Milos Raonic: “Overall I can't complain too much. I fought my way through” - UBITENNIS
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Milos Raonic: “Overall I can’t complain too much. I fought my way through”

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TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 26th of January 2015. M.Raonic d. F.Lopez 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. An interview with Milos Raonic

Q. How do you sum that one up?

MILOS RAONIC: I thought it was okay. I’m happy with sort of the attitude that got me through. I stayed calm even though things weren’t always panning out how I would have liked. I came up with the right play on my first match point. He came up with a great shot. Missed a lot of breakpoint opportunities, but overall I can’t complain too much. I fought my way through.

Q. Compared to the level of your other matches?

MILOS RAONIC: It depends. Because obviously he was changing up things. Obviously I felt better playing against Becker. But I think the level was about the same. But just because he was changing up things a lot, him making me feel more uncomfortable. So I don’t think it was on my level.

Q. Did the Canadian weather conditions have an effect on the speed?

MILOS RAONIC: This is too warm to call it Canadian weather conditions (smiling). So I don’t think so.

Q. A lot seemed to be made in the post-match interview of all the history you created. I think they mentioned the last person that made three quarterfinals from Canada happened 100 years ago. Do you think about that history at all going onto the court? Is that something that motivates you, your rewriting your country’s history books?

MILOS RAONIC: Honestly, I didn’t know that was a stat before I went out there. No, it’s great to be doing what I’m doing and that it is making a difference. It is, I guess, part of some history, if you look really deep. But at the end of the day, at the same time, I’m always pushing myself for what I want to achieve. I’m always sort of looking in the mirror and saying, That’s who I have to compare myself to: to myself.

Q. What did you feel when the fourth set ended and you weren’t able to finish it off?

MILOS RAONIC: I felt fine. I took a second just to sort of think back and understand there’s no tiebreak in this one, and I don’t think I’m going to lose my serve. I feel pretty comfortable in that situation. So I was pretty ready to guts it out.

Q. How about the fact that he double-faulted on all the breakpoints and service games that he lost?

MILOS RAONIC: That’s a bonus. If I can’t do it, thankfully he did it for me.

Q. Do you take credit for that because he’s under pressure?

MILOS RAONIC: It was. Even the first breakpoint he saved at the beginning of the match, he goes for a big serve down the T. A few times that helped him. Obviously when he was doing that, I was just telling myself, Okay, keep putting him in that situation, make him come up with it. It worked out in the end. It could have been a lot longer if he makes that second serve going for it hard. But it is what it is. I’m glad with the way I took care of my serve, and I was able to put pressure on his service games as well.

Q. How long have you been wearing a sleeve?

MILOS RAONIC: Since Miami of last year.

Q. Is that precautionary?

MILOS RAONIC: First it was for medical purposes. I had a rash and I couldn’t have my arm in the sun, so I had to play with long sleeves. I wasn’t really too fond of that, with the warmth in Miami. I went on with that. I’ve liked the feeling ever since. It’s compression. Never feels like it gets too hot. But on a day like today that’s cool, it feels like it’s nice and warm.

Q. If it is Djokovic, what would you take from the match at the French and Italy last year?

MILOS RAONIC: I think I’m doing things differently. I’m moving better. I feel like I have it within myself. I just got to bring it out. I’m going to, like always, focus on myself first, make sure that I get my things in order, get my things organized, play my game, then throughout the match make the adjustments I have to.

Q. Is there something you like about playing against him?

MILOS RAONIC: I play for the opportunity to have a shot against the big guys at the big slams. So the first week’s about getting through and giving yourself that opportunity. I think that has a significant enough meaning on its own.

Q. Roger likes watching matches while he’s here, stay up and watch. Would you have watched Murray, for example?

MILOS RAONIC: I did not watch Murray. I did watch the end of the Seppi match after I got back. I watched about two and a half sets of the Murray match just because I woke up early that day, and I’m not going to neglect myself if I feel tired of sleep to stay up and watch. But I do enjoy watching throughout the tournaments.

Q. Are you watching as a fan or as a professional to pick up stuff?

MILOS RAONIC: As a fan, but I don’t neglect the opportunity to learn as much as I can.

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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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