Canada Daily Preview: Iga Swiatek Faces Jessica Pegula in the Semifinals - UBITENNIS
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Canada Daily Preview: Iga Swiatek Faces Jessica Pegula in the Semifinals



Jessica Pegula on Friday in Montreal (

It’s Semifinal Saturday for the men in Toronto and the women in Montreal.


The women’s singles semifinals include three of the top four players in the world.  The most blockbuster matchup in either city on Saturday sees World No.1 Iga Swiatek face World No.4 Jessica Pegula.  They have split two meetings this season, who will win the rubber match and advance to Sunday’s final?  The other WTA singles semifinal in Montreal features Elena Rybakina and Liudmila Samsonova.

In Toronto, we are guaranteed to have a first-time Masters 1000 champion after a series of upsets across the last few days.  Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who already took out Sascha Zverev and Casper Ruud, faces Alex de Minaur, who has eliminated Cameron Norrie, Taylor Fritz, and Daniil Medvedev.  And in the other singles semifinal, Tommy Paul, who upset top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz on Friday night, takes on Jannik Sinner, who is the highest seed remaining and the favorite to claim this 1000-level title.

Throughout the tournament, this preview will analyze the day’s most prominent match in both Montreal and Toronto, while highlighting the other notable matches on the schedule in each city.  Saturday’s play gets underway at 12:30pm in both cities.

Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Jessica Pegula (4) – 12:30pm on Court Central in Montreal

Swiatek picked up her 50th win of the season on Friday, outlasting an in-form Danielle Collins in three sets.  This was a second consecutive three-set victory for Iga, who defeated her French Open final opponent, Karolina Muchova, 6-4 in the third on Thursday.  As per Tennis Abstract, those are two of only seven three-set victories out of her 50 wins this year, so Swiatek has been forced to work a lot more this week than she’s used to.

Pegula picked up her 40th win of the season on Friday, by a score of 7-5 in the third over her friend and doubles partner, Coco Gauff.  That was an especially impressive win for Jess, as Coco has been playing stellar tennis these past two weeks.  However, Pegula is just 1-5 in WTA 1000 semifinals, compared to Swiatek’s excellent record of 7-1.

Overall Iga is 5-2 against Jess, with all seven matches taking place within the last four years.  They played four times in 2022, with Swiatek claiming all four matches.  This season, Pegula won 6-2, 6-2 at the United Cup, while Swiatek won 6-3, 6-0 in the final of Doha. 

Their aforementioned contrasting record in semifinals at this level is startling.  And considering Iga has separated herself from the pack these last two seasons on clay and hard courts, she should be favored to reach her eighth WTA 1000 final.

Tommy Paul (12) vs.  Jannik Sinner (7) – Not Before 7:00pm on Center Court in Toronto

Paul’s upset over Alcaraz marked the second straight year he defeated Carlitos at this event.  Tommy is now 34-18 this year, and 20-7 on hard courts.  This is his first Masters 1000 semifinal, after previously going 0-2 in Masters quarterfinals, and he’s vying for his third tour-level final of the year.

Sinner survived a late night battle on Friday that went three sets, and went past midnight.  He’s now 39-11 this year, though he hasn’t won a title in over six months.  This is Jannik’s fourth Masters 1000 semifinal out of his five appearances this season, and he’s twice before advanced to a Masters final in his career, both this year as well two years ago in Miami.

Both players achieved their first Major semifinal this season, and they’ve split their two prior encounters, both of which occurred in 2022.  On clay in Madrid, Sinner prevailed in three.  On grass in Eastbourne, Paul prevailed in three.  On a hard court in Toronto, I like Jannik’s chance of reaching his third Masters 1000 final.  He has more experience in the latter stages of Masters events, and possesses more firepower than Tommy.

Other Notable Matches on Saturday:

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs. Alex de Minaur – This should be a fun match between two of the quickest men on tour.  Davidovich Fokina is 1-0 in Masters semifinals, having defeated Grigor Dimitrov in this round a year ago in Monte Carlo on clay.  De Minaur had never even been in a Masters quarterfinal prior to this week.  Ale leads their head-to-head 2-1 at tour level, though their only hard court meeting went to Alex.

Elena Rybakina (3) vs. Liudmila Samsonova (15) – Rybakina’s quarterfinal victory over Daria Kasatkina was decided in a third-set tiebreak, in a grueling contest that lasted three-and-a-half hours, and ended at nearly 3:00am local time on Saturday morning.  Samsonova played twice on Friday, defeating both Aryna Sabalenka and Belinda Bencic.  And Liudmila is 2-0 against Elena.

Saturday’s full Order of Play for the WTA is here, and the ATP is here.


Jannik Sinner, Arnaldi End Italy’s 47-Year Wait For Davis Cup Title



An in-form Jannik Sinner has secured Italy’s first Davis Cup title in almost half a century after crushing Alex de Minaur in straight sets. 


The world No.4 headed into the crucial match with his country boasting a 1-0 lead over Australia after Matteo Arnaldi won his clash against Alexi Popryin in three sets. Taking on a fiery de Minaur, a composed Sinner surged to a 6-3, 6-0, victory in Malaga to hand his country an unassailable lead and the title. The dominant performance saw Sinner produce a total of 25 winners with 18 of them coming from his forehand side. It is the sixth time he has beaten de Minaur on the Tour and he is yet to lose against him. 

“It helps a lot to play for the whole team,” Sinner said of his latest win. “It has been an incredible thing for all of us and we are really happy.”

Sinner first broke three games into his encounter with de Minaur after the Australian hit a lob shot that landed out. In control of proceedings, he rallied his way to 5-3 before opening up a 40-0 lead against his opponent’s serve. With three set points at his disposal, Sinner converted his second with the help of another unforced error coming from across the court. 

Closing in on the historic victory, the 22-year-old was in clinical form throughout the second frame as he raced to a 5-0 lead in under 30 minutes. Destroying whatever hopes Australia had of a shock comeback. Sinner closed out the match on his third attempt after a De Minaur backhand drifted wide, prompting an almighty smile on his face. 

Thanks to Australia. I know with the new format it is a little bit different to have to all come to one place. it means a lot.” Said Sinner.

In the first match of the day, Arnaldi ousted Popryin 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, in a two-and-a-half-hour marathon. The world No.44, who made his Davis Cup debut in September, held his nerve throughout a tense deciding set where he saved all eight break points he faced. Overall, he hit a total of 40 winners past Popryin and was visibly emotional afterward. 

“This match was very important and emotional for a few reasons,” Arnaldi told reporters. 
“This year for me was the first time playing for my country. I played when I was junior, but Davis Cup is just different.’
“And three weeks ago, an important person passed away. I think he gave me the power to try to stay there (in the match). It wasn’t easy to play, but they gave me the power at the end to try to win.”

It is the second time in history Italy has won the Davis Cup and the first since 1976. The triumph caps off what has been a memorable week for the team who 24 hours earlier beat Novak Djokovic’s Serbia in the semi-finals with Sinner saving three match points against the world No.1 in the singles. 

“I’m really thankful and proud to have these guys,” Italian captain Filippo Volandri commented.
“We have had to manage with a lot of emergencies during these past two years but we did it and we did it like a family.” He added.

Italy, who has become the 11th country in history to win Multiple Davis Cup titles, currently has six players in the ATP top 100 with four of those being in the top 50. 

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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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