Andy Murray Returns To Grand Slam Tennis With Gruelling US Open Win - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray Returns To Grand Slam Tennis With Gruelling US Open Win

It was far from plain sailing for the Brit in his first grand slam match for 13 months.



Former world No.1 Andy Murray has progressed to the second round of the US Open after battling past James Duckworth 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5, 6-3, in what was a battle of the comeback kids in New York.

Murray, who triumphed in Flushing Meadows back in 2012, is playing in only his sixth tournament since returning from a hip injury. Furthermore, he was contesting his first best-of-five set match this season. Meanwhile, former top 100 player Duckworth has also suffered his fair share of injury woes. Undergoing five surgeries on his right foot, right shoulder and right elbow since 2017. Both players have endured misfortune, but it was Murray who managed to prevail in their clash. Hitting 31 winners to 29 unforced errors and converting six out of his 15 break point opportunities.

“At times it was tricky. Especially early on in the match. It was very, very lively and very hot.” Murray said during his on-court interview.
“The ball was flying around and James was serving big and playing a lot of drop shots. Throwing me off rhythm.
“I am happy I managed to get through that and play some good tennis at times.”

Judging on their career records, Murray went into the match as the favourite to win. Although that illusion was swiftly dismissed by 26-year-old Duckworth, whose risky game plan raked in its benefits. Leaving  Murray frustrated as he failed to convert two set points whilst leading 6-5.  The mood of the Brit deteriorated further in the tiebreaker when more gutsy play from the Australian saw him turn his fortunes around. A forehand cross-court winner gave him his first set point. Unlike Murray, he was able to convert after a slice from his rival drifted long.

Facing the prospect of falling at the first hurdle in New York for the first time in his career, Murray increased his aggression and the intensity is his shot-making. Breaking twice during the second set to revive his chances of winning.

Despite the turn in the tides, the Brit still struggled to tame his rival. Duckworth’s resilience was one that frustrated Murray and won him fans. With both players matching each other game-by-game, it was a minor blunder from the Australian that cost him dearly. Serving to stay in the third set at 5-6, a double fault handed Murray set point. An opportunity he seized after a Duckworth slice drifted out, prompting him to slam his racket on the floor out of anger.

Closing in on his first win in a major since the 2017 Wimbledon championships, Murray continued to endure a roller coaster journey. Strolling to a 3-1 lead in the fourth frame with the help of Duckworth forehand slamming into the net on break point. Only for him to be broken in the following game. Continuing to weather the storm, the Brit eventually sealed his place in the second round when a shot from his rival crashed into the net on match point.

“I made a bit of a change on the return games. I started to stand a bit further back to give me a little bit more time. I got myself into a few more rallies that way and once I got into the rallies I was a little bit more comfortable.” Murray explained about how he managed to turn the match around.

Awaiting Murray in the next round will be Spanish 31st seed Fernando Verdasco. In his opening match, he dismissed compatriot Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 7-5, 6-4. Murray has a 13-1 head-to-head lead against Verdasco on the tour.



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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