US Open Daily Preview: How Will Friday’s Breakout Stars Perform on Sunday? - UBITENNIS
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US Open Daily Preview: How Will Friday’s Breakout Stars Perform on Sunday?




Carlos Alcaraz after his thrilling upset over Stefanos Tsitsipas (

In back-to-back-to-back matches Friday on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Carlos Alcaraz, Leylah Fernandez, and Frances Tiafoe upset top five seeds in deciding sets.  However, backing up the biggest win of your young career is one of tennis’ biggest challenges.  How will these burgeoning stars fare in the round of 16?


We are indeed down to 16 men and women in the singles draws, with all players only four matches from the title.  That includes Novak Djokovic, who is just 12 sets away from an historic calendar-year Grand Slam.  Day 7’s play is highlighted by four fascinating women’s matchups, as well as Friday’s late night delight, Frances Tiafoe, facing Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, who also prevailed that evening in five sets.

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

Elina Svitolina (5) vs. Simona Halep (12) – 12:00pm on Arthur Ashe Stadium

This has been a dynamic rivalry over the last several years, and it’s tied at 5-5.  Halep famously made a huge comeback against Svitolina at the 2017 French Open, saving a match point going down 5-1 in the second set, and taking the third set 6-0.  Their only other match at a Slam occurred in the 2019 Wimbledon semifinals, where Simona dominated 6-1, 6-3.  After suffering a serious calf injury in May, Halep had only played two matches leading into this event.  Her leg may still be taped up, but she’s performed excellently through three rounds, especially in a three-set win over Elena Rybakina on Friday.  Svitolina is having a good summer, winning the bronze medal in Tokyo, and capturing a title just last week in Chicago.  And Elina is yet to drop a set this fortnight.  It seems she could be poised to earn her first win over Halep at a Major, and return to the US Open quarterfinals for her second straight appearance.

Angelique Kerber (16) vs. Leylah Fernandez – Not Before 1:00pm on Louis Armstrong Stadium

Fernandez took full advantage of Naomi Osaka’s inability to close out their third round match, thrilling Arthur Ashe Stadium with her energetic game.  However, Angelique Kerber is back in a big way.  There was talk she was thinking of retiring from the game just a few months ago, but the German is now on a 17-2 run, with those two losses against World No.1 Ash Barty.  Angie reversed what had been a one-sided rivalry with a red-hot Sloane Stephens in the last round, and should be brimming with confidence.  In their first career meeting, the 2016 champion should be able to advance beyond the promising 18-year-old Canadian.

Aryna Sabalenka (2) vs. Elise Mertens (15) – Third on Louis Armstrong Stadium

These two are good friends, and up until recently, frequent doubles partners.  Mertens is currently the No.1 doubles player in the world, and now teams with Su-Wei Hsieh.  Together, they won the women’s double championship at Wimbledon.  Sabalenka decided to take a break from playing doubles to focus solely on singles, which perhaps was a factor in reaching her first Major semifinal in singles at The Championships.  And she leads Mertens 5-2, claiming their last four matches.  The last three have all been straight-setters.  Elise’s singles results have stagnated over the last few months, with an 8-7 record since the grass court season began.  On these fast courts, the power game of Sabalenka should be able to hit through her close friend.

Felix Auger-Aliassime (12) vs. Frances Tiafoe – 7:00pm on Arthur Ashe Stadium

Tiafoe’s five-set win over Andrey Rublev was simply electrifying.  But at nearly four hours long, and ending at 2:14am, it is not conducive to allowing the American to further capitalize on his momentum.  And Frances has failed to win four straight matches at tour level since his run to the 2019 Australian Open quarterfinals.  If he was able to play at the same level he attained on Friday, he could easily win this contest.  But maintaining that level from match-to-match has proven to be difficult for Tiafoe.  And it won’t help that Auger-Aliassime has elevated his game this year, as was fully evident in his own impressive victory on Friday evening over the perpetually-tough Roberto Bautista Agut.  In their first-ever encounter, I like Felix to advance to the quarterfinals at his second consecutive Major.

Barbora Krejickova (8) vs. Garbine Muguruza (9) – Last on Arthur Ashe Stadium

As Ben Rothenberg highlighted, this is the first Slam match between two WTA top 10 players in nearly two years, since Ash Barty played Petra Kvitova at the 2020 Australian Open.  And this is a rematch from just a few weeks ago in Cincinnati, which Krejickova won 6-2 in the third.  In that final set, Barbora served excellently, getting in a high percentage of first serves, and winning almost all of her first serve points.  They also met earlier this year in the final of Dubai, with Muguruza prevailing in straight sets.  But six months later, Krejicikova is the much hotter player.  She is 28-3 since mid-May, with her only three losses coming to women who went on to win those events (Barty at Wimbledon and Cincinnati, Bencic in Tokyo).  Krejcikova has won all six sets she’s played this week, and she should be favored to keep on winning come Sunday.

Other Notable Matches on Sunday:

Diego Schwartzman (11) vs. Botic Van De Zandschulp (Q) – Schwartzman is yet to drop a set, and will be a considerable favorite against the 25-year-old qualifier, who played 14 sets in his last three matches. 

Daniil Medvedev (2) vs. Dan Evans (24) – The 31-year-old Brit survived a fifth set tiebreak on Friday against Alexei Popyrin.  But he’ll be hard-pressed to contend with Medvedev, as he’s been dismantling the competition through three rounds.

Carlos Alcaraz vs. Peter Gojowczyk (Q) – What will Alcaraz have left physically and emotionally after his dramatic, epic victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas?  This is an excellent fourth round draw for the 18-year-old, as Gojowczyk is ranked 141st in the world, and like Van De Zandschulp, already played 14 sets this week.

Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.


Home hope Ash Barty stays on course to win the Australian Open

Ash Barty has cruised into the second week at the Australian Open without dropping a set.




Ash Barty (@TennisAustralia - Twitter)

World number one Ash Barty comfortably confirmed her place in week two of the Australian Open beating Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-3.


In recent seasons, Barty had been weighted down by expectations on her home territory.

This was far from the case against Giorgi as Barty snuffed out any chance of an upset with a near fault-less performance.

Both players came out striking the ball well, but it was the top seed that broke first racing into a 2-0 lead.

Giorgi was landing some stunning groundstrokes, but this was not enough to stop Barty, who broke again at the end of the first set to clinch it 6-2.

The Australian held to love at the beginning of the second set as the Italian looked to find a way back into the match.

Barty began to find her groove and moved her opponent around the court with some sublime shot making.

The Italian kept things interesting but was eventually broken as the top seed took a 4-2 lead.

With the crowd behind her, Barty continued to hold serve, engineering three match points, but she only needed one.

After the match, Barty chatted to former champion Jim Courier and had this to say.

“Yeah, I thought tonight was really clean. I thought I looked after my service games really well. I did well to come out of a really tricky one at love-40 down. Overall, a pretty good performance I think,” she said.

The home favourite also praised Giorgi’s performance.

“Yeah, I thought I was out of my weight class, that’s for sure. The way she hits the ball and can control the centre of the court is incredible.

“It was my job to get her off that baseline, whether it was short, or it was deep, or it was out of her strike zone.

“It’s tough when you’re up against the wind but I think I was able to use my slice effectively,” she said.

A much tougher test awaits the Aussie in American star Amanda Anisimova, as the 20-year-old stunned four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka in three sets.

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Amanda Anisimova Knocks Out Naomi Osaka In Australian Open Thriller To Reach Last 16

Amanda Anisimova is into the last 16 of the Australian Open with a thrilling win over defending champion Naomi Osaka.




Amanda Anisimova (@Tennis - Twitter)

Amanda Anisimova continues her unbeaten start to the season by knocking out defending champion Naomi Osaka 4-6 6-3 7-6(10-5) in a classic match at the Australian Open.


The American hit brutal shots and powered past the Osaka defence to knock out the defending champion in a classic match.

Osaka had two match points but ultimately couldn’t be aggressive enough in the big points to outmanoeuvre Anisimova.

Next for Anisimova is world number one Ash Barty in the fourth round on Sunday.

It was a tentative start from Anisimova as the American hit a couple of double faults and failed to establish early control.

The defending champion took advantage to break in the opening game and her defensive game was causing trouble to Anisimova’s power game.

Osaka threatened with the double break but Anisimova found her stride in the crucial moments to fend off break points.

In the middle of the opening set, Anisimova started to anticipate Osaka’s serve better and created her first break point of the match.

However Osaka remained firm and with good angles and devastating power managed to hold serve to take the opening set 6-4.

In the second set both players had to produce their bold patterns of play on big points to resist opposition pressure.

Despite Osaka’s great returning ability, Anisimova managed to fend off the Osaka power and turn defence into attack.

For all of the American’s attack it was her variety that earned her the break as a drop shot slice sealed the break for 3-1.

From then on Anisimova controlled the tempo of the second set and produced big serving as the American took the second set 6-3 to level the match at one set all.

The final set saw both players bring their best tennis at the same time as both players had early opportunities to break.

Neither converted although it was Osaka who always looked the more dangerous with her angles and different heights causing Anisimova problems.

Towards the tail end of the set, Osaka had two match points to seal the victory but Anisimova’s brutal power saw her hold for 5-5.

In the end a tiebreak would settle this thrilling contest and it was Anisimova who raced to an early lead and never looked back as she clinched one of the best wins of her career.

After the match Anisimova admitted she was speechless, “I’m speechless. I can’t stop smiling. I’m just laughing. I absolutely love this,” the American said in her on-court interview.

“Going into this match I knew I had to be playing sharp if I wanted to give myself a chance. She is an absolute champion so I knew I would have to step up my game and be aggressive.

“I’m honestly so grateful that I was able to play so well today and get this win. It means a lot. Every single day here is an amazing opportunity. I’m just thinking about having fun and I’m looking forward to my next round.”

A history-making win for Anisimova who will play world number one Ash Barty for a spot in the quarter-finals.

As for Naomi Osaka she will look to recover in time for March when she plays Indian Wells and Miami.

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Italian Journalist rates Camila Giorgi, Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Sonego’s Australian Open hopes

The Italians are making big strides in Melbourne as they search for a place in the second week.




Matteo Berrettini (@Tennis - Twitter)

The Australian Open continues on Friday with day five of the action.


In the women’s draw, world number one and home favourite Ash Barty takes on Italy’s Camila Giorgi on Rod Laver Arena.

But before that, top ranked Italian and last year’s Wimbledon finalist, Matteo Berrettini, continues his campaign against rising star Carlos Alcaraz of Spain.

On 1573 Arena, 25th seed Lorenzo Sonego goes in search of his first fourth-round appearance in Australia, as he entertains Miomir Kecmanovic.

Saturday will see 2019 Next Gen Finals winner, Jannik Sinner, play Andy Murray’s conqueror, Taro Daniel, for a place in round four.

I managed to catch up with our very own Vanni Gibertini, and ask for his thoughts on Italian tennis’ hopes for this tournament.

Question 1: On Friday, can Camilla Giorgi cause Ash Barty any problems, if any? What is the strongest part of the Italian’s game?

Answer: Camila has only one way to try to win this match; just prevent Barty from playing tennis, going all-out on any chance she gets.

Barty has too much tennis for her. Actually, Barty has too much tennis for just about anyone on the WTA Tour, so she could be overpowered.

Luckily for Camila, that’s the game she’s been playing all her life, but she will need to be at the top of her game, and her serve needs to help her in a big way.

Question 2: Is this the Slam that we will see Jannik Sinner make a real statement of intent, in your opinion?

Answer: Sinner has not been very lucky with draws at Slams, except for Roland Garros 2020 when he faced a very subdued David Goffin in the first round (the Belgian had just had his wedding postponed by the pandemic).

He then went on to reach the quarter-finals where he lost to Rafa Nadal.

In this tournament, he finds himself with a viable path to the quarter-finals, and needs to prove to the world, and, himself, he belongs in the top 10 club he entered in, at the end of 2021.

I see him getting to the quarters where he will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the semis.

Question 3: Is the draw opening up for Lorenzo Sonego to get past Miomir Kecmanovic and go further on in this tournament?

Answer: This is a chance of a lifetime for Sonego.

Kecmanovic in the 3rd round of a Major, with the prospect of Gaël Monfils or Cristian Garin to reach the quarter finals, is a draw that would raise a lot of money, if it was auctioned off.

But the same goes for Kecmanovic, so it will be a fight.

Sonego worked on his shots during the off-season: the motion of his serve has been tweaked, as well as his backhand grip.

That may take time to digest, so it’s a question mark whether this Sonego 1.2 will pass the stress test.

But he’s in good shape, eager to play and has a great heart, and he won’t give up until he hasn’t a drop of energy left in his body.

Question 4: With Novak Djokovic‘s absence, could Matteo Berrettini win the Australian Open, or will the powerhouse of Carlos Alcaraz provide a potential stumbling block to his tournament hopes?

Answer: Matteo is an example of self-belief, so he definitely believes he’s in the mix to raise the trophy a week on Sunday.

Physically he’s probably still around 60%, and he’s going into a match with Alcaraz where he has everything to lose.

Bookmakers have him as the underdog, but he has the weapons to make his own fortune.

If he can get past the young Spaniard, it could be the win he needs to go very deep into this tournament.

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