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


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

Embed from Getty Images
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

Embed from Getty Images
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

Embed from Getty Images
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

Embed from Getty Images
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)


Cincinnati Daily Preview: A Loaded Schedule Features All Third Round Matches




Emma Raducanu on Monday in Cincinnati (

Thursday’s schedule in Cincinnati is overflowing with appealing contests.  ATP third round singles action is especially stacked, featuring 11 of the world’s top 20, including world No.1 Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz.  WTA action features top names such as world No.1 Iga Swiatek and reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu.


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

Jessica Pegula (7) vs. Emma Raducanu (10) – Not Before 7:00pm on Center Court

It’s been a tough season for Raducanu, but she seems to be peaking just in time for her US Open title defense.  The 19-year-old followed up her comfortable victory over Serena Williams by dominating Victoria Azarenka 6-0, 6-2.  She is currently in a trial coaching relationship with Dmitry Tursunov, who in recent years guided the careers of two other WTA players to new heights (Sabalenka, Kontaveit).  That partnership appears to be paying immediate dividends for Emma, much like Tursunov’s coaching did for Aryna and Anett.  Pegula has become the American No.1, and since last August, has reached the semifinals at three WTA 1000 events in North America, including just last week in Toronto.  But in their first career meeting, Raducanu’s blistering form this week makes her the favorite.

Felix Auger-Aliassime (7) vs. Jannik Sinner (10) – Not Before 7:00pm on Grand Stand

This is a rematch from three months ago at the Madrid Masters 1000 event, where Auger-Aliassime crushed Sinner 6-1, 6-2.  That was an especially surprising result on clay, which is not Felix’s best surface.  The 22-year-old Canadian is now 35-19 on the year, and defeated Alex de Minaur in straight sets on Wednesday.  Sinner has a slightly better record of 38-10, and on Tuesday, outlasted Thanasi Kokkinakis in an over three-hour match decided by a third-set tiebreak.  Over the last few months, Sinner has been the more in-form player.  Jannik has won nine of his last 11 matches, while Felix has only managed five of his last 10.  With not much separating their abilities, confidence may be key, and that’s to Sinner’s advantage.

Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Taylor Fritz (11) vs. Andrey Rublev (6) – Fritz easily dismissed of an obviously-hampered Nick Kyrgios on Wednesday.  Rublev came back from a set down to take out Fabio Fognini.  Taylor is 3-2 against Andrey, which includes a straight set victory earlier this year at Indian Wells.

Petra Kvitova vs. Ons Jabeur (5) – Jabeur saved three match points on Wednesday against Ohio native Katy McNally.  A round earlier, Kvitova saved match point against last year’s runner-up, Jil Teichmann.  Petra leads their head-to-head 3-1, though Ons earned her first win in their friendly rivalry this season.

Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Madison Keys – On Wednesday, Swiatek outlasted the other finalist from the 2017 US Open, Sloane Stephens.  On the same day, Keys ousted another French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko. 

Daniil Medvedev (1) vs. Denis Shapovalov – This week, Shapovalov has earned his first back-to-back wins since May.  He has split four previous meetings with Medvedev, though Daniil has claimed their most recent two. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) vs. Diego Schwartzman (13) – Schwartzman already survived two three-setters this week.  He’s 2-2 overall against Tsitsipas, though Diego has taken both of their matches on hard courts. 

Marin Cilic (14) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (3) – Cilic won this event in 2016.  He’s 1-1 against Alcaraz, who is now 43-8 in 2022.

Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading


Cameron Norrie Makes Murray Pay In Last 16 Bid At Cincinnati

Cameron Norrie edged past Andy Murray to reach the last 16 in Cincinnati.




Cameron Norrie (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Cameron Norrie capitalised on missed opportunities from Andy Murray as he reached the last 16 in Cincinnati with a 3-6 6-3 6-4 win.


Norrie won the all-British match in three sets, relying on his mental strength to survive a wave of aggression from Murray.

The three-time grand slam champion missed an array of opportunities as he once again suffered cramping issues towards the end of his defeat.

Norrie will play either Casper Ruud or Ben Shelton in the last 16 on Thursday.

After an exchange of breaks to start the match, it was Murray who took the initiative early on dictating play from the baseline with good shot selection.

Murray bounced back from wasting two break point opportunities in the fourth game as he grinded out the break in the eighth game, forcing some uncharacteristic errors from Norrie’s racket.

Although the British number one pushed for the break back, it was Murray who continued to pile on the aggression as he converted his second set point to hold and take the opening set 6-3.

Murray continued to dominate proceedings against an under-par Norrie in the second set and it would be the start of a frustrating theme for the three-time grand slam champion as he missed a plethora of break points.

In total Murray converted two of eleven break point opportunities as Norrie slowly grew into the match, hitting more confidently.

Norrie’s mix of variety and power saw him break in the eighth game as Murray was punished for passive play on big points.

The Brit missed three more break points in the next game as Norrie forced a deciding set.

In the final set both players produced their best tennis of the set as they produced accurate and smart serving.

As Murray continued to be clinical on serve but he couldn’t repeat the same feat on return as he missed simple forehands and groundstrokes to convert his break point opportunities.

Norrie took advantage of denying Murray the break in the sixth game as he went for the break in the ninth game.

Murray’s cramping issues would come back to haunt him as a double fault sealed the break for Norrie, with the ninth seed closing out the match with some spectacular tennis.

After the match Norrie admitted it was one or two points that was the difference between victory and defeat, “There were a couple in the second and third set as well, when he had a couple of break chances, and then I was able to play the bigger points a little bit better. It came down to one or two points and that was the difference,” Norrie told the ATP website.

“I just needed to put a lot of balls in the court. At the start of the match nothing was really working for me, I was not really being physical, I was not really executing how I liked.

“Credit to Andy, he came out and was using his slice a lot, coming forward well. He reads the game incredibly, so credit to him and it was not easy towards the end, I managed just to find a way.”

Norrie will look to play better when he takes on Casper Ruud or Ben Shelton on Thursday.

As for Murray he will look to improve his stamina and tactical play just in time for the US Open which starts on the 29th of August.

Continue Reading


Gael Monfils Withdraws From US Open Due To Foot Injury

Gael Monfils will miss his third consecutive grand slam after another injury setback.




Gael Monfils (@JCPGATA - Twitter)

Gael Monfils’ injury-hit season continues as he withdraws from the US Open due to a foot injury.


The Frenchman started the season in fine fashion as he reached the Australian Open quarter-finals and also won a title in Adelaide beating Karen Khachanov in the final.

However since the Australian Open, Monfils has only played five tournaments and has been struggling with injuries and consistency.

Th 35 year-old has only managed six victories since January and just when Monfils’ return to the tour looked successful in Montreal, the Frenchman suffered a foot injury against Jack Draper in their last 16 match.

After returning to Europe for scans it now turns out that Monfils will miss further weeks on the tour and will be unavailable for the US Open in a couple of weeks.

Speaking on Twitter the Frenchman revealed he will have to undergo further treatment, “Dear all, following the latest medical exams that I took upon returning in Europe, I will sadly not be able to play at the US Open this year,” Monfils told his fans on the social media website.

“I am forced to undergo a new period of treatment before being able to resume tournaments. I will keep you informed as soon as I can with regards to my next tournament.”

The news means that Monfils will miss his third grand slam in a row after being ruled out of Roland Garros and Wimbledon earlier in the year as the Frenchman will look to be refreshed for the end of the season.

Monfils’ best result at the US Open was reaching the semi-finals in 2016 where he lost to Novak Djokovic in four sets.

The 35 year-old will aim to be back at the Masters 1000 event in Paris in November while the US Open will take place without Monfils on the 29th of August.

Continue Reading