US Open Daily Preview: The Women’s Semifinals - UBITENNIS
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US Open Daily Preview: The Women’s Semifinals



Caroline Garcia on Tuesday in New York (

The women’s semifinals will take place on Thursday night in New York, headlined by the WTA’s two best players of 2022: Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur.  They will respectively face two resurgent players in Aryna Sabalenka and Caroline Garcia.  Which of these four women will advance to Saturday’s final, with one becoming a first-time US Open champion?


Also on Thursday, the men’s doubles semifinals will be decided, as well as the first women’s doubles semifinal.

Caroline Garcia (17) vs. Ons Jabeur (5) – 7:00pm on Arthur Ashe Stadium

What a roll Garcia has been on these last few months.  After winning her second women’s doubles title at Roland Garros, she won a title on grass on Bad Homburg, a title on clay in Warsaw, and a title on hard in Cincinnati.  And in Cincy, she came through qualifying to win the event.  Caroline is on 13-match win streak, and has also taken her last 13 sets.  In this tournament, no player has earned more than four games against her in a set, so she has completely dominated proceedings. 

Jabeur has contested many tight sets, yet only lost one of them.  She is vying for her second consecutive Major final after her disappointing loss in the championship match at Wimbledon, where she let a one-set-lead slip.  She is 43-13 on the year, yet hard courts have easily been her weakest surface, where eight of her losses have occurred.

Ons leads their head-to-head 2-0, with both matches occurring at hard court Majors: the 2019 US Open and the 2020 Australian Open.  And while Jabeur’s game has advanced since those victories, Garcia is a completely different player than she was a few years ago, and is brimming with confidence.  She has been stepping well into the court and blistering the ball, taking valuable time away from her opponents.  But can Garcia maintain that level in the biggest match of her career, her first Slam semifinal?  Based on the poise and determination she has displayed this fortnight, I like her chances.

Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Aryna Sabalenka (6) – Last on Arthur Ashe Stadium

Swiatek has not played her best tennis this summer, nor during this event.  After going on a 37-match win streak earlier in the season, which included her second Major title at Roland Garros, she went just 2-2 on hard courts in August prior to this tournament.  However, as champions do, she has persevered and advanced to this semifinal without her top level, still managing to only drop one set.

Even though Sabalenka was a semifinalist here a year ago, as well as at last year’s Wimbledon, it’s quite surprising to see her back at this stage at this time.  Aryna endured some terrible double fault issues this season, and in the second round last week, was down a set and 5-1 to Kaia Kanepi.  But after escaping that near-defeat, she’s played a lot more like the 2021 version of herself, defeating two of the WTA’s biggest hitters in Danielle Collins and Karolina Pliskova.

Swiatek is 3-1 against Sabalenka, with all four matches taking place within the past year.  Aryna prevailed 7-5 in the third at last November’s WTA Finals, but since then, it’s been all Iga.  The set scores in their three matches this year have been 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, and 6-1.  And Sabalenka has some serious scar tissue to overcome, as she’s 0-2 in Slam semis.  Last year in the same round of this event, she lost a heartbreaker to Leylah Fernandez 6-4 in the third, and Aryna had a bit of a meltdown at the end of that match.  All that makes Swiatek the favorite to reach her third Major final.

Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury (1) vs. Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah (13) – The top seeds and defending champions are on an eight-match winning streak, coming off a title run in Cincinnati.  Cabal and Farah won this event in 2019, yet arrived in New York on a three-match losing streak.  When these teams met this season in Monte Carlo, Ram and Salisbury won in a third-set 10-point tiebreak.

Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer (3) vs. Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski (2) – Arevalo and Rojer won this year’s French Open.  Koolhof and Skupski have easily been 2022’s best men’s doubles team, claiming six titles, but none of those have been Majors.  These teams have played three times this year, with Koolhof and Skupski winning each time.

Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez (10) vs. Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova (3) – Krejcikova and Siniakova are two wins away from their third Major of the year, and their sixth overall, which would complete their career Grand Slam.  Melichar-Martinez and Perez are the WTA’s hottest team, reaching three consecutive finals in August, and winning the title in Cleveland.  They defeated Krejcikova and Siniakova in Cincinnati, but lost to them in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

Thursday’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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