Cincinnati Open Monday Preview: The Men’s & Women’s Match of the Day - UBITENNIS
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Cincinnati Open Monday Preview: The Men’s & Women’s Match of the Day

With the exception of Rafael Nadal, all the sport’s top names are scheduled to play this week in the heartland of America.



Nine active players own three or more Major singles titles: Serena, Roger, Rafa, Novak, Venus, Maria, Andy, Stan, and Angelique.  Of those nine names, three of them have recently suffered significant setbacks in their career.


39-year-old Venus Williams is only 14-10 on the year and currently ranked outside the top 50.  Maria Sharapova can’t seem to stay healthy since her 2016 drug suspension, and is ranked 81st in the world with only seven match wins this season.  And it was believed that Andy Murray had retired from singles competition this past January due to his ongoing hip issues.  But after successful surgery six months ago, he is now pain-free, and will return to singles action today. These three stars will play back-to-back-to-back as they headline Monday’s schedule in Cincinnati.

Richard Gasquet (PR) vs. Andy Murray (WC)

It’s hard for Murray to ask for a better opponent in his return than a man playing on a protected ranking against whom he owns an 8-3 record.  Andy has prevailed the last five times they’ve played, with Gasquet’s last win coming over seven years ago. Of course none of us, including Andy himself, are exactly sure what to expect from him today in his first singles match since January’s Australian Open.  And while a groin injury forced Gasquet to miss the first four months of 2019, he seems to be rediscovering some form. The 33-year-old Frenchman claimed two nice wins last week in Montreal over Benoit Paire and Kei Nishikori. But I’m still going with Murray to be victorious in his return.  He’s looked rather sharp on the doubles court over the past two months, and I’m confident he wouldn’t be returning to singles action if he wasn’t fully ready.

Alison Riske (WC) vs. Maria Sharapova (WC)

Riske is only a wild card here since entry is based on the rankings from many weeks ago.  Riske is now ranked 37th in the world thanks to her 14 grass court wins between June and July, including her run to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.  Ali also picked up three wins last week in Canada (including qualifying rounds), and pushed world No.3 Karolina Pliskova to three sets, so the 29-year-old American is playing with a lot of confidence.  Sharapova on the other hand can’t have much confidence at all. She missed four months of this year due to injury, and is just 1-3 since returning. And she had to retire from one of those losses due to a left forearm injury.  But she did thoroughly test Anett Kontaveit in defeat last week in Toronto. And she’s 3-0 against Riske, with her most recent victory coming just last year on a hard court. But considering Riske has won 17 of her last 20 matches played, she may be too much for a Sharapova without much match play.

Other notable matches on Monday:

Venus Williams vs. Lauren Davis (Q).  Venus has won all three of their previous meetings, but Davis claimed a few nice wins in the past few weeks over Angelique Kerber and Sofia Kenin.

Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo (2) vs. Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic (WC).  This will be Djokovic’s first match since his epic Wimbledon triumph last month.

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claim their first ATP Finals title in London



The French team formed by Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed their first men’s doubles title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in 70 minutes at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London ending the 2019 ATP season on a high note with back-to-back titles in Paris Bercy and London. They remained unbeaten during the whole week at the ATP Finals in London winning all five matches in straight sets.


Herbert and Mahut fended off all four break points they faced scoring their ninth consecutive match win. The French doubles specialists have become the first team to win the doubles ATP Finals title without dropping a set since Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in 2015.

Herbert and Mahut fended off break points in the third game of the match before earning the only break of the opening set in the next game. The Frenchmen saved a break point in the sixth game before breaking serve in the seventh game.

They have become the French team to win the ATP Finals doubles title since Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro, who triumphed in Shanghai in 2005.

Herbert and Mahut have won 15 doubles titles as a team during their career. This year they became the eighth men’s doubles team to complete the career Grand Slam at last January’s Australian Open and also won the Rolex Paris Masters in front of their home fans.

Last year they came within one point of winning the ATP Finals title against Mike Bryan and Jack Sock after holding a match point.

“Thank you Nicolas for sharing the court, for having so much enjoyable moments and giving me so much joy, when I am with you on the court. You played an unbelievable final, so thank you for that”, said Pierre Hugues Herbert.


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Jannik Sinner wins his third ATP Challenger in Ortisei



Jannik Sinner won the ATP Challenger in Ortisei adding another title to his impressive collection of trophies he lifted during a memorable 2019 season.


The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion beat world number 173 Sebastian Ofner from Austria 6-2 6-4 in 1 hour and 6 minutes in the final of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Sudtirol at the Tennis Center in Ortisei.

Sinner won his third ATP Challenger title in 2019 after his previous wins in Bergamo and Lexington. He also reached the final in Ostrava. During the tournament the 18-year-old player from San Candido beat Lucas Miedler in the first round, Roberto Marcora in the second round, Federico gaio in the quarter final and Antoine Hoang in the semifinal without dropping a set.

Sinner will improve his ranking to his career-high at world number 78 in the ATP Ranking becoming the sixth best ranked Italian player after Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Sonego, Marco Cecchinato and Andreas Seppi.

Sinner broke serve in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner missed two game points in the seventh game. The Austrian player faced another break point after his third double fault. In the next game Sinner saved the first break point he faced. Sinner closed out the first set 6-2 after two backhand errors from Ofner in the eighth game.

Sinner went up a break to open up a 2-0 lead, but Ofner broke back in the fourth game and held on his serve to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner saved three break points in the seventh game to take a 4-3. Sinner converted his fourth break point in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and served out the win with two consecutive aces.

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Tomas Berdych: It Is Up To Others To Decide My Legacy

The former top-10 player spoke with reporters for the first time since officially retiring from the sport



Tomer Berdych (far left) among group of recently retired player's attending special presentation at The 2019 ATP Finals

LONDON: Tomas Berdych has said his future plans is ‘to not have a plan’ after officially retiring from tennis on Saturday at the age of 34.


The former Wimbledon runner-up joined a series of other former players to celebrate their careers in a special on-court presentation at the ATP Finals. Also present was Radek Stepanek and David Ferrer. News of Berdych’s decision to walk away from the sport surfaced earlier this week after a Czech newspaper spoke with his father Martin.

Speculation has mounted in recent months about Berdych’s future in the sport after struggles with injury issues concerning his back and hip. He hasn’t played on the tour since the US Open. Overall, he has only managed to play 22 matches this season. Winning 13 of them.

“I was able to train, practice, prepare, and then you get to the tournament, and then I play three games, the problem came back.” Berdych explained during a press conference about his decision.
“You put all the negative stuff on the one side, and then the positive is to go on court, fight, win the match, and there was no chance to achieve that. There is really no point to continue.”

Playing in the shadows on the Big Four contingent, the Czech still managed to establish himself as a household name. Albeit on a smaller scale. As of this week, he is ranked as the 11th highest-earning player on the ATP Tour in history with more than $29 million in prize money. His achievements include winning 13 ATP titles and spending 794 consecutive weeks in the top 100. At his peak, he was fourth in the world rankings and finished seven seasons inside the top 10.

Like any other player, it hasn’t always been a smooth journey for Berdych. One example was during the 2012 Australian Open where he was booed off the court after defeating Nicolas Almagro during what was a bad-tempered encounter. However, fortunately, most of his career has been free from controversy.

“Do I have any regrets? No, I think even the bad things or the negative experience that I went through or I experienced or I have done, I think they were there for the reason. I think without them, I wouldn’t be as good as I was.” Berdych stated.
“I think even the bad ones were there for a reason.”

Now he has stepped away from the sport for good, what does the future have in store? According to the Czech, he is in no intention of rushing into anything else soon. Although he admits that it may not be tennis-related.

“The plan is actually not to have any plans. The last 15, 20 years was so hectic and so demanding that I just need to just to breathe out easily after all those years.”

As the chapter closes on the career of one of the Czech Republic’s most successful male players in the Open Era, he leaves the sport with high respect from both his fans and fellow rivals. As for his legacy, he says that it is not for him to decide.

“I think I’m not the correct one to judge that. I was trying to do the best I possibly can, and I think this is something that you created with your achievement and with your behavior.” He concludes.

Berdych’s career in numbers

2 – number of Davis Cup titles won
4 – highest ATP ranking achieved
13– number of ATP titles
53 – number of wins over top 10 players
342 – number of losses on the ATP Tour
640 – number of wins on the ATP Tour
2002 – the year he turned pro
2019 – the year he retired
29,491,328 – career prize money (in US dollars)

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