Miami Open Day 7 Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day - UBITENNIS
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Miami Open Day 7 Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day

Sunday will see Novak Djokovic, Venus Williams, Simona Halep, and both defending singles champions take to the court.

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Daria Kasatkina (photo by Chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

On Saturday, the tournament lost many top players, including both Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. Serena withdrew due to a knee injury, while Osaka was upset by Su-Wei Hsieh. On the men’s side, Roger Federer survived a scare from Radu Albot, and was likely to face Stan Wawrinka in the next round. But Stan didn’t make it that far, as he was upset by Filip Krajinovic despite having a big lead in the third set tiebreak. And then David Ferrer, who will retire later this Spring, shocked the second seed, Sascha Zverev. There’s been so many upsets on the American hard courts this month, will that trend continue today?

Daria Kasatkina (14) vs. Venus Williams

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The 21-year-old Russian holds a 2-1 record over Venus, winning both of their previous hard court matches. Venus’ only victory came at Wimbledon in 2016, where she prevailed 10-8 in the third. All three of their meetings have gone the distance – their contrast of styles makes for grueling, compelling matches. After a breakout year that saw her enter the top 10 for the first time, Kasatkina has been struggling mightily in 2019. She’s just 3-6 on the year, and her three wins are over players ranked well outside the top 100. Venus on the other hand has been competing very well of late, with six wins over the past three weeks alone. Those wins include her big upset of Petra Kvitova in Indian Wells, and her defeat of Carla Suarez Navarro just two days ago. Venus feels extremely comfortable playing in Miami, with a career tally of 66 wins at this tournament. Based on that history, as well as recent form, Venus is the favorite here.

Hubert Hurkacz vs. Felix Auger Aliassime

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This third round match is between two of the ATP’s hottest players in 2019. Both are young, rising stars on the brink of breaking into the top 50 in the world. Hurkacz is coming off a quarterfinal run last week in Indian Wells, where he defeated three top 30 seeds: Kei Nishikori, Denis Shapovalov, and Lucas Pouille. And on Friday in Miami, the 21-year-old from Poland upset Indian Wells Champion Dominic Thiem in straight sets. His playing style has been compared by many to that of Andy Murray’s. On the other side of the net will be an 18-year-old Canadian who is also playing with a lot of confidence. Auger Aliassime made the final last month in Rio de Janeiro, then upset Stefanos Tsitsipas in Indian Wells. He had to come through qualifying to get into this event, and already has four wins this week including those qualifying rounds. Felix has easy power, and is extremely quick around the court. These two have never met before, so I’m curious to see how the first of what will likely be many future encounters will play out. The winner may be the more physically and emotionally fresh player on this day, I’m just not sure who that will be. Auger Aliassime has already played 11 sets of tennis this week, while Hurkacz is coming off the biggest win of his career. This should be a good one.

Other notable matches on Day 7

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  • Six-Time Miami Champion Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Federico Delbonis, who only has seven Miami Open match wins in his career
  • Simona Halep (2) vs. Polona Hercog (LL). Hercog won the only time they’ve ever played, at a 100K event nearly 10 years ago on clay
  • 2018 Miami Champion Sloane Stephens (4) vs. Tatjana Maria. Stephens would lose almost 20% of her ranking points with a loss today
  • 2018 Miami Champion John Isner (7) vs. Albert Ranos Vinolas. Isner would fall out of the top 10 with a loss today

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Andy Murray Makes Retirement Hint After 500th Hard Court Win In Dubai

Andy Murray won his 500th hard court match in Dubai, placing him fifth on the all-time list.

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Andy Murray further hinted at retirement after securing a 500th hard court win of his career in Dubai.

The former world number one picked up his second win of the year with a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov.

In typical Andy Murray fashion, the Brit came back from a set down to defeat the out-of-sorts Canadian as he progressed to the second round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUVj537F-wQ

The win means Murray now has 500 career wins on a hard court and that is an achievement the world number 67 is proud of, “It’s not bad,” Murray told the ATP website as he sits fifth on the all-time list of hard court wins.

“Obviously hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that. There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

However those post-match comments weren’t the most shocking ones as Murray once again hinted at retirement this season.

The Brit has made subtle remarks that this year may be his last one but Murray’s comments today suggests that he may have already made his decision, “I probably don’t have too long left but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months,” Murray was quoted by ESPN as saying.

“I still love competing and still love the game but it gets harder and harder to compete the older you get, to keep your body fit and fresh.”

If the end is near for Murray than the Brit will look to end his career on a high for the next few months.

Before thinking about retirement Murray will look to go further in Dubai when he takes on either Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils in the second round.

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Perspective And Fatigue: The Two Sides Of Iga Swiatek’s Dubai Defeat

Iga Swiatek spoke about perspective and fatigue after her semi-final exit in Dubai.

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Iga Swiatek showed two sides to her defeat in Dubai as the world number one surprisingly failed to win the title despite being the favourite in the semi-finals.

Heading into her semi-final in Dubai, Swiatek was heavy favourite to win her second consecutive WTA title after claiming the title in Doha the week before.

However Swiatek was unsuccessful in her bid to reach the final as she lost to Anna Kalinskaya 6-4 6-4.

It was a bitterly disappointing defeat for Swiatek who missed a golden opportunity to establish even more dominance ahead of Indian Wells.

As all champions do Swiatek offered perspective to her defeat as she looks ahead to the rest of the season, “I mean, I’m angry but on the other hand, there aren’t many players that actually survive these kinds of tournaments so I just kind of have to let it go and accept it,” Swiatek was quoted by Tennis Majors.

There was not only perspective offered but also fatigue as expectations and pressure can force simple mistakes from the best players in the world.

The world number one acknowledged Kalinskaya’s performance but did admit her own performance contributed to the defeat, “Today I would say, I mean she [Kalinskaya] played well and for sure she deserves to be in the final, but I feel like it was more about me and my level,” Swiatek told Tennis Majors.

“I wanted to be focused on myself and I wasn’t really able to implement any tactics that I had. Usually, when I tell myself what to do, I can improve my game but today I was so out of power and tired that I just couldn’t. Day by day, it was a little bit worse.”

Swiatek will hope to re-energize herself ahead of the sunshine double in America.

Last year Swiatek lost to eventual champion Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals at Indian Wells before withdrawing from Miami.

The Pole will look to improve last year’s performance when she plays Indian Wells, which starts on the 6th of March.

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‘Speechless’ Mensik Reaches Maiden ATP Final In Doha

Jakub Mensik is into his first ATP final in Doha.

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Jakub Mensik admitted he was left speechless after reaching his first ATP final in Doha.

The 18 year-old continued his remarkable week with a 6-4 1-6 6-3 semi-final victory over Gael Monfils.

The Czech Republican produced clinical tennis as he beat the 2018 champion to reach his maiden ATP final.

After the match Mensik admitted he was left ‘speechless’ and spoke about the influence Monfils had on his career, “It is amazing. Hopefully not the last one [final]. Incredible week so far,” Mensik told the ATP website.

“Today again with Gael, he played unbelievable. I know it is tough to play against him, especially with his good movement. For me every point I have to play my best game.

“I have to say this performance was one of the best in my entire life. I am so glad I reached this level in the semis, so hopefully tomorrow I play like this. An amazing feeling with my first ATP final. I am speechless.

“I told him when I was young I watched him a lot on the TV. One of the biggest showman on court. He is a great guy, so hopefully in the future we will meet once again. The rallies were so fun with him.”

Mensik has so far beaten three former champions this week as he also defeated Andy Murray and Andrey Rublev this week.

Now Mensik will aim to win his first ATP title as he takes on Karen Khachanov in Saturday’s final.

Should Mensik win the title he could climb to 75 in the world as he started the week at 116 in the world.

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