Madrid Open Wednesday Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day - UBITENNIS
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Madrid Open Wednesday Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day

The King of clay will get his campaign at the Caja Magica underway on Wednesday.

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It’s a loaded schedule on Wednesday in Madrid.  Every remaining woman in the singles draw will take to the court, as all third round matches are played and the quarterfinals will be solidified.  On the men’s side, twelve of the sixteen second round encounters will be decided. With so many matches on the docket, here’s a preview of what appear to be the most intriguing of the day in each singles draw.

Rafael Nadal vs. Gael Monfils

This will be Nadal’s opening round match in his home country’s biggest tournament of the year.  He arrives while on one of the best clay court streaks of his illustrious career. Rafa has won 19 straight clay court matches, and 46 straight sets, dating back to 51 weeks ago in Rome.  Who will be the first man to at least take a set away from the greatest clay court player of all-time? At first glance, Monfils does not appear to be a leading candidate. He’s only defeated Nadal twice in their 15 career meetings.  However, Monfils has taken a set off Nadal in each of their last two meetings, including two years ago on clay in the Monte Carlo final. When Monfils is at his best and plays agressively, he has the type of game that can disrupt Nadal’s.  The problem is I’m not sure if Monfils is 100%. He retired from Indian Wells due to a back injury, and didn’t play again until last week in Munich, where he lost in the opening round. Even if Monfils were to wrestle a set away from Nadal, it seems highly unlikely he would get two.  Nadal will be a heavy favorite in what will hopefully be an entertaining match.

Karolina Pliskova vs. Sloane Stephens

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These are the winners of two recent big tournaments on the WTA tour: Miami and Stuttgart.  Are they also two of the top contenders for the French Open title? Pliskova is currently on a seven match winning streak on the clay, and is a defending Roland Garros semifinalist.  Stephens went on an eight match losing streak following her US Open triumph, but rebounded to beat three top ten seeds on her way to the Miami title. Can Sloane find similar success outside the US?  There’s no good reason why not, as she can play on the clay. She’s a career 14-6 at the French Open. Stephens easily won both of her previous matches against Pliskova, but they haven’t met in almost three years, and have never played on clay.  Given her current win streak, as well as the faster conditions (due to the altitude in Madrid) favoring her style of play, I lean towards Pliskova here. That being said, this match should be a good contrast of styles, and could have considerable implications come a few weeks from now in Paris.

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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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Lorenzo Musetti Faces Tommy Paul in Queens Final

Lorenzo Musetti will take on Tommy Paul in the Queen’s Club final.

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Lorenzo Musetti beat Australian Jordan Thompson 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and eighteen minutes to reach the final at Queens for the first time – and now plays Tommy Paul who beat compatriot Sebastian Korda 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) and has the chance to be American number one with victory tomorrow.

In a great match for the spectators with contrasting styles and shot selection, the Italian played better in the key moments in the third set while Thompson was hampered by a back injury throughout, although seemed to be moving well.

“[That was] one of the toughest matches this week,” said Musetti, who fell to the floor after his victory. “Jordan was playing an amazing level, especially the second and third sets. It was a really tough game at 4-3 when I played some amazing shots which gave me the break, and I didn’t shake even under pressure and it was a key moment for me. I’m really proud of what I am achieving this week.”

Thompson had a slow start; his serve was not firing and he was broken in his first service game and was quickly 3-0 down. Musetti played some excellent points, covering all parts of the court showing deft touches at the net as well as depth and power off both wings from the baseline.

Though he won the set convincingly, Thompson refocussed immediately at the start of the second and broke serve straight away when Musetti’s backhand slice sailed wide. He served far better throughout getting far more free points, and levelled the match at a set-all.

However, the key to the match was the game with Thompson serving with new balls at 3-4 down in the third set. Serving wide proved unwise as he was picked off twice by Musetti; first a sliced return down to Thompson’s feet as he was coming in, and then a crunching forehand winner put him 15-30 down.

Later in the game, a beautiful backhand half-volley lob gave Musetti a first breakpoint of the set but he was unable to take it, and moments later he missed another when he chased down a dropshot but the net cord took his forehand wide. He missed a third breakpoint after a solid rally from Thompson, but the pressure finally told when Musetti took his fourth chance when Thompson’s backhand drop volley landed fractionally out. The hawk-eye replay showed just how close it was and Musetti was now just a game away.

Musetti was gifted the first point of the final game with a poor drop shot from Thompson, but followed it up with a well-constructed rally finishing off with a forehand volley into the open court. A half-volley approach shot drew another error from his opponent bringing him match point and a service winner meant he won the game to love and reach an ATP Final for the first time in two years.

Explaining his tattoos after his win, he said: “I love this sport, I’m really passionate about tennis since I was a kid,” “I dreamt to be a tennis player and become number one in the world, and I have another tattoo which says ‘family’ so having a team which is a family. I really care about people, and I am surrounded by people that love me. This win is for them.”

Musetti’s previous two ATP finals brought him success on the hard courts and the clay courts. Could he complete the hattrick of surfaces on the tour? “Absolutely, it would be super nice, said Musetti. “Of course, here in Queens with so much history when you walk on court, when you see this beautiful showcase. And there are a lot of Italians here in London and I want to thank them, I really feel like at home. Tomorrow is my last step, so I want you to come and support me again, see you tomorrow!”


In the title match, he plays American Tommy Paul who beat an aching Sebastian Korda in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) to reach his second grass court final after Eastbourne last year.

Serving at 4-5 down, Korda threw in two errors to go 0-30 down, and then fell on his ankle sliding at the back of the court chasing a wide forehand. He lost concentration and soon lost the set, before calling the trainer in the changeover where he also applied ice to his left eye.

Korda, who received a warning after snapping his racket over his knee in the first set, looked sluggish in the second set and seemed as if a succession of injuries may be catching up on him – some time off may well be good for him now before Wimbledon next week.

“I’m happy with how I’m playing,” said Paul afterwards. “I feel like every time I step on the grass, I’m learning something and I’m getting a little better. Hopefully tomorrow [will also] be a little better.”

Paul played solidly all round and only faltered when serving for the match when 5-3 ahead in the second set, and was broken after a bad bounce to give Korda a lifeline. Games went with serve into the tie-break where Korda double faulted at 1-1, and then followed up with three lethargic baseline errors to swap ends at 5-1 down. Yet another error gave Paul five match points and he took his second one with an ace down the middle to take revenge for last week when he lost to Korda in the quarter finals in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

“It was no secret between the two of us, we wanted to play offense, so I feel like I did a pretty good job there at the end,” explained Paul. “When I was serving for it, he played an awesome game and got the break there and put a lot of pressure on me, so I was happy to get through that.”

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Jack Draper Points To Mental Fatigue As Reason For Queen’s Club Exit

Jack Draper is aiming for a big Wimbledon result despite recent mental fatigue.

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Jack Draper has revealed mental fatigue has caught up to him after his Queen’s Club exit against Tommy Paul.

The Brit was a bit flat-footed as he lost 6-3 5-7 6-4 to the American in his quarter-final match.

It was a tiring performance in what has been an action-packed last week for Draper having won his first ATP title in Stuttgart which was followed by a career-best win against Carlos Alcaraz at Queen’s Club.

However, Draper revealed after the match that the recent success has had a price in the form of mental fatigue, “It was tough to play the tennis I wanted to play, but we have to deal with that. It’s part of the game. I felt like I was having to really get myself going. Maybe because the last couple of weeks are catching up with me a little bit,” Draper was quoted by The Independent as saying.

“Physically, I felt good, my body has been great. It just becomes mentally quite taxing having to go day after day. I finished Stuttgart on Sunday, I got here very, very late on Sunday. I was training and then went in again on Tuesday. Then the match yesterday, it felt like there was quite a lot of emotional energy invested in that.

“I’m definitely having to pick myself up, I felt quite flat at times, and I think that showed in my decision-making at times in the match. I played a few more sloppy shots than I wanted to. But if I want to be one of the best players in the world, then I have to keep backing up my performances and get used to going deep every week. That’s what I want to do and what was disappointing about this one.”

It was still a positive tournament for Draper who will now enter the world’s top 30 in the rankings next week.

Now Draper will head into Wimbledon as a seeded player and the last few weeks have been a stern reminder as to the work it takes to succeed at the highest level, “If you want to be a top, top player in the world, you have to back up results week by week, day by day. You know you are in a great place and are one of the best in the world when you are able to do that,” Draper explained.

“Every day we are facing amazing tennis players who can beat you. If you are not quite on your game, for instance today, you lose the match. That is the next stage for me now. I want to try to go deep in tournaments and back it up every week.

“My body is in a good place, these are just things I have to get used to at the highest level and learn. I’m still young so I’m trying to piece a lot of things together. It was my first title last week, I’ve done it at Challengers and Futures, but it’s very different on the main tour so I probably need a bit more time.”

Draper will look for his best ever Wimbledon result when he competes in the third Grand Slam of the season, which starts on the 1st of July.

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