French Open Day 1 Preview: Three Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


French Open Day 1 Preview: Three Must-See Matches



Angelique Kerber (

The first day of the French Open promises to be one filled with joy and anxiety. Petra Kvitova will grace her presence on court Philippe Chatrier is what will be her first match since suffering an injury to her hand in a knife attack last year. Meanwhile, world No.1 Angelique Kerber will be out to prove a point against the tricky Ekaterina Makarova. 32 singles matches will take place on Sunday, but these are the three to watch.


Petra Kvitova vs. Julia Boserup

The opening match on Philippe-Chatrier will see the emotional return of Petra Kvitova, who has not played all year while recovering from a home invasion in December where a robber entered her apartment. The assailant held a knife to Kvitova’s throat, and Petra suffered deep lacerations to her left hand while defending herself. The left-hander was told she may never play again, but she surprised friends and fans alike this week with her announcement that she would return earlier than planned at this year’s French Open. The two-time Wimbledon Champion is one of the most popular players in the locker room, and it will be inspiring to see her walk out onto Court Philippe-Chatrier. Petra has admitted she is not yet 100%: she still cannot even make a full fist with her left hand, and has not completed two full sets of tennis during practice. Considering her condition and the considerable emotions she’ll be feeling, how will she fare against the 86th-ranked player from the USA? This is one case where the outcome means a lot less than the mere presence of Kvitova back on the court.

Angelique Kerber vs. Ekaterina Makarova

The number-one ranked Kerber has been playing like anything but the top player in the world, with a 19-12 record on the year and no titles. A letdown following her breakout 2016 was expected, but her lack of confidence has been startling. In the absence of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, there will be even more focus on Kerber’s performance. Kerber lost in the first round of last year’s French Open to Kiki Bertens. Will that result haunt her, or can she find solace in having no points to defend? While Makarova has recently found more success in Doubles than Singles, she is a very rough first round draw who has made many deep runs at majors. But Makarova has never been past the fourth round on the red clay of Roland Garros, and Kerber is 4-0 lifetime against Makarova. This battle of left-handers could go either way, and a tough first-round win could propel either woman into the second week with a wide-open women’s draw.

Dominic Thiem vs. Bernard Tomic

Thiem comes into this French Open with a lot of momentum, and good memories from last year where he reached the semifinals. After losing to Rafael Nadal in the final of both Barcelona and Madrid, Thiem finally defeated Nadal in Rome. Subsequently, he lost his next match to Novak Djokovic, only winning one game in two sets. The Austrian has already played 41 matches in 2017, as he has not decided to reduce his playing schedule in light of his deep runs in many tournaments. While this amount of match play must boost Thiem’s confidence, it’s also likely to soon tire him out. Tomic is fun to watch when motivated, but is not a strong clay courter – he should be an easy win for Thiem. But let’s watch to see if Thiem, one of the top contenders for the French Open title, shows any signs of fatigue.

Sunday’s order of play (starting at 11:00 local time)


Julia Boserup (USA) v Petra Kvitova (CZE) [15]
Angelique Kerber (GER) [1] v Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)
Stephane Robert (FRA) v.Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) [11]
Lucas Pouille (FRA) [16] v Julien Benneteau (FRA)


Horacio Zeballos (ARG) v Adrian Mannarino (FRA)
Christina McHale (USA) v Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) [8]
Dominic Thiem (AUT) [6] v Bernard Tomic (AUS)
Venus Williams (USA) [10] v Qiang Wang (CHN)


Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) v Gilles Muller (LUX) [26]
Marco Trungelliti (ARG) v Quentin Halys (FRA)
Camila Giorgi (ITA) v Oceane Dodin (FRA)
Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) v Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) [6]


Monica Puig (PUR) v Roberta Vinci (ITA) [31]
Benjamin Bonzi (FRA) v Daniil Medvedev (RUS)
Tommy Robredo (ESP) v Daniel Evans (GBR)
Viktorija Golubic (SUI) v Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)


Marius Copil (ROU) v Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) [19]
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) [23] v Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO) [22] v Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR)
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) v Evgeniya Rodina (RUS)


Louisa Chirico (USA) v Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)
Taro Daniel (JPN) v Jerzy Janowicz (POL)
Amanda Anisimova (USA) v Kurumi Nara (JPN)
Yuichi Sugita (JPN) v Steve Johnson (USA) [25]


Madison Brengle (USA) v Julia Goerges (GER)
Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) [20] v Florian Mayer (GER)
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) v Kateryna Kozlova (UKR)
Robin Haase (NED) v Alex De Minaur (AUS)


Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) [30] v Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP)
Marina Erakovic (NZL) v Shelby Rogers (USA)
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) v Tennys Sandgren (USA)
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) v Dusan Lajovic (SRB


Nick Kyrgios Opens Up About His Self-Harm Battle And Murray’s Support



Nick Kyrgios (AUS) playing against Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 03/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios says he became addicted to pain during his battle with self-harm that lasted between 18 and 24 months.


In an exclusive interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, the former Wimbledon finalist spoke about his mental health issues. Kyrgios has previously spoken publically about the topic but has now revealed further details about the extent he went through and the role Andy Murray played in supporting him. He was admitted to a psychiatric ward in London and contemplated suicide following the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

“It was pretty dark to be honest,” Kyrgios told Morgan. “I won tournaments on the professional tour, drinking every night, self-harming, burning things on my arm, cutting myself for fun. It became an addiction of pain. I hated myself. I hated waking up and being Nick Kyrgios.”

One of those who tried to help the Australian address his self-harm problem was three-time Grand Slam champion Murray who noticed cuts on Kyrgios’ arms during one of their practice sessions four years ago. According to The Times, the former world No.1 then alerted Kyrgios’ manager John Morris about the cuts.

Paying tribute to the Brit, Kyrgios says Murray has supported him throughout his career. The 28-year-old has been ranked as high as 13th in the world and has won seven ATP titles. Besides his run to the Wimbledon final last year, he has also reached the quarter-final stage of a major on three other occasions.

“Andy was always a big supporter of me,” Kyrgios said. “As soon as I came on the tour, he kind of saw a work in progress and took me under his wing. Then he realised later in my career that I don’t think I was coachable or I was on my own path, but he was always someone that was looking out for me.
“He saw it [the self-harm] and he said, ‘What’s that on your arm?’ It was pretty bad at that stage. Andy obviously was trying to give me advice on it. But I was just so stuck in my ways at that time that I didn’t listen. Obviously I’m very thankful. I thank him a lot.”

Kyrgios, who has only played one match on the Tour this season due to injury, hopes that he can help others by speaking publicly about his mental health battle. Something he describes as ‘the most powerful thing in his career.’

“I feel like I’ve helped so many people after I opened up about it and put it on social media,” Kyrgios said.
“I’ve almost been a beacon for people who are struggling. When they feel like they’re overwhelmed and they’re going towards drinking, drugs and stuff, they open up and they feel like I’m relatable.
“That’s been the most powerful thing in my career; people coming to me with genuine issues.
“They send me photos in my Instagram, direct messages, self-harming and genuinely wanting to commit suicide.
“I have conversations with these people. Sometimes I’ve had phone calls with these people. That’s making a real difference and I’m just really proud.”

Kyrgios recently had a stint in broadcasting after working for The Tennis channel during the ATP Finals in Milan. He is continuing his rehab from injury but it is unclear as to when he will make his return to professional tennis.

Continue Reading


Hamad Medjedovic earns first place in Red Group at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



Hamad Medjedovic beat Abdullah Shelbayh 3-4 (6-8) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) 4-2 to earn first place in the Red Group with a perfect 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. 


Medjedovic needed to win at least one set to reach the semifinals, while Shelbayh needed to win the match in three or four sets. Luca Van Assche qualified as the second-placed player from the Red Group.

Medjedovic will face Dominic Stricker in the semifinal, while Van Assche takes on Arthur Fils.  

Medjedovic fired 18 aces and won 88 % of his first-serve points. He saved all three break points against Shelbayh. 

Medjedovic fired a tournament-leading 45 aces and was broken twice. 

Medjedovic saved three break points to hold serve in the fourth game of the first set. Shelbayh went up a mini-break twice, but Medjedovic pulled back on serve both times. Shelbayh won the final three points to clinch the tie-break 8-6. Both players went on serve in the first five games before Medjedovic earned the break to win the second set 4-2. 

The third set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Shelbayh earned the first mini-break to take a 3-2 lead. Medjedovic pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. The Serbian player earned a second mini-break to close out the tie-break 7-5. 

Medjedovic started the fourth set with an early break in the first game. He held on his next service games and sealed the win on his first match point. 

Medjedovic set up a semifinal match against Dominic Stricker. Luc Van Assche will face Arthur Fils in an all-French semifinal.“It was a great match. I played really good after the first set He is a very good friend of mine. He is a very good player and obviously the crowd here loves him and I respect that. It was a pleasure to play in front of the crowd”, said Medjedovic. 

Continue Reading


Dominic Stricker cruises past Luca Nardi at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



Third seed Dominic Stricker cruised past Luca Nardi 4-1 4-1 4-2 in 54 minutes in the fastest match in the history of the Next Gen Finals at the Next Gen ATP Finals at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah bouncing back from his defeat in the first match against Flavio Cobolli on Tuesday. 


Stricker converted four of his six break points and hit 13 winners, including 3 aces. 

Stricker came back from 15-40 down in the first game after two double faults from Nardi and broke serve with a return winner on the deciding point to take a 1-0 lead. The world number 94 saved three break-back-back points in the second game from 15-40 down before breaking for the second time in the fifth game to win the first set 4-1. 

Stricker broke serve at 30 in the second game of the second set and held serve at love in the third game to race out to a 3-0 lead. Stricker served it out on his second set point. 

Stricker earned an early break in the first game of the third set on the deciding point and held his next service games. Nardi saved the first match point but he hit his backhand into the net on the second match point after the longest rally of the match. 

“We had a long discussion yesterday evening about how to do it today. I think it was really good that we talked a lot after what maybe was not my best performance. Now to come out today like that, I think nobody expected that. I am just happy that I did it and now I am going to try my best to recover for the third group match”, said Stricker. Stricker is now 1-1 in Green Group. The Swiss player is aiming to reach his second consecutive semifinal at the Next Gen Finals. He is looking to crown a good year after reaching the fourth round at the US Open. 

Continue Reading