US Open Day 10 Preview: The Quarter-Finals Conclude - UBITENNIS
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Grand Slam

US Open Day 10 Preview: The Quarter-Finals Conclude

With a chance of thunderstorms throughout the day, some of Wednesday’s quarterfinals may be played indoors.



Rafael Nadal (@usopen on Twitter)

Of the eight singles quarter finalists playing today, only one has ever before appeared in a Major final.  That would of course be Rafael Nadal, who is a 26-time Major finalist, and has won 18 of those finals. As if that doesn’t already paint Rafa as a heavy favorite, he’s 7-0 against his opponent today.  In the other men’s quarterfinal, it’s a speedy and flashy veteran against a powerful and passionate newcomer. On the women’s side, the youth movement is in full effect, with all of today’s competitors at 23 years of age or younger.  Which of these four youngsters will step up and advance to their first Major final?


Rafael Nadal (2) vs. Diego Schwartzman (20)

Rafa and Diego played a few high-quality contests last year at Majors.  The issue is Schwartzman is yet to win one. And unlike Djokovic and Federer, Nadal has looked in peak form at this event, and fully healthy.  Rafa is also well-rested, having only dropped one set, and getting a walkover in the second round. That is a stark contrast to last year, when he played some grueling matches in the middle rounds of this tournament.  Nadal is a heavy favorite to reach his eighth US Open semifinal, against a player who is 0-2 at this stage of Majors.

Bianca Andreescu (15) vs. Elise Mertens (25)

The 19-year-old Canadian hasn’t lost a completed match in over six months.  Granted she missed many of those months due to injury, and had a walkover and a retirement mixed in there, but it still encompasses 21 completed matches.  And the Rogers Cup champ hasn’t lost all summer, currently on a 10-match win streak. But going this deep at a Major is brand new territory for Bianca, and her opposition today has been crushing it at this tournament.  Elise Mertens has only lost 16 games in eight sets played (and won). As Carole Bouchard reported on Twitter, Mertens changed her service motion leading into this event, to help alleviate arm and shoulder pain. It’s paid immediate dividends, as she’s only been broken twice through four matches.  But this is a big step up in competition for Mertens, who is yet to face a seeded player. In their first career meeting, I don’t think there’s much separating these two, aside from Bianca’s fight. She’s exhibited her will power time after time this season, and I’m not betting against her to reach her first Slam semifinal.

Gael Monfils (13) vs. Matteo Berrettini (24)

This should be good.  Both men have been playing some great tennis during this fortnight, on the heels of strong seasons.  They’re both in the top 15 of the year-to-date rankings. And their contrast in styles should make for some great, complex rallies.  Monfils possesses a decade of extra experience over the 23-year-old, but Matteo has proven a quick learner on tour with his quick rise up the rankings.  On the heels of this career-best result at a Major, Berrettini will rise to a career-high ranking on Monday. They’ve never played before, and Monfils is always a wild card as to exactly what version of him will show up, especially in a big match situation.  But he’s become a more reliable competitor of late, and his game should be enough to diffuse the power of the Italian. And as great as Berrettini played in his last match against Andrey Rublev, a letdown in the biggest match of his career seems likely. I like Monfils to return to the US Open semifinals for the first time in three years.

Belinda Bencic (13) vs. Donna Vekic (23)

In her first year on tour, Bencic reached her first Slam quarterfinal here five years ago at the age of 17.  Now after her career was sidetracked by injuries, she’s finally back in a quarterfinal after her takedown of world No.1 Naomi Osaka.  Meanwhile this is Vekic’s debut at this stage of a Major, and she’s frankly a bit lucky to be here. Julia Goerges served for the match in their fourth round encounter, but choked the match away.  But Vekic is an extremely talented player, who like Bencic has persevered through some lean years of her own after some early success as a teenager. They’ve split two previous meetings, though neither was on a hard court.  Bencic prevailed five years ago on grass, while Vekic won comfortably earlier this year at Roland Garros. Bencic is a bit quicker around the court, and has more guile in her game. She should advance here, though I worry if she’s due for a letdown of her own following her upset of Osaka.  But Bencic’s experience advantage over Vekic should help her navigate her way to her first semifinal at a Major.

Other notable matches on Day 10:

In the mixed double semifinals, Sam Stosur and Rajeev Ram (3) vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jamie Murray, who are the defending champions.

And the other semifinal finds sisters on opposite sides of the net, as it will be Hao-Ching Chan and Michael Venus (1) vs. Latisha Chan and Ivan Dodig (4).

Order of play

Arthur Ashe Stadium

(13) Belinda Bencic (Swi) v (23) Donna Vekic (Cro)
(24) Matteo Berrettini (Ita) v (13) Gael Monfils (Fra)

(15) Bianca Vanessa Andreescu (Can) v (25) Elise Mertens (Bel)
(20) Diego Sebastian Schwartzman (Arg) v (2) Rafael Nadal (Spa)

Grand Slam

French Open Chief Hoping To Ease COVID-19 Related Restrictions In Coming Weeks

Former world No.4 Guy Forget says he hopes to learn from the controversy caused by the recently cancelled Adria Tour.



The man in charge of organising this year’s French Open has said he is optimistic that there will be more flexibility in the restrictions placed upon his event as it nears its launch.


Guy Forget has told Reuters News Agency that he believes the clay-court major will be nowhere as strict as the US Open, which will take place a couple weeks prior. The US Open is taking place behind closed doors for the first time in history and players will be subjected to various measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Including regular temperature checks and being limited to how many members of their team they can bring with them. It comes as parts of America reports a rapid rise in cases of the virus.

However, Forget believes that the COVID-19 restrictions set to be implemented in New York will not apply to his tournament because the current situation in his country is not as bad. According to the BBC, more than 29,000 people have died from COVID-19 in France compared to an estimated 132,000 in America.

“Luckily things are a bit more flexible in Europe and in France, especially,” Forget told Reuters. “Hopefully, what we’re going to announce will probably be even more flexible than what we did.”

Despite Forget’s optimism, there is also a lot of caution given recent events that have happened in the sport. The Adria Tour, which was founded by world No.1 Novak Djokovic, was cancelled after an outbreak of the virus among players. Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Viktor Troicki and Borna Coric all tested positive, as well as some coaching staff. The event was criticised for a lack of social distancing with players attending parties, however it all took place in accordance with local government rules. Meanwhile, at the DraftKings All-American Team Cup in Atalanta Frances Tiafoe withdrew due to testing positive for the virus, but the event continued.

“Maybe some people were overconfident there,” Forget commented on the Adria Tour.
“Luckily no one got hurt really bad but even a few cases is too much and we want to avoid that as much as we can.
“We want to reassure everyone that having people getting ill will be terrible for us. Let’s be really careful, really cautious.”

At present, the French Tennis Federation plans to allow up to 20,000 people to attend the French Open daily with 10,000 on the final day. Equating to roughly 60% of its maximum capacity which is a figure based on ‘health-related information and the projected guidelines.’ Those attending will be required to wear masks whilst walking around the venue but not when sitting courtside.

“We all see soccer on television, it’s wonderful but something is missing without the crowds,” Forget said about the importance of a crowd.
“We are working closely with the administration, the government, to make sure we can provide some crowd while still following very strict security measures.”

The French Open is set to get underway on September 27th. Ash Barty and Rafael Nadal are the defending champions.

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Grand Slam

Australian Open Chief Confident Event Will Take Place In January Amid COVID-19 Jump In Region

Craig Tiley has addressed concerns about the Grand Slam following a new outbreak in Victoria.



The tournament director of the Australian Open has insisted that plans for next year’s tournament are on track despite a spike in COVID-19 cases around Melbourne.


Craig Tiley has stated that the Grand Slam will only take place in the city and there are no backup plans to potentially relocate the event in a worst case scenario. The Australian Open is held annually at Melbourne Park and this year attracted a record attendance of 812,174 people. Although there are concerns about the threat posed by COVID-19 with the Victoria State Government reporting another 66 cases of the virus on Friday. Making it the 17th day the daily infection rate has been in double digits. It is possible that the number could be higher with health minister Jenny Mikakos confirming around 10,000 people have refused to be tested with some claiming the virus to be a ‘conspiracy theory.’

According to ABC News Tiley and his team are planning for six scenarios concerning the Australian Open taking place, including the possibility of holding it behind closed doors. Although he is optimistic that the event and others also set to take place next January will go ahead as planned.

“Nothing has changed for us in terms of our planning,” Tiley told AAP.
“The environment around us has changed, and will continue to change, as we’ve seen with the current spike in Victoria.
“We’re optimistic the additional measures currently in place will be successful — and restrictions will continue to be eased over the coming months.”

The Tournament director has also confirmed that there will be little flexibility concerning the staging of next year’s event. Saying it will only take place in Melbourne and during January if it goes ahead. Although he is keeping a close eye on the two Grand Slams that are set to take place later this season.

“The US Open and the French Open are exploring mandatory testing, varying levels of quarantine and limiting entourages,” he said.
“Of course we are looking at all these options, and more, as part of our scenario planning.
“It’s difficult to predict exactly what will need to be in place as guidelines and protocols are changing week by week, and sometimes even day by day.”

This year’s US Open is set to get underway on August 31st, but will be held behind closed doors for the first time. Meanwhile the French Open, which starts only weeks after the New York major, plans to allow up to 20,000 fans to attend daily. Working out to be roughly 60% of its maximum capacity.

The last time the Australian Open didn’t take place was in 1986 due to a change in its hosting date from December to January. Founded in 1905, it is the youngest out of the four grand slam tournaments.

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Grand Slam

Patrick Mouratoglou Cast Doubt On US Open Taking Place As Covid-19 Cases Soar

One top health expert has warned American lawmakers that the country could reach 100,000 cases of the virus per day.



The coach of Serena Williams has said he is unsure ‘if it is a good move’ for the US Open to go ahead amid the ongoing COVID-19 crises.


Patrick Mouratoglou told Sky Sports that he believes it is ‘a bit crazy’ for the event to be going ahead as planned. This year’s Grand Slam in New York is taking place behind closed doors for the first time in history and will be implementing strict measures to deal with the threat of COVID-19. Including regular testing and temperature checks. Players will also be kept essentially in a ‘bubble’ throughout and limited to where they can go. All tennis tournaments have been suspended since March due to the Pandemic but the Tour is set to resume in August.

”With what’s happening at the moment in the US, with the number of cases of COVID-19 going higher and higher every day, I don’t think how that can happen,” Mouratoglou told Sky Sports.
“From outside, it looks a bit crazy to try to make it happen. So, I don’t know if it’s a good move.
“I wouldn’t say that if the situation was more stable like it is in Europe, then it’s a different story. But in the US and especially in New York and around New York is… I mean, the number of cases is increasing incredibly. So, I don’t know how reasonable that is to try to make it happen. And I don’t know if last minute the governor of New York will decide to cancel it because of course health first.”

Recently Dr Anthony Fauci, who is a top disease expert, told the United States Senate that he would not be surprised if the country soars to 100,000 cases of the Coronavirus each day. His warning comes as Reuters News Agency reports that there was a rise of more than 47,000 cases on Tuesday. The biggest jump in daily cases since the pandemic started.

As a result of the rise, New York has said that people travelling from 16 different states in America are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days if they visit the city. According to USA Today this ruling applies to roughly 48% of the entire American population. Due to the uncertain situation, Mouratoglou believes it is still possible the US Open could get cancelled nearer the time.

“I think it’s completely possible that two weeks before he [Andrew Cuomo] decides I mean, considering the situation, this is not reasonable to bring people from all over the world there, mix them together and potentially put them in touch with one of the countries that has the most cases at the moment.” He said.

Some players are yet to clarify their plans for the Grand Slam and if they will be playing. Rafael Nadal, Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep are some of those who have previously expressed their concerns. However, former champion and world No.1 Andy Murray says is it a ‘positive’ move for the event to be going ahead as well as the French Open which will follow shortly after.

“Getting the US Open and the French Open played this year is a good thing, I think. It’s positive, I just don’t like the way the French Open went about scheduling their event,” Murray told the BBC. “But we’re going to have to go back to playing at some stage. The most important thing is that the events are safe.”

The US Open is set to get underway on August 31st.

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