US Open Day 8 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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US Open Day 8 Preview: Five Must-See Matches



Roger Federer (

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will play their fourth round matches on Monday in a crowded half of the men’s draw. The women’s draw has given us many great matches over the weekend, with more intriguing matchups on the schedule for Labor Day in the US.

Karolina Pliskova vs. Jennifer Brady
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Pliskova has not played like a world number one thus far at the Open. She’s survived 6-4 in the final set in each of her last two matches, even having to save match point against Zhang Shuai in her third round. Normally such an escape might free up a player to play better, but Karolina was obviously suffering from an arm injury on Saturday. She’s also admitted to feeling the pressure of performing at a high standard as the recently-crowned world number one. Jennifer Brady also escaped trouble in her match on Saturday, defeating tricky opponent Monica Niculescu in a third set tiebreak. It’s been a breakout season for Brady. She advanced to the fourth round at the Australian Open in January, which was her first ever main draw appearance at a major. She’s impressively now matched that result in New York. Can she go one step further and upset the world number one in front of her home crowd? If Pliskova does not raise her level, and is not feeling 100%, it’s entirely possible. I would still expect Pliskova to play better here, and would not be surprised to see Brady a bit overwhelmed by the occasion in her Arthur Ashe Stadium debut.

Rafael Nadal vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov

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Nadal has suffered from slow starts where he dropped the opening set to unseeded opponents in both of his last two matches, but came back to easily win in four sets. He won’t want to get off to a similar start against Dolgopolov, who can be a dangerous adversary and has beaten Nadal twice before. One of those victories came on an American hard court in 2014, as Dolgopolov prevailed in a final set tiebreak in Indian Wells. It’s been a controversial week for Dolgopolov, as he’s been grilled in his press conferences regarding an ongoing investigation into match-fixing allegations. It’s related to irregular betting patterns that occurred on a match he played two weeks ago in Winston-Salem. Alexandr has been aggressive in his responses to the press, using colorful language to accuse the press of creating “fairytales” and claiming he and his family have received threats on social media due to the scrutiny. Will that serve as a distraction or as motivation for Dolgopolov as he takes to the big stage of Arthur Ashe Stadium to face the world number one? Dolgopolov’s unorthodox game can be extremely challenging when he’s on, but he can also go away quickly when he’s not. Nadal will be eager to raise his level as the second week of the tournament commences.

Dominic Thiem vs. Juan Martin Del Potro

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Fans attending the Open on Monday without Arthur Ashe Stadium tickets must be delighted to find this blockbuster matchup scheduled for late afternoon on the Grandstand. Thiem is the higher-ranked player and has had a much stronger season, but Del Potro has a much better hard court resume and played the best tennis of his season in ousting Roberto Bautista Agut on Saturday. Del Potro also holds a 2-0 record against Thiem, including their encounter at last year’s US Open in the very same round. It should be noted though that Thiem retired from that match after a set and a half due to a knee injury. Del Potro will look to dictate play with his monstrous forehand, while Thiem will of course need to keep the ball to Juan Martin’s weak backhand as much as possible. This should be a big-hitting affair in front of a pumped up crowd. It’s hard to not root for Del Potro after all he’s been through, and I hope I’m thinking with my head just as much as my heart when I say I think the Argentine may pull this one out.

Roger Federer vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber

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The night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium will kick off with Federer facing yet another opponent he has dominated throughout his career. Roger is a now a combined 43-0 against his first four opponents at this US Open, which includes his 11-0 record against Kohlschreiber. After having two five-setters in his first two rounds, Federer looked much more like himself in easily dispatching of Feliciano Lopez on Saturday night. While Kohlschreiber has yet to drop a set in this tournament, he’s also yet to face a seeded player. This should be straightforward for Federer, but let’s keep an eye on his movement and his back as we see if he’s able to maintain his high level of play from Saturday.

Elina Svitolina vs. Madison Keys

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This should be a fascinating match to end the evening, with a home favorite against one of three ladies who can be the world number one as of next Monday. Svitolina leads the tour with five titles in 2017, but is yet to breakthrough at a major. In the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, she completely melted down after holding a set and 5-1 lead over Simona Halep. How will Elina respond to the pressure of a night match on Ashe with the crowd solidly behind a popular American opponent? Keys herself did not handle the spotlight of a night match on Ashe all too well in her last round, as she was visibly overwhelmed against Elena Vesnina. Keys though was able to regain her composure and come back to win in a match that went until almost 2:00am. Will that late finish hamper Keys in this round? I’m very curious to see how both players handle themselves on this big occasion. Keys is 1-0 against Svitolina, with that victory coming two years ago at a US Open warm-up event in New Haven, though Svitolina is a different player now. I expect a tight, nervy contest, and give the slight edge to Keys to prevail.

Order of play

Arthur Ashe Stadium (11am local time)
Karolina Pliskova (CZE)(1) v Jennifer Brady (US)
Rafael Nadal (ESP)(1) v Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR)
CoCo Vandeweghe (US)(20) v Lucie Safarova (CZE)
Not before 19:00
Roger Federer (SUI)(3) v Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)(32)
Elina Svitolina (UKR)(4) v Madison Keys (USA)(15)

Louis Armstrong Stadium (Not before 12 PM)
David Goffin (BEL)(9) v Andrey Rublev (RUS)
Daria Kasatkina (RUS) v Kaia Kanepi (EST)

Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)(24) v Dominic Thiem (AUT)(6) – After three doubles matches


Caroline Wozniacki’s Father Criticises WTA For Lack Of Help For Mothers On Tour

Caroline Wozniacki was not given a wildcard for Rome or Roland Garros.



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Piotr Wozniacki has labelled the WTA as ‘amateur’ for their treatment of mothers on tour as he claims that Caroline Wozniacki should have had more wildcards.

The former Australian Open champion has played ten events since she announced her comeback last year.

Wozniacki has recovered her ranking to 117 in the world and her comeback has resulted in a fourth round appearance at the US Open as well as a quarter-final result at Indian Wells.

However the Dane has not been successful in gaining wildcards recently with both Rome and Roland Garros not offering Wozniacki one.

It’s a decision that Wozniacki’s father, Piotr, has not been happy with as he explained with Sport.PL, “The WTA believes that it is operating in an amateur fashion in the world of the largest professional women’s sport of all sports in the world. They sign contracts with the players and the players are obliged to do certain things under these contracts. And what do they get? Nothing, really nothing!” Piotr was quoted by tennisuptodate as saying.

“All wild cards, and there were 8 of them, were given to the Italians. I understand promoting their players, but how can you give the right to play in a tournament of this rank to such girls who should not even think that they could play in a Masters yet?

“Caroline was number one in her ranking. She won a Grand Slam tournament, won the Masters, played in almost 60 finals of their tournaments and won 30. So we are talking about a complete tennis player, someone who did a great job, who certainly increased the popularity of tennis, who earned a lot of money herself, but let them earn money. even much more.

“And it turns out that when someone like Caroline Wozniacki comes back as Caroline Wozniacki and family, she is no longer welcome. We can’t even prepare Caroline’s starting plan! We train, we prepare, and it turns out that there is nothing to do.

“This is happening because today in tennis everything is based only on relationships, on acquaintances, and not on clear rules. The thing is that if we know the organizers or tournament directors, we get a chance to play, but if we don’t know someone somewhere, they don’t want us there.

“Naturally, after the maternity break, my daughter had zero points. It takes a lot of time to start from scratch and reach the top, but we would do it patiently, but how can we do it when you don’t let a girl like that work for it? The rules in tennis today are such that there is no longer a mandatory wild card for someone who was once in the top 20, had a long break and came back.

“This card was really helpful for tennis players coming back after having a baby and for those coming back from serious injuries. And now Caroline, Angelique Kerber or Naomi Osaka are dependent only on someone else’s decisions. Since last year, all wild cards are the property of the tournaments, and the WTA washes its hands of them.”

It’s clear the Wozniacki family is disappointed as the Dane could be set to cancel her comeback next year.

However there is optimism that Wozniacki will receive one at Wimbledon as she has had past success on grass courts.

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Iga Swiatek Demolishes Aryna Sabalenka To Seal Third Rome Title

Iga Swiatek claimed her third Rome title after a dominant victory over Aryna Sabalenka.



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Iga Swiatek claimed her third Rome title by dominating Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-3 to send a big message of intent ahead of Roland Garros.

The world number one completed the Madrid and Rome double with a sensational performance.

Now Swiatek is the titleholder for the three biggest clay court titles as she will aim to defend her Roland Garros title.

The contest was a rematch from the Madrid final but this was far from the three hour contest that was produced in Spain.

Swiatek raised her level of play while Sabalenka committed way too many unforced errors throughout the contest.

The Pole broke on two occasions to wrap up a comfortable 37 minute set as her forehand was doing a lot of damage.

There was a comeback in the second set from the Australian Open champion as she produced effortless and consistent power, making the second set very competitive.

The world number one was forced to save break points as she just managed to be more stable on big moments.

A more controlled second set from Swiatek was rewarded towards the end of the set as once again Sabalenka crumbled under pressure when it mattered.

Two late breaks of serve completed the Swiatek surge as the Pole enters the second Grand Slam of the season in dominant form.

As for Sabalenka it’s a disappointing performance that she will look to put right at Roland Garros.

Roland Garros starts on the 26th of May where Swiatek is defending champion.

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Internazionali d’Italia Daily Preview: Sascha Zverev Plays Nicolas Jarry for the Men’s Singles Championship



Nicolas Jarry on Friday night in Rome (

Sunday features three championship matches: the finals in men’s singles, men’s doubles, and women’s doubles.

On Sunday in Rome, Sascha Zverev will play for his first Masters 1000 title in over two years, while Nicolas Jarry will play in his first-ever final above ATP 250 level.  Zverev leads their head-to-head 4-2, but they are tied at 2-2 on clay.  Which man will walk away with the title?

Sascha Zverev (3) vs. Nicolas Jarry (21) – Not Before 5:00pm on Center Court

Zverev is 27-9 this season, and lost only one set on his way to this championship match.  That came in the semifinals against another Chilean, Alejandro Tabilo.  This is Sascha’s first ATP final since September of last year, and he’s playing for his first Masters 1000 title since 2021 in Cincinnati.  Zverev will soon go on trial in his home country of Germany, as he faces charges of domestic abuse.

Just like eventual champion Andrey Rublev in Madrid, Jarry arrived in Rome on a four-match losing streak.  And he had never advanced beyond the quarterfinals at a Masters 1000 tournament, so this result is quite surprising.  But 28-year-old Jarry is a tall presence (6’7”) who thumps the ball.  As per Tennis Channel, he was averaging 89 mph on his forehand during his three-set semifinal victory over Tommy Paul.  Nico has claimed a trio of three-setters on the way to the biggest match of his career, most notably upsetting Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals.

Zverev certainly has a huge edge in experience at this level, and in finals.  This is his 33rd ATP final, where he holds a record of 21-11.  And it’s his 11th Masters 1000 final, where he is 5-5.  Jarry has only previously appeared in six finals, all at 250-level, where he is 3-3.  But clay is the Chliean’s specialty, as all seven of his career finals have come on this surface.

Yet sometimes experience has a negative impact, particularly when you have suffered some painful losses.  Zverev has lost four of his last six Masters 1000 finals, and he is infamously 1-6 in Major semifinals.  So he has a lot of recent scar tissue from high-profile matches.

In that way, Jarry may benefit from a lack of experience.  While he’ll certainly be nervous on this big occasion, Nico has displayed plenty of confidence and composure against more experienced players throughout this event.  And he owns two prior victories over Zverev.  But when these two met in another final, five years ago in Geneva, Sascha saved two championship points to prevail.  That’s a result that sticks with both players throughout their rivalry.

However, I’m picking Jarry to pull off the upset and win the biggest title of his career on Sunday.  Zverev has a history of getting tight and playing more defensively in crucial moments.  Jarry’s aggressive mindset can take full advantage of such passive play.  And with so many top ATP players currently battling injuries, Zverev will likely feel a lot of pressure to win this title ahead of Roland Garros, especially as the much higher seed on this day.

Other Notable Matches on Sunday:

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos (1) vs. Marcelo Arevalo and Mate Pavic – The top seeds are playing for their sixth Masters 1000 title as a team, and own a record of 5-1 in finals at this level.  Arevalo and Pavic are vying for the first Masters 1000 title of their new partnership for 2024.  Both teams are yet to drop a set this fortnight. 

Coco Gauff and Erin Routliffe (3) vs. Sara Errani and Jasmine Paolini – This is the first tournament for the team of Gauff and Routliffe, though both have won big doubles titles with other partners.  This is the biggest final to date for the Italian team of Errani and Paolini, though Errani won five WTA 1000 doubles titles alongside Roberta Vinci a decade ago, while Paolini won the WTA 1000 event in Dubai earlier this year in singles.

Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

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