Wimbledon Daily Preview: Andy Murray’s Last Wimbledon Hurrah? - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Wimbledon Daily Preview: Andy Murray’s Last Wimbledon Hurrah?

Published

on

An unusually smiley Andy Murray arriving at Wimbledon (twitter.com/Wimbledon)

Day 2 at The Championships is scheduled to host the completion of first round singles play.

Five-time Major champion Iga Swiatek faces a potentially risky opening round draw on Tuesday, in 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, who a year ago upset Coco Gauff in this same round.  At the only Major where Swiatek is yet to reach the semifinals, and coming off an extremely successful yet grueling clay court season, is Iga ripe for an upset on her weakest surface?

Other first round action on Day 2 features both of last year’s women’s singles finalists: the champion Marketa Vondrousova, and the two-time runner-up, Ons Jabeur.  Plus, Major champs Elena Rybakina, Angelique Kerber, and Caroline Wozniacki will all play their opening contests.  And Jelena Ostapenko will reignite a prickly rivalry with Ajla Tomljanovic.

Tuesday’s ATP schedule is headlined by seven-time champion Novak Djokovic, who will play his first match since undergoing knee surgery just a few short weeks ago.  And another injured champion, Andy Murray, is scheduled to take to the singles court at Wimbledon for what may be the last time.  The two-time champion had a minor procedure on his injured back just over a week ago, but is aiming to play both singles and doubles in what he has announced will be his last year playing at The Championships.

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 begins at 11:00am local time.


Sebastian Korda (20) vs. Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard (LL) – 11:00am on Court 16

This is a tough first round draw for the surging American, who just debuted inside the top 20 after reaching the final of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, as well as the semifinals of Queen’s Club.  Mpetshi Perricard is an extremely impressive 20-year-old Frenchman who stands at six feet, eight inches tall.  Just six weeks ago in Lyon, which was only his fourth tour-level event, Giovanni won his first ATP Title.  And two weeks ago at Queen’s Club, he upset Ben Shelton in straight sets.

Meptshi Perricard has a big serve, and can also crush the ball from the back of the court.  His game is well-suited for the grass of SW19.  But Korda certainly has the edge in experience.  He advanced to the second week of this event back in 2021, though a year ago he was upset in the first round by Jiri Vesely.

Sebi has struggled to rediscover his form since suffering a wrist injury at the 2023 Australian Open, yet his recent results on grass suggest he finally is.  I favor Korda to prevail in what should be a fascinating first round contest to start the day.


Ajla Tomljanovic (WC) vs. Jelena Ostapenko (13) – Second on Court 12

Three years ago after their third round match at this tournament, these players shared a contentious exchange at the net.  Tomljanovic won 6-2 in the third, but not before Ostapenko took a medical timeout late in the third set, leading to Ajla accusing Jelena of faking.  Jelena then scolded Ajla for her “terrible behavior.” 

But that remains Tomljanovic’s sole victory over Ostapenko, as Jelena has taken their other three meetings.  That includes another three-setter this past January at the Australian Open, though Ajla was coming off a prolonged absence during 2023 due to a knee injury.  The Australian is just 6-7 this season, as she missed more time due to a health issue.  But she reached the final of Birmingham just two weeks ago.

Ostapenko got off to a great start to her 2024, winning titles in both Adelaide and Linz.  However, she went just 1-2 on grass in June.  Jelena is as streaky and unpredictable as they come, but I give her the slight edge on Tuesday based on recent form, as well as their sorted history.


Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Sofia Kenin – Last on No.1 Court

Swiatek is a superb 45-4 on the year, though as usual, she arrives at The All-England Club without playing a match on grass.  It’s understandable considering she played 22 matches on clay within a two-month period, but it’s far from ideal preparation for a surface she’s still trying to figure out.  However, Iga did win the girls’ title here back in 2018, so winning on grass is not a completely foreign concept to her.

It’s been a rough season for Kenin, as the 2020 WTA Player of the Year is 7-16 at all levels.  She is yet to rediscover the tennis that propelled her to the finals of two Majors just four years ago.  However, a month ago in Paris, she reminded us how capable she is of upsetting top names at any time, when she eliminated French No.1 Caroline Garcia.  And Sofia has never lost in the first round of Wimbledon.

Swiatek is 2-0 against Kenin, with both victories coming in straight sets.  Those matches took place in the championship match of Roland Garros in 2020, and the first round of this year’s Australian Open.  On Tuesday, I favor Iga to make it 3-0 against Sofia, and I would not be surprised to see Swiatek make a deep run this year at The Championships, in a quarter of the draw that looks rather open.


Andy Murray vs. Tomas Machac – Last on Centre Court

We will not know until Tuesday morning if Andy Murray will indeed play this match, as he continues to rehab the back injury he suffered less than two weeks ago at Queen’s Club.  And that came on the heels of rupturing ligaments in his left ankle earlier this season in Miami.  This was all a less-than-ideal way to prepare for his 16th and final appearance at his home Slam and favorite event, where he has achieved such history for British tennis.

His opponent on Tuesday is the same one he injured his ankle against in Miami.  Machac is in the midst of a breakout season, as the 23-year-old cut his ranking in half between January and June, from No.78 to No.34.  Tomas defeated Andy in a third-set tiebreak on his way to the Miami quarterfinals, a run that also featured a victory over Andrey Rublev.  Two months later, Machac was a finalist in Geneva on clay.

If Murray takes to the court, this would actually be their third meeting of 2024, as Tomas also defeated Andy this past February in Marseille.  Hopefully Murray is able to play, and can do so without doing any further damage to his back, as that would risk his plan to play doubles this fortnight with brother Jamie.  But considering Sir Andy’s tenuous condition, Machac must be favored to earn his first-ever win at The All-England Club.


Other Notable Matches on Tuesday:

Elena Rybakina (4) vs. Elena-Gabriela Ruse (Q) – The 2022 champion withdrew from two different grass court lead-up events, citing illness and scheduling changes.  Two years ago in Miami, she defeated Ruse 6-4, 7-5.

Jessica Bouzas Maneiro vs. Marketa Vondrousova (6) – The 2023 champion withdrew from Berlin due to a hip injury after falling on the grass, but says she’s feeling good, and is ready to defend her title.  Bouzas Maneiro is a 21-year-old from Spain looking for her first win at a Major.

Roberto Carballes Baena vs. Alexander Zverev (4) – After failing to win his first Major three weeks ago in Paris, despite being one set away from doing so for the second time in his career, Zverev lost in the semifinals of Halle to Hubert Hurkacz.  Carballes Baena is just 1-5 lifetime at Wimbledon.

Vit Kopriva (Q) vs. Novak Djokovic (2) – Just how healthy is Novak’s knee following the procedure he had after injuring it during Roland Garros?  Kopriva is a 27-year-old qualifier from the Czech Republic who is 0-1 in the main draw of Slams.

Yulia Putintseva vs. Angelique Kerber (WC) – The 2018 champion is just 7-13 since returning from maternity leave, but she’s won her last 10 first round matches at The Championships.  Putintseva claimed a grass court title just over a week ago in Birmingham, though she is 1-2 against Angie.

Caroline Wozniacki (WC) vs. Alycia Parks (Q) – Wozniacki is 13-12 since unretiring last summer, and suffered a knee injury last week in Bad Homburg after winning two matches.  Parks is a big-hitting 23-year-old American qualifier who is currently on an eight-match grass court win streak, though all those matches occurred either at ITF level or during qualifying last week.

Ons Jabeur (10) vs. Moyuka Uchijima – Jabeur has been the runner-up in consecutive years at SW19, despite being the pre-match favorite in both of those finals.  She went 4-2 on grass during the month of June.  Uchijima is a 22-year-old from Japan who is just 3-6 lifetime on this surface at all levels.

Felix Auger-Aliassime (17) vs. Thanasi Kokkinakis – Auger-Aliassime was a quarterfinalist here in 2021, yet has lost in the first round in both of the last two years.  He also lost in the first round of Halle two weeks ago.  Kokkinakis is only 1-3 lifetime at this tournament.


Tuesday’s full Order of Play is here.

Focus

Matteo Berrettini battles past Alejandro Tabilo to reach the quarter final in Kitzbuehl

Published

on

Matteo Berrettini beat second seed Alejandro Tabilo 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) to reach the quarter final at the Generali Open in Kitzbuehl. 

Berrettini has extended his winning streak to seven consecutive matches following his second title of the year in Gstaad against Quentin Halys. The Italian player won 79% of his first service points.  

Berrettini went up 2-2 0-30 but Tabilo hit two aces to hold  serve. Tabilo led 30-15 at 3-4, but Berrettini hit three aces to hold serve. Berrettini earned his first mini-break to take a 5-4 lead after a double fault from Tabilo and won the final two points to close out the tie-break 7-4. 

Tabilo saved four break points in the second game from 0-40 down to hold serve at deuce. Berrettini went up a break in the eight game to take a 5-2 lead. The Italian player was not able to serve out the match at 5-3 in the second set, as Tabilo broke back in the 10th game. Both players went on serve en route to tie-break. Berrettini earned two mini-breaks to take a 5-2 lead. Tabilo pulled one mini-break back, but Berrettini sealed the win on his third match point.

“Having the chance to just play, feeling good and healthy, fighting for matches is just what I wanted for so many matches. So I am enjoying it and I am looking forward for my next match”, said Berrettini.

Continue Reading

Focus

Jannik Sinner Withdraws From Olympics Due To Tonsillitis

Jannik Sinner has withdrawn from the Olympics due to tonsillitis.

Published

on

(@TheTennisLetter - Twitter)

World number one Jannik Sinner has withdrawn from the Olympics due to tonsillitis.

The Italian was well placed to win a medal in Paris but has now had to withdraw from the games due to illness.

It was supposed to be his first Olympics as he was set to be the top seed in both singles and doubles.

However Sinner seems to still be struggling from his health problems that he had at Wimbledon in his quarter-final match against Daniil Medvedev.

In a statement on Twitter Sinner said he was strongly advised to miss the Olympics and will now watch from home.

Sinner will now be replaced in the singles draw by Andrea Vavassori while Luciano Darderi will now team up with Lorenzo Musetti in doubles.

Now Sinner aims to be healthy in time for his title defence in Canada which starts on the 5th of August.

Continue Reading

Focus

Coco Gauff ‘Proud’ Of Being Named Olympic Flagbearer alongside Lebron James

Coco Gauff will be the US flagbearer alongside Lebron James at the opening ceremony in Paris.

Published

on

(@marioboc17 - Twitter)

Coco Gauff has explained her pride about being named Olympic flagbearer alongside NBA legend Lebron James.

The American found out when Christopher Eubanks revealed the news to Gauff and the rest of the US tennis team in a video that was posted on Instagram.

It was news that came as a shock to Gauff who is set to make her first appearance at the Olympics.

The incredible news got better as she will be flagbearer alongside idol and NBA legend Lebron James.

Speaking about the news Gauff spoke about the pride she feels and how the Olympics is one of her goals for the season, “I still feel like this is all a dream.” Gauff said to Vogue.

“There is no greater honor than being chosen by my fellow athletes to be this year’s flag bearer, especially alongside one of my idols, Lebron. I would say the biggest things on there are to win another Slam, and a medal at the Olympics.”

Gauff is in a good position to win a medal at the Olympics and will be full of confidence heading into the event having reached the semi-finals of Roland Garros, where the Olympic tennis event is being played.

Now the American gets to complete her Olympic experience by having a moment of a lifetime alongside one of America’s all-time great athletes, “I never thought in a million years I would have the honour of carrying the American flag for Team USA in the Opening Ceremony,” Gauff stated.

“I could not be more proud to lead my teammates with LeBron as we showcase our dedication and passion on the biggest stage there is — at a moment where we can bring athletes and fans together from around the world.”

The opening ceremony will take place on Friday evening while the tennis event gets underway on Saturday.

Continue Reading

Trending