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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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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