Four Milestones Novak Djokovic Could Achieve At Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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Four Milestones Novak Djokovic Could Achieve At Wimbledon

In his 16th main draw appearance at the Championships, the 34-year-old has the potential to rewrite the record books for multiple reasons.

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Novak Djokovic with the 2019 Wimbledon trophy (photo via Wimbledon Twitter)

In his hunt for all-time greatness Novak Djokovic returns to the grand Slam where he won back-to-back matches for the first time in his record-breaking career.

After coming through qualifying in 2005, Djokovic defeated Juan Monaco and Guillermo Garcia Lopez before falling to fifth seed Sebastian Grosjean. The run elevated the Serbian into the world’s top 100 for the first time in his career at the age of 18. Since then, Djokovic has established himself as one of the sports all-time greats and has held the world No.1 position more weeks than any other player on the ATP Tour. At Wimbledon specifically, he has already clinched the title five times and currently holds a 88% win rate (72 wins against 10 losses).

This year he will be hoping to continue what has been an undefeated run in the majors so far. Should he prevail at SW19 once again, he will rewrite the record books for multiple reasons.

Here are four records and milestones that are at stake for Djokovic.

1.The all-time Grand Slam record

Wimbledon provides Djokovic with the opportunity for him to achieve an accolade he has been chasing after in recent times. Should he prevail at The All England Club he will claim his 20th Grand Slam title and equal the men’s all-time record which is currently shared by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“Grand Slams are the biggest motivation I have right now at this stage of my career,” Djokovic told reporters on Saturday. “I want to try to make the most out of Grand Slams as I possibly can. I’m trying to peak at the majors. I’ve been managing to do that throughout my career. I’ve had the fortune to really play my best tennis when it mattered the most I think.”

Should he claim his 20th major trophy, Djokovic will move into fourth place for most won among men and women. Margaret Court currently leads the list with 24, followed by Serena Williams (23) and Stefi Graf (22).

2.The Wimbledon hat-trick

On a 14-match winning streak at Wimbledon, Djokovic is bidding to win the tournament for the third consecutive time after 2018 and 2019. Last year’s edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Should he do so, the Serbian would become only the fourth man in the Open Era to do so.

Pete Sampras was undefeated between 1997-2000, Bjorn Borg won five straight titles between 1976-2018 and Federer was dominant between 2003-2007. Overall, only 10 men have managed to defend their title at Wimbledon in the Open Era.

3.The Grand Slam trio

Following his successes at the Australian Open and French Open, Djokovic could become the first player in over 50 years to win the first three Grand Slams of the season. The last to do so was Rod Laver in 1969 who went on to win the Calendar Grand Slam for the second time in his career after 1962. The only other players to have ever achieved the milestone was Jack Crawford in 1933, Don Budge in 1938 and Lew Hoad in 1956.

4.Paris-London double

It has been more than a decade since a male player won the French Open before going on to triumph at Wimbledon the same year. The last player to do so was Rafael Nadal back in 2010 who scored the double for a second time in his career after 2008. Laver, Borg and Federer are the only other men to have achieved the milestone in the Open Era.

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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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