Reigning Champion Alexander Zverev Ends Ferrer’s Career In Madrid - UBITENNIS
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Reigning Champion Alexander Zverev Ends Ferrer’s Career In Madrid

May 8th, 2019 marked the end of an era for one of Spain’s most well-known player’s.

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MADRID: In his first match at the Madrid Open, Alexander Zverev has closed the doors on David Ferrer’s glittering career, which has spanned almost two decades on the ATP Tour.

The late-night clash at the Caja Magica proved to be the perfect farewell for the Spaniard. A packed arena cheered on the 37-year-old with continuous outbursts of ‘Ferru’ echoing throughout venue. A true testament of how much Ferrer’s career has meant to his home country. Nevertheless, Zverev refused to lose to the veteran for the second time this season after Acapulco. Overcoming a tentative start marred by frustration to prevail 6-4,6-1.

Usually, the focus is upon the winner of the match. More particularly in Zverev’s case following his difficulties on the tour in recent months. However, the German respectfully stayed backstage as Ferrer soaked up the atmosphere of playing a competitive tennis match for the final time.

“With everything, it is so emotional. I just wanted to say thank you to a lot of people who have been really helpful since the beginning of my career.” Ferrer said during a special on-court ceremony.
“Thanks to the tournament for letting me play my last match here. For all the love you have given me. Also the same goes for Feliciano Lopez, I’m really going to miss you. You’re a great friend.”

It was a Ferrer backhand drifting out that ended his career. Shortly after, a standing ovation began with the crowd, including Zverev, paying tribute to their home player. On what was an emotional evening, one of Ferrer’s final act as a player saw him place his headband on the court. Signaling an end to his career. 17 years after he made his debut on the ATP Tour.

To all of my tennis colleagues. Thank you for your love and respect. I’m going to miss you all.” He said. 

Ferrer’s career saw him finish seven seasons ranked inside the top 10 and stay in the top 50 for 13 consecutive years. He has managed to play in 50 grand slam main draws in a row and 63 overall. In total, he has contested 52 ATP finals and has won 27 titles.

“To my team, thanks for all of your human qualities, your help. It’s been a pleasure. It’s the most special moment of my life right now and you have always been by my side. You always gave me that love and support that was needed.” He said.
“To my coach. He’s not my coach, he’s the best person I’ve ever met. He use to travel with me when I was 16, he’s always been there in the good and bad moments. And he’s like the second father of my children. You have always been there and I will be there for you too. You’re part of my family.”

As he bid farewell to the tour, Ferrer saved his most striking tribute to last. That was to his fans watching in person and elsewhere around the world.

“To all of you (fans) I gave everything in this sport. I couldn’t give more. I won 27 titles and the Davis Cup(s). I could never win Madrid. I would have loved to have won more. The trophies are material, what I really wanted is the love from the people. That is what really meant to me.”

Ferrer’s career at-a-glance

1. He has finished seven seasons ranked inside the top 10 (2007, 2010-2015)
2. Spent more than 13 years continuously ranked in the top 50 (7/2/05 – 22/7/18)
3. Has played in 52 ATP finals, winning 27 titles.
4. Achieved 20 or more victories in 15 straight seasons (2003-2017)
5. Played in 50 consecutive grand slam main draws before missing the 2015 Wimbledon Championships due to injury. Overall, he has played in the main draw of 63 grand slams.

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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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