Alexander Zverev Wins Vienna Open, Tells Runner-Up Tiafoe To 'Keep His Sh*t Together' - UBITENNIS
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Alexander Zverev Wins Vienna Open, Tells Runner-Up Tiafoe To ‘Keep His Sh*t Together’

The world No.4 was full of praise after claiming his fifth trophy of the season.

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Alexander Zverev (GER); Copyright: e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Christian Hofer

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the first ATP player born in the 1990s to win an 18th Tour title after beating a spirited Frances Tiafoe in the final of the Vienna Open.

 

The world No.4 produced a dominant service display to oust the underdog 7-5, 6-4, after an hour and 36 minutes of play. Against Tiafoe, he won 80% of his first service points and produced 19 aces. Making him only the second player this season to win a fifth ATP trophy after Norway’s Casper Ruud. Earlier this year Zverev won titles in Mexico, Madrid, the Tokyo Olympics and Cincinnati.

“It’s great. I didn’t start the week off very well. I didn’t feel like I was playing well but the last few matches were great,” Zverev told TennisTV afterwards.

Clashing against each other on the Tour for the seventh time in their careers, Zverev has only ever lost to his American opponent on one previous occasion. However, this week Tiafoe had been the man to beat after producing three consecutive wins over a top 20 player. Something the qualifier had never done in a tournament until now.

Fittingly the opening set saw both men produce some of their best tennis to the delight of the animated Vienna crowd. Second seed Zverev was the first to draw blood after breaking for a 3-1 lead. Although his advantage was short-lived with a resilient Tiafoe fighting back by winning seven points in a row. Eventually the two would be separated by just a couple points. As Tiafoe served to stay in contention at 5-6, the German worked his way to his first set point but was denied by an ace. However, Zverev prevailed on his second attempt with the help of a shot from his opponent landing out.

Heading into the second frame Tiafoe tried to get into the mind of the multiple Grand Slam finalist by toying with his standing position on the court and joking with the crowd. However, Zverev’s concentration throughout the final remained unbroken. In a match of fine margins the 24-year-old had multiple break point chances during the second frame but was denied by Tiafoe who produced some emphatic tennis. However, like the opener Zverev triumphed at the most critical time. With Tiafoe serving to stay in the final, he stormed to a 40-0 lead with a trio of championship points in his favour. He prevailed on his fist with a clean backhand winner.

“I won the Olympic Games, that’s the biggest thing you can win in sport. I also won two Masters series and two 500 events (in 2021). It’s very tough to beat that but I still have two more tournaments to come and I hope I do well there as well,” said the Vienna champion.

There is a silver lining for Tiafoe who will rise to 41st in the rankings on Monday which will be his highest position since July 2019. Earlier in the tournament he scored his first ever win over a top three player by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas. He also scored wins over Jannik Sinner and Diego Schwartzman.

“Man, I’m tired,” Tiafoe joked during the trophy ceremony. “I just want to thank the crowd. You guys were unbelievable the whole week, you guys have been getting behind me like crazy. This is the best week I’ve had in my career so far.’
“Sascha I’ve known him for so long since I was ten, eleven years old. We are going to know each other for many more years and hopefully battle many times (on the Tour). I think he’s going to be a hall of famer, he’s going to win a ton of Grand Slams and be number one in the world – this guy is special.” He added.

Returning the praise, Zverev also spoke highly of his longtime friend who hadn’t reached a Tour final for more than three years until this week. The German believes Tiafoe has want it takes to reach the top of the men’s game if he ‘keeps his sh*t together.’

“You’ve been improving every single week and you’re gonna climb up the rankings extreme fast I think, if you keep your sht together,” he said to the 23-year-old. “On a serious note, I’ve told you before that you are one of the most talented young guys on the Tour. I don’t only want to see you in the top 30, top 20. I want to see you in the top 10. I want to battle the biggest finals against you. Right now at the stage where tennis is, tennis needs you so from all of us (the sport) keep you sh*t together and we will see you in the top 10 soon hopefully.”

Zverev has now won 52 matches this season which is the second highest on the ATP Tour after Tsitsipas who leads with 55.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Names His Best Personality Trait Ahead of Wimbledon Showdown With Kyrgios

The Greek has named one ‘defining aspect’ of her personality but will it have any relevance for his next match?

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Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) - Credit: AELTC/Joe Toth

Stefanos Tsitsipas says he is ‘thrilled’ to book a Wimbledon third round meeting with Nick Kyrgios later this week after seeing off Jordan Thompson in straight sets on Thursday.

 

The world No.5 rallied his way to a 6-2, 6-3, 7-5, over Thompson to record only his fifth main draw win at the tournament in his career. Despite his accolades on the Tour, Tsitsipas has endured disappointment at The All England Club. In his four previous appearances, he lost in the first round three times.

Nevertheless, the Greek appears to be heading in the right direction on the grass after winning the Mallorca Open less than a week ago. Although he will be truly tested on Saturday when he faces the dangerous Kyrgios who he lost to in Halle earlier this year after winning the first set. Kyrgios produced a clinical performance in his second round match which he said was a message sent to media criticism him.

“Nick has more matches on me in these courts. He claims to like grass. I think his game is good for the grass,” said Tsitsipas.
“I am definitely thrilled to be facing him. I respect him a lot, on the court, what he’s trying to do. Although he has been a little controversial in the past, I think he’s playing good tennis.’
“I’m going to try and concentrate on doing my thing and pay attention to my own game from start to finish. Hopefully I can stay there and do something great, have a great competitive match against him.”

Kyrgios’ talent has never been disputed but it is his mentality which has at times been his downfall. In his first round match, he was aggravated by the crowd, argued with a match official and spat in front of some people in the stands who were ‘disrespecting’ him.

As for Tsitsipas, the 23-year-old believes his mental strength is one of his best personality traits.

“My mentality is pretty strong. If I fall, I’ll always get up and work hard. I never really have these days where I’m saying, I don’t want to practice today,” he said
“I feel like other players would have that a bit more often than I do. If I fall, I always get up, one thing to get stronger.”

It remains to be seen if Tsitsipas will come back stronger against Kyrgios as he seeks revenge for his recent loss. Although he has lost to the Australian on two other occasions with his only victory in their rivalry being at the Laver Cup.

You just go out on the court hoping to have a good match, hoping to be able to get balls back, be precise with your shot selection. That comes with good preparation. The rest will hopefully follow if you’re able to approach that with the right mindset.” Tsitsipas explained.

Tsitsipas is the only seeded player remaining in his section of the draw after two rounds played.

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Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer form dream team for London’s Laver Cup

Build-up to September’s Laver Cup has already begun and some big names are set to feature.

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Andy Murray’s Wimbledon may have come to a disappointing end yesterday, but there is hope on the horizon yet.

 

It was announced shortly before his second-round encounter with John Isner, that the three-time Grand Slam champion has signed up to play in September’s Laver Cup.

This would mark Murray’s first appearance in the competition.

Being a home tournament for the Brit, fans will be hoping and praying he stays fit for September’s showpiece at the O2 Arena.

Team Europe assembles dream team

With the confirmation of tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, the addition of Murray adds more stellar firepower and history to Europe’s cast.

With three of six confirmed, who could the other three names be?

Surely, teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz should be given a place at the table.

The Spaniard has taken the ATP Tour by storm this season, winning not one but TWO Masters 1000’s in Miami and Madrid.

He also became the youngest member of the top ten since you guessed it, his idol Nadal.

Another strong contender would be Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.

Having spent three months out with a hand injury, he stormed to titles in Stuttgart and Queen’s proving to be the season’s standout player on grass.

He unfortunately had to pull out of Wimbledon on the eve of his first-round match after contracting Coronavirus.

If fit, he would be a worthy addition after debuting at the event last year.

The romantics would love for another big name in Stan Wawrinka.

The Swiss is well and truly in the twilight of his career.

Like Andy, he has won three Grand Slam’s and would be warmly welcomed by close friend Roger, who he won the 2008 Beijing Olympics doubles gold alongside.

And then there’s Marin Cilic who was in fine form to reach the semi-finals of the French Open, making him only one of five active players to reach all four Grand Slam semi-finals.

The former US Open champion played in the inaugural Laver Cup back in 2017.

Team World – Diego Schwartzman, Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger Aliassime confirmed

The challenge of Team Captain John McEnroe is that his counterpart, Bjorn Borg has a wealth of talent at his disposal.

Whilst, the American doesn’t quite have the same luxury.

Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and Indian Wells winner Taylor Fritz were the first two confirmed names.

Canadian talents Felix Auger Aliassime (confirmed) and Denis Shapovalov (not yet confirmed), are the standout names that Team World will bolster their ranks with.

That would then leave two places left with McEnroe likely to call on past stalwarts from previous editions.

This could be 37-year-old Isner, who was highly impressive in defeating Murray yesterday at Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, the seven-time Grand Slam champion is a known fan and admirer of the feisty Nick Kyrgios.

The two big servers could therefore be the final names.

Other possibilities would be American’s Frances Tiafoe, who has played the Laver Cup before, and the talented Sebastian Korda.

Following the announcement of Murray, more confirmations cannot be far away.

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Spain’s Bautista Agut Latest Player To Test Positive For Covid At Wimbledon

It is understood that The All England Club is reviewing their Covid-19 policy amid fears of an outbreak.

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Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) - Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

This year’s Wimbledon men’s tournament has had a third seeded player forced to pull out after testing positive for COVID-19.

Roberto Bautista Agut, who was the 17th seed in the draw, has withdrawn from his second-round match against Daniel Elahi Galan which was set to get underway on Thursday afternoon on Court Three. Announcing his decision on Twitter, the Spaniard said his symptoms are ‘not very serious‘ but he believes not playing is the right thing to do.

“Today I have notified Wimbledon of my withdrawal. I have tested positive for Covid-19. Fortunately, the symptoms are not very serious but I think it is the best decision (not to play).” Bautista Agut wrote.
“I hope to be back soon.”

 

The 34-year-old was making his eighth main draw appearance at The All England Club this year. In 2019 he reached the semi-finals in what is his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament to date.

Earlier this week Marin Cilic and Matteo Berrettini also withdrew from Wimbledon after positive Covid tests. However, they hadn’t played their first round match which Bautista Agut did. The trio of cases raise fears of a possible outbreak in the tournament given how contagious it can be.

Wimbledon’s Covid-19 policy is made in conjunction with advice issued by local health officials. Although it is unclear if a player is required to withdraw from an event if they have the virus. Ubitennis asked a spokesperson for clarity on the matter but was instead given a generic statement.

As a major event we have and continue to work in conjunction with the UK Public Health Security Agency and our Local Authority,’ An All England Club spokesperson said via email on June 26th.

“As a major event we have and continue to work in conjunction with the UK Public Health Security Agency and our Local Authority.

“We have maintained enhanced cleaning and hand sanitising operations, and offer full medical support for anyone feeling unwell. We are following UK guidance around assessment and isolation of any potential infectious disease.

“Our player medical team also continue to wear face masks for any consultation.”

The Guardian has reported that a review of Wimbledon’s guidelines is underway. This was before Agut said he had also contracted the virus. However, there has been no formal announcement concerning any review. 

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