Wimbledon Day 9 Preview: The Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals - UBITENNIS
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Grand Slam

Wimbledon Day 9 Preview: The Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals

Can anyone stop “The Big 3” from making the semi-finals?

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Roger Federer (@WilsonTennis - Twitter)

By Matthew Marolf

 

Based on how Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic played on Monday, that seems unlikely. As Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated highlighted, they combined to only face one break point in the fourth round, one which Federer saved.  But all three will face stiffer competition on Wednesday, in three opponents with experience at this stage, as well as the capability of making these quarterfinals anything but straightforward.  And the fourth quarterfinal of the day features a matchup that surely no one had pencilled in at the start of the tournament, between two tour veterans vying for their first Major semi-final.

Roger Federer (2) vs. Kei Nishikori (8)

A year ago in this round of The Championships, Federer was up two sets and held a match point, before Kevin Anderson came roaring back to upset the eight-time champion. Could Roger stall again in this same round?  Federer holds a 7-3 advantage over Nishikori, though Kei claimed their last meeting, on an indoor hard court at the ATP Finals last November. Roger won their only match on grass, five years ago in Halle.

This is only their second encounter at a Major, with the first being Federer’s five set win on his way to the 2017 Australian Open title. Normally when Kei gets to this point of a Major, he’s completely wiped out, as he’s prone to five set battles in earlier rounds. But for the first time in a long time, Nishikori should be fully fresh for this quarterfinal, having only dropped one set on his way here. And I’m sure he’s enjoying the slightly slower court speeds and higher bounces at Wimbledon this year, which will play to his advantage against the fast-court loving Federer.

As sharp as Roger has played during this fortnight, I think Kei has a real shot at upsetting the all-time great on his favourite court. And if Nishikori can make this an extended affair, he has the best deciding set record in the Open Era, and is 23-6 in five set matches. The near-38-year-old Federer will need to avoid a fifth set in order to advance to his 13th semi-final at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. David Goffin (21)

Novak Djokovic (@Wimbledon – Twitter)

Djokovic is 5-1 against Goffin, though David took their last match, on the clay of Monte Carlo in 2017. It had been a rough 18 months for Goffin as he fought to regain his confidence after suffering a few freak injuries, but he’s finally playing some great tennis again. He took a set off Nadal at Roland Garros, then made the final in Halle, and is now into his first Wimbledon quarterfinal.

As taxing an opponent as he can be, Djokovic does everything just a bit better than Goffin. Novak would need to be a bit off his game for David to prevail. And judging by how comfortably Djokovic has advanced through the first four rounds, that’s not looking likely.

Rafael Nadal (3) vs. Sam Querrey

On paper, this looks like a blowout. It’s the 18-time Major champion against an unseeded player who missed much of 2019 with an abdominal injury. But Querrey is fully comfortable on the grass of The All England Club, and has a power game that can take control of the match away from Nadal. Despite having not played in nearly three months, Sam reached the final in Eastbourne the week before this tournament.

And this is now the third time in four years he’s advanced to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. In 2016, he upset Novak Djokovic in the third round. And in 2017, he took out a hobbled Andy Murray on Centre Court, so Sam has plenty of experience in knocking out top names at SW19. Nadal though will benefit from having already faced two players with a similar style to that of Querrey’s, in Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. While I can see Querrey testing Nadal on this day, Rafa remains the favourite to reach his second consecutive Wimbledon semi-final.

Roberto Bautista Agut (23) vs. Guido Pella (26)

Bautista Agut is into his second Major quarterfinal, with his first coming six months in Australia. But unlike that massive effort in which he survived three five-setters to get this far, he’s the only gentlemen’s quarterfinalist to not yet drop a set. Meanwhile coming into this tournament, Pella had never been beyond the third round at a Slam, and had not even advanced that far until just a year ago. The 29-year-old from Argentina was known as a clay court specialist, and owned a losing record on both grass and hard courts in his career.

Yet Guido upset two former Wimbledon finalists back-to-back to get here, in Kevin Anderson and Milos Raonic. But after a near-four hour, 8-6 in the fifth victory over the Canadian late in the day on Monday, what will Guido have left less than 48 hours later? Roberto has won both their previous meetings, most recently just a few months ago on the clay of Munich. With this faster surface favouring the atypical hitting of the Spaniard, who excels on faster courts, Bautista Agut will likely be the one playing in his first Major semi-final come Friday.

Other notable matches on Day 9:

In the third round of mixed doubles on No.2 Court, Andy Murray and Serena Williams, who have deemed themselves as “Team Murrena,” vs. the top seeds, Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar.

In the quarterfinals of ladies’ doubles on No.2 Court, four top singles stars will face off.  It will be Su-Wei Hsieh and singles semifinalist Barbora Strycova (3) vs. Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka.

In the quarterfinals of gentlemen’s doubles on No.3 Court, Raven Klassen and Michael Venus (3) vs. Henri Kontinen and John Peers, who survived Wimbledon’s first ever final set tiebreak by a score of 13-12 in the fifth just yesterday.

Grand Slam

$100,000 For Winning A Match: US Open Reveals Historic Prize Money Pool

The record-breaking prize money break down for the 2019 tournament has been revealed.

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The upcoming US Open will have the biggest prize money pool in the history of grand slam tennis after officials confirmed an eight percent increase in compensation compared to 2018.

 

A total of more than $57 million will be made available at the major, which is played at Flushing Meadows in New York. The men’s and women ‘s singles champion will each take home $3,850,000. An increase of $50,000 compared to last year. Runners-up will each receive $1,900,000.

Even more substantial is the money available for those participating in the early rounds. Players who lose in the second round will be rewarded with $100,000 in prize money. To put that into perspective, the champion of this week’s Hall Of Fame Championships in Newport will earn $100,600. The Newport event is categorised as an ATP 250 event.

Besides the player payouts, the US Open has also confirmed that they will provide half a million to both the ATP and WTA. The money will be used for the transition program for players, which helps those entering into retirement. Including providing pensions to players.

“The US Open prides itself on offering the best tennis players in the world the richest total prize money in our sport,” USTA Chairman of the Board and President Patrick Galbraith said in a statement. “We strive to be innovative, and feel that our new contribution of $500,000 to both the ATP’s pension plan and the WTA Tour’s transition programs for players will go a long way toward the long-term financial well-being of all of our sport’s athletes.”

The qualifying draw will also receive a boost with a year-on-year increase of 20 percent. Bringing the total amount of money available to a record $3.5 million. Meanwhile, the winners of the men’s and women’s doubles trophy will receive $740,000. More than $200,000 less than what singles players receive for reaching the semi-finals.

The US Open will get underway on August 26th. Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are the reigning champions.

Prize money break down

ROUND

2019 PRIZE MONEY

2018 PRIZE MONEY

INCREASE

Round 1

$58,000

$54,000

+$4000

Round 2

$100,000

$93,000

+$7000

Round 3

$163,000

$156,000

+$7000

Round 4

$280,000

$266,000

+$14,000

Quarter-finals

$500,000

$475,000

+$25,000

Semi-Finals

$960,000

$925,000

+$35,000

Runner-up

$1,900,000

$1,850,000

+$50,000

Champion

$3,850,000

$3,800,000

+$50,000

2019 DOUBLES PRIZE MONEY

(each team):
Winner: $740,000
Runner-Up: $370,000
Semifinalist: $175,000
Quarterfinalist: $91,000
Round of 16: $50,000
Round of 32: $30,000
Round of 64: $17,000

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Grand Slam

US Open Set To Bypass Age Eligibility Policy To Hand Cori Gauff Wildcard

The New York Grand Slam has confirmed that they will likely bend the rules in order for the teenage star to play in the main draw.

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Cori Gauff was the talk of Wimbledon and now the US Open have said they are willing to make an exception to their own policy in order for the teenager to play in the main draw of their tournament.

 

The 15-year-old American stunned the women’s tour with her run at the All England Club. Becoming the youngest player in the Open Era to successfully come through three rounds of qualifying. Then in the main draw Gauff knocked-out five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round. She also scored wins over Polona Hercog and Magdalena Rabrikova to reach the fourth round. Becoming the youngest player to reach the second week of a major since Jennifer Capriati at the 1991 Wimbledon championships. Gauff’s run was eventually ended by Simona Halep, who went on to win the title.

Now ranked 141st in the world, the rising star is currently limited to how many tournaments she can play in accordance with the WTA’s age-eligibility rule. A policy put in place to prevent early burnout for players. It is a rule that is also followed by the United States Tennis Association, who runs the US Open.

At present Gauff isn’t eligible for any more wild cards in 2019 after already using her three allotted ones. Doing so in the Miami Open, French Open qualifiers and Wimbledon qualifiers. Chris Widmaier, who is the director of communications for the USTA, has told The New York Post that he expects Gauff to receive a pass for the upcoming grand slam. Confirming that it is likely that she will be given a special exemption from the policy.

“We would expect to see Coco in the main draw of the US Open,’’ said Widmaier. “She certainly won the hearts of tennis fans in our country with her Wimbledon performance. It’s not every day an athlete of her age becomes water-cooler talk.‘’

The WTA has also said that they will not stand in the way of the USTA if they wish to bend the rules. Under the Rule Gauff is allowed to play a maximum of 10 tournaments between her 15th and 16th birthdays. Plus one of the two year-end tournaments if she qualifies and the Fed Cup.

“The US Open, as a Grand Slam, reserves the right to not align with the Age Eligibility Rule and offer a player a Wild Card in excess of her limit per the Age Eligibility Rule,’’ a WTA spokesperson told the NY Post.

A series of players have urged the WTA to make changes to their policy regarding young players in light of Gauff’s rapid rise. One of the most notable is Roger Federer, who is the co-founder of the Team8 management company that represents Gauff.

“I understand the rule completely that they want the young players not to play too much,” he said. “I’ve told the WTA they should loosen up the rules. I loved seeing [Martina] Hingis doing what she did at a young age.”

It is unclear if the WTA will be making any changes in the near future.

The US Open will get underway on August 26th.

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ATP

Novak Djokovic Conquers Federer In Wimbledon Classic To Win 16th Major Title

The world No.1 extends his winning head-to-head record against the Swiss player to 26-22 as he defends his title at the grass-court major.

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WIMBLEDON: Novak Djokovic has clinched his fifth Wimbledon title after maneuvering his way past Swiss nemesis Roger Federer 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(7-3), in a pulsating five-set classic. 

 

 

Djokovic, who has now won four out of the past five grand slam tournaments, overcame some patchy play to prevail at The All England Club. Saving two championship points he faced during a marathon final set. He claims his 16th grand slam title in what is the third highest tally in the history of men’s tennis. The thrilling clash saw Djokovic withstand 25 Federer aces as he hit 54 winners to 52 unforced errors.

“I think this was one of the most exciting and thrilling finals I have ever been a part of.” Said Djokovic.
“The top two or three in my career against one of the greatest players of all time who I respect a lot.”
“Unfortunately in these circumstances one of us had to lose.”

Taking to the court for their 48th clash on the tour, there was little to distinguish between the two tennis titans early on. Federer’s elegant movement around the court was matched by Djokovic’s sublime defensive skills. 12 games went by with only one break point opportunity occurring. That took place during the fourth game when Federer saw his chance come and go due to a loose error from the Swiss maestro.

Federer’s inability to convert went on to haunt him during the opener. A Series of mini breaks during the first tiebreak saw continuous changes of momentum. A four-point streak for Djokovic saw him fight back from behind to nudge ahead 5-3. Holding his nerve, the top seed clinched the first set after almost an hour at the expense of another mistake from across the court.

After the tense start came a dramatic lapse in Djokovic’s form and intensity on the court. The fierce fighting spirit of the Serbian banished in the second frame. Paving was for Federer to seal a double break with ease on route to a 4-0 lead. The nightmare set, in which he only won 12 points, stunned the crowd as Djokovic then double-faulted to enable his rival to draw level in the match.

After the puzzling display, Djokovic managed to regain his footing in the match. Much to the relief of coach Marian Vajda and his team watching in the crowd. Weathering the storm, he saved a set point on the route to triumphing in the second tiebreak. Ironically during the tiebreak, it was Federer’s turn to fall apart. Four errors from the eight-time champion guided Djokovic to a 4-1 advantage. Enough of a margin for him to go on and retain his lead.

Still, it was not enough to halt Federer, who electrified the crowd by dismantling the Djokovic serve twice in another resurgence during the fourth set. Making the top seed once again visibly frustrated on the court as he made mistake after mistake. Despite reclaiming one of those breaks, the damage was already done as a Federer serve and volley took the final into a decider.

In the history of Wimbledon, only one man has ever managed to defeat Djokovic in five sets. That was Mario Ancic back in 2006. Bidding to continue that record, the decider turned out to be one of the most dramatic in the history of grand slam tennis. Lasting just over two hours.

Crowd favorite Federer position himself to be within striking distance of the title after serving for the match at 8-7 (40-15). However, he failed to shake off Djokovic who came roaring back to draw back level. With little to separate the two tennis icons, it was only fitting that another tiebreaker would decide their fate. A Federer forehand shot landing out rewarded the world No.1 the 2-1 advantage as he moved to championship points of his own. Then at his first chance of prevailing, Djokovic claimed victory with the help of a Federer shank. Bringing an end to one of the most memorable clashes in the 48-match history between the two.

“I will try to forget,” Federer said after his loss.
“It was a great match. It was long, I had my chances, so did he. We played some great tennis.”

Whilst a disappointed Federer waits another year to see if he can match Martina Navratilova and win a ninth Wimbledon title, his rival Djokovic has paid tribute to him.

“We both had chances. It’s quite unreal to be two match points down and come back. It is strange to play a tiebreaker in the final set at 12-12.” Djokovic reflected.
“Roger said he hopes that he can give people inspiration to play at 37 and I am one of them. He inspires me.”

Djokovic in the fourth man in the open Era to win a fifth Wimbledon title. He exits the tournament with 2000 rankings point to boost his world No.1 ranking, as well as £2,350,000 in prize money.

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