TENNIS US OPEN IMAGES – The images taken by Art Seitz and Melchiorre Di Giacomo during the third day of competition at Flushing Meadows. Venus, Sharapova, Monfils, Raymond, Murray, Bouchard, Alec Baldwin, Pam Shriver, Tracy Austin, Billy Jean King and Federer.
Injury-Hit Borna Coric Reacts To First Grand Slam Win In 16 Months
The Croat admits he was unsure how his shoulder would hold up in his opening match at Roland Garros.
Borna Coric said he is relieved that his body managed to hold up during his opening win at the French Open on Sunday.
The former world No.12 spent almost three hours on the court before defeating Spain’s Carlos Taberner 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, in what was his first Grand Slam match of any kind since the 2021 Australian Open. Paris is only the seventh tournament Coric has played in since returning to the Tour following a year-long absence due to shoulder surgery. The 25-year-old is yet to win back-to-back matches this season.
“It does feel great. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of my shoulder because I’ve never been in the fourth set, fifth set (of a match) for one-and-a-half years,” said Coric.
“So it was also kind of worrying for me, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how I’m going to feel and how my whole body is going to behave in those later sets. Obviously I’ve been practicing it, but it’s really never the same.”
Impressively the Croat produced a total of 54 winners against 39 unforced errors in his latest match in the French capital. Furthermore, he won 76% of his first service points and 53% of his second.
“The last few weeks haven’t been very easy, I lost many tight matches. I mean, I was also quite happy with my tennis, but I was just losing,” he reflected.
Coric was once tipped to be the future of men’s tennis after rising quickly up the ranks at a young age. In 2014 he was the youngest player to end the season in the top 100 and a year last he was the youngest to do so in the top 50. He has recorded a total of nine wins over top five players, including Roger Federer, as well as winning two Tour titles.
In the second round at Roland Garros Coric will take on the formidable Grigor Dimitrov who has been ranked as high as third in the world. He will enter the clash as the underdog given his ongoing comeback from injury. At present Coric’s principal focus is on his body but that will change in the coming weeks.
“Until Wimbledon my health needs to come first and after Wimbledon I can kind of try to switch in my mind so I can start playing more and more tournaments. I can train more and I can focus more on the tennis rather than on my shoulder,” he explains.
Coric has reached the third round of the French Open on four previous occasions.
Felix Auger Aliassime Wins First Ever Roland Garros Match In Five Sets
Felix Auger-Aliassime earned his first ever victory at Roland Garros.
The Canadian found himself down two sets to none but fought back to pull off the comeback in a thrilling five set victory.
Felix Auger Aliassime is into the second round of the French Open for the first time in his career after battling back to beat the Peruvian qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas in five sets 2-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in three hours and 14 minutes.
The Montreal native finished the match serving 14 aces and hitting 52 winners in a match that featured a lot of long rallies from behind the baseline.
“It was a dream for me to play here, it was an honor and my first time on Phillipe Chatrier and my first win at Roland Garros and I had to work hard to get it and credit my opponent he played very well today.”
The Peruvian started the match by breaking the number nine seed right out of the gate and at 3-1 managed to turn that break into a double break as he served out the first set with ease.
The first two games of the second went on serve but again the world number 122 seemed to play better as the Canadian looked stunned, searching for answers.
The Lima native once again took an early lead to take a 3-1 lead and again that seemed like enough for the Peruvian as he served out the second set and was one set away from an improbable upset.
The third set is where the Canadian started to turn things around and his groundstrokes seemed to have more precision. At 2-1 it was the Montreal native who got the first break of serve.
After consolidating the break the world number nine was hungry for more and turned that break into a double break and it looked like the match was turning in his favour.
The Canadian served out the third set to send it to a fourth looking to send it to a decider.
The Montreal native rode the momentum from winning the third into the fourth set where after holding the opening service game got the early break once again taking a 2-0 lead.
At 5-3 with the Peruvian looking to stay in the set, Auger Aliassime managed to get another break to win the set and send the match to a fifth set.
The fifth set stayed on serve until 4-3 when the Canadian had four chances to break and at the fourth time of asking he was able to break and serve out the match to complete the comeback.
After the match in his on court interview he was asked about the adjustments he made in the third set to turn the match around and pull off the win.
“I tried to give myself some more space and a little more time, my opponent at the beginning was playing very quick, aggressive, and flat so I tried a couple things and I also served better and after that it was easier.”
The Canadian will next face either Aslan Karatsev or Camilo Ugo Carabelli in the next round.
Two-Time Finalist Dominic Thiem Crashes Out Of French Open
The Austrian’s roller-coaster season continues with him yet to win a match this year.
For the second year in a row Dominic Thiem has lost his opening match at the French Open after falling in straight sets to Hugo Dellien.
Thiem, who has fallen down the world rankings to 194th due to injury, was unable to control his unforced error count throughout his 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, loss. He produced glimmers of his best form, particularly when it came to hitting backhand winners down the line, but the inconsistency was his undoing. Resulting in a clinical Dellien charging to only his third main draw win in a Grand Slam tournament. During the match Thiem hit a staggering 42 unbforced erros which was 28 more than his oponent.
“I think this is the best win career so it’s a very special day,” Dellien said during his on-court interview.
“Dominic is such a good player that he will for sure come back a higher level and fight for the best places in this tournament.” He added.
After being sidelined from the Tour for nine months between 2021-2022 due to a right wrist injury, Thiem has endured a disappointing return to competitive tennis. Coming into this year’s French Open he was 0-6 in matches played so far this year and had only won one set which was against John Millman at the Serbian Open.
However, Paris has largely been a place full of happy memories for the 28-year-old Australian who reached the final in 2018 and 2019. Thiem has won more matches at the French Open (28) than any other Grand Slam tournament in his career. Until now, his only blip occurred 12 months ago when he suffered his first-ever first round loss at the tournament to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.
It was evident that the former Grand Slam champion was physically and mentally far from his best. Playing into the hands of an inspired and clinical Dellien. A former world No.2 junior player who has won eight clay-court Challenger titles during his career. The Bolivian has been ranked as high as 72nd in the world.
Taking to court Simonne-Mathieu, Thiem found himself on the back foot early on due to some aggressive shot-making coming from across the court. Dellien, who was frustrated with the umpire giving him a time violation less than 20 minutes into the match, first drew blood in the fourth game when back-to-back Thiem unforced errors granted him a break as he surged to a 4-1 lead. The former world No.3 did produce glimmers of solid form, especially from the backhand side, but he was unable to recover. Paving way for Dellian to cinch the opener after a shot from his rival slammed into the net on set point.
Thiem’s woes continued into the second set after an error-stricken service game resulted in him getting broken once again. In total he produced six unforced errors during just two games. Meanwhile, Dellien continued his impressive solid form by producing some emphatic winners which earned him a growing fanbase among the crowd. During the second frame he produced just three unforced errors which was 10 less than that of Thiem.
Falling to a two-set deficit, Thiem looked spent on the court and emotionally flat. The mistakes started haemorrhaging from his racket on a more frequent basis throughout the third frame which silenced the French crowd.
In just under two hours Dellien worked his way to a game from victory. A clean forehand cross-court winner moved him to two match points. He converted his first with the help of yet another dismal unforced error from Thiem.
“It was not a good match at all, but it is what it is. I knew that it’s going to take time, that the level is extremely high from all the players competing here and I’m not there yet. I was really working hard to get there but the time was just not enough,” Thiem said during his press confrence.
“I’m not missing one specific thing, but many things, actually. Obviously there’s not enough power yet in my shots and it’s not only the forehand, I have way too low percentage of first serve, the first serve is not hurting enough. The backhand is okay, but as well it’s not long enough, it’s not fast enough.” He added.
As a result of his loss, the French Open is the second Grand Slam tournament where Thiem has suffered consecutive first round defeats after Wimbledon (2018 and 2019). He hasn’t won a Tour match since May 2021 at the Italian Open.
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