Roger Federer Ends Marcus Willis' Fairytale Run Under Centre Court Roof - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Ends Marcus Willis’ Fairytale Run Under Centre Court Roof

World No. 3 Roger Federer ended what was the best story of Wimbledon so far. The Swiss defeated No. 772 Marcus Willis 6-0 6-3 6-4.

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From the start it was obvious that Marcus Willis came out to the Centre Court with the sole intention of having fun. This was probably the only time a player was more supported at Wimbledon more than Roger Federer. The crowd gave a massive applause as Federer put a backhand in the net, which was the first point Willis won in the match. Willis got a break point and a game point in the first set, but didn’t manage to close out either, meaning that Federer won the first set 6-0.

Willis finally got his first game in the match during the second set, which was received with a huge round of applause by the Centre Court crowd. The Brit got more relaxed after getting the game, and was getting some more games in the match. Without a doubt, Federer had lowered his level after the first set as well, but still good enough to get away with a comfortable win. The underdog received medical treatment for his left arm during a changeover and seemed to be in pain while receiving the treatment. That didn’t stop him from firing away with the arm on serve and his forehand. Federer broke for 4-2 after a very tough game on Willis’ serve, saving 2 break points. The Swiss served the second set out with a clean game, winning the second set 6-3.

In the third and final set, Willis had the advantage of serving first, so those were the first times he got to lead in a set against the Swiss player. The left-handed qualifier was playing his best tennis of the match, completely relaxed. At 3-2, he even got his second break point of the match, and he could have easily stolen the set. However Federer didn’t let any such thing happen and got to 3-3. The Swiss himself broke his opponent’s serve just 2 games later with a clean game, in a very impressive manner. When serving out the match, he got to a 15-30 situation on his serve, but won the next three points to end the match. The level gap between the two players was obvious and visible, but Marcus Willis knew that, and enjoyed the match to the fullest anyway.

“The atmosphere, I expected something like this, especially under the roof.  He was going to have some supporters, they were going to have chants,” Federer said about the match conditions.

“I must tell you, I was quite a bit intrigued even before he was in my section of the draw.  After he qualified, I was reading a lot about his story.  And then next thing you know, he’s like one match away from me if I win.  Of course then it happened.  More and more stories build up.”

The 17-time grand slam champion has also handed given his personal advice to the new British tennis sensation.

“it’s really important to set yourself goals, short‑term, long‑term, how many tournaments to play, when to practice. Sometimes I feel like these players lose sight of how important practice is. Matches you can play every week on tour. It’s very misleading sometimes where you just think, this next week could be the breakthrough (for Willis),” advised the 17-times Grand Slam champion. 

Roger Federer’s third round opponent will be either No. 30 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine or another Brit; Dan Evans. Their match was just heading off into the first set tiebreak as it was interrupted by rain.

As for Marcus Willis, he will rise by 356 spots in the rankings. From No. 722 to No. 416, which will definitely guarantee him getting into the qualifications of most Challengers, and being seeded at most Futures tournaments he will enter. To conclude, after the Brexit and England being knocked out of the EURO 2016 by Iceland, Marcus Willis was the cheer-up story that Britain so desperately needed.

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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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