Bernard Tomic: “I spoke to a few people about it. Lleyton as well. I think the scheduling was like ridiculous this year” - UBITENNIS
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Bernard Tomic: “I spoke to a few people about it. Lleyton as well. I think the scheduling was like ridiculous this year”

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TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 25th of January 2015. T.Berdych d. B.Tomic 6-2, 7-6, 6-2. An interview with Bernard Tomic

Q. At the start did his aggression catch you by surprise those first couple games?

BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, he did. He played very good from the start. It was tough for me. He was hitting that ball so well, like he always does. Felt like he got that edge over me in the first few games. That’s what happens when you play a player like Tomas. You have to be ready. If you don’t, you know, hold him in that first set, he gets a bit of a front foot and it becomes difficult. You know, it was not a bad match for me, but he was on top of me for the whole match. He’s a very good player, so I can’t complain. It was not a bad match for me.

Q. Are there times where you have to say the guy was too good on the day?

BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, he was a stronger; he was ready; he was playing better. If I would have played better, served better, might have had a better chance maybe after that second set. Who knows? But, look, he’s been there four, five, six years in the top seven, eight. He’s an amazing player. When he’s playing good, you cannot do nothing. You just have to stick in the match and hopefully turn it around. Today he was just playing well and he was going for his shots. There was not a lot I could do.

Q. How do you assess this campaign?

BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I think it was okay. Probably didn’t play my best tennis this last week, but it was solid. I’m very happy with the performance this week. Now I push the next few months. I have a lot of tournaments. I’m going to Memphis, Delray Beach, Acapulco, so many tournaments. Till Wimbledon I don’t defend nothing, so for me the goal is to get to top 20 soon.

Q. Is Davis Cup on the agenda?

BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, for sure it is. After Acapulco. It’s going to be big, as well. We’re playing Czech. I don’t think Tomas is playing. We don’t know what the story is there, so we’ll see. There are a lot of points on offer as well in the Davis Cup, so it’s going help towards my ranking. You know, I take everything in the last few weeks and use it now to prepare for, you know, tournaments in the States and try to improve my ranking even more.

Q. Thought you improved a lot in the second set. How deflating was it to lose the tiebreak?

BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, emotionally after that it was so tough. I said to myself, Look, if you want to win this match, you have to play three very good sets now from being two sets to love up. [Sic.] He’s a very good frontrunner. When he’s on the front foot and if he’s winning and comfortable, it’s tough to turn it around against him. I watched him play so many matches against top players where he’s up and, you know, they can’t do anything. It felt like that today. I tried to hang in there and stuff, but he just kept going for his shots even more. He felt free, that he couldn’t even miss. He’s been working hard, I heard, the last few months. He’s improved a lot. He’s probably one player that I think hasn’t won a slam that should have won a couple. He’s a very, very good player.

Q. Last time you made it to the fourth round a few years ago you played every single match on Rod Laver of your four. This time you didn’t play once. Is that at all strange to you?

BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I spoke to a few people about it. Lleyton as well. I think the scheduling was like ridiculous this year. Like not just from my side, but for many player’s. I don’t know who was in charge of the schedule. Really, some of the matches I saw, it was just like, Wow.

Q. Every day you keep expecting to be on there and you never were?

BERNARD TOMIC: I didn’t mind, but some of the other matches I saw I was like, What the hell?

Q. Anything in particular that jumped out?

BERNARD TOMIC: I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Craig Tiley. That’s the guy organizing everything. Apparently he’s the best.

Q. Kyrgios hasn’t got on? Rod Laver yet.

BERNARD TOMIC: Ask Craig Tiley. He’s a good guy. From what I heard in the locker room, and not just myself, like the scheduling was a bit funny. I’m not going to complain from my side, but on behalf of the people I talked to, they say it as well. It’s not just me saying it. You guys have seen, as well.

Q. It has been a topic of conversation with players too, because and has been with media.

BERNARD TOMIC: I don’t know. If I would have run the schedule, I would have made it interesting.

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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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