badly, so that’s why I fought till the end.”

Besides Rybakina, the 28-year-old also scored wins over Jennifer Brady, Aryna Sabalenka and Ons Jabeur in the tournament. Out of those matches, Halep’s only straight sets win was over Brady in the semi-finals.

It is the second time Halep has won the Dubai crown after 2015. She believes her latest triumph reiterates why she still belongs at the top of the women’s game. Prior to this week, she also reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and quarter-finals in Adelaide.

“I’ve done a lot of results, many results these six, seven years,” said Halep. “I’m staying here in the top 5, top 10, which is not easy. I’m proud of my job. Also, this tournament gives me confidence that I’m still there.”

Whilst she has only won two titles over the past 16 months, it is the consistency of the former world No.1 that has enabled her to be in the world’s top 10 for so long. To date she has spent 317 weeks consecutive weeks in the top 10 since January 2014. The 10th longest streak in the history of the WTA Tour.

“I always had in my mind that I had to be consistent. I didn’t like the way you win a tournament and then don’t do anything for a few months. I like to build my power and consistency every week.” She explained.
“Since I met Darren (Cahill) I was told that we had to look at the big picture and not just this week.’
“This makes me more proud than winning titles because if you’re able to be there means that you have everything power, strong mental, physical also, very strong.” She added.

There will be no Middle East double for Halep this year after she withdrew from the upcoming Doha Open. A Premier 5 event that will feature six top 10 players in the draw this year. Halep was runner-up in the tournament last year to Elise Mertens.

“It’s a decision I took before the match … I started this tournament a little bit injured with my foot.” Halep stated.

The only active players to have won more WTA titles than Halep are Serena and Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova.

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Novak Djokovic Faces Jaziri Test As Familiar Face Waits For Tsitsipas In Dubai

Novak Djokovic will play his first tournament since capturing his eighth Australian Open title in Dubai this week.

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Novak Djokovic (@usopen - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic will face Malek Jaziri in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Championships this week. 

 

The Serb enters the tournament in Dubai having edged his way to the Australian Open title last month at Melbourne Park.

Full of confidence and energy, Djokovic will play Malek Jaziri in the opening round in Dubai with the Tunisian being a former quarter-finalist here.

Speaking at the draw ceremony, Jaziri feels at home playing in the middle-east, “I feel like I’m playing at home here,” the Tunisian told the Khaleej Times.

“That run a couple years back and I’ve also made the quarters a couple of times, it’s perfect to be back competing here.”

Should Djokovic get through Jaziri in the opening round then Philipp Kohlschreiber or Mohammed Safwat will await in the second round. A last eight showdown with Karen Khachanov could also be on the cards for the Serb.

Not only is Djokovic in singles action this week but he is also teaming up with Marin Cilic in doubles as they face top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury.

As for the second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, he could face a rematch with Hubert Hurkacz from last year’s event where the Greek won.

Before that match happens in the second round, Stefanos Tsitsipas will have to get past Pablo Carreno Busta while Hurkacz faces the unpredictable Alexander Bublik.

In other headline first round matches, Dan Evans will face 4th seed Fabio Fognini while Marin Cilic will face eighth seed Benoit Paire.

Here is the full draw with play getting under way on Monday:

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