French Open Day 11 Preview: The Quarter -Finals Conclude - UBITENNIS
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French Open Day 11 Preview: The Quarter -Finals Conclude

Or will they? The forecast in Paris is ominous, as rain may not allow a full day of play.



Novak Djokovic (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Any players that are not able to complete their quarter-finals today will be at a huge disadvantage going forward, especially on the men’s side due to the best-of-five format. Hopefully the weather allows Wednesday’s schedule to play out: not only to keep the tournament on schedule, but because it includes some truly enticing matchups. On the men’s side, four top 10 players will face off. On the women’s side, we have the defending champion, the Miami champion, and two Americans looking for the first big title of their careers.


Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Sascha Zverev (5)

They’ve split four previous meetings, all of which have been decided in straight set matches that lasted less than 90 minutes. Djokovic took two hard court matches last fall, before Zverev avenged those loss in the championship match of the ATP Finals, his biggest title to date. Sascha also won their only match on clay, in the final of Rome two years ago. This is their first time playing at a Major in the best-of-five format. For Zverev, it’s his second Major quarter-final, with his first coming right here a year ago. A tired Sascha lost meekly to Dominic Thiem in this round last year. For Djokovic, it’s his 43rd Slam quarter-final, and he holds a 32-9 record at this stage of Majors. However, he did lose his last two quarter-finals here in Paris, most notably the huge upset he suffered last year at the hands of Marco Cecchinato. A year on, Novak is his old self again, having won the last three Slams. While he’s yet to face a seeded player this fortnight, he’s also yet to drop a set, or lose more than four games in any set played. Zverev’s path has been much more complex, having dropped five sets thus far. Djokovic is a solid favourite to reach his ninth semifinal at Roland Garros.

Dominic Thiem (4) vs. Karen Khachanov (10)

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This could be good. While Thiem is certainly the more accomplished player overall, and certainly so on clay, Khachanov showed how effective his game can be against a slugger like Thiem on Monday, in his defeat of Juan Martin Del Potro. Karen is also 1-0 versus Thiem. However, while that match was in the same city as this one, it was under very different conditions: best-of-three on a fast indoor hard court. And despite how successful Thiem has been on this surface, he doesn’t often blow players away. In fact, he often allows matches to get a bit more complicated than necessary. But the biggest factor today may be Karen’s belief, and if he believes enough in himself in his first Major quarter-final. While I still give Thiem the edge here, I expect an extended battle, and would not be shocked to see Khackanov pull off the upset.

Simona Halep (1) vs. Amanda Anisimova

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I’m so intrigued to see how this match plays out, and how the 17-year-old American handles this moment: her first Slam quarter-final, playing the defending champion on the world’s biggest clay court. Anisimova burst onto the scene at the last Major, where she easily dispatched of two top 25 seeds on her way to the fourth round. She then went on to win her first WTA title in Bogota, and on clay. And Amanda is yet to drop a set in these championships, while Halep has dropped two. Of course Simona must still be considered the favourite here, but an Anisimova victory is far from unfathomable. She has the fire power to dictate terms, much like another young player did two years against Halep: Jelena Ostapenko. We already have one teenage semifinalist in Marketa Vondrousova, Amanda will try to make it two.

Ash Barty (8) vs. Madison Keys (14)

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The contrast of playing styles and personalities here could make for a great matchup. Much like today’s other women’s quarter-final, the American has the ability to overpower her opponent, though the surface as well as Barty’s variety could make that a tall task. Keys defeated Barty here two years ago in straight sets, but it’s worth noting how much of an improved player Ash is now. And she won her last meeting with Madison earlier this year on a hart court. Barty is now into her second consecutive Major quarter-final, while Keys is the player with much more experience at this stage, with seven appearances in the quarters of a Slam. Madison if 4-2 at this stage, and reached the semis here just a year ago. And she won a title on clay earlier this year in Charleston. Ash has never even reaching a final on this surface. However, I feel this could be Barty’s day. Her game continues to evolve, and can easily throw opponents off balance. And if she can successfully subdue Madison’s power, Keys struggles to shift into second gear.

Grand Slam

Marcos Baghdatis And Iga Swiatek Among Initial Wimbledon Wildcards

Marcos Baghdatis and Iga Swiatek have received a wildcard for Wimbledon as the third grand slam of the year approaches.



Marcos Baghdatis (@BNPPARIBASOPEN - Twitter)

Marcos Baghdatis and defending Juniors champion Iga Swiatek are among the initial wildcards for Wimbledon. 


The initial wildcards for Wimbledon have been announced this morning with former Wimbledon semi-finalist Marcos Baghdatis among the Men’s wildcards.

Having not played since May and not appeared on the main tour since February, Baghdatis is a surprise choice for a wildcard spot given the options.

Players such as Nicolas Mahut, Feliciano Lopez and Dustin Brown were seen as candidates for a main draw wildcard but it seems that at the moment that spot has been given to the Cypriot.

Joining Baghdatis as main draw wildcards on the men’s side is the British trio of James Ward, Jay Clarke and NCAA champion Paul Jubb.

Meanwhile on the women’s side, last year’s Women’s junior champion Iga Swiatek has been given a wildcard after her incredible rise.

Since winning the Juniors title last year, Swiatek has reached her maiden WTA final, risen to number 65 in the world and reached the fourth round at Roland Garros.

Joining Swiatek, as the British wildcards are Harriet Dart, Heather Watson and Katie Swan as there are four more spots to be announced.

As more wildcards are yet to be announced, the likes of Feliciano Lopez, Dustin Brown and Katie Boulter could still receive a main draw wildcard.

Meanwhile in the doubles event Lleyton Hewitt has once again received a doubles wildcard despite ‘retiring.’ The 2002 singles champion will team up with compatriot Jordan Thompson.

Here are the wildcards below, with the singles draws taking place a week on Friday:

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Greg Rusedski Tips Tsitsipas To Become The Next Federer

The Greek sensation has been backed to rise to the top of the world rankings.



Stefanos Tsitsipas (photo by chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Former US Open finalist Greg Rusedski has praised Next Gen star Stefano Tsitsipas by saying he has characteristics similar to that of Roger Federer.


The former world No.4 believes the greek has what it takes to conquer the men’s tour. So far this season Tsitsipas has played in four ATP finals, winning titles in Marseille and Estoril. In total, he has won 32 matches on the tour this year. The joint-highest alongside Rafael Nadal. At the age of 20, he is already the first man from his country to reach the semi-final of a grand slam and crack the top 10.

“He’s so much better as a player than he was a year ago and he’s getting better,” Rusedski told Amazon Prime.
“His transitioning game coming forward, playing doubles so much more this year. I think he will be a Wimbledon champion as well as a world number one. He’s that good.”

Continuing his tribute to the world No.6, the Brit believes he plays similar to some of the stars of the game. Tsitsipas is currently 10-15 against top 10 opposition in his career and has defeated every member of the Big Three at least once. The most recent being against Nadal at the Madrid Open.

“He reminds me of a young Roger Federer. A guy who’s got that full package.” Rusedski analyzed.
“He looks a little bit like Bjorn Borg the way he walks around the court but what I like, he’s a complete player and he has this mental fortitude where he believes he belongs.”

Tsitsipas is the top seed at this week’s Fever-Tree Championships in London. He will be hoping for a strong run ahead of the Wimbledon championships, which he reached the fourth round at last year. Looking ahead to the grand slam, he is optimistic about the prospect of ending the dominance of Nadal and Co. It has been 16 years since a player outside of the Big Four (counting Andy Murray) has won Wimbledon.

“I want to be honest. I would love to see something different this year,’ he said.
‘Hopefully, it can be me, but I think it’s good for the sport to have a bit of variety, something different. It’s boring to see all these guys winning all the time. Djokovic is the reigning champion.”

Tsitsipas will play Kye Edmund in his first match at Queen’s.

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Nick Kyrgios Confident of Inflicting ‘Damage’ At Wimbledon, But Not With Andy Murray

The Australian explains why he doesn’t want to play doubles with Murray at The All England Club.



Nick Kyrgios (photo by Chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

LONDON: The grass courts of London feels like a second home for Australia’s Nick Kyrgios.


It is a time of year he relishes. Five years ago at Wimbledon, he made his first breakthrough with a run to the quarter-finals. Stunning Rafael Nadal on route. Since then, his love affair with the surface has only got stronger. Even if he is yet to contest a final of a grass-court event on the ATP Tour.

“It’s quite similar to Australia. Ultimately it feels a little bit like home.” Kyrgios told reporters on Monday.
“This is probably my favorite time of the year. Obviously, the Aussie summer is pretty good, but just being in London when the weather is like this is pretty hard to beat. Just playing on grass every day, it’s a lot of fun.” He added.

The 24-year-old kick-started his grass campaign two weeks ago in Surbiton at a Challenger event. Playing in the doubles tournament with Thanassi Kokkinakis, the duo won a match before falling in the quarter-finals. Following on from that, in Stuttgart, he crashed out in the first round to Matteo Barattini, who went on to win the tournament.

The results may not be groundbreaking, but Kyrgios’ belief and confidence remains unhinged heading into the next grand slam of the season. Currently ranked 39th in the world, it is touch and go if he will be seeded at Wimbledon. Depending on how he performs this week at Queen’s.

“I definitely feel like I can do damage.” The former top-20 player commented about his Wimbledon prospects. “I have had a lot of good wins on grass. Obviously made a quarterfinal run when I was a little bit younger, but I think if the stars align, for sure I can do damage there.”

It will take a lot for Kyrgios and his rivals to break the dominance of the Big Four, who has won the Wimbledon trophy every year since 2003. However, he feels that should a shock happen in a grand slam. It is more likely to take place at the grass-court major.

“I’d probably say it is. I say if somebody is serving big and feeling themselves that week, I think for sure they could probably make more of a run.”

The return of Murray

Besides his own goals, Kyrgios is also relishing the return of one of his rivals and friends. Andy Murray is set to play in the doubles at the Fever-Tree Championships alongside Feliciano Lopez. It will the first test for the three-time grand slam champion after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery.

“He’s a warrior. I hit with him a couple times in London, obviously when I took a spell from the French.” Kyrgios said of the former world No.1.
“He’s still hitting the ball unbelievable. I think he’s well good enough to do damage in any doubles of any players, especially this week with Feliciano. I’d almost pay to watch that match. They’re going to be tough to beat.”

Looking further ahead, Murray is still pondering who he will team up with in the doubles at Wimbledon. It will be only the second time he has played doubles at the major and first since 2005. Among the candidates for a partner was Kyrgios, who has now ruled himself out.

“It’s just good to see him back, but I don’t think I want to carry him for Wimbledon dubs. I think he can find someone else to do that for him.” He explained.
“When I hit with him in Wimby a couple weeks ago, we spoke about it. But it’s best-of-five sets, which is tough. I don’t know if my body — if I happen to go deep at Wimbledon, it’s too tough to play doubles.”

Flying solo, Kyrgios is hoping for a boost this week at the Fever-Tree Championships. In his first round on Tuesday, he plays Adrian Mannarino. A player who won an ATP title in s-Hertogenbosch on Sunday.

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