Carlos Alcaraz Thrashes Two-Time Champion Zverev To Win Madrid Masters - UBITENNIS
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Carlos Alcaraz Thrashes Two-Time Champion Zverev To Win Madrid Masters

24 hours after a marathon win over world No.1 Novak Djokovic, 19-year-old Alcaraz produced a clinical display to win his first ever Masters title on home soil.

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ATP CARLOS ALCARAZ OF SPAIN - PHOTO: DIEGO SOUTO / MMO

Carlos Alcaraz has become the second-youngest player in history to win multiple Masters 1000 titles after sweeping aside an erratic Alexander Zverev in the final of the Madrid Open on Sunday.

 

Alcaraz showed few signs of nerves throughout his comprehensive 6-3, 6-1, win over the world No.3, who boasted a 19-2 winning record at the tournament heading into the final. Nevertheless, it was the teenage sensation who had the upper hand as he mixed some powerful shotmaking with delicate drop shots to demonstrate the versatility of his game. The clinical performance saw Alcaraz win 89% of his first service points without facing a single break point. Out of the 85 points played in the final, he won 56 of them.

Heading into the final Alcaraz had played his German rival twice before and lost both of those encounters in straight sets. However, this time round the 19-year-old was the one with the momentum on his side following what has been a record-breaking run in the tournament. In the previous rounds, he has defeated both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to become the first player in history to do so at the same clay court event.

To be able to beat the two best players in history, as well as the number three in the world, I would say this is the best week of my life so I’m going to enjoy this moment,” Alcaraz told Martina Navratilova during an interview with Amazon Prime.
“I’m 19-years-old, I think that is the key to be able to play long matches and tough matches in a row. I feel great.’
“This (the Madrid Open) is the first tournament I watched since I was a kid, so lifting this trophy is so emotional,” he added.

Cheered on by an animated Madrid crowd, Alcaraz first drew blood in the sixth game. A blistering forehand crosscourt winner from the Spaniard set him up with a trio of chances to break for a 4-2 lead. He prevailed on his first opportunity after a Zverev backhand crashed into the net. At one stage of the opener a clinical Alcaraz won 10 points in a row. After just 31 minutes of play, the world No.9 sealed the opener with a serve out wide that triggered an error from across the court.

This season Alcaraz has established himself as a formidable frontrunner by winning all 23 of his previous matches after clinching the first set. Continuing to pile the pressure on Zverev, he broke early on in the second frame. Storming to a 40-0 lead against the Zverev serve, a masterful drop shot from the youngster granted him the break for a 2-1 lead. Alcaraz’s relentless play scrambled the mind of his rival who started to implode on court with his error count  rapidly rising. Illustrating why many are tipping him to be the next big thing in men’s tennis, Alcaraz stormed to a game away from victory. Three championship points came and went before a Zverev double fault secured him the victory.

“Carlos, right now, you’re the best player in the world, even though you’re 5 years old, you’re still beating us all,” Zverev said to the new champion after the final. “It’s great for tennis that we have someone who is going to win many Grand Slams, be world No 1 and win this tournament many times”.

Alcaraz’s Madrid triumph has seen him score wins over three members of the world’s top four. Something which hadn’t been achieved by a player at a Masters 1000 event since David Nalbandian back in 2007. He now has a win-loss record of 5-0 in Tour finals which makes him only the sixth player in the Open Era to have won their first five ATP finals.

As a result of his latest milestone, the youngster will rise to sixth in the world rankings when they are updated on Monday. His win-loss record for the season now stands at 28-3.

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Wimbledon: Quarter-Finalist Cristian Garin loves The Event But Not So much The Surface

The South American reacts to reaching his first major quarter-final.

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Cristian Garin (CHI) - Credit: AELTC/Ben Solomon

Just over a week ago, Cristian Gain admitted that he was ‘upset’ when he saw his draw for Wimbledon this year. 

 

The world No.43 was set to take on the formidable Matteo Berrettini in the first round who has won two grass-court titles in a row in recent weeks. However, the Italian was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. Instead, his opponent was the much lower-ranked Elias Ymer from Sweden who he defeated in straight sets. Since then, Garin hasn’t looked back.

On Monday at The All England Club, he staged an audacious comeback to defeat Alex de Minaur 2-6, 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-4, 7-6(10-6). Not only did Garin bounce back from two sets down, he also saved two match points in the process. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last eight of the tournament since Fernando Gonzalez in 2005 and only the fourth in history to do so. 

“It is something very special for me. Wimbledon is my favorite tournament. Every time that I play this tournament is something special I feel,” said Garin.
“To be in the quarterfinals is a dream. I will try to enjoy it. I will try to give my best in the next round.”

Ironically Garin comes from a country where there are no grass courts. This year is his fifth appearance at Wimbledon and it was at the event where he made his Grand Slam debut back in 2017. However, like many other South Americans, clay is still his preferred surface.

“I said Wimbledon is my favorite tournament, not my favorite surface,” he jokes. 
“I think the grass is very fun for me. I have to change a little bit the way that I play. I think here on this surface you have to be aggressive.

Garin is one of only five ATP players from Chile currently ranked in the world’s top 500. Since April he has been coached by Pepe Vendrell who previously worked as a mentor to Roberto Bautista Agut and served as Spain’s captain in the ATP Cup. 

The next test for Garin will be a showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who defeated Brandon Nakashima in his fourth round match.

“He is for me one of the guys that I like to watch. He’s very good for tennis,” he said of Kyrgios.
“In these rounds, you play the best. For me, Nick is obviously one of the best on grass.”

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Last Brit Standing Cameron Norrie Urges Fans ‘To Get Behind Him’ At Wimbledon

The Brit says he is feeling more comfortable on the Tour.

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Cameron Norrie (GBR) - Credit: AELTC/Simon Bruty

Cameron Norrie had the pressure of being the British No.1 at Wimbledon this year and now even more eyes will be on him following his milestone win. 

 

The world No.12 defeated Tommy Paul 6-4, 7-5, 6-4, in his fourth round match on Sunday to reach the last eight of a major for the first time at the age of 26. In doing so he remains the only home player left in the singles draw of either men’s or women’s draws. Heather Watson lost her last 16 match earlier in the day to Jule Niemeier 6-2, 6-4.

“To play the way I did and to handle the occasion, I felt really comfortable the way I was hitting the ball this morning. Definitely more comfortable than my other matches.” Said Norrie.
“It was good to get through that one in the fashion that I did. I was up the whole match, which definitely helped.”

Norrie’s run is the best by a British man at The All England Club since Andy Murray back in 2017. He is coached on the Tour by Facundo Lugones who first got acquainted with him at college in America. The two were teammates with Lugones being a senior and Norrie a freshman. Last year he achieved a win-loss record of 52-25 and won the biggest title of his career in Indian Wells.

A solid top 20 player on the Tour, Norrie’s popularity back home is steadily increasing. Even more so in recent days due to Wimbledon. Now he is the last Brit standing there is added pressure but he is taking it all in his stride.

“I’m the last one standing. But I think it’s even more reason for everyone to get behind me,” he said. “Even the atmosphere was great today and definitely helped me get over the line there. Especially on that last game, I was obviously pretty nervous. I was serving for my first quarterfinal of a slam. I wanted to get it done there. They definitely helped me a lot.”

Norrie will be hoping the crowd will out in full force for his upcoming clash with former top 10 player David Goffin who defeated Francis Tiafoe in five sets. Goffin has reached the quarter-finals of a major on three previous occasions, including Wimbledon three years ago.

“He’s a very experienced player. He really likes the grass. He’s played a lot of big matches. It’s going to be tough,” Norrie previewed.
“He’s a great competitor, a really good athlete. He’s got a very complete game. He must be playing very well, so it’s going to be a tricky one.’
“One thing for sure, I know that I’m going to get into a lot of rallies with him. He’s not going to come and serve me off the court, which is good. It’s going to be another physical match, which is great for me.”
“I’m looking forward to competing. It’s going to be another huge challenge.”

The only time Norrie played Goffin was last year in Barcelona when Goffin was forced to retire from their match in the second set. 

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Roger Federer Hopes To Play One Last Wimbledon As Icons Mark Center Court Anniversary

The Swiss Maestro said it is ‘great to be back’ after attending a special centenary event alongside other greats of the sport.

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Image via https://twitter.com/Wimbledon/

On the 100th anniversary of Center Court, a special celebration took place on Sunday that saw the return of Roger Federer.

Past and present champions congregated on the premier court during a special 30-minute presentation with a couple of notable absences. Nine-time winner Martina Navratilova and Pete Sampras were absent. Each walking on one by one, the biggest cheer occurred when it was Federer’s turn to take to the stage.

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a professional match since his quarter-final loss at SW19 12 months ago due to knee surgery. He has already outlined his plans to return to action later this season at the Laver Cup and Swiss indoors. Speaking on court, Federer said he hopes to play at Wimbledon again as he unexpectedly hints at retiring in the near future. 

 

“I’ve been lucky to play a lot of matches here. Different type of role, but it’s great to be here. This court has given me my biggest moments,” said Federer.
“I hope I can come back one more time.”
“I’ve missed it here. I knew walking out here last year, it was going to be a tough year ahead. I maybe didn’t think it was going to take this long to come back – the knee has been rough on me.
“It’s been a good year regardless of tennis. We’re happy at home. I didn’t know if I should make the trip but I’m happy standing here right now.”


Federer is the only man in history to have ever won the Wimbledon title eight times and was undefeated between 2003-2007. 

One player closing in on that record is Novak Djokovic who is seeking to win his seventh title this year. Speaking about Center Court, the Serbian said the venue has a special place in his heart that dates back to his childhood.

“This court has been truly special from my childhood and the first image of tennis I’ve seen when I was four or five-years-old I saw Pete Sampras winning his first Wimbledon,” said Djokovic.
“This is where dreams come true and I was blessed in 2011, probably the highlight of my career, to win the tournament and so when I step out on this court I relive these memories. Truly an honor.”

As for the female champions of the tournament, Venus Williams, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber and Margaret Court were all in attendance. So was Billie Jean King who is the co-founder of the WTA Tour and has won all three Wimbledon events on multiple occasions (singles – 6, doubles – 10, and mixed doubles – 4). 

“I played my very first match at Wimbledon as a 17-year-old. We started late so I had two days on this court. It was magical and wonderful and I knew I belonged here,” said King.
“I love history and I love the fact we have so many people here. Martina [Navratilova] could not be with us and she won nine women’s singles so I’d just like to say I’m sorry she can’t be here.”

In 1922 Center court was officially opened for the first time after taking just nine months to construct. At the time it was the largest-ever reinforced concrete structure. The addition of a roof didn’t occur until 2009.

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