US Open Daily Preview: Emma Raducanu Begins Her Title Defense Against Alize Cornet - UBITENNIS
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US Open Daily Preview: Emma Raducanu Begins Her Title Defense Against Alize Cornet



Emma Raducanu two weeks ago in Cincinnati (

A year ago, Emma Raducanu made the most shocking title run in the history of Grand Slam tennis.  Ranked 150th in the world, she came through qualifying and won 10 consecutive matches in straight sets to win the US Open in only her fourth WTA event.  The 19-year-old Brit has understandably struggled since that life-altering event, arriving in New York with a losing record on the year.  And in the opening round, she faces the dangerous Alize Cornet, who has made a career out of upsetting top names at Majors.


Tuesday also sees the 2022 US Open debuts of Rafael Nadal, Venus Williams, Naomi Osaka, Iga Swiatek, and Carlos Alcaraz

Throughout the tournament, this preview will analyze the day’s four most prominent matches, while highlighting the other notable matches on the schedule.  Tuesday’s play begins at 11:00am local time.

Sebastian Baez vs. Carlos Alcaraz (3) – 12:00pm on Arthur Ashe Stadium

It was a year ago at this tournament when Alcaraz made his Major breakthrough.  The teenager thrilled the New York crowd by upsetting Stefanos Tsitsipas in a fifth-set tiebreak on his way to the quarterfinals.  And Carlitos is a superb 44-9 in 2022, with four titles.  In the first round, he’s drawn the highest-ranked player not seeded in the draw.  Baez has accumulated 34 match wins this year at all levels, and has reached three ATP finals.  However, those finals all came on clay, and Sebastian only has two main draw victories this season on hard courts.  When these players met at last year’s NextGen Finals, Alcaraz prevailed in straight sets.  The outcome on Tuesday will likely be the same.

Alison Van Uytvanck vs. Venus Williams (WC) – Second on Arthur Ashe Stadium

Venus is making her 23rd appearance in the main draw of women’s singles at the US Open, and her 91st singles appearance at a Major.  In her main draw debut here 25 years ago, Venus went all the way to the final.  And five years ago, the two-time champion reached her most recent Slam semifinal.  But the past five years have been a struggle for Venus, as she’s battled multiple injuries, and hasn’t advanced to the second week at any Major.  She’s now lost 11 of her last 12 singles matches dating back to February of last year, and is 0-3 in 2022.  Van Uytvanck is a former Roland Garros quarterfinalist who won two lower-level events this year on grass.  But injury has prevented Alison from a completing a match this summer on hard courts.  Venus will surely find inspiration from her sister’s performance on Monday night, and we saw during that match how much of a factor the US Open crowd can be.  I would not be surprised by another Williams victory on Tuesday.

Emma Raducanu (11) vs. Alize Cornet – 7:00pm on Louis Armstrong Stadium

Raducanu is only 13-15 this season, but two weeks ago in Cincinnati, she played her best tennis since last year’s US Open.  Emma dominated Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka by scores of 6-4, 6-0, 6-0, and 6-2.  She’s hired Dmitry Tursunov on a trial basis, and his guidance greatly benefited both Aryna Sabalenka and Anett Kontaveit.  However, Cornet is having a strong season, highlighted by her first run to the quarterfinals of a Major in Melbourne.  And at Wimbledon, she ended Iga Swiatek’s 37-match win streak.  Cornet thrives in situations where she can upset top names on big stages, as she once defeated Serena Williams at Wimbledon as well.  Despite all the pressure on Raducanu in her title defense, her level in Cincinnati was impressive enough to consider her a slight favorite in this tough opening round matchup.

Naomi Osaka vs. Danielle Collins (19) – Last on Arthur Ashe Stadium

Neither player comes into this blockbuster first round contest with much form.  Osaka has only played four matches since May, and she’s lost three of them.  An Achilles injury forced her to miss Wimbledon, and she retired in Toronto with a lower back injury.  Meanwhile, Collins hasn’t played in nearly two months due to a neck injury.  Danielle achieved her first Major final this past January in Australia, yet is just 6-7 since.  And their rivalry has been completely one-sided, and not in Danielle’s favor.  Osaka leads 3-0, winning all three matches in straight sets.  And across those six sets, Collins has only managed to win 10 games.  They most recently played five months ago in Miami, where Naomi won 6-2, 6-1.  And considering Danielle’s inactivity, the two-time champion is the favorite again on Tuesday.

Other Notable Matches on Tuesday:

Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Jasmine Paolini – Swiatek is 50-7 this season, but only 2-2 this summer on hard courts.  Paolini is a 26-year-old Italian who lost her only previous meeting with Iga 6-2, 6-1.

Garbine Muguruza (9) vs. Clara Tauson – Since winning the WTA Finals last November, Muguruza has lost her confidence, and has a record of 9-14 this year.  Tauson is a highly-talented 19-year-old who missed much of this season due to a back injury. 

Qinwen Zheng vs. Jelena Ostapenko (16) – Ostapenko is 25-14 in 2022, but has never advanced beyond the third round in New York.  Qinwen is another talented 19-year-old, and already owns wins this year over Simona Halep, Ons Jabeur, and Bianca Andreescu. 

Elena Rybakina (25) vs. Clara Burel (Q) – Rybakina is 4-3 since her surprising triumph at Wimbledon.  Burel is a 21-year-old who survived the last round of qualifying in a third-set tiebreak by the score of 12-10.

Rinky Hijikata (WC) vs. Rafael Nadal (2) – Nadal is yet to lose a match this year at a Major.  Since withdrawing from the Wimbledon semifinals due to an abdominal injury, he’s only played one match, which was a loss to Borna Coric.  Hijikata is a 21-year-old Australian making his main draw debut at a Slam.

Tuesday’s full Order of Play is here.


Nick Kyrgios Opens Up About His Self-Harm Battle And Murray’s Support



Nick Kyrgios (AUS) playing against Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 03/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios says he became addicted to pain during his battle with self-harm that lasted between 18 and 24 months.


In an exclusive interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, the former Wimbledon finalist spoke about his mental health issues. Kyrgios has previously spoken publically about the topic but has now revealed further details about the extent he went through and the role Andy Murray played in supporting him. He was admitted to a psychiatric ward in London and contemplated suicide following the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

“It was pretty dark to be honest,” Kyrgios told Morgan. “I won tournaments on the professional tour, drinking every night, self-harming, burning things on my arm, cutting myself for fun. It became an addiction of pain. I hated myself. I hated waking up and being Nick Kyrgios.”

One of those who tried to help the Australian address his self-harm problem was three-time Grand Slam champion Murray who noticed cuts on Kyrgios’ arms during one of their practice sessions four years ago. According to The Times, the former world No.1 then alerted Kyrgios’ manager John Morris about the cuts.

Paying tribute to the Brit, Kyrgios says Murray has supported him throughout his career. The 28-year-old has been ranked as high as 13th in the world and has won seven ATP titles. Besides his run to the Wimbledon final last year, he has also reached the quarter-final stage of a major on three other occasions.

“Andy was always a big supporter of me,” Kyrgios said. “As soon as I came on the tour, he kind of saw a work in progress and took me under his wing. Then he realised later in my career that I don’t think I was coachable or I was on my own path, but he was always someone that was looking out for me.
“He saw it [the self-harm] and he said, ‘What’s that on your arm?’ It was pretty bad at that stage. Andy obviously was trying to give me advice on it. But I was just so stuck in my ways at that time that I didn’t listen. Obviously I’m very thankful. I thank him a lot.”

Kyrgios, who has only played one match on the Tour this season due to injury, hopes that he can help others by speaking publicly about his mental health battle. Something he describes as ‘the most powerful thing in his career.’

“I feel like I’ve helped so many people after I opened up about it and put it on social media,” Kyrgios said.
“I’ve almost been a beacon for people who are struggling. When they feel like they’re overwhelmed and they’re going towards drinking, drugs and stuff, they open up and they feel like I’m relatable.
“That’s been the most powerful thing in my career; people coming to me with genuine issues.
“They send me photos in my Instagram, direct messages, self-harming and genuinely wanting to commit suicide.
“I have conversations with these people. Sometimes I’ve had phone calls with these people. That’s making a real difference and I’m just really proud.”

Kyrgios recently had a stint in broadcasting after working for The Tennis channel during the ATP Finals in Milan. He is continuing his rehab from injury but it is unclear as to when he will make his return to professional tennis.

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Hamad Medjedovic earns first place in Red Group at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



Hamad Medjedovic beat Abdullah Shelbayh 3-4 (6-8) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) 4-2 to earn first place in the Red Group with a perfect 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. 


Medjedovic needed to win at least one set to reach the semifinals, while Shelbayh needed to win the match in three or four sets. Luca Van Assche qualified as the second-placed player from the Red Group.

Medjedovic will face Dominic Stricker in the semifinal, while Van Assche takes on Arthur Fils.  

Medjedovic fired 18 aces and won 88 % of his first-serve points. He saved all three break points against Shelbayh. 

Medjedovic fired a tournament-leading 45 aces and was broken twice. 

Medjedovic saved three break points to hold serve in the fourth game of the first set. Shelbayh went up a mini-break twice, but Medjedovic pulled back on serve both times. Shelbayh won the final three points to clinch the tie-break 8-6. Both players went on serve in the first five games before Medjedovic earned the break to win the second set 4-2. 

The third set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Shelbayh earned the first mini-break to take a 3-2 lead. Medjedovic pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. The Serbian player earned a second mini-break to close out the tie-break 7-5. 

Medjedovic started the fourth set with an early break in the first game. He held on his next service games and sealed the win on his first match point. 

Medjedovic set up a semifinal match against Dominic Stricker. Luc Van Assche will face Arthur Fils in an all-French semifinal.“It was a great match. I played really good after the first set He is a very good friend of mine. He is a very good player and obviously the crowd here loves him and I respect that. It was a pleasure to play in front of the crowd”, said Medjedovic. 

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Dominic Stricker cruises past Luca Nardi at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



Third seed Dominic Stricker cruised past Luca Nardi 4-1 4-1 4-2 in 54 minutes in the fastest match in the history of the Next Gen Finals at the Next Gen ATP Finals at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah bouncing back from his defeat in the first match against Flavio Cobolli on Tuesday. 


Stricker converted four of his six break points and hit 13 winners, including 3 aces. 

Stricker came back from 15-40 down in the first game after two double faults from Nardi and broke serve with a return winner on the deciding point to take a 1-0 lead. The world number 94 saved three break-back-back points in the second game from 15-40 down before breaking for the second time in the fifth game to win the first set 4-1. 

Stricker broke serve at 30 in the second game of the second set and held serve at love in the third game to race out to a 3-0 lead. Stricker served it out on his second set point. 

Stricker earned an early break in the first game of the third set on the deciding point and held his next service games. Nardi saved the first match point but he hit his backhand into the net on the second match point after the longest rally of the match. 

“We had a long discussion yesterday evening about how to do it today. I think it was really good that we talked a lot after what maybe was not my best performance. Now to come out today like that, I think nobody expected that. I am just happy that I did it and now I am going to try my best to recover for the third group match”, said Stricker. Stricker is now 1-1 in Green Group. The Swiss player is aiming to reach his second consecutive semifinal at the Next Gen Finals. He is looking to crown a good year after reaching the fourth round at the US Open. 

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