Four Things To Know About Semifinals Day At Queen's - UBITENNIS
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Four Things To Know About Semifinals Day At Queen’s

Ubitennis’ guide to what you need to know about today’s last-four showdown at The Queen’s Club.



On Saturday four players will lock horns for a chance to reach the final of the Fever-Tree Championships. Nick Kyrgios will take on Marin Cilic first on Centre Court. Following that match, 12-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic faces France’s Jeremy Chardy for a chance to reach his first final of the season.


Here are four things to know about today’s semi-final matches at The Queen’s Club.

Chardy looks to break his losing streak

The past few weeks have seen 31-year-old Chardy experience some of his best ever results on the grass. At the start of this month he defeated Dan Evans to claim his first ever Challenger title on the surface in Surbiton. He was able to follow up on that milestone by reaching his third ATP final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch a week later.

Despite Chardy’s recent surge in success, he still faces a tall order against Djokovic. They have already played each other 10 times with the Serbian winning all of them in straight sets. Queen’s will be their first meeting on the tour since 2015 and their first meeting on the grass since 2013.

“I think being able to play that many matches and win in a row builds confidence, especially on this surface where we don’t have a long season on. So he got plenty of matches under his belt in the last couple of weeks.” Djokovic said of his semifinal opponent.
“He is feeling confident and comfortable, as well. I have seen him play a little bit, Chardy. He has a powerful serve and I have played him many times also on grass. Big forehand.”

Route to the semifinals
R1 – Def Tim Smyczek 6-2, 6-4
R2 – Def Daniil Medvedev 7-6(6), 6-3
QF – Def Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-4

Djokovic aims to extend near-perfect French record

Former world No.1 Djokovic has an almost flawless record against French opposition within recent years. Since 2012 he has won 48 out of 50 matches against French players. The only two players to buckle that trend was Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the 2014 ATP Finals and Benoit Paire at this year’s Miami Masters.

Earlier in his career, Djokovic played in eight ATP Finals against French players between 2007-2012. His only loss was at the hands of Tsonga at the 2008 Thailand Open.

“I’m just excited to be in the semifinals. I haven’t had too many of those over the last 15 months. So let’s hope that I can get a chance to fight for a trophy.” Djokovic said after winning his 800th tour match on Friday.

Route to semifinals
R1 – Def John Millman 6-2, 6-1
R2 – Def Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-1
QF – Def Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-1

Kyrgios targets grass-court milestone

23-year-old Kyrgios is aiming to reach his first grass-court final on the ATP World Tour. He has already featured in seven ATP Finals. Six on a hard-court and one on the clay.

Kyrgios has already hit a whopping 32 aces in his two previous matches against Kyle Edmund and Feliciano Lopez. Bringing his total for the week to a tournament record of 82. The tour record for most aces in a two-sets match is held by John Isner, who hit 33 aces during his clash with Radek Stepanek at the 2015 Atlanta Open.

“My serve’s been like this ever since I was a little kid. It was my best shot. I always based my game around it.” Said Kyrgios.
“It was one shot where I didn’t really practice much at all. I would hit maybe 10 or 15 serves a day.
“I used to just throw the ball up and hit it as hard as I could. I guess just one day it started winning me easy points. I was, like, this is better than running, and that’s it.”

Should Kyrgios win, he would become the first Australian to reach the final at Queen’s since Lleyton Hewitt back in 2007. Kyrgios teamed up with Hewitt to play in the doubles tournament this year.

Route to semifinals
R1 – Def Andy Murray 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-5
R2 – Def Kyle Edmund 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 6-3
QF – Def Feliciano Lopez 7-6(5), 7-6(3)

Marin Cilic targets No.4

Earlier in the week Cilic said The Queen’s Club felt like home to him and with good reason. This year is his 12th consecutive appearance at the tournament. Cilic, who won the title back in 2012, currently has a win-loss record of 29-9 at the tournament (not counting walkovers).

“I’ve been coming here since 2007, every single year, and enjoying it. I’ve had great success even though the tournament is extremely strong every single year.” Said Cilic.
“It’s always a pleasure for me to play here. I think it’s very special as every single match is a full crowd, so it makes it even more interesting.” He added.

A win over Kyrgios will elevate Cilic into his fourth Queen’s final. Besides claiming the title in 2012, he also finished runner-up to Andy Murray in 2013 and Lopez in 2017. So far in his career, Cilic has only reached four finals of the same tournament once before. That was back in his home country at the now defunct Zagreb Open.

Route to semifinals
R1 – Def Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4
R2 – Def Gilles Muller 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
QF – Def Sam Querrey 7-6(3), 6-2

The Queen’s semifinals will get underway at 13:00 GMT.


Roland Garros Daily Preview: Iga Swiatek Plays Karolina Muchova for the Women’s Championship



Karolina Muchova after winning her first Major semifinal on Thursday (

The women’s singles championship match will be played on Saturday afternoon in Paris.


Iga Swiatek is playing for her fourth Major title, and her third French Open out of the last four.  She would become the first woman to win three RG titles in such a short span since Justine Henin, as well as the first woman to defend this title since Henin did in 2007.  And a fourth Slam title would tie Iga with Naomi Osaka as the second-most among non-retired female players, trailing only Venus Williams.  In short, a victory on Saturday would put Swiatek in elite company, especially on clay.

A year ago, Karolina Muchova left this tournament in a wheelchair, after turning her ankle in a third round encounter with Amanda Anisimova.  Multiple injuries across the last few years almost forced her into retirement, as doctors suggested she leave the sport.  But she pulled off an amazing comeback on Thursday against Aryna Sabalenka, where Karolina was down 2-5, 0-30 in the third, yet she won 20 of the last 24 points and saved a match point to achieve her first Major final.

Also on Saturday, the men’s doubles championship match features Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek (4) vs. Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen.  Dodid and Krajicek lost last year’s final in three sets, though Ivan is a two-time Major champ in men’s doubles, including here with Marcelo Melo back in 2015.  This is a first Slam final in men’s doubles for Gille and Vliegen, but Joran was a runner-up here in mixed doubles a year ago.

Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Karolina Muchova – Not Before 3:00pm on Court Philippe-Chatrier

Swiatek is 34-6 on the year overall, and 18-2 on clay.  She’s only lost two of her 29 career matches at Roland Garros, and only six of 58 completed sets. Iga hasn’t lost a set in Paris since the fourth round a year ago, to Qinwen Zheng.  She is 3-0 in Major finals, having never lost a set, and 13-4 in finals overall, though she has lost two of her last three.

Muchova is 23-7 this season, after going only 9-9 at tour level a year ago due to aforementioned injuries.  She’s the only player to defeat Aryna Sabalenka at a Slam this year, and is now 5-0 lifetime against top three opposition, with four of those upsets taking place at Majors.  Karolina dropped two sets to this stage, and this is only her third-ever WTA-level final, and her first in nearly four years.

Both players should be keen to win the first set on Saturday.  As Simon Cambers highlighted on Twitter, the winner of the first set has won the women’s final at Roland Garros in 19 of the last 21 years.  And Swiatek has only lost four times at Majors after taking the first set.

Muchova claimed their only previous meeting, which was a three-setter four years ago on clay in Prague, the biggest event in Karolina’s home country of the Czech Republic.  But four years later, Swiatek must be considered the favorite.  She has separated herself from all her competition on this surface.

But I do expect Muchova to challenge Swiatek on Saturday.  She has a well-rounded game with many offensive weapons, and will be feeling uber-confident after what she accomplished in the semifinals.  Plus, Karolina knows she is a considerable underdog, just as Iga knows she is a significant favorite, so the pressure will land decisively on the World No.1’s side of the net.  It should be a great final.

Saturday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Casper Ruud Praises Father, Embracing Underdog Status Ahead Of Second Roland Garros Final

Casper Ruud is into his third Grand Slam final after thrashing Alexander Zverev.



Casper Ruud (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Casper Ruud is embracing being the underdog heading into his second consecutive Roland Garros final.


The Norwegian cruised into the Roland Garros final after a 6-3 6-3 6-0 demolition job of Alexander Zverev.

Ruud was too clinical for the German as he broke on six occasions to seal a place in his third Grand Slam final.

Speaking in his on-court interview, Ruud admitted he was pleased to reach a second Roland Garros final, “I just went out there and tried to play without too many feelings, without trying to think too much,” Ruud was quoted by BBC Sport as saying.

“Towards the end of the tournament, everyone has done so well. I’m trying to play without pressure, and not too much emotion and today I just played really well from the beginning to the last point. Everything was going my way and I’m very happy to win this match.

“I didn’t come into Roland Garros thinking I was the favourite to reach the final. Not at all. I was going one match at a time. I would obviously love to be back in the final and always thinking I would love to defend this finals spot from last year, and here we are.

“It’s been two fun weeks in in Paris, and hopefully third time will be the charm for me.”

It’s been an incredible turnaround for Ruud who was struggling for form heading into the second Grand Slam of the season.

However the Norwegian is now into a second consecutive Roland Garros final and after the match praised his father for contributing heavily to his success, “I think I owe almost almost all my success to him. We had a very good goal, since I was this tall and told him I wanted to become a professional,” Ruud said about his father Cristian, who was a former ATP player himself.

“He has taken these words very seriously and pushed me every day and been around me every day since I was 12 years old. Without him I don’t think I would be where I am today. Also my mother. Without them I would not be here today. It has been very good to have support from my family and everyone else around me.”

Now Ruud will play one of the greatest players of all-time in the form of Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final.

After playing Rafael Nadal last year, Ruud has said that he will enjoy the occasion and is embracing being the underdog, “It’s going to be tough,” Ruud spoke of facing Djokovic.

“Last year was against Rafa, this year against Novak so what do you say? It’s two of the toughest players in the history, I’m going to be the underdog, so try to play without feelings, try to enjoy and smile as much as I can.

“Novak is going for his 23rd [Grand Slam title], I am going for my first – it’s a big difference but I will give it my all and I hope we can have a good match.”

Heading into the match Djokovic has a 4-0 winning head-to-head record but they have never played a best of five set match.

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Carlos Alcaraz Admits Nerve And Tension After Cramping During Roland Garros Semi-Final

Carlos Alcaraz admitted to being tense after cramping during his Roland Garros semi-final against Novak Djokovic.



Carlos Alcaraz (@TheTennisLetter - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz has admitted tension lead to him cramping during his 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 defeat to Novak Djokovic.


The world number one will have to wait for his first Roland Garros final after losing in four sets to Novak Djokovic.

It was a competitive opening two sets before a cramping issue effectively ended Alcaraz’s Parisian dream.

After the match, Alcaraz admitted it was a tough thing to deal with and the cramping didn’t just effect his legs it was also his arms, “Well, yeah, it’s been really tough for me, honestly,” the Spaniard started his press conference by saying.

“I disappointed myself honestly, you know, and in a match like this, coming to this match with great feeling, feeling great physically, and, yeah, cramping at the end of the second set, beginning of the third set, it was really disappointing.

“Well, I would say the first set and the second set was really, really intense, you know, and I started to cramp, you know, in my arm. At the beginning of the third set I started to cramp every part of my body, not only the legs. The arms, as well, every part of the legs.

“Well, it was really tough for me to move at the third set, and in the fourth set let’s say I had a little chance, but it was really tough. You know, my full body start to cramp.”

Later on in the press conference Alcaraz reflected on the reasons why he started to cramp.

The top seed said the tension and nerves of the occasion got the best of him and his body reacted by getting tense and cramping, “Yeah, the tension. The tension of the match. You know, I started match really nervous,” Alcaraz explained.

“The tension of, you know, the first set, the second set, it was really intense two sets, as well. Really good rallies, tough rallies, you know, dropshots, sprints, rallies, you know. It’s a combination of a lot of things. But, you know, the main thing, it was the tension that I had all the two first sets.”

It was a tough experience for Alcaraz to go through as he will hope to become a champion in Paris next year.

The Spaniard spoke about learning from his experiences and the reasons why he didn’t retire in the third set, “Well, you have to learn from these kind of matches, you know, these kind of experience,” Alcaraz stated.

“I would say I take lesson from that match, you know. I will try to not happen again, you know, in these matches. You know, I have to take lesson from that experience and, you know, it’s something that I have to deal, and of course I will have more experience in the next match.

“Well, I would have felt sorry about myself if I would retire, you know. I’m in a semi-final of a Grand Slam. If I retired from that, it could have been really tough for me.

“Of course in the third set, no, but thinking about the fourth set, I thought that probably I have 1% chance, you know, to come back. It was really tough.

“But, you know, in the fourth set I had breakpoints in the first game. But, you know, after that, I just continue playing, you know. In my mind, in the fourth set, it was not the retirement.”

Alcaraz’s willingness to play is commendable as he looks to take the fighting spirit into the rest of the season.

Providing he is fully fit, Alcaraz will now prepare for Wimbledon by playing Queen’s Club which starts on the 19th of June.

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