Indian Wells Daily Preview: Alcaraz and Sinner Reignite an Electrifying Rivalry in the Semifinals - UBITENNIS
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Indian Wells Daily Preview: Alcaraz and Sinner Reignite an Electrifying Rivalry in the Semifinals

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Jannik Sinner during Thursday’s quarterfinals (twitter.com/BNPPARIBASOPEN)

The men’s singles semifinals will be played on Saturday, as will the women’s doubles championship match.

18 months ago at the US Open, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner contested one of the best matches in recent memory.  After five hours and 15 minutes of scintillating rallies, Alcaraz would prevail 6-3 in the fifth, and go on to claim his first Major a few days later.  On Saturday, they meet for the eighth time at tour level, in the most anticipated semifinal of the fortnight.

The other men’s singles semifinal sees last year’s runner-up, Daniil Medvedev, take on the No.2-ranked American, Tommy Paul.

Plus, the women’s doubles final features two of the top three seeds.  At 11:00am local time, it will be Su-Wei Hsieh and Elise Mertens (1) vs. Storm Hunter and Katerina Siniakova (3).  At January’s Australian Open, Su-Wei and Mertens defeated Hunter and Siniakova in the semifinals, before going on to win the title.


Jannik Sinner (3) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (2) – Not Before 1:30pm on Stadium 1

Sinner leads their head-to-head 4-3, and 3-2 on hard courts.  They’ve met three times since the aforementioned 2022 US Open epic, including in the same round of this same event a year ago, when Alcaraz prevailed in straight sets.  Two weeks later in the semis of Miami, Jannik claimed a three-hour three-setter.  And six months ago in Beijing, the Italian won in straights.

These two phenomenal players have achieved contrasting results across the past six months.  Sinner is now 36-2 since last summer’s US Open, with four singles titles.  He also propelled Italy to the Davis Cup title.  Jannik has beaten Novak Djokovic three times during this span, and also achieved his first Major championship.  However, within that same time, Alcaraz has reached no tournament finals, and is 0-4 in his last four semifinals.

Jannik is an undefeated 16-0 in 2024, and has not dropped a set in Indian Wells.  Carlitos is 10-3 this season, and has taken eight consecutive sets after losing the first set he played here last week.  Based on recent form, Sinner is a considerable favorite to advance to his first championship match in the desert.  And in doing so, he would take the No.2 ranking away from Alcaraz, reaching a new career-high.


Tommy Paul (17) vs. Daniil Medvedev (4) – Last on Stadium 1

Medvedev is 13-2 on the year, and has now appeared in the semifinals in all three tournaments he’s played this season.  He dropped one set earlier in the event, to Sebastian Korda.  Daniil is vying for his second consecutive final in Indian Wells, and his first Masters 1000 final since surprisingly winning a clay court title almost a year ago in Rome.

This is a second semifinal at this level for Paul, after first achieving this feat last summer in Canada, where he upset Alcaraz in the quarterfinals.  The 26-year-old American had a poor ending to his 2023 season, going 6-8, but is now 14-4 in 2024 after reaching back-to-back finals last month in Dallas and Delray Beach.  Like Daniil, Tommy has lost just one set this fortnight, in the quarterfinals to Casper Ruud.

Paul is extremely quick around the court, and likes to use his forehand to end points.  Yet he has an 0-2 record against Medvedev, which includes a 6-2, 6-1 loss six months ago in Beijing.  While the crowd will be solidly behind Tommy, Daniil’s hard court abilities are well-established, and the fourth seed should be favored on Saturday.


Saturday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Roland Garros 2024: Iga Swiatek Aims To Overcome Naomi Osaka And Danielle Collins In Hat-Trick Bid

Iga Swiatek is the firm favourite in Paris once again as she looks to secure a third consecutive Roland Garros title.

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Iga Swiatek will need to overcome Naomi Osaka and Danielle Collins if she wants to win a third consecutive Roland Garros title.

The world number one is looking for more history in Paris and enters the tournament in confident form having won the Madrid-Rome double.

Swiatek will start her hat-trick bid against a qualifier before potentially facing Naomi Osaka in the second round.

Veronika Kudermetova could await in the third round with former champion Barbora Krejcikova awaiting in the last 16.

Former finalist Marketa Vondrousova or the in-form Danielle Collins complete a tough section of the draw for the three-time champion.

Potentially awaiting Swiatek in the semi-finals is the player she beat in 2022 to win the title in the form of Coco Gauff.

The American starts her campaign against a qualifier with Dayana Yastremska potentially awaiting in the third round.

A tough last 16 clash could await against Beatriz Haddad Maia with Jelena Ostapenko, Caroline Garcia and Ons Jabeur all potential quarter-final hurdles.

In the bottom half of the draw, Aryna Sabalenka has been given a very tough draw especially in the third round where Paula Badosa, Yulia Putintseva or Sloane Stephens could be present.

In-form Madison Keys could await in the last 16 while Maria Sakkari is in her quarter of the draw.

Sakkari starts against Varvara Gracheva before potentially facing Victoria Azarenka or Daria Kasatkina in the last 16.

Should Sabalenka get to the semi-finals then Elena Rybakina could await with the Kazakh facing Greet Minnen in her opener.

Former Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber could be Rybakina’s second round opponent.

Elina Svitolina could await in the last 16 but the Ukrainian must get past Karolina Pliskova in her opener.

Finally Alize Cornet’s last ever tournament will start against Australian Open finalist Qinwen Zheng.

Here is the full draw with play starting on Sunday:

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Caroline Wozniacki’s Father Criticises WTA For Lack Of Help For Mothers On Tour

Caroline Wozniacki was not given a wildcard for Rome or Roland Garros.

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Piotr Wozniacki has labelled the WTA as ‘amateur’ for their treatment of mothers on tour as he claims that Caroline Wozniacki should have had more wildcards.

The former Australian Open champion has played ten events since she announced her comeback last year.

Wozniacki has recovered her ranking to 117 in the world and her comeback has resulted in a fourth round appearance at the US Open as well as a quarter-final result at Indian Wells.

However the Dane has not been successful in gaining wildcards recently with both Rome and Roland Garros not offering Wozniacki one.

It’s a decision that Wozniacki’s father, Piotr, has not been happy with as he explained with Sport.PL, “The WTA believes that it is operating in an amateur fashion in the world of the largest professional women’s sport of all sports in the world. They sign contracts with the players and the players are obliged to do certain things under these contracts. And what do they get? Nothing, really nothing!” Piotr was quoted by tennisuptodate as saying.

“All wild cards, and there were 8 of them, were given to the Italians. I understand promoting their players, but how can you give the right to play in a tournament of this rank to such girls who should not even think that they could play in a Masters yet?

“Caroline was number one in her ranking. She won a Grand Slam tournament, won the Masters, played in almost 60 finals of their tournaments and won 30. So we are talking about a complete tennis player, someone who did a great job, who certainly increased the popularity of tennis, who earned a lot of money herself, but let them earn money. even much more.

“And it turns out that when someone like Caroline Wozniacki comes back as Caroline Wozniacki and family, she is no longer welcome. We can’t even prepare Caroline’s starting plan! We train, we prepare, and it turns out that there is nothing to do.

“This is happening because today in tennis everything is based only on relationships, on acquaintances, and not on clear rules. The thing is that if we know the organizers or tournament directors, we get a chance to play, but if we don’t know someone somewhere, they don’t want us there.

“Naturally, after the maternity break, my daughter had zero points. It takes a lot of time to start from scratch and reach the top, but we would do it patiently, but how can we do it when you don’t let a girl like that work for it? The rules in tennis today are such that there is no longer a mandatory wild card for someone who was once in the top 20, had a long break and came back.

“This card was really helpful for tennis players coming back after having a baby and for those coming back from serious injuries. And now Caroline, Angelique Kerber or Naomi Osaka are dependent only on someone else’s decisions. Since last year, all wild cards are the property of the tournaments, and the WTA washes its hands of them.”

It’s clear the Wozniacki family is disappointed as the Dane could be set to cancel her comeback next year.

However there is optimism that Wozniacki will receive one at Wimbledon as she has had past success on grass courts.

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