US Open: Teenager Alcaraz Ousts Tsitsipas In Five-set Epic - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

US Open: Teenager Alcaraz Ousts Tsitsipas In Five-set Epic

Eighteen-year-old Carlos Alcaraz stuns third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas delighting Arthur Ashe Stadium’s crowd

Avatar

Published

on

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates after winning a Men's Singles match at the 2021 US Open, Friday, Sep. 3, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

One thing is certain: the kid knows how to make an entrance, and the New York crowd loved it to bits. On his first-ever participation at the US Open, 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz put on a mesmerising display of aggressive tennis and sheer guts to take on, and eventually take down, world no. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 4-6 7-6(2) 0-6 7-6(5) in 4-hours, 7 minutes in the biggest stadium in the business, the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows.

 

Very few analysts had ventured to predict that clay-court specialist Alcaraz could represent a risky opponent for Tsitsipas, given the difference in ranking and experience, but the young Spaniard took to the court with a clear game plan and remained committed to it, executing with great ability even after losing the fourth set by 6-0.

“Our plan was to keep rallies short – said former world no. 1 Juan Carlo Ferrero, Alcaraz’ coach, after the match – because [Carlos] is not a player for long rallies. He is very confident right now; he was able to let his shots go and he did play extremely well. He was very keen on playing Tsitsipas, it could have occurred last year at Roland Garros, and also this year in Australia, but eventually, it didn’t happen. In this tournament, he could play the match and he played great”.

In this match Alcaraz won fewer games (3) and fewer points (8) than Tsitsipas, but managed to hit 61 winners, 18 of which in an astonishing fifth set that he played lights-out after a “gameless” loss in the fourth. Eighteen is also the number of Alcaraz’ backhand winners, against only two by Tsitsipas.

“It’s one of these matches and one of these feelings where, you know, you pick up at some point of the match, you feel like you’re in control, and it doesn’t really go your way at the end, “ said Tsitsipas in a sad press conference where he hit back at the attacks and the “boos” he has been subjected to during this tournament because of his long toilet breaks. “I’m not pretending that everyone loves me. I don’t want to be — my intentions are not to be loved by everyone. Every person can choose their favorite player, pick a side. I felt that way, but I kind of have ignored it.”

He had some tough words for his colleague Alexander Zverev, who implied Tsitsipas used a toilet break to communicate with his coach-father during the final of the Western&Southern Open in Cincinnati: “When people are not really in the sport and don’t know what is happening, I mean, all these accusations have been completely false. The one in my match in Cincinnati, which was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Yeah, that was — I don’t know what to say. I mean, that really shows the level of the person that said it.”

The crowd adopted Alcaraz as their favourite from the beginning of the match and lifted the Spaniard during the final part of the match. “I think without the crowd I couldn’t have the opportunity to play a great fifth set and be able to beat Stefanos. I think the crowd was really amazing”.

Tsitsipas subsequently told the Greek media that the match turned on very few points, most likely in the third set when he could not convert the double break advantage and had three set points when serving at 5-2. “I did not learn the lesson from Cincinnati,” he said, remembering the 4-1 lead in the final set during the last match with Zverev at the Western&Southen Open. But he also admitted he had never seen anyone hitting returns that powerful: “I don’t know how much harder I need to hit my return in order to apply pressure. But he felt to be dealing with it really well, comfortably, hitting winners after the first return of mine, just being so much in control, which was surprising, especially in the fifth set. I didn’t expect him to raise his level so much, especially after having lost the fourth set this way. He was a completely different player.”

Alcaraz is now edging closer to the Top 50 in the ATP ranking and will face qualifier Peter Gojowczyk (no. 141 ATP) from Germany to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinals.

ATP

Playing Clay Events After Wimbledon Was A Mistake, Says Diego Schwartzman

The former French Open semi-finalist is seeking to win his first title since March 2021 at the Tel Aviv Open this week.

Avatar

Published

on

Diego Schwartzman (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Diego Schwartzman will likely reevaluate his schedule for next year after admitting that part of his plans for this summer backfired. 

 

The world No.17 enters into the final quarter of the season with 31 wins against 22 losses on the Tour but is yet to win a title. Although he did reach back-to-back finals back in February in Argentina and Brazil. He has won two out of eight matches against top 10 opposition, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Cup and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Barcelona. 

Reflecting on his performance, Schwartzman admits that his decision to return to European clay after playing at Wimbledon was a mistake. He lost his second match in Gstaad to Pablo Carreno Busta and then his first in Hamburg to Emil Ruusuvori. 

“It’s difficult to play at the same level every tournament, I’ve made a bad decision playing clay tournaments after Wimbledon, I didn’t have time to rest,” he said during his pre-tournament press conference at the Tel Aviv Open. “I paid the price and had some bad losses. But I started to feel much better in USA hard court season, lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas who reached the final in Cincinnati and to Frances Tiafoe at the US Open. Now I am feeling very good, I really love playing indoor tournaments.”

The 30-year-old has headed straight to Tel Aviv from the Laver Cup where Roger Federer played the last match of his career. Despite Schwartzman’s Team World winning the title for the first time, his only contribution to the tie saw him lose 6-1, 6-2, to Tsitsipas. 

Retirement was very much the topic of conversation during the Laver Cup with others such as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic questioned by reporters about their plans in the sport. As for Schwartzman, he stayed coy about how much longer he would continue playing after saying in the past he might stop at the age of 33. 

“33 — is a good age to retire, isn’t it? South Americans are in different situations compared to European players. We travel too much, and sometimes we are not coming back home for 2-3 months, while Europeans can fly home every week. It’s tough,” he said. 
“As for Roger — he’s a special player, I think he is just the greatest in our sport.”

The Argentine is seeded third this week in Israel and will begin his campaign against Arthur Rinderknech who defeated qualifier Marius Copil in his opening match. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Laver Cup Daily Preview: Team Europe Goes for a Fifth Straight Laver Cup

Avatar

Published

on

The lineup for Day 3 (twitter.com/lavercup)

Heading into Day 3, the 2022 Laver Cup is feeling extremely familiar.  Team Europe has an 8-4 advantage, and only needs two wins on Sunday to secure their fifth consecutive Laver Cup.  Team World needs to win three matches to pull off the upset and obtain their first. 

 

Sunday’s play gets underway in London at 12:00pm local time.  And each match on Sunday is worth three points.


Matteo Berrettini and Andy Murray (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock (Team World) – 12:00pm

Berrettini was victorious in both singles and doubles on Saturday, defeating Auger-Aliassime in singles, and teaming with Djokovic to overcome Sock and de Minaur in doubles.  So Matteo gained victories over both of his Sunday opponents on Saturday.  Murray lost to de Minaur in singles on Friday.  Andy and Jack are the most accomplished doubles players in this match, as Sock is pretty much Team World’s doubles specialist.  If he and Felix cannot pull of the victory on Sunday, it could be a pretty short day.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World)

Like Berrettini, Djokovic won in singles and doubles on Saturday, comfortably dispatching of Tiafoe in singles.  While it was his first match in over two months, Novak showed no rust whatsoever.  Auger-Aliassime’s loss to Berrettini on Saturday will not help his confidence against the 21-time Major champion.

Novak and Felix have only played once before, and that occurred four months ago in Rome on clay.  It was a pretty tight affair, but Djokovic prevailed 7-5, 7-6(1).  And there’s not much evidence to support a different outcome on Sunday.  Novak is surely eager to re-assert his authority after missing so much of this season due to his vaccination status.


Stefanos Tsitsipas (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – If Necessary

Tsitsipas easily beat Diego Schwartzman on Friday, dropping just three games.  He is 3-2 against Tiafoe, and 3-1 on hard courts.  However, Frances claimed their most recent encounter, last fall in Vienna, which was also on an indoor hard court.


Casper Ruud (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – If Necessary

Ruud defeated Sock on Friday, while Fritz defeated Norrie on Saturday.  If this match takes place, it will be their first career meeting.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

Continue Reading

ATP

Laver Cup Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic to Play Singles and Doubles on Saturday

Avatar

Published

on

The lineup for Day 2 (twitter.com/lavercup)

In the wake of Roger Federer’s incredibly emotional retirement on Day 1, the focus of this event shifts to the rest of the competitors on Day 2.  And for the first time in the five-year history of the Laver Cup, Team World goes into Day 2 without a deficit.  With both Federer and Rafael Nadal replaced by alternates for Day 2 and Day 3, is this Team World’s opportunity to capture their first Laver Cup? 

 

Each day, this preview will look at all four scheduled matches, while taking an extended look at the most notable match of the day.  Saturday’s day session gets underway in London at 1:00pm local time, and the night session at 7:00pm.  And each match on Saturday is worth two points.


Matteo Berrettini (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World) – 1:00pm

These two good friends have played four times, with Berrettini winning on three of those occasions.  Matteo’s wins came three years ago in the final of Stuttgart on grass, in the quarterfinals of last year’s Wimbledon, and a year ago in this event.  Auger-Aliassime’s only win occurred last summer in Cincinnati.  Matteo is coming off a quarterfinal run in New York, as well as three victories last week in Davis Cup.  Felix was upset in the second round of the US Open by Jack Draper, and went 2-1 in Davis Cup.


Cameron Norrie (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – Second in the Day Session

Norrie was also an alternate in last year’s Laver Cup, but did not play.  Fritz was a part of Team World in 2019, when he went 1-1 in singles, defeating Dominic Thiem during Sunday’s play in a must-win match to keep his team alive.  Cam is now 45-22 on the year, while Fritz is 36-17.  Both men achieved their best-ever Major performances two months ago at Wimbledon.  They played each other just last week in Davis Cup, with Norrie prevailing after three tight sets.  Overall they have split 10 previous meetings.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – 7:00pm

Is Tiafoe ready to upset another member of “The Big Three” on Saturday?  He earned the biggest win of his career by taking out Rafael Nadal at the US Open, and defeated Nadal and Federer in doubles on Day 1 alongside Jack Sock.  Meanwhile, this will be the first match for Djokovic in over two months, since he won the Wimbledon final over Nick Kyrgios.  The unvaccinated Novak was unable to travel to North America for the hard court summer season.

Djokovic has only played seven tournaments this year, amassing a record of 23-5.  Tiafoe is 26-19, and is coming off his exciting semifinal run in New York.  Their only previous matchup was at the 2021 Australian Open, when Novak defeated Frances in four sets.  Frances is certainly the much more match-tough player on this day.  But despite his recent inactivity, Djokovic should still be considered the favorite.


Matteo Berrettini and Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Alex de Minaur and Jack Sock (Team World) – Second in the Night Session

Novak will have only a few minutes of rest ahead of this doubles match, so the length of his match with Tiafoe could impact the result here.  This will be Novak’s first time playing doubles since last year’s Davis Cup finals.  Berrettini played three doubles matches this past January at the ATP Cup, going 1-2.  De Minaur overcame Andy Murray in singles on Friday in what was a grueling contest, while Sock was defeated in singles and victorious in doubles.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending