US Open Day 2 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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US Open Day 2 Preview: Five Must-See Matches

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki will all kick-off their campaigns at Flushing Meadows.

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The USTA’s five-year, $600-million renovation is complete. A brand-new Louis Armstrong Stadium opened play on Monday, adding a second court with a roof to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

And within the first 90 minutes of Day 1, history was made on that very court. The top women’s player in the world, Simona Halep, was eliminated, the first time a top seed has ever lost in the opening round of the US Open. On the heels of a Wimbledon where all top 10 ladies’ seeds were out within the first seven days, are there a lot more upsets in store as the first week of the Open progresses?

On Monday, the heat and humidity in New York were significant factors for many players. With the temperatures forecasted to go even higher over the next few days, fitness and endurance will only become more important, especially on the men’s side where they play best-of-five.

Jelena Ostapenko vs. Andrea Petkovic

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This will be the first match of the day on Armstrong, and it could be another upset in the making to start the day on that court. The 21-year-old Ostapenko is seeded 10th, coming off her semifinal run at Wimbledon. But Jelena hasn’t won a singles match since The Championships. Petkovic is a former US Open semifinalist, yet has struggled with injury and form in recent years to the point where she even contemplated retirement. However, the 30-year-old has shown signs of rediscovering her play of yesteryear over the past few months. She gave World No.1 Simona Halep all she could handle at Roland Garros before an injury during the match derailed her efforts. Andrea then scored impressive wins over Belinda Bencic and Defending US Open Champion Sloane Stephens on her way to the semifinals in Washington, DC. Ostapenko won their only previous meeting two years ago in Doha, though that was another match in which Petkovic was suffering from injury. Considering the summer results of both players, and the general instability atop the women’s game, an upset here would not be shocking.

Caroline Wozniacki vs. Samantha Stosur

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Here we have a battle of Major singles champions to open the day’s play on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Stosur won this tournament seven years ago, but she’s just 5-4 in New York since that career highlight. Wozniacki of course finally got the Major monkey off her back this year in Melbourne, but she’s been far from 100% this summer. She withdrew from or retired from two of her three summer hard court tournaments, and was upset by the red-hot Aryna Sabalenka in her Rogers Cup opening round. Much like Ostapenko, Wozniacki arrives in New York with no wins since Wimbledon, and appears to be highly vulnerable to an upset. However, perhaps Stosur is not the best candidate for that job. She’s dropped to 64th in the world, and has more losses than wins in 2018. Wozniacki leads their head-to-head 7-5, through four of Stosur’s victories have come on hard courts. With Caroline at much less than 100%, it’s a great opportunity for the 34-year-old Stosur to get her biggest win in quite some time.

Novak Djokovic vs. Marton Fucsovics

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Next up on Ashe, the Wimbledon and Cincinnati champion, Novak Djokovic, will return to the US Open for the first time since he was a finalist in 2016. And he just may be the favorite to win this tournament based on his two recent titles, which included impressive victories over Nadal at Wimbledon and Federer in Cincinnati. This will be his first meeting against Fucsovics, the 26-year-old from Hungary who just last week reached a career-high ranking of 40th in the world. Marton won his first ATP title this year in Geneva, and held match points over Stan Wawrinka just a few weeks ago at the Rogers Cup, in a match that went deep into a third set tiebreak. Fucsovics is one of the highest-ranked players Djokovic could draw in the first round. While he may test Djokovic, Novak should comfortably prevail based on his recent form.

Caroline Garcia vs. Johanna Konta

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This is a blockbuster opening round matchup, which will be third up on the Grandstand. Three years ago, Konta arrived in New York barely ranked inside the top 100. But this is the tournament that launched her career to a new level, as she reached her first Major fourth round at the 2015 US Open, followed by her semifinal appearance at the next Grand Slam event in Melbourne. After reaching the semifinals at her home Major last year, the British No.1 fell into a big slump, partially due to injury. From Wimbledon last year until the start of the grass court season this year, Konta went just 16-17. Her ranking has dropped to 46th in the world, making this first round match possible. Garcia has certainly been the stronger player over the past year, but the Frenchwoman is just 4-4 in her last four tournaments. And Caroline is only 5-5 in New York throughout her career. Konta owns a 3-2 record against Garcia, though they haven’t played in over a year. This is another women’s match on Tuesday where an upset could be in the making.

Roger Federer vs. Yoshihito Nishioka

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This will kick off the night session on Ashe. Federer has been meticulous in managing his schedule over the past two years, but is it possible he arrives in New York a little light on match play? Following his Wimbledon loss to Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals, he skipped the Rogers Cup to focus on Cincinnati, a tournament which he’s won seven times. Roger did advance to the final there this year, but was defeated by Djokovic. A loss on those very fast-paced courts in the best-of-three format won’t boost Federer’s confidence against Djokovic should they meet at the Open. And the chances of that happening are high, as the sixth-seeded Novak fell into Roger’s quarter of the draw. Roger’s opening opponent is a 22-year-old from Japan who is just 4-9 at tour-level events on the year. Nishioka is ranked 177th in the world and is into the tournament on a protected ranking, as Yoshihito tore his ACL and missed most of the 2017 season. Yoshihito shouldn’t pose a serious threat to Federer, but let’s see how comfortable Roger looks on the court. Dating back to Indian Wells this year, and most recently in Cincinnati earlier this month, Federer has often appeared pretty irritable on the court. He may need some sharp play and decisive wins going into the second week of this tournament.

Other notable matches on Day 2

  • Petra Kvitova, winner of five titles in 2018, vs. Yanina Wickmayer, a former US Open semifinalist
  • Wimbledon Champion Angelique Kerber vs. Margarita Gasparyan, currently ranked 370th in the world
  • Former Champion Maria Sharapova vs. 39-year-old Qualifier Patty Schnyder, a US Open quarterfinalist both 10 and 20 years ago.

Order of play

Arthur Ashe Stadium – 17:00 BST start
S. Stosur (AUS) vss C. Wozniacki (DEN) [2]
N. Djokovic (SRB) [6] vs. M. Fucsovics (HUN)

Not before 0:00 BST
Y. Nishioka (JPN) vs. R. Federer (SUI) [2]
M. Keys (USA) [14] vs. P. Parmentier (FRA)

Louis Armstrong Stadium – 16:00 BST start
A. Petkovic (GER) vs. J. Ostapenko (LAT) [10]
M. Gasparyan (RUS) vs. A. Kerber (GER) [4]
P. Polansky (CAN) vs. A. Zverev (GER) [4]

Not before 0:00 BST
N. Kyrgios (AUS) [30] vs. R. Albot (MDA)
M. Sharapova (RUS) [22] vs. P. Schnyder (SUI)

Grandstand – 16:00 BST start
N. Osaka (JPN) [20] vs. L. Siegemund (GER)
M. Cilic (CRO) [7] vs. M. Copil (ROU)
C. Garcia (FRA) [6] vs. J. Konta (GBR)

Not before 22:00 BST
F. Tiafoe (USA) vs. A. Mannarino (FRA) [29]

Court 17 – 16:00 BST start
P. Kvitova (CZE) [5] vs. Y. Wickmayer (BEL)
K. Flipkens (BEL) vs. C. Vandeweghe (USA) [24]
F. Fognini (ITA) [14] vs. M. Mmoh (USA)

Not before 21:00 BST
M. Marterer (GER) vs. K. Nishikori (JPN) [21]

Court 5 – 16:00 BST start
Y. Sugita (JPN) vs. R. Gasquet (FRA) [26]
K. Bertens (NED) [13] vs. Kr. Pliskova (CZE)
D. Collins (USA) vs. A. Sabalenka (BLR) [26]
F. Bagnis (ARG) vs. G. Monfils (FRA)

Court 10 – 16:00 BST start
R. Berankis (LTU) vs. H. Chung (KOR) [23]
D. Schwartzman (ARG) [13] vs. F. Delbonis (ARG)
T. Babos (HUN) vs. D. Kasatkina (RUS) [11]
A. Kontaveit (EST) [28] vs. K. Siniakova (CZE)

Court 13 – 16:00 BST start
A. Cornet (FRA) vs. J. Larsson (SWE)
M. Cecchinato (ITA) [22] vs. J. Benneteau (FRA)
M. Vondrousova (CZE) vs. M. Buzarnescu (ROU) [21]
A. de Minaur (AUS) vs. T. Daniel (JPN)

Court 4 – 16:00 BST start
Y. Wang (CHN) vs. A. Schmiedlova (SVK)
M. Jaziri (TUN) vs. P. Carreno Busta (ESP) [12]
L. Pouille (FRA) [17] vs. Y. Maden (GER)
N. Gibbs (USA) vs. C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) [30

Court 6 – 16:00 BST start
M. Niculescu (ROU) vs. J. Glushko (ISR)
J. Brooksby (USA) vs. J. Millman (AUS)
M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs. M. Youzhny (RUS)
L. Cabrera (AUS) vs. A. Tomljanovic (AUS)

Court 7 – 16:00 BST start
M. Kukushkin (KAZ) vs. N. Rubin (USA)
D. Cibulkova (SVK) [29] vs. A. Rus (NED)
F. Gaio (ITA) vs. D. Goffin (BEL) [10]
Y. Putintseva (KAZ) vs. B. Pera (USA)

Court 8 – 16:00 BST start
L. Djere (SRB) vs. L. Mayer (ARG)
A. Sasnovich (BLR) vs. B. Bencic (SUI)
M. Puig (PUR) vs. S. Voegele (SUI)
B. Paire (FRA) vs. D. Novak (AUT)

Court 9 – 16:00 BST start
J. Sousa (POR) vs. M. Granollers (ESP)
T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs. A. Krunic (SRB)
F. Krajinovic (SRB) [32] vs. M. Ebden (AUS)

Court 11 – 16:00 BST start
T. Townsend (USA) vs. A. Anisimova (USA)
V. Troicki (SRB) vs. T. Sandgren (USA)
Y. Hanfmann (GER) vs. P. Kohlschreiber (GER)
S. Cirstea (ROU) vs. A. Riske (USA)

Court 12 – 16:00 BST start
T. Smyczek (USA) vs. J. Struff (GER)
F. Di Lorenzo (USA) vs. C. McHale (USA)
M. McDonald (USA) vs. R. Haase (NED)
H. Tan (FRA) vs. E. Bouchard (CAN)

Court 14 – 16:00 BST start
S. Travaglia (ITA) vs. H. Hurkacz (POL)
G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs. J. Munar (ESP)
V. Zvonareva (RUS) vs. A. Blinkova (RUS)
K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs. T. Zidansek (SLO)

Court 15 – 16:00 BST start
A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) vs. L. Tsurenko (UKR)
E. Alexandrova (RUS) vs. S. Hsieh (TPE)
J. Vesely (CZE) vs. C. Moutet (FRA)
Y. Bhambri (IND) vs. P. Herbert (FRA)

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Stefanos Tsitsipas downs Sinner; now aims for Third Title in Monte Carlo

Stylish Greek completes comeback win and re-enters the top ten.

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After winning two in a row in 2021-2022, Stefanos Tsitsipas is now in reach of a third title at the prestigious Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, after beating World number two Jannik Sinner in three gruelling sets.

The 25-year-old had to battle hard and come from a break down in the third to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and now plays Casper Ruud in tomorrow’s final. The Greek has had an indifferent start to the year with a 11-6 win-loss record, but today was his first top three victory since the 2022 Cincinatti Masters – where he beat Daniil Medvedev – and ensures a return back into the top ten of the men’s rankings.

Tsitsipas recognised how hard he had to fight and revealed after the match just how satisfied he was of his performance:

“It was tennis at its highest level that I have been able to play. Jannik was an extremely difficult opponent and it can be seen throughout the year so far. He has been very consistent and I could see that throughout today with his game. He is one of the toughest opponents I have faced so far and to find ways when there weren’t that many, I am proud of that. He gave me a very difficult game and the way I overcame it is true excellence.”

Sinner double faulted at 30-40 to gift the break early with the score at one game all. From there, Tsistipas rallied with poise and confidence in a brilliant opening set lasting 44 minutes including a stunning backhand down-the-line winner to open the game when serving at 4-3. He took the first set 6-4 after a tiring 18-shot rally – where both players hit all angles of the court – before Sinner hit a forehand wide.

However, 22-year-old Sinner struck back immediately on his first breakpoint at the start of the second set when he won a close exchange at the net and then took a 3-0 lead.  He later survived a breakback point when 4-2 up and crucially held on for 5-2. He faced more pressure when serving for the set at 5-3 and was taken to deuce but levelled the match at one-set-all on his second set point to give the crowd exactly what they were asking f

Sinner was now in full flow hitting powerfully from the baseline and once again broke early at the start of the final set to take a 3-1 lead. But with the match now entering the third hour he began to tire physically and called for the trainer during the changeover with the score at 4-3.  When the match resumed, he lost the next three games and the Greek had completed a remarkable turnaround, handing his opponent just his second defeat of the season in two hours and forty minutes.

“It helps a lot knowing I have a win like this under my belt. Having a win like this and getting to the levels of tennis again brings a lot of satisfaction to me,” Tsitsipas said. “When there is a lot of work put in each day, these are the type of matches you are aiming for.”

Sinner’s only loss prior to today was against Carlos Alcaraz in Indian Wells semi-finals. He has been the stand out player this year after already winning titles in Rotterdam, the Miami Open, and his maiden Grand Slam in Australia. Despite having won 25 matches overall though, he now trails Tsitsipas 3-6 in their head-to-head rivalry.

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Casper Ruud Reveals Shock After Knocking Out Novak Djokovic In Monte-Carlo

Casper Ruud is into his second career Masters 1000 final after beating Novak Djokovic for the first time.

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Casper Ruud is into his second Masters 1000 final of his career after recording his best ever win by beating Novak Djokovic 6-4 1-6 6-4.

The Norwegian defeated the world number one for the first time in his career as he overcame a mini-comeback from Djokovic to seal his place in the Monte-Carlo final.

Having lost his five previous meetings to Djokovic, Ruud played some fearless tennis under pressure as the eighth seed broke to close out a career-best win.

Speaking after the win Ruud admitted he was in a state of shock and was pleased with the victory, “I am super happy,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“This is a day I will remember for a long time. Beating a World No. 1 is something I have never done and beating Novak is something I have never done. I am very, very happy. I am a little bit in a state of shock right now.”

After achieving the seemingly improbable, Ruud will now look to win his first ever ATP title that’s above a Masters 1000 event when he takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Monte-Carlo final.

That’s a prospect Ruud is looking forward to as he prepares for one final challenge, “There is always one more match in tennis,” the Norwegian explained.

“Tomorrow is going to be a special day, playing a final here in Monte-Carlo. It is a great result but I have been chasing a big title for a few years now and tomorrow I will have another shot at it. I am going to give it my all. Stef is playing well. He is a great player on clay and on other surfaces as well, but I guess clay is maybe where he has had the most success and especially this tournament.

“So it is going to be another tough task, but I am up for it.”

The final will take place at 14:00 BST.

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Rafael Nadal Set For Opening Round Test Against Cobolli In Barcelona

Rafael Nadal will look to make his ATP tour return in Barcelona this week.

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Rafael Nadal is set for his return to tennis in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Nadal has been struggling with injury after being injured again in Brisbane this year.

The tournament in Brisbane was his first tournament back for a year as he suffered a hip injury at the Australian Open last year.

Now Nadal aims to return to competitive action in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Speaking earlier in the week Nadal was hopeful of a return to the tour in Barcelona, “Excited to be here for a few days before the start of the tournament,” Nadal told the ATP website.

“I’m here to see how it goes… can’t wait to try and play. I’ll let you know. Important to say that I don’t want to confirm I’ll be playing, but I hope so. We’ll see.”

Should Nadal play and win his opening round match then the Spaniard will play fourth seed Alex De Minaur in the second round.

The former world number one has won the title on 12 different occasions but hasn’t won the title since 2021.

Elsewhere in the draw defending champion Carlos Alcaraz will begin against Luca Van Assche or Zhizhen Zhang with the Spaniard projected to meet Borna Coric in the third round.

Alcaraz suffered an injury in Monte-Carlo and will be beginning his clay court campaign in Barcelona.

Also in action in Barcelona are Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud.

Main draw action will begin on Monday.

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