Australian Open Daily Preview: Daniil Medvedev Plays Nick Kyrgios in the Second Round - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Australian Open Daily Preview: Daniil Medvedev Plays Nick Kyrgios in the Second Round

Avatar

Published

on

Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Cup (twitter.com/AustralianOpen)

Two players who have been labeled as tennis’ bad boys will meet on Thursday in Melbourne.  But it is unfair to lump them together.  One is the reigning US Open champion and on the brink of becoming the No.1 player in the world.  The other hasn’t reached a Major quarterfinal in seven years, and is currently ranked outside the top 100.  However, Nick Kyrgios often plays his best tennis at his home country’s biggest tournament.  And he has a history of upsetting top players like Daniil Medvedev.

 

Each day this preview will highlight the five most intriguing matchups, while outlining the other notable matches on the schedule.   Thursday’s play will begin at 11:00am local time.


Garbine Muguruza (3) vs. Alize Cornet – 11:00am on Rod Laver Arena

Nearly five years after her last Major title, is Muguruza ready to win another?  She’s coming off the third biggest title of her career at the WTA Finals, and was the runner-up in Melbourne two years ago.  But Cornet is far from an easy out.  The Frenchwoman has scored many upsets over top players throughout her career, most notably over Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2014.  And last June on grass in Berlin, Cornet defeated Muguruza in a third set tiebreak.  However, Muguruza’s dictating power should allow her to avenge that loss on Thursday.


Anett Kontaveit (6) vs. Clara Tauson – 11:00am on Margaret Court Arena

Since hiring Dmitry Tursonov as her coach, Kontaveit has accumulated an astounding record of 33-5.  During that span, she’s earned four titles, reached the championship match at the WTA Finals, and nearly won another event last week in Sydney, losing to Barbora Krejcikova 14-12 in a third set tiebreak.  But Tauson could provide some legitimate resistance.  The 19-year-old from Denmark has been lauded by many as a future top player, and she advanced to three finals at multiple levels to close out 2021.  Three years ago, Clara was a junior champion in Melbourne.  Their first career meeting could be a tight one, though Kontaveit remains the favorite with her punishing groundstrokes and recent form.


Taylor Fritz (20) vs. Frances Tiafoe – Not Before 1:00pm on John Cain Arena

This is a tough second round draw for both Americans, who are not only close friends, but have also been playing some good tennis over the last few months.  Fritz reached the semifinals in Indian Wells, the final in St. Petersburg, and the quarters in Bercy.  And to start off 2022, he scored upset wins over Cam Norrie and Felix Auger-Aliassime at the ATP Cup.  Tiafoe scored a thrilling victory over Andrey Rublev at the US Open, and reached the final in Vienna.  However, Frances went 0-2 to begin the year, and required five sets to advance beyond the 198th-ranked player in the world on Tuesday.  With Fritz taking their last two encounters, I like his chances of making it three in a row.


Felix Auger-Aliassime (9) vs. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina – Third on Kia Arena

Based on his ATP Cup triumph, and reaching new heights at the last two Majors, much is expected of the 21-year-old Canadian.  But after securing the first set in his opening round, Felix would promptly drop seven straight games, complicating matters to where he was forced to come back from a two-sets-to-one deficit.  Falling behind against the 22-year-old Spaniard would be even more dangerous.  Alejandro easily advanced in straight sets on Tuesday, and debuted inside the top 32 last year thanks to some strong results on both clay and hard courts.  In their first career meeting, Auger-Aliassime should still be favored to advance, but not without an extended battle with a player who can often exhaust his opponents with his consistency and endurance.


Daniil Medvedev (2) vs. Nick Kyrgios – 7:00pm on Rod Laver Arena

No one has been playing better on hard courts than Medvedev, who has won 83 of his last 92 matches on this surface.  Meanwhile, Kyrgios has only played 16 singles matches in nearly two years, with an 8-8 record.  Yet Nick has remained a reliable source of dramatic matches at the Australian Open.  A year ago, he overcame Ugo Humbert 6-4 in the fifth.  And two years ago, he outlasted Karen Khachanov in fifth-set tiebreak.  However, those compelling victories occurred in his favorite slot: the night session on John Cain Arena.  This match will be on Rod Laver Arena, where he has not won a match since 2018.  And while Kyrgios is 2-0 lifetime against Medvedev, neither of those matches were best-of-five.  While I expect Nick will keep this competitive, with thorough inspiration fromd the Australian crowd, Medvedev’s defensive skills will likely prove to be too much.


Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Aryna Sabalenka (2) vs. Xinyu Wang – Sabalenka overcame her recent service woes to win in three on Tuesday, and thanked Mark Philippoussis for his advice on her serve.  Xinyu is a 20-year-old from China who won her first main draw match at a Slam in the first round.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (10) vs. Sam Stosur (WC) – In her last singles event, Stosur delighted the Melbourne crowd on Tuesday by coming back from a set down to earn only her second win at this event since 2015.  Pavlyuchenkova has reached the quarterfinals here in three of the last five years, and won her opening round decisively, dropping only three games.  Stosur leads their head-to-head 5-4, though they haven’t played in nearly four years.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) vs. Sebastian Baez – Tsitsipas appeared unhampered by his recent elbow surgery on Tuesday, easily prevailing in straight sets.  Baez is a 21-year-old from Argentina who won a five-setter on the same day.

Andy Murray (WC) vs. Taro Daniel (Q) – What will Murray have left in the tank after his latest grueling contest at a Major?  He played for five sets and nearly four hours in the first round.  Daniel has won nine straight sets since qualifying began last week, and recently hired Sven Groeneveld as his coach.

Emma Raducanu (17) vs. Danka Kovinic – In the opening round, Raducanu rediscovered some of her magic from New York, taking out Sloane Stephens in three.  Kovinic is a 27-year-old from Montenegro who has never been beyond the second round at a Major.


Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.

Focus

ATP and WTA removes rankings points from Wimbledon

Players playing Wimbledon have no ranking points to play for.

Avatar

Published

on

(@FOS - Twitter)

The ATP responded in regards to the ban on Russian and Belorussian players that was made by the tournament.

 

The ATP has officially responded to Wimbledon banning all Russian and Belorussian in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has wreaked havoc on the world of sports.

Russian and Belorussian players up to this point have been playing under their name and not their country.

The ATP released a statement in regards to the decision that was made.

The move essentially makes Wimbledon an exhibition event meaning players who decide to play won’t be able to move up in the world rankings and points won’t have to be defended.

Wimbledon made the announcement in April that they would placing the ban as the All England Club stated the possibility of the Russian government using players success as propaganda for the reason behind the move.

The ATP responded by saying the ban violated their agreement and discriminating against players since they compete as individuals. Removing points seemed like the only feasable move to make.

Russian and Belorussian players are allowed to play at the French Open which begins this Sunday in Paris. Danil Medvedev who is currently the 2nd ranked player in the world was asked about the move.

I’m not in ATP taking the decisions, I’m not in Wimbledon taking the decisions. Maybe it’s government pushing them, maybe it’s their decision. There a lot of mistakes behind this. So if I can play I’m going to be happy to play. I love Wimbledon as a tournament.”

He also added that if he couldn’t play there this year he would try to play next year and play good.

The WTA has also followed suit but this time has also penalized some of the warm-up tournaments.

Wimbledon is currently scheduled to start on June 27th and will culminate with the final on Sunday July 10th.

Continue Reading

Focus

Rafael Nadal Dismisses Favourite Status And Talks About Foot Pain Ahead Of Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal begins against Jordan Thompson on Monday.

Avatar

Published

on

Rafael Nadal (@RolandGarros - Twitter)

Rafael Nadal has dismissed that he is the favourite for Roland Garros after admitting that his foot pain is still present.

 

Nadal searches for his 14th Roland Garros title over the next two weeks but enters with doubts.

This is after the Spaniard went out at the quarter-final stage in Madrid to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz.

That was followed by a third round exit in Rome where he, literally, limped out to Denis Shapovalov.

Now Nadal approaches the tournament in a situation where it is unknown whether he can claim a 22nd grand slam title in the French capital.

Speaking in his pre-tournament press conference Nadal dismissed his chances and claimed his foot pain is still present, “I mean, for sure not, because the results says that I am not, but is something that never worried much to me, no?,” Nadal said when asked if he was the favourite to win the title.

“Of course one of the candidates. I considered myself during all my tennis career one of the candidates here, because I achieve tournaments before here, and now on Friday, before the tournament start, I don’t think I am the
favourite at all. But you never know what can happen.

“It’s not about gonna disappear now. It’s about if the pain is high and strong enough to allow me to play with real chances or not. But in my case, is something that I live every day with that, so is nothing new for me and is not a big surprise.

“So I am here just to play tennis and to try to make the best result possible here in Roland Garros, no? And if I don’t believe that this thing can happen, probably I will not be here.

“So I am just working as much as I can, and practicing as good as possible. My real goal is just put me in a position that I am healthy and playing enough good tennis to give myself good chances.”

Time will tell whether Nadal has healed in time to be a contender for Roland Garros and claim his second grand slam of the season.

One thing we do know though is that the Spaniard has a tricky draw with Novak Djokovic looming in the last eight and Carlos Alcaraz awaiting in the semi-finals.

Despite the tough draw Nadal admitted he doesn’t really think about the draw until he faces the players he has to play, “I mean, mentally for me it doesn’t matter,” Nadal said.

“In terms of tennis, of course the top of the draw you see the names, of course is a very tough one. But we are in a Grand Slam, and you never know what can happen, no? You know, remain a lot of things to happen, to probably arrive to the matches that you are thinking, you know.

“I mean, the only thing that I can say is of course I know everything. For me never have been a problem that. I am probably humble enough in that case to just be focused on my first match. Doesn’t matter if I know where I am exactly and what, you know, possible opponents I can have.

“Only thing that I would like is be the player that, one of the players that you think can face these other great players.”

Before Nadal can think about Djokovic or Alcaraz, the 21-time grand slam champion will have to overcome his first obstacle in Jordan Thompson on Monday.

Continue Reading

Focus

Novak Djokovic Drawn Against Nadal And Alcaraz In Top Half Of Roland Garros Draw

Novak Djokovic begins his Roland Garros campaign against Yoshihito Nishioka.

Avatar

Published

on

Novak Djokovic (@RolandGarros - Twitter)

World number one Novak Djokovic has been drawn against Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz in the top half of the men’s draw at Roland Garros.

 

Djokovic is looking to claim a record-equalling 21st grand slam title at Roland Garros as well as successfully defend his title.

However to do that the Serb will have to go through both Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz en route to the final.

In his opening match Djokovic will face Yoshihito Nishioka before possibly facing Alex Molcan who is coached by Djokovic’s former coach Marian Vajda.

Jenson Brooksby and Diego Schwartzman stand in Djokovic’s way of a blockbuster quarter-final with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal.

The winner of that match could face Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals with the Spaniard projected to meet Alexander Zverev in the last eight.

Meanwhile Nadal will open his campaign against Jordan Thompson before potentially facing Stan Wawrinka in a rematch of the 2017 final.

Botic Van De Zandschulp and Felix Auger-Aliassime are potential opponents for Nadal before a titanic quarter-final match.

Meanwhile in the second quarter of the draw Alcaraz and Zverev both face qualifiers in the opening round.

Alcaraz could face Sebastian Korda, who he lost to in Monte-Carlo, and Cameron Norrie en route to the last eight.

While Zverev would face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Taylor Fritz before a showdown with Alcaraz.

In the bottom half of the draw Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas could meet in the last eight.

Tsitsipas, who was two sets to love up in last year’s final, will face Lorenzo Musetti in the opening round.

There could be a last 16 meeting for Tsitsipas with Denis Shapovalov however the Canadian will face in-form rising star Holger Rune in the opening round.

Ruud’s opening match will be against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, who is playing his final Roland Garros of his career.

In the bottom quarter, Andrey Rublev will meet Soonwoo Kwon in his opening match with the Russian potentially facing Jannik Sinner in the last 16.

While Daniil Medvedev takes on Facundo Bagnis in his opening match in what will be his second tournament back since surgery.

Medvedev could be scheduled to meet Miami Open semi-finalist Miomir Kecmanovic in the third round.

Here is the draw with play beginning on Monday:

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending