Western & Southern Open Day 5 Preview: The Men’s & Women’s Match of the Day - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Western & Southern Open Day 5 Preview: The Men’s & Women’s Match of the Day

Avatar

Published

on

The Grandstand is serving as the main stadium for this year's Western & Southern Open (wsopen.com).

It’s quarterfinal day at the first big tennis event since the pandemic began, with many of the seeded players already eliminated.

 

On the men’s side, three of the four top seeds remain, though they are joined by four unseeded players.  On the women’s side, only one of the top seven seeds remain, leaving plenty of room for new players to make their first deep run at a big event.  Who will advance to the semifinals, and gain momentum ahead of next week’s US Open?

Daniil Medvedev (3) vs Roberto Bautista Agut (8)

The defending champion of this event, and finalist on these US Open grounds a year ago, Medvedev has breezed through two rounds thus far.  Bautista Agut faced a bit more resistance yesterday from Karen Khachanov, though he advanced fairly comfortably after dropping the first set.  It was the 32-year-old Spaniard who claimed their only previous meeting.  However, that was three years ago and well before Medvedev became the player he is today.  Since last year, Roberto has found more success against top 10 players, which historically was a huge stumbling block in his career.  Between 2017 and 2018, Bautista Agut was 1-15 against top 10 opposition, but he earned four wins in 2019 alone.  He’ll walk onto the court believing he can win, but Medvedev remains the favorite in what I expect to be a grueling competition.

Naomi Osaka (4) vs. Anett Kontaveit (12)

Osaka is 3-0 against Kontaveit, though they haven’t played in over two years.  Both players have taken their games to another level since that time.  Osaka looks to dictate play with her power, while Kontaveit’s aggression is often more subtle.  Anett possesses extremely consistent groundstrokes, applying pressure to her opponents without committing many unforced errors.  The 24-year-old Estonian already has 19 wins in this abbreviated season, with seven of those since the tour re-started earlier this month.  I give Osaka the slight edge based on their history and considering how easily Naomi defeated Dayana Yastremska yesterday.  But Kontaveit will force Osaka hit more balls today, and that could prove to be troubling for the two-time Major champion.

Other Notable Matches on Day 5:

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Jan-Lennard Struff.  Djokovic leads their head-to-head 3-0, including a four-set win earlier this year at the Australian Open.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) vs. Reilly Opelka.  Tsitsipas defeated another tall, big-serving American yesterday in John Isner.

Johanna Konta (8) vs. Maria Sakkari (13).  Konta has won three of their four meetings, with Sakkari’s only victory coming on clay.

Milos Raonic vs. Filip Krajinovic.  Both men have steamrolled their way through the draw, having yet to drop a set.

Elise Mertens (14) vs. Jessica Pegula (Q).  Mertens reached the final in Prague just two weeks ago, while Pegula was the champion in Washington last summer and a finalist in Auckland to start this season.

Ons Jabeur vs Victoria Azarenka.  Jabeur has already won 20 matches this year.  By contrast, Azarenka went a full year without a match win before this week.

ATP

Nadal survives three-set marathon with Shapovalov in Rome

Rafael Nadal saved match points to edge out Denis Shapovalov in Rome.

Avatar

Published

on

Rafael Nadal (@atptour - Twitter)

The King of Clay needed three sets and over three hours to claim the win and avoid an upset.

 

Rafael Nadal needed three hours and 27 minutes to beat the Canadian Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 at the Italian Open in Rome hitting 29 winners while his counterpart hit 46 unforced errors in the loss.

To everyone’s surprise it was the world number 14 who came out with the faster start earning two breakpoints in the first service game of the match with a stunning forehand winner.

He would break to take an early 1-0 lead and continued to have momentum earning another break and the Spaniard found himself staring at 3-0 defecit.

At 4-1 the world number three would get one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the Toronto native would break one more time at 5-3 on his fourth breakpoint of the game to take the first set.

Once again we saw some really strong play from the Canadian in the beginning of the second set we saw history repeat itself when the world number 14 held serve and get the early break this time with his powerful forehand.

Nadal was fighting to stay in the set and the match and managed to earn a breakpoint but it was quickly saved with a big ace from Shapovalov. The very next game the Canadian had a chance to get another break but this time the Spaniard would deny him the opportunity.

After the world number three held serve he went on the attack looking to go back on serve and after three chances would get the break back. He would end up winning five games in a row and would take the second set to send it to a decider.

The third set remained on serve until 2-1 when the Canadian had a chance to break and he would take to jump out to a 3-1 lead. The break didn’t hold as Nadal came storming back the very next game breaking the world number 14 to love and equaling the set at 3-3.

The set and the match would ultimately be decided by a tiebreaker and in that breaker is when the Spaniard would take over winning it 7-3 to book his spot in the quarterfinals.

He will next face either Alexander Zverev or Kei Nishikori on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

Continue Reading

Focus

Iga Swiatek Saves Two Match Points To Edge Out Krejcikova In Rome

Iga Swiatek survived a 2 hour and 50 minute clash to advance to the Rome Quarter-Finals.

Avatar

Published

on

Iga Swiatek (@TickTockTennis - Twitter)

Iga Swiatek saved two match points to defeat Barbora Krejcikova 3-6 7-6(5) 7-5 to reach the last eight in Rome.

 

The defending Roland Garros champion battled and clawed to victory in 2 hours and 52 minutes after saving two match points.

Swiatek will now play the winner of the match between Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

A summary of the match would be a lot of errors and tentative play throughout as the Pole was too aggressive in the opening set allowing a lot of unforced errors into her game.

Meanwhile Krejcikova was solid but was aggressive with the right angles in the right moments.

This proved crucial for the Czech Republican as she took advantage of Iga’s inability to produce first serves.

A crucial hold at 4-2 was enough for Krejcikova as there were six breaks of serve in the opening set. A long ninth game ended with the Czech taking the set 6-3.

In the second set it was more of the same with Swiatek as she was not able to produce her best tennis.

After going down an early break, Swiatek knew she had to build the points up slowly and gain her confidence. This is what occurred as she got the break back immediately and started to hold serve more comfortably.

Even though the world number 15 looked more confident with her shots and started to construct points better she could not successfully get into Krejcikova’s service games.

Towards the end of the set Swiatek saved two match points as this dramatic contest went to a second set tiebreak.

Swiatek’s mini-break lead was reduced but her fighting spirit was not as Krejcikova felt the pressure and a double fault from her gave the Pole a lifeline as she forced a deciding set.

After spending the change of ends being emotional, Swiatek regained similar form in the final set with her drop-shots being effective.

Krejcikova held nerve of her own as she continued to force the Pole to make unforced errors and just be as solid as she could be.

Swiatek saved three break points in the seventh game to lead 4-3 and then pounced in the 12th game with some heavy returns to take the match and move into the last eight.

Next for the Pole after a mammoth clash will be Garbine Muguruza or Elina Svitolina as she climbs into a new career ranking of 14 in the world.

In other results today Coco Gauff knocked out Madrid Champion Aryna Sabalenka 7-5 6-3 for one of the best wins of her career.

The vibrant American faces world number one Ash Barty who continued her amazing season with with a 6-3 6-3 win over Veronika Kudermetova.

Continue Reading

ATP

Novak Djokovic Moving Into A ‘Good Trajectory’ After Reaching Rome Quarter-Finals

Novak Djokovic admitted that he is on a good trajectory after reaching the last eight in Rome.

Avatar

Published

on

Novak Djokovic (@atptour - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic has said that he is on a ‘good trajectory’ after moving into the Rome Quarter-Finals.

 

The world number one moved into the last eight in the Italian capital with a comfortable 6-2 6-1 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Despite being broken in the first game, Djokovic rallied back to break on five occasions as he cruised past the Erratic Spaniard.

After 1 hour and 11 minutes, Djokovic’s overall game was too much for Davidovich Fokina as the Serb progressed to his 15th quarter-final in Rome.

After the match in his on-court interview the top seed admitted he is on a good trajectory as he builds momentum towards Roland Garros, “I thought I played well,” Djokovic told the ATP website.

“He started well and broke my serve in the first game. I made some errors, but I managed to break back right away and establish the control and consistency on the court. I think from the back of the court I was just a bit more solid than him.

“He made some unforced errors and double faults in key moments, which obviously helped me get that necessary break forward. I thought I played better, at least 20 or 30 per cent better, than I did against Fritz a few days ago. I am on a good trajectory and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.”

The real test for Djokovic will come tomorrow when he faces top 10 opposition in the last eight.

It will either be Monte-Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas or Madrid finalist and home favourite Matteo Berrettini next up for the world number one.

Djokovic was well aware of the form either of his possible opponents are in heading into tomorrow’s showdown, “My next match will be against a Top 10 player, so it is going to be a battle,” Djokovic explained.

“Both of these guys are in great form. Tsitsipas won Monte-Carlo and Berrettini is just coming off the final in Madrid. I am obviously going to do my best to win that match, whoever I play against.”

In the other result in Rome today, Reilly Opelka reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6(6) 6-4 win over Aslan Karatsev.

The American hit 18 aces as he will now face Felix Auger-Aliassime or Federico Delbonis on Friday.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending