Germany Sweeps Canada To Send Them Packing At ATP Cup - UBITENNIS
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Germany Sweeps Canada To Send Them Packing At ATP Cup

Canada faces Germany in their second tie of the ATP Cup on day two of the event as Jan Lennard Struff took on Milos Raonic while Denis Shapovalov took on Alexander Zverev.

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Jan-Lennard Struff (image via https://twitter.com/ATPCup)

Germany have set up a must-win showdown again Serbia at the ATP Cup after travailing over Canada in their opening group match on Wednesday. Despite a loss it the doubles, wins by Jan-Lennard Struff and Milos Raonic secured their victory in the tie.

Struff surprises Raonic 7-6(4), 7-6(2)

First on court was Milos Raonic taking on the tricky German Jan-Lennard Struff in the first singles match. Both players did well at holding serve and it was proving to be a tight match.

There wasn’t a breakpoint during the entire first set and it would be decided by a tiebreaker and the German number two got off to a flying start winning the first three points of the breaker playing some great tennis and winning some great points with his big forehand.

He won three more points and at 6-1 Raonic made a attempt at a comeback and made it all the way back to 6-4 but that was as close as he got as Struff would seal the set with another error from the Canadian 7-6.

The Canadian put pressure on the German in the first game of the second set earning his first breakpoint of the match with a scintillating backhand winner passing shot.

The Warstein, Germany native would immediately save it with a big serve that the tall Canadian couldn’t return and would go on to hold serve and respond by earning a breakpoint in the very next game and he would convert as Raonic sent a ball long to earn the first break of the match.

The Monte Carlo resident responded right away winning four straight points on the German serve including an amazing forehand down the line winner to go back on serve in a match that was going back and forth.

He would hold serve and there wasn’t another breakpoint until 4-3 when Struff had five chances but Raonic would save each of them to survive the game.

Once again the set headed to another tiebreaker and it was almost deja vu as Struff jumped out to a 6-1 lead but this time he wouldn’t crack under the pressure and take the breaker 7-2 and the match in straight sets.

“I played him three times before, lost two, and I’m very happy to have tied against him, and it was a very tough match. He was serving really good in the first games, and it was very tough to put the ball back in play. But I managed to stay good in my service games, and I’m very happy with the win,” said Stuff.

Zverev gets by Shapovalov 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(4)

Next on court was the battle of the number ones as Denis Shapovalov took on Alexander Zverev and ironically the last time these two players met was the ATP last year and the Canadian won that one easily in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.

The first set was a pretty tight affair with both young guns going at it and once again proving to be another great match. The first breakpoint of the match occurred at 5-5 which belonged to the world number 7 but it immediately saved by the 12th ranked player.

A tiebreaker decided the first set where Shapovalov got the early break on the second point of the breaker winning a long intense rally with a great forehand winner.

That break was all he needed and he would end up taking the tiebreaker 7-5 and was one set away from evening the tie at one point apiece.

The German responded in the seconded set breaking in the third game of the set with an amazing backhand return winner that caught the Canadian by surprise to take a 3-1 lead.

He would consolidate the break by holding serve and on the next changeover Shapovalov took a medical timeout to have the trainer work on his shoulder.

It seemed to work as the world number 12 held serve and had two chances to break right back but Zverev was up to the task of saving them and managed to hold serve.

He would serve out the second set to take it 6-3 and force a deciding third set to decide the winner of the match. The Nassau, Bahamas resident got off to the faster star getting a break point early in the set but couldn’t finish the point and an unforced error cost him dearly.

At 2-2 the Richmond Hill, Ontario native served an untimely double fault which gave the German two break points but Shapovalov came up with two big serves to save them and managed to hold serve.

Once again at 3-3 there was breakpoints for the world number seven but they were quickly saved by the Canadian in a match that was going back and forth. Zverev had two more chances at 5-5 but again couldn’t finish and the 21 year old held serve.

The match would be decided by a tiebreaker once again and it was the world number 12 who got off to the faster start jumping out to a 3-1 lead before Zverev stormed back to win the next two points and even the breaker at 3.

Shapovalov would throw in another untimely double fault at 3-4 to give the German the break he needed and he would serve out the match to take it 6-7, 6-3, 7-6.

“It was kind of a typical first match of the season where I had a lot of chances but let them go a little bit. In the end I did a good job I think winning the tiebreak, played some good points and getting the win for Germany is the most important thing right now,” the 2020 US Open runner-up told reporters.

Canada is officially eliminated from the ATP Cup with a 0-2 record meanwhile Germany and Serbia will meet on Thursday to decide who goes to the semi finals.

“Winning a team event, winning something for your country it’s one of the biggest things in our sport. I think the ATP Cup is just as big as the Davis Cup right now, with the new format that the Davis Cup is having, so it’s — we want to go match by match. Tomorrow we got the defending champions, that’s not going to be easy for us,” Zverev commented on the tournament.

There was some consultation for Canada who won their doubles match to end the tie 1-2 in Germany’s favour.

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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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