Dan Evans Wears Down Top Seed Dominic Thiem In Sydney - UBITENNIS
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Dan Evans Wears Down Top Seed Dominic Thiem In Sydney



Dan Evans in action at the 2017 Apia International Sydney Open (source: zimbio.com)

British No.3 Dan Evans withstood an aggressive opening set from Dominic Thiem to tame the top seed 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, in the quarter-finals of the Sydney International.

In what was the first meeting between the two players on the tour, the start of the match looked destined to go according to the rankings. Top seed Thiem began with high intensity, hitting a army of breathtaking winners on both the forehand and backhand sides. Aided by this series of shots, the Austrian broke twice with ease to clinch the opening set.

Birmingham-born Evans was undeterred by the early offensive from his rival as his defensive play started to hinder Thiem. Fighting to stay in the rallies and forcing the top seed to hit the extra shot, a surge in Thiem errors elevated Evans to a 3-0 lead in the second set before he was pegged back to 3-3. Growing in Confidence, the Brit broke once again to lead with the help of a poor slice from Thiem. That broke proved decisive as Evans raced through the second set.

Heading into the decider, it was the British underdog that proved to be the greater force in the match as Thiem’s error count rapidly mounted. The aggressive play of the top seed was grounded down by the a more clear-thinking and consistent performance by Evans.

Nerves of getting the breakthrough win failed to trouble the Brit as Evans broke Thiem a further two times to have a stronghold in the match. It was evident that the Austrian was no longer fully committed to the match with the Australian Open starting next week. Nevertheless, Evans’ tenacity and game plan on the court would have trouble many of the world’s best players. Closing in on the biggest win of his career to date, the victory was sealed following another Thiem error.

“The first set was pretty much what I thought was going to happen.” Evans said following his quarter-final win. “I knew I would have to do a lot of running to try and put my game onto him. To come forward (on the court) and I think I did that pretty good.”

Grabbing his first ever win over a top 10 player to reach his second ATP semifinal, the 26-year-old admitted that his game plan was to frustrate Thiem. It was a plan which turned out to be a success with the world No.8 hitting four double faults and 47 unforced errors.

“I don’t have that much in my game so I got to stay in rallies for a long time and try to frustrate people. That’s I think is what I did pretty well today.” He explained.

Standing in the way of Evans’ first ATP Final is Andrey Kuznetsov, who defeated Pablo Carreno-Busta 2-6, 6-4, 6-1. The Brit will be hoping to get his revenge after losing to the Russian at Wimbledon.

“It’s another good match, he had a good win today. We just have to see what happens tomorrow,” Evans calmly said about the upcoming clash.

The other semifinal will see defending champion Viktor Troicki face Gilles Muller. Troicki progress to the last four without playing a point after Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to back issues. Meanwhile, Muller downed Pablo Cuevas 7-6(5), 6-4.

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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 Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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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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