The First Round Players Looking To Spoil The Big Four Reunion At The US Open - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Grand Slam

The First Round Players Looking To Spoil The Big Four Reunion At The US Open

Everybody expects the four titans of men’s tennis to come through their opening match at Flushing Meadows, but what does their opponents think?



For the first time since the 2017 Wimbledon Championships, every member of the ‘big four’ contingent will feature in a grand slam tournament at this year’s US Open.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are the two highest seeded players in this year’s draw. Reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic follows closely behind at sixth and Andy Murray will be unseeded in the event for the first time since 2005. Murray is currently ranked 382nd in the world following his hiatus from the sport due to injury. In that group, no player have lost in the first round of a major since Nadal at the 2016 Australian Open. A record that some players are hoping to break in New York.

For David Ferrer, a win over Nadal on the opening day of the tournament would be a dream scenario. The Spanish veteran has confirmed that the US Open will be the final grand slam he plays in before retiring from the sport. Against Nadal, he trails their head-to-head 6-24 and hasn’t defeated a top-10 player for over a year.

“I want to win and I will play on Monday against Nadal with that intention. That is part of my DNA. I am on the threshold of withdrawal, but I will die being competitive.” Ferrer told El Espanol ahead of the first round.

Should Ferrer achieve the unthinkable, he would become only the third player to knock Nadal out in the opening round of a major. Following in the footsteps of Steve Darcis (Wimbledon, 2013) and Fernando Verdasco (Australian Open, 2016).

“We have a great history together. We have been in the Davis Cup team together, including this year. He’s a good friend.” Nadal said of Ferrer during the US Open draw ceremony on Thursday.
“He has been an amazing player for such a long time. It’s true that he is going through times, but he is still a high level player.”

Three-time grand slam champion Murray embarks upon the New York major in unfamiliar territory. Unlike previous years, the Brit has played down his chances of success. The US Open will be only his sixth tournament since returning from injury.

“For the last 10 years or so I’ve been coming and trying to prepare to win the event whereas I don’t feel like that’s realistic for me this year,” Murray told reporters in New York.
“It’s a slightly different mentality for me coming in than what I have had the last 10, 11 years of my life.”

In the first round Murray takes on Australia’s James Duckworth. A player who has also endured his fair share of injury troubles. It will be the first time he has played a best-of-five match for more than a year. Something 26-year-old Duckworth hopes to capitalise on.

“Look, if I was ever going to play Murray, this is probably the best time to play him,” Duckworth told Australian media.
“He hasn’t played a best-of-five-set match for over a year so I give myself a chance. I’m obviously going to have to play well, but I’m definitely a chance.
“Obviously I’m not the favourite going in but I’m going to give it my best shot, take it to him, try to play positive tennis and see how I go.”

An honour for some

Embed from Getty Images

Whilst some may perceive it as a bit of bad luck to be drawn against one of the big four in the first round, Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka is focusing on the positives. The 22-year-old will take on Roger Federer on Tuesday. Nishioka has been ranked as high as 58th in the world, but missed eight months of the tour last year due to a knee injury.

“I arrived in New York,” Nishioka tweeted.
“This is the last place in this expedition. The draw was Federer and… This year’s Grand Slam brings me really no luck.
“But it is a dream to play with Federer, so I’m looking forward to it. I want to do the best I can.”

Federer is bidding to win the New York title for the first time in 10 years. He has a 11-2 win-loss record against Japanese players so far in his professional career. His two losses were at the hands of Kei Nishikori.

Finally, Novak Djokovic is hoping to continue his winning momentum generated from Wimbledon and Cincinnati. In his first match, the Serbian faces Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics. A player currently ranked 41st in the world that won his maiden ATP title earlier this year at the Geneva Open. Fucsovics has achieved a new career-high seven times so far this season with his best being 40th.

“I do not have anything to lose, he has, I hope we play a good game.” He told about the upcoming clash.
“I know him well, I’ve been training with him many times, and his staff knows me well.”

Djokovic is seeded sixth at the US Open. He has never lost before the third round of the tournament since making his debut back in 2005.

In US Open history, no member of the big four has ever lost in the first round.

The big four’s record in Grand slam first Round’s


R1 wins

R1 losses

Roger Federer


French Open (99, 02 and 03)
Wimbledon (99, 00 and 02)

Novak Djokovic


Australian Open (05 and 06)

Rafael Nadal


Wimbledon (2013)
Australian Open (2016)

Andy Murray


Australian Open (06 and 08)
French Open (06)

Players ranked by highest winning percentage

  1. Novak Djokovic – 96.3%
  2. Rafael Nadal – 96.23%
  3. Andy Murray – 93.48%
  4. Roger Federer – 91.7%

Grand Slam

French Open: WTA Made No Push To Schedule Women’s Matches In Prime Time Slot, Says Chief Mauresmo



The fallout over the decision to schedule only men’s matches in the evening sessions at this year’s French Open has been defended by tournament director Amelie Mauresmo.

In a deal with Amazon Prime, the Grand Slam schedules one match to take place at 7pm on their premier Philippe Chatrier court every day until the quarter-finals. This year was the first time that no women’s matches were played in the slot since the deal was established in 2021. Overall, there have been 43 night sessions in the tournament’s history with 39 of them being awarded to the men’s draw.

Recently the WTA issued a statement to Reuters news agency calling for there to be more balance in the scheduling. A spokesperson said ‘fans want to see the excitement and thrill of women’s tennis on the biggest stages and in the premium time slots.’ However, it has now been claimed that the governing body was involved in the allocation of matches in the tournament. 

Mauresmo, who is a former world No.1 and previously coached Andy Murray, said there was never any ‘push’ for women’s matches to be held in this spot which some players don’t want due to its time. 

“When we do the scheduling, the WTA is in the room as well as the ATP, the Grand Slam supervisor, TV, we are all together,” Mauresmo said on Sunday.
“I did not see any push also to have the women’s match in the evening. I think it’s a very complicated decision. 
“It’s not easy having one match (at night) but again I never say it’s gonna be never (to having women’s matches).”

Elaborating further on the topic, Mauresmo argues that men’s matches usually last longer due to their best-of-five format. Making these more valuable for fans attending in terms of duration. The idea of playing two matches at night has been dismissed because it would ‘create other problems’ such as extremely late finishes. Novak Djokovic didn’t end his third round match until after 3am.

“It’s not a matter of how interesting the matches can be or could be. For us, it’s a matter of the length of the matches.”She said.
“In terms of the people that are coming to watch the match, the 15,000 people that are coming. It’s complicated for us to think that maybe it’s going to be very, very short. So we try our best, and it’s not easy.”

This year’s Olympic tennis tournament will be held at Roland Garros. That event will also have a night session but two matches will take place as they will all be best-of-three sets. 

More than 650,000 spectators came to the French Open over the past three weeks. A review of the event will start in a couple of weeks.

Continue Reading


Roland Garros Daily Preview: Carlos Alcaraz Plays Sascha Zverev in the Men’s Final



Carlos Alcaraz on Friday in Paris (

The championship matches in men’s singles and women’s doubles will be played on Sunday.

19 years ago, a young Spaniard named Rafael Nadal started a legendary relationship with Roland Garros, winning his first of a record-breaking 14 titles at this event.  Now in the same year that Nadal seemingly bid farewell to the French Open, another young Spaniard looks to begin his own Parisian legacy.  On Sunday, Carlos Alcaraz plays for his third Major title, and his first on the surface he grew up on.

Four years ago, Sascha Zverev reached his only other Major final, in an empty stadium during the 2020 US Open.  Despite holding a two-set lead, Zverev lost that championship match to Dominic Thiem in a fifth-set tiebreak, after some extremely nervous play.  On Sunday, a confident and self-described more mature version of Sascha returns to the last round of a Major, this time in a sold out stadium, and looking for a different result.

Also on Day 15, in the women’s doubles championship match at 11:30am local time, it will be Sara Errani and Jasmine Paolini (11) vs. Coco Gauff and Katerina Siniakova (5).  After losing the women’s singles final on Saturday, Paolini vies for Grand Slam glory alongside Errani, who is a five-time Major champion in women’s doubles.  Between singles and doubles, Gauff is 0-3 in Slam finals, which includes a runner-up appearance here two years ago in both disciplines.  Siniakova owns seven Major titles in women’s doubles, all of which came with Barbora Krejcikova.

Sascha Zverev (4) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (3) – Not Before 2:30pm on Court Philippe-Chatrier

Alcaraz has only played 29 matches this year, with a record of 24-5, as he missed several big events due to a right arm injury.  That included absences at two of the ATP’s biggest European clay court events, Monte Carlo and Rome.  Yet despite the injury and lack of match play, Carlitos has advanced to his third Major final with the loss of just three sets, two of which came against Jannik Sinner in Friday’s semifinals. 

By contrast, Zverev has been the healthiest of the top seven ATP players during this clay court season.  He is 34-9 in 2024, and comes into this match on a 12-match winning streak, after taking the Masters 1000 title in Rome three weeks ago.  Sascha endured a complicated path to this championship match, which included a pair of five-setters.  And he surely values his bodily health after the awful ankle injury he suffered in the semifinals of this event two years ago.  He would love to continue creating more positive memories on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Zverev holds a narrow 5-4 edge in their head-to-head, though on clay, Alcaraz leads 2-1.  However, Sascha’s sole victory on clay came in their only previous meeting at this event, in the 2022 quarterfinals.  And the German is 2-1 against the Spaniard at Majors.

Alcaraz has a definitive edge in speed as well as on the forehand side, while Zverev will look to use his serve to dictate play, and possesses a more formidable backhand.  But the biggest difference between these two is how they play in big matches.  Carlitos is 7-1 in finals at Majors and Masters 1000 tournaments, with his only loss coming in an epic championship match last summer in Cincinnati against Novak Djokovic.  Sascha is just 6-6 in finals at those same levels, and his record of 2-6 in Major semifinals speaks to how passively he often plays in big matches.

And if the match goes the distance, that is a distinct advantage for Alcaraz, who is 10-1 lifetime in five-setters.  While Zverev’s mark of 23-11 is actually pretty strong, many of those wins came against players ranked outside the top 100, and in matches where Sascha arguably should have won without going five.

Plus, trying to accomplish the sport’s biggest feat, winning a Major title, when you have not only never done so before, but actually choked when you were so close to doing so, is a lot to overcome.  While I don’t expect Zverev to play as nervously in his second Major final as his first, Alcaraz remains the freer swinger at crucial moments.  Carlitos should be favored to win his third Major title on Sunday in Paris.

Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading


Tsitsipas Brothers Hit With Trio Of Fines At French Open



Stefanos Tsitsipas and his brother Petros have been fined more than 20,000 euros for multiple violations of the coaching rules at this year’s French Open. 

The brothers received a financial penalty during three different matches that they played in. Two of those were in the second and third rounds of the men’s doubles tournament. Furthermore, Stefanos was also penalised during his singles quarter-final match against Carlos Alcaraz, which he lost in straight sets. According to French newspaper L’Equipe, all three of those fines were issued as a result of coaching rules being broken.

Ironically, coaching is allowed during matches at the French Open but certain rules must be followed. ‘Verbal’ coaching can only be issued from the coaches and their team if they are sitting in the designated player’s box. Instructions must be limited to a few words and can only be given if the player is in the same half of the court as their coach. Although non-verbal coaching is allowed regardless of what side the player is on. Finally, players can’t start a conversation with their coach unless it is during a medical break, a bathroom break or when their opponent is changing clothes.

However, the Tsitsipas brothers have been found in violation of these rules, which is likely due to their animated father in the stands who is also their coach. Apostolos Tsitsipas has been given coaching violations in the past at other events, including the 2022 Australian Open. 

The value of the fines are €4,600 and €9,200 for the Tsitsipas brothers in the doubles, as well as an additional €7,400 just for Stefanos in the singles. In total, the value of their fines is €21,200. However, the penalty is unlikely to have an impact on the duo whose combined earnings for playing in this year’s French Open amount to roughly €495,000. 

So far in the tournament, the highest single fine to be issued this year was against Terence Atmane who hit a ball out of frustration that struck a fan in the stands. Atmane, who later apologised for his actions, managed to avoid getting disqualified from the match. Instead, he was fined €23,000. 

Continue Reading