It was just two weeks ago in Indian Wells where another Canadian teenager, Bianca Andreescu, won the women’s title. Can Denis Shapovalov or Felix Auger Aliassime replicate that feat? The women’s doubles semifinals will also be played on Friday, with two very different matchups. One features two of the top eight teams in the world, while the other four of the top singles players in the world. And as an added bonus, the men’s double semifinals were rained out yesterday, and have been added to Friday’s Order of Play. Today’s doubles matches include some singles players you rarely see in the doubles draws.
Roger Federer (4) vs. Denis Shapovalov (20)
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This will be the first career meeting between the 20-time Major champion and the teen sensation nearly half his age. It certainly won’t be the first time Federer will look across the net and see a lefty with a crushing forehand. Roger has won with more ease in each match as he’s progressed through this draw. Shapovalov has faced a trickier draw, and a tougher time advancing to this semifinal. As Steph Trudel highlighted on Twitter, Denis has three times had to come back from a set down over the past week. The 19-year-old is not new to playing a Masters 1,000 semifinal, as this is his third time competing on this stage. Of course the tennis world was first introduced to him in the summer of 2017, when he upset Juan Martin Del Potro and Rafael Nadal on his way to the Rogers Cup semifinal in his home country. And just last May in Madrid, he advanced to the semis on clay. On both of those occasions, he lost in the semifinals to Sascha Zverev. Facing a man with 100 career titles is not exactly an easy draw either. But Denis has a real shot at upsetting the living legend. He’s shown us before he does not shy away when on the court with all-time greats, and his aggressive style paired with his lefty strokes give him a legitimate chance. However, it’s hard not tip Federer as the favorite, especially given his 13 hard court wins over the past five weeks.
John Isner (7) vs. Felix Auger Aliassime (Q)
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The 2018 champion is on a 10-match winning streak in Miami, and now plays a newcomer to this stage of Masters 1,000 events who is 15 years his junior. As per the ATP, the 18-year-old Canadian is the youngest Miami Open semifinalist ever, and the third-youngest Masters 1,000 event semifinalist. He’s already won seven matches in Miami over the past two weeks, including two rounds of qualifying. Felix hasn’t dropped a set in his last three matches, two of which were victories over top 20 players. He’ll already move up 24 spots in the rankings with this semifinal appearance, and would move all the way into the top 20 with a win today. Isner meanwhile needs a win today to keep himself in the top 10. The 33-year-old American has slowly been building momentum since a rough few months, when he went on a six-match losing streak between October and January. Isner now has 12 wins on American hard courts over the past two months. He’s easily advanced to his second consecutive semifinal in Miami, at least by Isner standards. He’s taken all four of his matches in straight sets, though seven of those eight sets were decided by a tiebreak. With Auger Aliassime also having a strong serve, I have a feeling we’re in for a few more tiebreaks today. That’s advantage Isner based on the past week’s results.
Other notable matches on Day 12
- Australian Open Champions Sam Stosur and Shuai Zhang (6) vs. 2019’s No.1 team, Hao-Ching Chan and Latisha Chan (8)
- Indian Wells Champions Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka vs. Wild Cards Victoria Azarenka and Ash Barty
- The best men’s team in the world, Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo (1) vs. the best men’s team of all-time, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan (3)
- The regular doubles pairing of Ivan Dodig and Edouard Roger-Vasselin vs. the new pairing of Wesley Koolhof and Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 20-year-old Greek now ranked inside the top 10 in singles.
The 2019 ATP Tour Review
Ubitennis.net reviews a great ATP season highlighted by Rafael Nadal’s Roland Garros and US Open titles, Novak Djokovic’s win over Roger Federer in an epic Wimbledon final, Daniil Medvedev’s great hard-court season, Stefanos Tsitsipas’ breakthrough into the top 10 and the rise of Italian players Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner.
The best ATP player of the season
Rafael Nadal celebrated his 200th week at world number 1 in the ATP Rankings. Only five players since 1973 have been ranked at the top for more weeks: Roger Federer (310 weeks), Pete Sampras (286), Novak Djokovic (275), Ivan Lendl (270), and Jimmy Connors (268 weeks).
Nadal enjoyed another great season in 2019 by winning four titles, including two Grand Slam titles (Roland Garros and US Open) and two Masters 1000 titles (Rome and Montreal). He also finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final.
He won his 12th Roland Garros title with a victory over Dominic Thiem in the final, confirming his reputation as the King of Clay. Becoming player (male or female ) to win the same Grand Slam tournament 12 times.
Overall, he recorded 58 wins to 7 defeats and finished the season as the year-end number 1 player for the fifth time in his career. The 33-year-old Spanish player is the oldest player to finish year-end number 1 in the history.
The most consistent player: Danil Medvedev
Danil Medvedev leads the ATP Tour in 2019 with a record of 59 match wins, including 46 victories on a hard court. He reached six straight finals since Wimbledon. Winning four titles in Sofia, St. Petersburg and two consecutive Masters 1000 tournaments in Cincinnati and Shanghai. He also finished runner-up in three more finals in Brisbane, Barcelona and the US Open.
Medvedev rallied from two sets down before losing to Nadal after 4 hours and 51 minutes in his first Grand Slam final. He is the first Russian player to reach a Grand Slam final since Marat Safin at the 2005 Australian Open and the youngest Grand Slam finalist since Novak Djokovic.
The most improved player of the year: Stefanos Tsitsipas:
One year after clinching the ATP Next Gen Finals trophy in Milan, Stefanos Tsitsipas won the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London after beating Dominic Thiem. The young Greek star won two more titles in Marseille on indoor hard court and Estoril on clay and finished runner-up in two more finals in Dubai to Roger Federer and in Beijing to Dominic Thiem.
At the age of 20 Tsitsipas became the youngest Australian Open semifinalist since Andy Roddick in 2003. He is the first Greek player to break into Top 5 and the first Greek to reach a Grand Slam semifinal. At the Australian Open Tsitsipas saved 12 break points against Roger Federer in the fourth round.
Tsitsipas earned 54 match wins this year and beat Rafael Nadal to reach the Madrid Masters 1000 Final before losing to Novak Djokovic in the title match.
The most surprising player of the year: Matteo Berrettini:
The Italian 23-year-old player broke into the top 10 of the ATP Ranking on 28 October and reached the career-high at world number 8 on 4 November. In his breakthrough season Berrettini became the first ATP Finals singles qualifier from Italy since former number 8 player and current Davis Cup captain Corrado Barazzutti in 1978.
Berrettini won two titles in Budapest on clay and Stuttgart on grass and reached ATP 500 semifinals at Halle, Vienna. He became the first Italian player in history to reach a Masters 1000 semifinal in Shanghai. This season he has achieved a series of milestones for Italian tennis. Including becoming the second Italian player in history to reach a US Open semifinal and the fourth overall. Following in the footsteps of Adriano Panatta, Corrado Barazzutti and Marco Cecchinato. Berrettini also reached the Wimbledon fourth round by defeating Diego Schwartzman after saving three match points.
Kiki Bertens Believes In Stability And Trust Ahead Of 2020 Season
Kiki Bertens looks for stability in hope of grand slam success in 2020.
Kiki Bertens believes stability and trust is the key to success ahead of the 2020 season despite a time of change for the Dutchwoman.
A time of change is approaching for Kiki Bertens as she recently just got married to her physical trainer Remko De Rijke.
It’s not only off the court, change is approaching for the former Wimbledon quarter-finalist as her and coach Raemon Sluiter parted ways during the off-season.
After the split it would have been easy for Bertens to make a radical change to her coaching team but that is not her style as she has promoted Elise Tamaela to a main coaching role.
Even through a time of change, Bertens believes stability is crucial to success, “It takes me a while to be able to trust someone,” she admitted to Dutch website De Telegraaf.
“And I don’t want to spend that time on something like that. We’re going to continue in the same way for next year. The results were not as expected in the Grand Slams but I had other good weeks. It’s really not that I felt different playing in the Slams than in other weeks in which I could win titles.”
Although the formula to winning a grand slam has yet to be solved, the world number nine has achieved great consistency having won 55 matches in 2019, which also included the biggest title of her career in Madrid.
A new era await for Bertens with her new coach and plenty of praise was given to Elise Tamaela ahead of the new season, “For me the most important thing is that that person knows a lot about tennis. I have to be able to fully trust her,” Bertens said.
“To be able to laugh with that person, eat with her. I prefer to keep the equipment to the minimum possible and be able to feel comfortable in terms of confidence. Sometimes more people in the team only bring more opinions. And that style is not mine.”
This simplistic formula has worked for Bertens in the past and as the 2020 season approaches, she’s not looking to change it.
However will inexperience lead to the same results at grand slams, with the level of the Women’s game rising, Bertens may find that breaking the boundaries of stability is needed.
The former world number four will start her march towards more glory in Brisbane on the 6th of January.
Caroline Wozniacki Announces Retirement After Australian Open
Caroline Wozniacki has announced that she will retire from tennis after the Australian Open in January.
Caroline Wozniacki has announced that she will retire from tennis after the Australian Open as a new chapter in her life approaches.
The Dane won 30 WTA singles titles in her career and spent 71 weeks as world number one although a grand slam had haunted her for most of her career.
However that changed in 2018 after an epic win over Simona Halep sealed a dream come true as she won her first grand slam at the Australian Open.
Since winning her maiden slam though, it has been an uphill struggle on the court for Wozniacki as she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Some days the former world number one and on some days, it is a constant battle for her to even wake up in the morning.
Now with other priorities taking over having been married to former NBA player David Lee since June and already studying Business at Harvard, Wozniacki today took the decision to retire from tennis after the Australian Open.
In a statement on Instagram, Woznaicki told her followers that she had accomplished everything she wanted to and looks forward to the future, “I’ve accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court,” she said.
“I’ve always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis that I want to do more, then it’s time to be done. In recent months, I’ve realized that there is a lot more in life that I’d like to accomplish off the court.
“Getting married to David was one of those goals and starting a family with him while continuing to travel the world and helping raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis (project upcoming) are all passions of mine moving forward.
“This has nothing to do with my health and this isn’t a goodbye, I look forward to sharing my exciting journey ahead with all of you!
“Finally, I want to thank with all my heart, the fans, my friends, my sponsors, my team, especially my father as my coach, my husband, and my family for decades of support! Without all of you I could have never have done this!”
Although this retirement may have been coming, not many people would have predicted it would come at the scene of her grand slam breakthrough.
Now in the last stretch of her career, the Dane will want to finish on a high as she looks to celebrate a career that has lasted nearly 15 years.
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