Wimbledon Day 2 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 2 Preview: Five Must-See Matches

Following a Monday full of upsets, Serena, Roger, and Rafa will look to restore order on Tuesday.

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Dominic Thiem (@TennisChannel - Twitter)

By Matthew Marolf

 

The “Big 3” of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic have combined to win the last 10 Majors. And they are easily the top three favourites to win this title as well. Meanwhile nine different women have prevailed at the last 10 Slams, with Naomi Osaka being the only female player to take two Majors since the start of 2017. Without a strong favourite in the women’s draw, we could easily see the lack of parity continue.

Dominic Thiem (5) vs. Sam Querrey

Thiem is coming off his second straight appearance in the French Open final, but is just 5-5 lifetime at SW19. We’ve seen Dominic discover success on hard courts over the past year, can he similarly improve his results on grass? He’ll be challenged immediately here by a player who reached the quarterfinals or better in two of the past three years.

And Querrey owns victories at Wimbledon over both Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. The 31-year-old American has battled injuries and struggled to get match wins over the past 18 months, and finds himself ranked 65th in the world. But he was a finalist just this past weekend in Eastbourne, while Thiem didn’t play a warmup tournament on grass. Dominic is 3-1 against Querrey, though they’ve never met on this surface. The reports of the grass playing slowly this year will please Thiem, but I still wouldn’t be shocked to see Querrey upset the fifth seed in the opening round.

Angelique Kerber (5) vs. Tatjana Maria

As the defending ladies’ champion, Kerber will commence Day 2’s schedule on Centre Court. She faces an elder countrywoman in their first career meeting. The three-time Major champion is yet to successfully defend one of those titles, and is only 3-2 in title defences.

And Maria is no pushover, whose only career WTA title came last year on grass. Last year at this tournament, Tatjana also played the No.5 seed in the opening round, and upset Elina Svitolina. And Maria was a semifinalist a few weeks ago on the grass of Nottingham. She has a strong first serve that could complicate matters for Kerber, who I’m not convinced will be fully comfortable walking onto Centre Court as the defending champion. Will the upset bug from Day 1 carry over to Day 2?

Marin Cilic (13) vs. Adrian Mannarino

Marin Cilic (@ATP_Tour – Twitter)

It’s been a pretty brutal 52 weeks for Marin Cilic. Since the 2017 finalist was shocked here in the second round a year ago by Guido Pella, it’s been a year of many given-away leads, and almost as many losses as wins. The only bright spot during that time was Davis Cup triumph for Croatia. He’s now ranked outside the top 15 for the first time since his 2014 US Open victory.

And he runs into an in-form opponent today in the 31-year-old Frenchman, who just won his first ATP title a few weeks ago on the grass of s-Hertogenbosch. They’ve split two previous tour-level meetings, with Cilic winning on grass at Queen’s Club in 2015, and Mannarino prevailing in 2017 on a hard court in Tokyo. Both of those three-set matches went the distance. Prior to his early loss here last year, Cilic reached the quarters or better four straight times. However, considering his current severe lack of confidence, the tricky Mannarino just might send him home today.

Petra Kvitova (3) vs. Ons Jabeur

The two-time Wimbledon champion would normally be a big favourite in this opening round matchup, but she wasn’t sure if she’d even be able to play today. The left-hander has been dealing with a left arm injury that forced her to miss the French Open and the grass court warm-up events, and admittedly has barely been able to practice.

Kvitova has also struggled at this tournament since last winning it five years ago. Since her 2014 triumph, she’s a meek 4-4 at The All England Club. This will be her first match against the 24-year-old from Tunisia. Jabeur was a semi-finalist just last week in Eastbourne, but was forced to withdraw from that tournament with her own injury to her right ankle. With a lot of doubts surrounding the condition of both players, the result here is far from clear. But if Kvitova is close to healthy, and can find her way out of the first week of this fortnight, she could be a huge threat in the latter rounds.

Sloane Stephens (9) vs. Timea Bacsinszky

Stephens is on a three-match losing streak at Wimbledon, and having lost in the opening round in each of the last two years. She was a quarterfinalist here in 2013, but is just 4-5 since that time. And Sloane lost her only match on grass heading into this event, with Jelena Ostapenko taking her our last week in Eastbourne. Bacsinszky is also a former quarterfinalist here, though she also lost in the first round of Eastbourne last week.

Timea has battled multiple injuries over the past two years, and this is only her third appearance at a Major during that time. But Bacsinzaky actually owns more career victories at SW19 than Stephens. Sloane is 2-0 against Timea, and defeated her earlier this year in Davis Cup on a hart court. If Stephens is at her best, she should prevail here as well, though we’ve seen throughout her career how prone she can be to opening round upsets at Majors. Since 2015, she’s just 8-6 in the first round of Grand Slam events.  This will be a tough test for Sloane on her least-favourite surface.

Other notable matches on Day 2:

Serena Williams (11) vs. Giulia Gatto-Monticone (Q).  Serena has been battling injuries all season, but told the press this weekend that’s now behind her.

In his 21st consecutive Wimbledon appearance, Roger Federer (2) vs. Lloyd Harris, a 22-year-old South African.

Rafael Nadal (3) vs. Yuichi Sugita (Q), a 30-year-old from Japan.

French Open champion and new world No.1 Ash Barty (1) vs. Saisai Zheng.  Barty holds a 2-0 edge over Zheng, though both matches went three sets.

Eastbourne champion Taylor Fritz vs. 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych.  Berdych reached the semis the last two times he played here, but this is his first match in four months due to injuries.  The 33-year-old admitted this could be his final Wimbledon appearance.

Grand Slam

US Open 2022: Djokovic, Medvedev Early Favorites but Will the Serb Be Allowed to Compete?

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Wimbledon was a great success for the World’s No.1 ranked Novak Djokovic, as the Serbian star claimed another Grand Slam title. However, with the grass season officially behind us, tennis enthusiasts are looking towards the US Open. 

 

The Hard Court season is around the corner, and the usual suspects are topping the bookmaker’s odds to win the final Grand Slam of the season – the US Open – which will take place at Flushing Meadows, New York City. 

US Open 2022 betting odds & favorites to win it all 

To the surprise of nobody, Djokovic is topping the current US Open tennis odds at Caesars sportsbook New York as he looks to finish the Grand Slam season with another success added to his resume. 

Daniil Medvedev is the second favorite to win the competition, and Carlos Alcaraz is the third betting favorite. Interestingly, Rafael Nadal – all-time record holder with 22 Grand Slam titles – is currently priced at +660, making him an outsider to the aforementioned players. 

Tennis fans eagerly anticipated a meeting between Djokovic and Nadal in the Wimbledon finals, but the Spaniard was forced out of the competition due to an injury. A US Open final meeting between the two most successful ranked tennis stars is undoubtedly a match we’re all craving, but can Nadal prove the sportsbooks wrong and battle his way into another final? 

With less than a month until the first round begins, here are the latest available odds to win the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, taking place between Aug 29 – Sep 11, 2022.      

Players Odds to win the US Open outright 
Novak Djokovic +150 
Danill Medvedev +225
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia+350
Rafael Nadal +550
Stefanos Tsitsipas +1,200 
Alexander Zverev +1,400 
Matteo Berrettini+1,600
Jannik Sinner +1,800 
Felix Auger-Aliassime +2,000
Andrey Rublev +2,500
Taylor Fritz +2,500 
Dominic Thiem +2,800
Denis Shapovalov +3,500 
Miomir Kecmanovic +3,500
Nick Kyrgios +3,500
Hubert Hurkacz +4,000 
Jenson Brooksby +4,000 
Cameron Norrie +4,000 
Casper Ruud +4,000 
Roger Federer +5,000 

Despite owning the favorable betting position to win the US Open outright, Djokovic remains unvaccinated. The current regulations state that non-US citizens must be vaccinated to compete in the US, so he’s ineligible to play. 

Djokovic hasn’t given up hope

The unvaccinated tennis stand-out was removed from the Australian Open in January, as the government declared he’d disobeyed strict Covid-19 regulations. 

The 35-year-old is now facing a similar fate at Flushing Meadows but has insisted on continuing his US Open training camp. 

As it currently stands, Djokovic won’t play at the US Open. Still, the Serbian star remains hopeful and recently took to social media with a video clip of himself preparing for the tournament. 

I am preparing as if I will be allowed to compete while I await to hear if there is any room for me to travel to the US,’ Djokovic wrote on Twitter. 
‘Fingers crossed!’ 

After posting a video of himself preparing, fans showed their support in abundance with the hashtag #LetNovakPlay. 

Further support for the Serbian star has continued with a petition on Change.Org. As of Saturday morning, close to 45,000 people had signed the petition requesting the US Tennis Association and the federal government to agree for Djokovic to gain entry into the US. 

‘I just wanted to take a moment and say to all of you how grateful I am to see so many messages of support and love from all around the world these days,’ Djokovic wrote to his fans. 
‘It feels special that people connect with my tennis career in such a loving and supportive way and wish for me to continue to compete.’ 

Several US politicians have expressed their opinions on the matter and have insisted that US President Joe Biden ease the rules so that Djokovic can participate at the upcoming Open. 

American politicians aren’t the only ones speaking up against Biden’s rules. The Serbia-American Voting Alliance (SAVA) has also written a letter asking the President to reconsider the regulations preventing Djokovic from competing in the United States. It read, “The US Open is the biggest tennis tournament in the world, and it won’t be what it is without Novak Djokovic. 
“Considering the economic situation and the crisis at all levels, America must not allow the US Open not to take place in its full glory and capacity, which means the arrival of Novak Djokovic, who has been crowned three times at the US Open, Novak does not pose any security threat, is one of the healthiest people in the world due to his disciplined life and serves as a role model and inspiration to millions around the world. 
“It is in America’s interest that the biggest tournament in the world hosts the best player in the world, especially since he just won the seventh Wimbledon in London.”  

Should the restriction be removed, Djokovic has the opportunity to level Rafael Nadal for the most Grand Slam titles of all time (22). 

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Grand Slam

McEnroe Labels Novak Djokovic’s Possible US Open Ban As ‘Crazy’

The American tennis great says he ‘respects’ Djokovic’s decision not to get vaccinated against covid-19.

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Novak Djokovic at the 2021 Rolex Paris Masters (Credit: Roberto Dell'Olivo)

John McEnroe says he is hoping that a solution can be found for Novak Djokovic to play at the US Open later this year.

 

As it currently stands 21-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic will not be allowed to play in New York due to government rules related to the entry of unvaccinated individuals. To travel to America, visitors are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they qualify for a special exemption. Djokovic has not been jabbed and stated after his Wimbledon triumph that he is not planning to do so. 

On Wednesday the United States Tennis Association (USTA) issued their entry lists for the US Open which also included Djokovic in the men’s draw. However, they also posted a statement confirming that they will ‘respect’ the American government’s rules concerning unvaccinated players. 

“The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the U.S. government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-U.S. citizens,” the USTA said. 

Weighing in on the debate, former world No.1 McEnroe described the prospect of Djokovic missing the US Open as ‘crazy’ during an interview with Tennis 365. The Serbian has won four out of the last seven Grand Slam tournaments. He missed this year’s Australian Open following a high-profile legal dispute over the legitimacy of his visa which resulted in his deportation.

“We have to find a way to get Novak into the US Open,” said McEnroe. “How can he not be there? He has just won Wimbledon, he is a great champion and he should be in the US Open.
“I don’t agree with his decision not to get vaccinated, but I respect it. He is one of the fittest guys in the world and everything he puts into his body, he is watching carefully.
“Now we are saying that because of his choice, he can’t play at the US Open. I mean, come on. He has already been deported from Australia for the same reason and here we are again.
“I hope someone finds a way to sort this out. It’s crazy that Novak misses the US Open at this stage.”

Djokovic has won the US Open three times in his career with his most recent triumph occurring in 2018. He also won the title in 2011 and 2015. The 35-year-old was also runner-up at the tournament on six other occasions.

Should he be unsuccessful in trying to enter America, it is unclear when Djokovic will play his next tournament. He has previously hinted that he could feature in the Laver Cup that will take place in September. 

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US Open: Unvaccinated Novak Djokovic On Entry List But Former Champion Thiem Is Missing

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Novak Djokovic (SRB) - Credit: AELTC/Simon Bruty

Novak Djokovic has automatically entered himself to play at this year’s US Open even though there is a strong chance that he will not be allowed to participate. 

 

The 21-time Grand Slam champion has been included in the provisional entry list which was published on Wednesday. However, organizers confirmed that they will ‘respect’ the US Government’s rules on the admission of vaccinated individuals into the country. As it currently stands those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 are not allowed to enter the country unless they qualify for a special exemption. 

“The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the U.S. government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-U.S. citizens,” the USTA said in a statement. 

Djokovic is one of those who are not vaccinated against the virus. Following his win over Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final, the former world No.1 stated that he still has no intention of being jabbed. Even though it could result in his missing a series of key Masters 1000 events across the summer, as well as the US Open. Djokovic has previously said he is cautious about injecting substances into his body due to concerns about how he may react. The COVID-19 vaccination has been deemed safe by the World Health Organization. 

“I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated so the only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter the United States or exemption,” Djokovic told reporters at Wimbledon. “I don’t know. I don’t think the exemption is realistically possible. If that is a possibility, I don’t know what exemption would be about.”

As Djokovic hopes for a change in the law for him to play, 2020 champion Dominic Thiem will be relying on receiving a wild card for him to participate. The Austrian has decided not to join the entry list with the use of his protected ranking. Thiem was unable to defend his title last year due to a right wrist injury which ended up sidelining him from the Tour for months. 

Elsewhere, a trio of former top 20 players are using their protected ranking to join the field. Stan Wawrinka, Borna Coric and Kyle Edmund are all using their passes. Wawrinka and Coric have both started their comeback from injury but Edmund hasn’t played a singles tournament since October 2020. Aljaz Bedene, who is set to retire from the Sport at the end of this season, is also using his protected ranking. 

Williams joins the women’s field

In the women’s tournament, Serena Williams has used her protected ranking of 16th to join the field. The American recently played her first tournament for 12 months at Wimbledon where she lost in the first round to France’s Harmony Tan. Williams, who is one major title away from equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24, has also entered herself into other tournaments leading up to the US Open. 

Reigning champion Emma Raducanu is 10th on the list and will be hoping to repeat her heroics from last year where as a qualifier she won 10 matches in a row without dropping a set en route to the title. Since then, the Brit hasn’t featured in another Tour final and has been hampered by various physical issues. 

Raducanu and Williams are two out of six former US Open champions on the entry list. The others are Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber, Sloane Stephens and Bianca Andreescu. 

Venus Williams, who last won the tournament back in 2001, isn’t on the list. However, she could enter via wild card if she is given one. 

The 2022 US Open main draw will begin on August 29th. The full list of men’s entries can be seen HERE and the women’s HERE

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