Why American Taylor Fritz is a welcome addition to the Masters 1000 winner’s circle - UBITENNIS
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Why American Taylor Fritz is a welcome addition to the Masters 1000 winner’s circle

Taylor Fritz launched a new phase in his career after claiming his maiden masters 1000 title at Indian Wells.



Taylor Fritz (@BNPPARIBASOPEN - Twitter)

Opinion – James Spencer (Twitter – @jspencer28)

It might have been over a week since American Taylor Fritz was crowned champion of Indian Wells, but it hasn’t stopped the tennis community from being in awe of what he has achieved.

Many were left shocked that the 20th seed was able to beat the in-form world number seven Andrey Rublev, who has two titles to his name already this season.

But to top that and beat the legendary Rafael Nadal in the final, a man who was on a 20-match win streak after winning the Melbourne Summer Set Cup, Australian Open and Acapulco, it is SOME achievement.

In straight sets as well, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).

And also, one the Fritz family will be very proud of, as Taylor’s parents were both players on the ATP and WTA Tours.

Of course, the Spaniard was injured with a cracked rib and was not at his best, after a titanic tussle with his younger self in Carlos Alcaraz, but it was still richly deserved for Fritz.

No one would have expected that title run, especially in his home county of California, it certainly made it all the more special for him and the USTA. (United States Tennis Association)

In fact, Fritz is the first American to win at Indian Wells since 2001 when Andre Agassi triumphed in the Californian desert.

Outside of the big three of Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, as well as Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev, the American now joins an elite band of players to have broken the mould to win a maiden Masters 1000.

This includes the likes of: Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov, Juan Martin Del Potro, fellow Americans Jack Sock and John Isner, Dominic Thiem, Karen Khachanov, Fabio Fognini, Hubert Hurkacz, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Cameron Norrie.

Sunshine Double opportunity squandered

Fritz did have to defend himself after writing on the camera ‘sunshine emoji x2’, with the cheeky notion that a victory on the East Coast was pending.

Some saw this as arrogant but the 24-year-old from San Diego claims it was done in good faith.

But regardless, Fritz did go on a roll to win nine consecutive matches (including Indian Wells) on his way to the round of 16.

He will be bitterly disappointed at the manner of his defeat to Serbian Miomir Kecmanović, after taking the opening set.

And ironically, after he had beaten the very same player at the quarter-final stage in California just one week before.

So, what next?

Now Fritz must brace himself for the clay-court season with Monte Carlo first up.

This will not be an easy transition from hard-court to clay, so this is something him and his team will need to be wary of.

As well as the importance of avoiding injury on the dirt.

On a personal note…

I actually had the pleasure of interviewing Taylor remotely last month, and I have to say, I would never have predicted him to be a Masters 1000 winner, and definitely not so soon, within 3 weeks of interviewing him.

It is an outstanding achievement and one he should be very proud of.

But he must keep his feet on the ground, as I’m sure his tennis parents will do, if he is to enjoy more success in his young career.


Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two



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



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.


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.


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.


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



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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