Novak Djokovic Hires Former Wimbledon Champion Ivanisevic - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Hires Former Wimbledon Champion Ivanisevic

The Serbian has a new member in his team just in time for the grass-court major.



WIMBLEDON: World No.1 Novak Djokovic has begun working alongside Goran Ivanisevic in what is the latest addition to his team.

Djokovic, who will begin his title defense at The All England Club on Monday, officially started the collaboration over the weekend. Just in time for the start of the Wimbledon championships, which Ivanisevic won back in 2001. The latest move has no impact on Marian Vajda, who remains Djokovic’s principal coach.

“I am trying to move some of my previous obligations, but I’ll probably be able to stay at Wimbledon just for the first week. Novak looks ready, his mind is clear – if everything is OK, I think he has a big chance to defend his title here.” Ivanisevic told Sasa Ozmo during an interview with Sports Klub.

It is not the first time the 47-year-old has been brought onto the tour as a mentor. He guided Marin Cilic to his only grand slam title at the 2014 US Open and previously worked alongside Milos Raonic. As a player, he won 22 ATP titles and achieved a ranking high of second in the world.

“I am delighted that they’ve chosen me and I am happy that Marian is on board with it. First practice went really well and I hope that our collaboration will last.” He said.
“This is sort of “getting to know“, although we know each other really well. We talked about my perception of his game, some technical details. We’ll work closely here and then we’ll sit down and see what happens next.”

The top seed at this year’s Wimbledon championships, Djokovic is gunning after his 16th grand slam title. Closing in on both Rafael Nadal (18) and Roger Federer (20). He has won three out of the past four major titles but came up short at the French Open. Losing to Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals.

Djokovic opted to not participate in any grass-court event prior to Wimbledon but did play at The Boodles. An exhibition event in London.

“I am fine-tuning. I’m working on my movement. I’m working on being in a right balance on the court, trying to execute the shots, take short balls, come in.” He commented on his Wimbledon preparation yesterday.
“It’s (the grass) quite different from any other styles of my specific game that I use on the other surfaces. You just have to rely more on your serve here. So you’re hoping that that part of your game will work in your favor, and you’re always looking to have free points on the serve. The more free points on serve you have, the more confident you feel, so the more pressure you can put on your opponent in the return games.”

Djokovic will start his Wimbledon bid against Germany’s Phillip Kohlschreiber on Monday. He has already defeated him in two out of their three meetings this year and leads their overall head-to-head 10-2.


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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