Rogers Cup Finals Preview: Will It Be Double Delight For Rafa And Serena? - UBITENNIS
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Rogers Cup Finals Preview: Will It Be Double Delight For Rafa And Serena?

All singles and doubles titles will be decided today between Toronto and Montreal.



In the singles finals, we’ll see two of the best of all-time try to stave off surging young newcomers.  Serena Williams will play for her first title in over two-and-a-half years, but Canada’s new teen sensation stands in her way.  And Rafael Nadal vies to defend a hard court title for the first time in his entire career, but the new Russian No.1, who is also the hottest player in the US Open Series, stands in his way.  In a rare occurrence, both singles finals at an event of this magnitude will feature first-time meetings.


Rafael Nadal (1) vs. Daniil Medvedev (8)

Nadal got the benefit of a Monfils retirement in the semifinals.  And Medvedev is yet to drop a set this week, so both men should have full tanks for this one.  Daniil has been on a tear over the last 12 months, with 62 match wins. This is his seventh final during that time, and he owns a 3-3 record in the six previous championship matches.  Medvedev has been playing so well this summer, with the only two sets he’s dropped in the past two weeks coming in last week’s Washington final at the hands of Nick Kyrgios. He has the kind of big game that can bother Nadal, with a strong serve and penetrating groundstrokes.  But this will be the biggest final of his career, against an 18-time Major champion. I just fear his game might shrink a bit under these circumstances. Daniil does not come off as the type of player who craves the spotlight. And Nadal will be eager to cushion his ranking points lead over Roger Federer.  A loss today would leave him only 85 points ahead of Roger in the race for the second seed at the US Open, and there’s plenty of speculation that Nadal will against skip the Masters 1,000 event next week in Cincinnati as he did last year. All things considered, I like Rafa’s chances to defend his title in a tight three-setter.

Serena Williams vs. Bianca Andreescu

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As Tumaini Carayol highlighted on Twitter, Bianca Andreescu is now on a 40-4 run at all levels, a run which started last November when she was ranked 178th in the world.  Prior to this week, the highlight of her season was in Indian Wells, where she took out four top 20 players in a shocking title win.  In the coming four months, she would only complete four matches due to a shoulder injury. But accordingly to Bianca, this week’s run at her country’s biggest tournament means even more to her than her Indian Wells title.  Prior to yesterday’s stellar semifinal against Sofia Kenin, she won four consecutive three-setters, which included two wins over top 5 opposition. It’s not often nowadays that a crowd is thoroughly against Serena Williams, but they certainly will be today.  But I don’t think Serena will let that bother her: she’s been all business this week in Toronto. She fell behind early in three of her four matches, but quickly recovered to win rather comfortably in each case. However, in her fourth final since her life-threatening child birth, will the memories of her last three losses in finals impact her play?  While I’m sure they’ll be prevalent in her mind, she’ll feel less pressure since this is not a Grand Slam event. The bigger factor today will be her opponent, as the 19-year-old Andreescu has quickly shown herself to be one of the sports’ fiercest competitors. She does not have any big holes in her game, and it doesn’t seem like she’ll be overwhelmed by this occasion, or her opponent.  And despite the tape on her leg, Andreescu appears to still be quicker around the court than Serena. Also remember this: Bianca is 6-0 against top 10 players. I’ve bet against Andreescu throughout her run this week, and she’s continually proved me wrong, so I’m going with Bianca to pull off another thrilling upset in front of an electric Canadian crowd.

Other notable matches on Sunday:

In the women’s doubles final, two-time Major champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova (1) vs. Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Demi Schuurs (3).  This is a rematch from Wimbledon last month, when Krejcikova and Siniakova prevailed in the quarterfinals.

In the men’s doubles final, the Dutch team of Robin Haase and Wesley Koolhof vs. Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.  As Dutch writer Ilan Woolley pointed out on Twitter, this is Koolhof’s seventh doubles final of the year, though he’s yet to win one.


India’s Sumit Nagal Receives Sponsorship Boost After Revelling Financial Struggles



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A leading food and drink company has pledged to support India’s highest-ranked men’s player who was unable to train at his usual facility in Germany earlier this year due to a lack of money. 


Earlier this week world No.159 Sumit Nagal made a public plea for financial support to help him continue his career as a tennis player. In recent years he has been based at the Nansel Tennis Academy in Germany but was unable to train there during the first three months of the 2023 season due to a lack of funds. During this period he relied on his friends, including former player Somdev Devvarman, to help maintain his fitness. 

“If I look at my bank balance, I have what I had at the beginning of the year. It is 900 euros. I did get a bit of help. Mr Prashant Sutar is helping me with MAHA Tennis Foundation and I also get monthly (salary) from IOCL but I don’t have any big sponsor,” Nagal told the Press Trust of India.
“I am investing whatever I am making. The yearly cost where I travel with one coach is costing me around Rs 8 million to Rs 10 million (90,000-113,000 euros) and that is just with one travelling coach (no physio). Whatever I have made I have already invested,” he added.

Nagal, who is 26 years old, has reached the semi-finals of better at five tournaments on the lower-level Challenger Tour so far this season. His only Grand Slam result was at the US Open where he lost in the first round of qualifying to Taro Daniel. It was at the US Open where he took a set off Roger Federer before losing in 2019. 

Despite being the only player from his country to be ranked in the top 400, Nagal is currently not part of the Target Olympics Podium Scheme. An initiative set up by the Indian government to provide support to their top athletes.

After learning about Nagal’s ongoing struggles on the Tour, a leading company has decided to support the tennis player by signing a three-year deal with him. Gatorade specializes in sports drinks and is manufactured by PepsiCo. Under the deal, Nagal will receive support with his recovery and nutrition from experts at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI).  

“I am deeply moved and grateful to join hands with Gatorade. This association comes to me at a pivotal time, and I am thankful my hard work and passion is getting recognized and appreciated. With Gatorade by my side, I am sure I will reach new heights and give it my all both on and off the court,” the Indo-Asian News Service quoted Nagal as saying on Thursday. 

Speaking about the new partnership, Ankit Agarwal from PepsiCo India has hailed the collaboration. Agarwal is the company’s Associate Director of Energy & Hydration. 

“Sumit is a role model for the new-gen athletes of India with his career being a true example of hard work and sweat that makes talent shine,” he said.
“As a brand that is dedicated to supporting athletes in removing barriers to sporting success, we are delighted to welcome Sumit to the Gatorade squad.”

Nagal has been ranked as high as No.122 in the world. So far in his career, he has won four Challenger titles with two of those occurring this year in Italy and Finland. 

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(VIDEO): Malaga Line-Up Set As Davis Cup Most Unpredictable Tournament In History

UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta explains why any of the eight teams in Malaga could win November’s Davis Cup Finals




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The Davis Cup quarter-final line-up is set after an incredible Group Stage over Bologna, Split, Manchester and Valencia.


Now eight teams remain including Novak Djokovic’s Serbia, Great Britain and Australia.

However surprise teams such as the Netherlands, Finland and the Czech Republic will also appear in the quarter-finals.

Ten-time champions Great Britain will face Serbia with the winners taking on the winner of the quarter-final between Italy and the Netherlands.

In the other half of the draw Canada will be heavy favourites against Finland while the Czech Republic face Australia.

The final eight tournament will take place in Malaga and will take place between the 21st and the 26th of November.

However this year’s Davis Cup could be the most unpredictable version in the tournament’s history with there being no Spain or USA.

It really could be anyone’ tournament with Tennis’ most prestigious team competition up for grabs in November.

In this video UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta explains why this year’s Davis Cup finals could be the most unpredictable edition of all-time and why any of the teams could win the title.

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Simona Halep Claims Doing Ban Is ‘Based On Scenarios’ Without Proof




Former world No.1 Simona Halep has questioned the fairness of her anti-doping hearing after being suspended from the sport for four years. 


The two-time Grand Slam champion is suspended from tour events until 2026 after an independent tribunal concluded that the Romanian broke rules set out in Tennis’ anti-doping program. In a 126-page report by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), investigators accepted that the collagen supplement taken by Halep – called Keto MCT – was contaminated with Roxadustat “on the balance of probability.” However, they stated that there must have been another source of Roxadustat based on the level detected in her sample taken during the 2022 US Open. 

Furthermore, three experts in the area said they have ‘a high degree of confidence‘ that there was not an ‘innocent explanation’ for the abnormalities detected in Halep’s Athlete’s Biological Passport (ABP). They reported that ‘likely doping’ occurred based on an analysis of 51 valid samples of Halep’s blood and rejected her explanation for the irregularity. The tennis star cited blood loss during surgery and spells when she was inactive as her defence. 

Despite the comprehensive ruling, Halep has insisted that she is innocent and never intentionally took any banned substances. During an interview with Front Office Sports on Monday, the 31-year-old claimed that the ITIA’s four-year ban handed to her was based on ‘scenarios’ instead of any proof. 

“I was confident after the hearing because there were so many things that made no sense and that are not fair,” she said.
“When I received the decision, I was in complete shock. I could not believe that they suspended me for four years when we found the contamination and my blood was totally normal. They didn’t find anything bad in my blood. It’s crazy that they made this decision with everything [her legal team presented]. They judged me on scenarios. There is no proof. It’s just insane.”

The ITIA originally requested a six-year ban for Halep due to what they described as ‘repetitive and sophisticated’ doping practices. She is accused of using blood doping to improve her performance during Wimbledon and the US Open last year. However, the report found it was not ‘completely satisfied’ that Halep has been doping since March 2022 despite there being ‘strong grounds for suspicion.’

As for the substance Roxadustat, Halep says she would have never deliberately taken the drug as it would ‘work against her.’ She says that the drug would have worsened a thyroid issue which she has been dealing with for several years. Front Office Sports referred to a European Medicines Agency study which finds a possible link between the drug and decreased thyroid function. 

“There was no point for me to take this,” Halep said. “It’d work against me. It wouldn’t help me.”

The study couldn’t establish how common this side effect is due to the amount of data available at the time. 

In the wake of Halep’s ban, some have publicly expressed their views on the matter. One of the most notable to do so was Serena Williams who wrote on social media ‘8 is a better number” in a jibe at her former opponent. The reference was to the 2019 Wimbledon final when seven-time champion Williams lost in straight sets to Halep. 

“I think everyone has the right to judge me because the tribunal decided that I have the fault here,” Halep commented. “Someone told me today that those players who are hating on me because I beat them.”

Halep is set to appeal against her ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). 

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