Wimbledon Day 1 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 1 Preview: Five Must-See Matches

Defending Men’s champion Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka headline the first day of this year’s Wimbledon.

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Novak Djokovic (@WimbledonChnl - Twitter)

By Matthew Marolf

 

The pristine grass on the main stadiums of SW19 await the players on one of the most special days of the tennis year.

And it will be the first time Wimbledon hosts two covered courts, as No.1 Court’s new retractable roof will be available in case rain arrives to interrupt play. Though it may be awhile before we see the new roof in action, as there is currently no rain in the forecast for the coming days.

For the first time in six months, all active players with three or more Major singles titles are all present. Serena, Roger, Rafa, Novak, Venus, Maria, Andy, Stan, and Angelique will all play during this fortnight, with Murray of course only entering the doubles draws as comes back from hip replacement surgery. With all these champions in their 30’s, this will likely be one of the final times we see them all together in one fortnight.

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber

As tradition dictates, Day 1’s play on Centre Court will commence with the defending men’s singles champion.  It was at this tournament a year ago where Djokovic won his first Major in over two years, edging Nadal in a tremendous semi-final before easily dispatching of an exhausted Kevin Anderson in the final.

Novak arrives this year having claimed three of the last four Slams, but is coming off a frustrating semi-final loss to Dominic Thiem at Roland Garros. And he finds a tough opponent in his opening round, in a veteran who defeated him earlier this year in Indian Wells. The 35-year-old German can also play on the grass: he was a quarterfinalist here in 2012.  However, Djokovic owns a 10-2 record in their career head-to-head, and already avenged his Indian Wells loss to Kohlschreiber by taking him out in both Monte Carlo and Rome. While Philipp will get his full attention, Novak is still a heavy favourite to prevail.

Kevin Anderson (4) vs. Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Kevin Anderson (@ATP_Tour – Twitter)

Here we have the other men’s finalist from last year, and he too has a dangerous opening round draw. Anderson is seeded fourth here despite being ranked eighth in the world thanks to Wimbledon’s seeding formula which favours grass court results over the past few years. The 33-year-old South African has only played two matches since March due to an elbow injury, and faces one of the highest-ranked players he could draw in the first round.

Herbert, a multi-time Major doubles champion, has been focusing solely on singles in recent months, though he will be teaming with Andy Murray in the Wimbledon men’s doubles event. The 28-year-old Frenchman has a career losing record at Slams in singles, but is coming off a run to the semi-finals on the grass of Halle two weeks ago. Anderson won their only previous meeting on a hard court four years ago.  Herbert has plenty of variety in his game, which is well-suited for the grass, and could prove to be a bracket buster against a former finalist who is lacking match play.

Naomi Osaka (2) vs. Yulia Putintseva

This is yet another first round draw that could not have pleased a top seed. Putintseva upset Osaka just two weeks ago in Birmingham, a loss which cost Naomi her No.1 ranking. Yulia also took their other previous meeting last year in Hobart. Since winning her second straight Major in January, and subsequently splitting with her coach, Sascha Bajin, Osaka has struggled with injuries and her form.

Naomi has advanced to the third round of Wimbledon in both the last two years, but is yet to advance farther. She is yet to establish herself as a threat on the grass. Putintseva has twice been a quarterfinalist at the French Open, but is just 3-5 lifetime at Wimbledon, so grass is also not her strong suit. Even though Osaka is yet to defeat Putintseva, I’m giving her the slight edge here. Naomi showed a lot of grit by getting through some rough matches in Paris when she was at much less than her best. I suspect she’ll find a way to fight through here as well.

Venus Williams vs. Coco Gauff (Q)

Venus Williams (@USOpen – Twitter)

It’s not often you find a 39-year-old or a 15-year-old in a Grand Slam singles draw, much less find them playing against each other. But this Day 1 encounter features the five-time Wimbledon ladies champion against the 2018 French Open juniors’ champion. This will be Gauff’s senior-level Major debut, while it’s Venus’ astounding 83rd main draw appearance at a Slam.

Coco has been deemed a champion of the future, but how will the teenager react to playing an icon from her same country? It’s been a rough 18 months for Venus, who is just 6-6 at the last six Majors. But Venus almost always finds her best tennis of the year at this tournament, and has made the semis or better in two of the last three years. Venus must be considered the favourite, though it will be interesting to see how this generational clash plays out.

Su-Wei Hsieh (28) vs. Jelena Ostapenko

You will rarely see a harsher contrast in styles than in this matchup.  It will be the unique, off-speed groundstrokes of Hsieh against the powerful, go-for-broke hitting of Ostapenko. A semi-finalist here a year ago, Jelena has just 15 wins since that time. The former junior Wimbledon champion fell just short of being seeded here, and could fall outside the top 80 with a loss today. However, she did get four solid grass-court wins leading up to this fortnight, over names like Sloane Stephens and Johanna Konta.  Ostapenko will dictate play, and will need to avoid getting frustrated by the often-agitating style of Hsieh. Su-Wei upset top-seeded Simona Halep here last year, and also took out then-world No.1 Osaka in Miami earlier this year.

Hsieh won their only previous meeting, though that was on a hart court three years ago against a young and inexperienced Ostapenko. Despite Su-Wei being the seeded player, Jelena will likely feel more pressure here, considering all the points she’s defending. While I don’t foresee another deep run here this year, the grass should favour the game of Ostapenko. I expect her to hit her way through this one.

Other notable matches on Day 1:

Sascha Zverev (6) vs. Jiri Vesely (Q).  The left-handed qualifier has been hobbled by injuries of late, but thrives at Wimbledon, where he is 10-5 lifetime.

Simona Halep (7) vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich.  The 25-year-old from Belarus upset Petra Kvitova in the first round a year ago.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (7) vs. Thomas Fabbiano.  This is a rematch from last year’s Wimbledon third round, which Tsitsipas easily took in straight sets.  Fabbiano is fresh off a run to the semifinals in Eastbourne last week.

Eastbourne champion Karolina Pliskova (3) vs. Lin Zhu, a 25-year-old from China ranked outside the top 100.

Stan Wawrinka (22) starts his campaign for the only Major title missing from his collection vs. Ruben Bemelmans (Q), the 171st-ranked player in the world.

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The Women’s Stats Leaders Of Wimbledon 2019

Although Simona Halep won Wimbledon, it was Serena Williams who dominated most of the stats at this year’s tournament.

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Simona Halep (@Wimbledon - Twitter)

As the third grand slam of the year concludes, let’s reflect on who the stats leaders at Wimbledon in the Women’s tournament. 

 

The Women’s tournament once again provided many shocks, unpredictable results, storylines and great champions rising to the top.

But in the end it was Simona Halep who won her second grand slam and first Wimbledon title as she demolished Serena Williams in the final.

As the tournament has now ended let’s break the tournament down and see how the Women’s tournament reflected overall in terms of Quality.

Most Aces

Serena Williams reached another Wimbledon final this year and her serve was the key to reaching the second Saturday as she dominated most of her opponents.

Although Simona Halep may have figured her service patterns, her previous six opponents didn’t as she topped the aces chart.

  1. Serena Williams – 47
  2. Karolina Pliskova – 36
  3. Karolina Muchova – 29
  4. Johanna Konta – 28
  5. Ashleigh Barty – 26

Double Faults

Although both Dayana Yastremska and Alison Riske made the second week of this year’s Wimbledon, both Women topped the double faults tally.

  1. Dayana Yastremska – 26
  2. Alison Riske – 25
  3. Kristina Mladenovic – 19
  4. Kaia Kanepi – 17
  5. Cori Gauff – 15

Fastest Serve (MPH)

Serena once again topped this particular statistic although 15 year-old rising sensation Cori Gauff came close en route to the fourth round.

  1. Serena Williams – 122
  2. Polona Hercog – 120
  3. Cori Gauff – 119
  4. Venus Williams, Petra Martic, Karolina Pliskova and Naomi Osaka – 118

Longest Match

Karolina Muchova’s surprise win over Karolina Pliskova was the longest match of the Women’s tournament and the closes to a 12-12 tiebreak.

  1. Karolina Muchova def Karolina Pliskova – 3 hours and 17 minutes
  2. Alison Risek def Ivana Jorovic – 2 hours and 50 minutes
  3. Elise Mertens def Qiang Wang – 2 hours and 49 minutes
  4. Cori Gauff def Polona Hercog – 2 hours and 47 minutes
  5. Monica Puig def Anna Karolina Schmiedlova – 2 hours and 35 minutes

The Most Serve and Volley In Their Game 

One of the reasons why Barbora Strycova made the semi-finals of the singles and became the new doubles world number one, was her ability to serve and volley, which is why she tops this particular chart.

  1. Barbora Strycova – 19% (69/366)
  2. Kirsten Flipkens – 14% (16/118)
  3. Taylor Townsend – 11% (17/153)
  4. Andrea Petkovic – 10% (9/91)
  5. Laura Siegemund – 9% (13/169)

Most Return Winners

Dayana Yastremska and Serena Williams top this stat as they made their opponents pay for any average serves coming their way.

  1. Dayana Yastremska – 25
  2. Serena Williams – 17
  3. Petra Kvitova – 12
  4. Shuai Zhang – 12
  5. Amanda Anisimova, Karolina Pliskova, Karolina Muchova and Alison Riske – 10

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Wimbledon Day 13 Preview: The Gentlemen’s Final

In a championship match with significant GOAT implications, Roger Federer plays for a record-extending 21st Major, as Djokovic defends his title and vies for his 16th.

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Roger Federer (@Wimbledon - Twitter)

By Matthew Marolf

 

In 25 days, Roger Federer will turn 38 years of age. Remarkably, here he is in his 31st Major final, and his 12th at The All England Club. His most recent Slam final came 18 months ago in Australia, where he defeated Marin Cilic in five sets. Playing the French Open last month for the first time since 2015, and advancing to the semi-finals on his worst surface, provided Roger with considerable confidence. After falling to Rafael Nadal in Paris, he avenged that loss here on Friday in a thrilling semi-final. But in order to win his ninth Wimbledon, he’ll need to do something he’s never done before: defeat both Nadal and Djokovic at the same Grand Slam event.

One year ago, Novak Djokovic arrived at SW19 ranked outside the top 20. After holding all four Majors at once, he hadn’t claimed another in over two years. But a semi-final victory over Nadal would propel Djokovic to win three consecutive Slams. He’s now the definitive world No.1, and looks to pull within four Major titles of Federer, and within two of Nadal.

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Roger Federer (2)

This is their third time playing in the gentlemen’s singles final. In 2014, Djokovic pulled out the win in five sets, a turning point in Novak’s career having lost his last five Major Finals outside of Australia. A year later, Djokovic prevailed in four. Overall Novak has the slight edge in their head-to-head 25-22, and has taken eight of their last 10 meetings. At Majors, Djokovic leads 9-6, and hasn’t lost to Federer at a Slam in seven years, which was their first Wimbledon matchup in the 2012 semi-finals.

Both men needed three sets and about three hours to win their semi-finals, though Federer’s match against Nadal was the tighter and more draining affair. For Roger, coming back less than 48 hours later to play the other GOAT contender, who is also nearly six years younger than Federer, is a huge ask. But if Roger plays with the same energy he did on Friday, he has a shot. He’ll need to serve even better than in the semi-finals, as he faces the best returner in the game.

The crowd could play a critical role here. They’ll undoubtedly be raucously behind Roger, and we saw on Friday against Roberto Bautista Agut how bothered Novak can get by crowds cheering for his opponent. He receives it as disrespect, though he often seems to thrive on it. But Novak would be wise to not outwardly mock the Centre Court audience today, as it will only increase their enthusiasm for Federer. On paper, Djokovic is a solid favourite. There’s no real weakness in his game, and the best-of-five format plays to his advantage, especially if this goes the distance.

However, we saw on Friday the magic Roger is still capable of on Centre Court. He’ll know this may be one of his last chances to win a Major, though will that inspire him or unsettle him? We saw Serena Williams tighten up under similar circumstances yesterday. While I don’t think this will be a blowout like the ladies’ championship match, Djokovic will be too much for Federer to overcome in the end. Novak will be joining Simona Halep at the champions ball on Sunday evening.

Other notable matches on Day 13:

In the ladies’ doubles final re-scheduled for today due to the length of the gentlemen’s doubles final, singles standouts Su-Wei Hsieh and Barbora Strycova (3) vs. Gabriela Dabrowski and Yifan Xu (4), who upset the defending champion in the semi-finals.  Singles semi-finalist Strycova would become the new doubles No.1 with a win today.

In the mixed doubles final, which has unfortunately been bumped to No.1 Court, French Open champions Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan (8) vs. 42-year-old Roberto Lindstedt and Jelena Ostapenko, who is a former junior champion here, and was a singles semifinalist a year ago.

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WIMBLEDON: Novak Djokovic Vs Roger Federer By The Numbers

Ubitennis looks at the figures behind the latest installment of one of the greatest rivalries in the history of men’s tennis.

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Federer e Djokovic, pic from Twitter

WIMBLEDON: The top two seeds will fight it out for the men’s title at Wimbledon on Sunday. 

 

Novak Djokovic will be seeking his second consecutive title at The All England Club against Roger Federer, who has won the singles trophy more times than any other man in history. It will be the 48th meeting between the two on the tour with the world No.1 currently leading the head-to-head 25-22.

Here are some numbers behind the 2019 Wimbledon men’s final.

1: Only one player have ever defeated both Rafael Nadal and Djokovic in the same grand slam. That was Stan Wawrinka during the 2014 Australian Open. Federer could become the second player to do the double win if he triumphs on Sunday.

3: Federer has lost all three of the five-set matches he has played against Djokovic. In all of those, he won the first set.

4: Should Federer win, he would be the first player in the ATP Tour this season to win four trophies. He has already triumphed in Dubai, Miami, and Halle.

5: Federer is bidding to become the first man in the Open Era to win a fifth grand slam title after his 30th birthday. Since reaching the milestone, he has won Wimbledon twice (2012, 2017) and the Australian Open twice (2017, 2018).

7: Djokovic hasn’t played an ATP grass-court tournament before Wimbledon in seven out of the last 10 years.

9: Federer will be bidding to become the first man to win a ninth Wimbledon singles title. A milestone that has only been achieved by Martina Navratilova.

11: Wimbledon is the 11th consecutive grand slam where it has been won by a member of the Big Three. The last player outside the group to triumph was Wawrinka during the 2016 US Open.

12: Federer will be playing in his 12th Wimbledon final in what is a tournament record. This is five more than his nearest rivals. Boris Becker, Arthur Gore, and Pete Sampras all made seven appearances.

16: It is the 16th time Djokovic has faced Federer in a grand slam tournament. An Open Era record. The world No.1 currently leads the head-to-head 9-6.

20: It is the 20th time the two have faced each other in the final of a tournament with Djokovic winning 13 of those meetings.

21: The number of grand slam tournaments where Djokovic has been the top seed.

31: Federer is playing in a record 31st grand slam final.

48: It will be the 48th meeting between the two players. Placing their rivalry second on the list for most match-ups behind Djokovic and Rafael Nadal (54). Djokovic currently leads Federer 25-22 in their head-to-head.

48: It is also the 48h time in the Open era that a grand slam final has been contested by the top two seeds in the men’s draw.

71: Djokovic has won more matches at Wimbledon than any other grand slam. His current tally (before Sunday’s final) is 71.

94: The number of grass court wins achieved by Djokovic

187: The number of grass-court wins achieved by Federer

The men’s final at Wimbledon will take place at 14:00 GMT on Sunday afternoon.

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