Madrid Open Wednesday Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day - UBITENNIS
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Madrid Open Wednesday Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day

Rafael Nadal will play his first match of the tournament, but what condition will he be in?



Rafael Nadal (photo by Chryslène Caillaud, cpyright @Sport Vision)

Nadal has been dealing with a stomach virus for the past several days, which limited his practice schedule.  He also made mention yesterday of having dealt with many issues over the past 18 months, some of which he has not spoken about in the press.  All eyes will be on the King of Clay, who uncharacteristically lost in both Monte Carlo and Barcelona last month.


Rafael Nadal (2) vs. Felix Auger Aliassime

And on the other side of the court will be an impressive 18-year-old who already has 10 clay court wins this season.  Auger Aliassime had no trouble taking out his more accomplished close friend, Denis Shapovalov, in the first round on Sunday.  This will be Felix’s first time playing Nadal, and only his second meeting with a top five player. The first came just a few weeks ago in Monte Carlo, when Sascha Zverev won easily in straight sets.  Is young Felix ready to take out the all-time great in his home country, and on his precious terra baute? That’s hard to imagine, but if it was ever going to happen, now may be the time against a physically-depleted Nadal.  Of course Rafa is still the favorite despite his illness, but let’s see just how ready he is to compete for his sixth title in Madrid.

Petra Kvitova (2) vs. Caroline Garcia

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In the 10 years this event has been played on clay, Kvitova is the only woman to win this title three times.  The defending champion thrives at the higher altitude. Garcia is a tough round of 16 draw for Petra, as they’ve split six previous meetings.  All of those matches have been decided on hard courts. They most recently played just a few weeks ago in Miami, when Kvitova won another round of 16 match in straight sets.  Garcia’s last victory came in October of 2017 in Beijing, when the 25-year-old Frenchwoman was on the best run of her career to close out that year. She’s yet to duplicate those results, and came into Madrid with a losing record on the year.  Though considering all her talent, it seems only a matter of time before Garcia is headed back towards the top 10. She could be a tough out for Kvitova today, but Petra has been the best player on tour in 2019, and should get through to the quarterfinals.

Other Notable Matches on Wednesday in Madrid:

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  • In what could be the final match of his career, David Ferrer (WC) vs. Sascha Zverev (3).  Just six weeks ago in Miami, Ferrer upset Zverev in three sets.
  • Juan Martin Del Potro (7) plays only his fourth singles match since October and faces a tough challenge in 23-year-old Laslo Djere, who already won a clay court title earlier this year.
  • Naomi Osaka (1) vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich.  Osaka has won both previous meetings in straight sets.
  • Simona Halep (3) vs. 20-year-old Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia.
  • Kiki Bertens (7), a finalist here last year, vs. Anastasija Sevastova (12).  This is the third straight year they’ve played in Madrid, and they’ve never played anywhere else.  They split those two matches.
  • Stan Wawrinka vs. Guido Pella.  Pella already has 20 clay court wins this season, and won the title in Sao Paulo.



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 (@rogerscup - Twitter)

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.

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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.

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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 (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

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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Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Venus Williams are the stand-out names in Adelaide



Four top 10 players Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens and former Grand Slam champions Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber will grab the headlines at the Adelaide International from 12 to 18 January 2020.


A total of seven Grand Slam champions and five former world number one players will take part in the Adelaide WTA tourament.

This year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty leads a star-studded line-up, which includes 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Kiki Bertens and seven other members of the top 20.

The Main Draw also features Sofia Kenin, Alison Riske, Sloane Stephens and Danielle Collins, World Number 30 Quang Wang. World Number 12 and this Rome WTA Premier finalist Johanna Konta will play her first tournament since the US Open following a knee injury.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has been announced as the Top 20 wildcard.

“It is always exciting to play at a new tournament in front of new fans. I have had so many memorable times times in Australia over the years and I am looking forward to discovering Adelaide and all it has to offer”, said Venus Williams.

The men’s line-up includes 2019 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, Alex De Minaur, Lucas Pouille and Andrey Rublev.

“The full list of players is a real who’s who of tennis, from Australia’s favourite Ashleigh Barty to the iconic Venus Williams, right through to the young talent of Alex De Minaur and the experienced campaigner Novak Djokovic in the men’s field”, said South Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway.

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