Sock takes on Zverev in winner-takes-all tie at ATP Finals - UBITENNIS
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Sock takes on Zverev in winner-takes-all tie at ATP Finals



(Alexander Zverev – photo via

World No. 3 Alexander Zverev will face Paris Masters champion Jack Sock in a high-voltage encounter at the ATP World Tour Finals in London on Thursday. For the victor, a spot in the last 4: For the loser, a flight back home.   

Undoubtedly, rising German Zverev is the guy everyone is talking about in the British capital as after the exit of the top seeded Rafael Nadal, he is the second favorite behind Roger Federer to win the tournament. Not just that, everyone is discussing the 20-year-old’s remarkable rise in the ATP rankings and the big game he possesses. The pundits, the ex-players and even the greats Federer and Nadal have tipped him to become the next No. 1 and a multiple Grand Slam champion.

He has definitely proven them right so far as he has already won five titles in 2017. Those trophies have included a couple of high-profile tournament victories – the Rome Masters crown over Novak Djokovic and the Canadian Open title triumph over Federer. And, regardless of a lackluster run since the US Open, he was successful in qualifying for the prestigious season ending finale at the O2 Arena.

Zverev began his campaign in the event with a tight three-set win over Marin Cilic and then lost the following match to Federer to put himself in a difficult spot as a lose to Sock will mean the end of his season.

Unlike Zverev, Sock was a late bloomer as until late October his qualification for the tourney was in serious doubt as he was way behind in the points race and there were a couple of players who were ahead of him in that regard. But, all that changed as soon as he took advantage of a depleted field to accomplish the biggest title win of his career in Paris.

With Federer resting his back and Nadal pulling out after playing just two matches, it was Sock who blossomed as he outsmarted, outclassed and outmuscled his weak opponents to seal his place in London. Upon his arrival there, Sock showcased all his skills as he gave a tough test to Federer before eventually losing the match in two close sets. However, the American played brilliantly against Cilic especially when it mattered the most in the decider as he clawed his way back from a break down to complete a 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 win.

Head-to-head: Zverev and Sock have met each other twice before on the ATP tour with the pair trading wins in Beijing and Stockholm in 2016. While Zverev is more of a complete package, Sock is slightly more confident of the two right now as he has won far more matches than the German in recent times. Still, we should expect this match to go down the wire as both the players will give their all to advance through to their maiden ATP Finals semifinal.


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 

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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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