Andrey Rublev Battles Past Ferrer As Kohlschreiber Continues Horror Form - UBITENNIS
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Andrey Rublev Battles Past Ferrer As Kohlschreiber Continues Horror Form

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Andrey Rublev (zimbio)

Andrey Rublev battled past David Ferrer in hot Melbourne conditions, 7-5 6-7(6) 6-2 6-7(6) 6-2 to advance into the second round of the Australian Open.

The Russian played a scrappy match with many unforced errors as he battled past the Spaniard in just under four hours. It was a slow start for the 30th seed as he was broken by Ferrer in the first game of the match as he showed signs of nerves in the opening game.

Rublev used his big forehand to get back in the match as he broke in the sixth game for 3-3. As the set wore on the  Russian was dictating play on his serve and used this to edge out the Spaniard and eventually broke in the 12th game to grab the first set 7-5. The first set would be a catalyst for the rest of the match as a battle took place on Court 14.

The second set provided with a variety of breaks as it was the aggressor trying to break down the defender in Ferrer. They shared breaks at the start of the set as Rublev was struggling to build on his momentum that he gained in the first set. After this, four breaks occurred as both men proved to be clinical from break point opportunities.

This ultimately led to a second tiebreak, which saw the veteran Spaniard save set point to take a very nervy tiebreak, 8-6. Despite losing the second set, Rublev continued to dominate rallies as he comfortably broke the world number 33 twice as took the third set 6-2 in 33 minutes.

The match looked like it was going to finish in four sets after the Russian broke Ferrer three times for a 5-2 lead and seemingly cruising to victory. Rublev even had two match points in the eighth game to finish the match off, however he was facing David Ferrer and that was good enough for victory. Only perfection would do for the world number 32 and he couldn’t provide that as the Spaniard came back to win the fourth set tiebreak, 8-6.

Despite the Spaniard’s best efforts, Rublev eventually cruised to victory winning the fifth set 6-2 and advancing to the second round in under four hours. This was a brutal first round match which gave the audience a spectacle between two players who are only separated by one ranking place in the rankings. The Russian will now play Marcos Baghdatis or Yuki Bhambri in the next round.

Kohlschreiber Horror Form Continues

Philipp Kohlschreiber hangs his head in shame during Aus Open exit. (zimbio)

In other results Philipp Kohlschreiber produced a lacklustre final set as his horror form continued at the Australian Open. The German lost to Yoshihito Nishioka, who is returning after 10 months out, 6-3 2-6, 6-0, 1-6, 6-2 as the 27th seed missed out on the second round of the Australian Open.

Nishioka will now play Andreas Seppi who advanced past Corentin Moutet 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-2 in just under three hours. The Italian who won the Canberra challenger last week, recovered from a slow start to cruise past the French wildcard.

Meanwhile Viktor Troicki survived a tough test against Australian wildcard, Alex Bolt as he recovered from two sets down to advance in Melbourne. The Serbian hit 22 aces as he beat Bolt 6-7(2) 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4, to make the second round where he could face Nick Kyrgios in the next round.

 

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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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