Rogers Cup Saturday Preview: The Men’s & Women’s Match of the Day - UBITENNIS
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Rogers Cup Saturday Preview: The Men’s & Women’s Match of the Day

While all-time greats Serena and Rafa will be heavy favourites, the day’s best semifinals will involve some of tennis’ most promising young talents.



Bianca Andreescu (@SportsCentre - Twitter)

By Matthew Marolf 


Due to rain in Montreal last night, the last quarterfinal between Roberto Bautista Agut and Gael Monfils will be played at 1pm local time today, with the winner’s reward being a match with Rafael Nadal just a few hours later. In between those two matches, we’ll see the first-ever all-Russian semi-final at a Masters 1,000 event.

In Toronto, Serena Williams will headline the evening session against a 21-year-old qualifier, who benefited from the retirement of Simona Halep last night. The afternoon session will see a 19-year-old Canadian favourite face a 20-year-old American, both of whom have quickly become two of the WTA’s fiercest competitors.

Bianca Andreescu vs. Sofia Kenin

Just as she did at Indian Wells back in March, Andreescu just won’t die at this tournament. She’s now won four consecutive three-setters in the last four days, including wins over both the third and fifth seeds. Yesterday she appeared to be completely down and out against Karolina Pliskova. After losing the second set 6-2, she left the court to have her upper leg taped up. Bianca was clearly in pain, and her movement hampered, yet managed to hold her serve and capitalize on a terrible Pliskova service game at 4-4 to claim victory.

Today she faces the last player to defeat her in a completed match on a hard court. In Acapulco earlier this year, Kenin overcame a third set deficit to prevail 7-5. Andreescu would avenge that loss just a few weeks later in Miami.  They were scheduled to play again at Roland Garros, but Bianca withdrew due to injury. Kenin would go on to upset Serena Williams at that tournament, one of many impressive wins she’s accumulated this year. Sofia herself defeated both the top seed and sixth seed this week.

The biggest factors today will be Andreescu’s leg injury, as well as the amount of physical and emotional energy she’s already spent this week. Kenin has spent considerably less time on court, playing only one three-setter.  The American should be favoured to reach the biggest final of her career.

Karen Khachanov (6) vs. Daniil Medvedev (8)

This is a battle between two 23-year-olds to be the Russian No.1.  Khachanov currently holds that title, but Medvedev would surpass him in next week’s rankings with a win today. Khachanov is playing for his second Masters 1,000 final, while it would be the first for Medvedev. Neither man was tested in yesterday’s quarterfinals, so they should be fully fresh today. They’ve split their two previous meetings: Medvedev prevailed at the 2017 Next Gen Finals, but Khachanov won in three in their home country of Russia last October. Khachanov has achieved more success on big stages, with his Masters 1,000 title last year at the Paris Indoors, and his Major quarterfinal at this year’s French Open.

Medvedev is yet to get beyond the fourth round of a Major, but he’s easily been the most consistent performer outside the Slams. Daniil owns an astounding 61 match wins over the past 52 weeks, with three titles and three additional finals. One of those finals was just last week in Washington, where Nick Kyrgios bested him in two tiebreak sets. And Medvedev has followed that up by destroying his opposition this week, dropping only 13 games in six sets played.

There isn’t too much to separate these two, considering their similar playing styles, making this a hard one to call.  But I’m giving the slight edge to Khachanov, who has more big match experience, and flourishes while playing in French-speaking cities. In a match of this importance between two countrymen of the same generation, the advantage goes to the player with more belief.

Other notable matches on Saturday:

In the only quarterfinal still to be played, Roberto Bautista Agut (10) vs. Gael Monfils (16), with the winner to face Rafael Nadal in the evening.

Serena Williams (8) vs. Marie Bouzkova (Q).  Serena looked fierce in gaining her first victory over Naomi Osaka last night.



Carlos Alcaraz Satisfied With ‘Complete’ Roland Garros Performance

Carlos Alcaraz defeated Taro Daniel in four sets to set up a third round meeting at Roland Garros with Denis Shapovalov.



Carlos Alcaraz was satisfied with his ‘complete’ Roland Garros performance after a 6-1 3-6 6-1 6-2 win over Taro Daniel.


The world number one needed four sets to reach the third round as both players had to adapt to windy conditions.

After an aggressive second set from Daniel, Alcaraz stamped his authority on the match as he only dropped three games in the last two games.

Speaking after the match Alcaraz described his performance against Daniel as ‘complete’, “Yeah, I’m really happy with the level that I played today,” Alcaraz said in his press conference.

“I mean, overcome the problems that was in the match because the windy and, yeah, it has been a really complete match from my side, and I’m really happy with that.”

Alcaraz also admitted that he has been training in Vienna to prepare for the windy conditions like today, “Well, is tough, you know, but I could say that I’m a player who plays really well with the windy,” the Spaniard added.

“I practice in Vienna that has a lot of windy, a lot of days, you know, and I’m used to play with windy, let’s say. It’s tough, because you play two games with windy, plus windy, and two games against windy, and it’s really tough to adapt your game into that.

“You know, I tried to, you know, to play as best as I can, you know, with the windy. Today I think I played a good level with that.”

Alcaraz will look to continue to adapt to conditions in Paris as he searches for his second Grand Slam title.

Next for Alcaraz will be powerful Canadian Denis Shapovalov and the Spaniard admitted it will be a difficult match on Friday, “I have never played against him. But I practiced in Barcelona with him. But everybody knows his level,” the top seed explained.

“It’s going to be really difficult, really difficult match. I have to be ready on that, really focused on his shots. But as I said a lot of times, I always try not to, you know, think about the opponent. I always try to think about me, about myself, you know, about my game, and try to put it into the match.

“All I can say is tomorrow is a day off for me, and we are gonna think about the match tomorrow with my team and let’s see how it’s gonna be.”

The match will be the first meeting between the two players with a spot in the fourth round at stake.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Excited’ To Break More Records After Sealing 20th Roland Garros Win

Stefanos Tsitsipas is ‘excited’ to break more records after securing his 20th Roland Garros victory.



Stefanos Tsitsipas (@atptour - Twitter)

Stefanos Tsitsipas is ‘excited’ to break more records as he claimed a 20th victory at Roland Garros.


The Greek progressed to the third round of Roland Garros with a straight sets win over Roberto Carballes Baena.

Tsitsipas’ win was the 51st of his Grand Slam career as well as the 20th victory that he secured at Roland Garros.

Speaking after the win Tsitsipas spoke about the satisfaction he gets when he breaks records, “I am very much in when it comes to breaking records. I get excited when I see personal records being kind of set and broken,” Tsitsipas said in his press conference.

“Of course it’s a great satisfaction to be seeing those stats, because there is so much work behind it, and sometimes it’s difficult to grasp the fact that it all happened so quickly.

“I just wish to keep on going. I wish to be healthy and to be fighting for more titles and breaking personal records but also records that haven’t been set before in tennis, like that serve thing that happened in Madrid was quite cool, actually. I never thought about it. It just happened.”

Tsitsipas will look to gain more Grand Slam wins in the future as he aims for a maiden Grand Slam title over the next two weeks.

The world number five also spoke about how tennis is a psychological sport and how important it is to perform well under pressure, “Well, it’s psychological, I believe, a big important part of the game,” Tsitsipas said.

“As I said, in the tiebreaker, my mind shifted. It changed towards something — well, I wasn’t aiming too much for being conservative, and that led me, that for sure I owe to that, that I was able to win a tiebreaker because of that.

“The psychological state that you’re in when you play is “the” most important thing, and this starts from outside of the court. If you’re able to be in peace and balance before you step on the court, that’s already a big
advantage that you have.

“Of course technical, these are minor things that you can always improve on and are much more controllable in a way and have external force too. But I think if you’re a player that can perform big on pressure moments, that is the thing that is going to just give you a good career in tennis.

“There are a few guys that can play good under pressure, especially in big, tight moments, and you have to have the mental strength of a Navy SEAL to pull it through, in a way. You have to have the physique of a marathon runner, the lungs of a marathon runner.

“You have to have the power of a football player, so back to the hard-work part, there is just so many little components that you have to link up in order to make this unbelievable player where you allow yourself to be unstoppable.”

This is a fascinating insight from Tsitsipas on the psychological work it takes to become a successful tennis player.

Now Tsitsipas looks to use these elements to his advantage as he looks to finally make his Grand Slam breakthrough in Paris.

The fifth seed’s Roland Garros charge will now continue on Friday where he plays Nuno Borges or Diego Schwartzman.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Eases Past Carballes Baena To Reach Roland Garros Third Round

Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised into the third round at Roland Garros with victory over Roberto Carballes Baena.



Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised past Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3 7-6(4) 6-2 to reach the third round at Roland Garros.


The Greek played a near-flawless match to reach the last 32 in Paris as he aims for his maiden Grand Slam title.

Tsitsipas is in Alcaraz’s quarter of the draw and is looking to send a statement of intent to the rest of the draw that he can contend for the title.

Next up for Tsitsipas on Friday is either Diego Schwartzman or Nuno Borges.

The world number five did struggle on serve initially to start the match but gained the early break in the third game with some powerful backhands.

As expected Carballes Baena retaliated with some consistent baseline play, forcing Tsitsipas into engaging in the longer rallies.

The Spaniard had a decent clay season entering Roland Garros and displayed those qualities in the fourth game by creating a break point.

However Tsitsipas survived the game with some clutch play to take a 3-1 lead and would remain efficient throughout the rest of the set, claiming it 6-3.

After a couple of tight service games, to start the second set Tsitsipas once again raised his level on return breaking twice with some powerful returning.

That didn’t mean much in terms of score advantage for Tsitsipas as Carballes Baena was just as efficient on return and took advantage of some tactical errors from the fifth seed.

The Spaniard broke straight back on both occasions as the second set was level at 4-4.

There was a high standard on serve as both players constructed points effectively and were really smart with their methods in order to remain efficient on serve.

In the end there was nothing to separate them as the second set went to a tiebreak with both players impressing in crucial moments.

The tiebreak remained close but Tsitsipas produced world-class shot-making when it mattered most as a forehand winner secured the tiebreak 7-4.

From then on, it was one-way traffic as an early double break lead effectively secured the third set in the match as Tsitsipas cruised into the third round.

After an early scare against Jiri Vesely, Tsitsipas will be pleased to have won today’s contest in more straight-forward fashion as he looks forward to a third round showdown with either Diego Schwartzman or Nuno Borges.

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