Steve Flink on the US Open’s female draw: “Is this Serena Williams’ last chance? Osaka is the favourite, if healthy” - UBITENNIS
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Steve Flink on the US Open’s female draw: “Is this Serena Williams’ last chance? Osaka is the favourite, if healthy”

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Here’s the men’s preview too

 

UbiTennis’s own Ubaldo Scanagatta is joined by Hall-of-Famer Steve Flink to predict the outcome of the New York Major. Will Serena benefit from more rest between matches? How will she cope with the lack of public? Osaka could be the best in the field, but her withdrawal from Saturday’s final is a concern – was it just precautional? Steve also talks about his new masterful book, “Pete Sampras. Greatness Revisited”, available on Amazon starting September 1.

Here’s the chat:

VIDEO SCHEDULE

00:00: Will an asterisk be needed for this edition of the US Open? “Well, six members of the Top 10 are missing… However, it will also depend on who the winner will be.”

02:24: Can Serena Williams notch her 24th Major title? “She has gone to a decider in every single match she’s played after the lockdown – she was gutsy, but perhaps not as dominant as she needs to be.”

06:10: Can she be counted out, though? “During a Slam, players have more time to recover…”

07:21: More about Serena: “The absence of the crowd is sending a shock through her system; it would have been the same had Federer come over.” Can she overcome the lack of support and maybe even influence the umpire? A potentially interesting match-up in the third round with another former US Open champion, Sloane Stephens…

12:05: A second round rendez-vous between Olympic champions? “Williams v Puig would be interesting; the Puerto Rican would not be intimidated, that’s for sure!”

14:56: “Next up for Serena would be a fourth-round encounter with Maria Sakkari, who just beat her in New York, and then either Muguruza or Keys – who would you rather have her play?”

17:12: Bottom half of the draw: “Kenin could have her hands full with Jabeur’s variety in the third round…”. How would the Australian Open winner fare against Sabalenka in the quarter finals?

19:24: “Jo Konta is in Sabalenka’s eighth, and she is a very consistent player, while some the other players are more unpredictable…”. Final predictions on the bottom half of the draw. 

21:57: Top half of the draw: “Karolina Pliskova is the first seed, but she might play Garcia or Brady early on, players who are better than their ranking shows…”. Is Kerber going to flame out early too?

24:17: “Osaka is the favourite to at least reach the final.” Will her stand on racial injustice distract her? What about the injury that forced her to miss the Cincinnati final against Azarenka? “She wasn’t very constant in Cincinnati, especially against Kontaveit, whom she might face again in the fourth round, but she would still be my pick to win it.” Could Camila Giorgi be a hurdle in the second round?

27:10: “Sevastova v Gauff is a very interesting first-round match, even though the American was very disappointing this week…”. Could Coco set up a meeting with Osaka in the third round?

27:59: “Kvitova is an underdog who could actually be better than the seeds!” She could play Osaka in the quarter finals.

28:24: “So many European players are staying home, so there are lots of good American players. Who will fare better among them?” Whose groundstrokes are more wayward – Ubaldo’s or Townsend’s?

30:33: Steve Flink’s new book is “Pete Sampras. Greatness Revisited”, available for purchase on Amazon starting September 1: “It’s a journey through Pete’s career, through what his peers say about him, and through what he says about himself.”

32:30: Sampras won 14 of the 18 Slam finals he played: did he have any weaknesses?

33:10: His final win came at his very last tournament, the 2002 US Open, after Greg Rusedski claimed that he was not at his peak anymore – what does the Brit think now about his past comments? “He sharpened Pete’s game for the later round, we can definitely say that!”

35:13: “Ivan Lendl claims that Sampras had the bad luck of being followed by Nadal, Federer and Djokovic – is he right? How would he fare against the Big Three?”

Grand Slam

US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic’s loss had more to do with fatigue than pressure”

A recap of the last Major of 2021, from Raducanu’s triumphant journey to Berrettini and Zverev’s improvements. What was Rod Laver’s prediction for the men’s finals?

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The 2021 US Open was historical from many points of view, starting with the full-capacity crowd coming back to Flushing Meadows. On court, we witnessed Djokovic’s bid for a Calendar Year Grand Slam fall short against Daniil Medvedev in the final, while Emma Raducanu took the tennis world by storm, winning as a qualifier and without dropping a set. These were just some of the topics of the tournament recap by Hall-of-Famer Steve Flink and Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta. Here’s their chat:

 

00:00 – Emma Raducanu’s historical feat: “She had an easier draw than Fernandez, who had to defeat many great players, but she was very impressive nonetheless!”

06:18 – Barty and Osaka’s premature exits: “Hadn’t she lost to Rogers, Barty would have won the whole thing…”

09:35 – Was Fernandez too tired during the final?

20:17 – The Canadian defeated Aryna Sabalenka, who once again missed out on a big chance: “She seems to have a split personality…”

25:24 – The men’s final – how distant was Djokovic from his best form?

28:59 – “Djokovic is the best at handling the pressure, I don’t think that was the main reason behind his defeat…”

35:05 – Was the crowd actually on Nole’s side or did they just want to witness history being made?

39:16 – What was the secret behind Medvedev’s winning tactics?

41:50 – Djokovic fell short of the Grand Slam in a similar way to Serena Williams – how similar are their performances?

50:16 – Rod Laver’s prediction for the final…

52:25 – Who is the best claycourt player, Djokovic or Federer?

55:05 – Carlos Alcaraz won over the hearts of the crowd – how quickly will he reach the Top 10?

56:29 – Is Zverev on the right track to win a Major? What about Berrettini and Sinner?

62:48 – The Canadians: who will have a better career between Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime?

Transcript by Giuseppe Di Paola; translated and edited by Tommaso Villa

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Grand Slam

US Open, Steve Flink on the Murray-Tsitsipas Controversy

A recap of the first week of the last Major of 2021: will Djokovic clinch the Grand Slam? Who will win the women’s title with Barty and Osaka out of the picture?

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The 2021 US Open has reached its halfway point, with many wonderful five-setters and a few upsets. Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta discussed the events of the first week with Hall-of-Fame tennis writer Steve Flink, from the elimination of Barty and Osaka to the toilet break controversy involving Stefanos Tsitsipas, from Alcaraz’s breakout performance to the chances of Novak Djokovic to complete a Calendar Year Grand Slam. Here’s their chat:

 

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US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic will defeat Tsitsipas in the final”

A preview of the last Major of 2021. Will Zverev and Osaka be able to withstand the pressure? Barty appears to be the favourite in the women’s draw.

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The 2021 US Open is less than two hours away, with Novak Djokovic on the brink of making history – the Serbian could surpass the number of Slam titles of Federer and Nadal, while at the same time clinching the first Calendar Year Grand Slam in the men’s singles since 1969 and the first in the singles since 1988.

 

These two lofty objectives were the first subjects tackled by Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta and Hall-of-Famer tennis writer Steve Flink in their usual tournament preview, although they touched on many other themes such as the chances of Berrettini and Medvedev, the women’s draw, and the debate on whether COVID vaccines should be mandatory for the players. Here’s their chat:

00:00 – Djokovic is close to a Calendar Year Grand Slam – will he be able to hold up physically after picking up an injury in Tokyo?

07:40 – Matteo Berrettini couldn’t go to the Olympics at all because of muscle injury, and has only played a couple matches before the US Open – could he give Djokovic a run for his money in the quarter finals?

13:20 – On Zverev: “He won in Tokyo and in Cincinnati, so he has a lot of pressure on his shoulders. In the past he tended to cave when people put him among the favourites for a Major win…”

15:50 – Zverev could play Jannik Sinner in the fourth round – could the Next Gen pull off an upset?

20:30 – “Denis Shapovalov could also beat Zverev in the quarter finals, but he’s had a disappointing summer so far after doing great at Wimbledon.”

23:45 – On the weather and Djokovic’s activism: “Sometimes we should accept that he is someone who will always give an honest opinion and take a stance, even when we disagree with him.” Should the vaccine be mandatory for the players, and will the top brass in the tennis world make a decision about it?

32:25 – Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Andy Murray in the first round – can the Brit still beat a top player in a best-of-five encounter?

33:35 – Could we be in for an all-Russian semifinal between Medvedev and Rublev? “I think Medvedev wouldn’t be happy to play Diego Schwartzman in the quarter finals, he doesn’t like to have to go on the offensive.”

39:45 – A final prediction on the men’s tournament’s outcome.

43:20 – The women’s draw: “Barty has just played one of her best tournaments ever in Cincinnati, she is by far the most reliable player in the WTA Tour!”

49:00 – “Svitolina has just won a title and did well in Tokyo, she could take on Osaka in the quarter finals, although Gauff, Kerber, Halep and Giorgi are also in that section of the draw.”

52:00 – Will Osaka’s mental health be a factor throughout the New York fortnight? “If she’s fine, then she’s still the best hardcourt player in the world.”

1:00:40 – Camila Giorgi won in Canada – can she be a dark horse in New York? “She appears to have developed a Plan B now…”

Transcript by Giuseppe Di Paola; translated and edited by Tommaso Villa

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