Wimbledon Daily Preview: Top Brits Draper and Norrie Collide - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Wimbledon Daily Preview: Top Brits Draper and Norrie Collide

Published

on

Jack Draper during his first round victory on Centre Court (twitter.com/Wimbledon)

Day 4 at The Championships sees the continuation of second round play in singles, as well as first round play in doubles, though rain may continue to disrupt matters.

With two-time champion Andy Murray having played his last singles match at Wimbledon, Great Britain is eager to discover who will be their next title contender.  22-year-old Jack Draper is the most likely candidate, as he’s the current British No.1, and is coming off a grass court title a few weeks ago in Stuttgart.  However, 28-year-old Cameron Norrie was a semifinalist here two years ago, and on Thursday he gets a chance to reassert himself into the conversation against Draper.

Speaking of Murray, while his singles career at his favorite tournament may be over, his doubles career is far from it.  On Wednesday, it was announced he will play mixed doubles alongside fellow Brit Emma Raducanu.  And on Thursday, he’ll play his first round match in men’s doubles on Centre Court, alongside brother Jamie. 

Other matches on Day 4 include Major champions such as Novak Djokovic, Iga Swiatek, Elena Rybakina, and Caroline Wozniacki, who faces 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez.

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


Hubert Hurkacz (7) vs. Arthur Fils – 11:00am on No.2 Court

Since the start of Wimbledon last July, Hurkacz has rather quietly accumulated 57 match wins, and currently sits at a new career-high of No.7 in the world.  Grass is most certainly his strongest surface, as  Hubi’s only Major semifinal came here three years ago, when he defeated Roger Federer in what would be Federer’s last-ever singles match.  Two weeks ago, Hurkacz was the runner-up in Halle, where he beat Sascha Zverev in the semis.  The seventh seed came from a set down to prevail in four sets against Radu Albot on Tuesday.

Fils was also victorious in four sets on Tuesday, over Dominic Stricker.  The 20-year-old Frenchman had a breakout season in 2023, winning his first ATP title on clay in his home country, at a 250-level event in Lyon.  But Arthur is just 17-16 at tour level in 2024, and only 4-4 lifetime on grass. 

In their first career meeting, Hurkacz is a clear favorite on this surface, despite Fils’ impressive power on his serve and groundstrokes.  Hubi is a potential quarterfinal opponent for Djokovic, which would be a dangerous draw for the 23-time Major champion.


Jack Draper (28) vs. Cameron Norrie – Second on No.1 Court

Like Hurkacz, Draper is currently at a career-best ranking, as the World No.28.  Jack is 21-13 on the year, and his title run in Stuttgart last month was his second final of the year, after being the runner-up this past January in Adelaide.  He has dealt with a few injuries in his young career, as well as cramping issues in warmer conditions, though the forecast remains rather cool this week at SW19.  Placed on Centre Court on Tuesday after Murray pulled out of the singles draw earlier in the day, Draper was understandably nervous, yet managed to advance in five over Elias Ymer.

Norrie was a top 20 mainstay for over two years, peaking at No.8 in September of 2022.  But he has fallen outside the top 40 in 2024, with a record of just 16-14.  Cam has suffered both a wrist and foot injury during this season.  The 2022 semifinalist won in straight sets on Tuesday, over Facundo Diaz Acosta.

These left-handed Brits have played twice before, and Norrie has taken both meetings.  However, they both occurred a few years ago, while Draper was still ranked well outside the top 100.  This will be a tricky and nerve-filled encounter for both, as the eyes of the British public and media are on both to see who is truly the best British player in men’s singles.  Recent form dictates Draper be considered the favorite, but if this match goes the distance, that likely favors Norrie, who is one of the fittest players on tour.


Rinky Hijikata and John Peers vs. Andy Murray and Jamie Murray – Third on Centre Court

It will be quite an emotional moment to watch Andy Murray return to Centre Court in his last year playing Wimbledon, especially alongside his older brother Jamie.  The Murray brothers teamed up to help lead Great Britain to the Davis Cup title in 2015.  However, they do not regularly team up, and it was only two weeks ago that Andy had a small procedure done on his back after withdrawing from Queen’s Club. 

But Australia’s Hijikata and Peers are also not a regular partnership, though both have achieved strong doubles results with different partners.  Rinky won the Australian Open men’s doubles title last year alongside another Australian, Jason Kubler.  Peers has won both a men’s doubles and mixed doubles title at Majors, and is a two-time doubles champion at the ATP Finals.

The crowd will certainly play an influential role on Thursday, yet considering Andy’s back issue, it’s hard to consider the Murrays as the favorites, despite what any heartstrings may say.  However, Andy has created plenty of magic on Centre Court in his career, and Jamie is an extremely accomplished doubles player, as he’s a seven-time Major champion between men’s and mixed doubles.  It’s extremely rare to see a doubles match on Centre Court this early in The Championships, but this is a special occasion, and it should be highly entertaining.


Caroline Wozniacki (WC) vs. Leylah Fernandez (30) – Not Before 4:30pm on Court 12

In her first match at Wimbledon since 2019, Wozniacki looked really sharp, taking out Alycia Parks by the score of 6-2, 6-0.  Wimbledon is the only Major where Caroline has never reached a quarterfinal, though she actually owns more wins here than at Roland Garros.  The 2018 Australian Open champ is now 14-12 since unretiring last summer, but she’s a more impressive 5-2 at Majors.

Fernandez is a modest 18-14 this season, but she’s been playing quite well coming into this fortnight.  At Roland Garros, she lost a tight, high-quality two-setter to Ons Jabeur in the third round.  And just last week in Eastbourne, Leylah advanced all the way to the final, losing to Daria Kasatkina.  Like Wozniacki, Fernandez was also a straight-set winner in her opening round, to earn just her second career victory at Wimbledon.

In another first-time matchup, I give the slight edge to Wozniacki.  Her flat hitting can be tough to counteract on this surface, and Caroline is still a great mover.  Despite Leylah’s run last week, she remains rather inexperienced on grass, with just 16 career matches.  The winner may face 2022 champion Elena Rybakina in the third round.


Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Jacob Fearnley (WC) vs. Novak Djokovic (2) – Djokovic made a strong showing in his first match after knee surgery, dropping just five games on Tuesday.  Fearnley is a 22-year-old British wild card ranked 277th in the world, who this week earned his first-ever victory at a Major.

Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Petra Martic – Swiatek comfortably overcame Sofia Kenin on Tuesday.  She is 3-0 against Martic, which includes a victory at this same event a year ago.

Marcos Giron vs. Alexander Zverev (4) – Zverev is just 14-7 lifetime at Wimbledon, by far his worst Major.  But he’s 1-0 against Giron, who has never advanced beyond the second round of The Championships.

Elena Rybakina (4) vs. Laura Siegemund – Rybakina lost just four games in her opening round.  She leads Siegemund 3-1 at tour level, and Laura is just 2-4 lifetime in singles at this tournament.


Thursday’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