US Open Daily Preview: A Rainy Wednesday Awaits in Flushing Meadows - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

US Open Daily Preview: A Rainy Wednesday Awaits in Flushing Meadows

Published

on

Coco Gauff two weeks ago in Cincinnati (twitter.com/CincyTennis)

The first two days of this tournament have been simply scintillating, with dramatic matches all over the grounds.  But Wednesday’s forecast may not allow for any play on the outer courts, as there is a high chance of rain throughout the day and evening.  With roofs over Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong Stadiums, those will be the only two courts with guaranteed play, and where this preview will focus its attention.

Those matches include the second and third seeds in both the men’s and women’s singles draws.  However, the most-anticipated match of the day features the 2017 champion taking on a fellow American who has thrilled tennis audiences since the age of 15.  

Each day, this preview will analyze the five most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Wednesday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.

Garbine Muguruza (9) vs. Andrea Petkovic – 11:00am on Louis Armstrong Stadium

Muguruza started off 2021 in stellar form, with a 20-4 record.  But after suffering a leg injury in April, she’s failed to get her season back on track.  Since May, Garbine is only 11-7.  And in her career, she’s 0-3 against Petkovic.  The 33-year-old German has beaten Muguruza three times on hard courts, though they haven’t met in five-and-a-half years.  Petkovic was a quarterfinalist here in 2011, but has not advanced to the second week of Major since 2014.  Yet this summer, Andrea has achieved some of her best results in years, reaching two clay court finals.  Her head-to-head against Muguruza will give her confidence, though Garbine remains the favorite to advance.   Muguruza should be able to overpower Petkovic on these fast courts.

Daniil Medvedev (2) vs. Dominik Koepfer – Second on Arthur Ashe Stadium

Koepfer represents Germany, but played college tennis in the United States, at Tulane University.  And he made his first big impression on tour two years at this event, with a startling run to the fourth round.  However, the man who eliminated him in 2019 is the same man he faces today.  Dominik nabbed the first set on that day, but would succumb to Medvedev in a fourth set tiebreak.  Koepfer also took Roger Federer to a fourth set at this year’s French Open, a near-four-hour affair which would convince Roger to withdraw from the tournament before the next round.  So Dominik can certainly test top players, but defeating them in best-of-five is another story.  And Koepfer has never beaten a top 8 player in his career.  Medvedev’s hard court credentials are well-documented, and he is a significant favorite to advance.

Coco Gauff (21) vs. Sloane Stephens – 7:00pm on Arthur Ashe Stadium

Both women participated in exciting three-set contests in front of raucous crowds on Monday.  In a rematch of the 2017 final, Stephens defeated Madison Keys in a third set tiebreak.  A few hours later, Coco Gauff came from a set down to take out Magda Linette.  This is a tough draw for both players: Sloane facing a top American opponent for the second straight round, and Gauff getting the champion of four years ago.  Coco has been the much better player this season, making seven quarterfinals since February.  But she cannot afford the dips in form she often provides her opponents when facing the two-time Major finalist.  On Monday, Coco struck twice as many errors as winners.  Stephens took advantage of Keys’ errors at the end of their first round match, and it would not be surprising if she successfully did the same against Gauff.  The 17-year-old is certainly a future champion, but not until her game becomes more consistent.

Diego Schwartzman (11) vs. Kevin Anderson – 7:00pm on Louis Armstrong Stadium

The last time these players collided was one of the worst moments in Anderson’s career.  Three years ago at Roland Garros, the South African easily won the first two sets, and was serving for the match at 5-4 in the third, when he was broken for the first time.  Anderson would not recover, eventually going down in defeat 6-2 in the fifth.  That was Kevin’s first loss to Diego in three matches.  Anderson has endured a rough few seasons marred by injuries, and is now ranked 77th in the world.  He survived a fifth set tiebreak on Monday just to reach this matchup.  Schwartzman had a strong 2020, achieving his first Masters 1000 final, and first Major semifinal.  While he’s reached the third round or better at each Slam this year, he’s a modest 24-15 by his high standards.  Diego advanced much more comfortably in his opening round, without dropping a set.  Anderson’s powerful serve and forehand will be rewarded by the speed of these courts, but Schwartzman’s returning skills are excellent.  In what could easily become an extended battle, Diego should be favored, especially considering he’s accumulated a lot more wins of late than Kevin.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (3) vs. Adrian Mannarino – Last on Arthur Ashe Stadium

What will Tsitsipas have left physically and emotionally after his five set, near-five-hour epic first round against Andy Murray?  And Tsitsipas seemed quite bothered, if not downright offended, by Murray’s comments regarding the length of Stefanos’ bathroom break after the fourth set.  I wonder if that will serve to distract or motivate the Greek, and how the late night Ashe crowd will respond to him.  The good news for Tsitsipas is his opponent also played a five-setter in the opening round.  Mannarino came from two sets down to take out fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, in Adrian’s first match since his unfortunate knee injury at Wimbledon while up two-sets-to-one over Roger Federer.  These players split two previous matchups in 2019, though Mannarino’s victory came when Tsitsipas retired mid-match.  Stefanos battled a leg injury of his own on Monday, so another retirement on Wednesday is not unfathomable.  But assuming his knee allows him, Tsitsipas should prevail.

Other Notable Matches on Wednesday:

Naomi Osaka (3) vs. Olga Danilovic (Q) – Osaka has now won 22 of her last 23 matches on these grounds, which includes last year’s Western & Southern Open.  Danilovic is a 20-year-old from Serbia who upset Petra Martic at this year’s Australian Open. 

Andrey Rublev (5) vs. Pedro Martinez – Rublev defeated Ivo Karlovic in straight sets on Monday, in Ivo’s last match at a Major.  Martinez has reached the third round at three of the last four Slams.

Aryna Sabalenka (2) vs. Tamara Zidansek – It’s a Wimbledon semifinalist against a Roland Garros semifinalist.  But Zidansek only has three tour-level wins on a hard court within the last six months.

Daria Kasatkina (25) vs. Marketa Vondrousova – The Olympic silver medalist leads their head-to-head 2-1.  And Vondrousova claimed their only hard court encounter 6-2, 6-1, though Kasatkina is a much improved player today than she was when that match occurred in 2019.

Elena Rybakina (19) vs. Caroline Garcia – Their only previous meeting was a doozy.  Three years ago in St. Petersburg, Rybakina outlasted Garica in a third set tiebreak.

Barbora Krejcikova (8) vs. Christina McHale – As great as Krejickova has been over the last four months, she just earned her first US Open singles victory on Monday.  McHale is a 29-year-old American who grew up in the New York area, and was once ranked as high as 24th in the world. 

Simona Halep (12) vs. Kristina Kucova (LL) – Halep overcame an in-form Camila Giorgi in the opening round.  Kucova is a 31-year-old from Slovakia ranked 111th in the world.

Angelique Kerber (16) vs. Anheina Kalinina – Kerber narrowly escaped the first round, taking out Dayana Yastremska in a third set tiebreak.  But 24-year-old Kalinina is the player who took her out in the first round of this year’s French Open.

Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.

Focus

Andy Murray Makes Retirement Hint After 500th Hard Court Win In Dubai

Andy Murray won his 500th hard court match in Dubai, placing him fifth on the all-time list.

Published

on

(@the_LTA - Twitter)

Andy Murray further hinted at retirement after securing a 500th hard court win of his career in Dubai.

The former world number one picked up his second win of the year with a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov.

In typical Andy Murray fashion, the Brit came back from a set down to defeat the out-of-sorts Canadian as he progressed to the second round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUVj537F-wQ

The win means Murray now has 500 career wins on a hard court and that is an achievement the world number 67 is proud of, “It’s not bad,” Murray told the ATP website as he sits fifth on the all-time list of hard court wins.

“Obviously hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that. There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

However those post-match comments weren’t the most shocking ones as Murray once again hinted at retirement this season.

The Brit has made subtle remarks that this year may be his last one but Murray’s comments today suggests that he may have already made his decision, “I probably don’t have too long left but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months,” Murray was quoted by ESPN as saying.

“I still love competing and still love the game but it gets harder and harder to compete the older you get, to keep your body fit and fresh.”

If the end is near for Murray than the Brit will look to end his career on a high for the next few months.

Before thinking about retirement Murray will look to go further in Dubai when he takes on either Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils in the second round.

Continue Reading

Focus

Perspective And Fatigue: The Two Sides Of Iga Swiatek’s Dubai Defeat

Iga Swiatek spoke about perspective and fatigue after her semi-final exit in Dubai.

Published

on

(@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Iga Swiatek showed two sides to her defeat in Dubai as the world number one surprisingly failed to win the title despite being the favourite in the semi-finals.

Heading into her semi-final in Dubai, Swiatek was heavy favourite to win her second consecutive WTA title after claiming the title in Doha the week before.

However Swiatek was unsuccessful in her bid to reach the final as she lost to Anna Kalinskaya 6-4 6-4.

It was a bitterly disappointing defeat for Swiatek who missed a golden opportunity to establish even more dominance ahead of Indian Wells.

As all champions do Swiatek offered perspective to her defeat as she looks ahead to the rest of the season, “I mean, I’m angry but on the other hand, there aren’t many players that actually survive these kinds of tournaments so I just kind of have to let it go and accept it,” Swiatek was quoted by Tennis Majors.

There was not only perspective offered but also fatigue as expectations and pressure can force simple mistakes from the best players in the world.

The world number one acknowledged Kalinskaya’s performance but did admit her own performance contributed to the defeat, “Today I would say, I mean she [Kalinskaya] played well and for sure she deserves to be in the final, but I feel like it was more about me and my level,” Swiatek told Tennis Majors.

“I wanted to be focused on myself and I wasn’t really able to implement any tactics that I had. Usually, when I tell myself what to do, I can improve my game but today I was so out of power and tired that I just couldn’t. Day by day, it was a little bit worse.”

Swiatek will hope to re-energize herself ahead of the sunshine double in America.

Last year Swiatek lost to eventual champion Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals at Indian Wells before withdrawing from Miami.

The Pole will look to improve last year’s performance when she plays Indian Wells, which starts on the 6th of March.

Continue Reading

Focus

‘Speechless’ Mensik Reaches Maiden ATP Final In Doha

Jakub Mensik is into his first ATP final in Doha.

Published

on

(@TennisChannel - Twitter)

Jakub Mensik admitted he was left speechless after reaching his first ATP final in Doha.

The 18 year-old continued his remarkable week with a 6-4 1-6 6-3 semi-final victory over Gael Monfils.

The Czech Republican produced clinical tennis as he beat the 2018 champion to reach his maiden ATP final.

After the match Mensik admitted he was left ‘speechless’ and spoke about the influence Monfils had on his career, “It is amazing. Hopefully not the last one [final]. Incredible week so far,” Mensik told the ATP website.

“Today again with Gael, he played unbelievable. I know it is tough to play against him, especially with his good movement. For me every point I have to play my best game.

“I have to say this performance was one of the best in my entire life. I am so glad I reached this level in the semis, so hopefully tomorrow I play like this. An amazing feeling with my first ATP final. I am speechless.

“I told him when I was young I watched him a lot on the TV. One of the biggest showman on court. He is a great guy, so hopefully in the future we will meet once again. The rallies were so fun with him.”

Mensik has so far beaten three former champions this week as he also defeated Andy Murray and Andrey Rublev this week.

Now Mensik will aim to win his first ATP title as he takes on Karen Khachanov in Saturday’s final.

Should Mensik win the title he could climb to 75 in the world as he started the week at 116 in the world.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending