Wimbledon: Federer was great, Djokovic was simply better - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon: Federer was great, Djokovic was simply better

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – Roger Federer was simply brilliant. He looked like the player who won seven Wimbledon titles. So how did Federer lose this match? He just happened to be playing a better player on this day. By James Beck

Roger Federer was simply brilliant. He looked like the Roger Federer who won seven Wimbledon titles.

The Swiss great couldn’t have played much better. He had plenty of firepower in his strokes and serves, maybe even more than when he was winning this title what seemed like every July.

He moved flawlessly, totally focused on the task. He appeared to be as free as his twin daughters.

Federer Turned Back The Pages Of Time

It was as if Federer had turned back the pages of time and was in his heyday on his favorite court. He was that good.

If you didn’t know the score, you would be telling everyone that Federer had won his eighth Wimbledon title. He was that spectacular. His backhand had the consistency of a machine gun. Simply amazing.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Federer play better, and I believe I have watched all of his finals at Wimbledon.

He abounded with energy. He covered the court as thoroughly as the grass had when this tournament started two weeks earlier.

Djokovic Was Simply A Better Player This Day

How did Federer lose this match?

He just happened to be playing a better player on this day.

Yes, Novak Djokovic also was a player for the ages. He looked almost clumsy at times as he stumbled and fell often.

But that was only because the great mover was moving too quickly when he attempted many of his 180-degree turns.

If Djokovic had been content to move at a slower pace, then Federer indeed probably would have won this Wimbledon title.

Not only was Djokovic’s 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 win over Federer the second Wimbledon title for the Serbian, it was his seventh Grand Slam title.

Tale Of The Grass — Live Dangerously

In the first week, the grass was too green.

In the second week, the grass was too dead.

There was no neutral ground at this Wimbledon.

It was almost like driving an automobile. If you moved/drove too quickly, it was possibly hazardous to your well being.

Djokovic lost his footing and fell so often that it was truly amazing that the Serbian wonder prevailed against Federer.

Even Federer tasted the grass a time or two.

Knight In Shining Armor Shone Brightly

Federer wanted this title so badly. That was obvious.

He realized that the clock is ticking, and he may never get another chance like he had on Centre Court on Sunday. With their hero heading into a fifth set with momentum, Federer lovers the world over had to be feeling pretty good. Their knight in shining armor was definitely shining.

He could sense that this Wimbledon could belong to him very shortly. Oh, how sweet the thoughts of an 18th Grand Slam title.

Eighteen Slams Might Have Put Nadal Away

A title at Wimbledon might have put Federer’s Grand Slam total out of Rafa Nadal’s reach. Federer obviously was well aware of that possibility as he appeared to be heading home at Wimbledon.

As it is, Nadal didn’t play that badly himself at Wimbledon. He just happened to run across a teenager who was on fire to defeat the Spaniard. Nick Kyrgios played awkwardly, looked even more awkward in his movement and strokes, but everything the 6-4 Australian hit seemed to find the court for a winner against Nadal.

And yet, the next day Kyrgios looked like a high school player in the quarterfinals against big Milos Raonic. Kyrgios appeared to give little effort in dropping the last three sets in the four-set match.

Raonic A Sleeping Giant Who Didn’t Wake Up

As meekly as Kyrgios went out in that quarterfinal, Raonic performed maybe at a lower level in a straight-set loss to Federer in the semifinals. Raonic had only his serve. The big Canadian was a sleeping giant who never woke up against Federer.

Raonic slumbered around the court against Federer, looking like he was stuck in the grass.

The odds are pretty good that no one will hear much about Kyrgios until next year’s Australian Open. If he goes to New York, Kyrgios likely will get lost in the crowd.

The broadcasters suggested Kyrgios might be the next great player. That kind of hype might have been his biggest ally at Wimbledon, and apparently Nadal believed it. In retrospect, Kyrgios might have been a flash in the pan.

James Beck is the long-time tennis columnist for the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier newspaper. He can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com

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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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