Wimbledon Day 6 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 6 Preview: Five Must-See Matches

Saturday’s schedule is simply stellar, with 65 Major singles championships represented in these halves of the ladies’ and gentlemen’s draws.

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Johanna Konta (@LTA - Twitter)

By Matthew Marolf

 

The British No.1 will face the 2017 US Open champion. A 23-time Major singles champion gets an early test in a rematch from last year’s semi-finals. A 20-time Major singles champion runs into his first seeded opposition, in a Slam semi-finalist from earlier this year. And an 18-time Major singles champion takes on a two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist. Who will survive and advance to the second week of The Championships?

Sloane Stephens (9) vs. Johanna Konta (19)

This is a rematch from the French Open quarterfinals last month, when Konta put on quite a serving display and easily dispatched of last year’s Roland Garros finalist. A semi-finalist at her home Slam two years ago, Johanna saw her ranking drop as low as 50th in the world last year during a severely rough patch in her career.

And while clay was never a good surface for Konta, she went on a terra baute tear this season, rediscovering her mojo. Johanna is now 3-0 against Sloane, with all those victories coming in 2019. And her serve should do even more damage on the grass. With the British crowd on No.1 Court firmly behind her, I like Konta’s chances to make it 4-0 against Stephens.

Serena Williams (11) vs. Julia Goerges (18)

Speaking of 4-0, that’s Serena’s record against Goerges. She’s never even dropped a set to the 30-year-old German.  In last year’s semi-finals, Serena prevailed 6-2, 6-4. But Williams has battled injuries throughout 2019, and her slowed movement has been evident in her first two matches during this fortnight.

And that could prove costly when facing the offensive weapons of Goerges on this surface. Julia has been playing good grass court tennis, advancing to the final in Birmingham a few weeks ago. While this matchup still favours the seven-time champion, I expect Goerges to make this a much tighter battle than their previous encounters.

Roger Federer (2) vs. Lucas Pouille (27)

Roger Federer (@ATP_Tour – Twitter)

The 25-year-old Frenchman was a quarterfinalist here three years ago, and followed that up by also reaching the quarters in New York. In an impressive effort, Pouille took out Rafael Nadal in a fifth set tiebreak in the 2016 US Open. But he underperformed in the next two seasons, leading to him hiring 2006 Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach. The results came immediately, as Lucas reached his first Slam semi-final in Australia six months ago.

But the success did not last, as Pouille subsequently lost in the opening round of his next five tournaments. He reacted by playing a challenger event in Bordeaux, which got him back on the winning track as he claimed that clay court title. Lucas then went on to lose a heart-breaking five-setter to Martin Klizan in the second round of his home Major, though he did pick up a few impressive grass court wins over Feliciano Lopez and Daniil Medvedev leading up to this event.

Pouille was defeated in straight sets in his only previous match against Federer, which was five years ago on a hard court. After dropping the opening set of his first round match, Roger has looked sharp this first week. While Pouille will be his first true test here, Federer should advance comfortably. Lucas does not possess the fire power to trouble Roger on his favourite surface.

Rafael Nadal (3) vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Tsonga holds a relatively strong 4-7 record against this all-time great, which includes a win in their only grass court meeting. However, that was eight years ago, and in a best-of-three match at Queen’s Club. And it’s been a challenging few years for the 34-year-old Frenchman. After undergoing knee surgery last year, Tsonga ended 2018 ranked outside the top 200.

Despite that, he’s been able to accumulate 21 tour-level wins this season. And a few weeks ago in Halle, he pushed Federer all the way to 7-5 in the third before going down in defeat. He’ll likely embrace the opportunity to return to Centre Court, and always has a chance on this surface when he’s firing winners.

But Nadal is currently in top form, and will feel even more confident after eliminating Nick Kyrgios in a contentious second round match on Thursday. After several years of early round exists at SW19, Rafa should smoothly navigate his way to the second week of Wimbledon for the third straight year.

Kiki Bertens (4) vs. Barbora Strycova

The No.4 seed is lucky to still be alive in this tournament. American Taylor Townsend had an easy forehand on match point in the second round, but dumped it into the net. Bertens was able to then take the second set in a tiebreak, and ran away with the third 6-2. While she’ll find relief in having a second life this fortnight, the competition only intensifies here.

Strycova reached her only Major quarterfinal five years ago here, and has a game well-suited for the grass. Also, the 33-year-old Czech beat Bertens in their only previous meeting. Kiki herself was a quarterfinalist here a year ago, a surprising result considering her losing record at The All England Club up until that time. Strycova is still a threat, though her best singles days are likely behind her. Bertens should play more freely today after surviving Thursday’s scare, and book herself a spot on Manic Monday.

Other notable matches on Day 6:

French Open champion Ash Barty (1) vs. 22-year-old Brit Harriet Dart.

Two-Time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (3) vs. Magda Linette, who upset Amanda Anisimova in the last round.

Kei Nishikori (8) vs. Steve Johnson, who survived a five setter over Alex de Minaur two days ago.

In the second round of the gentlemen’s doubles, Andy Murray and Pierre-Hugues Herbert vs. Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor (6).

And in their debut as a team, and their respective second matches of the day, Andy Murray and Serena Williams vs. Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi.

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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