US Open Daily Preview: Italians Berrettini and Giorgi Look to Upset Seeded Players - UBITENNIS
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US Open Daily Preview: Italians Berrettini and Giorgi Look to Upset Seeded Players

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Matteo Berrettini practicing on Sunday at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

First round singles action is scheduled to be completed on Tuesday, though rain in the forecast could prevent that from happening.

Tuesday’s ATP matches feature US Open champions Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, Stan Wawrinka, and Andy Murray.  Plus, Italy’s Matteo Berrettini faces the 29th seed, Ugo Humbert.  And in a rematch of a dramatic three-setter just two weeks ago in Cincinnati, Andrey Rublev looks to get revenge against Emil Ruusuvuori.

WTA action includes two reigning Major champs: Aryna Sabalenka and Marketa Vondrousova.  But the day’s most anticipated women’s match sees Italy’s Camila Giorgi challenge American No.1 Jessica Pegula.  And in the night session, the legendary Venus Williams plays her 24th first round match at the US Open.

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


Ugo Humbert (29) vs. Matteo Berrettini  – 11:00am on Court 5

Berrettini is just 13-11 this season, as injuries have continued to interrupt the 27-year-old’s career.  He appeared to rediscover some of his confidence at Wimbledon, with wins over Sascha Zverev and Alex de MInaur.  However, Matteo went just 1-2 this summer on hard courts, though his losses did come against players ranked insider the top 15 (Sinner, Auger-Aliassime).  Berrettini was a semifinalist in New York back in 2019, and has advanced to the second week here in each of the last four years.

A year ago, Humbert had fallen out of the top 100.  But after spending a lot of time at the Challenger level, where he won three titles, he is seeded at a Major for the first time in over a year.  Ugo played nearly every week of the North American swing this summer, where he compiled a record of 9-4.  Yet in New York, the Frenchman is just 2-5 lifetime.

Berrettini is 2-0 against Humbert, and has claimed both of their previous hard court battles in straight sets.  And at the Major where he’s accumulated the most wins in his career thus far (16), I expect Matteo to return to his winning ways to start off the day on Tuesday.


Camila Giorgi vs. Jessica Pegula (3) – Second on Arthur Ashe Stadium

Pegula is 43-14 this season, and a few weeks ago in Montreal, picked up here second WTA 1000 title, thanks to victories over Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek.  Is she finally ready to make a big breakthrough at a Major?  Jess has reached six Slam quarterfinals within the last three years, but she is 0-6 at that stage.

Giorgi is also a recent champion of the WTA 1000 tournament in Canada, where she prevailed in 2021.  Earlier this season in Merida, she won another hard court title.  However, Camila is a modest 19-14 overall on the year.

This is actually the 11th meeting between these two players, in a head-to-head history that dates back to 2011.  And Pegula has dominated it, with a record of 8-2.  Though many of their contests have been tight, Jess has taken their last five.  And while Giorgi has the firepower to blast just about anyone off the court on any given day, Pegula remains the considerable favorite to advance.


Emil Ruusuvuori vs. Andrey Rublev (8) – Third on Court 5

Earlier this month in Cincinnati, Ruusuvuori survived a third-set tiebreak against Rublev, in a grueling match which lasted well over three hours.  Andrey really struggled with his first serve in that contest: as per the ATP, he mustered only a 50% first serve percentage.  Rublev was victorious in their other two prior encounters, which includes a four-set win at this past January’s Australian Open.

Rublev has accumulated 40 match wins this season, with five finals and two titles (Monte Carlo, Bastad).  But he comes into this match on a three-match losing streak, having lost in both Hamburg and Toronto.  Andrey is a three-time quarterfinalist in New York, yet of course he is now 0-8 in Major quarterfinals, in what continues to grow as a humungous hurdle in his career.

Ruusuvuori is just 23-22 this year, and just 2-3 lifetime at the US Open.  And while the 24-year-old is just 7-13 lifetime at Slams, his recent victory over Rublev will give him plenty of confidence on Tuesday.  However, in the best-of-five format, I still give Andrey the slight edge to prevail.  His advantages in experience and firepower should prove crucial across a best-of-five matchup.


Greet Minnen (Q) vs. Venus Williams (WC) – 7:00pm on Arthur Ashe Stadium

Williams was originally drawn to play former World No.2 Paula Badosa in this opening round, but Paula withdrew due to injury.  Minnen is a 26-year-old who reached the third round here in 2021, and has collected 48 match wins this season at all levels (mostly below WTA level).  Yet most of her significant results have been in doubles. 

Venus is just 3-6 on the year, though she has earned two nice wins this summer over Camila Giorgi and Veronika Kudermetova.  Injuries have prevented her from playing much at all the last few years.  The 2000 and 2001 champion is vying for her first US Open match win since 2019, and her first win at a Major since Wimbledon 2021.

However, in front of a passionate night crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, which will undoubtedly be extremely vocal in their support for Venus, I like the American’s chances to prevail.  She still possesses considerable power on her serve and groundstrokes, which should enable her to dictate play against Minnen.


Other Notable Matches on Tuesday:

Ons Jabeur (5) vs. Camila Osorio – Jabeur was the runner-up here a year ago, as well as at the last Major in London.  Osorio is a 21-year-old who was ranked as high as 33rd in the world last year. 

Daniil Medvedev (3) vs. Attila Balazs (PR) – The 2021 champion won five titles within the first five months of the year, though he surprisingly went just 3-2 on North American hard courts this summer.  Balazs is a 34-year-old Hungarian who is currently unranked, and hasn’t won a tour-level match in nearly three years. 

Andy Murray vs. Corentin Moutet – Murray is just 12-11 this season at tour level, despite starting the year off 8-3.  Moutet is only 6-13 in 2023, but he is 7-0 in his last seven first round matches at Majors. 

Na-lae Han (Q) vs. Marketa Vondrousova (9) – The Wimbledon champ is now 36-12 this season, and her two losses this summer on hard courts were far from embarrassing, as they came at the hands of Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek.   Han is a 31-year-old from South Korea playing just her second main draw match at a Slam.

Stan Wawrinka vs. Yoshihito Nishioka – Wawrinka is 22-15 this year, and was the runner-up last month in Umag on clay.  Nishioka reached the fourth round of both the Australian Open and Roland Garros this season, but arrives in New York having lost six of his last seven matches.  Six years ago at Indian Wells, Stan outlasted Yoshi in a third-set tiebreak.

Taro Daniel vs. Gael Monfils – Monfils is in the midst of a resurgent summer, with victories this month over Stefanos Tsitsipas, Cam Norrie, and Alex de Minaur.  Daniel is 0-5 in his last five US Open matches.  Four years ago at the French Open, Gael easily beat Taro in straights.

Carlos Alcaraz (1) vs. Dominik Koepfer – The defending champion is coming off a heartbreaking loss just over a week ago in the final of Cincinnati to Novak Djokovic.  Koepfer has 34 wins this year at all levels, and advanced to the fourth round here in 2019. 

Maryna Zanevska vs. Aryna Sabalenka (2) – Sabalenka is 44-10 this season, but is back to her old semifinal woes, having lost her last three semis in three sets (Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Cincinnati).  Zanevska is a 30-year-old from Belgium who is currently on a seven-match losing streak.


Tuesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Roland Garros 2024: Practice Makes Perfect For Carlos Alcaraz In Roland Garros Title Bid

Carlos Alcaraz is looking to overcome the pain barrier as he searches for Roland Garros glory.

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Carlos Alcaraz is bidding for a first Roland Garros title but the Spaniard will need to overcome the pain barrier in order to achieve his goal.

The world number three enters this year’s tournament with mixed preparations having suffered an injury during practice in Monte-Carlo.

Alcaraz failed to play in Barcelona, where he was defending champion, before exiting Madrid at the quarter-finals stage to eventual winner Andrey Rublev.

Despite Alcaraz’s lack of fitness, the Spaniard will feel he has a good chance of achieving a special landmark as he has the opportunity to win 75% of the career Grand Slam.

Speaking ahead of the fortnight Alcaraz admitted he is feeling better but needs to change some psychological feelings when hitting the forehand again, “I’m feeling better. At least I can practise, hit balls without pain. That’s a really good point for me,” Alcaraz explained in his pre-tournament press conference.

“I’m not feeling any pain in the practices when I step on the court. But I’m still thinking about it when I am hitting forehands. Probably I’m gonna say I’m a little bit scared about hitting every forehand 100 percent. So I have to change it in my first match.”

Roland Garros holds a special place in Alcaraz’s heart having had good memories and matches in the past with the Spaniard reaching the semi-finals last year.

Now Alcaraz is aiming to win his maiden title in Paris as he continues his development at an elite level.

The Spaniard spoke about how special Roland Garros is and spoke about how wide open this year’s tournament is given the form and fitness of Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner, “Right now, I don’t see a clear favourite to win the tournament, but there is a wide range of players who can do it,” Alcaraz explained.

“It’s Roland-Garros and it’s a really special tournament. Everybody wants to do good results here. This tournament is one of the main reasons that I’m practicing every day. I want to be a better player, to be able to win these kinds of tournaments.”

Alcaraz starts his Roland Garros on Sunday against lucky loser J.J. Wolf.

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Tomas Machac Stuns Novak Djokovic To Reach Maiden ATP Final In Geneva

Tomas Machac is into his first career ATP final after stunning Novak Djokovic in Geneva.

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Tomas Machac is into his first ATP final after defeating Novak Djokovic 6-4 0-6 6-1 in Geneva.

The world number one seemed to be struggling physically throughout the contest as Machac earned the biggest win of his career.

After trailing 4-1 in the opening set, Machac played aggressive tennis against a sub-par Djokovic to win five games in a row and take the opening set.

In the second set Djokovic was back to his brilliant best as he won six consecutive games to level the match at one set all.

However the Serb was clearly struggling with his fitness and conditioning as Machac secured the biggest win of his career, reaching a first ATP final.

Speaking after the match Machac was lost for words as he looks ahead to Saturday’s showdown, “I have no reaction right now, I just fought for every ball,” Machac told the ATP website.

“When you play against Novak you just hope. You just try to play your best and see what it looks like. I am looking forward to playing in a final for the first time.”

As for Djokovic, the Serb is yet to reach a final this year and will need to get his form back on track as he prepares to begin his Roland Garros title defence against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

Meanwhile Machac will play either Casper Ruud or Flavio Cobolli in the final.

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Roland Garros 2024: Coco Gauff Preparing For Uncomfortable Changes In Paris

Coco Gauff is ready to make uncomfortable changes to her game ahead of Roland Garros.

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Coco Gauff has said that she is ready to make uncomfortable changes to her game as she prepares for Roland Garros.

The American is a former finalist having reached the final in 2022 but has struggled with her game throughout the clay court season.

However there was hope in Rome as she did reach the semi-finals in Italy before losing comfortably to Iga Swiatek in the last four.

Speaking ahead of the start of the tournament Gauff is confident of a good run in Paris after an encouraging display in Italy, “I have been here for a couple days now, and I feel like I have been preparing great,” the American was quoted by Reuters as saying on media day.

“Had a good tournament in Rome, so I’m excited, hope I can have good vibes here. Last week I felt like from the start of the week till the end of the week I improved a lot. It gave me a lot of confidence for this tournament.”

Despite a recent poor run of form, Gauff has had an incredible last 12 months and is looking to reach a third consecutive Grand Slam semi-final.

However Gauff would like to be more competitive when facing her rivals at the big events which is something that hasn’t improved since she won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open.

Now the 20 year-old has admitted that she will have to make some uncomfortable changes to her game as she prepares for her Roland Garros campaign, “I feel like, overall, if I want to be the player that I want to become, I have to be uncomfortable and make changes to my game, not just to my serve, but other things, as well,” Gauff explained.

“I have been trying to improve it with every tournament, from the start of the clay to Rome. My last match it was a lot better in terms of percentage and the double faults. I think I’m confident.

“I feel like it’s getting better but it’s obviously a shot that is tough to change because when you’re tight you revert back to what you know works. Sometimes it’s tough to push yourself to do the uncomfortable things which you know in the long term are better for you.”

Gauff will begin her campaign against a qualifier on Monday.

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