Australian Open Daily Preview: The Quarterfinals Begin on Tuesday - UBITENNIS
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Australian Open Daily Preview: The Quarterfinals Begin on Tuesday



Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday in Melbourne (

On Tuesday in Melbourne, the men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals commence.


Three of the four WTA players in Tuesday’s quarterfinals are Major singles champions: Victoria Azarenka, Jelena Ostapenko, and Elena Rybakina.  They are joined by the highest seed remaining in the draw, Jessica Pegula.

Tuesday’s ATP quarterfinals include no Major singles champions.  This is the best result at a Major to date for 22-year-old Sebastian Korda and 21-year-old Jiri Lehecka, while Stefanos Tsitsipas and Karen Khachanov are looking to return to a Slam semifinal.

Elena Rybakina (17) vs. Jelena Ostapenko (22) – Not Before 12:30pm on Rod Laver Arena

This battle between Major champions will feature a whole lot of firepower, as these are two of the WTA’s hardest ball strikers.  And both are coming off significant victories on Sunday.  Rybakina took out World No.1 Iga Swiatek, while Ostapenko eliminated Coco Gauff.

Rybakina has been serving excellently, averaging seven aces and only one double fault in her last two matches against aggressive returners (Swiatek, Collins).  As usual, Ostapenko has been striking tons of winners and unforced errors, but has averaged a good ratio of 34 winners to 27 errors across her last two matches.  Both players have only dropped one set to this stage.

Ostapenko is 2-0 against Rybakina, and 4-0 in sets.  Jelena prevailed four years ago on a hard court, as well as two years ago on grass.  They also played in doubles just last week during this event, with Rybakina and her partner Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeating Ostapenko and her partner Lyudmyla Kichenok in straight sets.

But Elena’s game has progressed substantially since their last meeting, and she has spoken openly regarding how the lack of ranking points for her Wimbledon victory, as well as being scheduled on outer courts earlier in this event, has made her feel slighted.  And with her calm demeanor, I don’t see her as a player that will be emotionally drained after taking out the World No.1 in the last round.  I like Rybakina to advance to the semifinals of the 2023 Australian Open.

Karen Khachanov (18) vs. Sebastian Korda – Not Before 2:00pm on Rod Laver Arena

What a fortnight it’s been for Sebastian Korda.  After ousting two-time defending finalist Daniil Medvedev in the third round, he followed that up by overcoming Hubert Hurkacz in a dramatic fifth-set tiebreak.  Khachanov defeated another top American, Frances Tiafoe, before beating Yoshihito Nishioka in a bizarre fourth round contest, during which Karen won the first 14 games, and took 24 of 26 points in the second set.

These two players created quite a bizarre fourth round match of their own two years ago at Wimbledon.  Khachanov eventually prevailed 10-8 in the fifth, in a fifth set that included 13 breaks of serve, and some rather ugly and nervy tennis.  But their two most recent encounters went to Korda: last August in Cincinnati, and last October in Antwerp.  Both were hard court matches which Sebi won in straight sets.

While a Major quarterfinal is new territory for Korda, and he won’t be the fresher player after his extended five-setter on Sunday, I expect him to play more freely coming off such a tense, anxious battle against Hurkacz.  And based on the level of his tennis this fortnight, I slightly favor Sebi to achieve his first Major semifinal.

Jessica Pegula (3) vs. Victoria Azarenka (24) – 7:00pm on Rod Laver Arena

Pegula is yet to drop a set this tournament, and is 8-1 to start the season, with her only loss coming at the hands of Petra Kvitova during the United Cup.  Azarenka dropped the opening set in both of her last two matches, but came back to pretty decisively win the second and third sets.  She is now 6-2 in 2023.

This is Pegula’s fourth quarterfinal out of the last five Majors, and her fifth overall.  However, she’s 0-4 in Slam quarterfinals to date.  Jess has only secured one of nine sets in those quarterfinals, and went 0-6 in quarterfinals sets last year, though it’s worth noting all three of those 2022 quarterfinals were against the World No.1 at the time (Barty, Swiatek).

This is a sixth Australian Open quarterfinal for Azarenka, but her first since 2016.  Overall at Majors, she’s lost five of her last sixth quarterfinals, dating back to 2014. 

These players have split four previous meetings.  But the two most relevant ones went to Pegula: two years ago at this same event, and just a few months ago on a hard court on Guadalajara.  Despite Azarenka’s previous success in Melbourne, as well as Pegula’s past struggles in Major quarterfinals, I think this will be Jess’ breakthrough to a Slam semifinal.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (3) vs. Jiri Lehecka – Last on Rod Laver Arena

Tsitsipas survived a five-setter in the last round against Jannik Sinner, and is vying for his fourth semifinal in Melbourne out of the last five years.  Lehecka is one of many surprises in this Australian Open men’s singles draw, as he had previously never won a match at a Major.  But he’s impressed this fortnight by taking out the likes of Borna Coric, Cam Norrie, and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

A year ago, Jiri was ranked outside the top 140.  Yet thanks to 42 wins at all levels last season, as well as his run here, he’ll debut inside the top 40 next week. 

Their only previous meeting occurred last February on an indoor hard court in Rotterdam, where Tsitsipas prevailed in three sets.  And Stefanos is a considerable favorite to prevail again on Tuesday against an inexperienced opponent at this level, and at the Major where the Greek owns more victories than any other.

Tuesday’s full Order of Play is here.


Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker

According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.



Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.


Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.

This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.

The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.

Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.

“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.

“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”

Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.

Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.

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Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development

Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.



(@tennisnewsbrazil - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.


The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.

Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.

“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”

It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.

One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.

Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.

“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.

“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.

“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”

Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.

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Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain



Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans. 


Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.  

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying. 
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”

Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.

“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’

Will Kyrgios play?

Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity. 

“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …” 

Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment. 

“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions. 

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