Milos Raonic overcomes injury scare to defeat Fernando Verdasco - UBITENNIS
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Milos Raonic overcomes injury scare to defeat Fernando Verdasco




Milos Raonic continued his quest for a maiden Grand Slam title with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(1),  win over Spanish world number 42 Fernando Verdasco in the second round of the US Open.

The Canadian settled quickly into the match as he broke his Spanish rival in the opening game. Raonic had the chance to open up a 3-0 lead, however,  Verdasco battled back from a 0-40 deficit to get himself onto the scoreboard. Despite this, Verdasco came under pressure on his serve throughout the first set as he encountered a series of breakpoint’s in three out of his four service games. The speedy start by Raonic enabled him to take the first set after just 29 minutes.

In the second set Raonic encounter tougher resistance from Verdasco as the Spaniard’s winning first serve percentage increased from 50% in the first set to 81%. The match was going accordingly to serve until Raonic called for a medical time-out whilst leading 6-2,3-4. The on court trainer was called to treat an issue with his lower back. It was reported yesterday that the world number 10 cancelled his practice session due to his back. Despite the injury time-out, Raonic took control of the match as he broke Verdasco once again to cruise to a commanding two set lead.

Raonic has lost to Verdasco three times in his career, but never on a hard-court. The Canadian was aware of the threat that his opponent posed as a third set tie-break loomed. Going into the match they have played five tie-breaks in their previous encounters with Raonic leading 4-1. The back was still causing trouble for the Canadian, which was starting to limit some of his movements. With this problem, Verdasco took advantage as he manoeuvred himself impressively on the court to take the third set and keep his hopes alive in the match.

Despite his back woes, Raonic service consistency was outstanding until the business end of the fourth set. He was given a golden opportunity to break for a 5-3 lead after Verdasco produced a double fault. He, however failed to convert as the score went to 4-4. The following game was the biggest test for Raonic’s serve as he defended four break points to edge ahead 5-4. Prior to that game, Raonic didn’t face a single break-point in his first 19 service games. Verdasco responded swiftly by holding his game to love as a second tie-break beckoned.

The final tie-break failed to reflect the closeness of the match as Raonic produced a whitewash performance with the help of some costly unforced errors by his Spanish rival. His aggressive play forced Verdasco to hit a forehand long as Raonic booked his place into the third round at Flushing Meadows for the fourth consecutive year.

In the third round Raonic will play another Spanish player, 18th seed Feliciano López. He has played him twice in 2015, both on a hard-court. The Canadian beat Lopez in five sets at the Austrailian Open but lost to him in straight sets in Cincinnatti.

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Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two



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



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.


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.


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.


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 

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Tsitsipas Brothers Hit With Trio Of Fines At French Open



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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