Matteo Berrettini Ousts Injured Murray To Win Boss Open - UBITENNIS
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Matteo Berrettini Ousts Injured Murray To Win Boss Open

A two-and-a-half hour tussle saw the Italian prevail over Murray, who is once again facing concerns about his current fitness heading into a Grand Slam.



Matteo Berrettini has won his first title in almost a year after ousting former world No.1 Andy Murray in the final of the Boss Open on Sunday.

Berrettini, who missed the entire clay swing due to injury, produced some thunderous hitting to prevail 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, over his British rival. Making it the second season in a row he has beaten Murray on the grass after Queen’s last year. In their latest clash, the 26-year-old hit a total of 19 aces and won 72% of his service points. However, towards the end of the marathon match Murray struggled with his movement due to injury.

It feels unbelievable,” said Berrettini. “Coming back from an injury like that, the first surgery of my life and winning the tournament feels even more special.’
“A few years ago (in Stuttgart) I felt that I played one of the best weeks of my life and this one I think I started so so and played better. It feels great.”

Stuttgart was the first tournament Berrettini had played in since March after being sidelined from the Tour in recent weeks due to surgery on his right hand. Taking on three-time Grand Slam champion Murray, the Italian produced an array of blistering shots during what was a highly competitive opener. Three games into the match, Berrettini broke for a 2-1 lead with the help of two consecutive forehand winners. In pole position, the world No.10 was forced to work hard by saving four break points he faced in the following game. The Italian then had a chance to seal the double break when up 40-0 against the Murray serve but the Brit battled back to stay within contention. Continuing to weather the storm, Berrettini held his nerve to seal the 6-4 lead. Closing the set out with yet another forehand cross-court winner.

Despite being behind, a fired-up and highly animated Murray continued to urge himself on with shouts of ‘come on.’ It was the first ATP Tour final he had played in since Antwerp 2019 and his 70th overall. He was also not afraid to express his frustration after some points.

“What are you trying to do on the ball mate? You’re trying to do so much and it’s unnecessary,” Murray was heard saying on court during the early stages of the second set.
“You’re thinking about the ball coming at 5000 miles an hour through the court and it’s not.”

Locked at 4-4 in the second frame, Berrettini had a series of golden opportunities to break for a chance to serve the match out during a roller-coaster game. Murray kicked the net out of frustration when a backhand of his drifted long and then a second mistake moved him to a 15-40 deficit before he drew level. Berrettini also had a third chance to break but failed to convert. To add to the drama there was a very brief delay between two points due to a medical situation in the crowd.

Murray’s resilience soon paid off as he went on to force the match into a decider. Leading 6-5 he capitalized on an erratic Berrettini service game where he produced a series of costly errors. A double fault handed Murray his first set point of the match which he converted with the help of another mistake from across the court. Prompting him to let out a huge roar of ‘let’s go’ towards his entourage in the crowd.

“It was really tough to digest,” Berrettini said of his mid-match blip. “I felt the momentum in that part of the match and then Andy was able to serve well. To take the chances.’
“Then we went into the third set and I said to myself ‘ok I just had to fight.

However, Murray’s momentum was short lived when he dropped serve to love at the start of the decider before requesting a medical time out for work on his left groin/hip region. Despite having a second time out later in the set during the middle of a game, it was visible that the Brit could no longer play at the level of intensity he was. Raising concerts over his fitness heading into Wimbledon. Meanwhile, Berrettini sealed victory on his second match point at the expense of a Murray backhand error.

“This is not the way we wanted to finish the match. Oh course he’s (Murray) hurt and I feel sorry for him. He has shown us so many times how to come back and I think I have even learned a little bit from him. What he has achieved in his career for me it is an honour to play against him.” The Italian said in tribute.

During his on-court interview Murray didn’t speak about his new injury. Instead, he said he hopes to return to the German city once again – if he is able to do so.

“There’s been a lot of progress the last few weeks. I’m looking forward to what the future has to hold. I’m feeling a lot better about my game and hopefully my body can hold up a little bit longer so I can play more matches like this,” he commented.

Stuttgart in the ninth ATP title Berrettini has won in his career.


Daniil Medvedev Targets French Open Breakthrough After Rome Disappointment



Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Daniil Medvedev believes there will be more title contenders at the French Open than previous editions with the Russian hoping to be one of them. 

The world No.4 heads into the Grand Slam after what has been a mixed clay swing. Medvedev suffered a third round defeat in Monte Carlo before bouncing back in Madrid where he reached the quarter-finals before retiring from his match with a minor injury. Meanwhile, at this week’s Italian Open, his title defence came to an end in the fourth round on Tuesday when he fell 6-1, 6-4, to Tommy Paul. 

“Mentally I had to be much better,” Medvedev said of his latest performance.
“I started to calm myself down and focus on the match only at the end of the match, and it was too late. I had to do better. I was expecting myself to play better.’
“It’s disappointing, but that’s how sport is. You lose and you go for the next tournament, which is a pretty important one.” He added. 

28-year-old Medvedev recently stated that he is seeing improvements in his game when it comes to playing on the clay. A surface which he has struggled on during stages of his career. Out of the 38 ATP Finals he has contested, only two of those were on the clay. Barcelona in 2019 when he finished runner-up and Rome last year which he won. 

As for the French Open, he has lost in the first round on five out of seven appearances. But did reach the quarter-finals in 2021 and the last 16 the following year. So could 2024 be his year?

“Now it’s maybe a little bit more open than it was ever before,” he said of this year’s event. 
“Good for me, too, because usually in Roland Garros I don’t play that well. The more open it is, the better it is for me.”

All of the top three players on the men’s tour are currently experiencing problems. Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Italian Open and recently underwent a medical assessment after getting hit in the head by a bottle in a freak accident. Jannik Sinner is reportedly on the verge of withdrawing from the French Open due to a hip issue and Carlos Alcaraz has been hindered by a forearm injury in recent weeks. 

“I’m feeling much better on clay,” Medvedev commented. “What is tough for me on clay sometimes is getting used to conditions. Every court – in every tournament in the world – is a bit different.
“On hard courts it’s the same: every court is different. On hard courts I have this ability to kind of quite fast get used to it. On clay, I need more time.”

Medvedev aims to become only the second Russian man in history to win the French Open after Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1996. The tournament will begin a week on Sunday. 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Says Expanded Masters Events ‘Playing A Massive Role’ In Player Injuries



Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Stefanos Tsitsipas has slammed the decision to extend the length of Masters 1000 tournaments to two weeks by warning that more injuries could occur in the future as a result. 

This week’s Rome Masters is taking place without two out of the world’s top three players. Jannik Sinner pulled out of his home event due to a hip injury and Carlos Alcaraz has been troubled by a forearm issue in recent weeks. Other players missing from the draw include Tomas Machac (Illness), Ugo Humbert (Left Knee) and Stan Wawrinka (Right Wrist). 

The tournament is taking place immediately after the Madrid Open which is also a Masters event that has been expanded to a two-week format in recent years. Supporters of the move argue that a bigger draw provides lower-ranked players with more opportunities to play in these events whilst others will have a day off between matches. 

However, world No.8 Tsitsipas isn’t completely happy with the schedule which he openly criticised on Monday following his 6-2, 7-6(1), win over Cameron Norrie. The Greek has won 12 out of 14 matches played on clay so far this season. 

“It’s a type of thing that hurt the sport a little bit, to have these types of things happen to the highest of the players,” Tsitsipas commented on his rival’s injuries.
“Without them, the show is not kind of the same. You have obviously the guys behind them (in the rankings). These kinds of tournaments deserve names like this to be playing and have the opportunity to play in front of these big stadiums and crowds.
“I’ve spoken about the fact that the schedule has a big toll on our bodies. It starts from the mental side, and it follows to the physical side. The extension of the days in the Masters 1000s I think plays a massive role and contributes a lot to the fact that these players are getting injured.”

The ATP’s extended format is set to be applied to seven out of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments from 2025. The only two yet to make or plan for such changes are Monte Carlo and Paris. However, Tsitsipas has called for changes to be made to the schedule.

“It was perhaps already a lot the way it was before with the seven-day events. Adding more days to that, well, you got to be some type of superhero to be consistent back-to-back 10 days in each event getting to the very end of it.” He commented.
“It’s not a very easy thing to do. Some people need to try it first to get an understanding and how it is to pull that off. Then they should make decisions based on that.
“I think this is not going to be the first time we see these types of things (player injuries). If these types of things continue with the same schedule not being adjusted or customized to the needs of the players, we might see more of these things occur in the future.”

It is not the first time a player has raised concerns about the extended format. Alexander Zverev previously said that the schedule is a disadvantage for the top players. Meanwhile, on the women’s Tour Caroline Garcia has criticised the move to expand WTA 1000 tournaments whilst Maria Sakkari said achieving the Madrid-Rome double has become harder to do

On the other hand, Daniil Medvedev has spoken in favour of the new format and describes injuries on the Tour as ‘part of the sport.’ The former US Open believes the issue is related to the quick surface changes players face and not the duration of tournaments. 

Tsitsipas will play Alex de Minaur in the fourth round of the Italian Open on Tuesday. 

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Novak Djokovic To Undergo Medical Check After Rome Thrashing, Bottle Incident



Novak Djokovic – ATP Roma 2024 (foto: Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis)

Novak Djokovic has indicated that he will speak to doctors following his lacklustre performance at the Italian Open where he crashed out in straight sets. 

The five-time champion was far from his best against Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo as he struggled to generate any rhythm in his tennis or a single break point opportunity. Djokovic’s below-par performance caught many off guard, including the tennis player himself who admitted afterwards that he was ‘completely off’ his game. 

Trying to find the reason behind his latest performance, the world No.1 isn’t ruling out the possibility that it might be linked to an incident that took place at the tournament two days ago. Following his win over France’s Corentin Moutet, Djokovic suffered a blow to his head after a fan accidentally dropped a metal bottle from the stands. Immediately afterwards, he experienced nausea, dizziness and bleeding for up to an hour but was checked by medical officials.

“I don’t know, to be honest. I have to check that.” Djokovic replied when asked if the incident affected his form on Sunday.
“Training was different. I was going for kind of easy training yesterday. I didn’t feel anything, but I also didn’t feel the same.
“Today under high stress, it was quite bad – not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance. Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago.
“It could be. I don’t know. I have to do medical checkups and see what’s going on. “

The tennis star said he managed to sleep fine after his head blow but did experience headaches. He looked to be in good spirits the day after it happened and even turned up to practice in Rome wearing a safety helmet.

Djokovic’s concerns come two weeks before the start of the French Open where he is seeking a record 25th Major title. He will undoubtedly be one of the contenders for glory but admits there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the coming days. 

“Everything needs to be better in order for me to have at least a chance to win it,” he said.
“The way I felt on the court today was just completely like a different player entered into my shoes. Just no rhythm, no tempo, and no balance whatsoever on any shot.
“It’s a bit concerning.”

The French Open will begin on Sunday 26th May. 

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