Wimbledon Daily Preview: Elena Rybakina Faces Ons Jabeur in a 2022 Wimbledon Final Rematch - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Daily Preview: Elena Rybakina Faces Ons Jabeur in a 2022 Wimbledon Final Rematch

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Ons Jabeur on Monday at Wimbledon (twitter.com/Wimbledon)

The quarterfinals conclude on Wednesday, headlined by a rematch of last year’s ladies’ singles championship match.

A year ago, Ons Jabeur was just a set away from winning her first Major, and as the Netflix series “Break Point” recently revealed, her most coveted one.  But Ons tightened up in that moment, and Elena Rybakina pounced, easily taking the last two sets and a first Major crown of her own.  A year later, these same two players will meet in a blockbuster Wimbledon quarterfinal.

The other WTA quarterfinal on Day 10 is what Mary Carillo famously coined a few decades ago as “Big Babe Tennis,” as Aryna Sabalenka takes on Madison Keys in a match that will feature plenty of firepower.

On the men’s side, we will see the first-ever Wimbledon quarterfinal between two players under the age of 21, as Carlos Alcaraz plays Holger Rune in first of likely many battles between the two breakout stars in the latter stages of a Slam.  And the Cinderella story of the fortnight, Christopher Eubanks, faces regular storyline villain Daniil Medvedev.


Madison Keys (25) vs. Aryna Sabalenka (2) – 1:00pm on No.1 Court

Playing an opponent she had a losing record against in Ekaterina Alexandrova, Sabalenka performed excellently on Monday, soundly defeating Alexandrova 6-4, 6-0.  Aryna has dropped just one set thus far, and is now 39-7 this season.  And she is a mightily impressive 5-0 in Major quarterfinals.

Many, including myself, have often criticized Madison Keys for lacking a Plan B.  But when her big serve and forehand were rendered ineffective on Monday, and she found herself down a set and 4-1 against 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva, Keys changed gears, attacking the net, and it worked wonderfully.  Madison eventually won 6-2 in the third, extending her grass court winning streak to nine matches, and propelling herself into her first Wimbledon quarterfinal since 2015, easily the longest such drought of her career.

These big hitters have split two prior encounters.  Five years ago in Cincinnati on a hard court, Sabalenka won in straight sets.  Two years ago in Berlin on grass, Keys won 7-5 in the third.  On paper, Aryna is clearly the favorite based on recent form.  But after escaping near-defeat in the last round, I have a feeling Madison will be bursting with confidence, and I see her pulling off the upset on Wednesday.


Ons Jabeur (6) vs. Elena Rybakina (3) – 1:30pm on Centre Court

A year ago in the ladies’s championship match, Jabeur was the clear favorite, and the much more established player.  Rybakina was a bit of a surprise finalist: she had a big game for sure, but had only won two tour titles, and only had one Slam quarterfinal to her name. 

A year later, Rybakina arrives with the much stronger season, having reached a second Major final in Melbourne, and possessing an overall record of 37-8.  Jabeur missed much of this season due to multiple injuries, and is just 20-9.  But she played perhaps her best tennis of 2023 in dominating Petra Kvitova on Monday by a score of 6-0, 6-3. 

Their head-to-head history is locked at 2-2, and with the exception of a match where Rybakina retired in the second set, all their matches have gone the distance.  While many are expecting a Sabalenka/Rybakina semifinal, I don’t see that happening. I give Jabeur the slight edge, as she’ll be highly motivated to avenge last year’s painful loss.  And Rybakina has already shared she feels nervous in her first-ever title defense of this magnitude.


Daniil Medvedev (3) vs. Christopher Eubanks – Second on No.1 Court

Medvedev leads the tour with 45 victories this season.  As usual, most of them have come on hard courts, but he’s proven to also be a threat on clay and grass this season.  Daniil has reached his first Wimbledon quarterfinal with the loss of only one set, and he’s faced some formidable grass court opposition, like Adrian Mannarino and Marton Fucsovics.

27-year-old Eubanks had never been ranked inside the top 100 until March of this year, when he came through qualifying in Miami to reach the quarterfinals.  He’s on a nine-match winning streak on grass, after winning his first ATP title in Mallorca.  Chris has already defeated two top names this fortnight in Cam Norrie and Stefanos Tsitsipas, and is now sitting at No.31 in the live rankings.

The player Eubanks lost to in that Miami quarterfinal was Medvedev, by a score of 6-3, 7-5.  But four months later, Chris is a completely different player, oozing with confidence on a surface he previously despised but has quickly learned to love.  If he can use his one-two punch, his massive serve and forehand, to take advantage of Daniil’s deep return position, Chris has a real shot at pulling off another upset.  And he’s been hitting some superb down-the-line backhands as well.  But without any experience anywhere near this stage of a Major, as Eubanks had never previously advanced beyond the second round, Medvedev and his suffocating defensive skills should be favored.


Carlos Alcaraz (1) vs. Holger Rune (6) – Second on Centre Court

This should be a lot of fun, and the start of what will likely be a spirited rivalry for many years to come, between two of the sport’s most impressive and explosive young stars.  Alcaraz is now 44-4 on the year, and vying for his third consecutive Slam semifinal.  He’s dropped two sets thus far, one to Nicolas Jarry, and the other to Matteo Berrettini.

Rune has survived a much more difficult path to this quarterfinal.  He saved two match points against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, eventually prevailing 10-8 in a fifth-set tiebreak, and came back from a set down against Grigor Dimitrov.  Holger is 37-12 this season, and is into his third Major quarterfinal out of the last six, though he’s yet to advance farther.

They have played twice before on indoor hard courts within the past two years, splitting those meetings, though one of those was in the Next Gen Finals under a different scoring system, and Alcaraz retired mid-match in the other, so neither are a strong indicator of Wednesday’s result.  In another match on Wednesday that could easily go either way, I cautiously lean towards Carlitos.  He has just a bit more experience on this surface, and his highest level remains somewhat higher than Holger’s.  And Alcaraz is the only one of the two who has previously prevailed in this round of a Slam.


Wednesday’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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