Cincinnati Daily Preview: Naomi Osaka Versus Coco Gauff Headlines a Loaded Day of Tennis - UBITENNIS
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Cincinnati Daily Preview: Naomi Osaka Versus Coco Gauff Headlines a Loaded Day of Tennis



Coco Gauff waves to the crowd after a straightforward opening round win on Tuesday evening (

With rain forcing some of Tuesday’s matches to be delayed until Wednesday, this has become one of the best daily schedules you will see all year.  And while there’s a chance of a thunderstorm later in the day, thankfully the rest of the day looks to be dry. 


Osaka, Murray, Kerber, Barty, Halep, Muguruza, Kvitova, Azarenka, Andreescu, Swiatek, Medvedev, Zverev, and Tsitsipas are just some of the top names on the card.  But the two highest-profile matches of the day feature top seeds taking on the two best young prospects America has to offer.

Each day, this preview will analyze the most intriguing men’s and women’s matchup, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Wednesday’s play gets underway at 10:00am local time.

Naomi Osaka (2) vs. Coco Gauff – Not before 1:00pm on Center Court

They first played at 2019’s US Open.  That was during Gauff’s breakout summer, though she only managed three games against Osaka in New York.  Naomi asked a tearful Coco to join her for the post-match interview on court, one of tennis’ most touching moments in recent years.  Five months later in Melbourne, Gauff upset Osaka 6-3, 6-4.  Since withdrawing from the French Open for mental health reasons, Osaka has not played a WTA match, only competing in three matches at the Tokyo Olympics.  It seems her every action and word is dissected of late, which cannot be easy for a player who does not enjoy the attention.  And her recent lack of play will not help her against Gauff, who since May is an impressive 20-5.  Coco may just be the favorite to prevail on this day.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (3) vs. Sebastian Korda – Sixth on Center Court

No one has won more matches this year than Tsitsipas, though he’s endured quite a dramatic few months.  From his defeat in the Roland Garros final, to the painful loss of his grandmother, to disappointing losses at Wimbledon and the Olympics.  And he faces another stern challenge here in Korda, a 21-year-old who started the season ranked outside the top 100, yet recently debuted inside the top 50.  Sebastian reached the quarters in Miami, won the title in Parma, and advanced to the second week at The Championships.  He seems poised to soon be the No.1 American male, but is he ready to upset a top player like Tsitsipas?  Given Korda’s composed, well-rounded game, and the Greek’s rather cranky demeanor last week in Toronto, that feels entirely possible.

Other Notable Matches on Wednesday:

Elina Svitolina (4) vs. Angelique Kerber – Svitolina leads their head-to-head 9-5, and has claimed their last seven meetings, dating all the way back to October of 2016.  Six of those seven wins were straight-setters.

Daniil Medvedev (1) vs. Mackie McDonald (WC) – It’s the Toronto champion against the Washington runner-up.  Medvedev is 4-0 against the 26-year-old American wild card.

Hubert Hurkacz (9) vs. Andy Murray (WC) – Hurkacz nearly defeated Medvedev last week, eventually falling in a third-set tiebreak.  Murray, a two-time champion here, comfortably overcame Richard Gasquet on Monday.

Iga Swiatek vs. Ons Jabeur – This is a rematch from Manic Monday at The Championships, which Jabeur won in three.  But Ons played a long three-setter late Tuesday night against Anett Kontaveit, as well as four matches last week in Montreal.  Swiatek hasn’t played since the Olympics.

Bianca Andreescu (7) vs. Karolina Muchova – Andreescu was one of Jabeur’s victims last week in her home country.  Muchova defeated Johanna Konta on Monday.

Simona Halep (12) vs. Jessica Pegula – Halep just returned last week from a near three-month layoff due to a calf injury, and battled another leg injury on Tuesday.  Pegula beat Montreal champion Camila Giorgi in the opening round. 

Andrey Rublev (4) vs. Marin Cilic – Rublev advanced to his first-ever Masters 1000 quarterfinal when this event was last staged in Ohio.  Cilic won this tournament in 2016.  Rublev is 3-1 against Cilic, and has taken their last three encounters in straight sets.

Jennifer Brady (11) vs. Jelena Ostapenko – Brady has been injury-plagued since advancing to the Australian Open final, and is only 5-6 in the last six months.  But she did take out Ostapenko in Madrid, by a score of 6-2, 6-1.

Felix Auger-Aliassime (12) vs. Karen Khachanov – Since reaching his first Major quarterfinal at Wimbledon, Felix is just 2-3.  Khachanov was also a Wimbledon quarterfinalist, and is 8-2 since.  Two years ago in Canada, the Russian took out the Canadian in three sets.

Jannik Sinner (11) vs. John Isner – Sinner was the champion in Washington, while Isner prevailed in Atlanta the week prior. 

Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.


Dominic Thiem Rules Federer Out Of GOAT Debate

The Austrian puts forward his theory on who should be regarded as the best player in history.



Dominic Thiem; e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger, 27.10.2022

The honour of which player deserves to be regarded as the greatest of all time (GOAT) should be decided based on one factor, according to Dominic Thiem. 


The former world No.3 has weighed in on the debate by suggesting that the argument should be settled by the number of Grand Slam titles a player has won as they are the most prestigious tournaments in the sport. In tennis, the four major tournaments are the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. 

Thiem’s GOAT criteria have therefore ruled Roger Federer out of contention. The Swiss maestro was at one stage the frontrunner due to the numerous records he has broken throughout his career. However, he retired from the sport last year with 20 Grand Slam trophies under his belt which is less than both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who are currently on 22 each. 

“In my opinion, the Grand Slam titles should be the defining criteria when determining the best of all time, they are the four most important tournaments in tennis,” Eurosport quotes Thiem as saying. 
“Everything else is fine, but it’s not the same. The Slams are what counts, so the GOAT will probably be the one with the most Grand Slams.”

Others will argue that more factors should be taken into account in the subjective debate. For example, Federer has won 103 ATP titles which are more than his two rivals, Djokovic holds the record for most weeks as world No.1 and Nadal has won more tournaments on clay than any other player in history. Furthermore, there is the players’ win-loss rate on the Tour and their records against the top 10 players. 

Recently at the Australian Open Djokovic won the men’s title for a historic 10th time in his career. An achievement that has been hailed by Thiem who was runner-up to the Serbian at Melbourne Park in 2021. 

“I am not very surprised, Djokovic still looks young,” he said. “Physically and mentally, because of the way he moves on the court. It’s like he was 25 years old.
“We have to be honest, he is the best, so his victory was not very surprising.”

Thiem has won one Grand Slam title which was at the 2020 US Open when he became the first man in the Open Era to come back from two sets down to win in the final. He has also been runner-up at the French Open twice, as well as the Australian Open once. 

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Andreescu edges Kostyuk to reach semis in Hua Hin

Bianca Andreescu is into the semi-finals in Thailand.



Bianca Andreescu (@BenLewisMPC - Twitter)

The Canadian is into the final four in Thailand after beating the Ukrainian in straight sets.


Bianca Andreescu booked her spot in the semifinal of the Thailand Open in Hua Hin after beating the Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in straight sets 6-0, 7-6 in one hour and 28 minutes.

The number one seed hit 19 winners and won 69% of her first serve points in a match where she had an amazing start but was dealt some adversity in the second set.

“I don’t think I started playing bad in the second set,” Andreescu said. “I think she just raised her game and she is always a tough opponent so I wasn’t expecting anything easy.”

The Toronto native who was making her first trip to Thailand came out to a flying start breaking three times in the first set en route to serving a bagel 6-0 set in a mere 25 minutes on court.

Riding the momentum into the second set, the Canadian broke again in the first game and at 3-1 went up a double break and found herself up 5-1 and a game away from the semis.

That’s when the number five seed started fighting back and at 5-2 broke Andreescu for the first time in the match and won the next two games to level the set at 5-5, using her powerful forehand to do it.

The set and the match were ultimately decided by a tiebreaker where the top seed got the early lead at 4-2 and served out the set and match at 6-3 in the breaker to secure the win.

After the match in her on-court interview, she was asked about her chances in the next match.

“I am hoping to win the tournament and I really believe in myself and if I get the support I need hopefully I can win the next two matches.”

Andreescu will face another Ukrainian in the semi-finals Lesia Tsurenko who had no issues getting past the German Tatjana Maria in straight sets 6-1 6-1 in one hour and 16 minutes.

In the other two quarterfinal matches, Lin Zhu of China beat the Slovenian Tamara Zidansek in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 15 minutes to set up an all-Chinese semi-final with the number seven seed Xinju Wang.

Wang needed three sets to get past the Brit Heather Watson 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 in two hours and 40 minutes.

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Australian Open Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas Play for the Men’s Championship



Novak Djokovic this week in Melbourne (

A year ago, Novak Djokovic experienced quite an embarrassing debacle.  After the unvaccinated Djokovic was initially granted an exemption and allowed to enter Australia, he was later detained, and eventually deported and prevented from competing at this tournament.  His refusal to get vaccinated continues to prevent Novak from competing in North American tournaments, missing Indian Wells, Miami, Canada, Cincinnati, and the US Open last year. 


But at the events Djokovic has been allowed to participate in over the past seven months, he has been nearly unstoppable.  Since the beginning of Wimbledon last June, he is now 37-2, with five titles.  Novak comes into this championship match on a 16-match winning streak, with seven of those victories against top 10 opposition.  With a win on Sunday, Djokovic not only ties Rafael Nadal in their ongoing race for history with 22 Major titles, but he also regains the World No.1 ranking, despite all the tennis he’s missed.

However, standing in his way is a hungry and confident Stefanos Tsitsipas.  This is the Greek’s second Major final, and the second time he’s encountered Djokovic in this round of a Slam.  Two years ago in the championship match of Roland Garros, Tsitsipas secured the first two sets, before losing to Novak in five.  If Stefanos can win one more set on Sunday, he’ll not only win his first Major title, he’ll also become the World No.1 for the first time.

Also on Sunday, the women’s doubles champions will be crowned.  Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who have won six Majors as a team, face Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara, who are vying for their first Major as a team. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas (3) vs. Novak Djokovic (4) – 7:30pm on Rod Laver Arena

Djokovic’s excellence in the latter rounds of the Australian Open is rivaled only by Nadal’s excellence at Roland Garros.  Novak is now 19-0 in the semifinals and finals of this tournament, which is quite staggering.  He’s also won his last 27 matches at this event, and his last 40 in Australia in general, a streak that dates back over five years.  While Novak suffered a hamstring injury a week before this fortnight, he has still advanced to this final rather easily, dropping only one set through six matches.

Tsitsipas has now reached the semifinals or better in four of the last five years at the Australian Open, but this is his first time reaching the final.  He enjoys plenty of Greek support at this event, and appears to have some extra swagger in his step during this fortnight.  Stefanos has dropped three sets to this stage, and has been superb at saving break points.  Through six matches, he has saved 44 of 53 break points faced.

Both men feel fully at home on Rod Laver Arena, and have described it as their favorite court.  But this is their first meeting on RLA.  They’ve met plenty of times on other courts though, in a rivalry that’s been thoroughly dominated by Djokovic.  The Serbian leads 10-2, and has claimed their last nine matches.  That includes four matches that took place in 2022, in which Novak won eight of their nine sets.  They played three times within a six-week period this past fall on indoor hard courts, with their closest and best matchup taking place in the semifinals of Bercy, where Djokovic prevailed in a final-set tiebreak.

Djokovic is undeniably a huge favorite to win his 10th Australian Open.  But that common knowledge takes a lot of pressure off Tsitsipas, who was so close to defeating Novak the last time they met in a Slam final.  Djokovic has been rather unbothered by all competition during this tournament, even with an injured hamstring.  Can Stefanos pull off one of the bigger surprises in recent tennis history?  I expect him to challenge Novak on Sunday, but Tsitsipas’ backhand remains a liability. And with Djokovic determined to avenge what he sees as mistreatment a year ago in Australia, a Novak loss would be truly surprising.

Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

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