Andy Murray: “The match against Rafa in Rome was a good match for me. It came at an important period for me, as well” - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray: “The match against Rafa in Rome was a good match for me. It came at an important period for me, as well”

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TENNIS 2014 ROLAND GARROS – 27th of May 2014. A. Murray d. A. Golubev 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. An interview with Andy Murray

Q. He’s very unpredictable. Did that make it tough today as well to read what he was going to do?

ANDY MURRAY: It was tough conditions. It was obviously windy, especially with the beginning of the match, and very heavy conditions, cold and slow.

And, yeah, he also goes for his shots a lot. And, yeah, there wasn’t too much rhythm out there. It was a tricky match.

 

Q. How do you sort of rate your own performance then?

ANDY MURRAY: It was fine. I won the match. I did enough, you know, third set on the serve particularly well.

For the rest of the match I did okay. I did what I had to do, and I got myself into the tournament now.

You know, it’s been quite a few upsets here the last few days and tricky conditions. So most important thing is to get through.

 

Q. You had a few issues with the camera during the match. Was there anything different about that today from previous years?

ANDY MURRAY: I don’t have an issue with the camera being there. But when it moves as you’re tossing the ball up or it moves between serves, that’s, you know, distracting. Yeah, I just asked if the camera could just stay in one place. Then it’s fine.

But when it’s, you know, moving, moving every, you know, every serve, then it gets a bit tricky.

They have those sort of Spidercam things at a lot of the tournaments. I think they’re good, you know, when you’re watching matches, it’s good, because you can get different angles and different views of things. But just as a player, when you’re serving and it’s moving around, it’s a bit distracting.

 

Q. You talk about feeling your way into tournaments and finding ways to win when perhaps you’re not playing your best. Was that very much what you were talking about when you were speaking about the Champions League final on Saturday night and Gareth Bale was on?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, it started off I was just having a bit of fun with some of my friends. Some of my friends are Barcelona fans. And, yeah, I was just winding them up a little bit to start with. But there is, yeah, a way to point to that that, you know, just because someone doesn’t play particularly well, you know, scoring what was essentially the winning goal in a game of that magnitude when you aren’t playing well, you know, that’s what top athletes do and that’s what sportsmen do. They find ways to win or influence the outcome of matches or games when they aren’t playing best or when they have had chances and missed them.

Yeah, that was obviously what he did that night, and, you know, to be fair to him, he scored essentially the winning goal in the Champions League and he scored an incredible goal to win in the Cup del Rey, as well. I think he had a pretty good first season.

 

Q. I believe Matosevic just beat Dustin Brown. He’s your next matchup. What do you make of that matchup?

ANDY MURRAY: I saw the end of the match. I think his first Grand Slam win. I think he lost 11 or 12 in a row.

I get on very well with Marinko. He’s a funny guy. Yeah, he’s a good ball striker. He’s had some good wins on the tour as a result of maybe being a bit up and down.

But he can play good tennis. He’s a strong guy. Yeah, it will be tough.

 

Q. Did you see how he celebrated the win?

ANDY MURRAY: I saw, yeah. Did you see it?

 

Q. Yeah.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was an interesting celebration. I have not seen that before, but yeah.

 

Q. Does he deserve his Mad Dog nickname?

ANDY MURRAY: I would say so, yeah, from the time I have spent with him. I’d say that’s a good name for him.

 

Q. I have been talking to a bunch of teenagers in the draw here, and there are nine girls in the women’s draw but only two in the men, and one was a wildcard. I was wondering, why do you think the girls are doing better than the guys in terms of at a younger age? Do you have any thoughts on that?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, in terms of like the slams and stuff, obviously with it being best of five, that’s a young age, endurance wise it’s tough. You know, I think, you know, the men’s game, the last few years have become extremely physical.

I think, you know, there’s some guys like    I mean, for me, like Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, they are both very, very good players, good teenagers, and I think there is a good chance of those two could break into top 100 fairly soon.

But, yeah, I think to get into the top 100 as a teenager, you need to be exceptional. It’s not an easy thing to do. You know, I think that’s just because your games become more physical. More guys are playing their best tennis at a later stage now around 27 years old, 28 years old, I’d say, when guys are playing their best tennis now.

 

Q. Clay hasn’t been your strongest surface over the years, but this year in Rome you pushed Rafa very close, you were close to winning against him. How much confidence would you take coming into the tournament with that performance? Do you think that you need to make many changes in your game to be more competitive on clay as compared to hard court where you’re at your best?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, you need to make adjustments to the surface like, you know, everyone does for each surface.

And, yeah, the match against Rafa in Rome was a good match for me. It came at an important period for me, as well.

Hopefully that will help me at this event. You know, if I can get myself into a position where, you know, I’m playing against those sorts of players, that match will get me confidence.

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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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