Wimbledon Day 5 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 5 Preview: Five Must-See Matches

They say upsets can be contagious, and that bug has spread across the grounds of The All England Club.



Through four days of play, the ladies’ draw has already lost five of the top six seeds (and six of the top eight). On Thursday, Garbine Muguruza was the latest top seed to fall, as did 2017 Wimbledon Semifinalist Johanna Konta. In the gentlemen’s draw, Day 4 brought us the biggest upset to date. Marin Cilic, the third seed and 2017 finalist, lost to the 82nd-ranked player in the world, who had never won a match at SW19 prior to this week. Stan Wawrinka also went down in defeat on Thursday. Four of the top 10 male seeds have gone out, and a fifth may be on his way. Sascha Zverev is down two-sets-to-one to Taylor Fritz, in a match to be continued on Friday. Overall, 30 of the 64 singles seeds did not survive the first four days of The Championships. What will happen next?


Serena Williams vs. Kristina Mladenovic

Following the first round exit of pre-tournament favorite Petra Kvitova, the oddsmakers declared Serena Williams as the new favorite to win her eighth Wimbledon title. Considering this will only be her tenth singles match on tour in eighteen months, is that premature? Honestly, no. While she came into the fortnight with such little match play, and less than 100% healthy, no one has stepped up in her absence to dominate the tour (exhibit A: so many top seeds losing in the first two rounds). And we’ve seen Serena win majors while at less than her best before, or even while pregnant. Mladenovic though is a step up in competition for the 23-time Major singles champion. Last year, the Frenchwoman was ranked inside the top 10, in a season highlighted by her run to the quarterfinals at her home Major. She also had victories in 2017 over Halep, Wozniacki, Kerber, and Muguruza. But then she suffered a knee injury last year at Wimbledon, and it was all downhill from there. She went on a stunning 15-match losing streak. She’s now ranked 62nd in the world, though perhaps she’s ready to come out of her funk now that she’s barely defending any points for the rest of the season. And even though the singles results have subsided, she’s remained successful in doubles. Mladenovic won the women’s doubles title at the Australian Open, and won her second doubles title of the year just two weeks ago on the grass of Birmingham. They’ve only played once, with Serena defeating Kristina at the 2016 French Open. Serena should get through this one, but don’t sleep on Mladenovic – she can be dangerous.

Venus Williams vs. Kiki Bertens

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Here’s another case of a Williams sister facing a tough third round opponent. They just played for the first time a few months ago, with Venus avoiding the upset in Miami 7-5 in the third. Venus has struggled mightily this year, while Bertens’ stock continues to rise. Venus lost in the opening round at both of the first two Majors of 2018, and came into Wimbledon with only 10 wins on the year. If she’s going to turn her year around at any tournament, it’ll most likely happen here for the five-time Wimbledon champion and 2017 finalist. Bertens arrived at SW19 with twice as many wins as Venus in 2018. Kiki has become a bit of a clay court specialist since reaching the 2016 Roland Garros semifinals. 15 of her 22 wins this year have come on clay, including winning the title in Charleston and making the final in Madrid. However, she’s just 1-2 on grass this year, and has never been farther than this stage of The Championships. Still, Venus can ill afford to have an off day against a player with so many wins over the past few months.

Sam Querrey vs. Gael Monfils

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This match will open Thursday’s play on Centre Court. Querrey has won 11 of his last 13 singles matches at The All England Club. In 2016, his shocking upset of Novak Djokovic began Novak’s tailspin, which he’s still battling to recover from. Last year, he took out the visibly-hampered top seed and home favorite, Andy Murray, on Centre Court. Querrey is 0-2 lifetime against Monfils, but they’ve never met on grass, a surface which should heavily favor the American. Also working in Sam’s favor? Gael is 0-6 in third round matches at Wimbledon. He’ll need to scramble around every blade of grass and extend the rallies to challenge the big-hitting Querrey. If Monfils can remain motivated throughout the match, the contrast in styles could make for a great contest. Regardless, I like Sam’s chances to advance to the second week of The Championships for the third straight year.

Karolina Pliskova vs. Mihaela Buzarnescu

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Buzarnescu has been one of the hottest players on tour in 2018. She started the year playing in the minor leagues of the sport, but 19 wins over the past three months has landed her the 29th seed here. Her recent run started in Prague, where she advanced to the final. Mihaela then made the round of 16 at the French Open, and collected a total of seven wins at grass court lead-up events. Her opponent today openly admits to feeling uncomfortable on the lawns of The All England Club. On Wednesday however, Pliskova broke a streak of five-straight second round losses at Wimbledon by ousting Victoria Azarenka in impressive fashion, her first win on Centre Court. Their only previous meeting happened on grass and went to Karolina, though that was over six years ago. I think Pliskova can make a run in the ladies’ draw if she can get some momentum and get passed this confident opposition.

Julia Goerges vs. Barbora Strycova

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Head-to-head records are rarely this tight when players have met this many times, with each of these veterans winning five of the ten times they’ve played. Surprisingly, this will be their first match on grass. Between the end of 2017 and the start of this year, Georges went on a 15-match winning streak. This included titles at Moscow, the WTA Elite Trophy event, and Auckland. However, she’s yet to transfer that success to a Major. She’s never been farther than the fourth round at any Grand Slam event, and lost in the first round of Wimbledon in five straight years prior to this week. Strycova has played much better at SW19, making the quarter-finals back in 2014. Going into this year’s French Open, Barbora was on an eight-match losing streak, making her fourth round appearance at Roland Garros on her weakest surface all the more surprising. She followed that up with a semifinal on the grass of Birmingham, where she upset Muguruza. Based on recent form, as well as past Wimbledon success, Strycova should have the edge here.

Order of play


1 Sam Querrey (USA) [11] 17 vs Gael Monfils (FRA) 23

2 Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 100 vs Serena Williams (USA) [25] 104

3 Roger Federer (SUI) [1] 1 vs Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 7


1 Taylor Fritz (USA) 94 vs Alexander Zverev (GER) [4] 96 T/F 4/6 7/5 7/6(0) 0/0

2 Kiki Bertens (NED) [20] 73 vs Venus Williams (USA) [9] 80

3 Karolina Pliskova (CZE) [7] 65 vs Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) [29] 72

4 Dennis Novak (AUT) 44 vs Milos Raonic (CAN) [13] 48


1 Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) [25] 25 vs Kevin Anderson (RSA) [8] 32

2 Julia Goerges (GER) [13] 81 vs Barbora Strycova (CZE) [23] 88

3 John Isner (USA) [9] 49 vs Radu Albot (MDA) 55


1 Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) 107 vs Madison Keys (USA) [10] 112

2 Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 92 vs Donna Vekic (CRO) 95

3 Adrian Mannarino (FRA) [22] 9 vs Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 15

4 Neal Skupski (GBR) / Naomi Broady (GBR) 27 vs Joe Salisbury (GBR) / Katy Dunne (GBR) 28


1 Lucie Safarova (CZE) 124 vs Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 126

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

3 Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) [31] 57 vs Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) 62


1 Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 114 vs Camila Giorgi (ITA) 119

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

3 Guido Pella (ARG) 36 vs Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 38

COURT 5 – 11:30 START

1 Kevin Krawietz (GER) / Andreas Mies (GER) 54 vs Pablo Cuevas (URU) / Marcel Granollers (ESP) [11] 56

2 Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) / Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 21 vs Lucie Hradecka (CZE) / Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) [14] 24

COURT 6 – 13:00 START

1 Fabrice Martin (FRA) / Raluca Olaru (ROU) 35 vs Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) / Ashleigh Barty (AUS) 36

2 Irina Bara (ROU) / Alize Cornet (FRA) 47 vs Andreja Klepac (SLO) / Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP) [4] 48 T/F 5/7 7/6(3) 0/0

3 Andrei Vasilevski (BLR) / Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 37 vs Luke Bambridge (GBR) / Katie Boulter (GBR) 38

4 Antonio Sancic (CRO) / Petra Martic (CRO) 3 vs Artem Sitak (NZL) / Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR) 4

COURT 7 – 13:00 START

1 Rohan Bopanna (IND) / Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) [12] 25 vs Frederik Nielsen (DEN) / Joe Salisbury (GBR) 28

2 Jamie Cerretani (USA) / Renata Voracova (CZE) 19 vs John-Patrick Smith (AUS) / Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 20

3 Mike Bryan (USA) / Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 21 vs Philipp Oswald (AUT) / Xenia Knoll (SUI) 22

COURT 8 – 11:30 START

1 Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (PAK) / Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) [9] 9 vs Ken Skupski (GBR) / Neal Skupski (GBR) 11

2 Xinyun Han (CHN) / Luksika Kumkhum (THA) 54 vs Vania King (USA) / Katarina Srebotnik (SLO) [17] 56

3 Nicholas Monroe (USA) / Oksana Kalashnikova (GEO) 53 vs Ken Skupski (GBR) / Anna Smith (GBR) 54

COURT 10 – 11:30 START

1 Roman Jebavy (CZE) / Andres Molteni (ARG) 30 vs Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) / Robert Farah (COL) [6] 32

2 Sofia Kenin (USA) / Sachia Vickery (USA) 5 vs Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) / Monica Niculescu (ROU) [13] 8

3 Christina McHale (USA) / Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 29 vs Hao-Ching Chan (TPE) / Zhaoxuan Yang (CHN) [7] 32

COURT 14 – 11:30 START

1 Mike Bryan (USA) / Jack Sock (USA) [7] 49 vs Sander Arends (NED) / Matwe Middelkoop (NED) 51

2 Jay Clarke (GBR) / Cameron Norrie (GBR) 5 vs Marcelo Arevalo (ESA) / Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) 6 T/F 4/6 7/6(5) 7/5 3/4

3 Raquel Atawo (USA) / Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) [11] 25 vs Tatjana Maria (GER) / Heather Watson (GBR) 28

4 John Peers (AUS) / Shuai Zhang (CHN) 61 vs Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) / Lidziya Marozava (BLR) 62

5 Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (PAK) / Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP) 45 vs Andres Molteni (ARG) / Makoto Ninomiya (JPN) 46

COURT 15 – 11:30 START

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

2 Dominic Inglot (GBR) / Franko Skugor (CRO) [15] 41 vs Marcelo Demoliner (BRA) / Santiago Gonzalez (MEX) 44

3 Nikola Mektic (CRO) / Alexander Peya (AUT) [8] 33 vs Mirza Basic (BIH) / Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 35

COURT 16 – 11:30 START

1 Antonio Sancic (CRO) / Andrei Vasilevski (BLR) 38 vs Robin Haase (NED) / Robert Lindstedt (SWE) 39

2 Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) / Yifan Xu (CHN) [6] 49 vs Shuko Aoyama (JPN) / Jennifer Brady (USA) 51

3 Alicja Rosolska (POL) / Abigail Spears (USA) 14 vs Latisha Chan (TPE) / Shuai Peng (CHN) [5] 16

4 Hugo Nys (FRA) / Shuko Aoyama (JPN) 11 vs Marcus Daniell (NZL) / Nadiia Kichenok (UKR) 12

5 Marcin Matkowski (POL) / Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) 43 vs Divij Sharan (IND) / Alicja Rosolska (POL) 44

COURT 17 – 13:00 START

1 Jonathan Erlich (ISR) / Marcin Matkowski (POL) 61 vs Lukasz Kubot (POL) / Marcelo Melo (BRA) [2] 64

2 Elise Mertens (BEL) / Demi Schuurs (NED) [8] 33 vs Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) / Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 35

3 Robin Haase (NED) / Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 13 vs Franko Skugor (CRO) / Vania King (USA) 14

4 Santiago Gonzalez (MEX) / Raquel Atawo (USA) 51 vs Nicolas Mahut (FRA) / Elina Svitolina (UKR) 52



1 Jack Sock (USA) / Sloane Stephens (USA) 59 vs Dominic Inglot (GBR) / Samantha Stosur (AUS) 60

2 Robert Lindstedt (SWE) / Zhaoxuan Yang (CHN) 5 vs Jay Clarke (GBR) / Harriet Dart (GBR) 6

3 Wesley Koolhof (NED) / Elise Mertens (BEL) 29 vs Jamie Murray (GBR) / Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 3


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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