NEW

The RFT sweep past Germany

The Davis Cup favourites, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, representing the Russian Tennis Federation rather than their country as it is banned from international competition for state doping violations, cruised into the final at the Caja Magica in Madrid, after...

Darlene Hard dies at 85

Darlene Hard, winner of 21 major titles in the 1950s and 60s, has died at the age of 85 in Los Angeles on Thursday at the Northridge Hospital after a brief illness, according to Mona Cravens, Director of Student Publications at the University of Southern California,...

Croatia knock Serbia out

Novak Djokovic's dream of leading Serbia to a second Davis Cup title was shattered on Friday when neighbours, Croatia, twice former campions, knocked them out of this year’s competition at the semi-final stage.

China pushes back on WTA decision to suspend Chinese tournaments

The diplomacy war is hotting up over the Peng Shuai affair, with China objecting to the WTA politicising sport and the IOC maintaining its quiet approach under on-going criticism, while the ATP and ITF fail to follow the WTA’s lead.

The RFT slip into the DC semis

Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev as expected, led the Russian Tennis Federation – Russia itself has been banned from international competition for state doping – to the semi-finals of this year’s reformatted Davis Cup brushing Sweden aside 2-0.

WTA suspends business with China

The WTA is making good on its threat to pull its business out of China by announcing that it will suspend tournaments in both China and Hong Kong unless the Chinese authorities take steps to address Peng Shuai’s allegations of sexual abuse and concerns for her welfare...

Djokovic pulls Serbia through to semis

Serbia reached the reformatted Davis Cup semi-finals in Madrid with a 2-1 victory over Kazakhstan after the world No.1 Novak Djokovic came to the team’s rescue.

Konta retires

Former British No 1 Johanna Konta announced her retirement from competitive tennis at the age of 30 on Wednesday in London.

Why Peng Shuai remains of grave concern

The headlines may have died down, but Peng Shuai’s situation remains of grave concern as fears grow that the authorities in China are keeping the former Doubles World No 1 under wraps and preventing her from speaking freely.

Germany squeeze past Britain to reach Madrid.

In the second of the Davis Cup quarterfinals Germany upset Great Britain, squeezing past the favourites in Innsbruk 2-1 to make the Madrid semi-finals later in the week.
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

US Open Preview: Barty favourite for women’s title

World No 1 Ash Barty, the reigning Wimbledon and former French Open champion, is tipped as the favourite to win the US Open but she has been handed a challenging draw from the outset as she takes on former finalist Vera Zvonareva.

Barty has never played the 36-year-old Russian, who was the runner-up in both New York and Wimbledon in 2010.

The mother may have slipped to 101 in the world but, as a former World No 2 who has beaten Petra Kvitova this year, she still poses a threat to the Australian.

In the top half, Barty’s path to the quarter-finals could include No 29 seed Veronika Kudermetova, No 22 seed and two-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist Karolina Muchova.

In the last-16, her friend and doubles partner Jen Brady, the Australian Open finalist, is projected to await as Barty seeks to make the quarter-finals in New York for the first time.

Then the last-8 may throw up a real blockbuster with last year’s French Open champion Iga Swiatek, while Barty might have to fight past 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu in the semis.

The Canadian last left the US Open as its champion in 2019 but was unable to defend her title last year.

As the No 6 seed after being sidelined with injury for all of 2020, the highlight of Andreescu’s season this year was a run to the final of the Miami Open in March.

Andreescu opens against Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic, ranked 45, who reached the quarters at Wimbledon and has cut nearly 100 spots from her ranking this year, while former French Open winner and 27th seed Jelena Ostapenko is her projected third-round opponent, while 10th seed Petra Kvitova could loom in the round of 16.

No 4 seed Karolina Pliskova is the other top seed in this quarter, closing out the top half as Barty’s projected semi-final opponent.

The 2016 finalist opens against wild-card Caty McNally, and might have to navigate through two of the most in-form players of 2021 in 14th seed and French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or 24th seed Paula Badosa, who could play each other in the third round.


Naomi Osaka is the defending women's champion at the US Open but seeded 3 and facing a perilous path

© Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Barty is seeded to meet No 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the final, but the Belarusian might have to get past No 3 seed and reigning champ Naomi Osaka in the semi-final.

Osaka came from a set down to defeat Victoria Azarenka to win the women’s title last year and the two are projected to meet in the semi-final, although there are plenty of others who could end up there, too.

Both fell into the bottom half of the draw with Sabalenka, No 5 seed Elina Svitolina and No 8 seed Barbora Krejcikova.

To kick off her title defence, Osaka faces former US Open junior champion Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic, whom she also beat in the first round of the 2020 Australian Open.

23-year-old Sabalenka, who arrives on the heels of rising to World No 2, her career-high ranking, opens against Serbia’s Nina Stojanovic, and could face the in-form Danielle Collins, seeded No 26, in the third round.

Collins starts against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, a two-time US Open quarter-finalist who beat Hodgkin’s lymphoma earlier this year and intends to retire from tennis at the end of the season.

A bronze medalist for her country in Tokyo, Svitolina reached the semi-finals in New York back in 2019, while Krejcikova, the French Open singles and doubles champion and a doubles gold medalist in Tokyo, has been one of the stories of the season.

Now ranked 9th, the Czech has never before played a US Open main draw and fell in qualifying 5 times.

Four years ago, Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens played for the US Open title and this year, they face off in the first Round, with the winner taking on either No 21 seed Coco Gauff or Poland’s Magda Linette.

The 17-year-old Gauff is playing her 3rd US Open, having reached the 3rd round in 2019, while World No 51 Linette matched that result last year.

Gauff and former champion Angelique Kerber, seeded 16 and in the midst of a career resurgence, could face in the 3rd round as a projected Round 4 opponent for Osaka.

No 9 seed Garbiñe Muguruza and 12th seed Simona Halep have combined to win 4 titles at the French Open and Wimbledon.

At the Open, though, they’ve been susceptible to early exits and have had injury concerns this year.

Muguruza had a surging start to 2021 and held match points against eventual champion Osaka in the 4th round of the Australian Open in February.

She reached 3 finals in the year’s first 3 months, which included her first title in 4 years in Dubai in March but since retiring from a match at the Volvo Car Open in April with a left leg injury, she has only reached the quarter-finals once in 6 tournaments.

After tearing her calf in a match against Kerber in Rome in May, Halep missed the French Open and Wimbledon, and played just 2 matches in the summer hard-court swing, losing her first match in 5 months to Collins in Canada, and suffering a small tear in her right adductor that prompted a withdrawal from the Western & Southern Open.

This year, the duo were handed a pair of dangerous, big-hitters in their openers, with Muguruza facing Donna Vekic, a former World No 19 who missed much of the spring after knee surgery, while Halep faces Italian Camila Giorgi, who recently surged to the biggest title of her career at the WTA 1000 event in Montreal, part of the US Open Series.

Giorgi reached the 4th round here in 2013, and just missed out on a seeded position at World No 36.

Muguruza and Azarenka are projected third-round opponents, while Halep is Svitolina’s potential 4th-round foe.





Previous

Next

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.