Wimbledon Day 2 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 2 Preview: Five Must-See Matches

Day 2 at The Championships will see the defending women’s champion start play on Centre Court, followed by the reigning French Open men’s and women’s champions. But with 64 singles matches to be commenced, there’s a lot to keep your eyes on throughout the day. In total, the action will include 10 Major singles champions.



Rafael Nadal (zimbio.com)

Over the past 15 years at Wimbledon, the “Big Four” have combined to win every Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy. Is it finally time for some new blood to crash that exclusive party? And since the year 2000, the Williams sisters have raised the Venus Rosewater Dish 12 of 18 times. Only four ladies’ finals have not featured at least one of them. With Neither Venus nor Serena arriving at SW19 at their best, chances are the champion will have a last name other than Williams. The eras of dominance we’ve bear witness to during this millennium are surely coming to an end very soon. While we enjoy the twilight of their careers, the questions remain: who will step up to take their place, and when?


Here are the most intriguing matchups to follow on Day 2.

Rafael Nadal vs. Dudi Sela

Twice in his career, Nadal has won the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double, most notably of course in 2008 when he dethroned Roger Federer at The All England Club in what many consider to be the greatest match of all-time. However, Nadal has not been passed the fourth round at Wimbledon since 2011, and is just 8-5 at SW19 in his last five appearances. The grass has troubled Nadal for a long time now, though many have spoken of how this year’s hot and dry conditions may work in his favor. Rafa also may benefit from a nice draw, as Juan Martin Del Potro is the only true title contender in his quarter. That being said, Nadal has been prone to shocking upsets to players you would never suspect in recent years at Wimbledon. And lest we forget, he withdrew or retired from every tournament he entered prior to the clay court season, though his body appeared to be fully healthy on the clay. His opponent on Tuesday has some nice memories at Wimbledon, as he upset John Isner just last year. Sela though should not pose any threat to Nadal, who is 2-0 lifetime against the 5’9” Israeli. Let’s see how comfortable Rafa looks on the grass as he starts his campaign for a third Wimbledon title.

Petra Kvitova vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich

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Here’s another left-handed, two-time Wimbledon Champion who comes into this tournament with a lot of confidence. Kvitova leads the WTA with five titles and 38 match wins in 2018. Most recently, she won the tournament just two weeks ago on the grass of Birmingham. While Petra has never faced her first round opponent, Sasnovich should not cause her any trouble. Sasnovich went 0-2 in her grass court warm-up events. I’m most curious to see if Kvitova is 100% healthy and rested, considering she withdrew from Eastbourne last week due to a hamstring injury. Hopefully that was just a precaution, and a reason to get some rest ahead of this fortnight. If so, I consider her the favorite to win her third Wimbledon title.

Angelique Kerber vs. Vera Zvonareva

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In this first round matchup, we have two former Wimbledon finalists. Though for Zvonareva, this is her first Major appearance in three-and-a-half years. In 2010, Vera finished the year at a career-high ranking of two in the world, in a season highlighted by consecutive Major finals at Wimbledon and the US Open. Her career was derailed by injuries in the coming years, and she then took an extended hiatus from the sport as she became a wife and mother. Her comeback began last year on the ITF circuit, and she came through qualifying last week to make her first Wimbledon appearance since 2014. Of course Zvonareva may be best known for her on-court emotional meltdowns, highlighted by tears, racket abuse, and her patented towel-over-the-head during changeovers. Kerber has bounced back nicely from her dismal 2017, and already has 32 wins this year. While she’s yet to win the title at The All England Club, Angelique is fully comfortable on the grass. She was the finalist two years ago, and last year lost to eventual champion Garbine Muguruza in a great fourth-round battle. Kerber is playing with a lot of confidence, coming off a quarterfinal at Roland Garros on her weakest surface. She also reached the semifinals just a few days ago in Eastbourne, narrowing going down in defeat to Caroline Wozniacki. This will be Angelique’s and Vera’s first-ever career meeting. It could be a fun one if Zvonareva can dial up her shot-making skills of yesteryear. While it will be nice to see Vera back on court, Kerber will be a heavy favorite.

Caroline Garcia vs. Belinda Bencic

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2017 was a breakout year for the Frenchwoman, when she won back-to-back titles to close out the year and qualify for her first WTA Finals. 2018 though hasn’t seen Caroline continue that success. This year she has no titles to date, and hasn’t even made a tournament final. Two weeks ago on the grass of Mallorca, she lost to a qualifier. Bencic is still struggling to come back from multiple injuries, and is just 4-8 on the year. But Belinda showed us she’s a dangerous unseeded opponent in Melbourne, where she upset Venus Williams in the first round. These two have never played before, so there’s no head-to-head history to speak of. Garcia should prevail here, though I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the 21-year-old Bencic pull off another Major upset. We already saw the fourth and fifth women’s seeds fall on Day 1, and this is a tricky first round draw for the sixth seed.

Denis Shapovalov vs. Jeremy Chardy

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19-year-old Canadian phenom Denis Shapovalov has drawn one of the hottest players on tour in the opening round. In the past month, Chardy is 12-2 on grass. The 31-year-old Frenchman won a Challenger title in Great Britain, then made a run to the final at s-Hertogenbosch. Chardy followed those results up with a semifinal appearance at Queen’s Club. The grass courts are a great surface for Jeremy when his go-for-broke groundstrokes hit their spots. On the other side of the net, it’s hard to believe it was just one year ago that Shapovalov made his Major debut at The All England Club. He’s since made the fourth round at the US Open, as well as two Masters 1,000 semifinals. The lefty’s game would seem to be well-suited for the grass, but he went just 1-3 on grass in June. Hitting a slump early in his career after achieving such big results is hardly surprising, and many players take more time to acclimate to playing on grass. Even though Shapovalov is the seeded player, I’d consider him the underdog. If both players are on, this could be a compelling, hard-hitting affair.

Full order of play

1 Garbine Muguruza (ESP) [3] 33 vs Naomi Broady (GBR) 34
2 Dudi Sela (ISR) 127 vs Rafael Nadal (ESP) [2] 128
3 Simona Halep (ROU) [1] 1 vs Kurumi Nara (JPN) 2

1 Kyle Edmund (GBR) [21] 73 vs Alex Bolt (AUS) 74
2 Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 31 vs Petra Kvitova (CZE) [8] 32
3 Tennys Sandgren (USA) 79 vs Novak Djokovic (SRB) [12] 80

1 Johanna Konta (GBR) [22] 9 vs Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 10
2 James Duckworth (AUS) 95 vs Alexander Zverev (GER) [4] 96
3 Dominic Thiem (AUT) [7] 65 vs Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 66
4 Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS) 23 vs Maria Sharapova (RUS) [24] 24

1 Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) [5] 97 vs Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 98
2 Angelique Kerber (GER) [11] 49 vs Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 50
3 Matthew Ebden (AUS) 111 vs David Goffin (BEL) [10] 112
4 Belinda Bencic (SUI) 63 vs Caroline Garcia (FRA) [6] 64

1 Ashleigh Barty (AUS) [17] 41 vs Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 42
2 Nick Kyrgios (AUS) [15] 81 vs Denis Istomin (UZB) 82
3 Jack Sock (USA) [18] 105 vs Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 106
4 Heather Watson (GBR) 19 vs Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 20

1 Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 91 vs Jay Clarke (GBR) 92
2 Taro Daniel (JPN) 119 vs Fabio Fognini (ITA) [19] 120
3 Monica Niculescu (ROU) 55 vs Naomi Osaka (JPN) [18] 56
4 Jana Fett (CRO) 47 vs Daria Kasatkina (RUS) [14] 48

COURT 4 – 11:30 START
1 Ana Bogdan (ROU) 5 vs Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 6
2 Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 35 vs Polona Hercog (SLO) 36
3 Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 125 vs Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 126
4 Benoit Paire (FRA) 101 vs Jason Jung (TPE) [0] 102

COURT 5 – 11:30 START
1 Alize Cornet (FRA) 11 vs Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 12
2 Marius Copil (ROU) 83 vs Robin Haase (NED) 84
3 Julien Benneteau (FRA) 69 vs Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 70
4 Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 13 vs Sachia Vickery (USA) 14

COURT 6 – 11:30 START
1 Damir Dzumhur (BIH) [27] 89 vs Maximilian Marterer (GER) 90
2 Jennifer Brady (USA) 37 vs Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 38
3 Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) 123 vs Mischa Zverev (GER) 124
4 Magda Linette (POL) 45 vs Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 46

COURT 7 – 11:30 START
1 Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 99 vs Federico Delbonis (ARG) 100
2 Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 93 vs Taylor Fritz (USA) 94
3 Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 29 vs Taylor Townsend (USA) 30
4 Alison Riske (USA) 61 vs Mariana Duque-Marino (COL) [0] 62

COURT 8 – 11:30 START
1 Daria Gavrilova (AUS) [26] 25 vs Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 26
2 Diego Schwartzman (ARG) [14] 113 vs Mirza Basic (BIH) 114
3 David Ferrer (ESP) 67 vs Karen Khachanov (RUS) 68
4 Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 59 vs Kaia Kanepi (EST) 60

COURT 9 – 11:30 START
1 Jiri Vesely (CZE) 115 vs Florian Mayer (GER) 116
2 Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 109 vs Stephane Robert (FRA) 110
3 Sofia Kenin (USA) 21 vs Maria Sakkari (GRE) 22
4 Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) [27] 57 vs Carina Witthoeft (GER) 58

COURT 11 – 11:30 START
1 Ana Konjuh (CRO) 51 vs Claire Liu (USA) 52
2 Frances Tiafoe (USA) 71 vs Fernando Verdasco (ESP) [30] 72
3 Gilles Simon (FRA) 107 vs Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 108

COURT 14 – 11:30 START
1 Christian Harrison (USA) 87 vs Kei Nishikori (JPN) [24] 88
2 Gabriella Taylor (GBR) 43 vs Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 44
3 Katie Boulter (GBR) 53 vs Veronica Cepede Royg (PAR) 54

COURT 15 – 11:30 START
1 Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) 7 vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) [30] 8
2 Pablo Cuevas (URU) 117 vs Simone Bolelli (ITA) [0] 118
3 Guido Andreozzi (ARG) 77 vs Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 78

COURT 16 – 11:30 START
1 Shuai Peng (CHN) 27 vs Samantha Stosur (AUS) 28
2 Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 75 vs Bradley Klahn (USA) 76
3 Saisai Zheng (CHN) 3 vs Qiang Wang (CHN) 4

COURT 17 – 11:30 START
1 Bernard Tomic (AUS) 85 vs Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 86
2 Denisa Allertova (CZE) 39 vs Anett Kontaveit (EST) [28] 40
3 Marco Cecchinato (ITA) [29] 121 vs Alex De Minaur (AUS) 122
4 Danielle Collins (USA) 15 vs Elise Mertens (BEL) [15] 16

1 Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 103 vs Denis Shapovalov (CAN) [26] 104
2 Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) [12] 17 vs Katy Dunne (GBR) 18

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Roland Garros Daily Preview: The Women’s Semifinals



Iga Swiatek doing her best Hulk Hogan impression on Wednesday (twitter.com/rolandgarros)

Are we just one round away from World No.1 Iga Swiatek facing World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka in a humungous women’s final?


On Thursday in Paris, Swiatek and Sabalenka are both favorites to win their semifinals.  But Beatriz Haddad Maia and Karolina Muchova both provide challenging styles of play, and their chances should not be overlooked.

Also, the mixed doubles championship match will be staged, featuring an inspiring redemption story, and the 2019 US Open women’s singles champion.

Karolina Muchova vs. Aryna Sabalenka (2) – Not Before 3:00pm on Court Philippe-Chatrier

Sabalenka is 34-5 this season, and is vying for her sixth final of the year, and her 13th consecutive win at a Major.  After losing her first three Slam semifinals, all by the score of 6-4 in the third, she broke through this past January in Melbourne with a straight-set victory over Magda Linette.  Aryna has claimed all 10 sets she’s played this fortnight.

Muchova is 22-7 on the year, and is into the second Major semifinal of her career.  She first achieved this feat two years ago at the Australian Open, when she lost a three-set semifinal to Jennifer Brady.  Karolina has dropped one set to this stage, and notably upset another Roland Garros semifinalist, Maria Sakkari, in the first round.

They’ve only played once before, four years ago on a hard court in Zhuhai, with Sabalenka prevailing in a tight two-setter.  Muchova’s variety is often quite effective in disrupting her opponents.  But based on the confidence Aryna has been playing with, her huge game makes her the favorite to reach a second consecutive Major final.

Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Beatriz Haddad Maia (14) – Last on Court Philippe Chatrier

Swiatek is 33-6 in 2023, and is looking for her fifth final of the season.  She is 17-2 on clay this year, and 26-2 lifetime at Roland Garros.  And Iga has been completely dominant this fortnight, losing only 17 games across nine sets.  She holds a 3-1 record in Major semifinals.

This is entirely new territory for Haddad Maia.  Prior to this tournament, she was 0-7 in the second round of Slams.  But she’s now 22-11 this year, after winning four consecutive three-setters at this event, and upsetting Ons Jabeur on Wednesday.

Beatriz is actually 1-0 against Iga, having defeated her 7-5 in the third last summer in Toronto.  She utilizes her lefty-ness well, and was intelligently aggressive during pivotal times of her match against Jabeur.  But on this surface, and in a match of this magnitude, Swiatek is a considerable favorite to reach her third Roland Garros final.

Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Miyu Kato and Tim Puetz vs. Bianca Andreescu and Michael Venus – Kato was defaulted from the women’s doubles draw after hitting a ball girl with a ball, but has owned that error and earned a lot of goodwill in the process.  This is a first Major final in any discipline for Kati and Puetz, while Venus won the men’s doubles title at this event six years ago, and Andreescu’s resume is well-documented.

Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Ons Jabeur Admits Rushing Back From Injury After Roland Garros Exit

Ons Jabeur has admitted she rushed back from injury just to play Roland Garros as she exited the tournament in the quarter-finals.



Ons Jabeur (@rolandgarros - Twitter)

Ons Jabeur admitted to rushing back from injury during the clay court season after exiting Roland Garros.


The Tunisian is out of the second Grand Slam of the season after a three set defeat to Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Jabeur had control of the majority of the first two sets but a third set capitulation saw her clay court season end in disappointing fashion.

After the match Jabeur admitted it was disappointing to lose but is proud of her tournament in Paris, “We always want to do better, unless we win the title, you know,” Jabeur said in her post-match press conference.

“Yeah, I mean, I think it is a great tournament. I honestly wasn’t expecting to be in the quarterfinals. Especially this is kind of my first tournament after being injured.

“I think it was good. I was trying to push myself until the end, but I think pretty satisfied with the results. You always want to push for more, but I mean hopefully next time will be better, and no more quarterfinal here at the French Open.”

Despite the result Jabeur can be proud of her efforts as she looks to build on a positive week and a half in Paris ahead of the grass court season.

Jabeur also commented on her physical state after a gruelling tournament in Paris.

The Tunisian said nothing is hurting but admitted she wanted to rush back from her injury in order to be back for Roland Garros, “Yeah, thank God, there is nothing hurting. I didn’t have much time to prepare for especially clay season because it’s more physical than any other surface,” Jabeur admitted.

“I’m feeling okay. I think I rushed my way back on tour, but that’s because I wanted to be ready for the French Open. You know, like all the training and the physical training, maybe I didn’t have enough time to prepare for that, but I did my maximum. I did what I could do in a short time period.

“But, yeah, she probably played longer than me, but she’s a beast, and I wish her all the best. I mean, honestly, what she’s doing for — I feel like my story and her story are a little bit similar. I’m very happy for her and for Brazil, and hopefully she can do much more for her country.

“But, yeah, for me now I’m going to try to rest a little bit and be ready, but I’m good for now.”

Jabeur will look to be physically fit ready for the grass court season where she looks to defend her performance from last year where she reached the final.

The Tunisian outlined her grass court season towards the end of the press conference and admitted she’s hoping to play doubles with Venus Williams having played with Serena Williams last year, “Yeah, for now I think I’m going to have the same schedule. Berlin, Eastbourne,” Jabeur said.

“Maybe Venus wants to play doubles there. I’m not sure. She didn’t ask me yet. Then Wimbledon. Just trying to play as much matches as I can. To be honest with you, I want to enjoy playing on grass because I do enjoy a lot. I have my brother’s wedding before, so I’m going to party for a bit and just be ready.

“I’m hoping to go and get the title really in Wimbledon. I’m dreaming about it. It’s something that I always wanted. Last year was unfortunate because I was very close. When I put something in my mind, I know I can do it, so it’s definitely here.”

Jabeur will look to achieve her dream when Wimbledon takes place on the 3rd of July.

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Iga Swiatek Downs Gauff To Set Haddad Maia Semi-Final At Roland Garros

Iga Swiatek reaches her third Roland Garros semi-final with a straight sets win over Coco Gauff.



Iga Swiatek (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

World number one Iga Swiatek is into the semi-finals at Roland Garros for a third time after defeating Coco Gauff 6-4 6-2.


The Pole extended her head-to-head over the American to 7-0 and 14-0 in sets as her title defence will continue into the final four.

It was a valiant effort by the American but ultimately fell short of reaching the semi-finals for a second consecutive year.

Next for Swiatek is Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, who defeated Ons Jabeur in the quarter-finals.

It was a positive start from Gauff as she played aggressive, smart tennis from the beginning to test Swiatek from the baseline.

However the Pole edged to a couple of service holds and would break to love in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead as her returning quality showed.

Gauff provided an immediate response in the next game to break back as she tested Swiatek’s rally tolerance and tested the Pole’s defensive rustiness.

The American was holding onto her service games despite producing below 40% of her first serves.

Swiatek continued to find big points in pressure moments as Gauff was producing some big shots on pressure points.

In the end the Pole’s returning presence and quality showed as she broke for the set with Gauff producing a number of errors.

There was a slight moment of hope for the American at the start of the second set as she overcame the poor end to the first set with some effective point construction.

Last year’s finalist set up three break points but made some fairly erratic errors as any hopes of a comeback were snuffed out.

Swiatek remained aggressive, proactive and produced world-class depth to take advantage of Gauff’s error-prone game.

The Pole’s level of play intensified and improved as she sealed too late breaks of serve in impressive fashion as she claimed victory in 90 minutes.

Speaking after the match Swiatek said the match wasn’t easy but was happy to get through, “For sure, it wasn’t easy – the first set, especially, was really tight and Coco was really using the conditions here,” Swiatek was quoted by the BBC as saying.

“I’m pretty happy I was able to work on it and win this match because quarter-finals are sometimes the toughest matches. Even though Coco is young, she is experienced so I’m pretty happy to be in the semi-final.

“We play many tournaments in the year where we have to play day after day but I’m pretty fresh because, as you saw in previous matches. I didn’t really spend too much time on court so I’m actually happy today was a tighter match.

“I will be ready no matter what and not having a day off was something that I knew since the beginning of the tournament so I am ready for this situation.”

Another tough loss for Gauff to take as Swiatek seals her place in the semi-finals in Paris for a third time.

Next for Swiatek will be Beatriz Haddad Maia tomorrow.

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