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Winning Wimbledon Would Have Been Bad For My Motivation, Says Nick kyrgios

The Australian also explains why he doesn’t think Novak Djokovic is the hardest player he has ever played.

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image via twitter.com/wimbledon

After achieving his best-ever result at a Grand Slam event, Nick Kyrgios admits he is in some ways relieved that he didn’t triumph at Wimbledon this year.

The world no.40 held a one-set lead against top seed Novak Djokovic before going on to lose in four. Kyrgios produced a strong service performance throughout the final but admits that his opponent always had the upper hand when it came to playing the clutch moments. During his on-court interview at SW19, he described the 21-time major winner as a ‘god.’

Kyrgios later admitted during his press conference that not winning the title was in some ways a blessing in disguise for him. Explaining that he would have found it tougher to be motivated to play lower-level events after winning a major. Unlike his peers, he only travels on the Tour for up to four months a year due to wanting to be home with his friends and family.

“I feel like if I had won today, I would have struggled with motivation,” he said. “I’ve been told my entire life that winning Wimbledon is the ultimate achievement.’
“It’s taken me 10 years, almost 10 years in my career to finally get to the point of playing for a Grand Slam and coming up short.
“I feel like if I had won that Grand Slam, I think I would have lacked a bit of motivation, to be honest. Coming back for other tournaments, like 250s and stuff, I would have really struggled.’

At Wimbledon, Kyrgios has scored wins over fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, Brandon Nakashima and Cristian Garin. He was set to play Rafael Nadal in the last four but the Spaniard was forced to retire due to injury.

“I think not playing the semifinals may have done me a bit of a disservice because I was just thinking about it (playing the final) all the time,” he said.
“I thought I handled myself well today. I came out there and I did what I had to do tactically to give myself a chance. I just came up short, and I’m happy with that.”

A bromance has blossomed between Kyrgios and Djokovic in recent months which was something that at one stage would seem impossible. The two were once engaged in a verbal tirade with them previously criticizing each other. Although their relationship took a turn in January when Kyrgios stood up for Djokovic amid the fallout over his visa to play in Australia.

Whilst the two are now on good terms, Kyrgios is still one who is not afraid to speak his mind. Saying that he believes Djokovic is not the hardest player he has ever faced on the Tour. He gives that honor to Roger Federer.

“He (Djokovic) doesn’t make you feel as bad as Federer does at times. I think Federer can make you feel really bad. He makes you want to leave the court. He can make things seem really quick. The court is really small.” Kyrgios explains
“Where Nadal and Djokovic, they allow you to play a little bit from the back. If you’re not playing great, you struggle. But Federer can really take it to you and get you off the court real quick.”

Kyrgios had beaten the Serbian twice before in straight sets during 2017.

The question now is what does the future have in store for one of the sport’s most unpredictable players?

“I feel like my fire’s been lit this whole year. I’ve met a lot of amazing people this year who have just given me extra motivation,” Kyrgios said.
“To find people that finally have my back, that I just love being around, and they just want to push me to be a better person and to be a better tennis player, they realize that I’m immensely talented and I have a lot of, I feel like, a lot more to do in this sport.”

This year’s Wimbledon was Kyrgios’ 30th appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam.

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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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