‘No Words’ - Qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp Stuns Schwartzman To Reach US Open Quarters - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

‘No Words’ – Qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp Stuns Schwartzman To Reach US Open Quarters

The underdog has become the third qualifier in US Open history to reach the last eight of the men’s singles tournament.



image via https://twitter.com/usopen/

The fairytale run of Botic van de Zandschulp goes on at the US Open after the Dutchman produced an emphatic display to knock 11th seed Diego Schwartzman out of the tournament.

The 25-year-old never seemed to be intimidated by his opponent as he battled his way to a marathon 6-3 6-4, 5-7, 7-5, 6-1, victory in what is his second win over a top 20 player within a week after Casper Ruud. Winning 77% of his first service points and blasting 72 winners past Schwartzman in the process. Continuing a trend of what has been hard-fought matches involving the 25-year-old who had lost the first set of his six previous encounters at this year’s tournament (including qualifying).

“I don’t really have words for it. I have played so many matches here,” said Zandschulp.
“In some of them I was on the brink of defeat but I pulled through in every one of them. For the first time in the tournament I won the first set, even the first two. I almost ended up losing the match but I’m glad I won in the end.”

Battling on the court for more than four hours, both players had their chances during what was a roller-coaster showdown. Initially, Zandschulp seemed on course for a stunning straight-sets win after working his way to a 6-3, 6-4, 4-2, lead by producing a level of tennis that exceeded his current ranking. However, Schwartzman refused to go down without a fight as he clawed his way back to level before going on to clinch the third and fourth sets. Saving two match points in the process.

Heading into a decider, the Dutch player opted to take a toilet break which transformed the match. Upon resumption, the underdog went off guns blazing in the decider with a three-game winning streak to the frustration of his animated opponent. Closing in on the milestone win, a smash at the net secured Zandschulp a double break and crucially moved him to a 5-1 lead. On his fifth match point, he prevailed with the help of a deep shot drawing an error from across the net.

Zandschulp started this season ranked 195th in the world but has carefully worked his way up to a current career-best of 117th. This year he has reached the Grand Slam main draw of all four Grand Slams by coming through qualifying. Although at Wimbledon he gained entry via a lucky loser spot before winning his first round match.

Since Wimbledon Zandschulp has been grinding hard on the Challenger Tour by playing five tournaments with as many weeks in different countries. In each of those tournaments, he reached the quarter-finals or better. After that, he jetted off to New York for what is not only his first-ever experience of playing at the US Open. It is the first time he has ever visited the city in his life.

The atmosphere was great. This is the first time for me on the court (Louis Armstrong) and it is the first time for me in America. It’s been great,” he said.

Surging in confidence, Zandschulp heads into the quarter-finals with nothing to lose. Awaiting him will be second seed Daniil Medvedev, who saw off Dan Evans in straight sets. He is the first male player from his country to reach the last eight of a major since 2004.

“Before the tournament nobody expected me to reach the quarter-finals here. I think they are amazed and hopefully proud,” Zandschulp replied when asked what the reception will be back home.

Zandschulp is set to surge up the rankings to inside the worlds top 70 following his latest win.

Latest news

Maria Sakkari Appoints Witt As Coach For American Swing



Maria Sakkari - WTA Washington 2023 (foto Twitter @mubadalacitidc)

Maria Sakkari has enlisted the help of Jessica Pegula’s former long-time coach in a bid to regain her form on the Tour. 

Greek media has confirmed that the world No.9 has begun a partnership with David Witt, who has also previously coached Venus Williams. Witt had worked with Pegula since 2019 before the tennis star decided to end their collaboration earlier this year. During their time together he oversaw the American win two WTA 1000 events, reached the quarter-final of a grand Slam on six occasions and peaked at a ranking high of No.3. 

Sakkari’s appointment comes after she ended her six-year working relationship with Tom Hill. Highlights of their partnership include winning two Tour titles, reaching a Grand Slam semi-final twice and spending more than two years in the top 10. 

“Tom, thank you for all the emotions, the support on and off the court, and the belief you had in me since day one,” Sakkari wrote on Instagram last month. “We grew together, and you helped me realize that everything is possible.

“Not only did you make me a better tennis player, but you also made me a better person. Thank you for always wanting the best for me and for always having my back! Good luck on the next chapter in your career.”

Sakkari is looking to get back on track after what has been a disappointing start to 2024. She had won just two matches in her first four singles tournaments played and is yet to face an opponent ranked in the world’s top 20. However, she faired better at the United Cup, where she won three matches in the team event, including victories over Lelylah Fernandez and Angelique Kerber. 

It is understood that Sakkari will be working with Witt at both Indian Wells and Miami. If their partnership is successful, it could be extended further into the clay swing. The other members of her team will remain in the same roles. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai



Fifth-seed Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3. Humbert had beaten Hurkacz en route to his title in Marseille. 

Hurkacz converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. Humbert saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set before converting his first set point to force the match to the decider. Humbert broke twice to seal the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great battle. I tried to battle for every point. In the tie-break I saved three match points, tried to do my best and thanks to those French fans for the amazing support”, said Humbert. 

Humbert set up a semifinal match against Danil Medvedev, who beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-3. Humbert leads 2-1 in their head-to-head matches, but Medvedev won their most recent match in three sets at the China Open in their most recent head-to-head match in Beijing last year.

“It’s going to be a great challenge against Danil tomorrow. We had a few great fights. Hopefully I will recover well to be ready for this match”, said Humbert. 

Aleksander Bublik was leading Jiri Lehecka 6-4 4-1 when the Czech player was forced to retire due to an injury. Bublik set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who was leading Sebastian Korda 6-4 4-3  when the Czech player withdrew due to injury. 

Continue Reading


Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro



Image via https://twitter.com/RioOpenOficial/

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

Continue Reading