Jannik Sinner believes that Carlos Alcaraz is already one of the best players in the world - UBITENNIS
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Jannik Sinner believes that Carlos Alcaraz is already one of the best players in the world

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Jannik Sinner made a step forward in his pursuit of a spot in the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin after his 7-5 6-3 win over Casper Ruud in the quarter finals at the Erste Bank Open in Turin. 

“I think there was not a lot of rhythm in the match against Ruud, not so many exchanges. I served well especially on the key points. Obviously there was a lot of pressure on both sides. I am happy how I controlled the match emotionally and everything together. I would say it was a good match”, said Sinner. 

Sinner won 11 consecutive indoor matches this autumn season and claimed two ATP 250 titles in Sofia and Antwerp. His winning streak came to an end on Saturday afternoon, when he was beaten by Frances Tiafoe in three sets after 6-3 5-2. Despite the defeat against the US player Sinner has secured a spot in the top 10 for the first time on Monday. 

“The last couple of weeks indoors I have felt well. Obviously we can see that in the results as well, but every match is different. I have to stay focused, I have a goal in my mind in this sport and I think I am doing it in the right way”, said Sinner. 

Thanks to his win against Ruud, Sinner overtook Hubert Hurkacz and Rafael Nadal to move into the eighth and final qualifying spot in the ATP Race to Turin. 

During a very successful season 2021 season Sinner reached his first Masters 1000 final at the Miami Open, where he beat Roberto Bautista Agut in the semifinal before finishing runner-up to his friend Hubert Hurkacz in the final. 

Last August Sinner beat Emil Ruusuvuori, Sebastian Korda, Jenson Brooksby en route to the final at the Citi Open in Washington. He defeated Mackenzie McDonald to win his third career title and his first ATP 500 trophy. Sinner was the first Italian champion in Washington tournament history as well as the youngest ATP 500 and first teenager champion since the category was created in 2009. 

At the US Open Sinner beat Gael Monfils in the third round to reach the second week of a Grand Slam for the second time this season. Sinner lost to Alexander Zverev 6-4 6-4 7-6 in the fourth round. Sinner scored his second win against Monfils in the final of the Sofia Open defending the ATP 250 title in the Bulgarian capital. 

The Vienna Erste Bank Open tournament was also higlighted by another Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-4 in the Round of 16 and this year’s Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini 6-1 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-5) in the quarter final in Vienna this week. 

Sinner considers Alcaraz as one of the players to watch on the ATP Tour in the years to come. 

“Alcaraz is already one of the best players in the world. He is mentally strong, manages the game, gives the strength to the ball and moves very well”, said Sinner. 

Earlier this year Alcaraz made a major breakthrough, when he upset world number 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in a fifth-set tie-break en route to the US Open quarter final at the age of 18, becoming the youngest quarter final at the US Open and a Grand Slam tournament since Michael Chang at the 1990 US Open. The Spanish teenager clinched the 2021 Umag title to become the youngest ATP Tour champion since Kei Nishikori at 2008 Delray Beach and the youngest ATP champion from his country since Rafael Nadal at 2004 Sopot.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.

ARMS UP FOR A CHAMPION

The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.

KREJCIKOVA COMES THROUGH UNDER PRESSURE

Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

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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Jasmine Paolini’s Wimbledon Run Hailed By Italian Prime Minister

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Image via x.com/twitter

The Prime Minister of Italy has praised Jasmine Paolini for lighting up the hearts of others during her Wimbledon run. 

Paolini missed out on her first Grand Slam title to Barbora Krejcikova, who prevailed in three sets to capture her second major trophy. Despite her defeat, she has made history at the tournament by becoming the first female player from her country to reach the final. Until this year, she had never won a Tour-level main draw match on the grass. 

Whilst disappointed about missing out on the biggest title of her career, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni posted a tribute to Paolini on social media just moments after the final had concluded.

“Proud of Jasmine Paolini,” The Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) quotes Meloni as saying. 

“The first Italian tennis player to reach the final of the prestigious Wimbledon tournament. 

“Despite the defeat, you lit up the hearts of the Italian people, succeeding in conveying grit and passion to all of us who supported you”. 

Paolini is the first player ranked outside the top five to reach the final of both Wimbledon and the French Open within the same year since the ranking system was introduced in 1975. She is also only the fourth female player in the Open Era to have reached her first two Grand Slam finals in the same year at Roland Garros and Wimbledon after Chris Evert (1973), Olga Morozova (1974) and Steffi Graf (1987). 

Should she win three or more matches at the US Open later this year, she will also set a new Open Era record for the most Grand Slam wins achieved by an Italian female player in a single season. 

“The last two months have been crazy for me. I want to thank my team, and my family. They always support me and I wouldn’t be here without them. The crowd have been amazing. I received a lot of support. Just incredible to feel the love from them, I enjoy it so much.” Paolini said following her Wimbledon defeat. 

The 28-year-old will rise to a ranking high of No.3 on Monday. 

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