Wimbledon Day 9 Preview: The Gentlemen’s Quarter-Finals - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 9 Preview: The Gentlemen’s Quarter-Finals

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Andy Murray (zimbio.com)

Following Gilles Muller’s upset of Rafael Nadal in the match of the tournament on Monday, we are left with three of the “big four” in the quarterfinals. One of these four have left the All England Club with The Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy in each of the last fourteen years. Let’s examine each of their chances to advance one step further as we take a close look at all four quarter-finals scheduled for Wednesday.

Andy Murray vs. Sam Querrey

The first match of the day on Centre Court will see Andy Murray, both the British and world number one, against world number 28 and American number three Sam Querrey. Murray is a two-time Wimbledon champion, while Sam Querrey’s second straight trip to the Wimbledon quarterfinals is only his second time advancing this far at any major. Murray leads their head-to-head 7-1, with Querrey’s only win coming seven years ago on a hard court in his home state of California. Querrey has also played two straight five-setters, while Murray has only dropped one set through four rounds. Obviously Murray is the favorite here, but if you’re Sam Querrey, here’s a few things to keep in mind. Murray is not 100% healthy: though we haven’t seen much evidence of it impacting his play, his hip will likely begin to hinder him the longer the match goes. Also remember if Sam is on and he keeps hitting big, he’s capable of defeating big names: just look at last year’s Wimbledon upset of Novak Djokovic and his defeat of Rafael Nadal in the Acapulco final earlier this year.

Marin Cilic vs. Gilles Muller

At the same time that match is taking place on Centre, two of 2017’s best grass court players will square off on No.1 Court. Muller played the match of his life in talking out Nadal over the course of almost five hours in the last round, but he can’t possibly have anything left physically or emotionally, can he? It’s hard to imagine he will, and his opponent has been in better form than any man in the field during this fortnight. Cilic has not dropped a set, and looks like a man on a mission coming off a heartbreaking loss to Roger Federer in last year’s quarter-finals, where he held match points. He also narrowly lost to Feliciano Lopez in a third set tiebreaker in the final at Queen’s Club just a few weeks ago. This is the fourth straight year Cilic has reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals, but has yet to reach his first semifinal. The hungry Croat will most likely end that streak on Wednesday.

Roger Federer vs. Milos Raonic

This is a rematch from last year’s Wimbledon semifinals, in which Raonic upset the seven-time champion in what would be Federer’s last match of 2016 due to a knee injury. But both men arrive at this year’s Championships in much different places. 2017 has seen Raonic the one dealing with injuries and a lack of confidence, while Federer has been healthy and only lost two matches this year. Raonic is coming off a tough five-set match against Alexander Zverev on Monday, while Federer is another man who has won every set he’s played in this tournament. Roger will find extra motivation on this day in his desire to avenge last year’s loss. This is Federer’s fifteenth Wimbledon quarterfinal, and there’s a strong chance we’ll see him in his twelfth Wimbledon semifinal on Friday.

Novak Djokovic vs. Tomas Berdych

Djokovic holds a 25-2 career record against Berdych, and has won their last twelve meetings. Normally I would be tempted to stop this match preview right there, but this may not be as straightforward as their head-to-head indicates. Djokovic spent over two hours on the court just yesterday in his fourth round match that was held over from Monday, and he appeared to be a bit lethargic and sore. The trainer visited Novak multiple times during his fourth round victory over Adrian Mannarino, getting his arm treated just as we saw at last year’s U.S. Open. Let’s also not forget Djokovic’s level of play has been well below his usual high standard over the past twelve months. Berdych’s only major final came on the lawns of the All England Club in 2010, and one of his two victories over Djokovic was in that year’s semifinals. Djokovic will still be favored against Berdych on Wednesday, though not as heavily as usual.

Order of play

Centre Court (1pm start)
Andy Murray v Sam Querrey

Roger Federer v Milos Raonic

Court 1 (1pm start)

Marin Cilic v Gilles Muller

Novak Djokovic v Tomas Berdych

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Iga Swiatek Demolishes Aryna Sabalenka To Seal Third Rome Title

Iga Swiatek claimed her third Rome title after a dominant victory over Aryna Sabalenka.

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(@InteBNLdItalia - Twitter)

Iga Swiatek claimed her third Rome title by dominating Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-3 to send a big message of intent ahead of Roland Garros.

The world number one completed the Madrid and Rome double with a sensational performance.

Now Swiatek is the titleholder for the three biggest clay court titles as she will aim to defend her Roland Garros title.

The contest was a rematch from the Madrid final but this was far from the three hour contest that was produced in Spain.

Swiatek raised her level of play while Sabalenka committed way too many unforced errors throughout the contest.

The Pole broke on two occasions to wrap up a comfortable 37 minute set as her forehand was doing a lot of damage.

There was a comeback in the second set from the Australian Open champion as she produced effortless and consistent power, making the second set very competitive.

The world number one was forced to save break points as she just managed to be more stable on big moments.

A more controlled second set from Swiatek was rewarded towards the end of the set as once again Sabalenka crumbled under pressure when it mattered.

Two late breaks of serve completed the Swiatek surge as the Pole enters the second Grand Slam of the season in dominant form.

As for Sabalenka it’s a disappointing performance that she will look to put right at Roland Garros.

Roland Garros starts on the 26th of May where Swiatek is defending champion.

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Internazionali d’Italia Daily Preview: Sascha Zverev Plays Nicolas Jarry for the Men’s Singles Championship

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Nicolas Jarry on Friday night in Rome (twitter.com/InteBNLdItalia)

Sunday features three championship matches: the finals in men’s singles, men’s doubles, and women’s doubles.

On Sunday in Rome, Sascha Zverev will play for his first Masters 1000 title in over two years, while Nicolas Jarry will play in his first-ever final above ATP 250 level.  Zverev leads their head-to-head 4-2, but they are tied at 2-2 on clay.  Which man will walk away with the title?


Sascha Zverev (3) vs. Nicolas Jarry (21) – Not Before 5:00pm on Center Court

Zverev is 27-9 this season, and lost only one set on his way to this championship match.  That came in the semifinals against another Chilean, Alejandro Tabilo.  This is Sascha’s first ATP final since September of last year, and he’s playing for his first Masters 1000 title since 2021 in Cincinnati.  Zverev will soon go on trial in his home country of Germany, as he faces charges of domestic abuse.

Just like eventual champion Andrey Rublev in Madrid, Jarry arrived in Rome on a four-match losing streak.  And he had never advanced beyond the quarterfinals at a Masters 1000 tournament, so this result is quite surprising.  But 28-year-old Jarry is a tall presence (6’7”) who thumps the ball.  As per Tennis Channel, he was averaging 89 mph on his forehand during his three-set semifinal victory over Tommy Paul.  Nico has claimed a trio of three-setters on the way to the biggest match of his career, most notably upsetting Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals.

Zverev certainly has a huge edge in experience at this level, and in finals.  This is his 33rd ATP final, where he holds a record of 21-11.  And it’s his 11th Masters 1000 final, where he is 5-5.  Jarry has only previously appeared in six finals, all at 250-level, where he is 3-3.  But clay is the Chliean’s specialty, as all seven of his career finals have come on this surface.

Yet sometimes experience has a negative impact, particularly when you have suffered some painful losses.  Zverev has lost four of his last six Masters 1000 finals, and he is infamously 1-6 in Major semifinals.  So he has a lot of recent scar tissue from high-profile matches.

In that way, Jarry may benefit from a lack of experience.  While he’ll certainly be nervous on this big occasion, Nico has displayed plenty of confidence and composure against more experienced players throughout this event.  And he owns two prior victories over Zverev.  But when these two met in another final, five years ago in Geneva, Sascha saved two championship points to prevail.  That’s a result that sticks with both players throughout their rivalry.

However, I’m picking Jarry to pull off the upset and win the biggest title of his career on Sunday.  Zverev has a history of getting tight and playing more defensively in crucial moments.  Jarry’s aggressive mindset can take full advantage of such passive play.  And with so many top ATP players currently battling injuries, Zverev will likely feel a lot of pressure to win this title ahead of Roland Garros, especially as the much higher seed on this day.


Other Notable Matches on Sunday:

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos (1) vs. Marcelo Arevalo and Mate Pavic – The top seeds are playing for their sixth Masters 1000 title as a team, and own a record of 5-1 in finals at this level.  Arevalo and Pavic are vying for the first Masters 1000 title of their new partnership for 2024.  Both teams are yet to drop a set this fortnight. 

Coco Gauff and Erin Routliffe (3) vs. Sara Errani and Jasmine Paolini – This is the first tournament for the team of Gauff and Routliffe, though both have won big doubles titles with other partners.  This is the biggest final to date for the Italian team of Errani and Paolini, though Errani won five WTA 1000 doubles titles alongside Roberta Vinci a decade ago, while Paolini won the WTA 1000 event in Dubai earlier this year in singles.


Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Emma Raducanu Criticises Gender Pay Gap And Responds To Critics Ahead Of Roland Garros

Emma Raducanu has criticised the gender pay gap in tennis as Rome’s prize money for the women’s tournament was significantly lower than the men’s tournament.

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Emma Raducanu has criticised the gender pay gap after the tournament in Rome significantly payed less to it’s female athletes than it’s main counterparts.

Although Roland Garros and the tournament in Madrid offered the same pay to the winners of both female and male competitions, the same cannot be said for Rome this week.

The winner between Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka will get 250,000 Euros less than the winner of the men’s final between Alexander Zverev and Nicolas Jarry.

It’s a statistic that is damning on the sport and Emma Raducanu has criticised the figure as she states that the women’s game is technically better than the men’s game, “A lot of women’s players are technically better,” Raducanu told The Times.

“They rely on speed, agility and brain rather than brute strength. The prize money gap is huge on the ATP tour, which I don’t necessarily think is fair, but equally playing three sets in the slams is a lot better than the men’s five, which is brutal.”

Meanwhile as for Raducanu, the Brit is preparing for Roland Garros qualifying next week as she missed out on a wildcard into the main draw.

Despite Raducanu’s gradual improvement over the last few weeks the trolls on social media have failed to go away as the former US Open champion continues her commercial commitments.

Speaking out on the critics Raducanu stated that they don’t see the work of an athlete behind the scenes, “There are those who see me doing a shoot or posing for a commercial and they don’t see the seven hours before that at the training centre, doing physio, gym, hitting balls,” Raducanu explained.

“But if on a rare evening I go to a premiere and I get photographed, that’s my downtime.”

Next week’s appearance in Paris will only be Raducanu’s second Roland Garros having reached the second round two years ago.

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