Australian Open Day 2 Preview: How Will an Injured Rafael Nadal Perform on Tuesday? - UBITENNIS
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Australian Open Day 2 Preview: How Will an Injured Rafael Nadal Perform on Tuesday?




Rafa was on the bench instead of on court during the ATP Cup (

Nadal will begin his quest for a record-breaking 21st Major title, but he is battling lower back issues which forced him to pull out of last week’s ATP Cup.


The No.1 Italian Matteo Berrettini looked strong during the ATP Cup, though today he faces a tough first round draw in a two-time Slam finalist.  Stefanos Tsitsipas went 2-0 last week, and on Tuesday takes on a tricky tour veteran who is rarely an easy out.  On the women’s side, two-time champion Victoria Azarenka plays an American who has recently reached two WTA hard court finals.  And 2017 Roland Garros champion takes the court against a player with one of the sport’s most diverse games.  Intriguingly, all of the aforementioned matchups are first-time meetings.

Each day during the coming fortnight, this preview will analyze the day’s most prominent matches, and note the other intriguing matchups on the schedule.  Tuesday’s play will begin at 11:00am local time.

Rafael Nadal (2) vs. Laslo Djere – Third on MCA

Nadal has not played since the 21st of November, when he lost to Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals of the ATP Finals.  Rafa has been dealing with lower back pain since his first practice in Australia.  It prevented him from hitting serves in practice for about a week.  Djere is a 25-year-old Serbian who has won two ATP titles over the last two years.  However, they both came on clay.  On hard courts, Djere has not won a tour-level match in over a year.  So this should be straightforward for Nadal, but it all depends on how his back is feeling.

Matteo Berrettini (9) vs. Kevin Anderson – Not Before 7:00pm on MCA

I expect we’ll see a few tiebreaks between two big-serving ball strikers.  Berrettini had a breakout season in 2019, winning two titles and reaching his first Major semifinal.  But Matteo fought injuries last year, and went just 9-6.  Anderson has struggled with even more injuries, and is only 12-11 since the start of 2020.  Kevin earned two wins last week before going down in straight sets to Karen Khachanov.  For both men, the Australian Open has easily been their worst Slam.  Anderson is 13-12 here lifetime, while Berrettini is only 1-3.  Based on his strong form last week, Matteo should be able to advance, though likely not without a stern test from the South African.

Victoria Azarenka (12) vs. Jessica Pegula – Second on MCA

Since arriving in the New York bubble last summer, Azarenka is an impressive 19-4.  She won the Western & Southern Open, and reached the final of the most recent hard court Major.  Vika was one of the players forced to go through 14 days of hard quarantine upon arrival in Australia.  She came from behind last week to defeat a disgruntled Yulia Putintseva, saving match points along the way.  But that would be her only warmup match, as she promptly withdrew from the event as a precaution.  Pegula is a streaky player with considerable weapons.  The American reached the final in Adelaide during last year’s Aussie summer.  So while Azarenka remains the favorite, Pegula is a dangerous opponent when you’re short on match play.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (5) vs. Gilles Simon – Last on RLA

Tsitsipas made his big breakthrough at this event two years, upsetting Roger Federer on his way to the semifinals.  Stefanos suffered some heartbreaking losses last September, but quickly rebounded to achieve his second Slam semi in Paris.  This will be the 15th main draw appearance in Melbourne for Simon, who in 2016 famously drew 100 errors out of Novak Djokovic despite losing in five sets.  Tsitsipas has never played the cerebral Frenchman before, and Simon can be quite the frustrating opponent.  But Stefanos has a lot more firepower in his game, which the fast courts on Rod Laver Arena should reward.

Karolina Muchova (25) vs. Jelena Ostapenko – Fourth on Court 17

Muchova first made a name for herself at Wimbledon in 2019, when she reached the quarterfinals with three victories over top 20 seeds, including her fellow countrywoman Karolina Pliskova.  The 24-year-old has proven she can play on this surface as well.  Muchova’s only WTA title came on a hard court, and she reached the second week of last year’s US Open.  One can never be quite sure what to expect out of Ostapenko.  She reached the quarterfinals or better at three Majors between 2017 and 2018, but since that time has a 5-6 record at Slams.  Her go-for-broke style often dictates the outcome of matches, and she can often lose control of her emotions on court.   I like the all-around game of the more reliable Muchova in this matchup, as unlike Ostapenko, she can revert to Plan B or Plan C if necessary.

Other Notable Matches on Day 2:

Defending champion Sofia Kenin (4) vs. Maddison Inglis (WC), a 23-year-old Australian.  Kenin is coming off a 6-2, 6-2 drubbing at the hands of last year’s runner-up, Garbine Muguruza.

Garbine Muguruza (14) vs. Margarita Gasparyan (LL).  Muguruza lost to Ash Barty two days in the final of the Yarra Valley Classic.  Gasparyan reached the fourth round in Melbourne five years ago, but is just 4-10 at Majors ever since.

Ash Barty (1) vs. Danka Kovinic, a 26-year-old from Montenegro.  Barty’s title run last week was her first time on court since last February.  Ash has claimed 15 of her last 17 matches.

ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev (4) vs. Vasek Pospisil.  Medvedev has won his last 14 matches, with 10 of those victories over top 10 opponents.

In a first round encounter between two accomplished top 40 players, two-time Major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Barbora Strycova, a 2019 Wimbledon semifinalist.  Kuznetsova leads their head-to-head 2-1, though Strycova nabbed their most recent meeting, three years ago at Wimbledon.

Teenage phenom Coco Gauff vs. Jil Teichman.  They just played nine days ago, with Coco prevailing in a third set tiebreak.

Tuesday’s full order of play is here.


Petra Kvitova beats Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova to advance to the quarter final in Doha




Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova knocked out Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 6-3 to advance to the quarter finals at the Qatar Total Open in Doha. Kvitova hit 31 winners to 19 unforced errors. 


Kvitova saved two break points to hold serve after two deuces. Kvitova broke twice in a row to win the fisrt set 6-1. The Czech saved three of the four break points she faced. 

Pavlyuchenkova took a 3-1 lead with a break in the fourth game of the second set, but Kvitova reeled off five games with three consecutive breaks to close out the second set 6-3. 

Number 8 seed Victoria Azarenka rallied from a slow start to beat German qualifier and Roland Garros quarter finalist Laura Siegemund 6-4 6-2. 

Siegemund broke serve in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Azarenka broke back in the fifth game of the first set to draw level to 3-3. Siegemund was unable to convert eight game points in a marathon seventh game featuring 12 deuces. Azarenka converted her fourth break point to take a 4-3 lead, but Siegemund broke back to draw level to 4-4. Azarenka broke again in the ninth game to win the first set 6-4. 

Azarenka raced out to a 5-0 lead with three breaks, but she was not able to serve out the win on her first attempt in the sixth game. Siegemund pulled one break back in the sixth game. Azarenka sealed the win on her fifth match point with a hold in the eighth game to secure her spot in the quarter finals. 

Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit cruised past three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 6-1 6-4 to advance to the third round. Kontaveit dropped her serve once in the entire match. 

Kontaveit went up a double break in the second and fourth games to cruise through to a 6-1 win in the opening set. The Estonian player raced out to a 4-1 lead with two consecutive breaks. Kerber pulled one break back in the sixth game for 2-4. Kontaveit held her next service games to claim the second set 6-4. Kontaveit has extended her win-loss record to 4-1 in her five head-to-head matches against Kerber. 

This year’s Australian Open quarter finalist Jessica Pegula beat 2016 Doha finalist Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 7-5. 

Pegula earned a double break in the third and seventh games to close out the first set 6-2. 

The second set started with three consecutive breaks. Pegula took a 2-1 lead with two breaks in the first and third games. Ostapenko broke back at love to draw level to 4-4 after winning 12 consecutive points from 2-4 down. 

Pegula won 12 of the last 14 points from 4-5 down to claim the second set 7-5 with a break in the 11th game.

Maria Sakkari eased past Madison Keys 6-2 6-2 with two breaks in each set. The Greek player earned an early break at love in the third game to take a 3-1 lead. Sakkari converted her fourth break point after eight games to win the first set 6-2. Sakkari saved a break point and broke twice in a row in the fifth and seventh games to win the second set 6-2.  

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Alexander Bublik pulls off the biggest win of his career as he upsets Alexander Zverev in Rotterdam

Alexander Bublik produced the biggest win of his career to reach the second round in Rotterdam.




Alexander Bublik (@abnamrowtt - Twitter)

The Kazak world number 43 stunned the tennis world beating the number three seed and world number seven.


Alexander Bublik is through to the second round of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam at the Ahoy after beating the world number seven and number three seed Alexander (Sascha) Zverev in straight sets 7-5 6-3. Bublik hit 21 winners in the match while Zverev finished the match with 20 unforced errors.

A good start for the German

Zverev hadn’t played a match since losing in the Australian Open quarterfinal vs Novak Djokovic a couple of weeks back so we didn’t know if rust was going to be an issue.

The German actually got off to a great start earning two break points in the opening game of the match and managed to get the early break and we though this was going to be the in form Zverev we are used to seeing.

At 4-3 the Kazak had a chance to go back on serve setting up two break points with a brilliant passing shot and breaking the very next point as the number three seed missed a volley at the net to even the set at 4-4.

With the world number seven serving to stay in the set the world number 43 went on the attack and managed to earn a set point with a stunning forehand winner.

He would break and take the first set 7-5 winning the next point with a great finish at the net with a overhead.

The Kazak pulls it off

After both players held their opening service games in the second set the German had a chance to take another lead and broke to take an early 2-1 lead as Bublik hit an untimed unforced error.

The Kazak would once again bounce back and this time break to go back on serve at 3-3 as the German was struggling making lots of unforced errors. The very next game he had five breakpoints to take the lead and it took him until the fifth break chance to get it done as he would break with a superb passing shot to take a 5-3 lead.

Bublik would serve out the match to take it in straights and send another seed packing. After the match Bublik gave his thoughts about the big win in an on court interview.

“Well I mean ya beating Sascha is great I guess, the match was up and down for both of us, I don’t think he played well today , I didn’t play well either, had some problems with the serve, I was a bit more consistent today, I was a bit more lucky in a few shots here and there, I believe I had more luck than he did today but I’m happy to get through”.

Bublik will face Tommy Paul in the next round with a chance to make the quarterfinals after making the final last week in Singapore and falling just short.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Ousts Gerasimov In Rotterdam Opener

The 22-year-old was made to work harder than he expected during his opening match.




It was a tricky day at the office for Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas who ousted Belarus’ Egor Gerasimov in the first round of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.


The second seed required nearly two hours to score a 7-6(4), 7-5, win over the world No.76 who reached the semi-finals of the Open Sud de France last week. Tsitsipas was tested throughout the 116-minute clash but managed to prevail with the help of 31 winners against 29 unforced errors.

“I had to play more consistently and also what I increased in the [key] moments was the speed of my ball, which felt kind of floppy before. He had a solid game, he was serving well at times. He wasn’t missing a lot, so it was difficult,” quoted Tsitsipas as saying afterwards. “I think once I put in my head that I needed to fight and I [couldn’t] take [any] single moment for granted, things changed and I felt the confidence.”

During what was a roller coaster opening set, the second seed let out bursts of frustration as he failed to tame his opponent on the court. Tsitsipas broke for a 3-2 lead and looked to be gaining momentum after leading 40-0 in the following game. Then a series of costly mistakes from the Greek enabled Gerasimov to claw his way back and level. Much to the bemusement of the world No.6 who smash his racket on the floor out of anger at one stage.

As both players continued to exchange in lengthy rallies, a tense tiebreaker eventually separated the two. Trading mini breaks, Tsitsipas secured the breakthrough he sought a couple points later with the help of a backhand error from his opponent to move him ahead 5-4. This time he was able to consolidate the lead to clinch the opener after hitting an unreturned serve down the centre of the court.

It was a case of deja vu in the second set for Tsitsipas who saw another break advantage come and go within two games during the early stages. Once again he struggled to pull away from his rival who produced some high quality tennis that exceeded his current ranking position. Nudging ahead to a game from victory at 6-5 Tsitsipas managed to snatch the match with the help of two consecutive errors from Gerasimov.

Despite playing in Rotterdam for the fifth year in a row, it is only the second time Tsitsipas has won a main draw match at the tournament. The first time was last year against Hubert Hurkacz who he will coincidentally play against in the next round of this year’s edition.

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