US Open Day 7 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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US Open Day 7 Preview: Five Must-See Matches



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As we begin the fourth round in the singles draws on Sunday, Arthur Ashe Stadium is the place to be for the most high-profile encounters. Here’s a look at the five matches scheduled for the biggest tennis stadium in the world on Day 7.


Pablo Carreno Busta vs. Denis Shapovalov

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Can the dream run for the 18-year-old Canadian continue? Shapovalov has already won six matches in Flushing Meadows, having come through three rounds of qualifying last week. He’s the first men’s qualifier to advance to the fourth round at the US Open in almost a decade, and the youngest player to do so since Michael Chang in 1989. Just a months ago, he was ranked 143rd in the world. With a win on Sunday, he’ll skyrocket into the top 50. Carreno Busta has also ascended to new heights in 2017. He reached his first Masters 1,000 semifinal in Indian Wells, showing he’s capable of great play on American hard courts. He followed that up by winning a clay title in Estoril, and advancing to his first major quarterfinal at Roland Garros with a thrilling victory over Milos Raonic in five sets. His season took a turn from there, as he missed the entire grass court season due to an abdominal injury he suffered on that French Open run. Pablo went just 3-4 this summer heading into the Open, but re-found some form in New York with the help of a kind draw. He has yet to drop a set, though he’ll now face some tougher competition, and on a much bigger stage. I’m interested to see what the crowd is like for this first match of the day: the crowd is usually sparse at 11:00am, and Shapovalov has shown he likes to feed off a crowd’s energy. Hopefully the Next Gen sensation draws people to their seats at the early hour, as this has the potential to be a good one.

Maria Sharapova vs. Anastasija Sevastova

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Much like Shapovalov (and not just in name), Sharapova has surprised and delighted many through three rounds at this year’s US Open. After a terrific opening night victory over second seed Simona Halep, she hasn’t looked as sharp against lesser competition in her last two matches. While Sharapova has survived despite dips in her level of play, she won’t be able to afford as many dips against Sevastova. For those not familiar with the sixteenth seed, the Latvian actually retired back in 2013 due to recurring injuries. She returned to the tour two years later, and had her best-ever major showing last year in New York, going all the way to the quarterfinals. She’s continued to play well in 2017, with one title and 34 wins on the year. Sharapova has only played 12 matches in almost two years, and has dealt with injuries since she returned to tennis in April. It’s hard to imagine her advancing too much farther in this tournament. She’s not the most athletic player on tour, and she usually requires a lot of match play to get into good form. While I would not be surprised to see Sevastova reach her second straight US Open quarterfinal, you cannot dismiss the chances of such a fierce competitor as Sharapova.

Venus Williams vs. Carla Suarez Navarro

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Who would have expected Venus Williams to be the most consistent WTA performer at Grand Slam events in 2017? She already has 18 wins at majors this year, highlighted by reaching the finals at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon. After struggling a bit in Toronto and Cincinnati, the 37-year-old champion has looked better with each passing round in New York. This may be her first true test though, and may be a good indicator of how serious a contender Venus is for this major title. She is 4-3 lifetime against Suarez Navarro, and they have split their four hard court meetings. The Spaniard has seen her ranking drop this year due to a barely-above .500 winning percentage. After reaching a career-high ranking of number six last year, she is actually not even seeded at the Open. Still she is a former US Open quarterfinalist with a beautiful backhand, and will not be an easy out. Venus is favored here, and should look to use the support of her home crowd to lift her game.

Garbine Muguruza vs. Petra Kvitova

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The night session will kick off with this battle of Wimbledon champions. Both have played very impressively this week. Muguruza has only dropped nine games in three matches. Kvitova has had a tougher draw, but has played some of the best tennis of her season. Petra has only once made the US Open quarterfinals, while this is actually the first time Garbine’s advanced past the second round in Flushing Meadows. Muguruza appears to be a different player right now: she’s playing with a ton of confidence after winning Wimbledon as well as Cincinnati. Considering Kvitova is not yet fully recovered from the awful hand injury she suffered during a home invasion, Muguruza should prevail. If both continue their strong play from earlier this week, this will be a prime time slugfest in New York.

Sam Querrey vs. Mischa Zverev

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Querrey will be looking to avenge the loss of his countryman and friend John Isner, who was soundly defeated by Zverev on Friday night. Sam has never advanced past this round at his home major, and will look to draw inspiration from his semifinal appearance at Wimbledon in July. Zverev is having the best season of his career, thanks to pushing himself harder while seeing his younger brother Alexander excel. The two have never faced each other before, so there’s no history to go off here. This match may hinge on how well Querrey reacts to the expectations placed upon him as the only remaining American man in such a truly open draw. He’ll undoubtedly have the full backing of the late night New York crowd.

Order of play

Arthur Ashe stadium (11am local time)
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) v Pablo Carreno Busta ESP (12)
Anastasija Sevastova LAT (16) v Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) v Venus Williams USA (9)

(not before 19:00)
Petra Kvitova CZE (13) v Garbine Muguruza ESP (3)
Sam Querrey USA (17) v Mischa Zverev GER (23)

Louis Armstrong Stadium
After two doubles matches
Julia Goerges GER (30) v Sloane Stephens USA
Paolo Lorenzi ITA v Kevin Anderson RSA (28

After one doubles match
Lucas Pouille FRA (16) v Diego Schwartzman ARG (29)

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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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Novak Djokovic To Skip Shanghai Masters



The penultimate Masters 1000 event of 2023 will take place without the world’s top-ranked player. 


Novak Djokovic has confirmed his withdrawal from the tournament which will get underway on October 2nd. In a social media post, the Serbian said he would miss seeing his fans in China but didn’t specify his reason for not playing. It is believed that his decision to do so is due to what has been a hectic past few weeks on the Tour. 

Since mid-August Djokovic won the Cincinnati Masters before going on to claim a historic 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open. Less than a week after triumphing in New York, he travelled to Spain for his country’s Davis Cup group matches. At the Davis Cup, he won his singles match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina during Serbia’s clash with Spain. However, the following day Djokovic and doubles partner Nikola Cacic lost their match against the Czech Republic. 

“Over the years, some of the best support I receive anywhere in the world is in China. Shanghai has always been one of my favourite tournaments in the season,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will be missing my #NoleFam in China. I hope that I can come back to China in the future and play in front of all of you again.”

The Shanghai Masters is taking place for the first time since 2019 after the past three editions were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Djokovic has won the event a record four times so far in his career. The only other players to have won Shanghai on multiple occasions are Andy Murray and Roger Federer. 

Djokovic has not commented on when he will next play but he will likely be participating at the Paris Masters next month which takes place just before the ATP Finals in Turin. So far this season, he has won 45 out of 50 matches played, earned more than $10.5M in prize money and claimed five Tour titles with three of those being at Grand Slam events. 

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