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?

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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.

 

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Caroline Wozniacki Calls For More Help To Support Returning Mothers

Caroline Wozniacki has called on the WTA to support returning mothers.

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Caroline Wozniacki has called on the WTA to provide more support for returning mothers.

The Dane is one of a number of top stars that have returned to the tour since becoming a mother.

Recently the likes of Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka have all returned to the tour since becoming a mother.

However Wozniacki believes the WTA could provide more support to mothers who plan on returning to the tour, “I think I’ve been treated very well, The tournaments have really embraced me coming back and with kids,” Wozniacki explained to the Press Association.

Where I do share my view, and where a lot of other women on tour share the view, is I think there should be more done for women coming back from maternity leave. It has been looked at because obviously there’s more players now that want to come back but, at the same time, it’s not the same as coming back from an injury.

“As someone who came back after almost four years, I think when you give birth and for the body to recover, you’ve grown a human inside you, there’s a lot of changes that are happening in the body after that. I think in general women deserve more time to feel, ‘OK, now I’m ready, I can really prepare and get ready for competing at the highest level’.

It’s an issue that has made progress but there is still work to do in order to encourage people that it’s possible to make a smooth transition from motherhood to the tennis court.

As for Wozniacki, the Dane recently lost in the first round of Birmingham to Elise Mertens and is now preparing for Wimbledon where she has received a main draw wildcard.

Wimbledon starts on the first of July.

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Could Dan Evans’ Latest Injury Halt Andy Murray’s Olympic Plans?

Andy Murray Olympics hopes could pin down to Dan Evans’ recovery from his latest injury.

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Andy Murray had said that he may not play the Olympic Games if he plays just the singles event.

This could be the last summer that Andy Murray plays competitive tennis as he gears up for a potential Wimbledon farewell.

However Wimbledon may not be the tournament that Murray announces his retirement with the Olympics coming up next month.

The Olympics will take place in Paris and the former gold medallist has been announced in GB’s team ahead of the games.

There is a plot twist to all of this and that plot twist is Murray’s recent comments about whether he would play the Olympic Games.

In a recent interview Murray admitted that he wouldn’t be keen on just playing singles in Paris given the fact that it’s being played on his least favourite surface clay, “There is more chance of me winning a medal in the doubles rather than the singles,” Murray told BBC Sport.

“I’m not 100% sure. It depends a little bit physically how I’m doing and a bit how the next few weeks ago as well. My plan just now is to play but it’s not straightforward.”

The only player that Murray could play doubles with at the Olympics is Dan Evans, which they will probably find out on the fourth of July if they will get into the event.

However there is now a spanner in the works which is Dan Evans’ recent injury with the Brit suffering a nasty fall against Brandon Nakashima at Queen’s Club.

It will be known in the next couple of days how bad Evans’ injury is but after his match in London, the Brit was worried about a potential MCL injury, “I’m worried, no doubt,” Evans told the press association.

“I mean, a good thing, I thought it was my groin. That settled down pretty much straight away. But I think it’s MCL, sort of a bit inside of the knee. There is an issue there, that’s for sure after the testing so far with the physios.

“So I’ve got to wait 48 hours, let it settle, and then get a scan. I’m worried, yeah. That’s the bottom line, of course. Yeah, I’m in limbo a bit. It’s frustrating. If I miss the Olympics or Wimbledon it would be a tough one to swallow, no doubt.

“I don’t know. I’m just, I’m heartbroken at the minute, to be honest. Yeah, it’s tough.”

If the injury to Evans, results in Murray’s Olympics withdrawal then it would be a sad way to end Murray’s Olympics career that has included two gold medals.

However the main importance is that Evans is able to compete in the near future as he aims to be fit in time for Wimbledon.

Wimbledon starts on the first of July with the Olympics taking place 26 days later.

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Former Champion Angelique Kerber And Naomi Osaka Headline Initial Wimbledon Wildcards

Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka headline the Wimbledon wildcards this year.

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Former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber has headlined the initial Wimbledon wildcards that have been announced this morning.

The German won the title in 2018 after defeating Serena Williams and is aiming to recreate some more magic at SW19 as she receives a wildcard into the main draw.

Although Kerber’s comeback hasn’t gone to plan, the German will hope grass is where she can find some confidence with the Olympic Games also in her plans there.

Another player who will be hoping for a change of fortunes at Wimbledon is former world number one Caroline Wozniacki who has also received a wildcard for the event.

Wozniacki was thrashed this week by Elise Mertens in Birmingham and will be hoping that she can improve her form over the next couple of weeks.

However a player that is in confident form right now is former US Open champion Naomi Osaka who has received a wildcard into Wimbledon.

The former world number one almost defeated Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros and is finding her feet on the grass after struggling in previous years.

On the men’s side Nottingham champion Jacob Fearnley has received a main draw wildcard as well as last year’s Juniors champion Henry Searle.

Here is the full list announced by the AELTC this morning with the final list set to be confirmed later this week or early next week.

Men’s Singles:

  1. Liam Broady
  2. Jan Choinski
  3. Jacob Fearnley
  4. Arthur Fery
  5. Billy Harris
  6. Paul Jubb
  7. Henry Searle
  8. TBA

Women’s Singles

  1. Francesca Jones
  2. Angelique Kerber
  3. Yuriko Lily Miyazaki
  4. Naomi Osaka
  5. Emma Raducanu
  6. Heather Watson
  7. Caroline Wozniacki
  8. TBA

Men’s Qualifying Singles

  1. Oliver Bonding
  2. Charles Broom
  3. Jay Clarke
  4. Felix Gill
  5. George Loffhagen
  6. Jack Pinnington Jones
  7. TBA
  8. Play-Off Place
  9. Play-Off Place

Women’s Qualifying Singles

  1. Emily Appleton
  2. Armani Banks
  3. Sonay Kartal
  4. Hannah Klugman
  5. Clervie Ngounoue
  6. Mika Stojsavljevic
  7. Mingge Xu
  8. Play-Off Place
  9. Play-Off Place

Men’s Doubles

  1. Liam Broady/Billy Harris
  2. Charles Broom/Arthur Fery
  3. Jay Clarke/Marcus Willis
  4. Dan Evans/Henry Searle
  5. Jacob Fearnley/Jack Pinnington Jones
  6. TBA
  7. TBA

Women’s Doubles

  1. Emily Appleton/Yuriko Lily Miyazaki
  2. Alicia Barnett/Freya Christie
  3. Harriet Dart/Maia Lumsden
  4. TBA
  5. TBA
  6. TBA
  7. TBA

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