Federer safely through to the 2nd Round - UBITENNIS
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Federer safely through to the 2nd Round

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US Open – It is Day 2 at Flushing Meadows, and for Roger Federer, it is his first round match. Instead of a night match like Rafael Nadal, Federer has been scheduled for a day session for his debut on Arthur Ashe stadium for the 2015 US Open. His first test is Leonardo Mayer from Argentina. A big guy with a one hand backhand like Federer, Mayer has an extreme left toss and back arch on both his service tosses. he also hits very open stance, and tends to stay at the baseline to take balls early. This was slated as being a possible tough first round match for Federer as Mayer near beat Federer last year in Shanghai. However, as it turns out, it was not much a test at all.

The first game found the Swiss maestro down love-30, but he then won 4 straight points to hold. Perhaps due to nerves, Mayer managed to throw in 3 double faults in his first service game, and Federer converted the first break point to go up 2-0. On his 2nd service game, Mayer faced 2 more break points, and the 2nd seed converted easily once more with a winner down the line to go up 4-0. At this point, the match is barely 15 minutes old. Perhaps out of boredom, Federer decided to dump an easy volley in the next game to give Mayer his first break chance. Then he changed his mind right away, and blasted an ace to bring it back to deuce. He then held for 5-0. Putting his foot to the pedal, Federer decided to be more aggressive on Mayer’s service, coming to net where Mayer hit a somewhat weak lob, but Federer returned the favor by missing an easy forehand after making the overhead. The Argentian was finally on the board. The next game Federer held at love to secure the set 6-1. Federer only had 6 winners for the set, but given the short points and lack of games, the numbers do not reveal just how dominate the world #2 is.

The 2nd set unfolded better for Mayer when Federer’s forehand clips the net at 30-40 and bounces out to make it 1-0. In the 2nd game, Federer hit yet another ace at 40-30 to keep it on serve. The match was just 30 minutes old at this mark and it already 2 games into the 2nd set. The game plan remained the same for Mayer as he continued to barrage Federer with big groundstrokes, and his effort seemed to be paying off now as Federer was unable to chase them all down. He held for 2-1. Federer’s response? Held at love to level it 2-2. This match might go beyond one hour after all. The next game however, at 30-30  Federer hit a dropshot return that stunned Mayer, and he proceeded to double fault the next point, gifting the break. For his service game, Federer ventured to the net once more at 40-0 for a volley that Mayer did not even bother going for, watching it go by as he stood still. Roger consolidated the service break for 4-2. Here the entertainment begun.

Continuing his new tactic from Cinncinati, Roger started charging the net on 2ndserves, returning from the service line and making it look easy, on the backhand side no less. It is now 5-2. Perhaps in desperation, Mayer began to jump around the backhand on the ad side and blasted his big forehand on the returns, but to no avail. At 3:30 local time, Federer arrived at net and hit a leaping overhead smash to conclude the 2nd set.

It may be the middle of the day in New York, but the stadium is packed as the 3rd set begun. Federer started hitting a few sloppy shots, but still converted more break points to go up 2-1. At 3-1, Federer brought out the service line returns again, but this time Mayer was prepared and passed him down the line. Nevertheless, Federer went up 4-1, then held at love once more to make it 5-1. Mayer put up one last resistance as he held for a 2nd time this set, forcing Federer to serve out the match which he did with ease. Roger is through to the second round 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. More importantly, he is now tied with Lendl for 3rd most Open match wins.

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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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