ATP Monte-Carlo Interviews Djokovic: “This injury that has been present for last 10 days. I was on the medications every day, I was doing different therapies, injections, so forth.” - UBITENNIS
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ATP Monte-Carlo Interviews Djokovic: “This injury that has been present for last 10 days. I was on the medications every day, I was doing different therapies, injections, so forth.”

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TENNIS ATP Monte-Carlo – R. FEDERER/N. Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 An interview with Novak Djokovic

Q. The first set you tried. The second set it seemed you couldn’t do much more. What was going on for you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, just a match to forget for me. It’s unfortunate that when you’re playing at this level against Roger, big tournament, that you are not able to play your game because something else is, you know, taking away all your energy and effort.

This injury that has been present for last 10 days, and I tried not to think or talk about it, I did everything I could really, I was on the medications every day, I was doing different therapies, injections, so forth.

But in the end of the day, the end of the tournament, semifinals is a good result. But I’m disappointed that I could not play as well as I could have. If I was healthy enough… From the end of the first and the whole second, every shot was pain, especially with the serve.

I couldn’t do much more than this. I gave my best really. I’m not trying to take away anything from Roger’s win. He deserves to be in the finals, no question about it.

I’m just very disappointed I wasn’t able to give better effort.

 

Q. Knowing all the problems that players have had with their wrist, what is your idea now about what to do? Take a rest? Wait for a big event when you’re really ready?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, the good thing is I don’t need to have a surgery. I don’t have any rupture or something like that. I’m going to go see doctors tonight and then tomorrow again have another MRI, see if anything changed in this seven days since I had the last one.

I just rest now. I cannot play tennis for some time. How long, I don’t know. It’s really not in my hands anymore. I’m going to rest and see when it can heal 100%, then I will be back on the court.

 

Q. Did you consider pulling out at any stage during the match, worrying you would make it worse by continuing?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I didn’t want to pull out because then people start talking different things about me and my withdraws and so forth. That was the main reason. I just held my strength, whatever I had, and wanted to play till the end.

 

Q. Did the pain kick in only today or was it there in the last couple days and you didn’t want to let us know?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The pain was there every single day from 10 days ago. At some stages it was very painful. Good thing, between the first and second match I had a day off so I didn’t practice at all and I healed a little bit. Then again I started playing.

Yesterday’s conditions, long match, long rallies, heavy balls, definitely did not help the state of my arm. Since last night it was as it is now.

 

Q. Trying to be precise, can we write or say it is a tendonitis or is it something else?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I really don’t know what’s the diagnosis, to be honest. I heard so many things in last 10 days. Trust me, it’s complicated.

You can ask the official doctor.

 

Q. This problem you have, is it the first time you have it in your career?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.

 

Q. Do you feel it’s connected with the hard courts or some certain moment?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, this is the first time, to be honest. I think as a tennis player, you’re likely to always have some kind of stiffness in your arm, whatever your stronger arm is. It’s normal. We hit thousands of tennis balls every day. It’s normal to feel sore a little bit here and there, but it goes away after a few days. You do a lot of stretching. You do a lot of recovers. I’ve done everything the same.

It happened. Going to try to find out the causes.

 

Q. You said before you don’t want to withdraw and don’t play this tournament. Do you think this is the strength of your character, of your personality? At the same time, it’s your bad part? In the past, with the ankle, you play with the ankle because you have to play again and again and again. What about this part of your personality?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Listen, I don’t regret anything I’ve done in my life. I thought that at the certain moment it was the right thing to do. Last year I played with an injured ankle, but I won the tournament. This is the only time I won this tournament that is one of my favorites.

There is also something positive in everything you do. I try to approach life like that.

I am professional athlete. I fight. I compete. I don’t like to withdraw from tournaments. I don’t like to retire my matches. I like to play to the last point.

When I shake the hands of the opponent when I lose the match, that’s when the tournament is over for me. I will do anything in my power to play any tournament in the world where I am supposed to play   especially here which is at home.

I had two weeks between Miami and Monte Carlo. It’s not like I was tired or I had some long trips or something like that. It just happened during the practice week. Sometimes it just happens. Sometimes it’s not predictable.

 

Q. About the injury itself. Do you remember how you first noticed it? Was it in training, during a match?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, combination of things. It happened in two days. Obviously I practiced a lot. Maybe I started a bit too strong. The transition from hard court to clay, different balls, have probably taken its toll.

ATP

Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two

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Jack Draper – ATP Monaco di Baviera 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

Britain’s Jack Draper tight first round win headlined the opening day’s results at the Boss Open 2024 in Stuttgart – and possibly faces a second-round match with Andy Murray who takes on Marcos Giron tomorrow.

Less than 24 hours from the last ball being hit at Roland Garros, the ATP Tour had already switched surfaces onto the grass, and 22-year-old Draper was well tested but ultimately came through in two tie-breakers over Sebastian Ofner.

The sixth seed’s 7-6, 7-6 win contained just one break of serve each, both coming in the second set, as serve dominated proceedings on the faster grass courts in Germany.

While the Austrian won 75% on his first serve, Draper won a whopping 89% behind his first delivery as well as hitting eight aces. These kind of service stats will surely take him far during the grass court season.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Eurosport quoted Draper saying after his match. 
“Both of us played really clean tennis, executing really well.
“When it came down to it, I’m glad I competed really well and got over the line – it’s good to be back on the grass as well.”

There were also wins for Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who won 6-3, 6-3 over wildcard Henri Squire, while compatriot Dominik Koepfer won in three sets over China’s Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. 

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Carlos Alcaraz Still Owns A Magical Racket

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The legend of Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket lives on.

The 21-year-old Spaniard executed one magical shot after another with his racket and legs  Sunday afternoon in the French Open final. That bit of magic spelled defeat for Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

This was a final to remember, one of the great matches of all the Grand Slams. It just wasn’t in the cards for the 26-year-old Zverev to finally win a Grand Slam title.

HE HAD IT, THEN HE DIDN’T

Both players seemed to play a game of “he had it and then he didn’t.”

Alcaraz appeared to have everything under control in the first set, but Zverev rushed through the second set and then made a comeback from 5-2 down in the third set to win five straight games.

Zverev had everything going for him when he started the fourth set with a two-set advantage. It appeared that all the 6-6 Zverev had to do was to continue playing his masterful game of big serves and mighty ground strokes.

But Zverev couldn’t get started in the fourth set until he was down 4-0. So much for a smooth and easy ride to a Grand Slam title. By then, the magic of Alcaraz was heating up.

MAGIC OF ALCARAZ HEATING UP

Zverev still had his chances, even when he fell behind 2-1 in the fifth set. He had to feel pretty good about his chances when he took a triple break point lead against Alcaraz’s serve and appeared ready to even the set at 2-2. Even after Carlos came up with a winner to bring the  game score to double break point.

Zverev still was ready to even the entire match.

That’s when everything seemed to go haywire for the German, while all the while, Alcaraz was able to repeatedly come up with his magical shots as the Spaniard made critical shots that looked almost impossible to make.

ALCARAZ HEADED FOR GREATNESS

Everything for Zverev was lost in the magical racket of Alcaraz.

What was then initially called a game-ending Alcaraz double fault and a 2-2 deadlock quicky reversed itself and Alcaraz stayed alive by winning the next three points while taking a 3-1 advantage.

Zverev did get back to a 3-2 deficit and had a break point in the sixth game, but that was it for the hopes of Zverev. The last two games went rather easily in favor of Alcaraz to wrap up a 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory for Alcaraz.

That moved the Spaniard to a higher level of success on the ATP Tour. He became the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all of the different surfaces, clay, grass and hard courts.

Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket appear to be headed for greatness.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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Tsitsipas Brothers Hit With Trio Of Fines At French Open

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Stefanos Tsitsipas and his brother Petros have been fined more than 20,000 euros for multiple violations of the coaching rules at this year’s French Open. 

The brothers received a financial penalty during three different matches that they played in. Two of those were in the second and third rounds of the men’s doubles tournament. Furthermore, Stefanos was also penalised during his singles quarter-final match against Carlos Alcaraz, which he lost in straight sets. According to French newspaper L’Equipe, all three of those fines were issued as a result of coaching rules being broken.

Ironically, coaching is allowed during matches at the French Open but certain rules must be followed. ‘Verbal’ coaching can only be issued from the coaches and their team if they are sitting in the designated player’s box. Instructions must be limited to a few words and can only be given if the player is in the same half of the court as their coach. Although non-verbal coaching is allowed regardless of what side the player is on. Finally, players can’t start a conversation with their coach unless it is during a medical break, a bathroom break or when their opponent is changing clothes.

However, the Tsitsipas brothers have been found in violation of these rules, which is likely due to their animated father in the stands who is also their coach. Apostolos Tsitsipas has been given coaching violations in the past at other events, including the 2022 Australian Open. 

The value of the fines are €4,600 and €9,200 for the Tsitsipas brothers in the doubles, as well as an additional €7,400 just for Stefanos in the singles. In total, the value of their fines is €21,200. However, the penalty is unlikely to have an impact on the duo whose combined earnings for playing in this year’s French Open amount to roughly €495,000. 

So far in the tournament, the highest single fine to be issued this year was against Terence Atmane who hit a ball out of frustration that struck a fan in the stands. Atmane, who later apologised for his actions, managed to avoid getting disqualified from the match. Instead, he was fined €23,000. 

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