ATP Young Stars Dominic Thiem, Bernard Tomic and Alexander Zverev Get Through The Rain-Plagued Day - UBITENNIS
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ATP Young Stars Dominic Thiem, Bernard Tomic and Alexander Zverev Get Through The Rain-Plagued Day

All 4 seeded players that got to finish their matches today advanced. Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev got through in straight sets. Bernard Tomic finished his five sets drama with Fernando Verdasco, and Tomas Berdych struggled to close out his match against Ivan Dodig.

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The 8th seed Dominic Thiem only started his match against Florian Mayer yesterday. Their match was interrupted with rain today as well, but Thiem managed to keep himself above his tough opponent. Mayer defeated Thiem just two weeks earlier, in the semifinals of Halle. The German ended up the surprise winner of the tournament.

“I was really not scared, but I had a lot of respect from him,” he said. “I was really, really happy when I made the match point, because he won a 500 [tournament] on grass. Beat five really good players on the way. It was for sure one of the toughest draws in the first round for me.”

“I was feeling not comfortable all the last two years on grass,” Thiem said. “The biggest difference this year is of course I got a lot of self-confidence, but the biggest difference is my movement. I am much more down and much more stable.”

Thiem kept his cool, and in all three sets he was in control and the better player. The scoreline read 7-5 6-4 6-4 for the young Austrian. His next opponent will be also a young player, Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic. Vesely defeated the Dutch Igor Sijsling 6-2 6-4 7-6(7).

19th seed Bernard Tomic came out today to come to a conclusion in the first round match against Fernando Verdasco. Today the play started with the fifth set, and Tomic broke for 4-2. Verdasco got a 0-40 lead on Tomic’s serve to make it 4-4, but Tomic kept on fighting and kept the lead. He won the final set 6-4. The final scoreline read 4-6 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-4 and pure match play time was 2 hours and 50 minutes. However Tomic will be far more exhausted, having to be constantly ready to play with the rain delays.

“I was a bit tired in the fourth set and was happy to get the chance to stop,” he said. “But it also makes it tough because you have to go to sleep with one set to go and then you need to come out playing well.”

The Australian had solid results on grass prior to this tournament, reaching semifinals of Queen’s Club. En route to that result he defeated 3 quality grass player, one of them being Verdasco. Tomic’s next opponent will be Moldavian qualifier Radu Albot. Albot got through an equally matched opponent Gastao Elias in four sets.

Easiest of the matches was definitely for Alexander Zverev. The German young star reached finals of the tournament at Halle, falling to Florian Mayer. Zverev is the 24th seed at Wimbledon, and got by with a smooth win over Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3 6-4 6-2. Zverev was going into the match today with a 3-0 lead in the third set, and made sure to finish strong. Zverev will face either Mikhail Youzhny or Horacio Zeballos in the second round.

The most experienced of the seeded players playing today, 10th seed Tomas Berdych was finishing off his match against Ivan Dodig. Berdych was leading 4-1 in the fourth set, but Dodig did not give up and kept on fighting. The Croat broke back, but two more breaks came and Berdych had his first match point. Dodig saved it and saved another at 5-6. Berdych finally finished the match, winning 7-2 in the tiebreak. 7-6(5) 5-7 6-1 7-6(2) was the final score of the match after 3 hours and 20 minutes for Berdych. The Czech No. 1 will face Benjamin Becker in the second round.

 

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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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