Wimbledon Daily Preview: Djokovic, Swiatek Headline Day 7 - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Daily Preview: Djokovic, Swiatek Headline Day 7

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Novak Djokovic on Centre Court, where he hasn’t lost in over a decade (twitter.com/Wimbledon)

Sunday will be another busy day at The All England Club, with many singles and doubles matches carried over from Saturday due to rain.

The two third round singles matches that are yet to be completed will see Anastasia Potapova take on 16-year-old phenom Mirra Andreeva, in a match that was not yet started, while Frances Tiafoe will look to come back from two-sets-down against Grigor Dimitrov.

Meanwhile, fourth round singles action begins on Sunday, featuring Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek.  They both will face formiddable opposition, in Hubert Hurkacz and Belinda Bencic, respectively.  Plus Andrey Rublev plays Alexander Bublik in a rematch of the Halle final from two weeks ago.  And in a battle of mothers, Victoria Azarenka and Elina Svitolina will square off.

Throughout the tournament, this preview will analyze the day’s four most prominent matches, while highlighting the other notable matches on the schedule.  Sunday’s play begins at 11:00am local time.


Andrey Rublev (7) vs. Alexander Bublik (23) – 1:30pm on Centre Court

In the Halle final, Bublik defeated Rublev in three sets to win his second ATP title, and the biggest of his career to date.  It was the best week of Bublik’s career, which also included victories over Coric, Struff, Sinner, and Zverev.  After losing his first eight matches of the year, he’s now 20-21, and this is his first time in the fourth round of a Major.

Rublev has taken their other three career meetings, all on indoor hard courts during 2019 or 2020.  Rublev is an impressive 34-13 on the year, as he looks to reach the quarterfinals at the only Slam he’s yet to do so.

Despite Bublik’s recent run on grass, and his seemingly renewed focus and confidence, I favor Rublev in a best-of-five encounter.  Andrey is the much more proven commodity at Grand Slam level.  The reward for the winner?  A likely appointment in the quarterfinals with Novak Djokovic.


Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Belinda Bencic (14) – Second on Centre Court

Swiatek is now 41-6 this season, and 6-0 on grass, having now claimed 12 consecutive sets on what has easily been her weakest surface.  She was tested by Petra Martic during the second set of their third round matchup, yet still won that set 7-5.  This equals her best result at The Championships.

Bencic is also yet to advance beyond the round of 16 here, with a 14-7 record at SW19.  She got off to a strong start in 2023, but injury forced her to miss most of the clay court season, and prevented her from playing a grass court leadup event.  She narrowly escaped a second round affair with Danielle Collins in a third-set tiebreak, then easily took out Magda Linette on Friday.

Iga is 2-1 against Belinda, which includes a straight-set win at this year’s United Cup.  But their only meeting at a Slam went to Bencic, two years ago at the US Open.  Considering Swiatek’s current form, and the shoulder injury Bencic continues to carry, the top seed is a considerable favorite to achieve her first Wimbledon quarterfinal.


Victoria Azarenka (19) vs. Elina Svitolina (WC) – Third on No.1 Court

Azarenka has reached the quarterfinals or better at Wimbledon four times, though not since 2015.  She came into this tournament with a modest 2023 record of 14-12, despite a run to the Australian Open semifinals in January.  Yet on Friday Vika notched one of the best wins of her season over Daria Kasatkina, by a score of 6-2, 6-4. 

This is only Svitolina’s seventh event since returning from child birth, and she didn’t win a match in her first three.  But winning a clay court title in Strasbourg provided her with a huge boost in confidence, and helped propel her to the quarterfinals of Roland Garros.  Now Elina aims for a second consecutive Major quarterfinal after defeating Venus Williams, Elise Mertens, and Sofia Kenin.

But their history has been completely lopsided.  Azarenka is 5-0 against Svitolina, with four of those five matches occurring on hard courts.  Their clay court meeting was their closest, four years ago in Rome, yet still went to Vika 7-5 in the third.  In their first matchup on grass, Azarenka must be favored based on their head-to-head.


Hubert Hurkacz (17) vs. Novak Djokovic (2) – Third on Centre Court

Djokovic is just four wins away from his record-extending 24th Major singles title, and just 11 wins away from the calendar-year Grand Slam, a feat he was just one match away from in 2021.  He is 30-4 on the year, and 17-0 at Slams, where he has only lost three of 54 sets played.  Will anyone be able to truly test the four-time defending champion, on the court where he hasn’t lost in a match since 2013?

Hurkacz was a semifinalist here two years ago, and is now 25-14 this season.  He also owns a title on grass, after winning Halle last year.  Like Djokovic, Hubi has not dropped a set through three rounds, which included an impressive victory over Lorenzo Musetti in the third round. 

However, this is another lopsided head-to-head where one player is 5-0 against the other.  And of course, the player with all five wins is Djokovic.  They played in the third round of this event four years ago, with Novak prevailing in four sets.  On Sunday, even if Hubi serves his absolute best, another Novak victory feels inevitable.


Other Notable Matches on Sunday:

Marketa Vondrousova vs. Marie Bouzkova (32) – Vondrousova is yet to drop a set, which includes two victories over seeded players (Kudermetova, Vekic).  Bouzkova survived a grueling three-setter against Caroline Garica on Friday evening.  Marketa is 2-0 against Marie at tour level, most recently defeating her this past March at Indian Wells by a score of 6-1, 6-1.

Roman Safiullin vs. Denis Shapovalov (26) – Shapovalov had a terrible start to the season, with a record of 10-12 coming into this fortnight.  But the 2021 semifinalist seems to be regaining his confidence at SW19, and has been gifted a nice draw, as she’s not yet faced a seeded player.  Safiullin is a 25-year-old who has never been ranked inside the top 80, yet upset Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round.  Denis has taken both of their previous meetings.

Jessica Pegula (4) vs. Lesia Tsurenko – Pegula is still alive in both women’s singles and doubles, though she notably pulled out of mixed doubles on Saturday, citing a back injury.  On Friday, Tsurenko survived the longest women’s tiebreak in Grand Slam history, saving five match points to eventually defeat Ana Bogdan 20-18 in that breaker.  When they played four years ago at Indian Wells, Tsurenko won in three.

Jannik Sinner (8) vs. Daniel Elahi Galan – Sinner has comfortably advanced to this stage, with the loss of only one set.  Galan won a five-setter in the last round to reach the round of 16 for the first time at a Major.  Two years ago in Davis Cup, Sinner beat Galan 7-5, 6-0.


Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas downs Sinner; now aims for Third Title in Monte Carlo

Stylish Greek completes comeback win and re-enters the top ten.

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After winning two in a row in 2021-2022, Stefanos Tsitsipas is now in reach of a third title at the prestigious Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, after beating World number two Jannik Sinner in three gruelling sets.

The 25-year-old had to battle hard and come from a break down in the third to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and now plays Casper Ruud in tomorrow’s final. The Greek has had an indifferent start to the year with a 11-6 win-loss record, but today was his first top three victory since the 2022 Cincinatti Masters – where he beat Daniil Medvedev – and ensures a return back into the top ten of the men’s rankings.

Tsitsipas recognised how hard he had to fight and revealed after the match just how satisfied he was of his performance:

“It was tennis at its highest level that I have been able to play. Jannik was an extremely difficult opponent and it can be seen throughout the year so far. He has been very consistent and I could see that throughout today with his game. He is one of the toughest opponents I have faced so far and to find ways when there weren’t that many, I am proud of that. He gave me a very difficult game and the way I overcame it is true excellence.”

Sinner double faulted at 30-40 to gift the break early with the score at one game all. From there, Tsistipas rallied with poise and confidence in a brilliant opening set lasting 44 minutes including a stunning backhand down-the-line winner to open the game when serving at 4-3. He took the first set 6-4 after a tiring 18-shot rally – where both players hit all angles of the court – before Sinner hit a forehand wide.

However, 22-year-old Sinner struck back immediately on his first breakpoint at the start of the second set when he won a close exchange at the net and then took a 3-0 lead.  He later survived a breakback point when 4-2 up and crucially held on for 5-2. He faced more pressure when serving for the set at 5-3 and was taken to deuce but levelled the match at one-set-all on his second set point to give the crowd exactly what they were asking f

Sinner was now in full flow hitting powerfully from the baseline and once again broke early at the start of the final set to take a 3-1 lead. But with the match now entering the third hour he began to tire physically and called for the trainer during the changeover with the score at 4-3.  When the match resumed, he lost the next three games and the Greek had completed a remarkable turnaround, handing his opponent just his second defeat of the season in two hours and forty minutes.

“It helps a lot knowing I have a win like this under my belt. Having a win like this and getting to the levels of tennis again brings a lot of satisfaction to me,” Tsitsipas said. “When there is a lot of work put in each day, these are the type of matches you are aiming for.”

Sinner’s only loss prior to today was against Carlos Alcaraz in Indian Wells semi-finals. He has been the stand out player this year after already winning titles in Rotterdam, the Miami Open, and his maiden Grand Slam in Australia. Despite having won 25 matches overall though, he now trails Tsitsipas 3-6 in their head-to-head rivalry.

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Casper Ruud Reveals Shock After Knocking Out Novak Djokovic In Monte-Carlo

Casper Ruud is into his second career Masters 1000 final after beating Novak Djokovic for the first time.

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Casper Ruud is into his second Masters 1000 final of his career after recording his best ever win by beating Novak Djokovic 6-4 1-6 6-4.

The Norwegian defeated the world number one for the first time in his career as he overcame a mini-comeback from Djokovic to seal his place in the Monte-Carlo final.

Having lost his five previous meetings to Djokovic, Ruud played some fearless tennis under pressure as the eighth seed broke to close out a career-best win.

Speaking after the win Ruud admitted he was in a state of shock and was pleased with the victory, “I am super happy,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“This is a day I will remember for a long time. Beating a World No. 1 is something I have never done and beating Novak is something I have never done. I am very, very happy. I am a little bit in a state of shock right now.”

After achieving the seemingly improbable, Ruud will now look to win his first ever ATP title that’s above a Masters 1000 event when he takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Monte-Carlo final.

That’s a prospect Ruud is looking forward to as he prepares for one final challenge, “There is always one more match in tennis,” the Norwegian explained.

“Tomorrow is going to be a special day, playing a final here in Monte-Carlo. It is a great result but I have been chasing a big title for a few years now and tomorrow I will have another shot at it. I am going to give it my all. Stef is playing well. He is a great player on clay and on other surfaces as well, but I guess clay is maybe where he has had the most success and especially this tournament.

“So it is going to be another tough task, but I am up for it.”

The final will take place at 14:00 BST.

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Rafael Nadal Set For Opening Round Test Against Cobolli In Barcelona

Rafael Nadal will look to make his ATP tour return in Barcelona this week.

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Rafael Nadal is set for his return to tennis in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Nadal has been struggling with injury after being injured again in Brisbane this year.

The tournament in Brisbane was his first tournament back for a year as he suffered a hip injury at the Australian Open last year.

Now Nadal aims to return to competitive action in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Speaking earlier in the week Nadal was hopeful of a return to the tour in Barcelona, “Excited to be here for a few days before the start of the tournament,” Nadal told the ATP website.

“I’m here to see how it goes… can’t wait to try and play. I’ll let you know. Important to say that I don’t want to confirm I’ll be playing, but I hope so. We’ll see.”

Should Nadal play and win his opening round match then the Spaniard will play fourth seed Alex De Minaur in the second round.

The former world number one has won the title on 12 different occasions but hasn’t won the title since 2021.

Elsewhere in the draw defending champion Carlos Alcaraz will begin against Luca Van Assche or Zhizhen Zhang with the Spaniard projected to meet Borna Coric in the third round.

Alcaraz suffered an injury in Monte-Carlo and will be beginning his clay court campaign in Barcelona.

Also in action in Barcelona are Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud.

Main draw action will begin on Monday.

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