Nadal Shines Into The US Open Final, Outlasts Berrettini - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


Nadal Shines Into The US Open Final, Outlasts Berrettini

After a challenging first set, Rafael Nadal found his pace and disposed of Italian Matteo Berrettini in straight set. He will play Daniil Medvedev for the title



Rafael Nadal at the 2019 US Open (photo Twitter @USOpen)

Rafael Nadal walked through to the 2019 US Open final with a straight-set victory against no. 24 seed Italian Matteo Berrettini with a comprehensive 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-1 victory, but almost an hour and a half the match looked a lot less one-sided than it was expected.

The newbie Berrettini was not fazed by the deafening roar the crowd tribute to his 18-time Major winner opponent during the warm-up rallies: he started with a good attitude, sticking to his game that is based on his monster first serve and powerful forehand. Nadal is with his back to the LED wall while he is returning, and Berrettini takes advantage of it with some surgically precise drop shots. But still the Italian was the only one who had to face break points during the first set, five of them (one of which was a set point), all canceled with courageous winners. It took a tie-break to decide who was to get ahead after the first set, and it was a hell of a tie-break: Berrettini sprinted ahead 4-0 capitalizing on an early double fault by Nadal and doubling down with a cross-court backhand return winner. But the Spaniard little by little, point by point inched back to the tail of his opponent, who squandered two set points on 6-4, one of which with a drop shot that died into the net, and ended up conceding the set with an open court forehand unforced error.

The loss of that mammoth 74-minute set would have killed a rhino, but Berrettini shook off the disappointment with nonchalance, canceled two break points in the first two service games of the second set and kept his head down to keep his hopes to level the match alive. But at 3-3, a couple of stunning passing shots by Nadal set up the break that secured the second set for the Spaniard, much more effective than his opponent on his second serve (74% against 45% at the end of the match) and still without a break point faced on his service games. Berrettini’s energy during baseline rallies dropped slightly after the first set, but enough to allow Nadal to get his grip on the match and not letting it go.

Similarly to what happened during the first semifinal between Medvedev and Dimitrov, the third set was completely one-sided: Berrettini could not maintain the intensity of the first two hours of play and ended up giving way to Nadal who closed the match after 2 hours, 34 minutes to clinch his 27th Major final in his career.

Regardless of this match’s result, it has been a dream fortnight for Italian Matteo Berrettini, the first Italian to reach this stage of the competition since Corrado Barazzutti in 1977 (defeated by Jimmy Connors in a controversial match on the Forest Hill’s har-tru): the standing ovation that the Arthur Ashe crowd dedicated to him while exiting the court will certainly be one of his lifetime memories and will spur him to work for even better results starting from the sparkling new no.13 that will be next to his name in next Monday’s ATP ranking.

As to Rafael Nadal, his quest for the 19th Major title will find its last obstacle on Sunday, when he will face Daniil Medvedev, whom he defeated 6-3, 6-0 in Montreal a few weeks ago in the Rogers Cup final.



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. 

Continue Reading


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 

Continue Reading


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. 

Continue Reading