US Open Day 6 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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US Open Day 6 Preview: Five Must-See Matches

Nick Kyrgios’ match with 20 time grand slam champion Roger Federer headlines day six of the US Open.



Nick Kyrgios (

By Matthew Marolf


On the heels of an exciting Day 5, Saturday’s schedule has plenty of matches that look to be highly competitive. 

Roger Federer vs. Nick Kyrgios

All three of their previous meetings have been decided by a final set tiebreak.  Kyrgios won their first match three years ago in Madrid, but Federer prevailed in front of a raucous crowd in Miami last year, as well as in Stuttgart a few months ago.  Not included in their official head-to-head is their match from last year’s inaugural Laver Cup, which Federer also won in a tiebreak to secure the win for Team Europe.  Much has been said regarding Kyrgios’ second round match from Thursday, where he was clearly not giving his all and found himself in a deep hole before Chair Umpire Mohamed Lahyani got down from his post to inappropriately encourage Nick to compete.  I would assume Kyrgios will full apply himself against the 20-time Major champion on Arthur Ashe Stadium, as Nick just about always gets pumped up when playing top names, though assuming anything with Kyrgios is at your own risk.  This will be their first meeting at a Major, and the best-of-five format should give Roger a definitive advantage.  I struggle to imagine Kyrgios upsetting Federer in an extended four or five set battle.  This will certainly be fascinating to watch.  With the winner to face an unseeded opponent in the fourth round, either man will be a heavy favourite for a likely meeting with Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals.

Jelena Ostapenko vs. Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova (

Here we have a meeting of French Open champions, in a rematch of one of the best WTA matches in 2018.  In Rome earlier this year, these women had an epic, over three-hour slugfest, with Sharapova prevailing 7-5 in the third.  Maria hasn’t been at her best this summer though, going just 2-2 between the French Open and this tournament.  And she’s obviously been less than 100% through her first two rounds here, with her wrist taped up and a lot of service troubles.  Sharapova hit 19 double faults in her first two matches.  Meanwhile Ostapenko didn’t win a match in the US Open Series following her Wimbledon semifinal, and barely survived three-set encounters in both of her first rounds.  And she’s had her own serving issues, hitting 26 double faults through two rounds.  I’m not sure either player is ready to give us a repeat of the thriller in Rome, and we’ll likely see a high unforced error count on both sides of the net.  But these are two gutsy competitors who are unlikely to give less than their all through the last point.  The cleaner hitter on Saturday will likely pull through here.

Petra Kvitova vs. Aryna Sabalenka

Petra Kvitova (

This will be the second meeting between two of the most notable players of 2018.  Kvitova is back at the top of her game this year following the in-home attack she suffered in December of 2016.  Petra has five titles on the year, 46 match wins, and is third in the year-to-date rankings.  However she’s appeared a bit worn out at times after so much match play in the first six months of the year, evident in her 6-0 third set loss in the opening round of Wimbledon.  Petra has been economical thus far this week, winning both of her first two matches in straight sets.  That’s crucial for Kvitova considering the hot and humid conditions, which she’s suffered in many times before.  Sabalenka is one of the hottest players on tour, coming off her semifinal run in Cincinatti, and her first WTA title last week in New Haven.  Does the 20-year-old have enough steam left to upset the two-time Wimbledon champion?  Their only previous meeting was a three-setter that went to Kvitova earlier this year in Miami.  I’m extremely curious to see who prevails between these two heavy hitters.

Angelique Kerber vs. Dominika Cibulkova

Angelique Kerber (

This is another women’s match on Saturday that I can’t wait to see play out.  In contrast to the Kvitova/Sabalenka match, we’ll get a lot of long, grinding, strategic rallies.  Their rivalry over the years has been a tight one, with Kerber holding a slight 7-5 edge.  Angelique comfortably won both of their 2018 meetings.  Their most significant encounter was in the championship match of the 2016 WTA Finals, when Cibulkova upset Kerber, after losing to her in round robin play, for the biggest title of her career.  Dominika has failed to follow-up on that result, with almost as many losses as wins over the past two seasons.  Meanwhile the reigning Wimbledon champion played quite tentatively on Thursday against Johanna Larson, but escaped the upset 6-4 in the third.  In a match that feels it could go either way, I would not be surprised to see Cibulkova get the duke in a prolonged battle.

Diego Schwartzman vs. Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori (

These two swift competitors have played twice before.  Both of those matches took place in 2017 on clay, both went to a final set, and both were won by Nishikori.  Both players also have fond memories in New York.  Kei was of course a finalist here in 2014, and a semi-finalist in 2016, while Diego appeared in his first Major quarterfinal here just last year.  They also both made quarterfinals at Majors earlier this year: Nishikori at Wimbledon, and Schwartzman at Roland Garros.  This is yet another match on Saturday that seems it could easily go four or five sets, and will feature many long and dynamic rallies.  And it’s another one where calling a winner is tough, but considering Nishikori is 13-2 in New York since 2014, I wouldn’t bet against him.

Other notable matches on Day 5:

Novak Djokovic vs. Richard Gasquet, who has only beaten Novak once in 14 tries.

Sixth-Seeded Caroline Garcia vs. Six-Time Major Quarterfinalist Carla Suarez Navarro.

In an all-German affair, Sascha Zverev vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Indian Wells Champion Naomi Osaka vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who upset Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon.

2014 US Open Champion Marin Cilic vs. ATP Next Gen Standout Alex de Minaur.

Day Six Order Of Play

Play Starts at 16:00 BST unless stated.

Arthur Ashe Stadium – 17:00 BST

M. Keys (USA) [14] v A. Krunic (SRB)

N. Kyrgios (AUS) [30] v R. Federer (SUI) [2]

Not Before 00:00 GMT

M. Sharapova (RUS) [22] v J. Ostapenko (LAT) [10]

N. Djokovic (SRB) [6] v R. Gasquet (FRA) [26]

Louis Armstrong Stadium 

K. Bertens (NED) [13] v M. Vondrousova (CZE)

D. Cibulkova (SVK) [29] v A. Kerber (GER) [4]

P. Kohlschreiber (GER) v A. Zverev (GER) [4]

Not before 00:00 GMT

P. Kvitova (CZE) [5] v A. Sabalenka (BLR) [26]

M. Cilic (CRO) [7] v A. De Minaur (AUS)


J. Millman (AUS) v M. Kukushkin (KAZ)

K. Siniakova (CZE) v L. Tsurenko (UKR)

N. Osaka (JPN) [20] v A. Sasnovich (BLR)

Not Before 22:00

D. Schwartzman (ARG) [13] v K. Nishikori (JPN) [21]

Court 17

Y. Nishioka (JPN)/M. McDonald (USA) v M. Bryan (USA) [3]/J. Sock (USA) [3]

C. Garcia (FRA) [6] v C. Suarez Navarro (ESP) [30]

L. Pouille (FRA) [17] v J. Sousa (POR)

J. Struff (GER) v D. Goffin (BEL) [10]





India’s Sumit Nagal Receives Sponsorship Boost After Revelling Financial Struggles



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A leading food and drink company has pledged to support India’s highest-ranked men’s player who was unable to train at his usual facility in Germany earlier this year due to a lack of money. 


Earlier this week world No.159 Sumit Nagal made a public plea for financial support to help him continue his career as a tennis player. In recent years he has been based at the Nansel Tennis Academy in Germany but was unable to train there during the first three months of the 2023 season due to a lack of funds. During this period he relied on his friends, including former player Somdev Devvarman, to help maintain his fitness. 

“If I look at my bank balance, I have what I had at the beginning of the year. It is 900 euros. I did get a bit of help. Mr Prashant Sutar is helping me with MAHA Tennis Foundation and I also get monthly (salary) from IOCL but I don’t have any big sponsor,” Nagal told the Press Trust of India.
“I am investing whatever I am making. The yearly cost where I travel with one coach is costing me around Rs 8 million to Rs 10 million (90,000-113,000 euros) and that is just with one travelling coach (no physio). Whatever I have made I have already invested,” he added.

Nagal, who is 26 years old, has reached the semi-finals of better at five tournaments on the lower-level Challenger Tour so far this season. His only Grand Slam result was at the US Open where he lost in the first round of qualifying to Taro Daniel. It was at the US Open where he took a set off Roger Federer before losing in 2019. 

Despite being the only player from his country to be ranked in the top 400, Nagal is currently not part of the Target Olympics Podium Scheme. An initiative set up by the Indian government to provide support to their top athletes.

After learning about Nagal’s ongoing struggles on the Tour, a leading company has decided to support the tennis player by signing a three-year deal with him. Gatorade specializes in sports drinks and is manufactured by PepsiCo. Under the deal, Nagal will receive support with his recovery and nutrition from experts at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI).  

“I am deeply moved and grateful to join hands with Gatorade. This association comes to me at a pivotal time, and I am thankful my hard work and passion is getting recognized and appreciated. With Gatorade by my side, I am sure I will reach new heights and give it my all both on and off the court,” the Indo-Asian News Service quoted Nagal as saying on Thursday. 

Speaking about the new partnership, Ankit Agarwal from PepsiCo India has hailed the collaboration. Agarwal is the company’s Associate Director of Energy & Hydration. 

“Sumit is a role model for the new-gen athletes of India with his career being a true example of hard work and sweat that makes talent shine,” he said.
“As a brand that is dedicated to supporting athletes in removing barriers to sporting success, we are delighted to welcome Sumit to the Gatorade squad.”

Nagal has been ranked as high as No.122 in the world. So far in his career, he has won four Challenger titles with two of those occurring this year in Italy and Finland. 

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(VIDEO): Malaga Line-Up Set As Davis Cup Most Unpredictable Tournament In History

UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta explains why any of the eight teams in Malaga could win November’s Davis Cup Finals




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The Davis Cup quarter-final line-up is set after an incredible Group Stage over Bologna, Split, Manchester and Valencia.


Now eight teams remain including Novak Djokovic’s Serbia, Great Britain and Australia.

However surprise teams such as the Netherlands, Finland and the Czech Republic will also appear in the quarter-finals.

Ten-time champions Great Britain will face Serbia with the winners taking on the winner of the quarter-final between Italy and the Netherlands.

In the other half of the draw Canada will be heavy favourites against Finland while the Czech Republic face Australia.

The final eight tournament will take place in Malaga and will take place between the 21st and the 26th of November.

However this year’s Davis Cup could be the most unpredictable version in the tournament’s history with there being no Spain or USA.

It really could be anyone’ tournament with Tennis’ most prestigious team competition up for grabs in November.

In this video UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta explains why this year’s Davis Cup finals could be the most unpredictable edition of all-time and why any of the teams could win the title.

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Simona Halep Claims Doing Ban Is ‘Based On Scenarios’ Without Proof




Former world No.1 Simona Halep has questioned the fairness of her anti-doping hearing after being suspended from the sport for four years. 


The two-time Grand Slam champion is suspended from tour events until 2026 after an independent tribunal concluded that the Romanian broke rules set out in Tennis’ anti-doping program. In a 126-page report by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), investigators accepted that the collagen supplement taken by Halep – called Keto MCT – was contaminated with Roxadustat “on the balance of probability.” However, they stated that there must have been another source of Roxadustat based on the level detected in her sample taken during the 2022 US Open. 

Furthermore, three experts in the area said they have ‘a high degree of confidence‘ that there was not an ‘innocent explanation’ for the abnormalities detected in Halep’s Athlete’s Biological Passport (ABP). They reported that ‘likely doping’ occurred based on an analysis of 51 valid samples of Halep’s blood and rejected her explanation for the irregularity. The tennis star cited blood loss during surgery and spells when she was inactive as her defence. 

Despite the comprehensive ruling, Halep has insisted that she is innocent and never intentionally took any banned substances. During an interview with Front Office Sports on Monday, the 31-year-old claimed that the ITIA’s four-year ban handed to her was based on ‘scenarios’ instead of any proof. 

“I was confident after the hearing because there were so many things that made no sense and that are not fair,” she said.
“When I received the decision, I was in complete shock. I could not believe that they suspended me for four years when we found the contamination and my blood was totally normal. They didn’t find anything bad in my blood. It’s crazy that they made this decision with everything [her legal team presented]. They judged me on scenarios. There is no proof. It’s just insane.”

The ITIA originally requested a six-year ban for Halep due to what they described as ‘repetitive and sophisticated’ doping practices. She is accused of using blood doping to improve her performance during Wimbledon and the US Open last year. However, the report found it was not ‘completely satisfied’ that Halep has been doping since March 2022 despite there being ‘strong grounds for suspicion.’

As for the substance Roxadustat, Halep says she would have never deliberately taken the drug as it would ‘work against her.’ She says that the drug would have worsened a thyroid issue which she has been dealing with for several years. Front Office Sports referred to a European Medicines Agency study which finds a possible link between the drug and decreased thyroid function. 

“There was no point for me to take this,” Halep said. “It’d work against me. It wouldn’t help me.”

The study couldn’t establish how common this side effect is due to the amount of data available at the time. 

In the wake of Halep’s ban, some have publicly expressed their views on the matter. One of the most notable to do so was Serena Williams who wrote on social media ‘8 is a better number” in a jibe at her former opponent. The reference was to the 2019 Wimbledon final when seven-time champion Williams lost in straight sets to Halep. 

“I think everyone has the right to judge me because the tribunal decided that I have the fault here,” Halep commented. “Someone told me today that those players who are hating on me because I beat them.”

Halep is set to appeal against her ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). 

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