French Open Day 3: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

French Open Day 3: Five Must-See Matches

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

Avatar

Published

on

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

Embed from Getty Images

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

Embed from Getty Images

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

Embed from Getty Images

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

Embed from Getty Images

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

Focus

Wimbledon Daily Preview: Djokovic, Kerber, Alcaraz Face Seeded Opposition

Avatar

Published

on

A shot of a double rainbow over the grounds on Thursday (twitter.com/wimbledon)

Third round singles action begins on Friday, which is the first day seeded players clash in the draw.  Novak Djokovic, Angelique Kerber, and Carlos Alcaraz will all face seeded opposition on Friday.  And in perhaps the day’s most marquee matchup, Italy’s Jannik Sinner takes on John Isner, who eliminated Andy Murray on Wednesday.

 

Throughout the tournament, this preview will analyze the day’s five most prominent matches, while highlighting the other notable matches on the schedule.  Friday’s play begins at 11:00am local time.


Ons Jabeur (3) vs. Diane Parry – 1:30pm on Centre Court

Jabeur is now on a seven-match win streak, dating back to her title run two weeks ago in Berlin.  She has earned two comprehensive victories this week, dropping just four games in each of her first two rounds.  Parry is a 19-year-old who also nabbed her first two matches in straight sets.  And just a few weeks ago, Diane also reached the third round of her home Slam in Paris, where she upset Barbora Krejcikova in the defending champion’s return from an injury layoff.  There is plenty of promise in Parry’s game, but upsetting the new world No.2, whose style of play is a great fit for grass courts, would be a shocking result.


Angelique Kerber (15) vs. Elise Mertens (24) – Second on No.1 Court

Kerber got off to a terrible start this season, with a record of 2-8.  Surprisingly, Angie found her form on her worst surface, with a clay title run in Strasbourg.  Since last year, the 2018 champion is 15-3 on grass, and has not lost a set this week.  Mertens is now into her 18th consecutive third round at a Major, though just barely.  She needed to save two match points in the second set on Wednesday, before coming back to play an extended third set on Thursday, to eventually prevail 7-5 in the third.  Elise claimed their only previous encounter in three sets, which occurred three years ago in Doha.  But on grass, Kerber should be considered the favorite.  Angie thrives off the low bounces these lawns provide.


Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Miomir Kecmanovic (25) – Second on Centre Court

After Djokovic was prevented from playing the Australian Open in January, it’s Kecmanovic who benefited from taking the top seed’s place in the draw.  Miomir took full advantage, reaching the second week of a Major for the first time.  And he has continued that momentum throughout the year, accumulating 27 match wins through six months.  But he will likely be outmatched by his fellow Serbian on Friday.  Djokovic is on a 23-match win streak at Wimbledon, and after some subpar form in his opening round, he comfortably dispatched of Thanasi Kokkinakis on Wednesday.  Novak has claimed both his previous encounters with Kecmanovic, making him a clear favorite to reach the round of 16 at The Championships for the 14th time.


Jannik Sinner (10) vs. John Isner (20) – Third on No.2 Court

Isner demoralized the British audience on Wednesday by earning his first victory over two-time champion Andy Murray in nine tries.  John’s serving was extra impressive in that match, striking 36 aces across four sets.  But the rest of his game was highly effective as well, with 82 winners and only 32 unforced errors.  And as Ben Rothenberg highlighted on Twitter, he broke Murray twice after only breaking him once across their previous eight matches.  Meanwhile, Sinner came into this event 0-4 in main draw matches on grass, yet gained two four-set wins this week over Stan Wawrinka and Mikael Ymer.  Jannik and John’s head-to-head is tied at 1-1, with Isner prevailing last year in Cincinnati, and Sinner prevailing later in the year in Davis Cup.  As monstrous as Isner’s serve can be, maintaining his high level from Wednesday in all aspects of his game will be challenging.  I give the slight edge to the more well-rounded game of Sinner, whose penetrating groundstrokes should earn him a few breaks of serve.


Carlos Alcaraz (5) vs. Oscar Otte (32) – Third on No.1 Court

Despite only playing two grass court matches in his career prior to this fortnight, Alcaraz appears pretty comfortable on this surface.  After surviving a tight five-setter in the first round against Jan-Lennard Struff, Carlitos prevailed in straights in the last round.  But his opposition on Friday is quite a formidable grass court player.  Otte is a 28-year-old who, as a qualifier, pushed Andy Murray to five sets at this event one year ago.  And Oscar is now 7-2 on grass this season, coming off back-to-back semifinals in Stuttgart and Halle.  He also reached the second week of last summer’s US Open, and is now ranked inside the top 40.  Yet based on what we’ve seen Alcaraz achieve this season, building a record of 34-4 with four titles, the 19-year-old’s mix of power, speed, and finesse should be enough to overcame the veteran from Germany.


Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Frances Tiafoe (23) vs. Alexander Bublik – These are two of the sport’s most entertaining players to watch.  And both are in strong form, each winning all six sets they’ve contested this week.  They played just last week in Eastbourne, with Bublik victorious in three sets. 

Jelena Ostapenko (12) vs. Irina-Camelia Begu – Ostapenko has twice reached the quarters or better at this event, and was the runner-up a week ago in Eastbourne.  Begu is a 32-year-old who reached the second week of Roland Garros a few weeks ago.  And Begu took their only prior matchup, four years ago in Madrid on clay.

Maria Sakkari (5) vs. Tatjana Maria – Sakkari has easily advanced to this stage, and is vying for her fourth appearance in the round of 16 out of the last six Slams.  Tatjana is a 34-year-old who upset Sorana Cirstea in the last round.  In the first round of this year’s Australian Open, Sakkari defeated Maria in straights.


Friday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading

Focus

Rafael Nadal Gives His Verdict On Three WTA Stars After Reaching Wimbledon Third Round

The Spaniard was very complimentary when it came to talking about three of the biggest names in women’s tennis at present.

Avatar

Published

on

Spain’s Rafael Nadal describes Iga Swiatek’s run of 37 consecutive wins as ‘amazing’ and he is also impressed by two younger stars in the women’s game.

The world No.4 spoke about the trio of WTA players following his roller-coaster 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, win over Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis. A match where he admits he didn’t ‘have the best start.’ In the fourth set Nadal had to endure a 50-minute rain delay before returning and sealing his place in the last 32 at The All England Club for the 11th time in his career.

“The fourth set has been the level of tennis for me, an important improvement. The rest of the things I have room to improve.” He commented.

Nadal’s triumph occurred on the same day as Swiatek also booked herself a place in the third round. Like the Spaniard, she also endured a roller-coaster match. The Pole has won six titles in a row and is only the second woman since 1990 to reach straight 37 wins after Martina Hingis. She has managed to win a set 6-0 17 times already this year. In total she has won 43 matches in 2022 which is 11 more than any other player on the WTA Tour (as of today).

The dominance of the 20-year-old hasn’t gone unnoticed by Nadal who more than a decade ago in 2008 was on a 32-match winning run before losing to the formidable Novak Djokovic.

I texted her a couple of times because it’s unbelievable the way that she’s playing. It’s unbelievable the way that she’s able to hold her concentration and the winning spirit for such a long time.” Nadal said of Swiatek.
“I think when she’s playing well, it’s very difficult to stop her because her shots are a little bit different, with a lot of power. She’s able to move well. I think she has shots that are very difficult to stop for the rest of the girls.”

 

Swiatek’s game style is one that has been heavily influenced by the 22-time Grand Slam winner who she has named as one of her idols. During an interview with Eurosport France earlier this year she said ‘I wanted to play topspin like him (Nadal). He is the reason why I play like this. Rafa has always been my idol.”

Another player who Nadal spoke highly of was Emma Raducanu who he describes as a ‘very important character’ to the sport. The Brit burst onto the scene last year by winning the US Open after coming through three rounds of qualifying. However, since then Raducanu is yet to make another Tour final and crashed out in the second round at Wimbledon on Wednesday to Caroline Garcia.

“I think she’s a very important character for our sport,” he said. “I know she’s having a tough year, but on the other hand she already won a slam at a very early stage of her career. That gives her I think calm to take her time to keep improving and to keep having chances in the near future. I really hope that she will.”

The maturity of Coco Gauff has also been hailed by Nadal. Despite being only 18 she has reached the final of the French Open this year and has been ranked as high as fifth in the world. This year’s Wimbledon is already her 11th main draw appearance in a major.

I like the way that she talks to the crowd, to the press at the end of the matches. She’s fresh. She’s natural. Looks very mature in her thoughts,” said Nadal.
“I like the way that she plays. She fights for every ball. Even sometimes when she’s not playing that well, she keeps fighting till the end, running for every ball.’
“If she’s able just to improve a little bit with this physical performance that she has, we will probably be talking about a multi-Grand Slam winner.”

Nadal will play Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego in his third round match at Wimbledon. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Spain’s Bautista Agut Latest Player To Test Positive For Covid At Wimbledon

It is understood that The All England Club is reviewing their Covid-19 policy amid fears of an outbreak.

Avatar

Published

on

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) - Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

This year’s Wimbledon men’s tournament has had a third seeded player forced to pull out after testing positive for COVID-19.

Roberto Bautista Agut, who was the 17th seed in the draw, has withdrawn from his second-round match against Daniel Elahi Galan which was set to get underway on Thursday afternoon on Court Three. Announcing his decision on Twitter, the Spaniard said his symptoms are ‘not very serious‘ but he believes not playing is the right thing to do.

“Today I have notified Wimbledon of my withdrawal. I have tested positive for Covid-19. Fortunately, the symptoms are not very serious but I think it is the best decision (not to play).” Bautista Agut wrote.
“I hope to be back soon.”

 

The 34-year-old was making his eighth main draw appearance at The All England Club this year. In 2019 he reached the semi-finals in what is his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament to date.

Earlier this week Marin Cilic and Matteo Berrettini also withdrew from Wimbledon after positive Covid tests. However, they hadn’t played their first round match which Bautista Agut did. The trio of cases raise fears of a possible outbreak in the tournament given how contagious it can be.

Wimbledon’s Covid-19 policy is made in conjunction with advice issued by local health officials. Although it is unclear if a player is required to withdraw from an event if they have the virus. Ubitennis asked a spokesperson for clarity on the matter but was instead given a generic statement.

As a major event we have and continue to work in conjunction with the UK Public Health Security Agency and our Local Authority,’ An All England Club spokesperson said via email on June 26th.

“As a major event we have and continue to work in conjunction with the UK Public Health Security Agency and our Local Authority.

“We have maintained enhanced cleaning and hand sanitising operations, and offer full medical support for anyone feeling unwell. We are following UK guidance around assessment and isolation of any potential infectious disease.

“Our player medical team also continue to wear face masks for any consultation.”

The Guardian has reported that a review of Wimbledon’s guidelines is underway. This was before Agut said he had also contracted the virus. However, there has been no formal announcement concerning any review. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending