Anastasija Sevastova Stuns Maria Sharapova To Reach A Second Successive US Open Quarterfinal - UBITENNIS
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Anastasija Sevastova Stuns Maria Sharapova To Reach A Second Successive US Open Quarterfinal

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16th seed Anastasija Sevastova upsets 2006 US Open champion Maria Sharapova, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the US Open quarterfinal for the second year in succession inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium. The Latvian will face Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, and the 27-year-old will be hoping to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal.

 

Sevastova is no stranger to the Arthur Ashe Stadium as she upset Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza and Johanna Konta in the second round and fourth respectively to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. The Latvian was unable to replicate her performance in the quarterfinal as she suffered a foot injury, after falling over in her match with Caroline Wozniacki.

The former world number one began proceedings inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium with the roof now opened as it was closed for the men’s fourth round clash between Denis Shapovalov and 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta. Sharapova was taken to deuce but she held onto her serve, and Sevastova responded with a hold to love, leveling proceedings at 1-1.

The five-time Grand Slam champion was bidding to reach just her fourth quarterfinal in Flushing Meadows and first since 2012, and she was increasingly likely to do it, as she held to love in her next game and broke Sevastova’s serve to lead 3-1.

There was a chance for last year’s quarterfinalist to get the immediate break back but the unseeded Russian fended it off, and she eventually clinched the game with her big serve going down the middle, coupled with a forehand winner down the line to lead 4-1.

However, the Latvian remained a thorn in Sharapova’s side as she continued to mix up the play by playing slices and forcing to bring Sharapova to the net, which she was very uncomfortable at. Despite leading 40-15 on serve, the 16th seed broke back as the Russian’s wild volley sailed out of the tramlines to get the match back on serve at 4-3.

Both players remained untroubled on serve but the scoreboard pressure was firmly back on Sevastova’s shoulders as Sharapova had a 6-5 lead. It was too much for the Latvian to handle as the five-time Grand Slam champion amped up the pressure in the returning game, and she clinched the opening set with a forehand crosscourt return winner down the line, 7-5 in 51 minutes.

Sevastova fights back to clinch the second set

The former world number one was in her stride as she held onto her serve in the opening game of the second set with ease, and she had the chance to break Sevastova’s serve, however, the Russian netted a backhand in the net, and Sevastova got onto the scoreboard, by playing a delightful disguised drop shot winner to level the second set at 1-1.

Moreover, the pendulum was swinging as the 16th seed broke Sharapova’s serve, and a ray of errors from the 2006 US Open champion’s serve and she consolidated the break to love to lead 3-1. Sevastova was having joy in this fourth round clash as she was causing more problems for Sharapova with slices and drop shots.

Sevastova was too good for Sharapova in the final set (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Getty)

Furthermore, the Latvian fended off two more break points and she stretched out her lead to 5-3, which surprised the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd, who were supporting the former champion. The Russian forced Sevastova to serve out the first set, as she held onto her serve to love. The 16th seed, who is currently ranked at 17 in the world, one of her career-high ranking served out for the second set with a big serve down the middle, clinching it 6-4 in 46 minutes.

The Latvian sends Sharapova out of the US Open

At the conclusion of the second set, Sharapova took a bathroom break in order to change her clothes but it did not spoil Sevastova’s momentum as the Latvian immediately broke the Russian’s serve, with Sharapova committing two double faults. Last year’s quarterfinalist was running away with the final set as she held to love, and she won her fourth successive game by breaking the 2006 champion’s serve to love, leading 3-0.

At the first sit down of the final set, Sharapova received a medical timeout on her fingers as she had a blister, which may have hampered her performance in the early goings of the decisive final set. However, the 16th seed was unable to consolidate the double break as nerves were kicking in as Sharapova retrieved one of the breaks back by virtue of an untimely double fault.

Sharapova was bothered by blisters on her fingers (Photo by Richard Heathcote / Getty)

The 2006 champion was building some momentum as she quickly followed that break with a hold to love, and quickly received some more treatment on her fingers. Furthermore, that did not bother Sevastova as Sharapova continued to commit uncharacteristic unforced despite bossing the rallies in some points.

There was not going  to be a second US Open title in Sharapova’s trophy cabinet as the Latvian broke the Russian’s serve to lead 5-2, and despite saving three match points, the former world number one’s quest for a sixth Grand Slam title ended as Sevastova served big out wide, followed by a crosscourt backhand winner, out of reach, clinching victory, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 16 minutes to reach a second consecutive quarterfinal at the US Open.

Sevastova’s best moments have come at the US Open and she enjoys playing in the biggest tennis arena in the world. “Playing on Ashe, it’s an amazing atmosphere every time I’m here. It makes it fun to play here.” The Latvian spoke about coming back from a set down. “The first set was very close. It could have gone either way. I think she played unbelievable throughout the first and second set. I just keep fighting, I was running at every ball.”

The 16th seed will face the USA’s Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals, and it the American’s third Grand Slam quarterfinals appearance. “She has had a great summer. She is playing so well on the hard courts in America. So I hope it is going to be on Ashe and I hope that we are going to put a show on.”

Grand Slam

US Open 2022: Djokovic, Medvedev Early Favorites but Will the Serb Be Allowed to Compete?

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Wimbledon was a great success for the World’s No.1 ranked Novak Djokovic, as the Serbian star claimed another Grand Slam title. However, with the grass season officially behind us, tennis enthusiasts are looking towards the US Open. 

 

The Hard Court season is around the corner, and the usual suspects are topping the bookmaker’s odds to win the final Grand Slam of the season – the US Open – which will take place at Flushing Meadows, New York City. 

US Open 2022 betting odds & favorites to win it all 

To the surprise of nobody, Djokovic is topping the current US Open tennis odds at Caesars sportsbook New York as he looks to finish the Grand Slam season with another success added to his resume. 

Daniil Medvedev is the second favorite to win the competition, and Carlos Alcaraz is the third betting favorite. Interestingly, Rafael Nadal – all-time record holder with 22 Grand Slam titles – is currently priced at +660, making him an outsider to the aforementioned players. 

Tennis fans eagerly anticipated a meeting between Djokovic and Nadal in the Wimbledon finals, but the Spaniard was forced out of the competition due to an injury. A US Open final meeting between the two most successful ranked tennis stars is undoubtedly a match we’re all craving, but can Nadal prove the sportsbooks wrong and battle his way into another final? 

With less than a month until the first round begins, here are the latest available odds to win the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, taking place between Aug 29 – Sep 11, 2022.      

Players Odds to win the US Open outright 
Novak Djokovic +150 
Danill Medvedev +225
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia+350
Rafael Nadal +550
Stefanos Tsitsipas +1,200 
Alexander Zverev +1,400 
Matteo Berrettini+1,600
Jannik Sinner +1,800 
Felix Auger-Aliassime +2,000
Andrey Rublev +2,500
Taylor Fritz +2,500 
Dominic Thiem +2,800
Denis Shapovalov +3,500 
Miomir Kecmanovic +3,500
Nick Kyrgios +3,500
Hubert Hurkacz +4,000 
Jenson Brooksby +4,000 
Cameron Norrie +4,000 
Casper Ruud +4,000 
Roger Federer +5,000 

Despite owning the favorable betting position to win the US Open outright, Djokovic remains unvaccinated. The current regulations state that non-US citizens must be vaccinated to compete in the US, so he’s ineligible to play. 

Djokovic hasn’t given up hope

The unvaccinated tennis stand-out was removed from the Australian Open in January, as the government declared he’d disobeyed strict Covid-19 regulations. 

The 35-year-old is now facing a similar fate at Flushing Meadows but has insisted on continuing his US Open training camp. 

As it currently stands, Djokovic won’t play at the US Open. Still, the Serbian star remains hopeful and recently took to social media with a video clip of himself preparing for the tournament. 

I am preparing as if I will be allowed to compete while I await to hear if there is any room for me to travel to the US,’ Djokovic wrote on Twitter. 
‘Fingers crossed!’ 

After posting a video of himself preparing, fans showed their support in abundance with the hashtag #LetNovakPlay. 

Further support for the Serbian star has continued with a petition on Change.Org. As of Saturday morning, close to 45,000 people had signed the petition requesting the US Tennis Association and the federal government to agree for Djokovic to gain entry into the US. 

‘I just wanted to take a moment and say to all of you how grateful I am to see so many messages of support and love from all around the world these days,’ Djokovic wrote to his fans. 
‘It feels special that people connect with my tennis career in such a loving and supportive way and wish for me to continue to compete.’ 

Several US politicians have expressed their opinions on the matter and have insisted that US President Joe Biden ease the rules so that Djokovic can participate at the upcoming Open. 

American politicians aren’t the only ones speaking up against Biden’s rules. The Serbia-American Voting Alliance (SAVA) has also written a letter asking the President to reconsider the regulations preventing Djokovic from competing in the United States. It read, “The US Open is the biggest tennis tournament in the world, and it won’t be what it is without Novak Djokovic. 
“Considering the economic situation and the crisis at all levels, America must not allow the US Open not to take place in its full glory and capacity, which means the arrival of Novak Djokovic, who has been crowned three times at the US Open, Novak does not pose any security threat, is one of the healthiest people in the world due to his disciplined life and serves as a role model and inspiration to millions around the world. 
“It is in America’s interest that the biggest tournament in the world hosts the best player in the world, especially since he just won the seventh Wimbledon in London.”  

Should the restriction be removed, Djokovic has the opportunity to level Rafael Nadal for the most Grand Slam titles of all time (22). 

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Grand Slam

McEnroe Labels Novak Djokovic’s Possible US Open Ban As ‘Crazy’

The American tennis great says he ‘respects’ Djokovic’s decision not to get vaccinated against covid-19.

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Novak Djokovic at the 2021 Rolex Paris Masters (Credit: Roberto Dell'Olivo)

John McEnroe says he is hoping that a solution can be found for Novak Djokovic to play at the US Open later this year.

 

As it currently stands 21-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic will not be allowed to play in New York due to government rules related to the entry of unvaccinated individuals. To travel to America, visitors are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they qualify for a special exemption. Djokovic has not been jabbed and stated after his Wimbledon triumph that he is not planning to do so. 

On Wednesday the United States Tennis Association (USTA) issued their entry lists for the US Open which also included Djokovic in the men’s draw. However, they also posted a statement confirming that they will ‘respect’ the American government’s rules concerning unvaccinated players. 

“The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the U.S. government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-U.S. citizens,” the USTA said. 

Weighing in on the debate, former world No.1 McEnroe described the prospect of Djokovic missing the US Open as ‘crazy’ during an interview with Tennis 365. The Serbian has won four out of the last seven Grand Slam tournaments. He missed this year’s Australian Open following a high-profile legal dispute over the legitimacy of his visa which resulted in his deportation.

“We have to find a way to get Novak into the US Open,” said McEnroe. “How can he not be there? He has just won Wimbledon, he is a great champion and he should be in the US Open.
“I don’t agree with his decision not to get vaccinated, but I respect it. He is one of the fittest guys in the world and everything he puts into his body, he is watching carefully.
“Now we are saying that because of his choice, he can’t play at the US Open. I mean, come on. He has already been deported from Australia for the same reason and here we are again.
“I hope someone finds a way to sort this out. It’s crazy that Novak misses the US Open at this stage.”

Djokovic has won the US Open three times in his career with his most recent triumph occurring in 2018. He also won the title in 2011 and 2015. The 35-year-old was also runner-up at the tournament on six other occasions.

Should he be unsuccessful in trying to enter America, it is unclear when Djokovic will play his next tournament. He has previously hinted that he could feature in the Laver Cup that will take place in September. 

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US Open: Unvaccinated Novak Djokovic On Entry List But Former Champion Thiem Is Missing

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Novak Djokovic (SRB) - Credit: AELTC/Simon Bruty

Novak Djokovic has automatically entered himself to play at this year’s US Open even though there is a strong chance that he will not be allowed to participate. 

 

The 21-time Grand Slam champion has been included in the provisional entry list which was published on Wednesday. However, organizers confirmed that they will ‘respect’ the US Government’s rules on the admission of vaccinated individuals into the country. As it currently stands those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 are not allowed to enter the country unless they qualify for a special exemption. 

“The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the U.S. government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-U.S. citizens,” the USTA said in a statement. 

Djokovic is one of those who are not vaccinated against the virus. Following his win over Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final, the former world No.1 stated that he still has no intention of being jabbed. Even though it could result in his missing a series of key Masters 1000 events across the summer, as well as the US Open. Djokovic has previously said he is cautious about injecting substances into his body due to concerns about how he may react. The COVID-19 vaccination has been deemed safe by the World Health Organization. 

“I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated so the only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter the United States or exemption,” Djokovic told reporters at Wimbledon. “I don’t know. I don’t think the exemption is realistically possible. If that is a possibility, I don’t know what exemption would be about.”

As Djokovic hopes for a change in the law for him to play, 2020 champion Dominic Thiem will be relying on receiving a wild card for him to participate. The Austrian has decided not to join the entry list with the use of his protected ranking. Thiem was unable to defend his title last year due to a right wrist injury which ended up sidelining him from the Tour for months. 

Elsewhere, a trio of former top 20 players are using their protected ranking to join the field. Stan Wawrinka, Borna Coric and Kyle Edmund are all using their passes. Wawrinka and Coric have both started their comeback from injury but Edmund hasn’t played a singles tournament since October 2020. Aljaz Bedene, who is set to retire from the Sport at the end of this season, is also using his protected ranking. 

Williams joins the women’s field

In the women’s tournament, Serena Williams has used her protected ranking of 16th to join the field. The American recently played her first tournament for 12 months at Wimbledon where she lost in the first round to France’s Harmony Tan. Williams, who is one major title away from equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24, has also entered herself into other tournaments leading up to the US Open. 

Reigning champion Emma Raducanu is 10th on the list and will be hoping to repeat her heroics from last year where as a qualifier she won 10 matches in a row without dropping a set en route to the title. Since then, the Brit hasn’t featured in another Tour final and has been hampered by various physical issues. 

Raducanu and Williams are two out of six former US Open champions on the entry list. The others are Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber, Sloane Stephens and Bianca Andreescu. 

Venus Williams, who last won the tournament back in 2001, isn’t on the list. However, she could enter via wild card if she is given one. 

The 2022 US Open main draw will begin on August 29th. The full list of men’s entries can be seen HERE and the women’s HERE

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