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

Today’s featured matches are headlined by the male and female Australian No.1’s.

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Nick Kyrgios (image via twitter.com/atp_Tour)

French Open champion Ash Barty is also the current world No.1, and in Toronto today she’ll face a stern test in a 20-year-old American.  Meanwhile, 39-year-old American Venus Williams takes to the court against another tour veteran in Carla Suarez Navarro. And another Slam champion, Vika Azarenka, will play Camila Giorgi, a finalist in Washington just two days ago.

Both the men’s side and the women’s draws will feature all-Canadian matchups which include two of tennis’ most impressive young stars.  Also in Montreal, Washington champ Nick Kyrgios, just 48 hours after winning one of the biggest titles of his career, will take on the British No.1.  And 2017 champion Sascha Zverev will attempt to get his season back on track against the British No.3.

Ash Barty (1) vs. Sofia Kenin

Barty is 3-0 against Kenin, including their most recent match in the round of 16 at Roland Garros.  Sofia pushed the soon-to-be champion to three sets on that day, just a round after upsetting Serena Williams.  It’s been a breakout year for Kenin, who has 40 wins over the last 52 weeks, and two titles since January. This will be Barty’s first match since losing her 15-match winning streak in the fourth round of Wimbledon, where she was upset by another American, Alison Riske.  However, Ash does hold a six-match winning streak on North American hard courts, having won the title in Miami earlier this year. Barty already has 39 match wins in 2019, but is she due for a letdown? It feels like she is after all the tennis she’s played this year, and her spunky young opposition has shown us she’s capable of a big upset.

Nick Kyrgios vs. Kyle Edmund

Can Nick continue his great play from last week in DC?  If history is any indication, it seems unlikely. After his stellar title run in Acapulco earlier this year, he lost in the opening round of Indian Wells.  Overall, in the tournaments following his five previous career titles, he only possesses a total of eight match wins. Though he has won both previous matches against Edmund, both played on grass.  And 2019 has been a tough year for Kyle as he’s battled a knee injury. If Kyrgios brings his level of play from last week onto the court today, he should comfortably advance. But Nick is anything but a reliable competitor, and he was visibly struggling with a right arm injury over the last few days.  One thing that is for sure? When Kyrgios is involved, it won’t be boring.

Other notable matches on Tuesday:

Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Venus Williams.  Venus owns a 7-3 career edge, but only has 14 wins this year, and arrives on a three-match losing streak.

It will be a 19-year-old Canadian phenom against a former Canadian teenage phenom: Indian Wells champion Bianca Andreescu vs. Genie Bouchard (WC).

And in the other all-Canadian battle, Felix Auger Aliassime vs. Vasek Pospisil (WC).  These two played as a team in the doubles draw just yesterday.

Victoria Azarenka vs. Camila Giorgi.  The Italian has taken both of their previous meetings.

Sascha Zverev (3) vs. Cameron Norrie.  Since winning the 2018 ATP Finals, Zverev is yet to win a title.

In men’s doubles, it’s the 2017 Wimbledon champs against this year’s Queens Club champs: Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo (2) vs. Feliciano Lopez and Andy Murray (WC).

 

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Novak Djokovic Withdraws From Masters 1000 Event In Madrid

Novak Djokovic will miss the Masters 1000 event in Madrid and will look to build up his Roland Garros preparations in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Masters 1000 event in Madrid as he aims for quality over quantity in his bid for Roland Garros glory.

The world number one has had a rough start to the season by his standards as he is yet to win a title this season after a semi-final defeat to Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open.

Djokovic was hoping a change of surface would bring a change of fortunes but the Serb was defeated in three sets in the semi-finals of Monte-Carlo.

Now it seems that result has made Djokovic rethink his schedule as the current Roland Garros champion has withdrawn from Madrid.

No official reason has been given although the news seems to be not that surprising given Djokovic’s history in the Spanish capital.

The Serb hasn’t played since 2022, where he was beaten by Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals, and has now won the title there for five years.

It looks like Djokovic will be putting his faith into more favourable conditions in Rome, which is the most similar to Roland Garros in terms of conditions.

Djokovic is a six-time champion in the Italian capital and will aim for a seventh title when he plays there on the 8th of May.

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Thanasi Kokkinakis Questions ‘Insane’ Drug Testing

Thanasi Kokkinakis has been tested three times within the last six days.

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Thanasi Kokkinakis has questioned persistent drug testing after he revealed he was tested three times in six days.

The Australian is in good form at the moment having won the Sarasota Challenger in Florida.

Kokkinakis claimed glory with a three set win over Zizou Bergs in the final as he continues to climb the rankings.

However that glory has been overshadowed by the fact that Kokkinakis has revealed he was drug tested three times within a six day period.

The world number 94 described it as ‘insane’ and it comes after Alexandre Muller complained of persistent drug testing after his recent defeats.

Doping has been a huge topic of conversations with Simona Halep losing two years of her career after testing positive after the US Open before the Court Of Arbitration For Sport shortened her case.

Kokkinakis will be hoping that this is the last time he has to deal with persistent drug testing as he continues his clay court season.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Saves Two Match Points To Extend Winning Streak In Barcelona

Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a scare to reach the Barcelona semi-finals.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas saved two match points to defeat Facundo Diaz Acosta 4-6 6-3 7-6(8) in Barcelona.

The former finalist saved two match points against the inspired Argentinian as Tsitsipas reached the semi-finals.

It means Tsitsipas is 9-0 in the clay court season and has the chance to set up a potential rematch with Casper Ruud in the final.

The duo met in last week’s Monte-Carlo final where Tsitsipas claimed his third title in Monaco.

Speaking after the match Tsitsipas admitted it was difficult to sustain his level, “I was coming close [to losing] at certain moments in the match. It seemed like a mountain,” Tsitsipas stated to the ATP website.

“I reminded myself that I have a headband that I wear here that has a mountain and that I need to climb it, so it kept me going. It was difficult. It was extremely difficult to sustain the same level throughout the entire match and I think he played incredible.

“I think he left everything out there. He is a good clay-court player. He has a title on the ATP Tour for a reason and today it was a level he was able to bring out on the court that made it quite obvious.

“I got a little bit tense on my serve, I won’t lie. I think I started decelerating a lot, but once I got a hold of that I was conscious of that, it went back to where it belonged and helped me a lot in the tie-breaker because if I didn’t figure it out, I don’t know. It was very mental in general. I really had to go to uncomfortable places mentally and go over the limit at some point.”

Tsitsipas is currently seven in the world in the live rankings as the Greek is looking to claim his first title in Barcelona.

Next up for the Greek will be either Dusan Lajovic or Arthur Fils while Tomas Martin Etcheverry takes on Casper Ruud in the other semi-final.

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