Cincinnati Open Monday Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day - UBITENNIS
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Cincinnati Open Monday Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day

Following a thrilling week in Canada, the draws in Cincinnati this week are even more loaded.

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Despite Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal, there’s plenty of big names in the men’s draw.  Federer will make his 2018 summer hard court debut. Djokovic will look to get some momentum after being upset early in Toronto.  Murray will play his first Masters 1,000 event in over a year. And Wawrinka will look to build upon the best week of play he’s had in over a year.  Del Potro, Cilic, Zverev, Anderson, and Defending Champion Dimitrov are all present this week as well.

In the women’s draw, all eyes will be on Serena Williams.  What kind of form will she be in after winning just one game in her San Jose opening round, and withdrawing from the Rogers Cup last week?  World Number One Simona Halep extended her rankings lead with a title last week in Montreal, but how will she bounce back from an exhausting week, especially as she deals with foot blisters?  And how will Rogers Cup Finalist and Defending US Open Champion Sloane Stephens fare after a similarly draining week in Canada? The draw also includes the following top names: Wozniacki, Kerber, Kvitova, Muguruza, Sharapova, and Azarenka.

Serena Williams vs. Daria Gavrilova

If Serena is ready and focused for this match, she should prevail easily.  Though Gavrilova may temporarily be ranked slightly higher, Serena is Serena, and leads their head-to-head 2-0.  But the “if” I started with here is a big one. A week ago, she shared on social media how she’s currently dealing with “postpartum emotions.”  Kudos to Serena for being willing to share this, as she continues to be open regarding her struggles in motherhood. As it relates to tennis, it’ll be interesting to see how Serena competes just 14 days prior to the start of the year’s final Major.

Other notable women’s matches on Monday:

  • Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Victoria Azarenka
  • Johanna Konta vs. Aryna Sabalenka, two players who had impressive wins last week in Canada.
  • Wimbledon Semifinalist Julia Goerges vs. Kristina Mladenovic

Diego Schwartzman vs. Stan Wawrinka

Stan made some big strides in his comeback from serious knee surgery last week in Toronto.  Currently ranked outside the top 150, Wawrinka won back-to-back matches for only the second time in over a year, and in both of those matches came back after dropping the opening set 6-1.  He then gave Nadal a true test in two tightly-contested sets, a sign that Stan is getting closer to his best. But in his opening round today in Cincinnati, he’ll face the twelfth best player in the world, who is rarely an easy out.  Diego Schwartzman is one of the toughest competitors on tour, and made the quarters in New York just last week as well as earlier this year in Paris. This will be their first career meeting, and Stan cannot afford a letdown in his recently-improved level of play.

Other notable men’s matches on Monday:

  • Novak Djokovic vs. Steve Johnson
  • Lucas Pouille vs. Andy Murray
  • Kei Nishikori vs. Andrey Rublev
  • John Isner vs. Sam Querrey
  • Denis Shapovalov vs. Frances Tiafoe, in an ATP Next Gen battle.

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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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