Five-Time Champion Andy Murray Crashes Out Of Queen’s In 11-Year Low - UBITENNIS
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Five-Time Champion Andy Murray Crashes Out Of Queen’s In 11-Year Low

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LONDON: World No.1 Andy Murray produced a lacklustre display as he suffered a shock 7-6(4), 6-2, loss to Australian lucky loser Jordan Thompson in the first round of the Aegon Championships.

Seeking a rejuvenation in his game following a roller coaster clay-court swing, the Brit struggled to control his emotions against Thompson, a player who reached the final of the Surbiton Challenger last week. Murray’s unsettling glares towards his camp was a reflection of his unease on the court. Struggling to maintain a consistent balance in his game, shouts of frustration erupted in front of the packed crowd at the Queen’s Club in London.

“He played better than me. That’s what happened.” Said Murray. “The first set there was not much in it. I made some mistakes in the middle part of the tiebreak, which gifted it to him a little bit.”
“I didn’t create loads of chances, really. I didn’t return particularly well. He served big. He served well.” The 30-year-old added.

The top seed had his work cut out from the onset against an inspire Thompson, who came in as a late replacement for Aljaz Bedene. Saving a trio of break points in his opening service game, it was Murray that was battling to keep up with the world No.90. In the clutch moments, Murray failed to shine after dropping his serve three times in the tiebreaker to hand his opponent the opening set.

With a shock brewing, there was no signs of a Murray fight back as his mood deteriorated. His normally reliable mental strength abandoned him as he dropped serve two consecutive times in the second set before experiencing his worst defeat at the Queen’s tournament since 2006.

“I said before the tournament there was still a lot of work to be done, and after the French Open I knew that I was still quite far from where I needed to be. I mean, one tournament doesn’t change all of what had gone on just beforehand.” He admitted.

Ironically Murray might be hoping for a repeat of his troublesome recent weeks. Leading up to the French Open, he suffered a series of of below-par results at three consecutive Masters 1000 tournaments. Still, he managed to reach the semifinals at Roland Garros. During the French Open, he once said that playing in major tournaments enhances the competitive side of him.

“It has happened in the past where guys haven’t done well and gone on to do well at Wimbledon. There are no guarantees that I won’t do well at Wimbledon, but it certainly would have helped to have had more matches. That’s always been the case for me.”

12 months later

The mood of the Murray camp is different to that of 12 months ago. In 2016 the Brit was unbeaten on the grass by winning both Queen’s and Wimbledon. This time round, Murray carries the burden of expectation associated with being a number one player.

Addressing the media in London, Murray was very businessman like and showed little emotion. It was almost like his loss wasn’t such a huge surprise. A perplexing view for a player of Murray’s Calibre. The actual game of the world No.1 remains the same, but his confidence is different to that of a year ago.

“I don’t feel like loads of my game has changed, but obviously right now I’m not playing as well as I was 12 months ago. Most of that comes down to confidence in matches.” He explained.
“It’s not so much that I have changed my serve or my technique as much. It’s just when you’re playing a lot of matches and winning consistently helps you make better decisions at important moments.”

Faced with the unfamiliar situation of no ATP wins on a grass-court prior to Wimbledon, Murray is going back to the drawing board with his team. The roller coaster journey for the world No.1 continues as his hopes at SW19 hang in the balance.

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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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