Wimbledon Day 8 Preview: The Ladies’ Quarter-finals - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 8 Preview: The Ladies’ Quarter-finals

For the first time in the open era, none of the top 10 seeds advanced to the quarter-finals in a singles draw.

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But what the quarter-finals lack in top seeds, they make up for in Major singles championships. There are 26 in total, with Serena Williams of course holding the vast majority. These quarter-final matches also feature eight of the fiercest competitors on tour, all with different strengths and styles which result in four distinct and intriguing matchups. And as a bonus on Tuesday, Juan Martin Del Potro will complete his fourth round match against Gilles Simon, where he was up two-sets-to-one before play was suspended due to darkness.

Angelique Kerber vs. Daria Kasatkina

This will be the first match of the day on Centre Court, and is a rematch from just 15 days ago on the grass of Eastbourne. That quarter-final was a tense battle that went to a third set tiebreak, which Kerber won 7-3. Overall they’ve split their six career meetings, with the balance all taking place on hard courts. For Kerber, this is her third straight Major quarter-final. Kasatkina is in her second consecutive one, after getting to her first Major quarter-final last month in Paris. It’s been a breakout year for the 21-year-old Russian, who beat two top 10 players to make the final in Dubai, and three top 10 players to reach the final at Indian Wells. Kerber’s also had a strong year with consistent results, landing her in fourth place in the year-to-date rankings. Both players’ games are extremely pleasant to watch, and often create complex rallies. Pair that with the confidence they both have right now, and this match could be special. Kerber is the more accomplished player, with much more experience on big stages like this, especially on Centre Court. Her recent victory over Kasatkina on grass will be fresh in her mind, and may help her get through this tough opponent. But this match could go either way, and will likely be another extended, tight contest.

Jelena Ostapenko vs. Dominika Cibulkova

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Remember how I mentioned fierce competitors? Well two of the fiercest will open the day’s schedule on No.1 Court. Neither of these players were on anyone’s radar going into this fortnight, yet both are yet to drop a set in this tournament. Ostapenko has cited Wimbledon as her favorite tournament. Jelena was the 2014 junior champion at Wimbledon, and also made the quarterfinals here just last year. She’s playing with a lot more freedom with the defense of her 2017 Roland Garros title behind her. Cibulkova is playing her best tennis since her career-best title at the 2016 WTA Finals. This is her third quarterfinal at SW19, and a victory today for either player will find them in their first Wimbledon semifinal. Cibulkova has won both of their previous matches, including on grass in 2016 at Eastbourne. But I have a feeling Ostapenko may notch her first victory over Cibulkova on this day. Her huge groundstrokes are extremely effective on the grass, and the higher ball bounces this year give Jelena more time to set up her shots. And it doesn’t hurt that no one’s been talking about Ostapenko’s chances of winning this title, as it alleviates a lot of pressure. If Dominika is going to prevail, her superior defensive skills may be the deciding factor. Either way, neither player is likely to hand the victory to the other. This quarterfinal should be another good one.

Serena Williams vs. Camila Giorgi

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In the second match of the day on Centre Court, the 23-time Major singles champion will face one of the only players on tour who hits the ball as hard as she does. Giorgi’s go-for-broke philosophy can have very different results from match-to-match, but she’s been on a lot more than she’s been off thus far in this tournament. Wimbledon has been the most successful Grand Slam event in the career of the 26-year-old Italian. She made her first Major round of 16 here in 2012, and is now into her first quarterfinal. Giorgi is fully capable of outhitting Serena Williams, though she’s also capable of littering the stat sheet with errors. The biggest challenge for Giorgi will be to execute her high-risk game on this stage, and against this opponent. Centre Court is a place where Serena has a huge experience edge. And in contrast to Camila, this is Serena’s 48th Major quarterfinal, and her 13th at Wimbledon. Williams is still not back to her best form, but she’s playing smart, composed tennis. Serena is yet to drop a set in this fortnight, and has never dropped a set against Giorgi in three meetings. The GOAT is the favorite to advance here.

Julia Goerges vs. Kiki Bertens

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Here are two players who have rather quietly compiled strong results over the past year. Goerges won three straight titles between the end of 2017 and the start of this year, but had never found success at a Major. After going 0-5 in the fourth round of Grand Slam events, she finally broke through yesterday, and is into her first Major quarterfinal at the age of 29. Goerges hit 41 aces through her first four rounds. It’s surprising she’s never done better at Wimbledon considering her big-serving game. In fact, prior to this year, she had lost in the first round of The Championships five years in a row. Likewise, Bertens had a losing record at Wimbledon heading into this tournament, but is into her first quarterfinal after consecutive upsets of two top 10 seeds, Venus Williams and Karolina Pliskova. This will be a rematch from the Charleston final earlier this year. Bertens won that encounter, as well as their other previous match, though both were on clay. That surface has been very kind to Bertens in the last few years. Since May of 2016, Kiki has four titles and a Roland Garros semifinal to her name on clay. In theory, the grass should favor Goerges. The difference here will be who is more prepared to handle this moment. Though she’s the lower-ranked player, Bertens is the one who has been in a Major quarterfinal before. In addition, she’s already played on No.1 Court during this fortnight, while all of Goerges’ matches have been on outer courts. Kiki’s level of comfort and confidence may be enough to land her in her second Major semifinal.

Selected order of play

CENTRE COURT – SHOW COURT – 13:00 START
1 Daria Kasatkina (RUS) [14] 48 vs Angelique Kerber (GER) [11] 49
2 Serena Williams (USA) [25] 104 vs Camila Giorgi (ITA) 119
3 Raven Klaasen (RSA) / Michael Venus (NZL) [13] 8 vs Jamie Murray (GBR) / Bruno Soares (BRA) [5] 16

No.1 COURT – SHOW COURT – 13:00 START
1 Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 12 vs Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) [12] 17
2 Kiki Bertens (NED) [20] 73 vs Julia Goerges (GER) [13] 81
3 Robin Haase (NED) / Robert Lindstedt (SWE) 39 vs Dominic Inglot (GBR) / Franko Skugor (CRO) [15] 41

No.2 COURT – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START
1 Richard Krajicek (NED) / Mark Petchey (GBR) vs Patrick McEnroe (USA) / Jeff Tarango (USA) (OD)
NOT BEFORE 13.00
2 Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) [5] 97 vs Gilles Simon (FRA) 107 T/F 7/6(1) 7/6(5) 5/7 0/0
3 Ben McLachlan (JPN) / Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) [14] 24 vs Frederik Nielsen (DEN) / Joe Salisbury (GBR) 28
4 Na Li (CHN) / Ai Sugiyama (JPN) vs Tracy Austin (USA) / Anne Keothavong (GBR) (SL)

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‘Speechless’ Mensik Reaches Maiden ATP Final In Doha

Jakub Mensik is into his first ATP final in Doha.

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Jakub Mensik admitted he was left speechless after reaching his first ATP final in Doha.

The 18 year-old continued his remarkable week with a 6-4 1-6 6-3 semi-final victory over Gael Monfils.

The Czech Republican produced clinical tennis as he beat the 2018 champion to reach his maiden ATP final.

After the match Mensik admitted he was left ‘speechless’ and spoke about the influence Monfils had on his career, “It is amazing. Hopefully not the last one [final]. Incredible week so far,” Mensik told the ATP website.

“Today again with Gael, he played unbelievable. I know it is tough to play against him, especially with his good movement. For me every point I have to play my best game.

“I have to say this performance was one of the best in my entire life. I am so glad I reached this level in the semis, so hopefully tomorrow I play like this. An amazing feeling with my first ATP final. I am speechless.

“I told him when I was young I watched him a lot on the TV. One of the biggest showman on court. He is a great guy, so hopefully in the future we will meet once again. The rallies were so fun with him.”

Mensik has so far beaten three former champions this week as he also defeated Andy Murray and Andrey Rublev this week.

Now Mensik will aim to win his first ATP title as he takes on Karen Khachanov in Saturday’s final.

Should Mensik win the title he could climb to 75 in the world as he started the week at 116 in the world.

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Acapulco Faces Safety Issues Ahead Of ATP 500 Tournament

Acapulco faces safety and infrastructure issues before the ATP 500 tournament next week.

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Acapulco has faced safety concerns ahead of the tournament as players have been advised to stay in the tournament hotels or tennis venues.

As exclusively revealed by James Gray of the i newspaper, Acapulco is facing security and infrastructure concerns ahead of the tournament.

ATP players have reportedly been told in an email to stay confined to the tournament hotels and the tennis venue as crime rates have increased in the city.

Organisers in Mexico have reassured people that players will be able to train safely with the following statement, “The Arena GNP, venue for the Mexican Open of Tennis, and the host hotel are currently operational to carry out the tournament,” the tournament organisers told the i newspaper.

“Since Tuesday, we have been receiving players in Acapulco, and they have already had the opportunity to train at the venue.”

However there are still infrastructural problems including lack of flights to Acapulco as well as other safety concerns which have been affected by Hurricane Otis.

Despite the problems the ATP seem confident that the event will be safe and secure ahead of the ATP 500 event, “It is not uncommon for players to receive security advisories from ATP as a precautionary measure across more than 250 Tour and Challenger Tour events each season,” A spokesperson told the i newspaper.

“The advisory sent for Acapulco factors in the additional complexity of Hurricane Otis’ disruption. There have been major efforts and investment to restore the Acapulco venue in recent months.”

The ATP 500 event in Acapulco will take place next week with Alex De Minaur being the defending champion.

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Ons Jabeur’s Latest Withdrawal Raises Doubts Over Season Ambitions

Ons Jabeur will be hoping to re-energize herself ahead of a big few months in her career.

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Ons Jabeur’s latest withdrawal in Dubai has raised doubts over how successful the Tunisian can be this season.

Despite having high hopes for revitalizing her season in Dubai, Ons Jabeur has had another setback in 2024.

The Tunisian was forced to withdraw from one of her favourite tournaments of the year in Dubai due to a knee injury.

This withdrawal came days after Jabeur said she was ready for the challenge in Dubai and was excited to compete in front of a passionate crowd in Dubai.

In a statement Jabeur explained her injury and why she was unable to compete in Dubai this week, “After consultation of my doctors and team we have decided that I will have to withdraw from Dubai this week and go for more medical treatments,” Jabeur was quoted by tennishead as saying.

“Looking forward to reconnect with all on the courts for the US swing. Thank you for your continuous support.”

This latest setback isn’t a coincidence though as Jabeur has struggled with injuries ever since her Wimbledon final.

The mental and physical toll that the last eight months have taken of Jabeur are starting to show.

There doesn’t seem to be a plan in place as Jabeur has been open about her mental health struggles since that comprehensive defeat to Marketa Vondrousova at Wimbledon.

That’s a potential problem for Jabeur going forwards as it continues to get tougher for the world number six to find motivation going forwards.

A long break away from tennis may be beneficial for Jabeur as it feels like this summer may be the Tunisian’s last opportunity at Grand Slam glory.

An innovative and new approach may be required for Jabeur as her physical and mental stamina continues to fade with every week.

However will Jabeur manage reinvent herself before it’s too late? Only time will tell and SW19 may be the final destination in that bid.

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