US Open: Djokovic, Murray and Raonic advance to the third round - UBITENNIS
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US Open: Djokovic, Murray and Raonic advance to the third round

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TENNIS US OPEN – Unlike the women’s draw, the top seeds are mostly holding true to form. There has been no major upsets of sorts on the men’s side for the first three days at the US Open and Day 4 would be no different. From New York, Cordell Hackshaw

US Open: All the interviews, results, draws and OoP

Unlike the women’s draw, the top seeds are mostly holding true to form. There has been no major upsets of sorts on the men’s side for the first three days at the US Open and Day 4 would be no different.

The top seed, Novak Djokovic made quick work of Paul-Henri Mathieu. Djokovic converted match point near 90 minutes after the start of play for a 6-1 6-3 6-0 victory. Djokovic had 33 winners to 16 errors. He was winning 88% of his 1st serve points and 57% behind his 2nd serve. “I wanted to get my job done as quick as possible. I don’t feel like I need to play long matches to get into the groove,” Djokovic said after the match. In the 3rd round, Djokovic will play American Sam Querrey who triumphed over the Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (28) in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 6-4.

Milos Raonic (5) won his match in 4 sets 7-6 5-7 6-4 7-6 over Peter Gojowczyk. Gojowczyk did all he could to complicate life for the Canadian. He has an early break in the 4th set but could not maintain it. “He plays quite flat, quite low to the net, lower margin for error, I would say. But also, at the same time when he defends that way, if he just even puts it through the middle, it’s hard for me because the ball never really comes up to my strike zone like against most guys,” Raonic said. He hit 26 aces in the match and in the two crucial tiebreaks where anything can happen, Raonic showed toughness to take them comfortably.

Andy Murray (8) had a much easier time in his 2nd round match than he did in his opener. Murray dispatched Matthias Bachinger 6-3 6-3 6-4 in an hour and 46 minutes. Whereas in his first match, the 2012 champion was having difficulties holding serve, in this match, he was not broken once, saving all three break points he faced. “[I]t was extremely windy today … Difficult to play sort of close to the lines or anything like that. But I hit the ball well considering, served better, and obviously I moved a bit better today, as well,” Murray said after the match. He was also unable to say why he was cramping so badly on Monday but noted that he was much better now.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (9) also had an easy day at the office. He knocked out Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-3 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 47 minutes. “I felt good on the court. I moved pretty well. I served well. You know, it’s good for the next match. Yeah, I mean, I’m in good shape,” Tsonga said. He had 38 winners to 27 errors, winning 85% of his 1st serve points.

John Isner (13) will join fellow Davis Cup member Querrey in the 3rd round. Isner triumphed over Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 6-4 6-2. There were two more retirement in men’s singles action today which benefitted Philipp Kohlschreiber (22) and Kei Nishikori (10). Kohlschreiber’s opponent, Michael Llodra retired after dropping the 1st set 2-6. Nishikori was leading Pablo Andujar 6-4 6-1 before the Spaniard decided he could not continue. Kohlschreiber will face Isner in the 3rd round and Nishikori plays Leonardo Mayer (23) who beat Matthew Ebden 6-1 6-3 6-4.

Other winners include Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic over Borna Coric of Croatia. Estrella Burgos won in 4 sets 7-6 4-6 6-4 6-2. This matchup was somewhat interesting as Estrella Burgos is a bit of a story here at the US Open. This is the first US Open main draw appearance for both players but Coric is 18 years old and Estrella Burgos is near twice that number. At 34 years old, the Estrella Burgos is in the 3rd round of any major for the first time. In fact, he only just played his first major this year at the French Open. “I think is happening now because this had to happen now. I think when I have 20 years old, I tell you before, I don’t have any idea about the tournament. Because in Dominican, we don’t have this. I think for me this is the best time. This happen now. I had to get like very good, very simple for me. I think now is now. I cannot go back. I cannot start to thinking why this doesn’t happen when I have 20 or 22 or 24. Now it happening when I have 34, I very happy.” He plays Raonic for a place in the 4th round. It would be an interesting match as New York has a very significant Dominican population who has been very vocal cheering on Estrella Burgos at all his matches. With his success here at the Open and the match going to a bigger stadium, the support would be even more intense.

Also winning in 4 sets was Pablo Carreno Busta over Benoit Paire 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3. He will face Tsonga in the next round. Nick Kyrgios continues recent success at the majors when he beat Andrea Seppi 6-4 7-6 6-4. Kyrgios’ next opponent is Tommy Robredo (16). Robredo moved into the 3rd round in dramatic fashion. The Spaniard was down 0-2 sets to Simone Bolelli 5-7 6-7. Bolelli seemed to be poised to cause the upset but his fortune soon change after an extended argument with chair umpire and head officials over a call made by the crowd during a crucial point. When the decision was made in Robredo’s favour handing him the 3rd set 6-4, Bolelli simply wilted on the court. He was no longer being as aggressive as he was in the earlier stages of the match. Robredo wrested control of the match to take it 5-7 6-7 6-4 6-3 6-2. Another Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco (31), was involved in a 5-setter but only this time, he did not come out the victor. Andrey Kuznetsov rallied from 1-2 sets down to get to the 3rd round 6-3 4-6 4-6 7-5 6-3 in just over 3 hours. Kuznetsov plays Murray next.

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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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