French Open Day 3 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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French Open Day 3 Preview: Five Must-See Matches

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Andy Murray (zimbio.com)

Tuesday will see two title contenders start their campaign at Roland Garros. Andy Murray will be out to prove a point following a lacklustre past few week’s. Meanwhile, Simona Halep will experience her first physical test since she injured her ankle in Rome. Day three at Roland Garros will be filled with many questions, but what will the answers be?

 

Here are the five matches to follow on Tuesday:-

Andy Murray vs. Andrey Kuznetsov

Much like the women’s world number Angelique Kerber, Murray has struggled thus far in 2017, though he’s also battled injuries and illnesses. After dealing with a bout of shingles as well as an elbow injury earlier this year, Murray has been sick again and on antibiotics in the past week. He’s had to limit his practice time over the past week, and Lindsay Davenport reported Murray has appeared very frustrated on the practice court. The men’s number one has not been passed the round of 16 at a major or Masters 1,000 event this season, and may be prone to an early upset. His opponent comes into Roland Garros with some momentum, having made the semifinals last week in Geneva. If Murray is not back to 100%, this could be a complicated first round match.

Elina Svitolina vs. Yaroslava Shvedova

Svitolina arrives in Paris as one of the favourites to go home with the trophy in 2 weeks. She leads the WTA tour with 4 titles in 2017 (most recently in Rome earlier this month), and is #1 in the year-to-date rankings. Roland Garros is also when Svitolina has had her best run at a major, making the quarterfinals in 2015. Shvedova is just 4-10 on the year and should not pose a threat to Svitolina, so the main focus of this match will be Elina’s performance under the weight of new expectations.

Simona Halep vs. Jana Cepelova

The biggest question here is Halep’s health after tearing an ankle ligament during the final in Rome just over a week ago. Over the past week, there’s been doubt as to whether she would even take the court at Roland Garros. Cepelova has beaten Halep in the first round of a major before, at Wimbledon in 2015. All eyes will be on Halep’s ankle, as a healthy Simona is one of the favorites to win this year’s French Open.

Nick Kyrgios vs. Phillipp Kohlschreiber

Kyrgios is another player who is less than 100%, as he’s been hampered by injuries to his hip and shoulder. Kohlschreiber is a tough first round draw who will not go away easily, and may even be the favorite in this match considering Kyrgios’ health. An early exist could be a blessing for Kyrgios: he’ll want to be fully recovered in time for Wimbledon as his big-serving game translates better on grass.

Gael Monfils vs. Dustin Brown

The last match of the day on Court Suzanne-Lenglen is must-see not because either is a contender to take this title, but due to the eagerness of both men to entertain a crowd. Look out for countless displays of sometimes unnecessary (yet always eye-pleasing) athleticism in the form of jumps, dives, and tweeners. This should be a fun one with a lot of shot making in front of a Paris audience late in the day.

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Iga Swiatek Demands Talks With ITF And WTA After Withdrawing From Billie Jean King Cup

Iga Swiatek is not happy with the ITF and WTA after withdrawing from the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

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Iga Swiatek (@IgaSwi_France - Twitter)

The world number one has announced that she will not compete at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in November after criticising tennis’ governing bodies for not looking after player welfare.

 

The event is set to take place the week after the WTA Finals in Glasgow which causes a huge problem and obstacle for many players.

This is definitely the case for Swiatek who has qualified for the WTA Finals which takes place in Texas on the 31st of October.

A huge dilemma which now means Swiatek will not compete for her country at the Billie Jean King Cup.

Speaking on Instagram the Pole criticised the decision from the ITF and WTA and wants to speak to them about player welfare to prevent future decisions from happening, “I was thinking it through a lot and discussing it with my team all over again, but I will not be able to play at the Billie Jean King Cup in Glasgow,” Swiatek said in her Instagram story.

“And it makes me sad. I’m very sorry because I play for Poland whenever it’s possible and I always give it my best. Playing in Poland this year was an honour and I hoped to do this again at the end of the season.

“I’m disappointed that tennis governing bodies didn’t come to an agreement on something as basic as the calendar of tournaments, giving us only one day to travel through the globe and changing the time zone. This situation is not safe for our health and could cause injury.

“I’m going to talk to the WTA and ITF in order to change something. This situation is difficult not only for the players like me, but mainly for the tennis fans that support our fans.”

It’s clear Swiatek wants change in terms of player welfare and communication between governing bodies on how to facilitate the schedule.

However Swiatek now turns her attention to preparing for the WTA Finals and first up for the Pole is Ostrava this week.

In her opening match Swiatek will face either Ajla Tomljanovic or Shuai Zhang.

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Cameron Norrie Withdraws From Tokyo After COVID Positive Test

Cameron Norrie will miss the rest of the Asian swing due to COVID.

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Cameron Norrie (@the_LTA - Twitter)

After withdrawing from his quarter-final in Seoul, Cameron Norrie has now withdrawn from the ATP 500 event in Tokyo.

 

The Brit’s absence from the latter stages of the ATP 250 event in South Korea, raised eyebrows with Norrie suffering from illness.

However Norrie then withdraw from the ATP 500 event in Tokyo where he was due to play Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Now his absence has been explained as Norrie confirmed on social media that he tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement originally posted on Instagram, Norrie explained he had no symptoms but has to quarantine in his hotel room in Seoul, “Unfortunately I had a positive COVID test in Korea and wasn’t able to compete in the rest of my matches,” Norrie said.

“I have no symptoms and I am feeling 100%. It’s been a complicated situation and I appreciate the Republic of Korea trying their best to be amicable in a very tough situation.

“I was really hoping to go to Tokyo but because of the quarantine period I will not be able to play there. Looking forward to getting back to Europe for the indoors. See you guys soon!”

This is the second time Norrie has tested positive for COVID with the first time being before the start of the season.

Norrie’s scheduled next tournament will be in Stockholm which will take place on the 17th of October.

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Carlos Alcaraz Faces Rune Test In Astana

Carlos Alcaraz leads a stacked field in Astana next week.

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Carlos Alcaraz (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz returns to the ATP tour next week in Astana next week where he faces Danish talent Holger Rune.

 

The world number one plays his first ATP tournament since winning his first Grand Slam title at the US Open and becoming the youngest world number one in history.

Having qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals, Alcaraz will now look to build momentum over the coming weeks for the event in Turin.

First up for Alcaraz is the ATP 500 event in Astana next week where the Spaniard faces a tough opening round in the form of Danish talent Holger Rune.

The Dane reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros earlier this year but had struggled for form since then.

However Rune has reached the semi-finals in Sofia this week and is hitting form at the right time so this will be a big test for Alcaraz.

Should Alcaraz get through that test than a potential second round meeting with Stan Wawrinka could be on the cards with the Swiss wildcard facing Adrian Mannarino in his opening match.

Andrey Rublev is the player that could face Alcaraz in the last eight with the eighth seed facing a qualifier in his opening round match.

Rublev is one of a number of players who are chasing the remaining spots at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Also in the top half of the draw is Stefanos Tsitsipas and Hubert Hurkacz with Tsitsipas facing Mikhail Kukushkin.

While Hurkacz faces Francisco Cerundolo and a potential second round match against home favourite Alexander Bublik could await in round two.

In the bottom half of the draw, Novak Djokovic will continue his search for a surge up the rankings against Cristian Garin.

Djokovic’s potential quarter-final is Jannik Sinner who begins against tricky serve and volleyer Oscar Otte.

Daniil Medvedev is also taking part in a stacked field in Astana as he faces Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his opening round match.

In the bottom quarter there is also an intriguing opening round match between Felix Auger-Aliassime and Roberto Bautista Agut.

Here is the full draw with play starting on Monday:

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