Wimbledon Daily Preview: Carlos Alcaraz Faces Frances Tiafoe in the Third Round - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Daily Preview: Carlos Alcaraz Faces Frances Tiafoe in the Third Round

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Carlos Alcaraz on Wednesday at Wimbledon (twitter.com/wimbledon)

Day 5 at The Championships is scheduled to host the beginning of third round singles play, as well as second round doubles play.  However, there is a lot of rain in the forecast for Friday.  With play only guaranteed on the two covered stadiums, today’s preview will focus on matches scheduled for Centre Court and No.1 Court.

Thankfully, the two main show courts provide plenty of interesting matchups on Friday, headlined by defending champion Carlos Alcaraz taking on Frances Tiafoe in a rematch of an excellent US Open semifinal from two years ago.  Plus, a pair of US Open champions, Bianca Andreescu and Emma Raducanu, will individually face top 10 seeds, in Jasmine Paolini and Maria Sakkari, respectively.  And two entertaining veterans, Grigor Dimitrov and Gael Monfils, will face off in the third round.

Other scheduled for Friday include Major champions Jannik Sinner, Coco Gauff, and Daniil Medvedev.

Throughout the tournament, this preview will analyze the day’s four most prominent matches, while highlighting the other notable matches on the schedule.  Friday’s play is scheduled to begin at 11:00am local time.


Jasmine Paolini (7) vs. Bianca Andreescu – 1:00pm on No.1 Court

What a breakthrough season this has been for Paolini.  Prior to 2024, she had never advanced beyond the second round of a Major.  But after winning her first WTA 1000 title in Dubai, the 28-year-old Italian advanced all the way to the championship match of Roland Garros, most notably upsetting Elena Rybakina in the quarterfinals.  She’s now 26-12 this season, and didn’t drop a set in her first two rounds this week.

Andreescu’s breakthrough season took place five years, when she came out of nowhere to go 46-7 at all levels, and to win Indian Wells, Toronto, and the US Open.  But unfortunately the last several years for Bianca have been filled with injuries, illness, and even depression.  Yet, having played just four events since last summer, she’s gone 8-3 across the past six weeks.  The Canadian also won her first two rounds in straight sets.

This is a rematch from the same round of Roland Garros a month ago, when Paolini prevailed in three sets.  But Roland Garros was Andreescu’s first tournament in nearly a year, and grass is a surface that better rewards her power and guile.  I give Bianca the slight edge on Friday.


Carlos Alcaraz (3) vs. Frances Tiafoe (29) – 1:30pm on Centre Court

These are two of the sport’s most electrifying and charismatic players, who share a mutual respect and liking for one another.  In the 2022 US Open semifinals, Tiafoe won a fourth-set tiebreak to even the match at two-sets-all, before eventually losing 6-3 in the fifth, after a nearly four-and-a-half hour battle.  Their only other meeting went to Frances, though that occurred over three years ago, while Carlitos was still ranked outside the top 100. 

Since winning this event last summer, Alcaraz has only won two titles, but they were both big ones: Indian Wells and Roland Garros.  So while his early-round loss two weeks ago at Queen’s Club to Jack Draper was not ideal preparation for his title defense, Carlitos has shown he can up his game when it matters most. 

Tiafoe has struggled mightily this season, as he was 13-15 heading into this tournament.  However, his opening round comeback from two-sets-down against Matteo Arnaldi may have been exactly what he needed to jump start his year. 

Yet considering how much higher Carlitos’ top level is compared to that of Frances, the American would have to maintain an extremely high level across five sets to defeat Alcaraz, and that feels like asking too much of a player lacking his best tennis.  Alcaraz is a strong favorite to advance to the round of 16.


Grigor Dimitrov (10) vs. Gael Monfils  – Second on No.1 Court

Like Tiafoe, Dimitrov was already only a set away from exiting this event, having to come from two-sets-down on Thursday against Juncheng Shang.  As impressive as 19-year-old Juncheng has been, it was quite a surprise to see Grigor lose the first two sets, as he’s been having one of the best seasons of his career.  Dimitrov is 31-10 in 2024, and has reached three tour finals.  He now focuses on reaching the fourth round of The Championships for the second straight year, and for the fourth time in his career.

Wimbledon has easily been the weakest Slam of Monfils’ career, as he’s just 19-12 lifetime, and has only once advanced to the fourth round.  He’s also only 18-14 on the year, though he’s actually found some good form on grass.  Gael was a semifinalist last week in Mallorca, and already earned two considerable victories this week, over Adrian Mannarino and Stan Wawrinka.

Monfils is 4-1 against Dimitrov, in a rivalry that dates back to 2011.  However, this will be their first match in over eight years, and Grigor is undeniably the better player at this stage of their careers.  On a surface where Dimitrov owns much stronger results than Monfils, Grigor should be favored to prevail.


Emma Raducanu vs. Maria Sakkari (9) – Second on Centre Court

Raducanu is currently playing the best tennis we’ve seen from her since the shocking run she made to the US Open title in 2021.  Last week in Eastbourne, she earned her first-ever top 10 win, over Jessica Pegula.  And on Wednesday, she crushed Elise Mertens by a score of 6-1, 6-2, in a match that saw the Brit striking winners from all over the court.  Emma is 2-0 in the third round of Majors, with both victories coming in the summer of 2021, including one here at Wimbledon.

Sakkari has actually never advanced beyond this round of The Championships, and she’s just 10-7 in eight appearances here.  But she easily secured her first two matches in straights, despite arriving at SW19 on a four-match losing streak.

Their only prior meeting was quite monumental, as Raducanu defeated Sakkari in the semifinals of the 2021 US Open on her way to the title.  Maria was a considerable favorite on that day, so she’d surely enjoy avenging that heartbreaking loss on Friday.  But based on recent form, and considering the surface, I like Emma’s chances to defeating Maria again, especially with a partisan Centre Court audience cheering her on.


Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Jan-Lennard Struff vs. Daniil Medvedev (5) – Medvedev has dropped just one set to this stage, while Struff has dropped two.  Medvedev leads their tour-level head-to-head 5-1, though they’ve split two meetings on grass. 

Marta Kostyuk (18) vs. Madison Keys (12) – On Thursday, Kostyuk outlasted Daria Saville in an over three-hour three-setter, saving a match point along the way.  Keys won her first two matches in straights.  Their only prior encounter took place a year ago in the same round of this same tournament, with Madison prevailing 6-4, 6-1.

Sonay Kortal (Q) vs. Coco Gauff (2) – Gauff has lost only three games in each of her first two rounds.  Kortal is a 22-year-old British qualifier who upset 29th-seeded Sorana Cirstea in the first round. 

Jannik Sinner (1) vs. Miomir Kecmanovic – Sinner overcame a big second round test in the form of fellow Italian Matteo Berrettini on Wednesday.  Kecmanovic has already played nine sets to this stage, though he upset 27th-seeded Tallon Griekspoor in the last round.


Friday’s full Order of Play is here.

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

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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.

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Jannik Sinner Withdraws From Olympics Due To Tonsillitis

Jannik Sinner has withdrawn from the Olympics due to tonsillitis.

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(@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.

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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.

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(@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.

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