Roland Garros Daily Preview: Tuesday Boasts Four Blockbuster Quarterfinals - UBITENNIS
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Roland Garros Daily Preview: Tuesday Boasts Four Blockbuster Quarterfinals

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The singles quarterfinals begin on Tuesday in Paris.

The singles quarterfinals begin on Tuesday in Paris.

All four singles quarterfinals on Day 10 feature top 10 seeds, making for some highly-anticipated encounters.  You will be hard-pressed to find a more impressive Order of Play on the main court of a tournament this year. 

Two- time and defending Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek takes on reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova.  Reigning US Open champ Coco Gauff faces three-time Major finalist Ons Jabeur.  Reigning Wimbledon champ Carlos Alcaraz squares off against two-time Major finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.  And reigning Australian Open champ Jannik Sinner plays 2017 ATP Finals Champ Grigor Dimitrov.


Coco Gauff (3) vs. Ons Jabeur (8) – 11:00am on Court Philippe-Chatrier

Gauff has proceeded through the first four rounds of this tournament in Swiatek-esque fashion.  Coco has not dropped a set, and dropped just 18 games across eight sets.  She is now 29-8 on the year, though her results on clay were unimpressive outside of a semifinal run in Rome.  The 20-year-old American is vying to advance to the semifinals of this event for the third consecutive year.

Jabeur arrived in Paris with almost no form, and a record of just 6-9 in 2024.  Between early February and early April, she even went on a five-match losing streak.  A knee injury has bothered her for some time now, but during this fortnight, she has played her best tennis of the season, highlighted by a strong performance against Leylah Fernandez in the third round.  This is a second consecutive French Open quarterfinal for Ons, though she’s yet to advance farther at this tournament.

Gauff leads their head-to-head 4-2 overall, and 2-1 on clay.  So Coco is the favorite on paper, but I would not be shocked to see Ons prevail on Tuesday.  She has rediscovered her swagger as this fortnight has progressed, and her game is extremely difficult to counteract when she is confident.  Plus, Gauff’s forehand and second serve remain vulnerable at times.  And during Coco’s previous runs to the semis here, she’s never had to defeat a top 10 player.


Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Marketa Vondrousova (5) – Not Before 12:30pm on Court Philippe-Chatrier

With the exception of her second round tussle with Naomi Osaka, during which Swiatek had to save a match point in a stirring contest, Iga has once against advanced quite comfortably to the Roland Garros quarterfinals.  In the last round, she double-bageled Anastasia Potapova, losing just 10 points in the entire match.  The World No.1 is now 42-4 in 2024, as she plays to reach her fourth semifinal in Paris.

Vondrousova has not achieved any exceptional results since her surprising title win at Wimbledon last July, and she came into this tournament just 11-8 on the season.  But she has taken advantage of an open eighth of the draw, with the average ranking of her opposition being No.116.  This is a second French Open quarterfinal for Marketa, after making her Major breakthrough here in 2019, when she went all the way to the final.  And it is now her third quarterfinal out of the last four Slams.

Swiatek is 3-0 against Vondrousova, with two straight-set victories in 2023, and a 6-1, 6-2 thumping at this same event in 2020.  While the Wimbledon champ is a dangerous and streaky opponent, Iga is a clear favorite on this surface, especially considering the freedom she is playing with after escaping near-defeat during the first week.


Grigor Dimitrov (10) vs. Jannik Sinner (2) – Third on Court Philippe-Chatrier

Despite bringing a hip injury into this event, Sinner has appeared rather unbothered by it, losing only one of 10 sets to this stage.  He is a staggering 32-2 this year, and 60-7 since Wimbledon last summer, when he achieved his first Major semifinal.  This is a second Roland Garros quarterfinal for Jannik, and while he lost his first four quarterfinals at Majors, he’s now won his last two.

Dimitrov is the lowest seed playing in Tuesday’s singles quarterfinals, and the only player who has never advanced to a Major final.  But since this past fall, Grigor has been playing some of the best tennis of his career.  He reached the final of Bercy in November, won his first title in over six years to start the season in Brisbane, and then reached two other finals (Marseille and Miami).  Now the 33-year-old is into his first quarterfinal at the French Open with the loss of only one set.  On Sunday, he downed a completely exacerbated Hubert Hurkacz, who is now 0-6 against Dimitrov, and has lost all seven tiebreaks they’ve contested.

This is a rematch from the championship match in Miami just a few months ago, when Sinner easily won 6-3, 6-1.  Overall Jannik has taken three of their four meetings, though their only match on clay went to Grigor, which occurred four years ago in Rome.  However, the Italian was ranked just 81st in the world at the time, and was far from the player he is now.  Sinner should be favored to achieve his first semifinal at Roland Garros.


Stefanos Tsitsipas (9) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (3) – Not Before 8:15pm on Court Philippe-Chatrier

This should be a tremendous battle on Tuesday night in Paris.  Both men have looked sharp during this tournament, and both are excellent clay court players.  However, their history has been completely one-sided. 

Alcaraz is 5-0 against Tsitsipas, and has dominated this rivalry ever since upsetting the Greek in the third round of the 2021 US Open.  That was an epic thriller, which Carlitos claimed in a fifth-set tiebreak, electrifying the New York crowd.  And it was the match where Alcaraz really announced himself to the tennis world.  Carlitos has dominated Stefanos in their last four meetings, losing only one of 10 sets.  Three of those matches were on clay, including a straight-set victory in the same round of this same event a year ago.

Could Alcaraz be vulnerable to an upset on Tuesday?  He missed much of the clay court season due to a right arm injury, and is still wearing a sleeve on that arm.  By contrast, Tsitsipas earned some strong results on clay this year, winning his third title in Monte Carlo, then reaching another final in Barcelona.  But all things considered, I still like Carlitos’ chances of advancing.  Overcoming an 0-5 deficit, which includes some significant scar tissue, will be a tough task for Stefanos.


Other Notable Matches on Tuesday:

Coco Gauff and Katerina Siniakova (5) vs. Ena Shibahara and Xinyu Wang (10) – This is a third round women’s doubles match, and will be Coco’s second match of the day.  Gauff and Siniakova are a new partnership for this tournament, but they are two of the best doubles players in the world.  And this is just the second event as a team for Shibahara and Xinyu.

Ellen Perez and Matthew Ebden (1) vs. Su-wei Hsieh and Jan Zielinski (7) – This is a mixed doubles quarterfinal.  The top-seeded Australians are playing for their first Major in this discipline, though Ebden is a two-time Major champion in men’s doubles.  Su-wei and Zielinski won the mixed doubles title at the last Major in Melbourne, and Su-wei is also a seven-time Major champ in women’s doubles.


Tuesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Wimbledon Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic Plays Carlos Alcaraz for the Gentlemen’s Singles Championship

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Carlos Alcaraz after winning his semifinal on Friday (twitter.com/wimbledon)

Day 14 at The Championships hosts the championship matches in gentlemen’s singles and mixed doubles.

One year ago, Novak Djokovic was on a 34 match Wimbledon win streak, playing for his fifth consecutive title, and had not lost a match on Centre Court in a full decade.  But in a spectacular five-hour five-setter, Carlos Alcaraz upset the all-time great to win his first Wimbledon title.  On Sunday, we get the rematch, as Djokovic looks to avenge that painful loss, and Alcaraz looks to defend a Major title, and win back-to-back Majors, for the first time.


Carlos Alcaraz (3) vs. Novak Djokovic (2) – 2:00pm on Centre Court

They followed up last year’s championship match here with another fantastic final just a month later in Cincinnati, where Djokovic saved championship point to eventually win in a third-set tiebreak, and after nearly four hours of play.  Novak would go on three weeks later to win the US Open, while Carlitos was not the same player for some time.  Alcaraz would not reach another final at any event for over six months, until this past March in Indian Wells. 

Despite a few surprising losses, and an injury that disrupted his season, Alcaraz is now a strong 32-6 on the year, and a superb 17-1 at Majors.  Carlitos has been able to quickly rebound from upsets at smaller events, like his loss to Jack Draper a few weeks ago at Queen’s Club, and up his level for the big events.  He’s dropped five sets through six matches, most of which have contained some sloppy play at times, yet Carlitos has played his best when it mattered most to reach his fourth Major final.  And he’s 3-0 thus far in Major finals.

2024 has been a surprisingly subpar season in the illustrious career of Djokovic.  Not only has he not won a title to date, he hadn’t advanced to a final until now.  Playing a more limited schedule, he’s just 23-6 this season.  And it was just a month ago that he was forced to withdraw from the Roland Garros quarterfinals after suffering a knee injury, which required surgery and put his Wimbledon status in doubt.  Yet Novak has recovered almost miraculously, dropping only two sets to this stage, though he did receive a quarterfinal walkover of his own from an injured Alex de Minaur.

Overall Djokovic is 3-2 against Alcaraz, and they’ve split two meetings at Majors, both of which took place a year ago.  In the 2023 Roland Garros semifinals, Carlitos started cramping after just two sets of play, and provided little resistance in sets three and four.  That made his five-set victory in this final a month later all the more surprising.

Novak has not appeared to be significantly hampered by his surgically-repaired knee, though there’s no way it can be 100%.  So if another five-setter takes place on Sunday, that has to favor Carlitos, especially since he is an amazing 12-1 when pushed to five sets in his young career.

But the Djokovic CV at this tournament, and at this stage of Majors, is beyond formidable.  Since the start of The Championships in 2014, he is 59-3 at SW19.  And during the same span at all Majors, he is 42-8 in semifinals and finals.  Novak just very rarely loses matches like this, especially on Centre Court.

On a that surface usually favors the aggressor, Djokovic has been able to change that narrative with his stifling defense and court coverage.  However, Alcaraz is one of the only players Djokovic has ever faced who can match him defensively, and at times dictate play against him with his risk-taking style.  We saw here a year ago just how frustrated Novak became by Carlitos’ game, damaging the net post by breaking his racket against it after getting broken in the fifth set.

Yet as many have mentioned these last two weeks, Djokovic “has that look about him,” meaning the steely determination and confidence that he was lacking during the first six months of this year appear to be back.  He is extremely motivated to reassert himself atop the game, in a season where the new generation of Alcaraz and Sinner won the first two Majors. 

If Carlitos gets off to another slow start on Sunday (he’s lost the first set in three of his six matches thus far), or suffer lapses in his level again, Novak will take advantage of that better than any of the defending champion’s previous opponents.  And while he’ll surely do so at some point in his career, until Alcaraz defends a Major title, or wins back-to-back Majors, it’s hard to favor him to do so.  I’m backing Djokovic to win his eighth Wimbledon title, and his historical 25th Major singles title, the most of all-time.


Other Notable Matches on Sunday:

Santiago Gonzalez and Giuliana Olmos vs. Jan Zielinski Su-wei Hsieh (7) – The Mexican team of Gonzalez and Olmos are playing for their first Major title, as Olmos is 0-1 in Major finals, while 41-year-old Gonzalez is 0-4.  Zielinski and Su-wei won this year’s Australian Open as a team, the first Major title of Zielinski’s career, while Su-wei has now won eight between women’s doubles and mixed, and is 8-1 in Major finals.


Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

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(VIDEO) Steve Flink, Ubaldo On The Wimbledon Women’s Final: ‘The Better Player Won But Did Inexperience Play A Part?’

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Image via https://x.com/WTA

Hall of Famer Steve Flink joins Ubitennis to analyse the Wimbledon women’s final after Barbora Krejcikova beat Jasmine Paolini in three sets.

The Czech held her nerve to clinch only her second win over a top 10 player this year and follow in the footsteps of her late mentor Jana Novotna. It is only the second Grand Slam title Krejcikova has won and her first since the 2021 French Open.

Meanwhile, Paolini can still draw positives from what is a stellar season for her. She is projected to rise to a ranking high of No.5 on Monday as a result of her latest run. However, did inexperience cost her in today’s final? 

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Wimbledon Daily Preview: Jasmine Paolini Plays Barbora Krejcikova for the Ladies’ Singles Championship

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Jasmine Paolini after winning her semifinal on Thursday (twitter.com/wimbledon)

Day 13 at The Championships hosts the championship matches in ladies’ singles, ladies’ doubles, and gentlemen’s doubles.

It’s cliché, and usually untrue, to say “No one expected these two finalists.”  But in this case, it is absolutely true.  Prior to this fortnight, Jasmine Paolini had never won a match at The Championships.  And Barbora Krejcikova arrived at SW19 with a losing record on the year.  Yet both will play in their second Major singles final on Saturday, after inspired play during this tournament.


Barbora Krejcikova (31) vs. Jasmine Paolini (7) – 2:00pm on Centre Court

After failing to advance beyond the second round in her first 16 appearances at Majors, Paolini is now 15-2 in her last three, and is the first WTA player to reach the final of both Roland Garros and Wimbledon since Serena Williams in 2016.  Jasmine is 30-12 on the year, and has won 14 of her last 16 matches.  She has been taken to three sets twice during this event, most recently outlasting Donna Vekic in a third-set tiebreak during Thursday’s semifinals.

Krejcikova has also required three sets in two of her six matches to this stage, upsetting 2022 champion Elena Rybakina in the semis.  That was the third win in a row for Barbora over a higher-seed, after ousting two other big hitters, Danielle Collins and Jelena Ostapenko.  She’s accomplished all this despite being just 7-9 this season before this tournament began.  Injuries have plagued her career since her 2021 Roland Garros singles title, including a back injury earlier this year. 

Paolini is 2-4 lifetime in singles finals at WTA level, while Krejcikova is 7-5.  However, when you consider their appearances in Major finals between singles and doubles, Paolini is 0-2, having lost both the women’s singles and doubles finals last month in Paris, while Krejcikova is an amazing 11-1.  That’s a huge contrast in success at Grand Slam level.

These players also possess contrasting styles.  Paolini has been crushing her forehand, using it to come forward and show off her great hands at the net.  Krejcikova has a good serve, as well as both power and guile on her groundstrokes.  She loves using her slice to keep her opponents off-balance.  However, that will be more difficult to do against such a great mover like Jasmine.  And Barbora’s forehand has become unreliable in some crucial moments during this fortnight, which the Italian can target.

But on this surface, and considering her history in Major finals, I give the edge to Krejcikova to win her second Major singles title.  Plus, Barbora has already won two ladies’ doubles titles on this same court.  And she would surely cherish the chance to honor her late coach and mentor Jana Novotna by holding the Venus Rosewater Dish aloft on Centre Court, just as Jana did in 1998.


Other Notable Matches on Saturday:

Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson (15) vs. Harri Heliovaara and Henry Patten – This is a fourth Major final in men’s doubles for Purcell, who won this title two years ago alongside another Aussie, Matthew Ebden.  Thompson had never advanced beyond the fourth round of a Major in either men’s singles or doubles until this run.  Patten is also a Major final debutante, while Heliovaara won last year’s US Open in mixed doubles.

Katerina Siniakova and Taylor Townsend (4) vs. Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe (2) – Siniakova is playing for the ninth Major title in women’s doubles, while Townsend is playing for her first, after going 0-2 in previous finals.  Dabrowski and Routliffe are the reigning US Open champions, and Routliffe will become the new World No.1 in women’s doubles on Monday, regardless of Saturday’s result.


Saturday’s full Order of Play is here.

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