Andy Murray Draws Positives From Del Potro Win As Edmund Exits The French Open - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Andy Murray Draws Positives From Del Potro Win As Edmund Exits The French Open

Published

on

On a day where British tennis was targeting double joy, it was poster boy Andy Murray that prevailed with a hard fought 7-6(8), 7-5, 6-0, win over Juan Martin del Potro at the French Open.

The highly anticipated encounter was a rematch of last year’s final at the Rio Olympic Games. Initially, both players managed to live up to the pre-match hype with a marathon opening set before Murray exerted his dominance against a gradually fading Del Potro.

Resuming their rivalry on an almost packed Court Philippe Chatrier, both men were out to prove a point. Murray was seeking a solid performance after what has been a roller coaster season on the clay for the world No.1. Meanwhile, Del Potro was eager to dismiss ongoing injury concerns that has overshadowed him before and during this year’s tournament.

Signs of any physical issues hampering the Argentine were vacant from the onset of the match. Del Potro’s blistering forehand tested the No.1 seed, who went down a break almost instantly. There was little to choose between both players with 35 points each after ten games during what was a set worthy of a grand slam final. Del Potro failed to capitalise on his lead as Murray battled valiantly, saving two set points on route, to level the match at 5-5.

The closeness between the two resulted in a thrilling opening set tiebreaker. Murray was on course to take it with ease after a backhand drop shot elevated him two set points at 6-4. Still, it was not enough to tame Del Potro, who then claimed three points to move ahead. Engaged in some gripping baseline rallies, prompting praise from the crowd, Murray survived the scare to come out on top. Ironically, it was Del Potro’s trusted forehand that let him down after a shot drifted just out. Murray’s response was a fist pump directed towards his camp, but del Potro wasn’t convinced. The outcome was eventually confirmed by the match umpire after he consulted with a lineman. Del Potro’s heavy investment was visible as he slumped over the net after dropping the marathon 82-minute set.

“It was tough because I think he (del Potro) was playing much better than me in the first set.” Murray admitted during his post-match interview.

Murray’s mini triumph proved too much for his opponent, who started to suffer during set No.2. A early break for the top seed increased his stronghold in the match as Del Potro sought painkillers to treat his ongoing problems. The two continued fighting on court during the roller coaster encounter, but the spark was no more. Even a chant of ‘Delpo’ from the crowd failed to turn around the match. Failing to serve the second set out at 5-4 due to some impressive play from his rival, Murray triumphed two games later with the help of an ace down the line.

Racing towards the finish line, the top seed grew stronger and stronger. Murray was visibly the fitter of the two players, seemingly improving the longer the match progressed. It was almost unfair that the match ended in such a one-sided manner given Del Potro’s early investments. Their battle concluded with a Murray backhand painting the baseline to extend his head-to-head record to 7-3 against the Argentine.

“I expected a very tough match and the first set was very very important I think. Whoever won that first set had big momentum.” Said Murray, who fire 44 winners past his third round opponent. “In these conditions when it is very slow and heavy, to be coming back is very difficult. I played some very good tennis towards then end.”

The victory at Roland Garros means the world No.1 has won three consecutive matches on the clay for the first time this season. Leading up to the second grand slam of 2017, doubts were cast over Murray followed his lacklustre results on the tour.

“I’m starting to play better. I was really looking forward to playing at the French Open. I struggled the last six or seven week’s coming in. This is one of the most important tournament of the year. I have great memories from last year in Paris and I wanted to come and play some good tennis again.” The three-time grand slam champion explained.
“Each day I am feeling a little bit better, I hope I can keep it going.” He added.

In the last 16 Murray will play either John Isner or Karen Khachanov.

Edmund edged out

The other British interest at the French Open on Saturday was Kyle Edmund, a former boys doubles champion at Roland Garros. Facing experience opponent Kevin Anderson, the Brit had a two-set advantage before crashing out 6-7(8), 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-1, 6-4. The match, which was the longest the 22-year-old had ever played, saw the world No.49 falter of the worst possible moment. Serving at 4-4 in the decider, Anderson grabbed the critical break before closing out the four-hour match.

“Kyle is a great player and it came down to one or two points,” Anderson said about the Brit. “I’m pleased to be through.”

Former top-10 player Anderson will next play seventh seed Marin Cilic. Cilic eased past Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 6-3, 6-3, in his third round encounter on Saturday.

ATP

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

Published

on

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. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Carlos Alcaraz Still Owns A Magical Racket

Published

on

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. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Tsitsipas Brothers Hit With Trio Of Fines At French Open

Published

on

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. 

Continue Reading

Trending