Miami Open Day 12 Preview: The Men’s Semifinals - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Miami Open Day 12 Preview: The Men’s Semifinals

We have two Canadian teenagers in the semifinals, but they face stiff competition in the defending champion and the GOAT.

Avatar

Published

on

Roger Federer at the 2019 Australian Open (photo Roberto Dell'Olivo)

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)

Embed from Getty Images
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)

Embed from Getty Images
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

Embed from Getty Images

  • 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.

Focus

Casper Ruud rallies from one set down to beat local star Matteo Berrettini in Rome quarter finals

Avatar

Published

on

Norway’s Casper Ruud came back from one set down to beat local favourite Matteo Berrettini 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5) after nearly 3 hours on the famous Nicola Pietrangeli Court reaching the first Masters 1000 of his career at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Ruud has improved his win-loss record to 12-2 on clay this season after winning the Buenos Aires title and reaching the final in Santiago de Chile in last February’s Golden Swing last February. 

Ruud now leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Berrettini. The Scandinavian player player Berrettini at Roland Garros last year. Berrettini scored his only win over Ruud at the US Open this year. 

Ruud has improved on his father Christian’s record at Masters 1000 level. Christian reached his only quarter final at this level in Monte-Carlo in 1997. 

Berrettini broke serve after a double fault from Ruud on the break point in the first game. The 2019 US Open semifinal saved a total of three break points in the second, sixth and tenth games. Berrettini closed out the first set with a drop-shot on the set point and closed out the first set 6-4 with a forehand volley.

Ruud earned his first break in the second game of the second set to build up a 3-0 lead taking advantage of forehand errors from Berrettini. 

Berrettini saved a double break point with an ace at 2-5. Ruud held serve at love with a backhand error from Berrettini to close out the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the decider. Ruud converted his fourth break point in the first game to take a 1-0 lead with a forehand winner up the line. Berrettini broke back on his second chance in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Ruud came back from 2-4 down to win the tie-break 7-5 claiming his 17th win of the season. 

Continue Reading

Focus

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal Hail Return Of Fans To Italian Open

The top two players on the ATP Tour give their reactions to the return of a crowd in Rome.

Avatar

Published

on

Tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have welcomed a government decision allowing fans to attend the Italian Open during its final two days.

 

On Friday Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora confirmed that 1000 people will be allowed to attend the event on both the semi-final and final days. A move the government minister describes as a ‘first but significant, step toward the return of normalcy in sports.’ Until now the tournament had been held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic amid fears that allowing a crowd to attend the event may trigger an outbreak of the virus. As part of the conditions there will be rules in force concerning mask wearing, social distancing and reserve seating.

“If we are going to have 1,000 people, it’s better than no people for sure because we all miss the fans, and part of our professional careers in sport is playing in front of them,” Djokovic said following his third round win over Filip Krajinović.
“I’m really glad that that’s going to happen.” He added.

The Italian Open will be the first major tennis tournament on the men’s Tour to welcome fans since resuming after its five-month break due to the pandemic. Both the Western and Southern Open, as well as the US Open, were held behind closed doors. Meanwhile, at the upcoming French Open plans for 11,500 fans to attend the event daily has been more than halved to 5000 following a ruling from French officials.

“The situation is how it is. Very difficult and very unpredictable, so it is normal that things are changing quickly,” Nadal commented on the changes surrounding crowd capacities.
“It is normal that the people who have to make decisions, they do with the best precaution possible. I don’t expect easy decisions and I don’t expect things are prepared in advance because it’s difficult to know how the pandemic evolves during day situations.’
“Changes can change a lot. So if the situation is good enough, fantastic.”

When it comes to where the semi-finals and finals of the tournament could be played due to the admission of fans, world No.1 Djokovic is hoping officials will stick to the premier court. Arguing that it is ‘much better quality’ than the other courts at the Foro Italico.

“I heard also they are considering to use Pietrangeli or NextGen court for semi-finals and finals,” he said.
“I hope it’s not the case, because the quality of the clay and quality of the centre court is, in my opinion, much better than the other courts.”

In order for both Djokovic and Nadal to play in front of Italian fans they must both come through their quarter-final matches. Djokovic will play German qualifier Dominik Koepfer and Nadal locks horns with eighth seed Diego Schwartzman.

Continue Reading

ATP

Novak Djokovic Survives Krajinovic Battle To Seal Last Eight Berth In Rome

Novak Djokovic reached an 85th Masters 1000 Quarter-Final in Rome.

Avatar

Published

on

Novak Djokovic (@ATPTour - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic survived a tough battle in Rome to beat Filip Krajinovic 7-6(7) 6-3 to reach the last eight.

 

Although the World Number one got the victory, it was a tough battle as he fought his compatriot for a place in the Quarter-Finals.

Breaks were shared to start the match as Krajinovic brought his fearless game to the top seed.

Djokovic created a total of ten break points, with only one executed as Krajinovic saved two set points in the tenth game to hold for 5-5.

After two comfortable holds, a tiebreak settled the winner of the first set as Djokovic was having a hard time to contain Krajinovic’s power.

The world number one battled from 3-0 down to edge the tiebreak 9-7 and win the opening set in 88 minutes.

Once Djokovic had survived the Krajinovic stormed, he took control and went into another gear as a break of serve in the third game was all that was needed to seal his place in the quarter-finals.

Winning 47% of his 2nd return points was key as Djokovic reaches his 85th Masters 1000 Quarter-Final of his career.

Next for Djokovic will be either talented teen sensation Lorenzo Musetti or Dominik Koepfer.

In other results today, Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov set a last eight showdown after tight three set wins.

Shapovalov edged out Ugo Humbert 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 while Dimitrov defeated Jannik Sinner 4-6 6-4 6-4 in a tough match.

There were also third round wins for Casper Ruud and Matteo Berrettini.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending