Wimbledon Day 4 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 4 Preview: Five Must-See Matches

Wednesday at The Championships, we lost the fifth of the eight top seeds in the ladies’ singles draw.

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Juan Martin del Potro (zimbio.com)

With a loaded Thursday schedule, as eight singles matches were carried over from Day 3 due to rain, we very well may see more big names out of the tournament by day’s end. Major Champions Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Garbine Muguruza, and Simona Halep will all be heavy favorites in their second round matches on Thursday. With that in mind, let’s focus on what will likely be the more competitive contests on Day 4.

Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Feliciano Lopez

On Tuesday, Feliciano Lopez one-upped Roger Federer. The 36-year-old Spaniard played in his 66th-straight major singles draw, bettering Federer’s tally of 65. Lopez won in straights sets against an Argentinian on that day, but today he’s faces a much tougher opponent from Argentina. Del Potro though only has a slight 4-3 edge in their head-to-head, with all seven meetings taking place on hard courts. They haven’t played in nearly five years. Like Lopez, Del Potro also easily won his opening round in straight sets. The world number four has some nice memories on the lawns of The All England Club, but this will only be his seventh match here in the last five years. Feliciano came into The Championships with a 14-14 singles record on the year, though the lefty serve-and-volleyer is a dangerous floater in the draw with his throwback style of play, and his past success on grass. Lopez is a three-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, and just last year won the title on the grass of Queen’s Club. Del Potro should be slightly favored based on recent form, in a match that could easily become a protracted encounter.

Johanna Konta vs. Dominika Cibulkova

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One year ago, Johanna Konta was riding high. The British number one reached her second Major semifinal, this time at her home Grand Slam event. This brought her to a career-high ranking of four in the world. A year later, Konta is in a completely different place in her career. Since that Wimbledon semifinal, she’s gone just 17-20 overall, and ended 2017 on a five-match losing streak. Johanna won no titles during that time, but finally reached a tournament final last month on the grass of Nottingham. Her ranking has dropped to 24th, and a loss today would drop her out of the top 40. She’ll certainly be feeling the pressure on Thursday in front of her home crowd, and she’s facing a player who can apply a lot of pressure to her opponents. Cibulkova is a tenacious competitor, and is rarely an easy out. Like Konta though, she’s struggled following her career highlight: winning the 2016 WTA Finals. In the ensuing 18 months, she’s won no titles. Her ranking has dropped to the point where was bumped out of being seeded at this tournament due to the awarding of a seed to Serena Williams. Konta leads their head-to-head 2-1, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cibulkova pull off the upset and even their head-to-head.

Alexander Zverev vs. Taylor Fritz

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Zverev has made a habit out of losing to ATP Next Gen players at Majors, and on Thursday he’ll face a 20-year-old American who currently sits in sixth place in the year-to-date Next Gen rankings. Fritz just won his first career main draw match at Wimbledon on Tuesday, but he’s already made an impression on the tour in recent years. Two years ago at Wimbledon, he played a tight four-setter against Stan Wawrinka. Last year at Indian Wells, he upset Marin Cilic. He followed that up by taking Fernando Verdasco in a third set tiebreak this year at Indian Wells. He plays a similar game to Zverev, though Sascha does everything just a little bit better than Fritz. Zverev won their only previous meeting, at Washington, DC in 2016. But as mentioned, Sascha doesn’t often play his best against opponents from his generation, as we just saw in Halle when he went out in his opening round to Borna Coric. If Zverev is going to be a factor during the second week of this fortnight, he’ll need to avoid the five-set battles he often finds himself in during the first week of Majors.

Kei Nishikori vs. Bernard Tomic

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Wimbledon is the only major where Nishikori has not advanced passed the fourth round, while this is the only Major where Bernard Tomic has reached a quarterfinal. That was seven years ago, and it’s been a wild ride for Bernard ever since. The Aussie’s controversial comments and behavior are well-documented, and he’s dropped to a ranking of 184th in the world. He had to play qualifying for the third straight Major, but has shown some signs of digging himself out of this rankings hole. After coming through qualifying in s-Hertogenbosch last month, he made it all the way to the semifinals. His style of play is well-suited for a grass court. Nishikori is also on the comeback trail, still fighting to consistently remain 100% healthy. He’s 2-1 against Tomic, including a win at SW19 in the 2012 London Olympics. It’s hard to bet on Tomic to pull off the upset based on his lack of results (and commitment) over the last few seasons, but I also wouldn’t rule it out.

Daria Kasatkina vs. Yulia Putintseva

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This will be the first meeting between French Open quarterfinalists of just a month ago. It’s also a contest between two of the more entertaining players on the WTA tour. For Putintseva, that was the second time she’s reached the quarters of Roland Garros in the last three years. She’s yet though to get farther than this stage of The Championships. Yulia can display a wide variety of emotions on court, as can Dasha. Kasatkina also has a ton of variety in her game, as we saw during her upset of Caroline Wozniacki in Paris. It’s been a breakout year for Dasha, as she also reached the final at Indian Wells. While she’s the younger player in this second round match, she’s the more accomplished. Putintzeva has not found much success at any significant tournament outside of Roland Garros. Accordingly, I expect Kasatkina to prevail in what should be a fun one to watch.

Order of play – Day Four

CENTRE COURT – SHOW COURT – 13:00 START

1 Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 126 vs Rafael Nadal (ESP) [2] 128

2 Johanna Konta (GBR) [22] 9 vs Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 12 3

Kyle Edmund (GBR) [21] 73 vs Bradley Klahn (USA) 76

No.1 COURT – SHOW COURT – 13:00 START

1 Marin Cilic (CRO) [3] 33 vs Guido Pella (ARG) 36 T/F 6/3 6/1 3/4

2 Simona Halep (ROU) [1] 1 vs Saisai Zheng (CHN) 3

3 Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) [5] 97 vs Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 99

4 Taylor Fritz (USA) 94 vs Alexander Zverev (GER) [4] 96

No.2 COURT – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START

1 Katie Boulter (GBR) 53 vs Naomi Osaka (JPN) [18] 56

2 Andreas Seppi (ITA) 30 vs Kevin Anderson (RSA) [8] 32 T/F 3/6 7/6(5) 3/6 1/1

3 Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 78 vs Novak Djokovic (SRB) [12] 80

4 Bernard Tomic (AUS) 85 vs Kei Nishikori (JPN) [24] 88

5 Garbine Muguruza (ESP) [3] 33 vs Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 35

No.3 COURT – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START

1 Ashleigh Barty (AUS) [17] 41 vs Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 44

2 Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) 62 vs Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 63 T/F 7/6(7) 6/3 5/6

3 Nick Kyrgios (AUS) [15] 81 vs Robin Haase (NED) 84

4 Benoit Paire (FRA) 101 vs Denis Shapovalov (CAN) [26] 104

5 Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) [12] 17 vs Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 20

COURT 12 – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START

1 Angelique Kerber (GER) [11] 49 vs Claire Liu (USA) 52

2 John Isner (USA) [9] 49 vs Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) 52 T/F 6/1 6/4 6/7(6) 6/7(3) 3/4

3 Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 46 vs Daria Kasatkina (RUS) [14] 48

4 Damir Dzumhur (BIH) [27] 89 vs Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 91

COURT 18 – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START

1 Daria Gavrilova (AUS) [26] 25 vs Samantha Stosur (AUS) 28

2 Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) [31] 57 vs Jared Donaldson (USA) 60 T/F 6/3 6/2 3/6 3/4

3 Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 66 vs Karen Khachanov (RUS) 68

4 Simone Bolelli (ITA) 118 vs Fabio Fognini (ITA) [19] 120

COURT 4 – 11:30 START

1 Romain Arneodo (MON) / Jamie Cerretani (USA) 53 vs Kevin Krawietz (GER) / Andreas Mies (GER) 54

2 Luke Bambridge (GBR) / Jonny O’Mara (GBR) 63 vs Lukasz Kubot (POL) / Marcelo Melo (BRA) [2] 64 T/F 4/6 3/6 4/3

3 Sander Arends (NED) / Matwe Middelkoop (NED) 51 vs Austin Krajicek (USA) / Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (IND) 52

4 Polona Hercog (SLO) / Bernarda Pera (USA) 63 vs Andrea Sestini Hlavackova (CZE) / Barbora Strycova (CZE) [2] 64

5 Oksana Kalashnikova (GEO) / Makoto Ninomiya (JPN) 11 vs Arina Rodionova (AUS) / Maryna Zanevska (BEL) 12

COURT 5 – 11:30 START

1 Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR) / Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) [16] 57 vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) / Lucie Safarova (CZE) 58

2 David Marrero (ESP) / Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 3 vs Leonardo Mayer (ARG) / Joao Sousa (POR) 4

3 Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) / Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) [15] 41 vsDaria Gavrilova (AUS) / Vera Lapko (BLR) 42

4 Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) / Yifan Xu (CHN) [6] 49 vs Alison Riske (USA) / Olga Savchuk (UKR) 50 T/F 6/7(5) 6/2 2/3

OURT 6 – 11:30 START

1 Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) / Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 31 vs Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) / Robert Farah (COL) [6] 32

2 Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) / Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 35 vs Anna Blinkova (RUS) / Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 36

3 Timea Babos (HUN) / Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) [1] 1 vs Eri Hozumi (JPN) / Miyu Kato (JPN) 2

4 Raluca Olaru (ROU) / Yafan Wang (CHN) 15 vs Latisha Chan (TPE) / Shuai Peng (CHN) [5] 16

5 Irina Bara (ROU) / Alize Cornet (FRA) 47 vs Andreja Klepac (SLO) / Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP) [4] 48

COURT 7 – 11:30 START

1 Ryan Harrison (USA) / Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 19 vs Philipp Petzschner (GER) / Tim Puetz (GER) 20

2 Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (PAK) / Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) [9] 9 vs David Ferrer (ESP) / Marc Lopez (ESP) 10 T/F 7/6(3) 6/4 2/1

3 Kiki Bertens (NED) / Johanna Larsson (SWE) [9] 9 vs Monique Adamczak (AUS) / Renata Voracova (CZE) 10

4 N.Sriram Balaji (IND) / Vishnu Vardhan (IND) 21 vs Marcus Daniell (NZL) / Wesley Koolhof (NED) 22

COURT 8 – 11:30 START

1 Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 85 vs Barbora Strycova (CZE) [23] 88

2 Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) [25] 25 vs Gilles Muller (LUX) 27 T/F 7/6(6) 6/6

3 Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) [27] 57 vs Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 59

4 Diego Schwartzman (ARG) [14] 113 vs Jiri Vesely (CZE) 115

COURT 9 – 11:30 START

1 Petra Martic (CRO) / Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 45 vs Lesley Kerkhove (NED) / Lidziya Marozava (BLR) 46

2 Raquel Atawo (USA) / Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) [11] 25 vs Xenia Knoll (SUI) / Anna Smith (GBR) 26 T/F

3 Chen Liang (CHN) / Shuai Zhang (CHN) 27 vs Tatjana Maria (GER) / Heather Watson (GBR) 28

4 Mike Bryan (USA) / Jack Sock (USA) [7] 49 vs Daniele Bracciali (ITA) / Andreas Seppi (ITA) 50

5 Elise Mertens (BEL) / Demi Schuurs (NED) [8] 33 vs Sorana Cirstea (ROU) / Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 34 T/F 4/4

COURT 10 – 11:30 START

1 Divij Sharan (IND) / Artem Sitak (NZL) 59 vs Radu Albot (MDA) / Malek Jaziri (TUN) 60

2 Dalila Jakupovic (SLO) / Irina Khromacheva (RUS) 55 vs Vania King (USA) / Katarina Srebotnik (SLO) [17] 56

3 Eva Hrdinova (CZE) / Giuliana Olmos (MEX) 13 vs Alicja Rosolska (POL) / Abigail Spears (USA) 14

4 Rohan Bopanna (IND) / Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) [12] 25 vs Alex De Minaur (AUS) / John Millman (AUS) 26

5 Max Mirnyi (BLR) / Philipp Oswald (AUT) [16] 57 vs Julio Peralta (CHI) / Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 58 T/F 1/6 3/2

COURT 11 – 11:30 START

1 Nicholas Monroe (USA) / John-Patrick Smith (AUS) 23 vs Ben McLachlan (JPN) / Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) [14] 24

2 Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL) / Bibiane Schoofs (NED) 31 vs Hao-Ching Chan (TPE) / Zhaoxuan Yang (CHN) [7] 32 T/F 4/3

3 Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) / Katerina Siniakova (CZE) [3] 17 vs Alexa Guarachi (CHI) / Erin Routliffe (NZL) 18

4 Marius Copil (ROU) / Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 43 vs Marcelo Demoliner (BRA) / Santiago Gonzalez (MEX) 44

5 Mandy Minella (LUX) / Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 37 vs Georgina Garcia Perez (ESP) / Fanny Stollar (HUN) 38

COURT 14 – 11:30 START

1 Alex De Minaur (AUS) 122 vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) 123

2 Stephane Robert (FRA) 110 vs Matthew Ebden (AUS) 111

3 Jennifer Brady (USA) 37 vs Anett Kontaveit (EST) [28] 40

4 Jay Clarke (GBR) / Cameron Norrie (GBR) 5 vs Marcelo Arevalo (ESA) / Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) 6T/F 3/2

COURT 15 – 11:30 START

1 Julien Benneteau (FRA) 69 vs Frances Tiafoe (USA) 71

2 Sachia Vickery (USA) 14 vs Elise Mertens (BEL) [15] 16

3 Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) / Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 21 vs Danielle Collins (USA) / Jessica Moore (AUS) 22 T/F 0/1

4 Julien Benneteau (FRA) / Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 27 vs Frederik Nielsen (DEN) / Joe Salisbury (GBR) 28

5 Maximo Gonzalez (ARG) / Nicolas Jarry (CHI) 47 vs Henri Kontinen (FIN) / John Peers (AUS) [3] 48

COURT 16 – 11:30 START

1 Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 114 vs Ons Jabeur (TUN) 116

2 Alison Riske (USA) 61 vs Belinda Bencic (SUI) 63

3 Taylor Townsend (USA) 30 vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 31

4 Belinda Bencic (SUI) / Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 19 vs Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) / Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP) 20 T/F 3/6 0/3

5 Nikola Mektic (CRO) / Alexander Peya (AUT) [8] 33 vs Jurgen Melzer (AUT) / Daniel Nestor (CAN) 34

COURT 17 – 11:30 START

1 Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 106 vs Gilles Simon (FRA) 107

2 Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 6 vs Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) 7

3 Sofia Kenin (USA) 21 vs Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS) 23

4 Alex Bolt (AUS) / Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 7 vs Raven Klaasen (RSA) / Michael Venus (NZL) [13] 8 T/F 5/7 2/6 6/3 1/4

MATCHES TO BE ARRANGED

NOT BEFORE 17.00

1 Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) / Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 61 vs Harriet Dart (GBR) / Katy Dunne (GBR) 62

2 Oliver Marach (AUT) / Mate Pavic (CRO) [1] 1 vs Federico Delbonis (ARG) / Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX) 2

NOT BEFORE 18.00

3 Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) / Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 15 vs Jamie Murray (GBR) / Bruno Soares (BRA) [5] 16

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Carlos Alcaraz Overcomes Cerundolo Resurgence To Begin Queen’s Club Title Defence With Victory

Carlos Alcaraz has begun his grass court season with a victory.

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Carlos Alcaraz overcame a second set resurgence from Francisco Cerundolo to defeat the Argentinian 6-1 7-5 at Queen’s Club.

The Spaniard came back from 5-2 down to win five games in a row against the Argentinian to begin his Queen’s Club title defence with a victory.

Now the recent Roland Garros champion could play Stuttgart champion Jack Draper in the second round.

A week in Ibiza didn’t hinder Alcaraz’s level of tennis as the Spaniard came out firing to start the match.

The mixture of power, depth and variety was too strong for Cerundolo as some stunning shot-making saw Alcaraz race to a 5-0 lead.

An ironic cheer went out for Cerundolo as the Argentinian edged towards his first game of the match before Alcaraz completed the opening set in 30 minutes.

However Cerundolo is not an opponent to be messed with having taken a two sets to one lead over Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros.

There was evidence of his grit and power in the second set as he powered to a 3-0 lead against a helpless Alcaraz.

As the set went on, Alcaraz gradually grew in confidence as he used his full repertoire of shots to open up space on the court.

Cerundolo managed to keep up the pressure as the Argentinian built a 5-2 lead.

That didn’t last for long as the Argentinian got tight and passive when serving for the set.

This allowed Alcaraz to play with freedom and power as he cruised to five games in a row and secure a win to start his title defence.

Next for Alcaraz will be either Jack Draper or Mariano Navone, who are last on Centre Court.

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Laura Robson’s Relaxed Nature Aids Rothesay Open In Overcoming Latest Obstacles

Laura Robson has overcome multiple obstacles as tournament director of the combined WTA/ATP Challenger event in Nottingham.

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A tough two years for the grass court tournament in Nottingham has been aided by Laura Robson’s relaxed nature.

When Laura Robson took over as the tournament director for the Rothesay Open last year, the Brit didn’t know what to expect.

However the last two years have seen thunder striking on finals day last year, deaths impacting the Nottingham community last year and this year saw multiple rain delays.

Speaking on last year’s tragic events where three people were killed in a street stabbing, Robson was determined to acknowledge last year’s tragedy as the tournament paid its respects this year, “We wanted to make sure we were really respectful of the situation,” Robson told the WTA website.

“The tennis continued, but everyone that day was aware what was going on and we were getting updates from the police. We were worried that all the players would suddenly be nervous to be out and about in Nottingham, which in my experience has always been very, very safe.

“You get these horrific incidents in all parts of the world, unfortunately. But in the end everyone understood the situation.”

This year Robson had to overcome multiple rain delays in order to just about complete the tournament on time.

However the relaxed nature of the 30 year-old aided the tournament in finishing on time and Robson spoke about the keys to running a successful tournament, “We all become weather experts. But the less I look at the forecast, the better. I can’t control it and there’s no reason to stress,” Robson explained.

“If it helps them play well on court then you want to try to facilitate that. Some are definitely harder than others, but it’s a complaint or a request for a reason. And it’s not that there’s difficult people, it’s just a difficult world — it’s a very individual journey and you’ve always got to look out for yourself. I understand, because when I was playing I’d have wanted the same things.

“It really is the same. Honestly, it goes so quickly when you’re in it. You spend so much time building up to the event that especially in the first few days it can feel a lot. But honestly, it’s just so much fun to see it all come together and to see the players actually on the court.”

Now Robson can focus on continuing her role as commentator and pundit for Sky Sports and Eurosport before preparing for next year’s tournament.

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Ons Jabeur Becomes Latest Olympics Withdrawal

Ons Jabeur has played the last three Olympic Games but will not compete in Paris.

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Ons Jabeur has become the latest tennis player to withdraw from the Olympic Games.

The Tunisian would have been an outside contender to claim an Olympic medal for her country but has now withdrawn from the event.

Writing a statement on social media, Jabeur took the decision in order to look after her health as she aims to prepare for Wimbledon and the US Open.

It could be Jabeur’s last chance to compete at the Olympic Games with her career nearing towards an end.

The Wimbledon finalist has competed at the last three Olympic Games but lost in the first round on all three occasions.

Jabeur joins Emma Raducanu, Aryna Sabalenka, Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev as the players that are absent from this summer’s event.

The tennis event at the Olympics will start on the 27th of July and will take place at Roland Garros in Paris.

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