The SIX Scenarios Where Daniil Medvedev Can Become World No.1 On February 28th - UBITENNIS
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The SIX Scenarios Where Daniil Medvedev Can Become World No.1 On February 28th

Will Djokovic’s reign at the top come to an end this month?

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Daniil Medvedev - US Open 2021 (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

This month could see a big change on the men’s Tour with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev closing in on the top spot in the ATP rankings.

The reigning US Open champion is on the verge of becoming only the third man from his country to reach No.1 and the first player outside of the Big Four (including Andy Murray) to do so since Andy Roddick back in 2004. Medvedev has already come agonizingly close to the position this year at the Australian Open where he finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal after leading the match by two sets. If he had won, he would have overtaken Novak Djokovic in the rankings.

I have been number two for quite a long time. I have been playing pretty well,” Medvedev told reporters last month.
“Of course, I want to become number one, win 25 slams, or something like this.
“But again, for me the most important thing is hard work, trying to improve my game, to be a better player, try to win every tournament I play.”

Now his next shot at the top spot occurs within the next 14 days. At present, he is 1240 points behind Djokovic in the race and neither player is in action this week. Instead, all eyes will be on tournaments in Acapulco and Dubai which will start on February 21st.

Medvedev will be the top seed in Acapulco and is one of five top 10 players set to take part in the tournament. Meanwhile, Djokovic headlines Dubai in what will be his first tournament of the 2022 season after missing the Australian swing due to a dramatic dispute with authorities over his visa which resulted in his deportation from the country. Four top 10 players have entered to play in Dubai.

Both events are categorized as an ATP 500 so points on offer per round will be the same. However, the race to No.1 also factors in how many points players are defending from the past 12 months.

The easiest way for Medvedev to seal the No.1 ranking would be for him to win Acapulco. If he does this, he will get enough points that Djokovic will not be able to overtake him no matter how he performs in Dubai. Otherwise, he will be relying on the result of his Serbian opponent.

According to the ATP, Here are the six scenarios in which Medvedev can become world No.1 on February 28th.

  • Medvedev wins the Acapulco title, regardless of Djokovic’s results in Dubai
  • Medvedev reaches the Acapulco final and Djokovic does not win the Dubai title
  • Medvedev reaches the Acapulco semi-finals and Djokovic does not reach the Dubai final
  • Medvedev reaches the Acapulco quarter-finals and Djokovic does not reach the Dubai semi-finals
  • Medvedev reaches the second round in Acapulco and Djokovic does not reach the Dubai semi-finals
  • Medvedev loses in the first round in Acapulco and Djokovic does not reach the Dubai quarter-finals

If Medvedev does become world No.1 he will become the 27th person to do so since the ATP ranking system was introduced back in 1974.

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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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