Rafael Nadal Weights In On GOAT Debate After French Open Win, Praise From Federer - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Weights In On GOAT Debate After French Open Win, Praise From Federer

The world No.2 speaks out about who should be regarded as the greatest of all time in men’s tennis following his latest victory in Paris.



Rafael Nadal’s latest triumph at the French Open has once against reignited a debate that he has been involved in throughout most of his career.

The world No.2 produced a clinical performance during his straight sets win over Novak Djokovic to win a record-equalling 20th major title along with Roger Federer. Who is five years older than the Spaniard. Nadal is the first player – male or female – to have won the same major 13 times and now has 999 wins on the ATP Tour. His latest achieved has been hailed by many, including Federer himself who paid tribute in a social media post.

“I have always had the utmost respect for my friend Rafa as a person and as a champion. As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players,” Federer wrote on Twitter. “Therefore, it is a true honour for me to congratulate him on his 20th Grand Slam victory.”
“It is especially amazing that he has now won Roland Garros an incredible 13 times, which is one of the greatest achievements in sport,”
he added.

Unlike Nadal, Federer is going through a dry spell when it comes to claiming Grand Slam trophies with his last triumph occurring at the 2018 Australian Open. Since then he has only reached one final at Wimbledon last year where he lost to Djokovic who is the other member of the illustrious Big Three.

“Thanks Roger for the words,” Nadal commented during his press conference.“I think, as everybody knows, we have a very good relationship. We respect each other a lot.’
“At the same time in some way I think he’s happy when I’m winning and I’m happy when he’s doing the things well.”

The question pundits are now asking is if Nadal can go on to become the GOAT of the sport. For years a debate has surrounded the Big Three with arguments for each of them to be given the honour. Federer still holds the record for most weeks at world No.1 but Djokovic is on course to break that next year. The Swiss has also won more ATP titles than the other two but he is the oldest. Meanwhile, Nadal has won more titles on the clay than anybody in ATP history which is underscored by his French Open dominance in recent years. Finally, Djokovic is the youngest of the trio and is the only one to have a winning head-to-head record against the other two.

To an extent the GOAT debate is somewhat subjective and can be interpreted by how a person defines greatness. But what does Nadal think?

“I always say the same, that I would love to finish my career being the player with the most Grand Slams. No doubt about that,” he said.
“On the other hand, I have to do it my way during all of my career and it worked well. I’m not going to be thinking all the time Novak has this one, Roger is winning the other one. You can’t be always unhappy because your neighbour has a bigger house than you or a bigger boat or has a better phone. You have to live your personal life.”

For Nadal, he believes history will be the ultimate judge as he vowed to enjoy living in the moment and not get too distracted by chasing records. Although he does already have a few to his name, including winning more Grand Slams (six) after their 30th birthday than any other male player.

“Let’s see what’s going on when we finish our careers. I don’t know what can happen in the future. I am just excited. At the same time sharing this (Grand Slam) record between us, that we had an amazing rivalry for such a long time, is something in some way beautiful I believe.”

It is unclear as to if Nadal will return to the Tour again this season despite qualifying for the ATP Finals. Questioned about his plans in the coming months, he say he will discuss options with his team in the coming days.


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 Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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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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