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

While Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have the day off, there will be intriguing matchups all over the grounds.

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The top four women in the world will all be in action.  Most notably, this year’s Roland Garros champion Ash Barty will face a two-time former winner in Maria Sharapova.  And there will be plenty of matches featuring ATP Next Gen players, including Karen Khachanov against Kick Kyrgios in what is sure to be a power-hitting battle.

 

Ash Barty (1) vs. Maria Sharapova (WC)

Barty is the top seed but is the world No.2 as of Monday after her opening round loss last week in Toronto.  And with a loss today, she’d drop to No.3, which would be significant with the US Open just 12 days away. This is a rematch from the Australian Open in January, when Barty came back from a set down to prevail.  It’s easy to forget that win earned Ash her first quarterfinal at a Major, considering she’s now a Major champion. Sharapova claimed their other previous meeting last year in Rome, which was another three-setter.  On Monday, Maria garnered only her second win since returning from her most recent shoulder surgery, over an in-form Alison Riske. Even though Sharapova is far from her best, this is only Barty’s second match within the past five weeks.  And after carrying a 15-match winning streak through the first week of Wimbledon, Ash has now lost her last two matches. With the fast courts in Cincinnati favoring her big and flat hitting, I would not be surprised to see Sharapova pull off the upset today.

Karen Khachanov (8) vs. Nick Kyrgios

Which Nick Kyrgios will we see today?  Two weeks ago, he appeared rather motivated and won the title in Washington.  A few days later, he meekly went out in the first round of the Rogers Cup. He then rebounded with a straight-set win in his opening round here.  Nick owns a respectable 8-4 record in Cincinnati, having advanced to the final two years ago. Meanwhile Khachanov is coming off his second consecutive semifinal in Canada, and has seemingly recovered from a considerable slump to start the year.  This will be the first match Khachanov faces Kyrgios, it’s hard to know what to expect. But I suspect Nick will get up for this match against a top 10 player, and should get the duke if he plays his best and holds his serve easily.

Other notable matches on Wednesday:

World No.1 Naomi Osaka (2) vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich.  How will Naomi respond to her first loss to Serena Williams last week?

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep (4) vs. Ekaterina Alexandrova.  This is Halep’s first time playing the 24-year-old Russian, who is now at a career-high ranking of 43rd in the world.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (5) vs. Jan-Lennard Struff.  Struff won the last time they played, on the clay of Barcelona in April.

2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens (8) vs. Yulia Putintseva.  Putuntseva has taken both of their most recent matches, including earlier this year on a hard court in Sydney.

In a match between the two best male Japanese players in the world, Kei Nishikori (6) vs. Yoshihito Nishioka (Q).

Elina Svitolina (7) vs. Elise Mertens.  They’ve split their two previous hard court encounters.

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Caroline Wozniacki Announces Retirement After Australian Open

Caroline Wozniacki has announced that she will retire from tennis after the Australian Open in January.

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Caroline Wozniacki (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Caroline Wozniacki has announced that she will retire from tennis after the Australian Open as a new chapter in her life approaches. 

 

The Dane won 30 WTA singles titles in her career and spent 71 weeks as world number one although a grand slam had haunted her for most of her career.

However that changed in 2018 after an epic win over Simona Halep sealed a dream come true as she won her first grand slam at the Australian Open.

Since winning her maiden slam though, it has been an uphill struggle on the court for Wozniacki as she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

Some days the former world number one and on some days, it is a constant battle for her to even wake up in the morning.

Now with other priorities taking over having been married to former NBA player David Lee since June and already studying Business at Harvard, Wozniacki today took the decision to retire from tennis after the Australian Open.

https://twitter.com/MPTenisPodcast/status/1202972268831367168

In a statement on Instagram, Woznaicki told her followers that she had accomplished everything she wanted to and looks forward to the future, “I’ve accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court,” she said.

“I’ve always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis that I want to do more, then it’s time to be done. In recent months, I’ve realized that there is a lot more in life that I’d like to accomplish off the court.

“Getting married to David was one of those goals and starting a family with him while continuing to travel the world and helping raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis (project upcoming) are all passions of mine moving forward.

“This has nothing to do with my health and this isn’t a goodbye, I look forward to sharing my exciting journey ahead with all of you!

“Finally, I want to thank with all my heart, the fans, my friends, my sponsors, my team, especially my father as my coach, my husband, and my family for decades of support! Without all of you I could have never have done this!”

Although this retirement may have been coming, not many people would have predicted it would come at the scene of her grand slam breakthrough.

Now in the last stretch of her career, the Dane will want to finish on a high as she looks to celebrate a career that has lasted nearly 15 years.

 

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Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Venus Williams are the stand-out names in Adelaide

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Four top 10 players Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens and former Grand Slam champions Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber will grab the headlines at the Adelaide International from 12 to 18 January 2020.

 

A total of seven Grand Slam champions and five former world number one players will take part in the Adelaide WTA tourament.

This year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty leads a star-studded line-up, which includes 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Kiki Bertens and seven other members of the top 20.

The Main Draw also features Sofia Kenin, Alison Riske, Sloane Stephens and Danielle Collins, World Number 30 Quang Wang. World Number 12 and this Rome WTA Premier finalist Johanna Konta will play her first tournament since the US Open following a knee injury.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has been announced as the Top 20 wildcard.

“It is always exciting to play at a new tournament in front of new fans. I have had so many memorable times times in Australia over the years and I am looking forward to discovering Adelaide and all it has to offer”, said Venus Williams.

The men’s line-up includes 2019 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, Alex De Minaur, Lucas Pouille and Andrey Rublev.

“The full list of players is a real who’s who of tennis, from Australia’s favourite Ashleigh Barty to the iconic Venus Williams, right through to the young talent of Alex De Minaur and the experienced campaigner Novak Djokovic in the men’s field”, said South Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway.

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Marton Fucsovics Reflects On ‘Tough’ Transition To Main Tour

Marton Fucsovics speaks about the difficulties of travelling to the ATP World Tour from the Juniors.

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Marton Fucsovics (@atptour - Twitter)

World number 70 Marton Fucsovics has revealed the pressures that came after success at Juniors level. 

 

The Hungarian has reached a career high ranking of 31 in the world with his big-hitting game but many expected Fucsovics to do better on the ATP Tour.

After winning the 2010 Wimbledon Juniors title, many had predicted big things for Fucsovics but the transition wasn’t a smooth one.

Now in a recent interview, the 27 year-old reveals that he felt the pressure that came with being a good Juniors player, “I felt a lot of pressure,” Fucsovics told TennisHead. 

“Everybody expected me to be in the top 100 in the next one or two years, but it didn’t happen for another eight years. It was a difficult time. I played Challenger tournaments every week. It was tough.”

Despite finding it hard to transition, Fucsovics’ hard work finally payed off in 2018 as he won his first ATP World Tour title in Geneva.

It’s an achievement that shows that his fighting spirits have paid off, “When I turned 18 or 19 I wasn’t very good. The transition was really hard for me. But I kept on fighting. It was my dream, and finally I made it.”

Although it wasn’t a career many had expected from the Hungarian, it’s one that he is proud of and that is what tennis all about, celebrating those who work hard for their dreams.

Another tough thing about Fucsovics’ career was the fact he came from a country that isn’t a big tennis nation and he also revealed how tough it was growing up, “As a country we’ve been getting better since me and Timea Babos broke into the top 100, Tennis is getting more popular in Hungary but we’re still not there yet,” Fucsovics admitted.

“Ninety-five per cent of the courts in Hungary are clay, There are very few indoor courts in Hungary. I don’t think there are any in the whole country outside of Budapest.

“In Hungary we didn’t have the facilities, the coaches, the courts. You have to pay to play but you don’t have to join a club to play, You can just pay the hourly rate.”

It’s an interesting insight and gives a perspective of just how hard Fucsovics has had to work to reach his goals having been only the second male player in history to be in the top 100.

The Hungarian will need to work even harder next season if he wants to climb up the ATP rankings as he sits number 70 in the world at the end of 2019.

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