US Open Men’s Preview: Federer and Nadal Fight For No.1 As Young Guns Aim To Shine - UBITENNIS
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US Open Men’s Preview: Federer and Nadal Fight For No.1 As Young Guns Aim To Shine



Rafael Nadal (

Following the absence of some of the tour’s biggest names, it has been left for Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to headline this year’s US Open.


A total of five top 11 players will be absent from the draw due to injury. Sidelined from action is Novak Djokovic (elbow), Stan Wawrinka (knee), Kei Nishikori (wrist), Milos Raonic (wrist) and Andy Murray (hip). As a consequence, Nadal and Federer will be the top two seeds in Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2010.

Top seed Nadal, who hasn’t won a hard court title since January 2014, has been given a fair draw. In his section, the Spaniard is guaranteed to face no player ranked higher than 15th seed Tomas Berdych in the first four rounds. He will open up against Dusan Lajovic, a player he hasn’t played since the 2014 French Open. Lajovic is yet to win a main draw match at the US Open, but did manage to reach the fourth round at Indian Wells this year. Further on in the draw, Nadal could play Richard Gasquet in the third round. Earlier this month, the world No.1 defeated the Frenchman for the 15th consecutive time at the Cincinnati Masters. Later on in the draw, he could play either Fabio Fognini or Berdych in the last 16.

“I’m here at the US Open, and doesn’t matter if I’m No. 1 or not. Today, (the) only thing that matters is to try to work well and try to be ready for the first match and try to play a good US Open. That’s my goal.” Nadal commented on Saturday.

Following Murray’s withdrawal, 36-year-old Federer is the second seed and is drawn in the same section as Nadal. Aiming to win a record 20th grand slam title in New York, the Swiss player starts against Frances Tiafoe. A 19-year-old American who tested Federer during their previous clash in Miami earlier this year. During the first week he could play either Blaz Kavcic or Mikhail Youzhny in the second round. Followed potentially by 31st feed Fernando Verdasco and then rising star Nick Kyrgios.

“I think it’s an interesting first round, you know. Clearly he has nothing to lose but everything to gain. It’s a tough one.” Federer said about his meeting with Tiafoe.
“He’s aggressive baseliner like so many of the Americans. Thankfully I played him in Miami this year so I have a little bit of an idea of how he plays, and his patterns and what he prefers to do and whatnot.”

If all goes to plan, there will be a mouthwatering clash between the two players in the semifinals of the tournament. They have played against each other 37 times over a 13-year period, but they are yet to meet in Flushing Meadows.

“I’d be happy to play him (Nadal) here.” Said Federer. “We never played here in New York, so I think that would be fun for everybody involved. I mean, there is, like, I don’t know, 60-plus players in between us that don’t agree in our section that we should make it to the semis. We have our work cut out there.”

The new kids on the block

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With so many top players out of action, the younger generation has their best opportunity yet to make a mark in one of the biggest tournaments of the sport. 20-year-old Alexander Zverev has already won five ATP titles on three different surfaces this season. He will be the highest seeded German male in a US Open draw since Tommy Haas back in 2002.

“I felt like I could compete and beat anyone during this period of time.” Zverev commented about his form this year. “I feel quite welcoming into this Open. I feel different about this Grand Slam than I have felt before about the Grand Slams.”

Zverev will kick-off his campaign against Darian King, who will be making his debut in a grand slam main draw at the age of 25. His section is filled by players known for their fast serves. Former quarter-finalist Kevin Anderson could be a third round opponent if Ernests Gulbis doesn’t make another out of blue surge in the draw. Meanwhile, Gilles Muller and Jack Sock are potential fourth round opponents.

Dominic Thiem is yet to reach the second week at Flushing Meadows. Since Wimbledon, he has only managed to achieve a win-loss of 3-3 on the tour. Still, there is hope for the talented Austrian player. The first two rounds will see him play against teenager Alex de Minaur followed by either Taylor Fritz or Marcos Baghdatis. The biggest test lies in the second part of the first week. An unseeded Ivo Karlovic is a potential third round opponent. Then Winston-Salem champion Roberto Bautista Agut or Juan Martin del Potro could await him in the last 16.

The other guys

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Due to the supremacy of the ‘big four,’ some players have had to settle for second best on the tour. Could one of them spring a surprise?

Former Wimbledon semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov illustrated what kind of form he is in by winning his maiden Masters 1000 title at the Cincinnati Open. The 26-year-old has never reached the quarter-finals of the US Open, but remains a danger to all with the absence of some of his rivals. In his section, the other seeds has endured a poor lead into the final grand slam of the year. David Goffin hasn’t won back-to-back matches since injuring his ankle at the French Open and Pablo Cuevas is currently experiencing more downs than ups. Last year’s semifinalist Gael Monfils is also in Dimitrov’s quarter and should be his biggest threat.

“Going to the Open, it’s for sure a lot of positivity with it, but the most important thing now is just to stay grounded, keep on doing the same work, believe in myself, and just prepare the best way that I can for the Open,” Dimitrov recently said.

Marin Cilic knows what it like to win a major as the underdog. The Croat hasn’t played on the tour since losing to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final due to injury. He has taken Murray’s place in the draw and will be hungry for redemption after coming so near to his second grand slam trophy at SW19.

The full list of seeds

1. Rafael Nadal
2. Andy Murray (Withdrew due to a hip injury)
3. Roger Federer
4. Alexander Zverev
5. Marin Čilić
6. Dominic Thiem
7. Grigor Dimitrov
8. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
9. David Goffin
10. John Isner
11. Roberto Bautista Agut
12. Pablo Carreño Busta
13. Jack Sock
14. Nick Kyrgios
15. Tomáš Berdych
16. Lucas Pouille
17. Sam Querrey
18. Gaël Monfils
19. Gilles Müller
20. Albert Ramos Viñolas
21. David Ferrer
22. Fabio Fognini
23. Mischa Zverev
24. Juan Martín del Potro
25. Karen Khachanov
26. Richard Gasquet
27. Pablo Cuevas
28. Kevin Anderson
29. Diego Schwartzman
30. Adrian Mannarino
31. Feliciano López
32. Robin Haase
33. Philipp Kohlschreiber


India’s Sumit Nagal Receives Sponsorship Boost After Revelling Financial Struggles



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A leading food and drink company has pledged to support India’s highest-ranked men’s player who was unable to train at his usual facility in Germany earlier this year due to a lack of money. 


Earlier this week world No.159 Sumit Nagal made a public plea for financial support to help him continue his career as a tennis player. In recent years he has been based at the Nansel Tennis Academy in Germany but was unable to train there during the first three months of the 2023 season due to a lack of funds. During this period he relied on his friends, including former player Somdev Devvarman, to help maintain his fitness. 

“If I look at my bank balance, I have what I had at the beginning of the year. It is 900 euros. I did get a bit of help. Mr Prashant Sutar is helping me with MAHA Tennis Foundation and I also get monthly (salary) from IOCL but I don’t have any big sponsor,” Nagal told the Press Trust of India.
“I am investing whatever I am making. The yearly cost where I travel with one coach is costing me around Rs 8 million to Rs 10 million (90,000-113,000 euros) and that is just with one travelling coach (no physio). Whatever I have made I have already invested,” he added.

Nagal, who is 26 years old, has reached the semi-finals of better at five tournaments on the lower-level Challenger Tour so far this season. His only Grand Slam result was at the US Open where he lost in the first round of qualifying to Taro Daniel. It was at the US Open where he took a set off Roger Federer before losing in 2019. 

Despite being the only player from his country to be ranked in the top 400, Nagal is currently not part of the Target Olympics Podium Scheme. An initiative set up by the Indian government to provide support to their top athletes.

After learning about Nagal’s ongoing struggles on the Tour, a leading company has decided to support the tennis player by signing a three-year deal with him. Gatorade specializes in sports drinks and is manufactured by PepsiCo. Under the deal, Nagal will receive support with his recovery and nutrition from experts at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI).  

“I am deeply moved and grateful to join hands with Gatorade. This association comes to me at a pivotal time, and I am thankful my hard work and passion is getting recognized and appreciated. With Gatorade by my side, I am sure I will reach new heights and give it my all both on and off the court,” the Indo-Asian News Service quoted Nagal as saying on Thursday. 

Speaking about the new partnership, Ankit Agarwal from PepsiCo India has hailed the collaboration. Agarwal is the company’s Associate Director of Energy & Hydration. 

“Sumit is a role model for the new-gen athletes of India with his career being a true example of hard work and sweat that makes talent shine,” he said.
“As a brand that is dedicated to supporting athletes in removing barriers to sporting success, we are delighted to welcome Sumit to the Gatorade squad.”

Nagal has been ranked as high as No.122 in the world. So far in his career, he has won four Challenger titles with two of those occurring this year in Italy and Finland. 

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(VIDEO): Malaga Line-Up Set As Davis Cup Most Unpredictable Tournament In History

UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta explains why any of the eight teams in Malaga could win November’s Davis Cup Finals




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The Davis Cup quarter-final line-up is set after an incredible Group Stage over Bologna, Split, Manchester and Valencia.


Now eight teams remain including Novak Djokovic’s Serbia, Great Britain and Australia.

However surprise teams such as the Netherlands, Finland and the Czech Republic will also appear in the quarter-finals.

Ten-time champions Great Britain will face Serbia with the winners taking on the winner of the quarter-final between Italy and the Netherlands.

In the other half of the draw Canada will be heavy favourites against Finland while the Czech Republic face Australia.

The final eight tournament will take place in Malaga and will take place between the 21st and the 26th of November.

However this year’s Davis Cup could be the most unpredictable version in the tournament’s history with there being no Spain or USA.

It really could be anyone’ tournament with Tennis’ most prestigious team competition up for grabs in November.

In this video UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta explains why this year’s Davis Cup finals could be the most unpredictable edition of all-time and why any of the teams could win the title.

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Simona Halep Claims Doing Ban Is ‘Based On Scenarios’ Without Proof




Former world No.1 Simona Halep has questioned the fairness of her anti-doping hearing after being suspended from the sport for four years. 


The two-time Grand Slam champion is suspended from tour events until 2026 after an independent tribunal concluded that the Romanian broke rules set out in Tennis’ anti-doping program. In a 126-page report by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), investigators accepted that the collagen supplement taken by Halep – called Keto MCT – was contaminated with Roxadustat “on the balance of probability.” However, they stated that there must have been another source of Roxadustat based on the level detected in her sample taken during the 2022 US Open. 

Furthermore, three experts in the area said they have ‘a high degree of confidence‘ that there was not an ‘innocent explanation’ for the abnormalities detected in Halep’s Athlete’s Biological Passport (ABP). They reported that ‘likely doping’ occurred based on an analysis of 51 valid samples of Halep’s blood and rejected her explanation for the irregularity. The tennis star cited blood loss during surgery and spells when she was inactive as her defence. 

Despite the comprehensive ruling, Halep has insisted that she is innocent and never intentionally took any banned substances. During an interview with Front Office Sports on Monday, the 31-year-old claimed that the ITIA’s four-year ban handed to her was based on ‘scenarios’ instead of any proof. 

“I was confident after the hearing because there were so many things that made no sense and that are not fair,” she said.
“When I received the decision, I was in complete shock. I could not believe that they suspended me for four years when we found the contamination and my blood was totally normal. They didn’t find anything bad in my blood. It’s crazy that they made this decision with everything [her legal team presented]. They judged me on scenarios. There is no proof. It’s just insane.”

The ITIA originally requested a six-year ban for Halep due to what they described as ‘repetitive and sophisticated’ doping practices. She is accused of using blood doping to improve her performance during Wimbledon and the US Open last year. However, the report found it was not ‘completely satisfied’ that Halep has been doping since March 2022 despite there being ‘strong grounds for suspicion.’

As for the substance Roxadustat, Halep says she would have never deliberately taken the drug as it would ‘work against her.’ She says that the drug would have worsened a thyroid issue which she has been dealing with for several years. Front Office Sports referred to a European Medicines Agency study which finds a possible link between the drug and decreased thyroid function. 

“There was no point for me to take this,” Halep said. “It’d work against me. It wouldn’t help me.”

The study couldn’t establish how common this side effect is due to the amount of data available at the time. 

In the wake of Halep’s ban, some have publicly expressed their views on the matter. One of the most notable to do so was Serena Williams who wrote on social media ‘8 is a better number” in a jibe at her former opponent. The reference was to the 2019 Wimbledon final when seven-time champion Williams lost in straight sets to Halep. 

“I think everyone has the right to judge me because the tribunal decided that I have the fault here,” Halep commented. “Someone told me today that those players who are hating on me because I beat them.”

Halep is set to appeal against her ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). 

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