Marco Cecchinato Stuns Novak Djokovic To Reach Maiden Grand Slam Semi-Final - UBITENNIS
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Marco Cecchinato Stuns Novak Djokovic To Reach Maiden Grand Slam Semi-Final

Marco Cecchinato won the biggest match of his career after a four set win over Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros.



Marco Cecchinato (

Marco Cecchinato has knocked Novak Djokovic out of Roland Garros after a 6-3 7-6(4) 1-6 7-6(11) victory to make his first ever grand slam Semi-Final.

The Italian, started the match the strongest as he broke Djokovic early in the set, using his flat and powerful backhand to good effect. The world number 70 was looking to become the first Italian to be in the semi-finals at Roland Garros for 40 years and he made a positive start as his Serbian opponent was struggling with a neck injury.

After some neck treatment, the 2016 champion couldn’t mount any offence as Cecchinato was executing some sublime drop shots. The Italian kept his composure and regained his momentum as the first set was wrapped up in 25 minutes.

The second set saw the level from both players increase as the crowd were treated to one of the most entertaining sets of Roland Garros so far. The Serb cancelled out Cecchinato’s early break of serve as we finally got to see the passion and the fire that had been missing from his matches in the past.

Both players received code violation warnings for coaching as the Italian was forced to save three set points to force the tiebreak. The Italian showed a true strength in character as he continued to move the Serb around and eventually sealed the second set with a big serve.

However the world number 22 was known for his great comebacks and was relying on his experience to pull him through this contest. The Serb took advantage of a fatigued and frustrated Cecchinato as three breaks of serve were enough to seal the third set as his backhand was slowly improving as the match went on. The set was wrapped up in 30 minutes as momentum had severely shifted towards Djokovic.

The fourth set began with a point penalty for Cecchinato as he didn’t receive permission to leave the court to change his shoes. In the midst of all the confusion, the 12 time grand slam champion continued his fantastic level as he grabbed the early break of serve.

The Serb had the chance to move 5-1 up in the fourth set after having three break points on Cecchinato’s serve. The Italian eventually held and it seemed that he was a lot more energetic after that game as he broke the Serb in the ninth game to ensure the set was back on serve.

Nobody had seen this coming, especially considering Cecchinato’s frustration and fatigue early on in the set as he would force a dramatic fourth set tiebreak. The tiebreak saw Djokovic save a match point with a volley that was unbelievably good as well as the rallies going beyond 20 shots and causing a lot of stunned faces.

An easy forehand miss on set point seemed to anger the former champion who then pleaded with the crowd to be quiet. However it was a backhand lob down the line that sealed the biggest win of Cecchinato’s career as he made his first grand slam semi-final.

The Italian was very emotional after the match as his distraught opponent was as always gracious in defeat giving Cecchinato a massive hug. The Italian had never won a grand slam match before this tournament and was two points away from defeat in his first round match, but everything can change in a week. Now the Italian is now two wins away from a first grand slam title and a place in Italian tennis history. The world number 70 will face Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals on Friday.



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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