US Open Day 1 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


US Open Day 1 Preview: Five Must-See Matches

The final Major of the year is upon us, and it’s the first Grand Slam event in nearly three years to feature all the sport’s top names together in one place



Every active player with three or more Major singles titles is in New York: Serena, Roger, Rafa, Novak, Venus, Maria, Andy, Stan, and Angelique. In total, 109 Major singles titles are represented in the men’s and women’s draws.


On the men’s side, the “Big Five” have hoarded 53 of the last 55 Major titles. And as Brad Gilbert recently highlighted, with Juan Martin Del Potro and Marin Cilic both turning 30 in a few weeks, we’ll soon have no male Major singles champions under the age of 30. Will we finally see a younger player breakthrough during this fortnight? Judging by recent results inside and outside of the Majors, the domination of the “Big Five” may continue for a bit longer.

The women’s side has been much more unpredictable, with eight different women prevailing at the last 12 Grand Slam events. Unlike the men’s side, it’s easy to imagine upwards of 15-20 women leaving New York with this title. Angelique Kerber has won 25% of the Grand Slam events over the last three years, but she’s never won back-to-back Majors. World No.1 Simona Halep and No.2 Caroline Wozniacki both arrive at less than 100%, and Serena Williams is yet to regain her top form as she fights for her 24th Major title. The air of volatility surrounding the women’s draw should make for a compelling 14 days.

Grigor Dimitrov vs. Stan Wawrinka

Embed from Getty Images
This will be the first match of the day on Arthur Ashe Stadium. This year, the US Open’s biggest court has a revised start time of 12:00pm, with only two matches scheduled for the day session. It’s been a rough season for Grigor Dimitrov, who is just 22-15 on the year with no titles. And he hasn’t had much luck as of late with his draw at the Majors, as he’s drawn Stan Wawrinka as his first round opponent for the second straight time. Stan defeated Grigor at Wimbledon, and Wawrinka has only gotten better as the summer has progressed. Stan played his best tennis in over a year against both of the top two players in the world, Nadal and Federer, at his last two tournaments. And Wawrinka also has a much better record in New York than Dimitrov. Prior to Wimbledon, Grigor had won his last four meetings with Stan, but it appears Wawrinka is poised to start a streak of his own against Dimitrov.

Venus Williams vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova
Embed from Getty Images

Next up on Ashe will be another blockbuster first round matchup, between two former US Open champions. Neither player comes into New York with much momentum, as both have struggled in 2018. Coming off a stellar 2017, Venus is only 15-10 on the year. Meanwhile Kuznetsova is 10-11 this season, as she battled a wrist injury earlier this year. Svetlana though impressed by winning the title this summer in Washington, DC, while Venus only secured three wins on the summer hard courts before withdrawing from Cincinnati due to an ongoing knee injury. Their career head-to-head is even at 5-5 apiece. A semifinalist at last year’s US Open, Venus has a lot of points to defend, and will surely feel more pressure than Svetlana. A Kuznetsova victory seems more than likely on Monday.

Denis Shapovalov vs. Felix Auger-Aliassame

Embed from Getty Images
The draw gods gifted us another extremely intriguing opening round here, with two young off-court best friends in an on-court all-Canadian battle. The 19-year-old Shapovalov came into his own a year ago, with his semifinal run in Montreal, and coming through qualifying to make the fourth round in New York. The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassame got his first tour-level win earlier this year in Indian Wells, and upset Lucas Pouille at this year’s Rogers Cup in Toronto. He qualified for this tournament without dropping a set. It’s hard not to favor the older and more experienced Shapovalov, but facing a fellow countryman, much less someone you’re so close with, can certainly complicate matters. If both play their best, this could be an extremely fun match to close out the day’s schedule on Grandstand, and could be the beginning of a Next Gen rivalry to play out for many years to come.

Serena Williams vs. Magda Linette

Embed from Getty Images
This will be the first match of the evening session on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Following her run to the finals at Wimbledon, Serena did not get much match play this summer. She had the worst loss of her career in San Jose, winning just one game against Johanna Konta, though her level was understandably affected by news of her sister’s killer being released from jail. Williams opted not to play the Rogers Cup, and got one win under her belt before losing to Petra Kvitova in Cincinnati. The good news is Serena played pretty well in that defeat, and she has a very winnable opening round draw here. Linette has more losses than wins on the year, and the 26-year-old has never been ranked higher than 55th in the world. Serena should prevail, but just how comfortably she prevails may give us some insight as to her title chances.

Rafael Nadal vs. David Ferrer

Embed from Getty Images
The night session on Ashe will conclude with the 31st meeting between these countrymen and friends. Nadal holds a 24-6 record over Ferrer, with David’s last victory coming on clay over four years ago. The 36-year-old Ferrer has hinted at retiring from the sport sometime next year, so this very well may be his swan song in New York. Now ranked 148th in the world, with semifinalist points from last year in Cincinnati coming off his ranking, this could be the last Major of Ferrer’s career. David is only 9-17 in 2018, and it’s hard to imagine he’ll give Nadal a true test on Monday evening. But much like Nadal, you can rest assured he’ll give his all on every point. If this does turn out to be Ferrer’s last match at a Major, going out against one of the all-time greats on Arthur Ashe Stadium is a pretty good last stand.

Other notable matches on Day 1:

  • World No.1 Simona Halep vs. Kaia Kanepi, a US Open quarterfinalist last year
  • In just his eighth match of 2018, Andy Murray vs. James Duckworth
  • 2017 US Open Champion Sloane Stephens vs. Evgeniya Rodina

Full order of play (All times local, -5 hours from BST)

Arthur Ashe Stadium
S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs. G. Dimitrov (BUL) [8]
S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs. V. Williams (USA) [16]
S. Williams (USA) [17] vs.M. Linette (POL)
R. Nadal (ESP) [1] vs. D. Ferrer (ESP)

Louis Armstrong Stadium
S. Halep (ROU) [1] vs. K. Kanepi (EST)
A. Murray (GBR) vs. J. Duckworth (AUS)
S. Stephens (USA) [3] vs. E. Rodina (RUS)
V. Azarenka (BLR) vs. V. Kuzmova (SVK)
J. Del Potro (ARG) [3] vs. D. Young (USA)

S. Vickery (USA) vs. E. Svitolina (UKR) [7]
J. Isner (USA) [11] vs. B. Klahn (USA)
Z. Diyas (KAZ) vs. Ka. Pliskova (CZE) [8]
D. Shapovalov (CAN) [28] vs. F. Auger-Aliassime (CAN)

Court 17
J. Sock (USA) [18] vs. G. Andreozzi (ARG)
G. Muguruza (ESP) [12] vs. S. Zhang (CHN)
D. Vekic (CRO) vs. A. Sevastova (LAT) [19]
R. Harrison (USA) vs. K. Anderson (RSA) [5]

Court 5
M. Raonic (CAN) [25] vs. C. Berlocq (ARG)
O. Jabeur (TUN) vs. A. Barty (AUS) [18]
S. Querrey (USA) vs. A. Seppi (ITA)
M. Sakkari (GRE) [32] vs. A. Muhammad (USA)

Court 10
K. Nara (CAN) [25] vs.C. Berlocq (ARG)
O. Jabeur (TUN) vs. A. Barty (AUS) [18]
S. Querrey (USA) vs. A. Seppi (ITA)
M. Sakkari (GRE) [32] vs. A. Muhammad (USA)

Court 13
P. Lorenzi (ITA) vs. K. Edmund (GBR) [16]
A. Radwanska (POL) vs. T. Maria (GER)
C. Norrie (GBR) vs. J. Thompson (AUS)
C. Dolehide (USA) vs. C. Witthoeft (GER)

Court 4
V. Lapko (BLR) vs. K. Bondarenko (UKR)
H. Watson (GBR) vs. E. Makarova (RUS)
D. Lajovic (SRB) vs. D. Dzumhur (BIH) [24]
V. Pospisil (CAN) vs. L. Lacko (SVK)

Continue Reading
Click to comment


Stefanos Tsitsipas Benefitting From Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev’s Success

Stefanos Tsitsipas starts his Miami Open campaign against Richard Gasquet on Saturday.



(@stathopoulosth - Twitter)

Stefanos Tsitsipas admits that he is benefitting from Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev’s recent success ahead of the Miami Open.


Tsitsipas had a good start to the season himself after reaching the Australian Open final before losing to Novak Djokovic.

However since then Tsitsipas’ form has tailed off as he continues to manage injuries.

The Greek has a lot of work to do to turn his form around ahead of the clay court season after his last set tiebreak defeat to Jordan Thompson in the second round of Indian Wells.

Tsitsipas’ turbulent form comes at a time where his nearest rivals are achieving great success in the tour with Carlos Alcaraz winning Indian Wells last week.

Meanwhile Daniil Medvedev was on a 19 match winning streak before losing the final at Indian Wells to Alcaraz.

Speaking to the media Tsitsipas says he is using Greek philosophy to help him believe that his rivals success will translate to his game, “I’m happy for them,” Tsitsipas told Tennis Infinity.

“I believe in the message of ubuntu [a philosophy that supports collectivism over individualism]…by having others be good, [to] sort of witness greatness of others around me, I am also allowing myself to become better too.

“I believe in that message and I think the fact that they’re doing well is benefitting me too and it’s giving me a clear, better view of how I should approach my game.”

Tsitsipas will be positive that their success will benefit his game at the Miami Open where he is the second seed.

The opening match for Tsitsipas will be fellow one-handed backhander Richard Gasquet with their head-to-head tied at 1-1.

Ahead of the contest Tsitsipas admitted that he is getting closer to being pain free, “Everything is getting better and I’m heading toward the right direction,” Tsitsipas said.

“[I hope] to play pain free and just be able to step out there and show something different than Indian Wells because Indian Wells was a big struggle…I hope I get to play with more of an element of fun on the court and not think too much about my arm.”

The match will take place on Saturday as Tsitsipas looks to build momentum towards his Monte-Carlo title defence.

Continue Reading


Miami Open Daily Preview: Canadians Andreescu, Fernandez Face Top 10 Opposition



A look at the grounds of the Miami Open (

Second round ATP and WTA action takes place on Friday in Miami.


The WTA’s top two Canadian players will take part in two of the day’s best matchups.  2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu takes on Maria Sakkari, while 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez plays Belinda Bencic.

Other action on Friday includes top names such as Carlos Alcaraz, Aryna Sabalenka, Casper Ruud, and Ons Jabeur.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Friday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.

Maria Sakkari (7) vs. Bianca Andreescu – 12:00pm on Stadium Court

Andreescu is 7-6 this season, and overcame fellow US Open champ Emma Raducanu in the first round.  This is only her third appearance in Miami, but she is 9-2 at this event, and was the runner-up the last time she played here in 2021.

Sakkari is now 15-6 on the year, yet is just 7-5 in Miami.  Four of those wins came during her semifinal run in 2021, when she lost to Andreescu in a dramatic three-setter.

That 2021 semifinal lasted nearly three hours, with Andreescu eventually prevailing in a third-set tiebreak well after midnight.  Their only other meeting occurred later that year at the US Open, with Sakkari winning 6-3 in the third.  In the rubber match on Friday, Maria has to be considered the favorite based on recent form, though it’s hard to ever count out Bianca, one of the sport’s most dogged competitors.

Leylah Fernandez vs. Belinda Bencic (9) – Fifth on Butch Buchholz Court

Fernandez is 8-6 in 2023, and on Wednesday earned her first-ever victory in Miami, over Lesia Tsurenko.  Leylah has struggled to regain her form after suffering a serious foot injury in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros last June.

Bencic is a strong 15-4 to start the season, and has already collected two hard court titles (Adelaide, Abu Dhabi).  While she’s just 8-6 lifetime in Miami, she did advance to the semifinals last year, losing to Naomi Osaka.

Leylah and Belinda have split four previous matches, two of which occurred during the Billie Jean King Cup, most recently last fall when Bencic won in straights.  Just a few weeks earlier, Bencic also defeated Fernandez, this time 6-3 in the third in Guadalajara.  This is another case where the Canadian should be considered the underdog, but a Canadian victory would not be shocking.

Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Andrey Rublev (6) vs. J.J. Wolf – Rublev is a modest 11-7 this year, and just 10-7 in Miami.  Wolf is 9-6 this year, and reached the second week of a Major for the first time in Melbourne.  Last summer in Washington, Andrey defeated J.J. in straight sets.

Varvara Gracheva (Q) vs. Ons Jabeur (4) – Jabeur is just 4-3 on the year, having undergone a minor surgery after the Australian Open.  She’s is 1-0 against Gracheva, having defeated her in three sets last year in Madrid on clay.

Carlos Alcaraz (1) vs. Facundo Bagnis – Alcaraz is 14-1 since February, and needs to defend this title in order to retain the No.1 ranking.  Bagnis’ win in the opening round was his first ATP-level main draw victory on a hard court since August.  Last summer on clay in Umag, Alcaraz beat Bagnis 6-0, 6-4.

Caroline Garcia (5) vs. Sorana Cirstea – This is a rematch from just last week at Indian Wells, when Cirstea upset Garcia 7-5 in the third.  Caroline claimed their other two previous meetings, though all three have now gone three sets.

Shelby Rogers vs. Aryna Sabalenka (2) – Sabalenka is now 17-2 in 2023, but is only 4-4 lifetime in Miami.  Rogers eliminated another Slam champ, Sloane Stephens, in the first round.  Aryna is 3-0 against Shelby, which includes a straight-set victory at January’s Australian Open.

Casper Ruud (3) vs. Ilya Ivashka – Ruud is defending runner-up points from a year ago, but is only 4-5 this season.  Ivashka arrived at Indian Wells on a nine-match losing streak, yet has now claimed three of his last four matches. 

Friday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading


Top 3 Miami Open 2023 Male Contenders

Carlos Alcaraz is among the top three contenders for the Miami Open title in 2023.



Carlos Alcaraz (@TheTennisLetter - Twitter)

Tennis is arguably one of the most popular sports of today. It features players from all over the world looking to walk away with a trophy after decimating their opponents. As a global sport, tennis has a following worldwide.


Loads of platforms enable tennis players to follow events and matches. Some of these platforms cover a variety of sports so besides tennis matches, they’ll also offer MMA fights, football tips, basketball matches, and more. The main thing about these sites is to enjoy them responsibly.

When it comes to tennis tournaments, the Miami Open 2023 is upon us, and there are some serious contenders this year. In that regard, here are the top 3 male contenders for the tournament this year:

Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz is a young Spanish tennis player who has been making waves in the tennis world. Born on May 5, 2003, in Murcia, Spain, he turned professional in 2018 and has already achieved several impressive feats at a very young age. He won his first ATP Tour title in August 2021, becoming the youngest player in over a decade to win an ATP Tour title. Alcaraz is known for his aggressive style of play, which is complemented by his excellent footwork and shot-making ability. With his promising talent, work ethic, and track record, Alcaraz is expected to be a top contender at the Miami Open 2023.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas is a Greek professional tennis player who has established himself as one of the brightest stars in the sport. Born on August 12, 1998, in Athens, Greece, Tsitsipas turned professional in 2016 and has since then climbed the ranks to become a top player. He has won nine ATP Tour titles, including the prestigious ATP Finals in 2019, and has reached the semi-finals of Grand Slam tournaments.

Tsitsipas is known for his all-around game, which is characterized by his powerful serves, aggressive baseline strokes, and deft touch at the net. He is also a keen strategist on the court, always looking for ways to outmaneuver his opponents. Off the court, Tsitsipas is a multilingual individual who is passionate about philosophy and other intellectual pursuits. With his talent, personality, and dedication, Tsitsipas is poised to make a significant impact on the Miami Open 2023.

Casper Ruud

Casper Ruud is a Norwegian professional tennis player who has been rising in the rankings in recent years. Born on December 22, 1998, in Oslo, Norway, Ruud comes from a family of tennis players, with his father being a former player and his mother a former top-level junior player. He turned professional in 2016 and has since then won nine ATP Tour titles, all of them on clay courts. Ruud is known for his strong baseline game, which is built around his powerful forehand and his ability to move well on clay. With his youth and talent, Ruud will be looking to make a significant impact on Miami Open 2023.

In conclusion, these are the 3 top male contenders for the Miami Open 2023. They will take on each other and prove their worth on the court. But only one will walk away with the trophy.

Continue Reading