US Open Day 4 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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US Open Day 4 Preview: Five Must-See Matches

These are the matches to watch at Flushing Meadows.




Thursday at the US Open, there will be appetizing action all throughout the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer resume their campaigns. Meanwhile the rising stars of the sport will be bidding to make their mark.


Roger Federer vs. Benoit Paire

Roger Federer will move to the day session on Thursday, scheduled second on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Federer is 6-0 lifetime against Paire, but their last match was quite the entanglement. Earlier this year in Halle, Roger had to save two match points to survive a third set tiebreak. As has been the pattern in his career, Paire’s backhand failed him under pressure at the end of that match. Federer looked extremely sharp in his opening round, but will need to stay on his toes against Paire. The veteran Frenchman can cause headaches for his opponents, though he can also self-destruct on court. We know he’s capable of upsetting top players in New York: he took out Kei Nishikori in the opening round in 2015. But if Federer plays as well as he did on Tuesday, Paire should not be able to cause him much grief.

Aryna Sabalenka vs. Vera Zvonareva

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The 20-year-old Sabalenka has been the revelation of the summer on the WTA tour. In the US Open Series, she defeated six top 20 players. Aryna was a semifinalist in Cincinnati, and won her first WTA title just last week in New Haven. She was pushed by American Danielle Collins in her opening round here, but fought through to prevail 6-4 in the third. Her opponent on Thursday is a 33-year-old former US Open finalist, playing in the main draw of the Open for the first time since 2011. Zvonareva came through qualifying to get into her first Major since the 2015 Australian Open, after a few years of retirement. In her final round of qualifying in New York, she had to save match points to come back from a big third-set deficit. Then in the first round of the main draw, her opponent served for the match before Vera mounted another comeback. This is of course their first meeting, and Sabalenka should get through this based on her recent form. But Aryna must be a bit drained after playing so much tennis over the past few weeks, and the past few days have shown us the fighting spirit of Zvonareva. This is an intriguing matchup to start the day out on Court 13. The winner may face Petra Kvitova on Saturday.

Dominika Cibulkova vs. Su-Wei Hsieh

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This match will open the day’s play on Court 11. These are two of the most fun players on the WTA tour to watch. Hsieh played in two of the most entertaining women’s matches of 2018: her three-set loss to Angelique Kerber at the Australian Open, and her upset of World No.1 Simona Halep at Wimbledon. Her unorthodox style of slices mixed with flat groundstrokes can drive her opposition crazy. Meanwhile the 5’3” Cibulkova is one of the toughest competitors out there, with a great defense-to-offense skillset. Dominika has won all three of their previous matches in straight sets, and was the player who defeated Hsieh at Wimbledon following her upset of Halep. However, it’s worth reiterating Hsieh’s success at the Majors this year. Still Cibulkova should be favored here, and would possibly face Angelique Kerber in an enticing third round matchup.

Frances Tiafoe vs. Alex De Minaur

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This ATP Next Gen battle will be the last match of the day on Court 17. Their only previous meeting was last year in Brisbane, where De Minaur, as an Australian wild card, defeated Tiafoe in a tight three-setter. A year later in Brisbane is when Alex really made a name for himself with his run to the semifinals. The very next week in Sydney, the 19-year-old made the final. And earlier this summer in Washington DC, De Minaur advanced to his second tour-level final. 2018 has also been a breakout year for Tiafoe, who won his first ATP title in Delray Beach. In addition, Frances was a finalist on the clay of Estoril earlier this year. He recently reached a career-best ranking of 38th in the world. Both players got their first-ever US Open wins on Tuesday. The defensive skills of De Minaur could frustrate Tiafoe, but Frances will look to use the energy of the American crowd as he did in his opening round. This should be a good one, and could be a matchup we see deciding tournament titles in years to come.

Kei Nishikori vs. Gael Monfils

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Starting off the night session on Louis Armstrong Stadium will be a meeting of two very fast movers around the court who have often been held back by injuries over the years. Nishikori of course is a former finalist in New York, and was a semifinalist the last time he played here in 2016. Kei missed last year’s event, and about six months of action overall, due to a wrist injury. His results this year have been sporadic as he’s worked to get back to 100%. He was a finalist in Monte Carlo, and a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon. Nishikori though went just 3-3 during the US Open Series. Monfils was also a semifinalist here two years ago, where he contributed a bizarre effort (or lack thereof). He appeared to be tanking during his semifinal against Djokovic, a strategy which proved successful in disrupting and annoying Novak for a bit. But in the two years that have followed, Monfils hasn’t gotten farther than the fourth round at any Major, and did not play any events in the US Open Series due to injury. Kei owns a 3-1 record over Gael, though Monfils won their most recent meeting last year at the Rogers Cup in a third set tiebreak. That avenged Nishikori’s win at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where Kei saved match points to advance to the medal rounds. I like Nishikori’s chances to advance against the ever-unpredictable Monfils.

Other notable matches on Day 4:

  • Wimbledon Champion Angelique Kerber vs. Johanna Larsson
  • Wimbledon Champion Novak Djokovic vs. American Tennys Sandgren, a quarterfinalist this year in Australia
  • Plus Major Champions Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, and Marin Cilic all in action.


Play begins 16:00 GMT unless otherwise stated

ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM (Play begins 17:00 GMT)

J.Larsson (SWE) vs A.Kerber (GER) [4]

B.Paire (FRA) vs. R.Federer (SUI) [2]

Play begins no sooner than 00:00 GMT

N.Djokovic (SRB) [6] vs. T.Sandgren (USA)

M.SHarapova (RUS) [22] vs. S.Cirstea (ROU)


P.Kvitova (CZE) [5] vs. Y.Wang (CHN)

N.Mahut (FRA) vs. A.Zverev (GER) [4]

M.Keys (USA) [14] vs. B.Pera (USA)

Play begins no sooner than 00:00 GMT

G.Monfils (FRA) vs. K.Nishikori (JPN) [21]

L.Tsurenko (UKR) vs. C.Wozniacki (DEN) [2]


A.Sasnovich (BLR) vs. D.Kasatkina (RUS) [11]

C.Garcia (FRA) [6] vs. M.Puig (PUR)

L.Pouille (FRA) [17] vs. M.Baghdatis (CYP)

Play begins no sooner than 00:00 GMT

M.CIlic (CRO) [7] vs. H.Hurkacz (POL)


N.Osaka (JPN) [20] vs. J.Glushko (ISR)

N.Kyrgios (AUS) [30] vs. P.Herbert (FRA)

E.Bouchard (CAN) vs. M.Vondrousova (CZE) Minaur (AUS) vs. F.Tiafoe (USA)

COURT 5 (Play begins at 17:00 GMT)

F.Fognini (ITA) [14] vs. J.Millman (AUS)

T.Townsend (USA) vs. J.Ostapenko (LAT) [10]

K.Mladenovic (FRA) vs. C.Suarez Navarro (ESP) [30]

L.Djere (SRB) vs. R.Gasquet (FRA) [26]


M.Kukushkin (KAZ) vs. H.Chung (KOR) [23]

K.Bertens (NED) [13] vs. F.Di Lorenzo (USA)

R.Haase (NED) vs. D.Goffin (BEL) [10]

K.Siniakova (CZE) vs. A.Tomljanovic (AUS)


V.Zvonareva (RUS) vs. A.Sabalenka (BLR) [26]

D.Schwartzman (ARG) [13] vs. J.Munar (ESP)

A.Krunic (SRB) vs. K.Flipkens (BEL)


J.Sousa vs. P.Carreno Busta (ESP) [12]


D.Cibulkova (SVK) [29] vs. S.Hsieh (TPE)

J.Benneteau (FRA) vs. J.Struff (GER)


M.Ebden (AUS) vs. P.Kohlschreiber (GER)


Carlos Alcaraz Gets Revenge On Andy Murray To Reach Vienna Last Eight

Carlos Alcaraz is into the Vienna quarter-finals after beating Andy Murray in straight sets.




Carlos Alcaraz (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz got revenge on Andy Murray after beating the former grand slam champion 6-3 6-4 to reach the Vienna Quarter-Finals.


The Spaniard lost to Murray in a three set battle at Indian Wells earlier this month but was victorious in Austria.

Despite being a break up in the second set, the three time grand slam champion couldn’t consistently out-power the aggressive Spaniard.

Alcaraz will now play Nikoloz Basilashvili or Matteo Berrettini in the last eight.

Alcaraz was aggressive from the very first ball as he controlled rallies behind the baseline and punished Murray’s weak second serve.

After being broke in the first game, the Brit got his revenge in the fourth game as he converted in his sixth break point of the game to seal the break back.

However Alcaraz’s firepower was too much and the Spaniard’s consistent firepower was too much for Murray as two hard-fought breaks followed as he sealed the opening set in 65 minutes.

Murray utilised a more attacking style of play in the second set and was rewarded with an early break of serve as he would take a 4-2 lead.

But Alcaraz displayed too much power and accuracy as he reeled off four games in a row to complete his victory and progress into the Vienna quarter-finals.

Alcaraz will now play Basilashvili or Berrettini in the quarter-finals as he looks for a strong finish to a career-best season.

As for Murray that will be the end of his season unless he gets a wildcard into Paris next week or makes the Davis Cup Finals team for Great Britain.

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Simona Halep wins the all Romanian battle in Cluj

Simona Halep is into the second round in Cluj after a dominant performance.




Simona Halep (@TransylvaniaOpn - Twitter)

The world number 18 and the top seed managed to beat her Romanian counterpart in straight sets.


Simona Halep is through round one of the Transylvania Open, being played at the BT Arena in Cluj-Napoca, after beating a fellow Romanian Elena Gabriella Ruse in straight sets 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 13 minutes.

The number one seed served six aces and won 83% of her first serve points in a match that seemed one-sided and Halep was pulling amazing shots and winners throughout the entire match.

“It’s not easy to face a Romanian in the first round of a Romanian tournament but I was very focused and concentrated on what I have to do and I didn’t really think of who I would play, I just wanted to play my game and I felt great on court today.”

It was actually the world 85 with the first breakpoint of the match in the first game but it was denied when Halep stepped up to the service line and fired an ace to save it.

After holding serve the world number 18 started looking for the early lead and she was able to get it after a poor service game from Ruse and after consolidating the break managed to turn it into a double break.

Halep served out the first set in a mere 29 minutes and it was clear she was the better player today.

She continued to ride the momentum into the second set and at 1-1 earned three more chances to break and broke with a stunning return winner that caught Ruse off guard for the 2-1 lead.

At 4-2, the top seed managed to go up a double break with another amazing passing shot and she served out the match and after the match in her post-match press conference, she spoke about pulling off those amazing shots on breakpoints.

“When I have a chance to do it I always do because I love these kinda shots and today it was a great one so it made me very happy.”

Halep will next face the Russian Varvara Gracheva in the next round after she beat the German Andrea Petkovic in three sets 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 on Tuesday night.

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Anett Kontaveit overpowers Krunic in Cluj-Napoca

Anett Kontaveit took a step towards the WTA Finals with a straight sets win in Cluj today.




Anett Kontaveit (@TransylvaniaOpn - Twitter)

The number two seed only needed two sets and 70 minutes to beat her Serbian opponent.


Anett Kontaveit is through to the second round of the Transylvania Open, being played at the BT Arena in Cluj-Napoca, beating the Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and 10 minutes.

The world number 14 served two aces and won 69% of the points on her first serve in a match where she seemed to outhit her opponent using her powerful groundstrokes.

“The match was close and it was only break in the first set and I thought I was playing pretty well and winning a lot of points on my first serve but I actually think she served well and it wasn’t an easy match and the second set got really close”.

The Estonian had the better start to the match holding serve in her opening game and putting pressure on the Serb right away earning two chances to break serve and got the early break to take a 2-0 lead.

That one break was enough for Kontaveitt to serve out the first set and take it 6-3.

The second set was a more competitive affair and it stayed on serve until 2-2 when the Tallinn, Estonia native was able to break the Serb at love to take a 3-2 lead and she was able to consolidate the break.

It stayed on serve until 4-3 when the world number 44 fought back and was able to break the Estonian serve and the set went back on serve. Once again both players did a good job holding serve until 5-5 when Kontaveit got the crucial break of serve and served out the match.

After the match in her post-match press conference, Kontaveit spoke about how she was feeling energy-wise after such a short turnaround time from winning the title in Moscow last week.

” I feel like the energy has dropped a little bit but I did manage to bring some of the energy today and still be active and be aggressive.”

Kontaveit will now face Alison Van Uytvanck in her next match after the Belgian beat Danka Kovinic in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 earlier in the day.

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