Indian Wells Day 11 Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day - UBITENNIS
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Indian Wells Day 11 Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day

On Thursday in the desert, the men’s quarterfinals begin, while the women’s quarterfinals conclude. The likes of Venus Williams and Dominic Thiem feature in today’s matches.



Venus Williams (@USTA - Twitter)

By Matthew Marolf 


Only three of the top eight seeds advanced to the quarterfinals in both men’s and women’s singles, in a tournament that’s been rife with upsets.  On the women’s side, one match today features two multi-Major winners, while the other features two of the WTA’s best performers so far this year.  On the men’s side, all four men playing today have never won a Major or a Masters 1,000 event, but one of them will be a finalist come Sunday.

Angelique Kerber (8) vs. Venus Williams

Angelique Kerber (@BNPPARIBASOPEN -Twitter)

Can Venus’s dream run in tennis paradise continue?  She was down a set and two breaks on Saturday against this year’s best player to date, Petra Kvitova, yet still found a way to win. Venus has also won two more rounds since then, both in straight sets. After boycotting this event for 15 years, she’s reached the quarterfinals or better in each of the past three years. Who would have predicted this Premier Mandatory event in Indian Wells would become her best tournament?

But she faces another dangerous lefty today in Kerber, who holds a 5-3 career edge over Venus. Their most notable contest was in the 2016 Wimbledon semi-finals, which Kerber won in straight sets. Venus did avenge that loss a year later in Miami, but Kerber won their last meeting in Sydney just over a year ago. Kerber is coming off a draining, late-night battle against Aryna Sabalenka on Tuesday, though she did get a full day’s rest ahead of this quarterfinal.  The slower hard court conditions should favour Kerber, but we know the crowd will be definitively behind Venus, which has already been a significant factor in this tournament. In the end, Kerber’s ability to turn defence into offensive will still likely provide a bit too much resistance for Venus to overcome.

Dominic Thiem (7) vs. Gael Monfils (18)

Historically a poor performer in the second half of the year, Thiem turned that around in 2018. Dominic played the best hard court tennis of his career at the US Open, where he upset Kevin Anderson in straight sets, and fought Nadal in a near-five hour epic in one of last year’s best matches.

But Thiem then struggled to start off this year, with a 3-4 record heading into this tournament. The 25-year-old Austrian is turning that around here, having not dropped a set on his way to this Masters 1,000 quarterfinal. On the other side of the net is one of 2019’s hottest players. Monfils is 15-3 in 2019, and won 11 matches in February alone. The 32-year-old Frenchman was the champion in Rotterdam, and a semi-finalist in both Sofia and Dubai. And in his last two matches this week, he dropped only five games in four sets.

However, he’s 0-4 lifetime against Thiem. They played in Indian Wells two years ago, with Dominic winning comfortably. I’m expecting an exciting, prolonged match here between two of the ATP’s most impressive athletes. As sharp and motivated as Monfils has looked, in a big match situation, I’m going with the more reliable player in Thiem.

Other notable matches on Day 11:

Belinda Bencic (@BNPPARIBASOPEN – Twitter)

Karolina Pliskova (5) vs. Belinda Bencic (23), who won in Dubai a few weeks ago and upset World No.1 Naomi Osaka on Tuesday.

Milos Raonic (13) vs. Lucky Loser Miomir Kecmanovic, the 130th-ranked player in the world who has capitalized on being placed in an open part of the draw.




‘Relaxed’ Su-Wei Hsieh Saves Match Point To Oust Muguruza In Osaka

Su-Wei Hsieh saved match point to eliminate Garbine Muguruza from the premier-level tournament in Osaka.



Su-Wei Hsieh (@Wimbledon - Twitter)

Su-Wei Hsieh was in a relaxed mood as she saved match point to edge out Garbine Muguruza 3-6 7-6(1) 6-1 in Osaka. 


The Wimbledon doubles champion claimed her second straight win over the Spaniard having saved match point in the contest.

After winning a tight second set, Hsieh cruised through the deciding set to secure a spot in the second round against Elise Mertens.

Even though this final part of the season can prove quite tiring, Hsieh is approaching in a more relaxed manner, “I know that anything can happen because this is almost the end of the year,” Hsieh said to the press after the win.

“I just want to be more relaxed, going more to my game. Sometimes I lose a little bit of rhythm at the beginning, so I just need to play more games to get the rhythm.

“In the second set, I felt a little bit more rhythm, and more stable myself, my personal style. It helped me a lot to get into the match and to get more game.”

As for Muguruza, this loss would have hurt her confidence a lot having not won a WTA match since June and her ranking slowly falling by the week.

Next for Hsieh will be US Open doubles champion Elise Mertens, where they have split their opening two meetings which came last season.

In other results today there were comfortable wins for Madison Keys and US Open quarter-finalist Donna Vekic over Daria Kasatkina and Caroline Garcia respectively.

Here is the second round line-up, which matches will be played across Wednesday and Thursday:

Naomi Osaka (1) v Viktoriya Tomova – Wednesday

Varvara Flink v Yulia Putintseva – Thursday

Sloane Stephens (3) v Camila Giorgi – Thursday

Su-Wei Hsieh v Elise Mertens (9) – Wednesday

Madison Keys (5) v Zarina Diyas – Wednesday

Nicole Gibbs v Angelique Kerber (4) – Wednesday

Donna Vekic (7) v Misaki Doi – Thursday

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Kiki Bertens (2) – Thursday


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Mikhail Kukushkin beat Italian Next Gen star Jannick Sinner in St. Petersburg



Mikhail Kukushkin beat 18-year-old Italian Next Gen rising star Jannick Sinner 6-3 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 40 minutes. Kukushkin fended off nine of the eleven break points he faced.


Sinner, who turned 18 last month and received a wild-card to take part at the next November’s ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan, did not convert three break points in the first game, but Kukushkin saved them to hold his first game.

Kukushkin, who won his only title in St.Petersburg in 2010, was the first to break serve in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Sinner earned three break points but Kukushkin fended them off. Sinner saved a break point in the eighth game but Kukushkin served out the opening set on his first set point.

Kukushkin went up a break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead, Sinner converted his second break-back point to draw level to 2-2. Kukushkin got a break lead for the second time but Sinner rallied from the break down for the second time to draw level to 4-4. Sinner earned set point at 5-4 to force a decider, but Kukushkin saved it to draw level to 5-5. Kukushkin got a mini-break in the tie-break to win the tie-break 7-4.

Adrian Mannarino, who won his first ATP Tour title in s’Hertogenbosch, beat Stefano Travaglia 7-5 6-2 after 1 hour and 19 minutes. Travaglia held his first two service games at love and broke serve to open up a 4-1 lead. Mannarino converted his first break-back point for 3-4. Both players held their serve to draw level to 5-5. Travaglia saved a break point, but he made two double faults to drop his serve in the 11th game for 5-6. Mannarino served out the first set on his first point.

Travaglia saved a break point at the start of the second set, but Mannarino converted his second chance.

Travaglia earned two break-back points in the second game but did Mannarino saved them to open up a 2-0 lead. Mannarino went up a 3-0 lead. The Frenchman saved a break point in the sixth game to race out to a 5-1 lead and sealed the win on his first match point.


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Karolina Pliskova lifts her fourth title of the season in Zhengzhou



Number 1 seed Karolina Pliskova cruised past number 7 seed Petra Martic 6-3 6-2 after 1 hour and 36 minutes in the final of the Zhengzhou Open, an inaugural WTA Premier tournament. The final was postponed by six hours after torrential rain.


Pliskova came back from 0-2 in the first set by winning 12 of the next 15 games to win her fourth title this season after Brisbane, Rome and Eastbourne. The Czech player is the fifth top seed to win a tournament this season after Aryna Sabalenka in Shenzhen, Alison Van Uytvanck in Budapest, Caroline Garcia in Nottingham and Anastasjia Sevastova in Jurmala.

Pliskova took a re-match against Martic, who beat the Czech player in four of their previous five head-to-head matches and won their third round clash at Roland Garros.

Pliskova saved two of her three break points and converted four of her eight break points.

Martic earned an early break with a forehand return winner to open up a 2-0 lead in the first set. As the match resumed after a rain delay Martic did not convert a double break point. Pliskova broke back in the fourth game with a forehand winner to draw level to 2-2.

Pliskova saved a break point chance in the seventh game with a forehand down the line. The Czech player broke serve in the eighth game, when Martic made a forehand error and sealed the first set 6-3 with a service winner.

Pliskova dropped only six points on her first serve in the second set and broke serve in the third game when Martic sent a backhand slice wide. The former world number 1 player held her serve with an ace before breaking for the second time in the fifth game. She hit four winners to seal the win, as she was serving for the match at 5-2.

“I think I played good matches. Of course, not all the matches were perfect, the week never can be really perfect because it’s so many days and so many things can be just different every day. I beat tough players, which I maybe lost to a couple of times before. I think that was the biggest plus of this week, especially with Petra. These wins are always important. It doesn’t matter where you play, which tournament you play, but it’s always important. To get the trophy is always special. It does not matter really which tournament or how big the tournament is, it’s always good”, said Pliskova.  

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