US Open Daily Preview: Serena Williams Plays the First Match of her Last Event - UBITENNIS
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US Open Daily Preview: Serena Williams Plays the First Match of her Last Event



Serena Williams this month in Cincinnati (

The 2022 US Open will be the last tournament in the illustrious 27-year career of Serena Williams.  The 39-time Major champion (23 in singles, 14 in doubles, 2 in mixed doubles) will play 81st career Slam in singles, and her 21st US Open.  On Monday night, Serena faces Danka Kovinic in a highly-anticipated first round match.


Serena is one of 15 Major singles champions in the women’s draw.  Other notable names include her sister Venus Williams, world No.1 Iga Swiatek, two-time US Open champ Naomi Osaka, and last year’s shocking finalists Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez.

The men’s draw is headlined by 22-time Major singles champion Rafael Nadal and defending champion and Daniil Medvedev.  But with neither arriving in New York in dominant form, and the unvaccinated Novak Djokovic ineligible to play, this men’s event feels truly open.  Other notable names include 19-year-old sensation Carlos Alcaraz, 2021 Roland Garros runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas, and 2012 champ Andy Murray.

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

Francisco Cerundolo (24) vs. Andy Murray – 11:00am on Louis Armstrong Stadium

It’s been a tough summer for Andy Murray.  He’s lost four of his last five matches, and told ESPN this past week he’s been battling cramping issues when playing or practicing in the heat.  Cerundolo made a shocking run to the semifinals this year in Miami, and also won a clay court title last month in Bastad.  But outside of Miami, Francisco has not won a match on a hard court since the first week of the season.  In their first career meeting, Murray should be favored, especially since Monday’s forecast does not call for extremely hot temperatures.

Pablo Carreno Busta (12) vs. Dominic Thiem (WC) – Third on Court 17

This will be Thiem’s first match at the US Open since winning the title in front of no fans in 2020.  Since returning in March from a wrist injury, Dominic is 10-12 at all levels.  This past week, he played his first hard court event since March of 2021 in Winston-Salem, where he went 2-1.  And this is an extremely tough first round draw for Thiem.  Carreno Busta is a two-time semifinalist in New York, and is coming off his first Masters 1000 title just a few weeks ago in Montreal.  However, their rivalry has been completely one-sided.  Pablo is 0-7 against Dominic at tour level, and 0-4 on hard courts.  But considering Thiem’s recent form, Carreno Busta should be able to earn his first victory over the 2020 champ on Monday.  

Danka Kovinic vs. Serena Williams – 7:00pm on Arthur Ashe Stadium

This will only be Serena’s fourth event since last year’s Wimbledon, and she’s gone just 1-3 this summer.  Most recently in Cincinnati, she was blitzed by the reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu 6-4, 6-0.  Serena’s knee was bothering her in Cincy, but she has appeared healthy during some grueling practice sessions this week in New York.  Per the advice of Rennae Stubbs, who has joined Serena’s team for her last tournament, Serena has been practicing with other WTA players this week, something she’s rarely done throughout her career.  Stubbs hopes this will help compensate for Serena’s lack of match play. 

Her opponent in the opening round of her last tournament is a 27-year-old from Montenegro who reached the third round of both the Australian Open and Roland Garros this season.  Drawing the 80th-ranked player in the world is a pretty good draw for the unseeded Williams, though Kovinic should not be overlooked.  She owns victories this year over both Emma Raducanu and Karolina Pliskova.  However, Danka is currently on a five-match losing streak.

Nerves will play a huge factor in this match, as both players will inevitably feel anxious considering the occasion.  Serena will be determined to not lose in the first round of her last event before retirement, and she’ll feel a lot of pressure to perform well.   But with a sold out crowd of 23,000 people vociferously behind her inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, I expect Serena to pull off the victory.  And in an open part of the draw, a run to the second week of this tournament is entirely plausible.

Nick Kyrgios (23) vs. Thanasi Kokkinakis – Last on Arthur Ashe Stadium

These Australians are close friends and frequent doubles partners, even winning the men’s doubles title this year in Melbourne.  They have never met at tour level, but Kyrgios claimed both their Challenger matches, back in 2013 and 2014.  Nick is having a strong season, with a record of 31-9.  Since June, he is 19-6, which includes a title run in Washington and his first Major final at Wimbledon.  But Kokkinakis is also having a decent season.  After battling injuries for many years, a healthy Thanasi won his first ATP title this past January in his hometown of Adelaide.  Aussie Darren Cahill stated on ESPN that Nick’s family is dealing with a health issue right now, and considering how much Kyrgios values his time at home, he’s likely eager to return to Australia.  While that may impact Nick’s focus or motivation, current form makes Kyrgios the favorite on Monday night.

Other Notable Matches on Monday:

Tatjana Maria vs. Maria Sakkari (4) – Tatjana was a surprise semifinalist at Wimbledon, but is just 3-4 since.  Sakkari was a semifinalist here a year ago, but has lost four of her last five matches.  One of those losses came at the hands of Tatjana at Wimbledon.  The also played at January’s Australian Open, where Sakkari prevailed.

Daniil Medvedev (1) vs. Stefan Kozlov – Medvedev started the month of August by winning the title in Los Cabos, yet went just 3-2 between Montreal and Cincinnati.  Kozlov is a 24-year-old American who is on an eight-match losing streak at all levels.

Simona Halep (7) vs. Daria Snigur (Q) – Halep was the champion earlier this month in Toronto.  Snigur is a 20-year-old Ukranian who is making her main draw debut at a Major.

Harmony Tan (WC) vs. Bianca Andreescu – Tan upset Serena at Wimbledon, and went on to reach the second week of The Championships.  Andreescu was the champion here three years ago, but injuries continue to derail her career.  Bianca is only 2-2 on hard courts this summer. 

Stan Wawrinka vs. Corentin Moutet (Q) – Wawrinka is 3-9 this season at all levels since returning from two foot surgeries.  And he’s 0-2 against Moutet, which includes a four-set loss at this year’s French Open.

Leolia Jeanjean (Q) vs. Coco Gauff (12) – This will be Gauff’s first match since rolling her ankle and retiring during her opening match in Cincinnati.  Jeanjean is a 27-year-old from France who advanced to the third round of this year’s Roland Garros in her Slam debut.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) vs. Daniel Elahi Galan (Q) – Tsitsipas is only 5-4 in New York, and is yet to reach the second week of the US Open.  Elahi Galan advanced to the third round of Wimbledon last month, benefitting from the withdrawal of Roberto Bautista Agut.

Leylah Fernandez (14) vs. Oceane Dodin – The 2021 runner-up is just 1-2 since injuring her foot in Paris.  25-year-old Dodin has lost 9 of her last 10 matches. 

Monday’s full Order of Play is here.


Miami Open Daily Preview: Two Matches Between Top 10 Seeds Headline Fourth Round ATP Action



Taylor Fritz earlier this month at Indian Wells (

All ATP fourth round singles matches will take place on Tuesday in Miami.


And in a rarity, two of those fourth round matches include meetings between top 10 seeds.  2022 Indian Wells champ Taylor Fritz takes on 2022 Bercy champ Holger Rune.  And in a battle of the gingers, Andrey Rublev faces Jannik Sinner.  Other ATP matches on Tuesday include three of the four top seeds: Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Also on Tuesday, the WTA quarterfinals begin.  American No.1 Jessica Pegula will look to avenge a loss her doubles partner Coco Gauff experienced earlier in the tournament to Anastasia Potapova.  And Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina plays Italy’s Martina Trevisan, who took out another Major champ, Jelena Ostapenko, on Monday.

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

Jannik Sinner (10) vs. Andrey Rublev (6) – 11:00am on Grandstand

Rublev is a modest 13-7 this season, but was a semifinalist in Miami two years ago.  He comfortably defeated Miomir Kecmanovic in the last round by a score of 6-1, 6-2.

Sinner is a strong 18-4 this season, and is coming off a semifinal run at Indian Wells.  He was the runner-up at this tournament two years ago.

These two have split four prior meetings, the last three of which occurred on clay.  Their only hard court matchup took place three years ago in Vienna, with Sinner retiring after just three games.  But considering Jannik’s impressive form this season, he should be favored to advance on Tuesday.

Taylor Fritz (9) vs. Holger Rune (7) – 12:00pm on Stadium

Dating back to the end of September, Rune is now 33-8.  The 19-year-old achieved four consecutive finals to end last season, winning two of them (Stockholm, Bercy).  This is his Miami Open debut.

Fritz is 19-5 in 2023, and is vying for his fifth consecutive quarterfinal of the year.  This would mark his seventh Masters 1000 quarterfinal, all achieved since the start of 2021.  But Taylor is 0-2 in the fourth round of this tournament, losing in the past two years to Bublik and Kecmanovic.

In their first career meeting, it’s hard to pick a winner.  Fritz has become a pretty reliable performer, while Rune remains quite a streaky player, with impressive highs and some immature lows.  Both possess similar weapons on court, and neither have dropped a set through two matches.  I’ll give the slight edge to Holger based on his recent hard court success.

Other Notable Matches on Tuesday:

Martina Trevisan (25) vs. Elena Rybakina (10) – Rybakina has now won nine matches in a row.  Trevisan was only 3-8 on the year ahead of this quarterfinal run.  This is another first career meeting.

Karen Khachanov (14) vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas (2) – Tsitsipas survived a tight three-setter against an in-form Cristian Garin on Monday, while Khachanov easily dispatched of up-and-coming 21-year-old Jiri Lehecka.  Stefanos is 6-0 against Karen, which includes a four-set victory at this year’s Australian Open.

Carlos Alcaraz (1) vs. Tommy Paul (16) – Alcaraz is now 16-1 this season, and has claimed his last 17 completed sets.  Paul is 16-5, and was a semifinalist in Melbourne, as well as a finalist in Acapulco.  Tommy took their only previous encounter, last summer in Montreal, in a three-set match that lasted three hours and 20 minutes.

Jessica Pegula (3) vs. Anastasia Potapova (27) – Pegula has now reached the quarterfinals or better at seven of the last nine WTA 1000 events.  This is Potapova’s first quarterfinal at this level in over two years.  At the last WTA 1000 event, in Indian Wells, Pegula came from behind to beat Potapova 7-5 in the third.

Quentin Halys vs. Daniil Medvedev (4) – Medvedev is 25-3 on the year, and received a walkover on Monday from Alex Molcan.  Halys upset Alex de Minaur on Saturday, and had never won a main draw match at Masters 1000 level prior to this fortnight. 

Tuesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Juan Martin Del Potro Makes Comeback Hint

Could Juan Martin Del Potro make his return to Tennis at the US Open this year?



Juan Martin Del Potro (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro has made a hint that he may return to tennis this year.


The 34 year-old had initially retired from the sport having been able to sort out his knee injury.

Del Potro had his perfect retirement match in Buenos Aires last year when he lost to Federico Delbonis.

Since then Del Potro has been seeing doctors about fixing his knee problem as well as attending several sporting events including last year’s US Open.

However it now seems the Argentinian seems keen on returning to the tour and hasn’t ruled out a potential return at the US Open later this year.

Speaking to Argentinian outlet C5N, Del Potro gave his biggest hint yet that he may return to the tour, “I still have time, I will start training, see how my leg and knee react and if I can do it or not,” Del Potro claimed.

“I love tennis, it will never be a problem to pick up a racquet and see how I feel. The physical problem and my knee are things I work on every day. I’m going to leave that window open, at least until the US Open, as I said. This is the most special tournament for me.”

Del Potro’s only Grand Slam title came at the US Open in what was one of 22 titles that he won throughout his career.

Should Del Potro make his return in New York later this year then it will be his 38th Grand Slam appearance with his current record at Grand Slams being 97-36, a win percentage of 73%.

This year’s US Open will take place from the 28th of August until the 10th of September with Carlos Alcaraz as the defending champion.

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Miami Open Daily Preview: Major Champions Sabalenka and Krejcikova Meet Again on Monday



Barbora Krejcikova on Sunday in Miami (

All WTA fourth round singles matches will take place on a busy Monday in Miami.


2023 Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka and 2021 Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova will meet for the third time in as many events.  Krejcikova prevailed in three sets in Dubai, while Sabalenka prevailed in three sets at Indian Wells.  Who will win the rubber match on Monday?

Meanwhile, ATP third round action concludes on Monday.  Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev are the top seeds on the bottom half of the draw, and are just a few rounds away from a semifinal which would renew a bitter rivalry that started five years ago in this very city.  But many formidable foes, like Felix Auger-Aliassime, Hubert Hurkacz, and Frances Tiafoe, stand in their way.  However, Medvedev’s path has become a bit easier, as he has received a walkover on Monday from an injured Alex Molcan.

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

Jessica Pegula (3) vs. Magda Linette (20) – Not Before 1:00pm on Stadium Court

Pegula is 17-5 in 2023, and was a semifinalist here a year ago.  Linette is 12-6, and reached her maiden Major quarterfinal in Melbourne, a feat Jessica is still trying to achieve.  Magda currently sits at a career-high ranking of 19th in the world, and would improve on that with a deep run at this tournament.

In their first career meeting, the American should be favored.  Her consistency, paired with her penetrating groundies, have made her one of the WTA’s toughest outs across the last few seasons.  But Linette has plenty of finesse and defensive skills that could drag more errors out of Pegula, so this could be an interesting contest.

Barbora Krejcikova (16) vs. Aryna Sabalenka (2) – Not Before 8:30pm on Stadium Court

Overall Sabalenka leads their head-to-head 3-1, with all matches taking place on hard courts.  Three years ago in Linz, Aryna was victorious in three sets.  Two years ago at the US Open, she was again victorious, this time in straights.  They’ve also both met many times in doubles, as both are Slam champs in women’s doubles as well.

Sabalenka is now 19-2 on the year, and has dropped only 10 games in her four sets played so far in Miami.  Krejcikova is 15-5, and has also advanced to this stage without dropping a set.

I expect another tight battle on Monday between two of the WTA’s top five performers of the year.  But with her huge serve and groundstrokes clicking, and with all the confidence she’s currently playing with, Sabalenka must be considered the favorite.

Other Notable Matches on Monday:

Cristian Garin (Q) vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas (2) – Tsitsipas is 11-3 this season, and is yet to play a match this fortnight, as he received a walkover in his opening round from Richard Gasquet.  Having now qualified for both Indian Wells and Miami, Garin has won nine matches between the two events.  But he is 0-2 against Stefanos at tour level, though both matches were on clay.

Felix Auger-Aliassime (5) vs. Francisco Cerundolo (25) – Auger-Aliassime survived a prolonged two-set battle against Thiago Monteiro on Saturday, which lasted nearly three hours.  Cerundolo was a shocking semifinalist here a year ago.  Felix has already defeated Francisco twice this year, at both the Australian Open and Indian Wells.

Elena Rybakina (10) vs. Elise Mertens – Rybakina is 18-4 on the year, and the Indian Wells champ is currently on an eight-match win streak.  She’s already won two three-setters this past week in Miami, and Elena is 2-1 against Elise, having taken both of their hard court encounters.

Hubert Hurkacz (8) vs. Adrian Mannarino – Hurkacz saved five match points against Thanasi Kokkinakis on Saturday night, winning the longest three-set match of the year at tour-level.  Mannarino took out breakout American Ben Shelton in three sets on the same evening.  Hubi is 2-1 against Adrian.

Lorenzo Sonego vs. Frances Tiafoe (12) – Tiafoe loves playing in Miami, as he’s vying for his fifth consecutive fourth round appearance at this event.  Frances overcame a stern test from Yosuke Watanuki on Saturday, but has split two previous matches against Sonego, both of which took place this past fall.

Monday’s full Order of Play is here.

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