US Open Day 9 Preview: Four Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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US Open Day 9 Preview: Four Must-See Matches

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Venus Williams (zimbio.com)

We are down to eight men and eight women remaining in the singles draws, as quarterfinal action gets underway on Tuesday.

Pablo Carreno Busta vs. Diego Schwartzman
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What an amazing opportunity for both of these men to make their first major semifinal. Carreno Busta has not dropped a set on his road to this quarterfinal, though he’s had a dream draw as he’s faced nothing but qualifiers until this round. Schwartzman had a more impressive run to this stage, defeating former US Open champion Marin Cilic as well as a quarterfinalist from last year, Lucas Pouille. Schwartzman though received treatment to his right leg during his win on Sunday. At 5’7”, Schwartzman is the shortest major quarterfinalist in 23 years, and he can ill afford to have his movement hampered by a leg injury. This will be the first meeting between these two surprising quarterfinalists. Carreno Busta is the more accomplished player and will be the favorite on Tuesday. It will be interesting to see how both men handle the pressure in the biggest moment of their careers, as that will undoubtedly impact the outcome.

Anastasija Sevastova vs. Sloane Stephens
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Here’s another quarterfinal where the players have never before faced each other. This is Sevastova’s second straight year in the US Open quarterfinals, coming off her victory over Maria Sharapova on Sunday. Sloane Stephens has had a fantastic summer after missing almost a year due to a foot injury. She is now 12-2 in her last three tournaments, with her only losses coming to top 10-ranked players. This is the farthest Stephens has advanced in her career at her home major, though she’s a former Australian Open semifinalist and Wimbledon quarterfinalist. Sloane is such a great mover on the court, which may make the variety in Sevastova’s game less effective than it was against Sharapova. I like Sloane’s chances here to reach the semifinals at her third straight event.

Venus Williams vs. Petra Kvitova
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This is a big-time matchup to headline the night session. After struggling with her form this summer, Kvitova’s groundstrokes have been so strong during this fortnight, especially in ousting tournament favorite Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round. Meanwhile Venus Williams has also played very solidly through four rounds, just as she has at all the majors this year. Kvitova leads their head-to-head 4-1, with their most notable match being a memorable encounter at Wimbledon in 2014, which Petra won 7-5 in the third. Also notably, every match they’ve played has gone to three sets, and I expect another tight contest here. If Kvitova hits the ball as sharply as she did on Sunday, it will be extremely difficult for Venus to prevail. But it’s hard to expect Kvitova to maintain such a high level – she’s always been a streaky player, and has only been back on tour for a few months. Her hand is still not fully recovered from the attack she suffered in her home late last year, and this is actually her best career showing in New York. I expect Venus to be the steadier player and to return to the US Open semifinals for the first time in seven years.

Sam Querrey vs. Kevin Anderson
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The night cap on Arthur Ashe Stadium will be the fifteenth meeting in what has become an intriguing rivalry between these two big men. Overall Querrey leads Anderson 8-6 in their careers. Most recently, Querrey outlasted Anderson in a five-set battle in the fourth round of Wimbledon in July, though Anderson gained revenge a few weeks later on the hard courts of Montreal. Querrey has been in stellar form thus far in Flushing Meadows, especially in dropping just five games to Mischa Zverev in Sunday’s night session. Querrey will try to recapture that same night session magic in this match, though this is a much tougher matchup as both men play very similar styles. This is Querrey’s third major quarterfinal, and he’s 1-1 in this round. Anderson is 0-1, as he lost in the US Open quarterfinals two years ago to Stan Wawrinka. As noted by Simon Cambers on Twitter, Anderson will be making his Arthur Ashe stadium debut, as his US Open quarterfinal two years ago was actually played on Louis Armstrong Stadium. That could be a big factor here. This could easily be a four or five set battle that goes late into the night, or technically the next morning. Both men will be feeling a ton of pressure, as they’ll know this is a golden opportunity to make a major semifinal. They’ll also know whoever wins this match will be the favorite against either Carreno Busta or Schwartzman in the semifinals. The statistics seem to slightly favor Querrey, but I would not be surprised if Kevin Anderson pulls this one out.

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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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