Andy Murray Survives Martin Klizan Challenge, Wawrinka Advances - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray Survives Martin Klizan Challenge, Wawrinka Advances

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Andy Murray sees off Klizan (Zimbio)

Andy Murray had to work hard to advance to the third round at Roland Garros after his 6-7(3) 6-2 6-2 7-6(3).

 

This on paper should be a straightforward contest, however given the form of the Brit and the presence of Klizan’s big occasion tennis, this was no walk in the park.

Despite a flashy start to the match from Klizan, Murray held at the start of the match for a 1-0 lead. Klizan imposed himself on the world number one and as a result sprung a shock break in the third game for a 2-1 lead. Klizan continued to impose his game and held for a 3-1 lead. Powerful forehands the key for Klizan dictating play. As Murray was struggling, the world number 50 placed himself in a commanding position as he used his big serve to lead 5-3. However when the pressure was on, Klizan faltered as he handed the break back to the Brit as the opener was levelled at 5-5. Murray took control against a frustrated Klizan as he held for a 6-5 lead. Despite the pressure, Klizan kept his cool and the first set went to a tiebreak. Klizan started to hit the lines with some of his groundstrokes and cause the Brit a lot o trouble. Last year’s finalist was frustrated and conceded the tiebreak 7-3. First blood to the Slovakian.

In the second set, Klizan began where he left off to attack the Murray forehand. It came with some success as Murray was struggling, however a lucky backhand gave the top seed the break in the fifth game for a 3-2 lead. The Brit consolidated the break for a 4-2 lead and had momentum on his side. Murray soon broke for a 5-2 lead and began to control the contest. The world number one sealed the second set in 34 minutes to level the match at a set all.

The third set saw Murray become the aggressor as he broke for a 1-0 lead. This saw the Slovakian become loose and erratic with his groundstrokes as he started to lose his grip on the contest. This showed in the fifth game as Murray increased the pressure on his opponent and once again broke for a 4-1 lead in the fourth set. The confident Brit won the next two of three games to grab the third set 6-2.

Despite his dominance in the previous two sets, Murray looked sloppy in the early stages of the fourth and resulted in a break of serve for Klizan to lead 2-0. The Slovakian was producing a masterclass in dropshots as he stormed to a 3-0 lead. Murray was being given the run around as he trailed 5-2. The brit’s movement was being restricted and concerns were being raised by the Parisian fans on Lenglen. It looked like Klizan was going to secure the set however a wild volley gave Murray some life as he pulled the set back on serve at 5-4. Despite the pressure applied Klizan saved multiple break points to lead 6-5 in a crucial set. Murray hung on to his service game and therefore the set went to a tiebreak. Unlike the tiebreak in the first set it was Murray who dominated and managed to dominate the rallies to secure a hard fought victory in four sets, 6-7(3) 6-2 6-2 7-6(3).

Andy Murray made it hard work but will be pleased with his performance and will now play Juan Martin Del Potro on Saturday in the third round of Roland Garros

‘Expected To Be Tough’

After the match Murray said that he expected a tough contest, the brit added ‘He (Klizan) can hit winners from anywhere on the court. As the match progressed I dictated the match and I played a solid contest. There were some entertaining points and the atmosphere was great.’

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka only had eyes for the ball in his victory. (Zimbio)

Stan Wawrinka produced a 6-4 7-6(5) 7-5 victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov.

The 2015 champion started off well as he broke in the second game for a 2-0 love lead, he then maintained the break for 3-0. The erratic Dolgopolov found his comfort zone and held for 3-1. Wawrinka used his serve to dictate play, leads 4-1 in opening set. However the Ukrainian failed to give up and his resistance paid off as a Wawrinka double fault handed the Ukrainian the break of serve for 4-3. Wawrinka breaks the Ukrainian resistance and determination to take the opening set 6-4.

The Second set went with serve as both players played to their ultimate strengths. Wawrinka using the backhand while Dolgopolov continued

to be his unpredictable self. Despite struggling Dolgopolov held for 4-4 in the second set. Both players cancelled each other’s strengths and the second set resulted in a tiebreak. However it was the 2015 champion who showed more passion and desire to take the tiebreak 7-5.

The third set proved to be tough, however after a break in the eleventh game the three time grand slam champion served it out to seal a 6-4 7-6(5) 7-5 victory over Dolgopolov to move into the third round. He will now play Fabio Fognini, who secured a 6-4 7-5 6-3 victory over compatriot Andreas Seppi.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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