Players Hail Manic Monday At Wimbledon As 'Special,' But Scheduling Draws Criticism - UBITENNIS
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Players Hail Manic Monday At Wimbledon As ‘Special,’ But Scheduling Draws Criticism

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Wimbledon (zimbio.com)

The second Monday at Wimbledon is a day like no other in the tennis calendar. Unlike the three other grand slams, every fourth round match will take place on the same day.

 

Fans and the media will be running frantically around the venue as the world’s best players bid to progress to the quarter-final stage. The chaotic day of play send pulses racing and leaves many people exhausted, but they still wouldn’t have it any other way. Like many things at Wimbledon, the day is part of the rich tradition that the tournament prides itself on.

“I think it’s awesome for the fans. You know, they get to watch so many of the top names playing at the same time, get to play on the outer courts, as well. I think for the fans, it’s great.” Said Caroline Wozniacki, who will play Coco Vandeweghe on Monday.

Tomas Berdych knows very well what it is like to play on the busiest day at Wimbledon. This year is his 14th consecutive appearance at SW19 and the ninth time the Czech has progressed to the fourth round. Some argue that matches should also be played on the Sunday before, but the 31-year-old loves the hype surrounding ‘Manic Monday.’

“I’m saying it’s the best day of tennis, actually, that you can see. I think if anybody ask me, like, for a day that they want to go for the tennis, I’m saying it’s the second Monday of the Wimbledon, because exactly, you see men’s, women’s, you see last 16.” He said.

Grigor Dimitrov, who reached the semifinals of the tournament in 2014, describes the atmosphere surrounding the day as a ‘special feeling.’ It isn’t just the prospect of playing on Monday that the Bulgarian relishes. It is also the tranquil atmosphere leading up to it.

“It’s amazing. I mean, I always like that feeling. I’ve done it a few times already. It’s just great.” Dimitrov stated.
“(Today) I think is going to be the best day, that Sunday just when everything is so calm. It’s just us, the players. All you can hear is, like, the hitting of the ball. You can just hear how the ball sits on the strings. You just hear that.
“Honestly, it’s a pretty special feeling. It puts a huge smile on my face.”

One big day, one big headache for organisers

The nostalgia players have for the start of the second week at Wimbledon is something like no other. Still, this year’s scheduling has drawn criticism. There are four top-five players remaining in both the men’s and women’s draw. Yet, some are baffled by the decision to put 10th seed Venus Williams on centre court as the only women’s match.

On Monday the top four seeds in the men’s draw will play on the two premier courts at Wimbledon. Whilst the four highest women left will have to play on the outside courts. Opinion has been divided regarding the scheduling and if it is fair. Wimbledon has since been accused of sexism. Although, placing the likes of Federer or Murray on the outside court would create a logistical nightmare for fans with the limited seating.

One argument for the women playing on the outside courts is the start time. Matches are set to start at 11:30am, one-and-a-half hours earlier than the two main courts. An important factor given the ladies quarterfinals starts Tuesday. On the other hand, this is only a viable justification if it doesn’t rain. On Monday there is expected to be light rain showers throughout the afternoon.

Controversy continues to embroil the scheduling, but it still takes nothing away from Manic Monday. It is an occasion loved by many, regardless of the questionable order of play.

Who is playing where on Monday.

CENTRE COURT – 1:00PM
1. Ana Konjuh (CRO) [27] v Venus Williams (USA) [10]
2. Andy Murray (GBR) [1] v Benoit Paire (FRA)
3. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) [13] v Roger Federer (SUI) [3]

NO.1 COURT – 1:00PM
1. Johanna Konta (GBR) [6] v Caroline Garcia (FRA) [21]
2. Rafael Nadal (ESP) [4] v Gilles Muller (LUX) [16]
3. Adrian Mannarino (FRA) v Novak Djokovic (SRB) [2]

NO.2 COURT – 11:30AM
1. Angelique Kerber (GER) [1] v Garbine Muguruza (ESP) [14]
2. Victoria Azarenka (BLR) v Simona Halep (ROU) [2]
3. Milos Raonic (CAN) [6] v Alexander Zverev (GER) [10]
4. Marcus Daniell (NZL) / Marcelo Demoliner (BRA) v
Ken Skupski (GBR) / Neal Skupski (GBR)

NO.3 COURT – 11:30AM
1. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) [9] v Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) [7]
2. Coco Vandeweghe (USA) [24] v Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) [5]
3. Dominic Thiem (AUT) [8] v Tomas Berdych (CZE) [11]

COURT 12 – 11:30AM
1. Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) [13] v Elina Svitolina (UKR) [4]
2. Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) [18] v Marin Cilic (CRO) [7]
3. Nikola Mektic (CRO) / Franko Skugor (CRO) v
Sam Groth (AUS) / Robert Lindstedt (SWE)

COURT 18 – 11:30AM
1. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) v Petra Martic (CRO)
2. Sam Querrey (USA) [24] v Kevin Anderson (RSA)
3. Marcin Matkowski (POL) / Max Mirnyi (BLR) v
Nicholas Monroe (USA) / Artem Sitak (NZL)

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Dominic Thiem Rules Federer Out Of GOAT Debate

The Austrian puts forward his theory on who should be regarded as the best player in history.

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Dominic Thiem; e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger, 27.10.2022

The honour of which player deserves to be regarded as the greatest of all time (GOAT) should be decided based on one factor, according to Dominic Thiem. 

 

The former world No.3 has weighed in on the debate by suggesting that the argument should be settled by the number of Grand Slam titles a player has won as they are the most prestigious tournaments in the sport. In tennis, the four major tournaments are the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. 

Thiem’s GOAT criteria have therefore ruled Roger Federer out of contention. The Swiss maestro was at one stage the frontrunner due to the numerous records he has broken throughout his career. However, he retired from the sport last year with 20 Grand Slam trophies under his belt which is less than both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who are currently on 22 each. 

“In my opinion, the Grand Slam titles should be the defining criteria when determining the best of all time, they are the four most important tournaments in tennis,” Eurosport quotes Thiem as saying. 
“Everything else is fine, but it’s not the same. The Slams are what counts, so the GOAT will probably be the one with the most Grand Slams.”

Others will argue that more factors should be taken into account in the subjective debate. For example, Federer has won 103 ATP titles which are more than his two rivals, Djokovic holds the record for most weeks as world No.1 and Nadal has won more tournaments on clay than any other player in history. Furthermore, there is the players’ win-loss rate on the Tour and their records against the top 10 players. 

Recently at the Australian Open Djokovic won the men’s title for a historic 10th time in his career. An achievement that has been hailed by Thiem who was runner-up to the Serbian at Melbourne Park in 2021. 

“I am not very surprised, Djokovic still looks young,” he said. “Physically and mentally, because of the way he moves on the court. It’s like he was 25 years old.
“We have to be honest, he is the best, so his victory was not very surprising.”

Thiem has won one Grand Slam title which was at the 2020 US Open when he became the first man in the Open Era to come back from two sets down to win in the final. He has also been runner-up at the French Open twice, as well as the Australian Open once. 

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Australian Open: Steve Flink Talks Djokovic’s Fitness, Nearest Rivals And Future Of American Tennis

Tennis Hall of Famer Steve Flink joins Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta to discuss Novak Djokovic’s tenth Australian Open title.

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Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic won his tenth Australian Open title last week but what does the future hold for the Serb?

 

This was something that was discussed between hall of fame writer Steve Flink and UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta.

After Djokovic’s stunning straight sets win to claim a 22nd Grand Slam title, the pair discussed who the Serb’s future rivals may be for the rest of the season.

Flink stated that Alcaraz is Djokovic’s nearest challenger and would love to see them face off several times this season, “I think the smallest gap is between Djokovic and Alcaraz, I think we’ll found that out,” Flink explained.

“I think that’s what we need to see this year, Ubaldo. Is Alcaraz going to pick up where he left off last year, winning his first major, finishing the year number one. Has the temperament, has the game?

“I want to see Djokovic and Alcaraz play this year, I hope maybe 3-4 times at least and I think that could be great for the game and that maybe the biggest test would be to play the young Alcaraz who’s so fearless.”

Reflecting on the Australian Open Flink was very impressed with the way the world number one played over the two weeks especially managing his injury.

Flink thinks that Djokovic getting to world number one is a great achievement given the circumstances, “Just imagine how far ahead he would be in the rankings,” the Serb explained.

“If he had 2000 points for Wimbledon as he should have received, he’d be way way ahead of the pack. But just the fact he got back to number one which no one was really expecting since last fall is a great achievement.

“He was all along the overwhelming favourite to come back and win the Australian Open for the tenth time. However I honestly believe that he was genuinely very worried about his leg. Some people didn’t want to believe that but I definitely believed it because he got hurt in Adelaide and then you saw he was cancelling practice sessions in the middle of the leading up to the Australian Open.

“He was very worried and he kept wearing that strapping on his leg. Plus there was those medical time-outs he was taking in the earlier rounds and I don’t think it was until he played De Minaur in the fourth round that he was physically close to his best. And then from that point on he looked pretty invincible but I do think coming in he had deep concerns about his physical condition.”

Also in their chat, they discussed other rivals to Novak Djokovic such as Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Daniil Medvedev, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Holger Rune and Sebastian Korda.

There was also much encouragement from Flink over the future of American men’s tennis with him comparing the current generation to the mid 1990’s, “This is the best group we’ve had since you have to go back, I mean we can look at the Roddick-Blake-Fish era and yes I mean Roddick was the last American man to win a major singles title at the 2003 US Open. And Blake was in the top five in the world and Fish had some great exploits but this group has more depth,” Flink explained.

“This is more like the mid-90’s, I’m not saying we’re going to have a Sampras, Courier, Chang, Agassi, you know the greatest American generation but all of these guys starting with Fritz and Tiafoe and then Korda who we already mentioned and Tommy Paul, his first major semi-finals despite the fact he lost to Djokovic in straight sets, Tommy Paul has burst into the top 20.

“And we’ve got an awful lot of talent in the top 50 now, I haven’t been this encouraged in a long time. I think it’s a very impressive American line-up.”

Below you can see the full video where they also discuss who has the most potential between Jannik Sinner, Matteo Berrettini and Lorenzo Musetti.

Video Breakdown:

00:00: Intro

00:26: Discussion over Djokovic’s level and injury concerns at Australian Open.

3:40: Reflecting on Djokovic’s post Wimbledon form

4:38: Reflecting on Djokovic’s physical state in comparison to Nadal and Djokovic’s competition

7:23: Discussion about Tsitsipas

12:45: Further discussion about Alcaraz  

14:55: Talk about Medvedev’s disappointing form

16:32: Talk about Ruud’s style of play

18:10: Talk about Auger-Aliassime

20:24: Discussion about Holger Rune, Sebastian Korda and American Tennis

24:26: Discussion about biggest potential amongst Sinner, Berrettini and Musetti

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Andreescu edges Kostyuk to reach semis in Hua Hin

Bianca Andreescu is into the semi-finals in Thailand.

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Bianca Andreescu (@BenLewisMPC - Twitter)

The Canadian is into the final four in Thailand after beating the Ukrainian in straight sets.

 

Bianca Andreescu booked her spot in the semifinal of the Thailand Open in Hua Hin after beating the Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in straight sets 6-0, 7-6 in one hour and 28 minutes.

The number one seed hit 19 winners and won 69% of her first serve points in a match where she had an amazing start but was dealt some adversity in the second set.

“I don’t think I started playing bad in the second set,” Andreescu said. “I think she just raised her game and she is always a tough opponent so I wasn’t expecting anything easy.”

The Toronto native who was making her first trip to Thailand came out to a flying start breaking three times in the first set en route to serving a bagel 6-0 set in a mere 25 minutes on court.

Riding the momentum into the second set, the Canadian broke again in the first game and at 3-1 went up a double break and found herself up 5-1 and a game away from the semis.

That’s when the number five seed started fighting back and at 5-2 broke Andreescu for the first time in the match and won the next two games to level the set at 5-5, using her powerful forehand to do it.

The set and the match were ultimately decided by a tiebreaker where the top seed got the early lead at 4-2 and served out the set and match at 6-3 in the breaker to secure the win.

After the match in her on-court interview, she was asked about her chances in the next match.

“I am hoping to win the tournament and I really believe in myself and if I get the support I need hopefully I can win the next two matches.”

Andreescu will face another Ukrainian in the semi-finals Lesia Tsurenko who had no issues getting past the German Tatjana Maria in straight sets 6-1 6-1 in one hour and 16 minutes.

In the other two quarterfinal matches, Lin Zhu of China beat the Slovenian Tamara Zidansek in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 15 minutes to set up an all-Chinese semi-final with the number seven seed Xinju Wang.

Wang needed three sets to get past the Brit Heather Watson 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 in two hours and 40 minutes.

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