Dominic Thiem Rates Himself As ‘One Of A Hundred Outsiders’ Ahead Of US Open Return - UBITENNIS
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Dominic Thiem Rates Himself As ‘One Of A Hundred Outsiders’ Ahead Of US Open Return

The current world No.231 is still finding his form on the Tour following his return from injury.



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After a roller-coaster battle with injury, next week Dominic Thiem will return to the venue where he achieved the biggest win of his career.

Two years have passed since the Austrian sensationally battled back from two sets down to oust Alexander Zverev in an epic US Open final. Two months later he would also reach the final of the ATP Finals which was the last time he had played a title match. At the start of 2021, Thiem experienced difficulty on the court with motivational issues after achieving such a milestone. Then a serious wrist injury sidelined him for months.

It has been a far from easy return for the 28-year-old who has a win-loss record on the Tour of 8-9 so far this season with his best run being to the semi-finals of the Gstaad Open. He did however reach the quarter-finals or better at his last three tournaments which took place on the European clay.

“In Rome and Paris, I was just not ready to face the top-level guys. My game was not there yet,” Thiem said during an interview with “I played 10 good matches in Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbühel, the goal now is to get the rhythm on hard courts as soon as possible, to play two great tournaments here in the U.S. And then a pretty intense calendar until the end of the year to hopefully reach my goal, which is getting back to the Top 100.”

Currently ranked outside the top 200, Thiem received a wildcard to play in the upcoming US Open where he will be making his eighth main draw appearance. He is one of three players in the main draws who will start their campaign by winning their seven previous matches played at the New York Major. Daniil Medvedev is the defending champion and Rafael Nadal won the title in 2019 but hasn’t played since.

“There is a huge difference between Daniil, Rafa and me because maybe the two of them are the biggest favourites for the title. And I’m one of a hundred outsiders,” the former world No.3 explains. “They played a great year, they played a Slam final against each other, played a full year. And me, I’m still on my way back. But still, I’m very proud to be in this very small circle of players.”

Thiem is tuning up his game ahead of the last major of 2022 by playing in this week’s Winston-Salem Open. An ATP 250 event which includes just one top 20 player (Grigor Dimitrov) in the field. He began his campaign with a marathon 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (6), win over JJ Wolf that lasted longer than three hours and didn’t conclude until after midnight.

“I’m super happy to get that win, [my] first win on hard courts since a very long time, since March ’21, I guess. It was not easy at all today with the rain delay, coming back out there at 11:15 p.m. It was very late. I had trouble [getting] into the match again,” . “But luckily I raised the level a little bit in the third-set tie-break and compared to Kitzbühel, where similar stuff happened with the rain, the luck was on my side today.”

This week is the first time Thiem is playing in the main draw at Winston-Salem after losing in qualifying back in 2012. Awaiting him in the second round will be top seed Dimitrov who he trails 2-4 in their head-to-head. It will be their first meeting on the Tour since the 2021 Australian Open.


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 

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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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