Internazionali d’Italia Day 2 Preview: The Men’s & Women’s Match of the Day - UBITENNIS
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Internazionali d’Italia Day 2 Preview: The Men’s & Women’s Match of the Day

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Parco del Foro Italico (internazionalibnlditalia.com)

Tuesday’s schedule features five Major singles champions playing their opening rounds.

 

The most marquee match of the day sees two of those top names facing off, with two-time Major champion Garbine Muguruza taking on 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens.  They are joined by a trio of multi-time Slam champs: Stan Wawrinka, Angelique Kerber, and Svetlana Kuznetsova.  And some of the sport’s most promising young stars also play on Tuesday, including Denis Shapovalov and Coco Gauff.

Garbine Muguruza (9) vs. Sloane Stephens

Muguruza had a strong start to the year, reaching the final of the Australian Open and the quarters in both Dubai and Doha.  But she’s just 1-1 since the tour restart.  Garbine was one of the players upset by Tsvetana Pironkova in New York.  Prior to the US Open, Stephens had earned only one match win since last September, with a 1-7 record in 2020.  But Sloane earned two comfortable victories in Flushing Meadows, and took a set off Serena Williams before the 23-time Major champ stormed back to prevail.  Stephens is 2-1 against Muguruza, with Garbine’s only win coming five years ago on a hard court.  They played on the red clay last year at Roland Garros, and Stephens won in straights.  It’s difficult to know what to expect in this match, as these two players can be so up and down from week to week.  Stephens arrives from New York with more confidence, though Muguruza possesses more previous success in Rome, twice reaching the semifinals.  Whoever the victor is will face the winner of another intriguing WTA clash, between Ons Jabeur and Coco Gauff.

Denis Shapovalov (12) vs. Guido Pella

This will be the first career meeting between these two lefties.  Just seven days ago, Shapovalov achieved his first Major quarterfinal at the US Open, yet disappointedly lost a five-setter to Pablo Carreno Busta.  Pella lost to an American wild card in New York, and has a losing record on the year.  However, the 30-year-old Argentine excels on the clay.  All five finals he’s reached in his career occurred on this surface.  And Pella already played two matches on the terra baute last week in Kitzbuhel.  Shapovalov is making a much sharper transition from competing on the speedy hard courts of Flushing Meadows just last week.  That challenge, paired with the emotional comedown from his US Open experience, will hurt his chances against a player who loves this surface.

Other Notable Matches on Day 2:

Anett Kontaveit (12) Caroline Garcia.  They’ve split two previous meetings, but Kontaveit claimed the only one decided on clay.

Ons Jabeur vs. Coco Gauff.  They just played a few weeks ago on a hard court in Lexington, with Gauff prevailing in three.

Angelique Kerber (15) vs. Katerina Siniakova.  Kerber leads their head-to-head 3-0, with victories on all three surfaces.

Stan Wawrinka (10) vs. Lorenzo Musetti (Q), an 18-year-old Italian qualifier ranked 249th in the world.

Full order of play is here.

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Iga Swiatek To Quarantine After Close Contact With Polish President

Iga Swiatek will quarantine after being in close contact with the Polish President, who tested positive for COVID-19.

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(@rolandgarros - Twitter)

Iga Swiatek will quarantine for a few days after Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

 

The recent Roland Garros champion met the Polish President a few days ago after achieving a historic sporting moment for Poland.

Becoming the first Polish Grand Slam tennis champion in singles warranted a huge congratulations from Political and historical leaders as the 19 year-old prepares for life under the spotlight.

However this morning, Swiatek announced that she will now undergo quarantine after coming into close contact with the Polish President, who tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement on Twitter in Polish, Swiatek stated, “Neither I nor my teammates have symptoms of the Coronavirus,” the Pole said.

“We perform tests regularly. In accordance with the applicable procedures, we are quarantined. We will repeat the tests in three days. We wish you a lot of health, take care.”

Although tests are negative so far, the incubation period is 10 days so Swiatek will have to quarantine until then.

One bit of good news for Swiatek, is she got to meet her idol Rafael Nadal via a zoom call.

Swiatek, who idolised Nadal when she was younger, met Nadal as she talked about her 2021 preparations and winning Roland Garros.

No doubt the 19 year-old will be eager to meet Nadal in Australia as she looks to win more grand slams next year.

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Jelena Ostapenko cruises into the second round with a straight-set win over Petra Martic in Ostrava

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Former Roland Garros champion and world number 44 Jelena Ostapenko cruised past number 5 seed Petra Martic 6-3 6-1 after 57 minutes to reach the second round at J&T Banka Ostrava Open. 

 

Martic won her previous two head-to-head matches against Ostapenko at Indian Wells in 2018 and in Birmingham in 2019. 

Ostapenko has scored her milestone 20th career over a top-20 rival. The Latvian player hit 30 winners to 15 unforced errors. 

Martic got an early break in the first game and consolidated it with a hold of serve to take a 2-0 lead. Ostapenko saved two break points and held serve for 1-2 before breaking serve with a forehand passing shot in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. The Latvian player reeled off five consecutive games to open up a 5-2 lead. Martic held serve to claw her way back to 3-5. Ostapenko served out the set at love. Ostapenko hit 20 winners to 10 unforced errors. 

Ostapenko got an early break with a forehand crosscourt winner. The 2017 French Open champion went up a double break and hit a series of forehand winners to race out to a 4-0 lead extending her winning streak to five consecutive games. Martic held serve in the fifth game to close the gap to 1-4. Ostapenko held serve easily to build up a 5-1 lead with a crosscourt backhand winner. In the next game Ostapenko earned two match points, as Martic hit the netcord with a dropshot and closed out the match with a forehand down the line. 

“I think I played really well well today. I just got used to playing the first couple of games, but then I played really well and I did not give her any chances to play her game, and I made so many winners. I played very smart and also used dropshots and mixed it up a little bit, which helped me, but in the deciding moments I was still aggressive. I knew Martic was going to make a lot of balls in play and I would have to be very focused and very consistent to beat her”, said Ostapenko. 

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Maria Sakkari reaches her third quarter final of the season in Ostrava

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Maria Sakkari got through to her third quarter final of the season after beating Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-3 at the J&T Banka Open in Ostrava with five breaks and 32 winners. 

 

Sakkari has already reached two quarter finals in 2020 in St. Petersburg and at the Western and Southern Open in New York and scored the fourth win of her career against a top 5 player. 

Sakkari went up a 3-0 lead with a double break. Svitolina pulled one of the two breaks back in the fourth game to claw his way back to 1-3. Sakkari converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the first set 6-3. 

Svitolina earned her first break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. Sakkari battled to deuce four times and converted her third break points in a marathon fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Sakkari earned another brek to open up a 5-3 lead to close out the match after 1 hour and 16 minutes. 

“Obviously winning against a player like Elina, the way I played I think that made me happy today. I think playing like me gives me a lot of confidence. Getting another top 5 win is very important for me. When I was starting my career, I had people telling me that I cannot play indoors. I think it was a big mistake listening to them. I have beaten very good indoor players in St. Petersburg and here in Ostrava. I have developed my game in a way that I can now be dangerous indoor sas well. My serve is big, and I am playing a little bit more aggressive. So I am super happy. I have proved these people wrong”, said Sakkari.

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