US Open Daily Preview: The Quarterfinals Conclude with Swiatek, Alcaraz, Tiafoe - UBITENNIS
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US Open Daily Preview: The Quarterfinals Conclude with Swiatek, Alcaraz, Tiafoe



Carlos Alcaraz after his fourth round victory (

The quarterfinals conclude on Wednesday in New York, and we are guaranteed a new champion in both men’s and women’s singles.  In the women’s draw, world No.1 Iga Swiatek is the only Major singles champ remaining.  In the quarterfinals, she faces American No.1 Jessica Pegula


On the men’s side, all of the remaining players are looking for their first Major in singles.  Wednesday’s ATP quarterfinals feature two of the sport’s most charismatic young players, Carlos Alcaraz and Frances Tiafoe, and two big-swinging gingers, Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev.

Karolina Pliskova (22) vs. Aryna Sabalenka (6) – 12:00pm on Arthur Ashe Stadium

These are two of the WTA’s biggest ball strikers, and both already defeated other big ball strikers in the last round.  Pliskova took out another loud Belarussian in Victoria Azarenka, while Sabalenka eliminated Danielle Collins.  That was Pliskova’s third three-set win of this tournament, as she also survived tight encounters against Belinda Bencic and Magda Linette.  Sabalenka seemed all but out of this tournament in the second round, before coming back from a set and 5-1 down to defeat Kaia Kanepi. 

They have split four previous meetings, yet Pliskova claimed the last two.  Most notably, Karolina was victorious 6-4 in the third over Aryna in one of the biggest matches of both players’ careers: the semifinals of last year’s Wimbledon.  And just last month in the semis of Toronto, Pliskova prevailed in straights.  Her superior serving prowess, and Sabalenka’s double fault issues, make Pliskova the favorite despite her recent 0-3 record in US Open quarterfinals.  And while Karolina can be a bit too hard on herself at times, she has a much more subdued temperament than Aryna, who can become quite aggravated on court.

Andrey Rublev (9) vs. Frances Tiafoe (22) – Second on Arthur Ashe Stadium

This is a rematch from an electric five-setter at last year’s US Open, when Tiafoe upset Rublev in a match that ended at 2:14am.  Ranked 50th in the world at the time, Frances has seen his ranking halved in the year since, and is coming off the biggest win of his life.  On Monday afternoon, Tiafoe handed Rafael Nadal his only loss at a Major this season. 

Six months after their meeting here a year ago, Rublev avenged that heartbreaking loss at Indian Wells with a straight-set victory.  Andrey outlasted Denis Shapovalov in a fifth-set tiebreak two rounds ago, then easily dispatched of one of the ATP’s most consistent performers, Cam Norrie, in straight sets.  Will Frances be able to emotionally recover from such a career milestone to reach his first Major semifinal just 48 hours later?  Rublev is also vying for his first Slam semi, and this has been a huge stumbling block for Andrey, as he is 0-5 in Major quarterfinals.  He had lost the first four of those quarterfinals in straight sets, before losing another heartbreaker three months ago at Roland Garros to Marin Cilic in a fifth-set tiebreak.  That’s a lot of scar tissue for any player to overcome.  And with a partisan New York crowd raucously behind the American, Tiafoe is a slight favorite to advance.

Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Jessica Pegula (8) – 7:00pm on Arthur Ashe Stadium

This is a rematch from the same round at this year’s French Open, where Swiatek easily won 6-3, 6-2.  They also met earlier this season in the semifinals of Miami, with Iga prevailing 6-2, 7-5.  Their only other matchup occurred three years ago in Washington, with Pegula winning in three. 

Jess has become one of the WTA’s most consistent performers.  The 28-year-old has reached the quarterfinals at three of four Majors this year, as well as the quarters or better at four WTA 1000 events.  Her losses this summer in Toronto and Cincinnati were far from bad ones, as they were at the hands of the eventual champions (Halep, Garcia).  And as great as Swiatek has been in 2022, with a record of 54-7 and six titles, she is not fully comfortable on the fast hard courts in New York, or with the balls that are used at this tournament.  Iga advanced to this quarterfinal despite some poor form, especially in the first half of her fourth round match against Jule Neimeier.  And while Pegula is 0-3 in Slam quarterfinals, this feels like her moment to achieve a new career milestone and upset an uncomfortable world No.1.

Jannik Sinner (11) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (3) – Last on Arthur Ashe Stadium

These men have played three times within the last year.  At November’s Paris Masters on an indoor hard court, Alcaraz was victorious after two tight sets.  In the fourth round of Wimbledon in July on grass, Sinner prevailed in four sets.  And in the Umag final on clay, Jannik won again in three sets.  Now they’ll meet on an outdoor hard court, assuming possible showers don’t force the roof to be closed. 

Both of these young men survived grueling five-setters on Monday night.  Sinner came back from a break down in the fifth against Ilya Ivashka, while Alcaraz defeated Marin Cilic at 2:23am.  That was an extremely late finish to recover from for Carlitos, though it will help that he won his first three rounds in straight sets.  Meanwhile Sinner has now played two five-setters and a four-setter, so he’s encountered more hiccups than Alcaraz.  And in front of a New York crowd that fell in love with Carlitos a year ago, Alcaraz should be favored to use their energy, as well as his speed and power, to become a Major semifinalist.

Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.


Miami Open Daily Preview: Alcaraz and Sinner Meet Again in the Semifinals



Carlos Alcaraz two weeks ago at Indian Wells (

Both ATP semifinals will be played on Friday, as well as the second WTA semifinal.


For the third consecutive big event in the United States (US Open, Indian Wells, Miami), Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner will collide.  At the US Open, they played an epic five-hour five-setter that went into the early hours of the morning.  At Indian Wells, they contested a high-quality semifinal.  Both of those matches went to Alcaraz.  Will he prevail again on Friday?

And are we on the verge of a rematch from the Indian Wells final between Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev?  Fellow Russian Karen Khachanov will be Medvedev’s opposition on Friday.  And in the remaining WTA singles semifinal, Petra Kvitova plays Sorana Cirstea for the right to face Elena Rybakina in Saturday’s championship match.

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

Daniil Medvedev (4) vs. Karen Khachanov (14) – 1:00pm on Stadium

Medvedev is now 27-3 this season, and has claimed 22 matches within the past seven weeks alone.  Daniil has easily advanced to this semifinal, averaging just over an hour on court across his three matches thus far.  He is vying for his fifth final in as many tournaments.

Khachanov is 13-5 on the year, and this is his third significant hard court semifinal since last summer.  At the US Open, he defeated both Pablo Carreno Busta and Nick Kyrgios in five sets to reach the semis.  At the Australian Open, he beat both Frances Tiafoe and Sebastian Korda to advance to this stage.  And this week, he took out both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Francisco Cerundolo, who was a Miami semifinalist a year ago.

Medvedev leads their head-to-head 3-1, which includes a straight-set victory at the beginning of this season in Adelaide.  And based on his current run on hard courts, I like Daniil to achieve his first final in Miami.

Carlos Alcaraz (1) vs. Jannik Sinner (10) – Not Before 7:00pm on Stadium

Alcaraz is 18-1 in 2023, while Sinner is 20-4.  Neither has dropped a set this fortnight, so both are feeling fully fresh and quite confident heading into this blockbuster matchup.

Overall Carlitos is 3-2 against Jannik, and 3-0 on hard courts.  Sinner’s two victories have come on grass (Wimbledon) and clay (Umag).  Since holding a match point against Alcaraz in the fourth set of last summer’s US Open quarterfinal, and failing to convert, the Italian has lost four straight sets to the Spaniard.

Both men have made previous appearances in the Miami final, with Sinner losing to Hubert Hurkacz in 2021, and Alcaraz defeating Casper Ruud in 2022.  Carlitos needs to defend his title in order to maintain his No.1 ranking.  And considering how well he’s played since returning to the tour in February, I favor Alcaraz to eliminate Sinner again on Friday.

Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Petra Kvitova (15) vs. Sorana Cirstea – Kvitova has now advanced to the quarterfinals or better at the last three WTA 1000 tournaments held in the United States.  Cirstea has been playing some of the best tennis of her career since hiring Thomash Johansson as her coach.  Petra leads their head-to-head 6-4, which dates all the way back to 2008.  They met twice on hard courts in 2022, and split those two encounters.

Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens (6) vs. Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula (2) – This is a quarterfinal, and the winners will come back later in the day to face Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez in the semifinals.

Magda Linette and Bernarda Pera vs. Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend – This is a semifinal.  Prior to this event, Linette and Pera had not teamed up since last year’s Wimbledon.  This is only Fernandez and Townsend’s second tournament as a team.

Friday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Miami Open Daily Preview: Elena Rybakina Plays Jessica Pegula in the Semifinals



Elena Rybakina two weeks ago at Indian Wells (

Due to rain on Wednesday, only one WTA semifinal will be played on Thursday.


Elena Rybakina is just two wins away from completing the “Sunshine Double,” which is winning both Indian Wells and Miami.  But in Thursday’s WTA semifinal, American No.1 Jessica Pegula stands in her way.  The other semifinal is still to be determined, and will not be played until Friday, as Petra Kvitova and Ekaterina Alexandrova will contest their rain-delayed quarterfinal on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the ATP quarterfinals will be completed on Thursday.  Indian Wells finalist Daniil Medvedev faces American Chris Eubanks, who has been the breakout story of this tournament thus far.  Also, Karen Khachanov takes on Francisco Cerundolo, who is vying for his second consecutive semifinal in Miami.  And delayed from Wednesday night, Carlos Alcaraz battles Taylor Fritz in another ATP quarterfinal.

You can find a preview of the Alcaraz/Fritz and Kvitova/Alexandrova quarterfinals in yesterday’s daily preview here.

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

Chris Eubanks (Q) vs. Daniil Medvedev (4) – 1:00pm on Stadium

Medvedev leads the ATP with 26 wins this season, as well as with three titles.  Daniil has not dropped a set to this stage, though he’s only played two matches thus far due to a walkover earlier this week.

Eubanks has already won six matches this fortnight after coming through qualifying.  And the 26-year-old achieved a career goal of breaking into the top 100 with this quarterfinal run.  Chris became emotional on-court after clinching that feat on Monday, and followed it up with another upset the next day, over Adrian Mannarino.  The American is projected to become ranked 85th in the world on Monday, but a win on Thursday would propel him into the top 60.

In their first career meeting, of course the self-proclaimed “hard court specialist” Medvedev is a strong favorite.  But I’m quite interested to see how Eubanks performs in the biggest match of his career.  During a rain delay on Monday, Frances Tiafoe provided Eubanks with some advice in the locker room, which Chris credited with helping him come back in the second-set tiebreak once play resumed.  He’s played more freely since that comeback, and Eubanks may feel as if he has nothing to lose on Thursday.

Elena Rybakina (10) vs. Jessica Pegula (3) – Not Before 8:30pm on Stadium

Rybakina is 20-4 this season, and is currently on a 10-match win streak.  If her 2,000 points from winning Wimbledon last summer counted, she’d currently be ranked third in the world.  Elena easily dispatched of Martina Trevisan in the last round.

Pegula is 19-5 on the year, and 10-3 in Miami.  This is her second consecutive semifinal at this event, and she’s the No.3 player in the world without Rybakina’s Wimbledon points counting.  She saved multiple match points to come back and defeat Anastasia Potapova during Tuesday’s quarterfinals.

Pegula is 2-0 against Rybakina, with both matches taking place on hard courts during 2022.  A year ago at this same tournament, Jess prevailed in straight sets.  And last fall in Guadalajara, Pegula outlasted Rybakina in a final-set tiebreak, another match in which the American saved multiple match points.  As confident as Elena currently is, with her big serve and groundstrokes dictating play, it’s hard not to favor the reigning Wimbledon champ.  But based on their recent history, as well as Pegula’s rising confidence after saving match points in the last round, I give Jess the slight edge in Thursday’s semifinals on home soil.

Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Francisco Cerundolo (25) vs. Karen Khachanov (14) – Cerundolo was in danger of falling out of the top 40 with an early loss in Miami, defending the best result of his career at this level, but has impressed by returning to the quarterfinals, defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime on the way.  Khachanov upset Stefanos Tsitsipas in the last round, and is looking to reach his first Masters semifinal since 2019.  Last summer in Canada, Karen defeated Francisco in three sets.

Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Novak Djokovic Set For US Open Return

Novak Djokovic is all set to return to the US Open for the first time in two years.



Novak Djokovic (@RelevantTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic is set for a return to the US Open after the US senate voted to eliminate some of the COVID-19 restrictions.


The restrictions have been in place for the last two years which have denied foreign travellers the chance to visit America if they are unvaccinated.

As is well documented Djokovic hasn’t had his vaccination which is the reason for his absence at Indian Wells and Miami.

However Djokovic could be set to return to America after the US senate passed a bill to eliminate the COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

US president Joe Biden is expected to put the final signature on the bill which will then allow unvaccinated travellers from abroad to enter the country.

This means that Djokovic will be allowed to play the US Open for the first time since the 2021 final where he missed out on the chance to complete the calendar Grand Slam after losing to Daniil Medvedev.

Djokovic will look to win a fourth US Open title when he returns to Flushing Meadows on the 28th of August.

However in the short-term, Djokovic will look to reclaim his world number one ranking over the clay court season as he plays Monte-Carlo on the 9th of April.

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