Wimbledon: Meet Nick Kyrgios, the Teen Phenom Who Shocked Nadal - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon: Meet Nick Kyrgios, the Teen Phenom Who Shocked Nadal

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – He’s as modern as today, with a diamond stud in his left earlobe. He’s as old-fashioned as serve-and-volley tennis. Nick Kyrgios—“The Wild Thing,” as he is nicknamed in his native Australia—is the man who Tuesday turned Wimbledon upside down and turned himself into the star-in-waiting. Art Spander for Bleacher Report

Results, Order of Play, Draws and Interviews from The Championships

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The 19-year-old Kyrgios—yes, his father came from Greece—upset the game’s top-ranked player, Rafael Nadal, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 in a fourth-round match the teenager called “the biggest win of my career.”

Which it was. To this moment.

Down Under, they’ve been saying the 6’4″ Kyrgios, a one-time basketball player, is the one they’ve been waiting for since Lleyton Hewitt, who won the U.S. Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002.

Australia’s tennis history runs deep, with the Rod Lavers and John Newcombes, champions of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. But they haven’t had a winner for a while.

Now along comes Kyrgios with the perfect blend of talent, self-belief and puckishness to win matches and win over the public—and media.

Before he faced Nadal, before he became the first player outside the top 100 (he was No. 144 but he’ll go up to the 60s, at least) to knock off a No. 1 since 1992, Kyrgios joked with an Aussie newsman.

Obviously 14 Slams between us,” said Kyrgios, “so it’s going to be a good match.”

All 14, of course, won by Nadal, who, age 28, never had lost to anyone born in the 1990s. Now he has.

Given a spot in the Wimbledon draw as a wild card—perfect for The Wild Thing—Kyrgios improved rapidly over the past year. Just 16 months ago, he was No. 576 in the rankings.

He’s the first wild card to advance as far as the fourth round since Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2009.  John McEnroe, commentating on the BBC, said Kyrgios, now in the quarters, can go even further, to the championship.

Not entirely absurd. Back in 1985, a 17-year-old with a big serve and great mobility, Boris Becker, did win. And now, Becker is helping coach Novak Djokovic, who, if they both keep winning, could face Kyrgios in the final.

Kyrgios’ mother, who is Malaysian, would be surprised—not that she would be alone.

(Saturday) night, I was actually reading a comment that she thought Rafa was too good for me,” said Kyrgios about his mom, Norlaila. “It actually made me a bit angry. You would think he’s in a whole ‘nother level compared to me.

I just believed in myself, that I could create some opportunities. I took them under pressure today.”

He took Nadal, who is only weeks removed from his ninth French Open title, to the woodshed, serving 37 aces.

Asked about Kyrgios’ future, Nadal was careful in the assessment. “I don’t know,” said the Spaniard. “I didn’t see him playing on other surfaces. Grass is only three, four tournaments a year, but it is obvious when you have a player that is able to serve like that, always advantage is so high.”

(…)

He’s ready for the big stage, and in tennis, there’s no grander stage than the All England Lawn Tennis Championships, which has been pulling them in, fans and competitors, since the late 1800s. In horse racing, it’s the Kentucky Derby. In college football, it’s been the Rose Bowl, which just celebrated it’s centenary. In tennis, it’s Wimbledon.

I think on the big stage,” said Kyrgios, “it’s something I thrive on, the atmosphere, the crowd. I just love it when, at 5-3, I think it was in the fourth set, they erupted, the crowd. I just love that feeling.

I want to be the No. 1 player in the world.”

Beating the No. 1 player in the world at Wimbledon is not a bad way to start fulfilling that wish.+

Art Spander for Bleacher Report – Read the full article here

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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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