Wimbledon Day 12 Preview: The Gentlemen’s Semifinals - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 12 Preview: The Gentlemen’s Semifinals

One semifinal features 31 Major singles titles, and the most prolific rivalry of the modern era. The other will be a big-serving affair between two players vying to win their very first Major.

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Rafael Nadal (zimbio.com)

With Roger Federer eliminated on Wednesday, this is a golden opportunity for Rafael Nadal to close the Major title gap from three to two, as he goes for his third Wimbledon title, and his first since 2010.  Novak Djokovic is already a three-time winner at The Championships, and is into his first Major semifinal in almost two years. Kevin Anderson is coming off the biggest win of his career just two days ago, and is going for his second Major final out of the last four.  John Isner is into his first Major semifinal, and could be just a few tiebreaks away from his first final. As Chris Fowler of ESPN noted on Twitter, the betting odds as of Thursday were shockingly even in both of the gentlemen’s semifinals. Here’s a deeper look at Friday’s matchups as we try to discern who will play for the Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy on Sunday afternoon.

 

Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic

This will be the 52nd episode of this rivalry, with Djokovic currently holding a slight 26-25 edge.  Nadal won the last two meetings, both on clay. Prior to that, Djokovic won 11 of 12 meetings, on clay and hard.  Their last match on grass was also Rafa’s last Wimbledon final in 2011, which was the first of Novak’s three Wimbledon titles.  In Grand Slam events, Nadal has a 9-4 record against Djokovic, though Novak won their last Major encounter when he finally defeated Nadal at Roland Garros in 2015.  This is Nadal’s 28th Major semifinal, and he has a staggering record of 24-3 at this stage (5-0 at Wimbledon).  Djokovic has actually reached a few more semifinals at Grand Slam events, but his record, while great, is not quite as impressive at 21-10.  Nadal is coming off the men’s match of the year: his stellar five-set, near five-hour quarterfinal battle with Juan Martin Del Potro. Walking onto the court just 48 hours later, there’s no way Rafa will be 100%.  But we’ve seen Nadal bounce back in amazing form from such matches many times before. Djokovic should certainly be the fresher of the two, as his quarterfinal against Kei Nishikori was over two hours shorter in length.  However, Novak’s confidence level, while growing with every match, cannot be back to 100% quite yet. Djokovic of course missed the last half of the 2017 season due to an elbow injury, and struggled through much of 2018 as well.  He hasn’t won a title of any kind in over a year. Is he ready to out-compete arguably the greatest competitor the sport has ever seen? As sore as Nadal must be, I’m not prepared to discount his will. No one’s playing with more momentum than Rafa: he is 35-2 in 2018, and one of those losses came when he retired in Australia due to injury.  Throughout this year, we’ve seen numerous instances where Djokovic has become extremely frustrated on court, and no one aggravates opponents like the relentless Nadal. When the match is on the line, I’m betting on Nadal’s fighting spirit to prevail.

Kevin Anderson vs. John Isner

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As Randy Walker outlined on Twitter, “The last time John Isner and Kevin Anderson played in college it was at No. 1 singles in the 2007 NCAA team final in Athens in front rowdy, drunk, barking college kids and fans.”  11 years later, they’ll compete in the Wimbledon semifinals on Centre Court. Anderson has the experience edge on such a stage, and has been the more consistent performer over the past year. Kevin also has the better all-around game, as we saw against Federer on Wednesday.  The South African showed how much improved his return and ground games are. My concern for Anderson is the emotional and physical letdown coming off his upset of the 20-time Major champion, a match that went the length of six sets. And Isner’s confidence has built with every victory during this fortnight, ever since he saved match points in his second round.  The fact that Isner just faced another big server in Milos Raonic should work in his favor. Also, Isner holds an 8-3 career record against Anderson. This includes their last five meetings, as well as their only match on grass. However, they haven’t met in over three years, and Anderson has put a lot of work into his game (both his strokes and his brain) over the past few years.  All things considered, I would give the slight edge to Isner, who will likely be the fresher and hungrier player on this day.

Centre Court order of play

Matches starts at 13:00 GMT
Kevin Anderson (RSA) Vs John Isner (USA)
Rafael Nadal (ESP) Vs John Isner (USA)

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Gerard Tsobanian: “I can’t see the events being held behind closed doors”

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The ATP and WTA have suspended the tennis season until 13th July cancelling all the clay and grass tournaments, but players expect the suspension to get expected.

 

The Madrid Mutua Open was originally scheduled from 3 to 10 May 2020. Madrid Masters Chef Executive Officer Gerard Tsobanian doubts that the tennis season will resume this year. Tsobanian said that playing tournament behind closed doors is not possible during an interview to French sports daily L’Equipe.

“I am worried about the future. There are so many question marks. Playing without fans is an option but I doubt that the events will go that route. I can’t see the events being held behind closed doors. It will take time for everything to return to normal in tennis”, said Gerard Tsobanian.

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Wimbledon Announces Cancellation As Coronavirus Continues To Affect Tennis Calendar

For the first time since World War Two, Wimbledon has been cancelled.

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(@BleacherReport - Twitter)

Wimbledon has announced it has cancelled this year’s tournament due to health fears over the coronavirus. 

 

This is the first time since world war two that the famous grass-court tournament at SW19 has been cancelled as the coronavirus continues to impact the tennis calendar.

In a statement, Wimbledon confirmed that the next edition of the tournament will occur in 2021, “It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” they said on their website.

“The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021. Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen – the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.

“Members of the public who paid for tickets in the Wimbledon Public Ballot for this year’s Championships will have their tickets refunded and will be offered the chance to purchase tickets for the same day and court for The Championships 2021. We will be communicating directly with all ticket-holders.”

Speaking on the decision, All-England Club chairman Ian Hewitt admitted that health and public safety was more important than tennis right now, “This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen.”

“It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.”

As a result of today’s announcement, all grass-court tournaments in England and abroad have been cancelled as there will be no tennis until the 13th of July at the earliest.

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Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova splits with coach Sam Sumyk after seven months

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Sam Sumyk will no longer coach Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian player got off to a good start to her 2020 season under the guidance of the French coach reached the quarter finals before losing to eventual finalist Garbine Muguruza at the Australian Open but she has split from the French coach after seven months. Sumyk has confirmed the news to the French tennis website We love tennis. Earlier this yera Pavlyuchenkova won 19 of her 27 matches and reached the final in Moscow in the seven months under the guidance of Sumyk.

 

Pavlyuchenkova won two Junior Grand Slam titles and became the Junior world number 1 at the age of 14 in 2006. She reached her career-high of world number 13 in July 2011. The Russian player has won 12 singles titles and 5 doubles titles. She also reached six quarter finals at Grand Slam level at the 2011 French Open, at the 2011 US Open, at Wimbledon 2016 and at the Australian Open in 2017, 2019 and 2020.

Sumik had previously coached two-time Australian champion Victoria Azarenka, former Wimbledon and Roland Garros champion Garbine Muguruza, former world number 2 Vera Zvonareva and 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard.

Under the guidane of Sumik Azarenka won her first Grand Slam title in 2012. The Belarusian player defended her title in Melbourne and climbed to the world number on eone year later.

The 53-year-old coach helped Muguruza clinch her maiden Grand Slam title at 2016 Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2017.

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