US Open Daily Preview: Four Quarterfinals Featuring Eight Potential New Champions - UBITENNIS
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US Open Daily Preview: Four Quarterfinals Featuring Eight Potential New Champions

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Nick Kyrgios on Sunday night in New York (twitter.com/usopen)

The quarterfinals begin on Tuesday in New York, with eight players who have never won a Major in singles.  Five of them of recent Slam finalists (Matteo Berrettini, Casper Ruud, Ons Jabeur, Coco Gauff, Nick Kyrgios) while the other three have never advanced beyond this stage of a Major (Ajla Tomljanovic, Caroline Garcia, Karen Khachanov). 


Matteo Berrettini (13) vs. Casper Ruud (5) – 12:00pm on Arthur Ashe Stadium

Both players already survived five-setters to reach this quarterfinal.  Two rounds ago, Ruud took out Tommy Paul 6-0 in the fifth, in what was Paul’s third consecutive five-setter.  And in the last round, Berrettini outlasted Alejandro Davidovich Fokina after the Spaniard injured himself in the fifth set.  This is a fifth straight Major quarterfinal for Matteo, and he is 2-2 in those quarters.  This is a second quarterfinal for Casper, after defeating Holger Rune three months ago in the quarters of Roland Garros.  Ruud leads their head-to-head 3-2, with four of those matches occurring on clay courts.  Berrettini comfortably claimed their only hard court meeting in straight sets, which took place two years ago at this same event.  While Matteo’s backhand remains a liability which Ruud take advantage on, Berrettini should be favored on this surface.


Ons Jabeur (5) vs. Ajla Tomljanovic – Second on Arthur Ashe Stadium

Tomjanovic has been most impressive this fortnight, not only by defeating Serena Williams, but by following it up with a gritty victory over one of the WTA’ most in-form players, Liudmila Samsonova.  And she faces another tall task on Tuesday as she tries to achieve her first Major semifinal against the WTA’s second best player of 2022.  Jabeur is 42-13 on the year, and is vying for her second consecutive Slam semi.  Ons is 1-0 against Ajla at tour level, having defeated the Australian in straight sets this past May on clay in Rome.  After earning her first win in four tries over a red-hot Veronika Kudermetova in the last round, Jabeur should feel uber-confident.  Her more offensive, diverse style makes her the favorite on Tuesday.  However, Tomljanovic has proven doubters like myself wrong two matches in a row, and is playing with plenty of confidence herself.  Ajla’s improved movement and defensive skills could prove frustrating for Ons on Tuesday.


Coco Gauff (12) vs. Caroline Garcia (17) – 7:00pm on Arthur Ashe Stadium

Gauff was a finalist three months ago in Paris, but this is her first deep run at her home Slam.  Prior to this year, she was just 3-3 in New York.  But Coco has played excellently through four rounds, advancing without the loss of a set.  Garcia was a quarterfinalist five years ago in Paris, and endured several years of results that were well below the level of her talent.  Yet no WTA player is hotter than Caroline, who is on a 12-match winning streak since the qualifying rounds of Cincinnati last month.  She has accumulated 11 sets in a row, and seems unburdened by the years of her unrealized potential since claiming her second Roland Garros doubles title with Kiki Mladenovic.  However, she is 0-2 against Gauff, with both matches taking place within the last 18 months on hard courts.  But this is a new version of the Frenchwoman that Coco has not yet faced.  The night session crowd will be heavily behind the young American, but her second serve and forehand can still at times be unreliable.  I like Garcia’s chances of achieving her first Major semifinal.


Nick Kyrgios (23) vs. Karen Khachanov (27) – Last on Arthur Ashe Stadium

The last time these two men faced off, it was an epic encounter.  At the 2020 Australian Open, Kyrgios prevailed in a fifth-set tiebreak after four-and-a-half hours.  Their only other previous match also went the distance.  Three years ago in Cincinnati, Khachanov was victorious 6-2 in the third.  After eliminating world No.1 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev in the last round, and with Nadal knocked out of this tournament on Monday by Frances Tiafoe, many consider Kyrgios the favorite to win this event.  It will be quite interesting to see how Nick deals with the pressure that comes with that expectation, which is completely new territory for him.  Khachanov is a bit of a surprise in making it to this stage, as he’s had an unremarkable year.  Karen was 26-20 coming into this event, and is yet to reach a tournament final this season.  He served excellently in a five-set win over Pablo Carreno Busta on Sunday, but his serve is not quite as elite as Nick’s.  And the improved return game of Kyrgios was on full display during his four-set victory on Sunday over Medvedev.  The Australian is the favorite to reach his second straight Slam semifinal.


Tuesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Casper Ruud Overcomes ‘Tough Start’ To Set De Minaur Final In Acapulco

Casper Ruud is into his first ATP 500 final after defeating Holger Rune in three sets.

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Casper Ruud is into his second consecutive final in Mexico after defeating Holger Rune 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Acapulco.

The Norwegian had to overcome an electric start from Rune to prevail in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

It was a clinical performance from Ruud who is now into his second consecutive final in Mexico after reaching the final in Los Cabos last week.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted it was a tough start but he’s pleased to be in another final, “It was a tough start,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“Holger just came out firing bullets from the forehand, from the backhand and I had not too much time to play my game. I was frustrated at times, especially at the end of the first set, beginning of the second.

“I didn’t really feel like I got to play any points how I wanted to, so there was some frustration towards myself, towards my box, because I didn’t feel like we were doing the right thing.

“But luckily with one break in the second, it turned around a bit and in the third set it got a little physical. I think maybe Holger seemed like he was struggling a little bit and started firing even more and a couple of games it went in and he broke me, which is frustrating.

“Some unforced errors crept up on him and I served really well in the last game to close it out.”

Ruud is now into his first ATP 500 final in Acapulco where he will face defending champion Alex De Minaur.

De Minaur overcame Jack Draper after the Brit retired at 4-0 down in the deciding set.

Heading into Saturday’s final, De Minaur leads the head-to-head 1-0 although that was in a completely different scoring format in the Next Gen Finals.

Whatever happens on Saturday, Ruud will return to the world’s top ten.

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Andrey Rublev Disqualified In Dramatic Dubai Semi-Final

Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final in Dubai.

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Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik after being accused of swearing in Russian.

The event took place in Dubai where Rublev had more than enough opportunities to win the match having been 4-2 40-0 up in the deciding set.

However Bublik came back into the match as he caught up with Rublev in what was turning into a fascinating contest.

The score was at 6-5 Bublik when Rublev’s frustrations boiled over when he allegedly told the official at the side of the court that he was a ‘f****** moron’ in Russian.

One of the officials on the sidelines at the side of the court reported the incident and the supervisor ruled that Rublev should be defaulted.

The incident below means that Rublev will now lose all his ranking points and prize money, resulting in Rublev exiting the world’s top five.

An ending that didn’t warrant the dramatic contest and after the match Bublik agreed that the consequences, “I highly doubt Andrey said something crazy,” Bublik was quoted by Sports Illustrated.

“He’s not this kind of guy. But I guess that’s the rules. That’s what they did, they just follow the procedure.”

Bublik will hope for a smoother finish to the final when he takes on Ugo Humbert for the title.

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Andy Murray Makes Retirement Hint After 500th Hard Court Win In Dubai

Andy Murray won his 500th hard court match in Dubai, placing him fifth on the all-time list.

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Andy Murray further hinted at retirement after securing a 500th hard court win of his career in Dubai.

The former world number one picked up his second win of the year with a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov.

In typical Andy Murray fashion, the Brit came back from a set down to defeat the out-of-sorts Canadian as he progressed to the second round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUVj537F-wQ

The win means Murray now has 500 career wins on a hard court and that is an achievement the world number 67 is proud of, “It’s not bad,” Murray told the ATP website as he sits fifth on the all-time list of hard court wins.

“Obviously hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that. There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

However those post-match comments weren’t the most shocking ones as Murray once again hinted at retirement this season.

The Brit has made subtle remarks that this year may be his last one but Murray’s comments today suggests that he may have already made his decision, “I probably don’t have too long left but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months,” Murray was quoted by ESPN as saying.

“I still love competing and still love the game but it gets harder and harder to compete the older you get, to keep your body fit and fresh.”

If the end is near for Murray than the Brit will look to end his career on a high for the next few months.

Before thinking about retirement Murray will look to go further in Dubai when he takes on either Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils in the second round.

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