Madrid Open Daily Preview: Four Blockbuster ATP Quarterfinals, Headlined by Nadal Versus Alcaraz - UBITENNIS
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Madrid Open Daily Preview: Four Blockbuster ATP Quarterfinals, Headlined by Nadal Versus Alcaraz




Carlos Alcaraz earlier this fortnight in Madrid (

Friday’s men’s singles quarterfinals feature seven of the ATP’s top 10, with the only outlier being 14th-ranked Hubert Hurkacz, who will face world No.1 Novak Djokovic.  But the most-anticipated of the four matchups is easily the all-Spaniard generational clash between Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, in a rematch from a thrilling contest two months ago at Indian Wells. 


Two other top 10 collisions see Stefanos Tsitsipas play Andrey Rublev, and Sascha Zverev face Felix Auger-Aliassime.  Tsitsipas and Rublev share a dramatic past, while the Canadian has claimed two of his last three encounters against the German defending champion.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Friday’s ATP singles quarterfinals gets underway at 2:00pm local time, while doubles play begins at 1:00pm.

Rafael Nadal (3) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (7)  – Not Before 4:00pm on Manolo Santana Stadium

This will be the third meeting between the nearly-36-year-old Nadal, and the newly-turned-19-year-old Alcaraz, who celebrated his birthday on Thursday with a three-set win over Cam Norrie.  On the same day, Nadal spent 30 more minutes on court, as what appeared to be a straight-set win turned into an over three-hour battle with David Goffin.  Rafa eventually had to save four match points before prevailing 11-9 ibn the third-set tiebreak.  One year ago at this event, Nadal comfortably defeated Alcaraz on his 18th birthday by a score of 6-1, 6-2.  Two months ago in Indian Wells, matters were much more complicated, in extraordinarily windy conditions, with Rafa winning 6-3 in the third.  But a rib injury Nadal suffered in that semifinal would hinder him in the final, and cause him to miss both Monte Carlo and Barcelona. 

Alongside Tsitsipas, these two players have separated themselves from the pack in the year-to-date rankings.  Nadal is 22-1, while Alcaraz is 25-3, and both have earned three titles.  So is Carlitos ready to defeat his idol?  He was oh-so-close in Indian Wells, and Rafa has only played two matches in the past seven weeks.  Nadal was unimpressed with his own form on Thursday, feeling he shouldn’t have let his lead slip.  And his body will surely be hurting after such an extended, intense affair.  This feels like the moment for Alcaraz to make another statement in his young career, by taking out the King of Clay in his home country.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) vs. Andrey Rublev (6) – Not Before 8:00pm on Manolo Santana Stadium

These players are tied at 4-4 in what has been a compelling rivalry to date.  Three year ago at the US Open, Rublev upset Tsitsipas in a four-hour four-setter.  Two years ago in the final of Hamburg on clay, Stefanos served for the championship at 5-3 in the third, but lost the next four games and the title.  The Greek avenged that loss just days later at Roland Garros, and won again a month later in a final-set tiebreak at the ATP Finals.  On clay, Tsitsipas leads 2-1, and is 9-1 on the surface this season.  Rublev is on a six-match win streak, coming off his title run on clay in Belgrade.  But on this surface, Stefanos is a slight favorite.  Rublev’s ultra-offensive game is stymied a bit on clay, and of late we’ve seen him become remarkably frustrated quite often.  On Thursday, he again drew his own blood by punching his racket strings, and that was during a straight-set victory.  That’s advantage, Tsitsipas.

Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Desirae Krawczyk and Demi Schuurs (3) vs. Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula (5) – Krawczyk and Schuurs were champions in Stuttgart two weeks ago.  Gauff and Pegula also won their last event as a team, the Qatar Open in February.  The winners will have to play again later in the day, and Pegula will also be in the singles final on Saturday.

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Hubert Hurkacz (12) – Djokovic received a walkover on Thursday from an ill Andy Murray, while Hurkacz already survived two long three-setters this week.  Novak leads their head-to-head 3-0, though their last meeting six months ago at the Paris Masters was decided by a final-set tiebreak.

Sascha Zverev (2) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (8) – Zverev claimed their first three meetings in straight sets, but their last three have all gone the distance, with Auger-Aliassime taking their biggest match in the fourth round of last July’s Wimbledon.  Both men should be fully fresh, as Sascha played for less than 40 minutes on Thursday due to Lorenzo Musetti’s retirement, and Felix has dropped only six games through four sets thus far.

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos (2) vs. Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah (5)  – Granollers and Zeballos are the defending champions.  Cabal and Farah were finalists a few weeks ago in Monte Carlo.  Three years ago in the US Open final, Cabal and Farah defeated Granollers and Zeballos in straight sets.

Friday’s full Order of Play is here.


Iga Swiatek Annoyed By Scheduling Dilemma Ahead Of Season Finale

Iga Swiatek has admitted it’s unlikely that she will play the Billie Jean King Cup Finals after a scheduling dilemma.




(@thenet_m - Twitter)

World number one Iga Swiatek admits she is annoyed by facing a scheduling dilemma ahead of the end of the season.


Swiatek has dominated the 2022 season having won two Grand Slam titles and five other titles this season.

This means she has qualified for the WTA Finals which will take place on the 31st of October in Texas.

However Swiatek is now becoming the victim of her own success as she now faces a dilemma over whether to represent Poland at the Billie Jean King Finals.

The BJK Cup Finals, take place the week after in Glasgow where Poland will face the Czech Republic and the USA in their Group.

Speaking to Polish media Swiatek admitted she is unsure whether she will compete in Scotland and criticised the WTA for their lack of organization over the events, “I am dissatisfied, although I know that arranging everything is complicated,” Swiatek was quoted by Give Me Sport Women as saying.

Certainly, the fact that the WTA and ITF federations in a sense did not cooperate to facilitate our task is irritating to me. I will definitely take steps to let them know about my dissatisfaction.

“I don’t understand the scheduling. I’m not gonna lie that I’m happy about the fact that if I go deep in [the] Finals, I will have to not only play tired but also jetlagged the next day. So I can’t confirm whether I’ll represent Poland or not. I’m sorry.”

Swiatek’s father, Tomasz, backed up his daughter’s criticism and wishes for more communication between the WTA and players in the future, “It’s an extremely unfortunate deal,” he said.

“And yet we have a very difficult group for that in the BJK Cup. The dates of both events are missed. There is a clash between the ITF (organisers of the BJK Cup) and the WTA (organisers of the WTA Finals). Instead of taking care of the development of women’s tennis, they cannot communicate.”

So far both Swiatek and Ons Jabeur have qualified for the WTA Finals with Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula expected to join them.

Caroline Garcia, Aryna Sabalenka, Daria Kasatkina and Simona hold the other four spots with just weeks left of the season.

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Laver Cup Daily Preview: Team Europe Goes for a Fifth Straight Laver Cup




The lineup for Day 3 (

Heading into Day 3, the 2022 Laver Cup is feeling extremely familiar.  Team Europe has an 8-4 advantage, and only needs two wins on Sunday to secure their fifth consecutive Laver Cup.  Team World needs to win three matches to pull off the upset and obtain their first. 


Sunday’s play gets underway in London at 12:00pm local time.  And each match on Sunday is worth three points.

Matteo Berrettini and Andy Murray (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock (Team World) – 12:00pm

Berrettini was victorious in both singles and doubles on Saturday, defeating Auger-Aliassime in singles, and teaming with Djokovic to overcome Sock and de Minaur in doubles.  So Matteo gained victories over both of his Sunday opponents on Saturday.  Murray lost to de Minaur in singles on Friday.  Andy and Jack are the most accomplished doubles players in this match, as Sock is pretty much Team World’s doubles specialist.  If he and Felix cannot pull of the victory on Sunday, it could be a pretty short day.

Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World)

Like Berrettini, Djokovic won in singles and doubles on Saturday, comfortably dispatching of Tiafoe in singles.  While it was his first match in over two months, Novak showed no rust whatsoever.  Auger-Aliassime’s loss to Berrettini on Saturday will not help his confidence against the 21-time Major champion.

Novak and Felix have only played once before, and that occurred four months ago in Rome on clay.  It was a pretty tight affair, but Djokovic prevailed 7-5, 7-6(1).  And there’s not much evidence to support a different outcome on Sunday.  Novak is surely eager to re-assert his authority after missing so much of this season due to his vaccination status.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – If Necessary

Tsitsipas easily beat Diego Schwartzman on Friday, dropping just three games.  He is 3-2 against Tiafoe, and 3-1 on hard courts.  However, Frances claimed their most recent encounter, last fall in Vienna, which was also on an indoor hard court.

Casper Ruud (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – If Necessary

Ruud defeated Sock on Friday, while Fritz defeated Norrie on Saturday.  If this match takes place, it will be their first career meeting.

The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

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Roger Federer Claims Happiness Over Tennis Retirement In Emotional Last Match

It was an emotional evening in London as Roger Federer said goodbye to tennis.




Roger Federer (@LaverCup - Twitter)

Roger Federer has said that his retirement from tennis was full of joy not sadness after an emotional occasion at the Laver Cup.


The career of one of the greatest tennis players of all time is over after 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer played his last match of his career at the O2 Arena in London.

Federer teamed up with Rafael Nadal to take on Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock with the American pairing claiming victory 4-6 7-6(2) 11-9 to level the tie for Team World at 2-2.

However celebration was limited as the whole venue celebrated, cried and soaked up the emotion that Roger Federer’s career was over.

There were tears from Federer, his family as well as rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as the end of an era was upon Tennis.

Even a performance from Ellie Goulding saw the Arena’s emotion get stronger as the Swiss maestro said goodbye to a sport he has played since he was a kid.

However despite the tears Federer claimed after the match that it was a day of celebration not sadness as he closed a big chapter of his life, “It’s been a wonderful day. I’m happy, not sad. It feels great to be here. I’m happy I made it through,” Federer told the BBC website.

“It’s been the perfect journey. I’d do it all again. Everyone’s here, the boys and girls. My wife has been so supportive. She could have stopped me a long, long time ago but she didn’t.

“Being with the guys and having family and friends, I didn’t feel the stress so much even if I felt something would go during the match. I am so glad I made it through and the match was great. I couldn’t be happier.”

After 1,750 matches in his career, Federer now faces the prospect of leaving the sport he has know for over 20 years as a professional tennis player.

But Federer gave the biggest hint yet that he wants to continue to be apart of the sport for the future.

Speaking to the press Federer claimed that he wants to travel around the world to say thanks to those who didn’t have a chance on Friday evening, “Hopefully we’ll see each other again on a different type of tennis court, somewhere around the world,” Federer was quoted as saying by the BBC website.

“I think the message from me was just making sure I relay my passion for the sport to the fans. I have no plans whatsoever, where, how, when. All I know, I would love to go and play places I have never played before or go say thank you for years to come to all the people that have been so supportive of me.

“The hard part about the Laver Cup was that tickets were already sold out. The people who maybe would have also loved to be here couldn’t make it. Maybe there is another way down the stretch we can party all together.”

An incredible career was celebrated, rejoiced and soaked in by the whole of Tennis and now Federer gets to reflect on a once in a lifetime career.

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