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?”

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Steve Flink: “Jannik Sinner Will Be a Top 10 Player by the US Open”

The Hall-of-Famer journalist comments on Hurkacz’s surprise win in Miami and previews the clay season. Who was the biggest letdown, Medvedev or Zverev? Nadal will soon be world N.2 again, while Andreescu is striving to stay healthy.

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The first Masters 1000 event of the season wrapped up on Sunday, but another already looms in wait in Monte Carlo, and on a different surface. To comment on the situation of the two tours, Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta was joined by his colleague Steve Flink: they focused on Hubert Hurkacz’s surprise win as well as on Jannik Sinner’s great run in Florida – Asheigh Barty’s permanence atop the rankings was also discussed. Here’s their chat:

 

00:00 – The man of the hour is Hubert Hurkacz: “He had an amazing run, defeating five players with a better ranking than his!” What was the key strategy in his final win over Sinner?

07:30 – This was the first Masters 1000 event since 2005 not to feature either Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, or Murray – a wasted chance for Daniil Medvedev? He started as the clear favourite, but his attitude against Bautista Agut left something to be desired…

12.50 – What lies ahead for Sinner? Some of the greatest names in the game did well in Miami in the past – a sign of things to come?

16.20 – Hurkacz betrayed some nerves against Rublev and Sinner, but held on to serve those matches out. Sinner, on the other hand, wasted a 6-5 lead in the opening set – what can he do to improve?

22.50 – Whose great champion does Hurkacz’s serve remind Ubaldo and Steve of? A look at the other players who underperformed in Miami, starting with Tsitsipas and Rublev.

32.00 – “Alexander Bublik reminds me of Safin, he’s an entertainer and he is not boring in press conferences!” What about Sebastian Korda – does he have the mettle of a champion?

40.00 – The women’s tournament: “I expected a great final, but Andreescu was clearly spent – I hope she’ll manage to stay healthy.” Was Osaka’s no-show against Sakkari a worrying sign?

45.30 – If the Canadian is healthy, will she join Osaka and Barty as the defining players of the decade? Who else could make a run to the top?

49.30 – This week, 10 Italian players feature in the ATP Top 100 – will at least one of them feature at the ATP Finals in Turin?

Transcript by Antonio Flagiello; translated and edited by Tommaso Villa

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(VIDEO) Miami Open Final Preview: Jannik Sinner Is The Favourite But Don’t Underestimate Hurkacz

UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta analyses the Miami Open final where a brand new Masters 1000 champion will be crowned.

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Jannik Sinner - ATP Miami 2021 (via Twitter, @atptour)

Earlier this year Jannik Sinner and Herbert Hurkacz were on the same side of the court playing doubles on the ATP Tour. However, today in Miami they will be facing off against each other with the biggest title in their careers at stake. Both players have already shown impressive tennis in the tournament with 19-year-old rising star Sinner fighting back from a set down to beat Roberto Bautista Agut in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Poland’s Hurkacz has beaten three top 10 seeds en route to the final.

 

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Steve Flink: “Naomi Osaka Will Win At Least A Dozen Slams”

The American tennis writer comments on the women’s singles event at the Australian Open. Can Brady win a Major? Is there any hope left for Serena Williams’ quest to clinch her 24th title?

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Naomi Osaka has been crowned as the queen of Melbourne for the second time. The 23-year-old beat Jennifer Brady in the final, conquering her fourth Slam title (all of them on hardcourts), and looks poised to dominate women’s tennis for years. Conversely, current world N.1 Ashleigh Barty couldn’t find her best tennis when she needed it most, bowing out as soon as she met some resistance. These are some of the themes that Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta and his Hall-of-Famer colleague tackled during the second part of their chat.

 

Here’s the video: 

00:00 – “Osaka’s success was hardly a surprise…” 

01:55 – “The only time she struggled was when she had to rally from two match points and a break down against Muguruza in the fourth round – did she raise her level or was it the Spaniard who went missing in the clutch?” 

06:07 – What can the Japanese player still improve in her game? 

09:15 – “I don’t see why she shouldn’t win at the French Open or at Wimbledon as well, although she might struggle a little more on the clay.” How many Majors can she win? 

12:05 – Jen Brady had a dream run to the final despite not being able to train for two weeks prior to the Aussie Slam – can she make it in the future? 

16:34 – “Barty wasn’t able to find her rhythm again after Muchova called an MTO in the second set, that’s too bad because she could have played the final two matches in front of her home crowd.” 

18:28 – “Serena Williams was distraught after her defeat to Osaka, but she had an excellent tournament, beating both Sabalenka and Halep.” Was she perhaps too hard on her chances? 

25:30 – To get her 24th Major, Serena will need to play seven great matches in a row – can she still do it? “My dream is to see a Williams-Osaka match-up in a Wimbledon final…”

31:53 – Was Kenin the biggest letdown of the event? “She had an appendicectomy a few days after the event, and the pressure may have been too much for her, but I think she will keep being a contender for the biggest titles.” 

Transcript and translation by Gianluca Sartori; edited by Tommaso Villa

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