Canada Daily Preview: Championship Sunday in Toronto and Montreal - UBITENNIS
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Canada Daily Preview: Championship Sunday in Toronto and Montreal

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Daniil Medvedev was rather pleased with his easy win over John Isner on Saturday evening (twitter.com/OBNmontreal)

Sunday features four championship matches: two in singles, and two in doubles.  In Montreal, the singles final is a rematch from just a few weeks ago at the Tokyo Olympics, where Italy’s Camila Giorgi stunned Karolina Pliskova.  In Toronto, Daniil Medvedev has reached his second consecutive Canada Masters final, and faces his second consecutive tall, American “Servebot.”

Each day, this preview will analyze the most intriguing men’s and women’s matchup, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Sunday’s play gets underway at 1:30pm local time.

Karolina Pliskova (4) vs. Camila Giorgi – 1:30pm on Centre Court in Montreal

Last month in Tokyo, Giorgi comfortably prevailed 6-4, 6-2.  That’s part of a run where she has claimed 13 of 17 matches.  Historically known as a one-dimensional player who hits the ball hard every time, her game has evolved.  As Jason Goodall and Lindsey Davenport broke down on Tennis Channel, she is now more patient in rallies, often waiting until she is in a winning position to go for a winner.  Overall her head-to-head with Pliskova has become pretty tight.  Karolina leads 5-3, but Giorgi has now taken the last two, which also includes a match two months ago on the grass of Eastbourne.  That was just a week before Pliskova’s run to the Wimbledon final.  After a stretch of some subpar results, the 29-year-old Czech has rediscovered her confidence, winning 12 of her last 14 matches.  But the fact that two of her three most recent losses came at the hands of Giorgi will certainly be present in her mind.  However, this will easily be the biggest match of Camila’s career, as she had never advanced beyond the fourth round of a WTA 1000 event before this week.  And she’s only 2-6 lifetime in WTA finals.  As much as this has been a matchup issue for Pliskova of late, her vast edge in experience at this level, paired her serving prowess, should be enough to earn her first title in over 18 months.

Daniil Medvedev (1) vs. Reilly Opelka – Not Before 8:00pm on Stadium Court in Toronto

The aforementioned “Servebot” term has been used publicly by Opelka this week, which by his own definition, is a player who holds serve frequently and is “a little bit miserable to watch.”  It seemed this was said a bit tongue-in-cheek, to be clear, but the fact remains the near-seven-feet-tall 23-year-old has a booming serve that can dominate proceedings.  But his compatriot John Isner does as well, and it was completely ineffective against Medvedev in the semifinals, who prevailed 6-2, 6-2 in just an hour.  Opelka has plenty more to his game than just a serve that can frustrate opponents, like his forehand and volleying skills.  Stefanos Tsitsipas appeared infuriated by his inability to figure out a way to dismantle Reilly’s game on Saturday.  But maintaining that level for a second straight day, in the biggest match of your career, and against the winningest hard court player of the last 12 months, will be a daunting task.  Since the Paris Masters last November, Medvedev is 24-4 on this surface.  And since January of 2018, this is his 16th hard court final.  The Russian is 3-1 against the American, including a straight-set victory earlier this season at Roland Garros.  While Opelka did defeat Medvedev on a hard court last fall in St. Petersburg, Daniil is the favorite to win his fourth Masters 1000 title.

Other Notable Matches on Sunday:

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic (1) vs. Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury (3) – Mektic and Pavic are in the midst of an historic season.  They play on Sunday for their tenth title of the year, and their 57th match win.  These teams have faced each other four times in 2021, with Mektic and Pavic claiming all four of those matches, and nine of 10 sets contested.

Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani (5) vs. Darija Jurak and Andreja Klepac (6) – This is a rematch from the final just last week in San Jose, where Jurak and Klepac prevailed in straight sets.  Stefani is also coming off a thrilling run to the bronze medal in women’s doubles at the Olympics.

Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Novak Djokovic Withdraws From Masters 1000 Event In Madrid

Novak Djokovic will miss the Masters 1000 event in Madrid and will look to build up his Roland Garros preparations in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Masters 1000 event in Madrid as he aims for quality over quantity in his bid for Roland Garros glory.

The world number one has had a rough start to the season by his standards as he is yet to win a title this season after a semi-final defeat to Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open.

Djokovic was hoping a change of surface would bring a change of fortunes but the Serb was defeated in three sets in the semi-finals of Monte-Carlo.

Now it seems that result has made Djokovic rethink his schedule as the current Roland Garros champion has withdrawn from Madrid.

No official reason has been given although the news seems to be not that surprising given Djokovic’s history in the Spanish capital.

The Serb hasn’t played since 2022, where he was beaten by Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals, and has now won the title there for five years.

It looks like Djokovic will be putting his faith into more favourable conditions in Rome, which is the most similar to Roland Garros in terms of conditions.

Djokovic is a six-time champion in the Italian capital and will aim for a seventh title when he plays there on the 8th of May.

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Thanasi Kokkinakis Questions ‘Insane’ Drug Testing

Thanasi Kokkinakis has been tested three times within the last six days.

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Thanasi Kokkinakis has questioned persistent drug testing after he revealed he was tested three times in six days.

The Australian is in good form at the moment having won the Sarasota Challenger in Florida.

Kokkinakis claimed glory with a three set win over Zizou Bergs in the final as he continues to climb the rankings.

However that glory has been overshadowed by the fact that Kokkinakis has revealed he was drug tested three times within a six day period.

The world number 94 described it as ‘insane’ and it comes after Alexandre Muller complained of persistent drug testing after his recent defeats.

Doping has been a huge topic of conversations with Simona Halep losing two years of her career after testing positive after the US Open before the Court Of Arbitration For Sport shortened her case.

Kokkinakis will be hoping that this is the last time he has to deal with persistent drug testing as he continues his clay court season.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Saves Two Match Points To Extend Winning Streak In Barcelona

Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a scare to reach the Barcelona semi-finals.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas saved two match points to defeat Facundo Diaz Acosta 4-6 6-3 7-6(8) in Barcelona.

The former finalist saved two match points against the inspired Argentinian as Tsitsipas reached the semi-finals.

It means Tsitsipas is 9-0 in the clay court season and has the chance to set up a potential rematch with Casper Ruud in the final.

The duo met in last week’s Monte-Carlo final where Tsitsipas claimed his third title in Monaco.

Speaking after the match Tsitsipas admitted it was difficult to sustain his level, “I was coming close [to losing] at certain moments in the match. It seemed like a mountain,” Tsitsipas stated to the ATP website.

“I reminded myself that I have a headband that I wear here that has a mountain and that I need to climb it, so it kept me going. It was difficult. It was extremely difficult to sustain the same level throughout the entire match and I think he played incredible.

“I think he left everything out there. He is a good clay-court player. He has a title on the ATP Tour for a reason and today it was a level he was able to bring out on the court that made it quite obvious.

“I got a little bit tense on my serve, I won’t lie. I think I started decelerating a lot, but once I got a hold of that I was conscious of that, it went back to where it belonged and helped me a lot in the tie-breaker because if I didn’t figure it out, I don’t know. It was very mental in general. I really had to go to uncomfortable places mentally and go over the limit at some point.”

Tsitsipas is currently seven in the world in the live rankings as the Greek is looking to claim his first title in Barcelona.

Next up for the Greek will be either Dusan Lajovic or Arthur Fils while Tomas Martin Etcheverry takes on Casper Ruud in the other semi-final.

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