Borna Coric into the Semis in Rotterdam after dispatching Kei Nishikori - UBITENNIS
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Borna Coric into the Semis in Rotterdam after dispatching Kei Nishikori

Borna Coric moved into the semi-finals in Rotterdam after a straight sets victory over Kei Nishikori.



Borna Coric (abnamrowtt - Twitter)

The Croatian needed two tiebreakers to book his spot in the semifinals.

Borna Coric is into the semifinals after beating the world number 45 Kei Nishikori in straight sets 7-6,7-6 in a great match that went back and forth at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. The 24-year-old fired 28 winners while the 31-year-old hit 23 unforced errors.

The Japanese world number 45 got off to an aggressive start earning three breakpoints off the opening service game of the match as it seemed like the Croat was slow out of the gates.

He would manage to hold his opening service game but the Japanese world number 45 kept applying pressure on the Croat service games and at 2-2 he would have two more chances to break and would ultimately break when Coric served a double fault to take a 3-2 lead.

The break didn’t last long as the Zagreb native would break right back the following service game and we were all square at 3-3. The first set would be decided by a tiebreaker which the Croat would get the crucial break after playing four extremely tight points to take a 4-2 lead in the breaker.

He would eventually win the breaker 7-2 thus winning the first set 7-6 and was one set away from the final four in Rotterdam.

The second set was almost like the first but this time Coric carried the momentum and had two breakpoints in the opening service game of the second set and would break on his third opportunity of the set when the world number 45 sent a ball out for the early 1-0 lead.

The Shimane, Japan native wasn’t going to go away quietly and in the following game off three errors from the Croat he had three breakpoints but the world number 26 would do a great job rallying back to save them all and hold serve.

At 2-1 the Bradenton, Florida resident had two more chances to break and he would break to go back on serve at 2-2 when the 24 year old would send a ball long.

It was turning once again into a seesaw battle and the very next game Coric went back on the offensive earning two more breakpoints but this time the Japanese world number 45 did a good job saving them and held serve.

The second set would once again be decided by another tiebreaker and the Croat got the early break in the first point playing a great rally and finishing it with a sublime passing shot to take a 1-0 lead.

After winning the next point on serve the Japanese native won two straight points as Coric hit two unforced errors in a row and we had a feeling this was going to be decided in a third set.

That’s when the world number 26 stormed back and won the next two doing a good job forcing the errors off his opponents racquet to even the breaker at 4-4.

The Croat would get the crucial break the very next point as Nishikori would send a return into the net and with a sigh of disbelief he fell to his knees thinking the match was over.

Coric would indeed win the next two points with his solid forehand to win the match and book his spot in the final four.

After the match in an on court interview he gave his thoughts of the win.

“It was very close and I thought I was serving very well but in the game, I felt like he was playing really fast and I couldn’t get on top of the rally so I needed to do a lot of running obviously it was a bit tiring but in the end, it was a very good match”.

Coric will next face Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Quarter Finals day

It was quarter finals day at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam and there was some great matches. Andrey Rublev needed three sets to beat Jeremy Chardy beating him 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 while Stefanos Tsitipas also needed three sets to beat Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 to set up a semi final meeting on Saturday afternoon with Rublev.


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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