Stan Wawrinka Returns To The Australian Open For His First Competitive Tournament In Six Months - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Stan Wawrinka Returns To The Australian Open For His First Competitive Tournament In Six Months

Published

on

2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka returns to the sight of his first Grand Slam triumph, as the three-time Grand Slam champion had been ruled out of action for six months due to a knee injury which required surgery.

However, Switzerland’s number two has not withdrawn from the Australian Open, and it remains to be seen how the former world number three will do at Melbourne Park. He is drawn in the tricky bottom half of the draw, where he could clash with Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals and compatriot Roger Federer in the last four.

Wawrinka stunned world number one Rafael Nadal in the final four years ago to claim his first Grand Slam singles title, and he was inevitably asked about his health.

“I’m here so I’m better, it’s been six months now, it’s been tough, really tough, to get back to be able to play again but I’m feeling better, slowly getting there, first thing was a last minute choice to come here for a week to practice without  knowing if I was able to play or not, it was the right choice after a few months being home, practicing a lot to get my knee a little better.”

The three-time Slam champion is pleased to be back at Melbourne Park, and it will be intriguing to see how his knee will react.

“For me, I think the fact that I’m here, it’s a big victory, it’s the best I could have done after surgery to be here sitting in front of you, saying I’ll be playing the first match that’s something really from my side, especially from the knee it’s getting way better.

“I still have a lot of work to do physically, tennis wise to be at my top level but I’m going to take the time I need for that and I know I need to start somewhere and here was a good start, it’s a good place to start, to get pushed to see how mentality I’m going to react how I’m going to feel when I play matches.”

Wawrinka withdrew from the Tie-Break Tens exhibition in Melbourne citing that he was not ready to compete with Milos Raonic replacing him at the last minute.

“For sure, where I come, I was injured, there was a lot of up and downs, I pulled out because I wasn’t ready to play, “the question was if he was not ready to play a super tiebreak, why would we be ready to play a best of five set match?” but nothing compares a super tiebreak you need to be ready for quick points, I wasn’t ready at all to do that.”

The 2014 winner is going to be careful with his knee, and revealed that it was a last minute decision to participate at the first Grand Slam of the year.

“It’s the most important for me to be careful with my knee, i waited the last minute to see If i would play or not, we decided with my team to practice today, to make the decision if I was ready or not.”

Wawrinka’s successful partnership with Swede Magnus Norman ended last year, and the Swiss was upset that their partnership ended during a tough period.

For sure it is already a tough moment for myself to get surgery, six months to be back, it was for sure, it was tough to hear from him that he would stop from that moment, when you are in a tough place like that as an athlete, you want the people who know you the best to stick with you, your team and family will help you the most where you want to be.

“For me Magnus was my coach but he was a friend and even closer as a friend it was tough to know he will not be here to start again with me, I was more sad than angry with him at the end of the day, I will always be grateful for all of the work, we have done together, winning Grand Slams with him and also that’s what I want to keep from our relationship but for sure when he told me it was the not the best moment to tell me, we were stopping like that.”

Wawrinka begins his quest for a second Australian Open crown against Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis on Tuesday.

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