French Open Day 10 Preview: The Quarter-finals Begin - UBITENNIS
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French Open Day 10 Preview: The Quarter-finals Begin

Monday was a disappointing day in Paris. In the women’s draw, we had a withdrawal, a retirement after two games, a resumption that lasted three games, and two blowouts. But the men’s side created some excitement with two dramatic five-setters. The good news is we are left with many attractive quarter-final match-ups in both singles draws.

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On the men’s side, two all-time greats will be heavily favoured against two men who have never been further than this stage of a major. In addition, two men who each have one major to their name will face off for the chance to duplicate that career highlight. And two young talents will fight for the opportunity to achieve Grand Slam glory for the first time.

On the women’s side, four current or former world number ones remain in the top half. The current one still looking for her first major title, and to conquer the demons of last year’s Roland Garros. In the bottom half, two standout Americans will battle two entertaining, Russian-born youngsters.

Alexander Zverev vs. Dominic Thiem

Zverev is finally into his first major quarter-final after his third straight five-set survival, having come back from two-sets-to-one down for the third time in a row. Will he have anything left for the two-time defending French Open semifinalist? This will be a tall task for the 21-year-old German. While Thiem has not played at his top level yet in Paris, and he himself is coming off three straight four-set matches, he’s a stronger player than the opponents Zverev has barely outlasted thus far. Thiem owns a 4-2 record against Zverev, which includes a third round match at Roland Garros from two years ago. However, Sascha has won two of their last three meetings. That includes the final in Madrid just a month ago, which Zverev won in straight sets. I’ve thought for some time that once Zverev broke through to his first major quarter-final, the flood gates would open, and he could easily make a run to a final in that same tournament. But considering Sascha has played fifteen sets of tennis in the past six days, and considering he’s playing one of the top clay court players in the world, Thiem has to be considered the favourite to make his third straight French Open semifinal.

Sloane Stephens vs. Daria Kasatkina

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This is a match-up I would like to see turn into a rivalry for years to come. Both are so much fun to watch. US Open Champion Sloane Stephens continues to display her awesome movement and sound shot-making abilities, while Daria Kasatkina showed off all the unorthodox variety in her game during her fourth round match against Caroline Wozniacki. Stephens and Kasatkina have only met twice before. Sloane won a tight three-setter on clay in 2016, and Dasha won comfortably in Indian Wells earlier this year. Stephens plays a similar style to Caroline Wozniacki, who has now lost six straight sets to Kasatkina in 2018. It will be key for Sloane to remain offensive-minded when the right moments appear. Stephens’ superior movement should also be a factor, as should her experience on a big stage like this. Keep in mind today will be Dasha’s first major quarter-final. I will look for Stephens to advance to her third major semifinal.

Madison Keys vs. Yulia Putintseva

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I’m most curious to see how this quarter-final plays out. Madison Keys has been mightily impressive thus far at Roland Garros, having not dropped a set on the surface she’s found the least success on. But remember she did the same thing in the first four rounds of the Australian Open this year, and then won just three games in her quarter-final against Angelique Kerber. At last year’s US Open, she stormed through her quarter-final and semifinal before winning just three games in the final. We’ve seen on occasions such as these how Madison lacks a plan B if her power game is not working. We’ve also seen her become overwhelmed by big occasions on the tennis court. Putintseva has not had the same success as Keys, but she’s a feisty competitor. And she’s been here before: she was a quarter finalist at the French Open just two years ago. In their only previous meeting, Putintseva prevailed in a final set tiebreak. That occurred on a hard court in Tokyo in 2016. While I’m not fully sure what to expect here, I will hesitantly lean towards Keys to give us an all-American semifinal, and a rematch from the US Open final against Sloane Stephens.

Novak Djokovic vs. Marco Cecchinato

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If there’s any quarter-final that should be smooth sailing, it’s this one. We have a 12-time major champion facing a man who had not won a match at a major prior to last week. While Djokovic may not be the same player today that won those 12 majors, he’s played well both in Rome as well as in his first four rounds in Paris. He’s had times where he’s been very negative on court this past week, especially during a particularly concerning racket smashing episode. But he’s still gotten through rather unscathed, dropping only one set to this point. Cecchinato though should not be undersold: he’s already defeated two top 10 seeds in this tournament. Still this a dream quarterfinal draw for a man trying to rediscover his mojo and get back to the top of the sport. Djokovic should win easily and save his energy for his ninth semifinal at Roland Garros.

Order of play

Court Philippe Chatrier
Start at 12:00
Dominic THIEM (AUT) [7] – Alexander ZVEREV (GER) [2]
Sloane STEPHENS (USA) [10] – Daria KASATKINA (RUS) [14]

Court Suzanne LENGLEN
Start at 12:00
Yulia PUTINTSEVA (KAZ) – Madison KEYS (USA) [13]
Marco CECCHINATO (ITA) – Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB) [20]

Court 1
Start on this and all other courts at 10:00
Juan Sebastian CABAL (COL) / Robert FARAH (COL) [5] – Oliver MARACH (AUT) / Mate PAVIC (CRO)[2]
Barbora KREJCIKOVA (CZE) / Katerina SINIAKOVA (CZE) [6] – Andreja KLEPAC (SLO) / María José MARTINEZ SANCHEZ (ESP) [3]
Gabriela DABROWSKI (CAN) / Mate PAVIC (CRO) [1] – Katarina SREBOTNIK (SLO) / Santiago GONZALEZ (MEX)
Rohan BOPANNA (IND) / Edouard ROGER-VASSELIN (FRA) [13] – Nikola MEKTIC (CRO) / Alexander PEYA (AUT) [8]

Court 6
Salma DJOUBRI (FRA) – Maria Camila OSORIO SERRANO (COL) [3]
Oksana SELEKHMETEVA (RUS) – Qinwen ZHENG (CHN) [11]
Clara BUREL (FRA) / Yasmine MANSOURI (FRA) [8] – Ania HERTEL (POL) / Lulu SUN (SUI)
Elisabetta COCCIARETTO (ITA) / Nika RADISIC (SLO) [5] – Julie BELGRAVER (FRA) / Loudmilla BENCHEIKH (FRA)

Court 7
Jesper DE JONG (NED) – Antoine CORNUT-CHAUVINC (FRA)
En-Shuo LIANG (TPE)[1] – Alice TUBELLO (FRA)
Giulia MORLET (FRA) / Diane PARRY (FRA) – Maria Lourdes CARLE (ARG) / Cori GAUFF (USA) [6]
Drew BAIRD (USA) / Nicolas MEJIA (COL) [4] – Arthur CAZAUX (FRA) / Titouan DROGUET (FRA)

Court 8
Carlos LOPEZ MONTAGUD (ESP) – Alexey ZAKHAROV (RUS)
Iga SWIATEK (POL) – Daniela VISMANE (LAT)
Eleonora MOLINARO (LUX) / Clara TAUSON (DEN) [1] – Selin OVUNC (TUR) / Stefania ROGOZINSKA DZIK (POL)
Elina AVANESYAN (RUS) / Maria TIMOFEEVA (RUS) – Gergana TOPALOVA (BUL) / Daniela VISMANE (LAT)

Court 9
Moyuka UCHIJIMA (JPN) – Xinyu WANG (CHN) [2]
Viktoriia DEMA (UKR) – Joanna GARLAND (TPE)
Mariam DALAKISHVILI (GEO) / Ana GELLER (ARG) – Elsa JACQUEMOT (FRA) / Olympe LANCELOT (FRA)
Andrew FENTY (USA) / Uisung PARK (KOR) [6] – Mathys ERHARD (FRA) / Lilian MARMOUSEZ (FRA)

Court 12
Nicolas ALVAREZ VARONA (ESP) – Chun Hsin TSENG (TPE) [4]
Uisung PARK (KOR) – Thiago SEYBOTH WILD (BRA)[8]
Admir KALENDER (CRO) / Carlos SANCHEZ JOVER (ESP) – Lorenzo MUSETTI (ITA) / Deney WASSERMANN (NED)
Margaryta BILOKIN (UKR) / Viktoriia DEMA (UKR) – Adrienn NAGY (HUN) / Lenka STARA (SVK)

Court 14
Adrian ANDREEV (BUL) [7] – Gilbert SOARES KLIER JUNIOR (BRA)
Timofey SKATOV (KAZ) [6] – Wojciech MAREK (POL)
Joao Lucas REIS DA SILVA (BRA) / Gilbert SOARES KLIER JUNIOR (BRA) – Adrian ANDREEV (BUL) / Keenan MAYO (USA)
Trey HILDERBRAND (USA) / Govind NANDA (USA) – Nicolas ALVAREZ VARONA (ESP) / Carlos LOPEZ MONTAGUD (ESP)

Court 15
Leylah Annie FERNANDEZ (CAN) [15] – Kamilla RAKHIMOVA (RUS)
Tristan BOYER (USA)[11] – Sergey FOMIN (UZB)
Andreea PRISACARIU (ROU) / Himari SATO (JPN) – Maria Camila OSORIO SERRANO (COL) / Xiyu WANG (CHN) [2]
Rudolf MOLLEKER (GER) / Alexey ZAKHAROV (RUS) – Jonas FOREJTEK (CZE) / Dalibor SVRCINA (CZE) [8]

Court 16
Lea MA (USA) – Elisabetta COCCIARETTO (ITA) [9]
Brandon NAKASHIMA (USA) – Rinky HIJIKATA (AUS)
Lea MA (USA) / Viktoria MORVAYOVA (SVK) – Sofya LANSERE (RUS) / Kamilla RAKHIMOVA (RUS)
Cannon KINGSLEY (USA) / Brandon NAKASHIMA (USA) – Jesper DE JONG (NED) / Yanki EREL (TUR)

Court 18
Arnaud CLEMENT (FRA) / Nicolas ESCUDE (FRA) – Yevgeny KAFELNIKOV (RUS) / Marat SAFIN (RUS)
Alex CORRETJA (ESP) / Juan Carlos FERRERO (ESP) – James BLAKE (USA) / Mark PHILIPPOUSSIS (AUS)
Not before 13:00
Irina BARA (ROU) / Mihaela BUZARNESCU (ROU) – Hao-Ching CHAN (TPE) [8]

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Simona Halep Provides Injury Update On Knee Ahead Of US Open

The return of Simona Halep looks a long way away from happening as a knee injury continues to bother the Romanian.

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Simona Halep has provided an update on her knee injury as she faces a race against time to be fit for the US Open.

The former Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion’s comeback has not gone according to plan so far as she returned from a doping ban in Miami earlier this year.

However playing time has been limited for the Romanian as her second tournament of the year ended in a first round retirement at a Challenger event in Paris.

As a result of her retirement Halep was forced to miss Roland Garros and Wimbledon as she looked to recover from a knee injury.

The injury is more serious than meets the eye though as Halep provided an update on her knee injury and revealed it’s an injury that has been occurring for the last few months, “I wanted to provide a little health update since I have been away from the court lately. It is not the best news, but I wanted to share all the same,” Halep revealed on Instagram.

“For a few months now, I have been struggling with a knee injury. It’s an injury I have never had before and it has been a tough one to manage, with the pain persisting. It has been a very difficult period (almost two years) mentally and emotionally for me and struggling physically on top of that definitely doesn’t help.

“I have decided to take the time needed to recover properly, rather than training and playing through pain. My instinct has always been to try to come back as soon as possible, but I am not a machine, I am a human being and I need time to recover from everything I have gone through.

“I’ll keep you posted and, as always, want to thank you for your permanent support. I hope to be back on court very soon.”

Halep now faces a race against time to be fit for the US Open which starts on the 26th of August.

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Alexander Zverev Commits To Olympics, Speaks About Miscommunication Between Olympics And ATP

Alexander Zverev is preparing for his Olympic title defence.

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Alexander Zverev has spoken out on the miscommunication between the Olympics and the ATP tour with tennis’ top stars set to miss some big events on the tour.

The German is getting ready to defend his Olympic title that he won in Tokyo as Zverev heads to Paris.

After narrowly missing out on Roland Garros glory, Zverev now has an opportunity at redemption as he aims for a second consecutive gold medal at the Olympics.

However there is a dilemma for big players this year as the same week as the tennis event at the Olympics at the ATP 500 event in Washington.

This is an event that Zverev usually plays but will have to miss it due to playing in Paris.

Speaking out on the miscommunication, Zverev said it’s no secret that the ATP are not best friends on the Olympics but has committed to the historic event, “The ITF or the Olympics are not best friends with the ATP, that’s not a secret,” Zverev was quoted by Tennis Infinity as saying.

Everybody continues their own tour. Yes, the Olympics is one of the, if not the, most important events we have in sports. So, the best players in the world are always going to play the Olympics over anything else, over points and over prize money.

All the top players went to Wimbledon a few years back, despite having no points on the line. It’s about prestige, it’s not about points or money. It’s about winning these kinds of titles and having medals for your country.

That’s what it’s about. I would never choose to play a 500 event over the Olympics. There are no thoughts on that, and I think Washington is going to be quite an interesting 500 event, I would say.

The ATP 500 event in Washington will be headlined by Grigor Dimitrov, Ben Shelton, Karen Khachanov and Frances Tiafoe as they are among those that have chosen ranking points over the Olympic experience.

As for Zverev he is continuing his Olympic preparations in Hamburg where he will face Pedro Martinez in the semi-finals.

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Rafael Nadal Reveals Delight At Setting Up Ajdukovic Semi-Final After Four Hour Victory

Rafael Nadal has revealed his delight at reaching the Bastad semi-finals after a four hour victory over Mariano Navone.

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(ubitennis/Francesca Micheli)

Rafael Nadal has revealed his delight at reaching the semi-finals in Bastad after a four hour victory over Mariano Navone.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion prevailed in a marathon 6-7(2) 7-5 7-5 victory to reach his first semi-final since Wimbledon 2022.

The Spaniard converted ten of his 21 break point opportunities as he reached the semi-finals.

After the match Nadal revealed his delight at reaching the last four and prevailed Navone for his resilient display, “I lost for some moments my concentration, but I was able to hold physically until the end,” Nadal told the ATP website.

“That is so important for me. Let’s see how I am tomorrow, but today I am alive and in the semi-finals, so that’s very important. There were a lot of changing dynamics in every single set. For moments, he was in control. For moments, I was in control. But at the end, no one was in control! That’s true, and I had a good chance in the second with 3-0. Then I was very close to losing the match in the second set.

“In the third [I was ahead] again with 5-2, but he’s a great fighter and he played a great match. I wish him all the very best for the rest of the season.”

Nadal will now play Duje Ajdukovic in the semi-finals as he aims to continue his eight match winning streak in Bastad with this being his first appearance at the tournament since winning the title in 2005.

The other semi-final will be Nuno Borges against Thiago Agustin Tirante with both players reaching their maiden ATP tour semi-final.

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