Wimbledon Day 7 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 7 Preview: Five Must-See Matches

It’s the best day of the tennis year, with all round of 16 singles matches being played within a 12-hour period on Manic Monday at The Championships.

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Elina Svitolina (@WilsonTennis - Twitter)

By Matthew Marolf

 

An astounding 80 Major singles titles are represented by the players who advanced to the second week of the ladies’ and gentlemen’s singles draws. In a unique day on the tennis calendar, Serena, Roger, Rafa, Novak, Petra, Simona, and Ash will all take to the courts of The All England Club on Day 7. With so much action taking place all over the grounds at SW19, this preview will take you through the best matches to focus on as the day progresses.

Elina Svitolina (8) vs. Petra Martic (24)

Out of the four women’s singles matches that start off the day at 11:00am local time, this may be the closest and most exciting contest. Svitolina is into the fourth round of Wimbledon for the second time in three years, but is yet to advance farther. The eighth seed missed all of April due to a knee injury, and went just 2-3 in May on the clay.  She also lost in the opening round of both her grass court tune-up events. But the 24-year-old Ukranian appears to be healthy again, and competed well through the first week of this tournament. Her 28-year-old opponent is currently at a career-high ranking of 24th in the world, coming off her first Major quarterfinal last month in Paris.

Just like Svitolina, this is Martic’s second time into the round of 16 here. And Petra has truly battled her way to this stage, requiring three sets in each of her first three matches. Svitolina leads their head-to-head 3-1, though they’ve never met outside of a clay court. Elina’s movement and consistency should be enough to overcome the tricky style of Petra. However, Martic is fully capable of throwing enough different speeds and slices at Svitolina to make this compelling, and Svitolina can often make a straightforward match quite complicated for herself.

Roberto Bautista Agut (23) vs. Benoit Paire (28)

Rafa and Serena will play on the main stadiums at 1:00pm, but they’ll both be very heavy favourites. This match out on Court 18 will likely be a much more competitive encounter. Both these men are prone to dramatic battles at Grand Slam events. Bautista Agut reached his first Slam quarterfinal earlier this year in Australia, but needed to survive three five-setters to get there. He reached his third Wimbledon round of 16 in much different fashion: without dropping a set.

Roberto impressively took out the tenth seed, Karen Khachanov, in straight sets on Friday. Meanwhile Paire is now into his fourth round of 16 at a Major, but is yet to forge farther ahead. Like Roberto, he also struggles to advance easily at Majors. At Roland Garros, none of his four matches were straight sets, and two went the distance.  But the 30-year-old Frenchman is having a great season, with 29 match wins and two clay court titles. However, Bautista Agut has never lost to Paire, with eight victories counting challenger events and qualifying rounds. Paire has plenty of flair and variety which the grass can reward, but Roberto must be considered the favourite considering their head-to-head.

Petra Kvitova (6) vs. Johanna Konta (19)

This will be the second match of the day on Centre Court, and it could be a classic grass court serving affair between two of the WTA’s best servers. Both women have played excellent such matches here in past years. Kvitova’s 2014 match with Venus Williams comes to mind, which Petra claimed 7-5 in the third after just the second break of the entire match. And two years ago against Donna Vekic, Konta survived an outstanding service clash to prevail 10-8 in the third.

Kvitova arrived in London unsure if she could even compete due to a left arm injury, but she’s looked sharp through three rounds. Konta has also played well, and fought back from a set down against a game Sloane Stephens on Saturday. Kvitova is 3-1 against Konta, though they’ve split their two grass court meetings. As well-liked as the two-time Wimbledon champion is, the British crowd will still be loudly behind their female No.1. And Johanna is playing with a lot of confidence, having accumulated 15 clay court wins on historically her worst surface. This should be an electric occasion, with a three-setter seeming likely. I give Konta the slight edge: she’s the healthier player, and currently has more momentum. And it’s been five years since Kvitova has reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, having struggled here since her last title.

Simona Halep (7) vs. Coco Gauff (Q)

At the same time Kvitova/Konta play on Centre, this match will occur on No.1 Court. Is this where the fairytale story of the 15-year-old qualifier comes to an end? To this dismay of many fans who have been enthralled by Coco’s shocking and thrilling run, a Halep victory appears the most likely outcome. Including qualifying, Gauff has already played six matches over the last two weeks. Competing that much at this level is completely new for the American upstart.

And Halep played some excellent tennis on Friday, allowing two-time Major champion Victoria Azarenka just four games. Simona just has too much experience, too much defence, and too much consistency for Gauff. While it was an American teenager that took out Halep at the French Open, in 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova, I just don’t see that happening again here. But even if Coco’s tournament comes to an end today, what an amazing ride it’s been.

Roger Federer (2) vs. Matteo Berrettini (17)

This will be the final match of the day on Centre Court. When the draws were finalized, this was the opponent that I felt could best challenge Federer ahead of the semi=finals. The 23-year-old Italian has come into his own in 2019, with 34 match wins at all levels, and two tour-level titles. Last month on the grass of Stuttgart, the 6’5” Berrettini grabbed the trophy after not being broken all week. Matteo has a great game for the grass, with a big serve and penetrating groundstrokes.

But what will he have left after a four-hour, nineteen minute epic against Diego Schwartzman on Saturday in which he saved three match points? Coming back just 48 hours later after all the physical and emotional energy spent in that five-setter to play the eight-time champion on Centre Court is a huge undertaking. While he can still push Federer if he plays his best, Roger is fresh and in great form, and is a solid favourite to reach an absurd 17th quarterfinal at The Championships.

Other notable matches on Day 7:

Seven-time champion Serena Williams (11) vs. Carla Suarez Navarro (30). Serena has completely dominated Carla throughout their careers, with a 6-0 record. Suarez Navarro has never won more than five games in any of their matches.

Two-Time champion Rafael Nadal (3) vs. Joao Sousa, the first Portuguese man to advance this far at Wimbledon. He eliminated the Brit’s last male hope, Dan Evans, in five sets on Saturday evening.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Ugo Humbert of France. The 21-year-old only possessed one win at a Major prior to this fortnight.

French Open champion Ash Barty (1) vs. Alison Riske, a 29-year-old from the United States who won a grass court event in s-Hertogenbosch last month.

Karolina Pliskova (3), the player many have named the best active woman yet to win a Major, vs. Karolina Muchova, a 22-year-old who is also from the Czech Republic.

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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