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



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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


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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