ATP & WTA Finals Daily Preview: Muguruza and Kontaveit in the WTA Finals Championship Match - UBITENNIS
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ATP & WTA Finals Daily Preview: Muguruza and Kontaveit in the WTA Finals Championship Match




Garbine Muguruza on Tuesday in Guadalajara (

In 2019, Garbine Muguruza ended the year ranked 36th in the world.  But since hiring Conchita Martinez as her coach during that offseason, her career has been on an upward trajectory.  She immediately reached her third Major final in Australia.  In 2021, Muguruza has accumulated 41 match wins, and will climb to No.3 in the year-end rankings.  Garbine is one match away from the third biggest title of her career.


In 2019, Anett Kontaveit reached a then-career-high ranking of No.15 in the world.  While she remained in the top 32 for the next two years, her upward trajectory had stalled until this August, when she hired Dmitry Tursunov as her coach.  Kontaveit has now won 29 of her 32 matches, making a late-season surge for the ages to become the final player in this field.  Now Anett is one match away from the biggest title of her career.

Meanwhile, it’s Day 4 of the ATP Finals in Turin, which for the second day in a row is headlined by a clash between two of the top five players in the world.  Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev will battle for the lead of the Green Group on Wednesday afternoon.

Each day, this preview will analyze the most intriguing matchup for each event, while highlighting the other matches on the schedules.  Wednesday’s play gets underway at 11:30am local time in Turin, and 5:00pm local time in Guadalajara with the women’s doubles final, featuring the four best women’s doubles players in the world.

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Andrey Rublev (5) – Not Before 2:00pm in Turin

Djokovic is yet to lose since returning to competition in Paris following his US Open disappointment.  By contrast, Rublev had lost four of his last five matches before overcoming Stefanos Tsitsipas on Monday.  Surprisingly, this will be the first career meeting between these top players.  Andrey is now 2-2 lifetime at this tournament, while Djokovic is a five-time champion and holds a 39-16 record.  The fast conditions in Turin are ideal for Rublev’s stifling power, but as we saw on Tuesday in the Medvedev/Zverev match, a strong all-around game with great defensive skills remains tough to beat.  And no one has played that style better over the past decade than Djokovic.  The Serbian will likely be tested, but should still be favored to gain his second win of the week.

Garbine Muguruza (6) vs. Anett Kontaveit (8) – 7:30pm in Guadalajara

This will be a rematch from just three days earlier, as Muguruza defeated Kontaveit in straight sets in the last match of round robin play.  But it’s worth noting Anett had already qualified for the semifinals regardless of that result.  Through four matches, Kontaveit has been broken only four times, though half of those breaks came at the hands of Muguruza.  Anett was unable to break Garbine on Sunday despite holding three break points.  But the Estonian has encountered no issues in breaking her other opponents.  On Tuesday evening, she broke Maria Sakkari four times.  Overall Muguruza is 3-2 against Kontaveit.  However, just a few weeks ago in Moscow, Anett dominated Garbine 6-1, 6-1.  That match feels like a better indication of Wednesday’s outcome than Sunday’s encounter, where Kontaveit’s advancement was not in doubt.  And considering Kontaveit has claimed her last four finals, I like her chances of becoming the 2021 WTA Finals champion.

Other Notable Matches on Wednesday:

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) vs. Casper Ruud (8) – Both players lost their opening matches in straight sets.  They split two meetings this season at Masters 1000 events, though their only hard court encounter went to Tsitsipas.

Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah (5) vs. Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares (7) – Like Tsitsipas and Ruud, these teams were both defeated in straights on Monday.  Two weeks ago in Bercy, Murray and Soares beat Cabal and Farah 6-1, 7-5.

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury (2) vs. Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut (3) – The winning team will be atop the Red Group.  Surprisingly, this is the first 2021 meeting between these top three teams.

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova (1) vs. Su-Wei Hsieh and Elise Mertens (3) – Like the singles final, this is a rematch from round robin play, when Krejcikova and Siniakova were comfortably victorious against Hsieh and Mertens by a score of 6-3, 6-1.

Wednesday’s full Order of Play in Turin is here, and for Guadalajara is here.


Borna Coric Still Feels Shoulder Pain Seven Months Into His Comeback

Playing professionally with niggles is never ideal but it is a price the Croat is willing to pay.




Borna Coric - US Open 2020 (via Twitter, @usopen)

The phrase ‘no pain, no gain’ is one that world No.28 Borna Coric can closely relate to. 


Exactly 12 months ago Coric was in the middle of a lengthy hiatus from the sport due to a serious right shoulder issue which required him to undergo surgery. He didn’t play a match between March 2021 – March 2022 and previously admitted he contemplated if he would be able to return to the sport again. 

Fortunately the 25-year-old was able to resume his career and enjoyed a breakthrough moment during his comeback by winning his first Masters 1000 title at the Western and Southern Open in August. It was at that tournament where he scored three wins over top 10 players. Since then, he suffered a loss to Jenson Brooksby in the second round of the US Open before winning two out of his three matches played at the Davis Cup. 

Seeking to break back inside the world’s top 20 for the first time since October 2019, it appears that Coric’s injury woes are behind him. However, things are never as simple as they look. 

“I do feel good. I can play tennis and extra training, way more than I was before the surgery,” Coric told reporters earlier this week. “Still I have sometimes a little pain and I need to manage that. But I can play. A little bit of pain, sometimes I think that’s fine.
“I’m not very young anymore so I need to be ready to have some pain sometimes, If that’s what it takes, I’m fine with it.” He added. 

Coric is currently playing at the Japan Open where he is the eighth seed in the draw. On Tuesday he began his campaign with a straight sets win over Thanasi Kokkinakis to record his first-ever win in Tokyo. 

He will play his second round match on Thursday against Brandon Nakashima, who has Japanese heritage from his father’s side but is playing an ATP event in the country for the first time in his career. Nakashima defeated Shintaro Mochizuki 6-3, 6-2, in his opening match earlier this week. 

“The love for tennis here (in Tokyo) is a thing to experience,’ Coric wrote on Instagram. 

Coric has won ATP titles in three separate continents but is yet to be triumphant in Asia. 

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Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal, A Spanish Dominance

Ubitennis looks at the biggest movers in this week’s ATP Pepperstone rankings.




afael Nadal of Spain and Carlos Alcaraz of Spain FOTO: A.MARTINEZ/MMO

Let’s start from the title winners of last week.


Marc-Andrea Husler paid a most worthy tribute to the retirement of his fellow countryman Roger Federer by winning the ATP 250 in Sofia and showcasing a style which thrilled all net game lovers. As a result, he soars to his career highest of No. 64. Yoshihito Nishioka tops his excellent second part of season by securing his second career title in Seoul and moving up to No. 41, his best ranking ever. Finally Novak Djokovic consolidated his chances to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin thanks to his win in Tel Aviv.

TOP 20

PositionPlayerCountryATP Pts+/-
15Carreno BustaSpain2360-1

A few comments:

  • Rafael Nadal overtakes Casper Ruud. The two Spaniards are towering over the rest of the pack.
  • Hubert Hurkacz and Taylor Fritz both gain one position since Jannik Sinner, former title holder in Bulgaria, had to withdraw in the semifinal due to an ankle injury, and failed to defend the points he had earned in 2021 in Sofia.
  • Marin Cilic is back in the top 15 players of the world, after reaching the final in Tel Aviv.


13Carreno BustaSpain2270

Alcaraz, Nadal, Ruud and Tsitsipas are already qualified for the ATP Finals scheduled in Turin from 13 to 20 November; Djokovic is another likely contender in the star-studded event, since, as a Grand Slam winner, he just needs to be ranked in the top 20 in order to qualify. 

Six places are yet to be conquered, including the 2 reserves, which means that 9 players will be battling to book their ticket to Turin in the next weeks. 2021 ATP Finals winner Sasha Zverev, still grounded by injury, is not among them.

2500 points are at stake in the upcoming weeks featuring one ATP Masters 1000, two ATP 500 and two ATP 250.

This is the week of the ATP 500 Astana Open in Nur-Sultan and of the Japan Open in Tokyo, which have just kicked off.  Alcaraz, Ruud, Tsitsipas, Medvedev, Rublev, Hurkacz, Fritz and Djokovic are out for the glory and the points, whereas Sinner and Berrettini are in the pits. Berrettini will be back on the tour the following week in Florence.


Qualifying for the Next Gen Finals in Milan from 8 to 12 November is going to be a tough battle. Alcaraz and Sinner are likely not to take part in the event and all the other players are so close that anything could happen.   

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOBATP Rank
7LeheckaCzeck Rep.602200173


This week seven players in the top 100 are celebrating their career highest. 


 A double applause for the two winners of Seoul and Sofia: Yoshihito Nishioka and Marc-Andrea Husler.

Article written by By Roberto Ferri for, translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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Playing Clay Events After Wimbledon Was A Mistake, Says Diego Schwartzman

The former French Open semi-finalist is seeking to win his first title since March 2021 at the Tel Aviv Open this week.




Diego Schwartzman (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Diego Schwartzman will likely reevaluate his schedule for next year after admitting that part of his plans for this summer backfired. 


The world No.17 enters into the final quarter of the season with 31 wins against 22 losses on the Tour but is yet to win a title. Although he did reach back-to-back finals back in February in Argentina and Brazil. He has won two out of eight matches against top 10 opposition, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Cup and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Barcelona. 

Reflecting on his performance, Schwartzman admits that his decision to return to European clay after playing at Wimbledon was a mistake. He lost his second match in Gstaad to Pablo Carreno Busta and then his first in Hamburg to Emil Ruusuvori. 

“It’s difficult to play at the same level every tournament, I’ve made a bad decision playing clay tournaments after Wimbledon, I didn’t have time to rest,” he said during his pre-tournament press conference at the Tel Aviv Open. “I paid the price and had some bad losses. But I started to feel much better in USA hard court season, lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas who reached the final in Cincinnati and to Frances Tiafoe at the US Open. Now I am feeling very good, I really love playing indoor tournaments.”

The 30-year-old has headed straight to Tel Aviv from the Laver Cup where Roger Federer played the last match of his career. Despite Schwartzman’s Team World winning the title for the first time, his only contribution to the tie saw him lose 6-1, 6-2, to Tsitsipas. 

Retirement was very much the topic of conversation during the Laver Cup with others such as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic questioned by reporters about their plans in the sport. As for Schwartzman, he stayed coy about how much longer he would continue playing after saying in the past he might stop at the age of 33. 

“33 — is a good age to retire, isn’t it? South Americans are in different situations compared to European players. We travel too much, and sometimes we are not coming back home for 2-3 months, while Europeans can fly home every week. It’s tough,” he said. 
“As for Roger — he’s a special player, I think he is just the greatest in our sport.”

The Argentine is seeded third this week in Israel and will begin his campaign against Arthur Rinderknech who defeated qualifier Marius Copil in his opening match. 

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