Internazionali d'Italia: Dimitrov beats Berdych. Nadal v Murray in the quarter finals - UBITENNIS
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Internazionali d'Italia: Dimitrov beats Berdych. Nadal v Murray in the quarter finals

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TENNIS Internazionali d’Italia – Grigor Dimitrov rallied from a set down to edge Tomas Berdych 5-7 6-2 6-3 on a cool and windy afternoon on the famous Pietrangeli Court to set up a quarter final against Tommy Haas. Andy Murray beat Jurgen Murray 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 on his 27th birthday and will face Rafael Nadal who fought back from a set down against Mikhail Youzhny to clinch a hard-fought win in three sets. Diego Sampaolo

Interviews, results, order of play, draws of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome

Grigor Dimitrov rallied from a set down to edge Tomas Berdych 5-7 6-2 6-3 on a cool and windy afternoon on the famous Pietrangeli Court to set up a quarter final against Tommy Haas.

Dimitrov took his re-match against Berdych who beat last week in the Madrid third round. The young Bulgarian was broken only once and converted on 5 of his 13 break point chances.

Dimitrov took a 3-1 lead and held serve until 5-4 when Berdych broke back. The first set came down to the tie-break. Dimitrov went up 3-1 but Berdych reeled off six consecutive points to clinch the first set.

Dimitrov got a early break in the second set to take a 3-1 lead and pulled away to 5-1 closing out the second set with 6-2. Dimitrov got an early break in the third set and saved a break point at 3-2 in the longest game of the match. He got the match point at 5-2 with a spectacular volley cross dip which delighted the crowd who attended the match on the Nicola Pietrangeli Court and closed out the match with an ace.

Tommy Haas fought back from a set and a break down to upset Stanislas Wawrinka in three sets with 5-7 6-2 6-3. Haas reached the quarter final at the Internazionali d’Italia for the first time since 2002. Haas scored his first win against a top-10 player since his win against Novak Djokovic in Miami in March 2013.

Wawrinka converted on his break point chance to take a 3-2 lead. Haas broke straight back but Wawrinka got another break to clinch the first set with 7-5. Wawrinka broke serve in the third game of the second set for 2-1 but Haas turned around the match by winning five consecutive games to win the second set with 6-2 Haas got a decisive break in the eighth game of the third set and wrapped up the match in two hours. Wawrinka lost in the third round for the second consecutive week after his upset defeat against Dominic Thiem in Madrid.

I had some back problems because of the cold temperature but I have time to be ready for the Roland Garros. I could not move too well. It’s really nothing serious. It’s just painful and I need some rest”, said Wawrinka

Andy Murray vs Jurgen Melzer 7-6 (7-1) 6-4

Andy Murray beat Jurgen Murray 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 on his 27th birthday to reach his best result at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome since his semifinal defeat against Novak Djokovic in 2011.

Murray converted on three of his five break chances to seal a convincing win over the World Number 67 player from Austria.

Murray dropped serve in the first game of the opening set but he fought back from a break down to draw level to 3-3. He saved four break points to hold serve for 5-4. The first set was decided by the tie-break. He clinched the tie-break with a comfortable 7.1. He won 15 points from 16 en route to building up a 2.0 lead in the second set.

Murray broke early in the second set but Melzer broke back for 3-3. Murray got his second break to love in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and held serve for the match closing out the match after 1 hour and 42 minutes.

Last week I was not good at all in Madrid. I was very inconsistent. This week I wanted to play solid tennis as much as possible. Without the wind it was easier to build the points and have a specific game plan”, said Murray.

During the press conference after the match Murray was presented by the organizers with a cake to celebrate his 27th birthday.

Rafa Nadal vs Michail Youzhny 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-1

Murray will meet again seven-time Rome champion Rafa Nadal for the first time since the 2011 final in Tokyo. Nadal fought back from a set down against Mikhail Youzhny to clinch a hard-fought win in three sets with 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-1.

Youzhny dropped serve at 3-all when he sent a backhand wide. The Russian player rallied from a 3-5 deficit in the opening set. Nadal earned a set point but Youzhny saved it. Rafa committed two double faults and Youzhny broke serve with his backhand winner

In the tie-break Nadal went down 0-3 but he won two consecutive points clawing his way back to 2-3. Youzhny pulled away to clinch the opening set with 7-4 at the tie-break. Nadal went down a set and a break but he bounced back to draw level from 0-2 to 2-2. He saved a break point in the following game before winning 10 of the next 11 games to wrap up the match in two hours and 44 minutes.

I get used to my recent struggles. With the years, that’s the normal thing. That’s part of the sport. It’s not possible to win for 10 years with easy scores and easy matches. At the same time I can do much better than I ma doing.

Nadal leads 13-5 in his previous head-to-head matches against Murray and won their last match on clay in the 2011 Roland Garros semifinal.

In the other matches of the third round Milos Raonic fended off all the five break points he faced and hit seven aces when he beat Jo Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in one hour and 48 minutes. Raonic will play against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy who beat Ivan Dodig 6-3 6-2.

David Ferrer took his second consecutive win over Ernests Gulbis with 6-2 6-3 one week after beating the Latvian player in the Madrid quarter finals.

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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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