Wimbledon Daily Preview: The Last Manic Monday - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Daily Preview: The Last Manic Monday

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Centre Court, Wimbledon (twitter.com/Wimbledon)

With middle Sunday to host play each year starting in 2022, this will be the last scheduled Manic Monday, often the best day of the entire tennis year.  All round of 16 singles matches will be played across the six show courts at The All England Club.  Centre Court alone has 42 Major singles titles represented.  They belong to three players, who are also the only previous champions still alive in the singles draws: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Angelique Kerber.

As so many great matchups will take place throughout the day, this preview will break with normal format, and take a brief look at all 16 fourth round singles matches in chronological order.  Outer courts will begin at 11:00am local time, while No.1 Court will start at 1:00pm, and Centre Court at 1:30pm.

Iga Swiatek (7) vs. Ons Jabeur (21) – 11:00am on No.2 Court

This could be one of the best matches of the entire day, between two of the WTA’s best players of the past 12 months, and two players with a ton of variety in their games.  Swiatek is yet to drop a set, while Jabeur already took out two Wimbledon champions in Week 1: Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza.  Iga claimed their only previous meeting in three sets, which occurred two years ago in Washington on a hard court.  Both are vying for their first quarterfinal at The Championships.

Aryna Sabalenka (2) vs. Elena Rybakina (18) – 11:00am on No.3 Court

Rybakina was a quarterfinalist a few weeks ago at Roland Garros, and is another player who didn’t drop a set through three rounds.  Sabalenka is the far more accomplished player outside the Majors, though she’s yet to advance beyond this round at Slams.  Aryna is 2-0 against Elena, with both hard court matches going three sets, and both not at Majors.

Matteo Berrettini (7) vs. Ilya Ivashka – 11:00am on Court 12

Queen’s Club champion Berrettini has now 8-0 on grass this season, and has won 22 of his last 25 matches overall, with his only losses coming to players ranked 6th or higher.  Ivashka is a 27-year-old from Belarus who was 1-6 at Slams prior to this fortnight, and didn’t defeat a player ranked within the top 60 to reach this stage.

Karen Khachanov (25) vs. Sebastian Korda – 11:00am on Court 18

Khachanov defeated two other Americans in the first week: Mackenzie McDonald and Frances Tiafoe.  But no American male has been better this year than Korda, who has a record of 26-11.  And Sebastian already beat two other top 30 seeds in the last two rounds.  Korda turns 21 on Monday, and I would not be surprised to watch him celebrate his birthday by reaching his first Major quarterfinal.

Andrey Rublev (5) vs. Marton Fucsovics – Second on No.2 Court

This is their fifth meeting since last October, all of which have gone to Rublev.  As he walked off the court after their match in Dubai, Fucsovics said to Rublev, “I hope I don’t play you anymore this year,” but that wish has not been granted.  And considering Marton is 0-3 in the fourth round of Slams, Rublev is a considerable favorite to reach his fourth quarterfinal out of the last five Majors.

Roberto Bautista Agut (8) vs. Denis Shapovalov (10) – Second on No.3 Court

This could be another of the best matches on the day, between two top 10 seeds with clashing styles.  Bautista Agut is a righty, flat-hitting veteran, while Shapovalov is a lefty upstart with a lot of RPM’s on his forehand.  The Spaniard was a semifinalist here two years ago.  By contrast, the Canadian was 1-3 at Wimbledon before this run to the second week.

Karolina Pliskova (8) vs. Ludmilla Samsonova (WC) – Second Court 12

Samsonova is not your typical wild card.  The 22-year-old was the champion a few weeks ago in Berlin, where she took out three top 30 players.  This is her first year playing on grass, and she’s yet to lose a match.  Pliskova has never advanced beyond this round at SW19, stalling on this day in both of the last two Wimbledons.  But she’s not dropped a set yet at this year’s event.

Madison Keys (23) vs. Viktorija Golubic – Second on Court 18

Keys was a quarterfinalist here six years ago, yet hasn’t gone that far at the Championships since.  She’s split two previous meetings with Golubic, a 28-year-old from Switzerland who was 4-17 in her career at Majors coming into this fortnight.

Ash Barty (1) vs. Barbora Krejcikova (14) – 1:00pm on No.1 Court

It’s the 2019 French Open champion against the 2021 champ.  Barty is an impressive 31-6 on the year, but Krejcikova is on a 15-match win streak.  Neither has played their best yet this fortnight, but if they both do today, this could be a stellar contest.  Krejcikova suffered from an abdominal injury during her third round win.

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Cristian Garin (17) – 1:30pm on Centre Court

Djokovic hasn’t lost in the fourth round of Wimbledon since 2006, while this is only Garin’s second time this far at a Major, and he was 0-3 lifetime at The All-England Club until last week.

Daniil Medvedev (2) vs. Herbert Hurkacz (14) – Third on No.2 Court

Medvedev came back from two-sets-down on Saturday against 2017 Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic, the first time he’s ever done so in his career.  Hurkacz went 0-6 after winning this year’s Miami Open, but as per Chris Oddo, he’s the only player who has not lost his serve thus far. 

Karolina Muchova (19) vs. Paula Badosa (30) – Third on Court 12

Muchova is looking to reach the quarterfinals for the second time in what is also her second appearance at The Championships.  Badosa survived a grueling battle with Magda Linette on Saturday, and was a quarterfinalist last month in Paris.  But before this tournament, Badosa only owned two main-draw victories on this surface.

Sascha Zverev (4) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (16) – Second on No.1 Court

Zverev has now advanced to the second week at seven consecutive Majors, and has taken 16 of his last 19 matches.  Auger-Aliassime benefited from the retirement of Nick Kyrgios on Saturday.  Felix is 0-2 in the round of 16 at Slams, and 0-3 against Sascha, having never won a set.

Coco Gauff (20) vs. Angelique Kerber (25) – Second on Centre Court

This is the most anticipated match of the day, between the 2018 champion and the breakout star of the 2019 tournament.  Bad Homburg champ Kerber is on an eight-match win streak on grass, and Parma champ Gauff is 17-3 since May.  Coco is playing for her second straight Major quarterfinal, while Kerber is looking for her first since she won this title three years ago.

Ajla Tomljanovic vs. Emma Raducanu (WC) – Third on No.1 Court

Tomljanovic ousted French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko is a fiery three-set encounter.  Raducanu is the breakout star of this year’s Wimbledon.  The 18-year-old, ranked 338th in the world, has thrilled the British crowd with her thrilling run in her first Grand Slam appearance.  And Emma is yet to relinquish a set.

Roger Federer (6) vs. Lorenzo Sonego (23) – Third on Centre Court

Federer is 17-0 in the fourth round of this tournament.  Sonego is yet to face a player ranked higher than 91st, but the 26-year-old Italian is having a great season.  He’s reached two finals, including one on grass, and advanced to the semis of the Rome Masters.

Monday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Jack Draper Stuns Tiafoe in Stuttgart; Becomes New British Number One

The Brit serves up astonishing 31 aces in just 17 service games

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Britain’s Jack Draper was pushed all the way before beating defending champion Frances Tiafoe in a third set tie-breaker to reach the semi-finals of the Boss Open in Stuttgart today – a result which also makes him the new British number one.

Draper’s biggest wins of his career came when he defeated world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas in Montreal last year as a qualifier, and also beating Felix Auger-Aliassime in reaching the US Open third round. However, today’s victory over Tiafoe confirms his ascent to the top spot in the British rankings, something which is extremely proud of.

“It’s an incredible privilege, an honour to be in that position,” he said afterwards. “I’ve been so lucky to have guys like Andy Murray, Cam Norrie and Dan Evans ahead of me all these years and they’re still in the mix pushing me, so it’s a real honour, a big milestone.”

Games went with serve in the opening set until Tiafoe broke when the scores were even at five games all. Tiafoe, whose three ATP titles have come on all three surfaces, survived a break back point in the next game to take the set with 15 winners and an impressive 71% of first serves in. The payers stopped briefly for a rain delay at the start of the second set.

“It was difficult, it wasn’t easy after the first set, I thought Frances played a really good game, just the one break.” Said Draper. “Going off, I was very frustrated, but then I came back really strong, I knew I had my opportunities and I knew I would have some more. I’m really happy with the way I served and competed and how brave I was at the end.”

As the second set continued, Draper missed two breakpoints when 4-3 ahead including a huge chance when he pushed his opponent out wide and approached the net – but put too much on his drop volley which Tiafoe punished. Draper had been serving unbelievably throughout the set with 11 aces overall, and blitzed through another love service game to go 5-4 up and apply some scoreboard pressure.

In the next game he hit a strong forehand up the line to win the crucial first point and then chased down a drop shot to hit another flashy winner to go 0-30 ahead. Tiafoe won the next point but then double faulted to give Draper set points – and he converted with yet another superb forehand up the line to level the contest at a set all.

Both players held serve easily at the start of the third but then tested each other out as the set progressed. Tiafoe fought through a deuce game and got to 30 all on Draper’s serve but the Brit averted the danger. Draper missed a match point when 5-4 up with a missed return but entered the tie-break in good shape – his first serve was almost unplayable winning over 85% when in.

“I’m incredibly happy with the win. I’ve lost all my last three third set tie-breakers so to come through today was really amazing, I’m really proud of my effort. I’m really happy with the way I served and the way I played; it was a really high-quality match. Frances was serving very well himself so to serve the way I did; it was a really big positive for me.”

Draper now goes on to face another American Brandon Nakashima who progressed after Jan-Lennard Struff withdrew with sickness. Speaking about his next opponent who was born in the same year as Draper, he said: “He’s someone who is an incredibly good young player, a really exciting talent, I think he had a lot of injuries last year like myself but he’s been rising this year and playing a lot of matches. Like everyone here, they’re all amazing players and it will be a tough battle.”

After the match, Draper spoke to Sky Sports and elaborated further about the positive influence of the other British top five, and about the Euro 2024 tournament beginning this evening.

“Those guys have all inspired me to be better. Obviously, Andy is a two-time Wimbledon and Olympic champion and has achieved so much in the game. For me he’s one of the greatest players. I’ve learned so much from those guys, the professionalism, the discipline and they’ve always been really good for me, just as a young player looking up to them and copying what they do so I’m very grateful for that.”

“[In the football]: Hopefully England can do one better than three years ago because we did well to get to the final. We have an incredibly strong team. It’s going to be a lot of tough matches but hopefully they can pull through.

On the other side of the draw, former champion Matteo Berrettini faced qualifier James Duckworth.  The Australian, who reached the third round of Wimbledon in 2021, could only manage 64% of first serve points won and committed 16 unforced errors while also facing eight breakpoints. A single break of serve in both sets was enough for the Italian to move forward into the semis, as he won 6-4, 7-5 with another strong serving display.

“It was a really solid match, especially on my serve, I didn’t give him any breakpoints,” said Berrettini afterwards. “I felt like the rhythm on the serve was really good, on grass it’s really important and in the right moments I stepped in and was more aggressive. It’s really important to put a lot of returns in and that’s what I tried to do and it worked out, and so I’m happy for that.

When asked why he was so hard to beat on the faster surface he replied, “you should ask my opponents that! I think obviously for my weapons, my serve, it pays off on grass to play aggressively and that’s what I like to do. I’m using the slice as well on the backhand side and it’s important to play good in the important moments and being able to put pressure on your opponent when you’re serving is really important, and I think that’s the key. And when I step on grass, I feel like I want to play for hours and hours so here I am”

The 28-year-old is a big football fan, and was also asked about whether he would watch the opening match of the tournament. “Germany is playing tonight so I will watch tomorrow’s match. I love Germany but to supporting Germany is a little bit too much! Tomorrow is the start [for Italy] so good luck to the guys. Three years ago, we had really good memories during this time, so let’s see!”

Following Struff’s earlier withdrawal against Nakashima, it meant there was only one other quarter final today where Lorenzo Musetti progressed despite dropping the first set 4-6 to Hungarian Alexander Bublik. The Italian raced through the second set 6-1, and when he broke serve to go 1-0 ahead in the decider, Bublik retired.

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Rafael Nadal Announces Wimbledon Withdrawal, Will Play Bastad Ahead Of Olympics

Rafael Nadal has announced his schedule ahead of the Olympic Games.

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Rafael Nadal has announced that he will be playing the ATP 250 event in Bastad ahead of the Olympic Games as he will once again withdraws from Wimbledon.

The Spaniard is set for a massive summer as he competes in singles and doubles at the Olympic Games.

It was announced yesterday that he and Carlos Alcaraz will team up in the doubles event in Paris as Nadal searches for his third gold medal.

However Nadal’s big summer before the Olympics has been slightly altered in order to have the best preparations possible for the big event.

This is as Nadal has announced his withdrawal from Wimbledon with the Spaniard not playing the event since withdrawing from his 2022 semi-final against Nick Kyrgios.

In more surprising news though Nadal announced on social media that he will be playing the ATP 250 event in Bastad, Sweden ahead of the Olympic Games, “During my post match press conference at Roland Garros I was asked about my summer calendar and since then I have been practising on clay. It was announced yesterday that I will play at the summer Olympics in Paris, my last Olympics,” Nadal explained on X.

“With this goal, we believe that the best for my body is not to change surface and keep playing on clay until then. It’s for this reason that I will miss playing at The Championships this year at Wimbledon.

“I am saddened not to be able to live this year the great atmosphere of that amazing event that will always be in my heart, and be with all the British fans that always gave me great support. I will miss you all.

“In order to prepare for the Olympic Games, I will play the tournament in Bastad, Sweden, a tournament that I played earlier in my career and where I had a great time both on and off the court. Looking forward to seeing you all there. Thank you.”

Nadal last competed at Bastad in 2005, where he won the title defeating Tomas Berdych in the final.

The tournament will take place the week after Wimbledon on the 15th of July with world number one Jannik Sinner scheduled to participate there as well.

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Rafael Nadal And Carlos Alcaraz To Team Up In Olympic Gold Bid

Rafael Nadal has been confirmed to compete at his third Olympic Games in Paris.

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Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz will team up and represent Spain in the upcoming Olympic Games.

The news was announced by Davis Cup captain David Ferrer at a press conference as he stated that Nadal and Alcaraz would team up at the Olympic Games.

Nadal has won Gold at the last two Olympic Games he has participated in and will fancy his chances of further success at Roland Garros, where he won 14 Grand Slam titles.

Meanwhile Alcaraz recently won the Roland Garros title in Paris to claim his third Grand Slam title.

Speaking about the Olympics Alcaraz stated that he is prioritising winning gold in Paris, “The Olympic Games are every four years and it’s a special tournament where you’re not only playing for yourself, but for a country, representing every Spaniard,” Alcaraz was quoted by The Score as saying.

“I think this year I’d choose Olympic gold.”

In addition to Nadal Pablo Carreno Busta, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Marcel Granollers complete the team.

On the women’s team Sara Sorribes Tormo and Cristina Bucsa will represent Spain while Paula Badosa has decided to use her last two protected rankings at Wimbledon and US Open, so will not be competing in Paris.

The tennis event at the Olympic Games begins on the 27th of July and concludes on the 4th of August.

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