US Open Day 11 Preview: The Women’s Semifinals - UBITENNIS
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US Open Day 11 Preview: The Women’s Semifinals

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Venus Williams (zimbio.com)

For the first time since 1981, all four players in the US Open women’s semifinals are Americans. It’s an extremely impressive feat in today’s diverse tennis world, and especially considering none of them are named Serena Williams. Their efforts have inspired each other throughout the tournament, but now they now will square off for the title at their home Grand Slam event.

We have a 22-year-old who had two wrist surgeries in the past year, and had a losing record in 2017 until the American hard court season. We have a 24-year-old who returned to tennis only two months ago after missing almost a full year due to a foot injury. We have a 25-year-old who is backing up her brash and cocky attitude with bold and fierce play. And of course, we have a 37-year-old legend who has been the best player of the year at the majors.

Venus Williams vs. Sloane Stephens

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Both women came back from a break down in the third set to win their quarterfinal matches in a third set tiebreak. This will be their second meeting, though Stephens’ 2015 French Open first round victory over Williams is not very revealing of what the outcome will be in the US Open semifinals. Venus is in much better form than she was two years ago, with a stellar 20-3 record at majors in 2017. Sloane has now made the semifinals at her third straight tournament, but has yet to go farther since her return to the tour. In her post-match interview on Tuesday, Stephens referenced Venus as the leader of the American women, helping to inspire their success. I wonder how much Sloane’s reverence for Venus may impact her play on Thursday evening – sometimes it’s harder to compete against someone you look up to and have so much respect for. As tremendous as Stephens’ play has been this summer, she’s still only been back on court for a few months, and is not as match tough at this point as Venus. Sloane is such a great mover, but her default mode in the past has been to play tentatively and rely too much on her movement. You also have to consider this only Stephens’ second major semifinal, while this makes 23 major semifinals for Venus. It’s hard to bet against an experience edge as sharp as that.

Madison Keys vs. CoCo Vandeweghe

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This will be their third career meeting, with both previous matches taking place within the past six weeks. Keys defeated Vandeweghe on each of those occasions: the final in Stanford, and the first round in Cincinnati. Madison has played four of her five US Open matches at night on Arthur Ashe Stadium, while CoCo has only played one night session match during this tournament. Considering this will be the last match of the evening, the late night experience should certainly help Keys. While Madison has shined in her night session matches, she’s also come out looking a bit nervous and overwhelmed during a few of them. CoCo is not one to react in such a way, and is usually not one to give away leads, so it will be crucial for Keys to avoid being tight at the start. CoCo can easily get negative, but is much improved in letting that anger out and quickly moving on without extended drops in her level of play. It’s tough to pick a winner here, as the two play very similar styles. This will be the second major semifinal for both, with the previous for each coming in Melbourne. Playing a major semifinal in your home country, and in front of a late night New York crowd, is a wholly different situation. It will be fascinating to see which player seizes what will be the biggest moment in both of their careers to date.

Semifinal order of play

Arthur Ashe Stadium (not before 19:00 local time)
(9) Venus Williams (USA) v Sloane Stephens (USA)
(20) Coco Vandeweghe (USA) v (15) Madison Keys (USA)

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Tommy Paul Downs Lorenzo Musetti Wins Maiden Grass Court Title At Queen’s Club

Tommy Paul is the new American number one!

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Tommy Paul has won his maiden grass court title at Queen’s Club after defeating Lorenzo Musetti 6-1 7-6(8).

The fifth seed was too good for the Italian who never really got going as Paul claimed his first title at ATP 500 level.

It was Paul’s third ATP title of his career and moves to world number 12 after an impressive week.

Heading into the final, Paul had beaten Jack Draper and Sebastian Korda and the American continued his red-hot form in the opening set.

Incredible movement on the grass as Paul played efficient counter-attacking tennis as he frustrated Musetti early on.

The American secured the early break for a 3-0 lead as the world number 13 dictated with power and touch.

Looking for a response, Musetti aimed to dictate play on the backhand and the Italian’s serve was firing in the next game as he secured his only hold of the match.

However, Paul was too consistent and solid as the American broke again and would soon win the opening set 6-1.

In the second set, Musetti started more positively as he was more proactive and aggressive as he looked to control his power more.

Paul managed to outlast Musetti’s early power to keep moving the Italian about and creating angles to hit winners into.

After a controlled start, Musetti produced a reckless seventh game as erratic unforced errors saw Paul break for a 4-3 lead.

The American was calm and collected for the majority of the match but when serving for the match Paul faltered under pressure.

Too many missed first serves saw Musetti with an opportunity to break back and the Italian didn’t need a second invitation as a crisp backhand return winner sealed the break back to level the set at 5-5.

An inspired Musetti applied pressure on Paul with some phenomenal hitting from the baseline as he secured consistent winners.

The American held his nerve to force a second set tiebreak as the American looked to overcome some jitters.

It looked like Musetti was going to cruise to the tiebreak but the Italian squandered a 4-1 lead in what was a highly entertaining tiebreak.

In the end Paul would win the tiebreak 10-8 and secure his first ATP 500 title as well as becoming the new American number one.

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Jannik Sinner Wins Maiden Grass-Court Title In Halle

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Jannik Sinner - Parigi 2024 (foto X @ATPTour_ES)

Jannik Sinner has reached another milestone in his blossoming career after claiming his first title on grass at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle. 

The world No.1 ousted fifth seed and doubles partner Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(8), 7-6,(2), in a tightly contested encounter. Sinner was sternly tested by the big-hitting Pole who knocked French Open finalist Alexander Zverev out of the tournament on Saturday. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top to become only the eighth player in PIF ATP ranking history to claim a trophy in his first tournament as world No.1.

“This means a lot,” Sinner told TennisTV. “It was a tough match against Hubi. I knew that I had to serve really well. You play only a couple of really important points throughout the whole set. I tried to produce in the best possible way in the important moments. 
“I’m very happy about this tournament because it’s my first time winning (a title) on a grass court. It’s a good feeling.”

Proceedings got underway with a 53-minuite opening set which saw no breaks of serves during the first 12 games played. However, each player had one opportunity to do so during the early stages. In the tiebreak, Sinner continued to be troubled by Hurkacz after failing to maintain a 5-2 lead. Then at 6-5, he was unable to convert his first set point due to an ace from his opponent. He missed a second opportunity to do so before prevailing on his third by hitting a shot deep to the baseline that his rival returned into the net. Making Sinner the first player to take a set off Hurkacz this week. 

It was a case of deja vu in the second frame with both players standing strong behind their serve. Hurkacz was unable to find a way to break but he did win over the crowd after hitting a fantastic over-the-shoulder passing shot without looking to win a point. 

Meanwhile, Sinner continued to weather the storm as he closed in on victory. The second tiebreaker saw him capitalised on back-to-back unforced errors from his rival en route to a 5-1 lead. Two points later he earned his first match point with the help of another costly mistake from across the court before closing the match out with ease.

Sinner’s latest victory is only the second time he has beaten a top 10 player on the grass with his first triumph being against Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon two years ago. He is also the second player to win Halle whilst ranked No.1 in the world after Roger Federer. 

Heading into Wimbledon, the 22-year-old has won four ATP trophies so far this season on three different surfaces. He has now won 38 out of his last 41 matches played. 

“I’m looking forward to it,” Sinner said of the next Grand Slam. “Last year I made the semis and played some good tennis. So let’s see what’s coming this year. 
“For sure I’m more confident on this surface. Obviously, the grass here (in Halle) might be a bit different to Wimbledon but I have a week to prepare so hopefully it is going to be a good tournament.”

Sinner is the 17th active male player to win a tour-level title on all three surfaces. 

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(VIDEO) Jannik Sinner And Lorenzo Musetti Create Italian Grass Court History

Italian tennis keeps getting stronger as Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti make more history on grass.

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Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti created Italian grass court history by becoming the first Italians to reach ATP grass court finals in the same week.

The world number one, Jannik Sinner, overcame Zhizhen Zhang in straight sets to reach the final in Halle.

It’s Sinner’s best ever performance at Halle and will now face doubles partner Hubert Hurkacz for the title on Sunday.

Meanwhile at Queen’s Club Lorenzo Musetti reached his second ATP 500 final with victory over Jordan Thompson in three sets.

It’s Musetti’s third ATP final of his career and his first ATP 500 final since 2022 where he beat Carlos Alcaraz in the Hamburg final.

Ubitennis founder Ublado Scanagatta reflects on the historic achievements by Sinner and Musetti and the impact it could have on the whole pyramid of Italian tennis.

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