French Open Day 3: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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French Open Day 3: Five Must-See Matches

Will there be any more shocks in store for the seeds at Roland Garros on Tuesday?

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Naomi Osaka (photo by :Gianni Ciaccia)

Title contenders and crowd favourites will take to the court on the third day of the French Open. World No.1 Naomi Osaka plays her first match as she looks to continue her recent dominance in the grand slams. Meanwhile, defending champion Simona Halep is targeting her second consecutive title in Paris. In the men’s draw, Alexander Zverev and Juan Martin del Potro will be hoping to get off to a strong start.

 

Naomi Osaka Vs Anna Karolína Schmiedlová

World No.1 Osaka will kick off her French Open campaign on Tuesday as she bids to become the first woman to win three consecutive grand slam titles since Serena Williams back in 2015. The top seed has endured a mixed past few weeks on the clay. She reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart, before withdrawing from the tournament due to an abdominal injury. Following on from that, she reached the quarter-finals in both Madrid and Rome, but also withdrew from Rome due to a right-hand injury.

Osaka’s first test will be Anna Karolína Schmiedlová. A former top 30 player from Slovakia, who has lost in the first round at Roland Garros the past three times. Schmiedlová looked set to have a stellar 2019 season after reaching the final of her first tournament at the Hobart International in January. However, since then she has only managed to win four main draw matches on the tour.

Despite Osaka’s recent injury woes, her opening match should be relatively straightforward. Uless Schmiedlová manages to find the form which has eluded her in recent months. This year is Osaka’s fourth appearance in the main draw of the tournament.

Alexander Zverev Vs John Millman

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Fresh off winning his first title of the season in Geneva last week, Zverev will be hoping to continue that form in the French capital. Despite the German’s success on the ATP Tour, he is yet to score a breakthrough in a grand slam. Although, Zverev’s best performance in a major was a run to the quarterfinals of the French Open 12 months ago.

The fifth seed faces Australia’s John Millman, who could give him a run for his money. Clay may not be Millman’s best surface, but he is known as a fighter on the court. So far this season, he has achieved a win-loss record of 13-15 on the tour and is yet to win two consecutive matches on the clay in 2019. Furthermore, Millman is yet to win a match at the tournament.

Zverev is expected to progress to the second round as long as he maintains his consistency. Over recent months the 21-year-old has enjoyed a turbulent time due to issues both on and off the court, but is the more skilful all round player of the two. He should come through, but don’t be surprised if he drops a set on route.

Simona Halep Vs Ajla Tomljanović

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Defending champion Halep has already been backed to win another French Open title by former champions such as Justine Henin. The Romanian has already reached one final on the clay this season, which was at the Madrid Open. However, a week later she lost her opening match in Rome to Markéta Vondroušová.

Hoping to cause a major shock is Australia’s Ajla Tomljanović. It was four years ago at the tournament where she stunned Agnieszka Radwanska on route to the fourth round. Her best ever run at a grand slam to date. Since then, her progression on the tour has been blighted by injury. Tomljanović has the potential to trouble big players, illustrated by her win over Aryna Sabalenka earlier this season, but consistency is her problem.

Halep feels at home when playing at the Roland Garros and should be able to tame any threat posed by Tomljanović. The two locked horns last year in Cincinnati with the world No.3 prevailing in three sets. However, this time round Halep has a bigger advantage of playing on the clay against the Australian.

Juan Martin del Potro Vs Nicolas Jarry

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Former US Open champion del Potro could face a stern test in his first round clash. The Argentine is playing in only his fifth tournament of the season after missing part of it due to a knee injury. Nevertheless, he has illustrated that he still has the ability to take on the very best in the world. Taking Novak Djokovic to three sets in an epic encounter at the Italian Open earlier this month.

Del Potro’s challenge comes from Nicolas Jarry in what will be an all-South American clash. 23-year-old Jarry feels at home on the clay and was a former French Open finalist in the boys doubles competition back in 2013. So far in his career, he has won three Challenger and six Futures titles. All of which have been achieved on the clay. More recently, he reached the final of the Geneva Open last week before being edged out by Zverev.

Experience could play a crucial role in this clash, which will favour Del Potro. The biggest question is if Jarry can continue his recent surge in form. The Chilean has been inconsistent on the tour in recent months, but has a fresh burst of confidence. Something Del Potro needs to watch out for in order to avoid a shock exit.

Jelena Ostapenko Vs Victoria Azarenka

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In the battle of the former grand slam champions, Victoria Azarenka is hoping to triumph in her first ever meeting with Jelena Ostapenko. The two-time Australian Open winner has also reached the quarterfinals of a duo of clay-court events this season, as well as the final of the Monterrey Open. However, her last win at the French Open was all the way back in 2015 and it is her worst performing grand slam in terms of wins achieved.

2017 champion Ostapenko is still trying to find that spark to light up her season. The Latvian has previously blamed her lacklustre start to the year on an injury which hampered her preparation for the off-season back in December. In total, she has only managed to win seven out of 22 matches played so far this year (including Fed Cup).

The edge has to be given to Azarenka in this intriguing clash. Both are extremely talented players, but the Belarusian at present is currently in the better shape of the two. The winner of this match will play Osaka.

Order of play

Court Philippe-Chatrier – 10:00 BST start
Men’s Singles First Round
J.MILLMAN vs A.ZVEREV [5]

Women’s Singles First Round
N.OSAKA [1] vs AK.SCHMIEDLOVA

Women’s Singles First Round
S.HALEP [3] vs A.TOMLJANOVIC

Men’s Singles First Round
T.DANIEL vs G.MONFILS [14]

Court Suzanne-Lenglen – 10:00 BST start
Men’s Singles First Round
N.JARRY vs JM.DEL POTRO [8]

Women’s Singles First Round
C.GARCIA [24] vs M.BARTHEL

Men’s Singles First Round
S.BOLELLI [Q] vs L.POUILLE [22]

Women’s Singles First Round
E.RODINA vs M.KEYS [14]

Court Simonne-Mathieu – 10:00 BST start
Men’s Singles First Round
F.FOGNINI [9] vs A.SEPPI

Women’s Singles First Round
J.OSTAPENKO vs V.AZARENKA

Women’s Singles First Round
A.SABALENKA [11] vs D.CIBULKOVA

Men’s Singles First Round
S.TRAVAGLIA [Q] vs A.MANNARINO

Court 1 – 10:00 BST start
Women’s Singles First Round
D.KASATKINA vs [21] J.PAOLINI [Q]

Men’s Singles First Round
S.JOHNSON vs R.BAUTISTA AGUT [18]

Men’s Singles First Round
K.KHACHANOV [10] vs CM.STEBE

Women’s Singles First Round
E.BOUCHARD vs L.TSURENKO [27]

Court 14 – 10:00 BST start
Men’s Singles First Round
T.FRITZ vs B.TOMIC

Women’s Singles First Round
C.PAQUET [W] vs M.LINETTE

Men’s Singles First Round
G.BARRERE [W] vs M.EBDEN

Women’s Singles First Round
A.TATISHVILI vs M.SAKKARI [29]

Court 7 – 10:00 BST start
Men’s Singles First Round
C.NORRIE vs E.BENCHETRIT [Q]

Women’s Singles First Round
K.MUCHOVA vs A.KONTAVEIT [17]

Men’s Singles First Round
F.VERDASCO [23] vs D.EVANS

Women’s Singles First Round
I.SWIATEK vs S.JANICIJEVIC [W]

Court 6 – 10:00 BST start
Women’s Singles First Round
M.PUIG vs K.FLIPKENS

Men’s Singles First Round
I.KARLOVIC vs F.LOPEZ

Men’s Singles First Round
A.HOANG [W] vs D.DZUMHUR

Court 4 – 10:00 BST start
Men’s Doubles First Round
L.BAMBRIDGE & J.O’MARA vs K.SKUPSKI & N.SKUPSKI

Men’s Doubles First Round
G.PELLA & D.SCHWARTZMAN vs H.GASTON & C.TABUR [W]

Men’s Doubles First Round
M.AREVALO & MA.REYES-VARELA vs R.HAASE & F.NIELSEN [14]

Court 5 – 10:00 BST start
Men’s Doubles First Round
A.KRAJICEK & A.SITAK [16] vs CP.HSIEH & C.RUNGKAT

Men’s Doubles First Round
L.MAYER & J.SOUSA vs H.KONTINEN & J.PEERS [8]

Men’s Doubles First Round
L.KUBOT & M.MELO [1] vs R.CARBALLES BAENA & J.MUNAR

Court 8 – 10:00 BST start
Men’s Doubles First Round
M.BERRETTINI vs L.SONEGO & J.MURRAY & B.SOARES [2]

Men’s Doubles First Round
C.GARIN & JI.LONDERO vs JJ.ROJER & H.TECAU [10]

Men’s Doubles First Round
K.KRAWIETZ & A.MIES vs M.GUINARD & A.RINDERKNECH [W]

Men’s Doubles First Round
R.KLAASEN & M.VENUS [6] vs R.BOPANNA & M.COPIL

Court 9 – 10:00 BST start
Men’s Singles First Round
G.GARCIA-LOPEZ [Q] vs F.DELBONIS

Women’s Singles First Round
A.BLINKOVA [Q] vs M.GASPARYAN

Women’s Singles First Round
T.BABOS [L] vs P.HON [W]

Women’s Singles First Round
E.RYBAKINA [Q] vs K.SINIAKOVA

Court 10 – 10:00 BST start
Men’s Singles First Round
Y.NISHIOKA vs M.MCDONALD

Men’s Doubles First Round
I.DODIG & E.ROGER-VASSELIN [12] vs M.KECMANOVIC & C.RUUD

Men’s Doubles First Round
A.BEDENE & H.HURKACZ vs M.DANIELL & W.KOOLHOF

Men’s Doubles First Round
J.CHARDY & F.MARTIN vs B.MCLACHLAN & JL.STRUFF [15]

Court 11 – 10:00 BST start
Men’s Doubles First Round
M.MIDDELKOOP & T.PUETZ vs R.JEBAVY & A.MOLTENI

Men’s Singles First Round
D.LAJOVIC [30] vs T.MONTEIRO [Q]

Men’s Doubles First Round
D.MOLCHANOV & I.ZELENAY vs M.GONZALEZ & H.ZEBALLOS [9]

Women’s Singles First Round
D.GAVRILOVA vs A.KRUNIC

Court 12 – 10:00 BST start
Women’s Singles First Round
I.BEGU & L.ZHU

Men’s Doubles First Round
M.BRYAN & B.BRYAN [7] & P.CARRENO BUSTA & G.GRANOLLERS

Men’s Singles First Round
A.DAVIDOVICH FOKINA [L] vs J.THOMPSON

Women’s Singles First Round
S.ZHENG vs Q.WANG [16]

Court 13 – 10:00 BST start
Men’s Singles First Round
M.YMER [Q] vs B.ROLA [Q]

Women’s Singles First Round
A.ANISIMOVA vs H.TAN [W]

Men’s Singles First Round
M.KLIZAN vs M.KUKUSHKIN

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Jamie Murray Wants More Funding For Scottish Tennis Ahead Of Challenger Event

Jamie Murray wants more funding for Scottish Tennis after admitting disappointing response from the LTA.

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Jamie Murray (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Jamie Murray has spoken out on his frustration at the LTA for not giving Scottish enough funding ahead of the Glasgow Challenger event. 

 

The seven-time grand slam champion is getting ready for the Murray Trophy in Glasgow which begins this week where he will be competing.

However one of the concerns right now is the lack of funding it is receiving despite the success of the Murray brothers, who have won a combined ten grand slams between them.

Ahead of the event in Glasgow, the doubles specialist think more can be done to capitalise on their success, “I think so. Certainly from what we’ve achieved over the last however many years, going back to our junior days of playing,” Murray said to STV News.

“If you think about the Scottish players that have represented us in Davis Cup and won ties, I would say they do (deserve more funding), We’re a country after all, not a county.

“Things could have been better over the last ten years to make the most of what Andy has been achieving. Up here Tennis Scotland are doing their best to take things forward. We haven’t always had the best deal from the money that the LTA gets to hand out to Tennis Scotland.”

It’s certainly an issue that has been raging on for the last few years that both Andy and Jamie Murray have been very passionate about.

But only time will tell whether the Lawn Tennis Association listen to the concerns of the two men have been responsible for Great Britain’s recent tennis success.

As for Murray he will be partnering John-Patrick Smith in the event, which is taking place this week and is looking to continue his momentum after winning the US Open mixed doubles title.

Now for the Brit, his main goal is to win Wimbledon as he looks to achieve more doubles success, “It’s been exciting for me in the last few years to go to these level of tournaments and feel you’ve got a genuine chance to win,” Murray admitted.

“For me, Wimbledon would be the biggest goal until the end of my career, to win the men’s doubles. It didn’t work out for me this year but next year. There’s always next year.”

 

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Karolina Pliskova lifts her fourth title of the season in Zhengzhou

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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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Nao Hibino beats Misaki Doi in all-Japanese final in Hiroshima

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World Number 146 Nao Hibino beat Misaki Doi 6-3 6-2 in the all-Japanese final of Haa-Cupid Japan Open in Hiroshima.

 

Doi broke serve at 15 in the second game with a deep return, but she dropped her serve at love in the third game. Dou earned another break with a forehand to open up a 3-1 lead. Hibino pulled the break back in the fifth game, when Doi sent her backhand long.

Hibino reeled off nine consecutive games from 1-3 down to build up a 6-3 4-0 lead with two consecutive breaks in the seventh and ninth games of the first set and two more breaks in the first and third games of the second set. Doi dropped her serve in six consecutive service games and hit 8 winners to 14 unforced errors. Doi pulled back one break in the fifth game. Hibino broke for the third time at deuce to win the second set 6-2.

Hibino claimed both the singles and the doubles titles at the same tournament for the first time in her career. She teamed up with Doi to clinch the doubles title with a 6-3 4-6 10-4 win over Christina McHale and Valeria Savinykh.

“I was so nervous today, so much more than the semifinals, but because I experienced being nervous in the semifinals, I knew what to expect. I was able to stay positive during the match today”, said Hibino.

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