US Open Federer and Nadal seeded in the top half, Murray with Alexander Zverev in bottom half - UBITENNIS
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US Open Federer and Nadal seeded in the top half, Murray with Alexander Zverev in bottom half

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Rafael Nadal is the top seed having regained the No.1 ranking at the Western and Southern Open last week (Zimbio.com)

 

World No.1 Rafael Nadal could face old rival Roger Federer in the US Open semi-finals as the draw in Flushing Meadows ensured that the pair would only potentially meet in the semi-finals. Aside from being drawn with Federer, Nadal has a favourable draw as the top seed in Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2010. Nadal starts against Dusan Lajovic, with either Taro Daniel or Tommy Paul in the second round.

Nadal’s  first seeded opponent would be Richard Gasquet in the third round. Nadal has a perfect career record against Gasquet to date. Other players in his section include old nemesis Fabio Fognini and former Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych.

Nadal’s scheduled quarter-final opponent is Grigor Dimitrov, though Dimitrov has a tough section that includes the likes of mercurial Frenchman Gael Monfils, who was a semi-finalist here last year.

Federer, seeded 3rd, has a tougher-looking draw in contrast to Nadal. Federer starts against young American Frances Tiafoe, with Fernando Verdasco or Feliciano Lopez potential opponents in the third round. Verdasco is unseeded. Federer’s section is littered with potential dangers, with Nick Kyrgios a potential 4th round opponent. Federer’s quarter-final is Dominic Thiem, seeded 6th, though Thiem’s section also contains 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro.

Andy Murray is the 2nd seed and the Briton also has a favourable quarter. He starts against American Tennys Sandgren, and his first seeded opponent would be the more clay minded Diego Schwartzmann in the third round. Lucas Pouille or the resurgent David Ferrer would likely provide the seeded fourth round opponent, before 8th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga potentially waits in the quarters. Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Pablo Carreno Busta will do their best to prevent Tsonga reaching a possible encounter with Murray.

Murray’s toughest match en route to a potential final is undoutedly his semi-final schedule with Alexander Zverev his prospective opponent, Zverev starts with a qualifier before perhaps facing 28th seed Kevin Anderson in the third round. Jack Sock could cause some trouble for Zverev in the fourth round.

Marin Cilic is the 5th seed and he has a tough start against former Top 10 player Gilles Simon. Cilic has a 1-5 record against Simon. Cilic is the potential quarter-final opponent for Alexander Zverev and could be forced to knock out both Zverev brothers if he is to reach the semi-finals as Alexander’s brother Mischa is seeded to meet Cilic.

The draw has been hit by three high-profile withdrawals in the weeks leading up to the tournament. Former champion Novak Djokovic pulled out of the rest of the season with an elbow injury, whilst defending champion Stan Wawrinka was also forced out by injury. The tournament was also hit by the loss of former finalist Kei Nishikori, who suffered a torn muscle in training and will now be out for the rest of the season.

Seeded quarter-finals:

(1) Rafael Nadal vs (7) Grigor Dimitrov

(2) Andy Murray vs (8) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

(3) Roger Federer vs (6) Dominic Thiem

(4) Alexander Zverev vs (5) Marin Cilic

 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas downs Sinner; now aims for Third Title in Monte Carlo

Stylish Greek completes comeback win and re-enters the top ten.

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After winning two in a row in 2021-2022, Stefanos Tsitsipas is now in reach of a third title at the prestigious Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, after beating World number two Jannik Sinner in three gruelling sets.

The 25-year-old had to battle hard and come from a break down in the third to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and now plays Casper Ruud in tomorrow’s final. The Greek has had an indifferent start to the year with a 11-6 win-loss record, but today was his first top three victory since the 2022 Cincinatti Masters – where he beat Daniil Medvedev – and ensures a return back into the top ten of the men’s rankings.

Tsitsipas recognised how hard he had to fight and revealed after the match just how satisfied he was of his performance:

“It was tennis at its highest level that I have been able to play. Jannik was an extremely difficult opponent and it can be seen throughout the year so far. He has been very consistent and I could see that throughout today with his game. He is one of the toughest opponents I have faced so far and to find ways when there weren’t that many, I am proud of that. He gave me a very difficult game and the way I overcame it is true excellence.”

Sinner double faulted at 30-40 to gift the break early with the score at one game all. From there, Tsistipas rallied with poise and confidence in a brilliant opening set lasting 44 minutes including a stunning backhand down-the-line winner to open the game when serving at 4-3. He took the first set 6-4 after a tiring 18-shot rally – where both players hit all angles of the court – before Sinner hit a forehand wide.

However, 22-year-old Sinner struck back immediately on his first breakpoint at the start of the second set when he won a close exchange at the net and then took a 3-0 lead.  He later survived a breakback point when 4-2 up and crucially held on for 5-2. He faced more pressure when serving for the set at 5-3 and was taken to deuce but levelled the match at one-set-all on his second set point to give the crowd exactly what they were asking f

Sinner was now in full flow hitting powerfully from the baseline and once again broke early at the start of the final set to take a 3-1 lead. But with the match now entering the third hour he began to tire physically and called for the trainer during the changeover with the score at 4-3.  When the match resumed, he lost the next three games and the Greek had completed a remarkable turnaround, handing his opponent just his second defeat of the season in two hours and forty minutes.

“It helps a lot knowing I have a win like this under my belt. Having a win like this and getting to the levels of tennis again brings a lot of satisfaction to me,” Tsitsipas said. “When there is a lot of work put in each day, these are the type of matches you are aiming for.”

Sinner’s only loss prior to today was against Carlos Alcaraz in Indian Wells semi-finals. He has been the stand out player this year after already winning titles in Rotterdam, the Miami Open, and his maiden Grand Slam in Australia. Despite having won 25 matches overall though, he now trails Tsitsipas 3-6 in their head-to-head rivalry.

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Casper Ruud Reveals Shock After Knocking Out Novak Djokovic In Monte-Carlo

Casper Ruud is into his second career Masters 1000 final after beating Novak Djokovic for the first time.

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Casper Ruud is into his second Masters 1000 final of his career after recording his best ever win by beating Novak Djokovic 6-4 1-6 6-4.

The Norwegian defeated the world number one for the first time in his career as he overcame a mini-comeback from Djokovic to seal his place in the Monte-Carlo final.

Having lost his five previous meetings to Djokovic, Ruud played some fearless tennis under pressure as the eighth seed broke to close out a career-best win.

Speaking after the win Ruud admitted he was in a state of shock and was pleased with the victory, “I am super happy,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“This is a day I will remember for a long time. Beating a World No. 1 is something I have never done and beating Novak is something I have never done. I am very, very happy. I am a little bit in a state of shock right now.”

After achieving the seemingly improbable, Ruud will now look to win his first ever ATP title that’s above a Masters 1000 event when he takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Monte-Carlo final.

That’s a prospect Ruud is looking forward to as he prepares for one final challenge, “There is always one more match in tennis,” the Norwegian explained.

“Tomorrow is going to be a special day, playing a final here in Monte-Carlo. It is a great result but I have been chasing a big title for a few years now and tomorrow I will have another shot at it. I am going to give it my all. Stef is playing well. He is a great player on clay and on other surfaces as well, but I guess clay is maybe where he has had the most success and especially this tournament.

“So it is going to be another tough task, but I am up for it.”

The final will take place at 14:00 BST.

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Rafael Nadal Set For Opening Round Test Against Cobolli In Barcelona

Rafael Nadal will look to make his ATP tour return in Barcelona this week.

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Rafael Nadal is set for his return to tennis in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Nadal has been struggling with injury after being injured again in Brisbane this year.

The tournament in Brisbane was his first tournament back for a year as he suffered a hip injury at the Australian Open last year.

Now Nadal aims to return to competitive action in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Speaking earlier in the week Nadal was hopeful of a return to the tour in Barcelona, “Excited to be here for a few days before the start of the tournament,” Nadal told the ATP website.

“I’m here to see how it goes… can’t wait to try and play. I’ll let you know. Important to say that I don’t want to confirm I’ll be playing, but I hope so. We’ll see.”

Should Nadal play and win his opening round match then the Spaniard will play fourth seed Alex De Minaur in the second round.

The former world number one has won the title on 12 different occasions but hasn’t won the title since 2021.

Elsewhere in the draw defending champion Carlos Alcaraz will begin against Luca Van Assche or Zhizhen Zhang with the Spaniard projected to meet Borna Coric in the third round.

Alcaraz suffered an injury in Monte-Carlo and will be beginning his clay court campaign in Barcelona.

Also in action in Barcelona are Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud.

Main draw action will begin on Monday.

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