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?”

ATP

Ubitennis Photographer Roberto Dell’Olivo Awarded in Monte Carlo

Every year the Monte-Carlo tournament awards the best photographers. First prize for Ubitennis’ Roberto Dell’Olivo thanks to his artistic eye

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Alain Manigley and Roberto Dell'Olivo during the award ceremony - Monte Carlo 2022

Every year during the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters the tournament holds a small award ceremony to acknowledge the best pictures taken by credentialed photographers during the previous edition of the event. This year the best photos from the 2019 tournament were awarded since the 2020 edition had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 edition took place behind closed doors.

 

Ubitennis’ photographer Roberto Dell’Olivo was already acknowledged in 2018 for his work during the week in Monaco, but this year he received an even more prestigious accolade. In fact, he has been awarded the ex-aequo first prize in the photographic contest, chosen among all the photographers credentialed at the tournament.

The ceremony was officiated by Alain Manigley, President and CEO of SMETT (Société Monégasque pour l’Exploitation du Tournoi de Tennis), the company in charge of the commercial development of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. Roberto Dell’Olivo has been taking pictures at professional tennis tournaments around the world for several years: from the Australian Open to Roland Garros, from Wimbledon to Paris-Bercy, he has become a stable presence at the most important tennis events around the world.

Ubitennis wants to congratulate Roberto on this important achievement, thanking him for the coverage of his fifth Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and wishing him the best of luck for the rest of the season.

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[VIDEO] Merry Christmas from Ubitennis!

Our CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta sends his greetings to all the readers of ubitennis.net

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From everybody at ubitennis.net, we want to send to our readers our Christmas greetings: thank you for your ever-growing support! Here’s a message from the website’s CEO, Ubaldo Scanagatta:

 

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Interviews

“We Hope to Convince Federer to Play”: the Presentation of the 2022 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters

Director Zeljko Franulovic talked about next year’s tournament, scheduled from April 9-17

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Stefanos Tsitsipas - ATP Montecarlo 2021 (ph. Agence Carte Blanche / Réalis)

The 2022 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters will take place from April 9-17, so it’s difficult to guess what the pandemic situation will be in six months. At the moment, however, the prevalent hypothesis is that all spectators will need a Covid Pass or to bring proof of a negative test before being allowed in the Montecarlo Country Club at Roquebrune, France. If some players will refuse the vaccine, then they will need to be tested regularly in accordance to the rules devised by the French government.

 

Other than that, there will be no surprises when it comes to the event’s logistics, since the Country Club has already added a new players lounge and a new press room in the past few years. In 2020 the tournament was cancelled, while in 2021 it took place behind closed doors (while still being televised in 113 countries); the last edition staged with a crowd, in 2019, sold 130,000 tickets, constituting 30% of the total revenue – another 30% came from the sponsors, 30% from media rights (a number that tournament director Zeljko Franulovic hopes to see increase) and 10% from merchandising.

While it’s early days to know whether the tournament will operate at full capacity, Franulovic has made it clear that the organisers are already planning to provide a better covering for the No.2 Court, whose roof has not been at all effective in the past in the event of rain.

The tournament’s tickets can be bought on the official website of the event, but Franulovic has already vowed to reimburse immediately every ticket “if the government and the health authorities should decide to reduce the tournament’s capacity.”

Ticket prices have increased by 2 to 3 percent as compared to 2019, ranging from £25-50 for the qualifiers weekend, £32-75 for the opening rounds, £…-130 for the quarterfinals and semifinals, £65-150 for the final, £360-1250 for a nine-day tickets. Franulovic claims that the prices are in line with those of the other Masters 1000 tournaments.

Finally, Franulovic supports Andrea Gaudenzi’s decision to create a fixed prize money for the next decade. While tournaments like Madrid and Rome are trying to increase their duration from 8 to 12 days, the Monte-Carlo director has claimed that he prefers to remain a week-long event, especially because his is not a combined tournament. As for the players who will feature, Franulovic hopes to convince Roger Federer to participate: “I’m certain that he will give everything he has to be able to stage another comeback on the tour, ma no one knows where he’ll play. However, I think that on the clay he should opt for best-of-three events like Monte-Carlo and Rome rather than the French Open.”

For this and more information, you can watch the video above.

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