Auger Aliassime overcomes slow start to beat Fucsovics in Cincinnati - UBITENNIS
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Auger Aliassime overcomes slow start to beat Fucsovics in Cincinnati

The Canadian didn’t get off to the best start but managed to turn the match on its head and take the win over his Hungarian opponent.

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Felix Auger Aliassime is into the second round of the Western and Southern Open being held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio after beating Marton Fucsovics in straight sets 7-6 (0), 6-3 in two hours and 20 minutes.

“I was down a break but I felt really close,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I was giving myself chances to break back and broke him when he served for the set and in the end, it was a tight first one. It was really important for me to win it and I was happy I was able to find a way to win today.”

Auger-Aliassime fired 23 winners in the win while his opponent hit 40 unforced errors in the loss. The first four games of the match went on serve before the Hungarian was able to apply pressure onto the service game of the world number 17.

Fucsovics would come up with a return winner to set up the first breakpoint of the match and break to take an early 3-2 lead but the Montreal native didn’t go away quietly earning chances to break back the following game.

Despite his attempts, the world number 37 saved three breakpoints and managed to consolidate the break, and had a chance to go up a double break but the number 12 seed saved four critical breakpoints and held serve.

At 5-4 with the Hungarian serving for the first set Auger-Aliassime once again came up with the goods saving a set point and earning a chance to break back which he took with a stunning forehand winner to go back on serve.

The Montreal native had a set point of his own, but Fucsovics managed to save it and the first set would be decided by a tiebreaker. That’s when the world number 17 took over winning seven points in a row to win the breaker 7-0 and the first set.

The Canadian had all the momentum heading into the second set where he got the early break but the first three games were breaks of serve until it started to rain and at 2-1 play was suspended.

Roughly 90 minutes later play resumed and Auger-Aliassime was finally able to hold a service game saving a breakpoint and in the following game managed to break the Hungarian with a sweet volley winner on breakpoint for a 3-2 lead.

Again the lead didn’t last long as the world number 37 broke right back and once again the Canadian responded breaking the following game this time with his powerful forehand on another one of his breakpoints.

At 5-3 with the Hungarian serving to stay in the match the Montreal native knew he was close to the finish line and closed out the match breaking one last time to seal the win.

After the match in his post-match press conference, he spoke about he was able to use the rain delay to his advantage.

” It was tough because I was serving at 40-0 when it started raining and I rushed through my service games a little bit so that wasn’t good for me. so I came off the court frustrated because of that so I had an hour in the locker room to relax, talk with my coach and I went back out there.” He said.

Auger Aliassime will face Karen Khachanov in the next round.

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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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