Wimbledon Daily Preview: Monday’s Rain Makes for a Teeming Tuesday of Tennis - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Daily Preview: Monday’s Rain Makes for a Teeming Tuesday of Tennis

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Centre Court’s roof was utilized throughout much of Monday’s play (wimbledon.com/AELTC/Thomas Lovelock)

With many of Day 1’s 64 matches not completed, Day 2’s Order of Play is jam-packed with 80 matches around the grounds.  And with rain again possible on Tuesday, the tournament is at risk of falling further behind schedule.

 

Centre Court on Tuesday sees world No.1 Ash Barty open play in the spot normally reserved for the defending ladies’ singles champion, but unfortunately Simona Halep was forced to withdraw due to injury.  Barty will face Carla Suarez Navarro, who just recently announced she is cancer-free after being diagnosed last year with Hodgkin Lymphoma.  They are joined on Centre Court by the most decorated duo of No.6 and No.7 seeds in history: 23-time Major singles champion Serena Williams, and 20-time champ Roger Federer.

Each day of the fortnight, this preview will highlight the five most intriguing matchups, while outlining the other notable matches on the schedule.   Tuesday’s play will begin at 11:00am local time on all outer courts, 1:00pm on No.1 Court, and 1:30pm on Centre Court.

Ash Barty (1) vs. Carla Suarez Navarro – 1:30pm on Centre Court

This will be Barty’s first match since retiring during the second round of Roland Garros due to a left hip injury, meaning she hasn’t played a match on grass since this event two years ago.  And Suarez Navarro has only played one match on any surface since returning from her cancer battle.  Carla has announced she will retire after this summer’s US Open, so this could very well be her last match at Wimbledon.  This will be their first career meeting.   Despite her recent injury, Barty is a strong favorite on grass, especially considering the Spaniard’s lack of match play.  Regardless, it will certainly be a special moment to watch Suarez Navarro walk onto the sport’s most prestigious court so shortly after being declared cancer-free.

Roger Federer (7) vs. Adrian Mannarino – Second on Centre Court

The last time Federer stepped onto Centre Court, he squandered two championship points in the fifth set of the 2019 final, eventually going down in defeat to Novak Djokovic in the tournament’s first-ever 12-all tiebreak.  After undergoing two knee surgeries last year, he’s only played eight matches, with a record of 5-3.  Roger went just 1-1 two weeks ago in Halle, playing at a subpar level in a straight-set defeat at the hands of Felix Auger-Aliassime.  His preparation for this event has been far from ideal, but the eight-time champion remains a heavy favorite against Mannarino, who celebrates his 33rd birthday on Tuesday.  Federer is 6-0 against the Frenchman, and has only lost one of 16 sets they’ve played.  Roger has twice defeated Adrian in straight sets at The Championships, and while the left-handed Mannarino can be a tricky opponent, there’s no evidence to support a much different outcome on this day.

Daniil Medvedev (2) vs. Jan-Lennard Struff – Third on No.1 Court

Just two weeks ago in Halle, Struff upset Medvedev in the opening round.  But Struff would lose his next two matches in grass court warmup events, while the Russian rebounded quickly to win the title last week in Mallorca.  Medvedev has claimed their other three tour-level meetings.  The 31-year-old German has played some of his best tennis of late, debuting inside the top 30 last summer.  And he upset another Russian, Andrey Rublev, in the first round of the last Major.  However, in the best-of-five format, the cerebral No.2 seed should have enough time to figure out a way to advance beyond Struff

Ugo Humbert (21) vs. Nick Kyrgios – Third on Court 12

This is a rematch from February’s Australian Open, where Kyrgios outlasted Humbert in an epic battle 6-4 in the fifth.  The 26-year-old Australian went down in defeat to Dominic Thiem in the next round, and hasn’t played a match since.  Nick was scheduled to return to action two weeks ago at Queen’s Club, but withdrew due to a neck injury.  That same week, Humbert was winning the event in Halle, the biggest title of his career to date.  The 23-year-old Frenchman has now won three titles since the beginning of last year, and reached the fourth round of this event in 2019.  Humbert should be considered a significant favorite against Kyrgios, who is sorely lacking match play and likely still not 100% healthy.

Bianca Andreescu (5) vs. Alize Cornet – Fifth on No.2 Court

Just 13 days ago in Berlin, Cornet defeated the 2019 US Open champ after two tightly-contested sets.  The 21-year-old Canadian has only played four tour-level matches on grass in her career.  Cornet is the far more experienced player, especially on this surface, and achieved perhaps the biggest victory of her life at this event.  In 2014, she upset Serena Williams 6-4 in the third.  Alize’s victory over Bianca wasn’t her only impressive win in Berlin, where she also took out Garbine Muguruza in a third-set tiebreak.  It’s a mistake to count out Andreescu based on the fight she has exhibited in big tournaments, but Cornet is a gritty competitor who may even be a slight favorite against the No.5 seed.

Other Notable Matches on Tuesday:

Serena Williams (7) vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich – Serena is 19-0 in the first round of Wimbledon.  Sasnovich is only 1-2 lifetime at this event.

Hubert Hurkacz (14) vs. Lorenzo Musetti – Since winning the Miami Open earlier this year, Hurkacz is now 0-6, which includes a loss to Musetti in Rome.  This will be the 19-year-old Italian’s first-ever ATP match on grass.

Angelique Kerber (25) vs. Nina Stojanovic – Last week in her home country, Kerber earned her first title since she won Wimbledon in 2018.  Stojanovic was a semifinalist earlier this month on the grass of Nottingham.

Sascha Zverev (4) vs. Tallon Griekspoor (Q) – This is the only Major where Zverev is yet to reach the quarterfinals or better.  24-year-old Griekspoor won two Challenger events this year on clay.

Coco Gauff (20) vs. Francesca Jones (WC) – It was two years ago at this tournament when Coco-mania was born, with her thrilling run to the round of 16 as a 15-year-old.  Jones is a 20-year-old Brit ranked outside the top 200.

Tuesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Emma Raducanu Looking For Experience After Splitting With Coach

Emma Raducanu revealed her post-US Open plans as she prepares for life on the main WTA tour.

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Emma Raducanu (@CambridgeAwe - Twitter)

Emma Raducanu is looking for more experience in her team after splitting from her short-term coach Andrew Richardson.

 

The US Open champion revealed the news at the ‘homecoming party’ set up at the National Tennis Centre in London where the Duchess of Cambridge was present.

Speaking at the event Raducanu said that she needed more experience as she will now play on the main tour on a regular basis, “At this stage of my career I really need someone that has had that WTA Tour experience at that high level,” Raducanu was quoted as saying by the BBC website.

“Especially right now as I’m so new to it, I think I really need someone just to guide me who has already been through that themselves. “Never did I even dream of winning the US Open and now I’m ranked 22 in the world, which is pretty crazy to me.”

Richardson was always a short-term arrangement with him now committed to improving his 10 year-old son.

As for Raducanu she is now 22 in the world and faces unfamiliar territory in playing a full-time schedule.

After winning the US Open as a qualifier, Raducanu has received unlimited amount of attention and expectation which is something she will need guidance with.

Now Raducanu will set out a schedule in the next few days with the Brit set to return as early as Indian Wells which starts on the 6th of October, “I got back on court a few days ago, and yesterday I did a full training day,” she explained.

“I was feeling pretty good about myself and my game, and I am very excited to compete again. All the opportunities I am getting have been very fun, but where I really want to be is on the tennis court, as I’m just thriving out there.

“I haven’t decided on my schedule yet – I will decide in the next few days where I am going to go to – but wherever I play next, I’m going to make sure I’m ready. I don’t want to jump into things too early.”

Should the 18 year-old make a strong end to the season then she could make the WTA Finals in Guadalajara.

Although she is 14th in the race, players such as Ash Barty and Naomi Osaka could miss the event and it’s something that is on the back of the mind of Raducanu, “The WTA Finals I would never even dream of before, because it was just so far out of reach and out of sight, but coming reasonably close to it now, I think it would be great if I qualified,” she admitted.

“But if not, it’s a complete bonus, because my priority is just putting in the best possible pre-season that I can, so I can start strong next year and next season.”

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Berrettini pulls off comeback win over Auger Aliassime at Laver Cup

Matteo Berrettini contributed to a 3-1 overall scoreline for Team Europe over Team World after day one of the Laver Cup.

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Matteo Berrettini (@LaverCup - Twitter)

The Italian fought back from a set down to beat the Canadian and give team Europe a commanding lead.

 

In the longest match in Laver Cup history so far Matteo Berrettini needed a match tiebreak to beat the world number 11 and good friend Felix Auger Aliassime 6-7, 7-5, 10-8 in a match that lasted two hours and 52 minutes.

The Italian hit 15 winners and served seven aces while the Montreal native hit 37 unforced errors in the loss.

“I was fighting and I felt the match was really hard and Felix (Auger-Aliassime) was playing well and he didn’t give me anything and he made no mistakes and he was serving really well and I felt a different energy because we are playing for a team, not just myself and they helped me a lot”.

The first set stayed on serve until 2-2 when it was the Italian with the first two breakpoints of the match but the Canadian was able to save both and hold serve.

The next game was a rollercoaster and the Montreal native responded by earning four chances to break and after 13 minutes finally made the breakthrough to take a 4-2 lead.

At 5-3, the world number 11 found himself with two set points but failed to convert and the Italian fought back and got the break back and at 6-5 the Canadian had five more set points but again the Italian saved all five and the set was decided by a tiebreaker.

Auger Aliassime got the early break to take a 2-0 lead and that break was enough for him to finally serve out the first set and take a 1-0 set lead. The world number seven was keen to bounce back and had two early chances to break at 1-1 but the Canadian saved both and held serve once again.

The very next game it was the Montreal native turn to apply the pressure on the Berrettini serve but the Italian managed to save both breakpoints he faced and held serve.

At 5-5, the Canadian kept pushing earning two more break points but couldn’t get the breakthrough, and the very next game the Rome native pounced and managed to get the crucial break to win the second set and force a match tiebreak.

The breaker was extremely tight until 3-3 when the Canadian managed to get the break and jumped out to a 5-3 lead before losing two straight points and the breaker was even at five.

Once again the world number 11 got the break again and was up 7-5 but again lost two straight points and we were even at seven and then at 9-8 Berrettini with the rally of the match sealed the win with a great passing shot.

After the match in his post-match interview, the Italian was asked about being selected to play doubles in the night session.

“I am going to be honest when they told me I would be playing singles and doubles I didn’t expect to play a match that long so I spoke with the captain and we will see but I am still young”.

Day 1 results

Casper Ruud got the ball rolling for Team Europe as he beat the American Rielly Opelka in the first match of the day in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 to give his team the first point of the tournament.

In the first match of the night session Andrey Rublev gave Team Europe a convincing 3-0 lead as he came back to beat the Argentine Diego Schwartzman 4-6, 6-3, 11-9 in the match tiebreaker.

Finally in the last match of the day Team World got their first point as the duo of John Isner and Denis Shapovalov came back from a set down to beat the doubles pairing of Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev 4-6, 7-6, 10-1.

Day 2 preview:

Day 2 features some amazing matchups in both the day and night session with Stefanos Tsitsipas starting the day against the Aussie Nick Krygios before John Isner takes on Alexander Zverev.

In the night session Denis Shapovalov takes on the US Open champion from Russia Danil Medvedev with another doubles match wrapping things up as the team of Andrey Rublev and Tsitispas will take on John Isner and Nick Kyrgios.

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ATP Moves Closer To Staging Five More 12-Day Masters 1000 Events After Board Approval

Changes are coming to the men’s Tour which includes a brand new ‘profit-sharing formular’ for players.

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Masters tournaments in North America, Europe and Asia are set to be expanded over the coming months after the ATP Board recently approved some ‘key aspects’ of their strategic plan.

 

In a letter issued to players, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said an agreement has been reached concerning a variety of topics, which include the expansion of various Masters 1000 events. It is understood that the plan is for Rome, Madrid, Canada, Cincinnati and Shanghai to be increased to 12-day events instead of just one week. Putting them more in line with Indian Wells and Miami. Tennis.com reports that under the new structure, ATP 250 events will also take place during the second week of those tournaments and they could receive a subsidy from the ATP Tour, provided by extra fees paid by the Masters tournaments.

Masters 1000 events are the third highest-ranked category events in men’s tennis after Grand Slams and the ATP Finals in terms of prize money and ranking points on offer. The series was first introduced back in 1990 but it wasn’t until 2009 that the name ‘Masters 1000’ was born. The number represents how many ranking points the winner receives.

Besides the proposed changes to the Masters series, the Board has also given a green light to “a new Profit-Sharing formula” and “long-term prize money levels.” The prize money increase is reportedly said to be 2.5 percent of a base level, plus a bonus pool with a 50 percent share of the collective profit of the Masters events.

“This represents significant progress for our sport and the way our player and tournament members operate under the equal partnership of the ATP Tour. It is only through the spirit of this partnership, transparency, and alignment of interests that we can truly maximise your potential and switch our focus to the competition we face in the border sports and entertainment landscape,” Gaudenzi wrote in his letter to players.

Part of the plan also include making changes to ATP Media, who are in charge of broadcasting the events. At present it is currently jointly owned by the Tour and each of the Masters 1000 events. However, in the future it has been proposed that those tournaments trade in their ownership rights for shares in ATP media. Exact details about this process have not been publicly disclosed and it is unclear if all of the tournaments would agree to such a move.

The ATP also wants to create a ‘Tennis Data Innovations’ which will be an independent entity.

All of these proposed changes are still subject to further agreement around additional matters. The ATP have been working on details of their strategic plan for the past 18 months.

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