Miami Open Daily Preview: Two American/Canadian Battles Highlight Sunday’s Play - UBITENNIS
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Miami Open Daily Preview: Two American/Canadian Battles Highlight Sunday’s Play



A look at the grounds of the Miami Open (

ATP and WTA third round singles action takes place on Sunday in Miami.


The United States and Canada will do battle in two of the day’s most appetizing encounters.  American No.1 Taylor Fritz faces Canadian No.2 Denis Shapovalov, in what has been one of the ATP’s most prolific rivalries of the last few years.  And in a battle of Major singles champions, Canadian No.1 Bianca Andreescu faces a resurgent American in Sofia Kenin.

Other third round matches on Sunday include top names such as defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, last year’s runner-up Casper Ruud, and Australian Open champ Aryna Sabalenka.

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

Bianca Andreescu vs. Sofia Kenin – 12:00pm on Stadium Court

Is Bianca Andreescu back?  After some modest results in 2022, and a 6-6 start to this year, the 2019 US Open champion has earned consecutive quality wins this week.  Bianca defeated both Emma Raducanu and Maria Sakkari in three sets to reach this third round matchup.

Is Sofia Kenin back?  After a dismal two seasons, during which she battled injuries and confidence issues, the 2020 Australian Open champion seems to be regaining her form.  Kenin is yet to drop a set this week, and played a very tight match two weeks ago at Indian Wells with eventual champion Elena Rybakina.

Andreescu is 2-1 at tour level against Kenin, with all three matches occurring on hard courts in 2019, when Bianca was at the peak of her powers.  One of those matches took place at this tournament, which the Canadian claimed in straight sets.  Four years later, I give Andreescu the slight edge based on the quality of her victories this week.  When Bianca starts believing in her fighting abilities, she becomes one of the sport’s toughest outs.

Taylor Fritz (9) vs. Denis Shapovalov (24) – Second on Stadium Court

Fritz is now a strong 18-5 in 2023, despite suffering a second round upset at the Australian Open.  While this event takes place in his home country, Taylor was just 6-6 in Miami prior to this fortnight.  He easily overcame American wild card Emilio Nava in his opening round.

Shapovalov has been enduring one of the roughest patches of his career.  He’s just 6-6 this season, and arrived in Miami having lost five of his last six matches.  Denis survived his opening round against Guido Pella in three sets.

Shapovalov leads their head-to-head 5-3, and they’ve never played on any other surface but a hard court.  Three years ago in the third round of the US Open, Denis defeated Taylor in five sets, back when Fritz had yet to advance beyond that round of a Major.  Most recently, just a few weeks ago in Acapulco, Fritz beat Shapovalov in straights.  And based on recent form, I expect a similar result on Sunday.

Other Notable Matches on Sunday:

Diego Schwartzman (31) vs. Hulger Rune (7) – Schwartzman arrived in Miami having only won two of his last 17 matches, but defeated Dallas champion Yibing Wu in the last round.  Rune is 13-6 this season, and beat Marton Fucsovics in the last round. 

Petra Kvitova (15) vs. Donna Vekic (22) – Kvitova dropped just three games in her opening round, while Vekic survived a three-setter.  Petra is 3-1 against Donna, which includes two previous victories at this event.

Carlos Alcaraz (1) vs. Dusan Lajovic – After missing the Aussie swing due to injury, Alcaraz is now 15-1 in 2023.  Lajovic has already upset Andy Murray and Maxime Cressy this week.  Carlitos is 3-0 against Dusan, with two of those wins coming just last month on clay in South America, both of which were straight-setters.

Barbora Krejcikova (16) vs. Madison Keys (19) – Krejcikova is 14-5 this season, while Keys is 11-4.  Keys took their only previous meeting, in last year’s Australian Open quarterfinals.

Marie Bouzkova (31) vs. Aryna Sabalenka (2) – Sabalenka is 18-2 on the year, but is only 5-4 lifetime in Miami.  Bouzkova is a modest 4-7 this season, and as per Tennis Abstract, hasn’t beaten a top 10 player since her quarterfinal run at last summer’s Wimbledon, when she upset Danielle Collins.

Casper Ruud (3) vs. Botic van de Zandschulp (26) – Ruud is just 5-5 this year, and van de Zandschulp is only 8-6.  Botic leads their head-to-head 2-1, and claimed their only prior hard court encounter, two years ago at the US Open.

Sunday’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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