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

Kei Nishikori’s blockbuster clash with Stan Wawrinka headlines Wenesday’s play at the Western and Southern Open.



Kei Nishikori (

By Matthew Marolf

Second round play is scheduled to conclude on Wednesday, with many appealing matches around the grounds.

Kei Nishikori vs. Stan Wawrinka

This is a blockbuster second round matchup, made possible due to both players missing the second half of 2017 due to injuries.  Nishikori has recovered more quickly in 2018 than Wawrinka, and has more than twice as many wins than Stan on the year. But Wawrinka has had several impressive victories over the last 10 days, over the likes of top 20 players in Nick Kyrgios and Diego Schwartzman.  Kei has struggled a bit since advancing to his first Wimbledon quarterfinal, going just 3-2 so far on the North American hard courts. Their career head-to-head couldn’t be any tighter: four wins and four losses for each. They played in Cincinnati six years ago, with Kei winning in straight sets.  They’ve twice met in the latter stages of the US Open, splitting two prolonged encounters. Nishikori has taken their last two matches, both on hard courts. Kei has never been beyond the third round in Cincinnati, and has just as many losses as wins in Ohio. Wawrinka has been to the quarterfinals or better at this event three times.  This should be a good one, in which I give Stan a slight edge.

Other notable men’s matches on Wednesday:

Sascha Zverev vs. Robin Haase

Defending Champion Grigor Dimitrov vs. Mischa Zverev

Juan Martin Del Potro, who just reached a career-high ranking of three in the world, vs. Hyeon Chung

Novak Djokovic vs. Adrian Mannarino

Nick Kyrgios, who saved match point yesterday with a 134 mph second serve, vs. Borna Coric

Angelique Kerber vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

I was surprised to find these two players also share an even head-to-head, with six wins and six losses for each. The last time they played was also on a US hard court, when Kerber won in straights earlier this year in Miami. But Pavlyuchenkova prevailed in all three of their 2017 matches, and all were on hard courts.  Kerber is of course coming off her dream run at The Championships, winning her first Wimbledon title and third Major overall. But last week in Montreal, she wasn’t quite ready to win again. She took just five games in her opening match against Alize Cornet.  She’ll surely be looking to get a few match wins heading into the US Open, which she won just two years ago. Pavlyuchenkova impressed last week by pushing World Number One Simona Halep deep into a third set, in a match over three hours long. In her opening round yesterday, Anastasia lost just one game. I expect a prolonged battle here, and would not be shocked to see Kerber lose her opening match for the second straight week.

Other notable women’s matches on Wednesday:

Defending Champion Garbine Muguruza vs. Lesia Tsurenko

Rogers Cup Champion Simona Halep vs. Ajla Tomljanovic

Rogers Cup Finalist Sloane Stephens vs. Tatjana Maria

World Number Two Caroline Wozniacki vs. Kiki Bertens

Karolina Pliskova, with new coach Rennae Stubbs, vs. Aryna Sabalenka




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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Iga Swiatek ‘Proud’ After Claiming Doha Title

World number one Iga Swiatek won her 18th career title in Doha.



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Iga Swiatek defeated Elena Rybakina 7-6(8) 6-2 to claim the title in Doha.

The world number one sealed an 18th career title with a straight sets win over Rybakina.

Swiatek had previously struggled to beat the Kazakh and that continued at the start of the opening set with the Pole conceding a double break deficit at 4-1.

However Swiatek was resilient as she won four games in a row to get back on track in the opening set.

Rybakina broke in the eleventh game and had the opportunity to serve for the opening set but couldn’t take the opportunity.

In the tiebreak, Swiatek converted her fourth set point as she claimed a mammoth tiebreak 10-8.

After that Swiatek seized control as she broke twice after saving two break points in the second game.

The Pole held comfortably to claim her maiden title of the 2024 season in what was her first tournament since a third round exit at the Australian Open.

In her-post match speech Swiatek admitted that she is proud of her performance in Doha this week, “You don’t even know hard it was not to think about it,” Swiatek was quoted by France 24 as saying after winning her 13th match in Doha.

“I came here and was pretty stressed because I felt the expectations. I wanted to do everything step by step like I always do. I’m really happy. I’m really proud of myself.”

Swiatek will now look to continue that form in Dubai next week where she takes on either Sloane Stephens or Clara Burel in her opening round match.

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