‘My Best Level Since The US Open’ - Casper Ruud Beats In-Form Auger-Aliassime At ATP Finals - UBITENNIS
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‘My Best Level Since The US Open’ – Casper Ruud Beats In-Form Auger-Aliassime At ATP Finals

After failing to win back-to-back matches at his four previous tournaments, the 23-year-old is hoping to end 2022 on a high at the end-of-year tournament.



Casper Ruud (image via https://twitter.com/atptour)

Casper Ruud has kicked-off his campaign at the ATP Finals by edging out Felix Auger-Aliassime in two closely contested sets.


Ruud, who has reached two Grand Slam finals this season, defeated the Canadian 7-6(5), 6-4, to record his 49th win of the year. It is the third consecutive time he has beaten Auger-Aliassime and the second in 2022. In his latest match, he hit 16 winners and won 75% of his first service points.

“The serve is extremely important on this surface (at the ATP Finals). One break in the whole match is enough to win, so you really have to be focused on your serve,” Ruud said afterwards. 

“I was serving well today. I have been recently struggling a little bit with my serve in the past weeks so I am very happy.”

Historically Ruud has been an Achilles heel for Auger-Aliassime after winning two out of their three previous meetings. In fact, his dominant 6-1, 6-2, triumph at the Canadian Masters earlier this year was the heaviest loss Auger-Aliassime has ever suffered as a professional player.

However, since then 22-year-old has become a formidable force on the Tour after winning 17 out of his past 18 matches played, capturing titles in Florence, Antwerp and Basel. Heading into this week’s tournament he has won more indoor matches than any other player on the ATP Tour this year.

Taking to the court in Turin for their latest encounter, the two players were almost inseparable throughout the opener. The first 12 games went by with no break point opportunities arising as both men won more than 80% of their service points.

The tussle continued into the tiebreaker where Ruud grabbed early a mini breaky for 4-2 following a double fault for Auger-Aliassime. However, two points later he lost his advantage after hitting a passing shot which narrowly landed out. In what was a test of nerves, Auger-Aliassime was the one who faltered at the worst possible moment after hitting a backhand error, his seventh of the match, to hand Ruud another break and more crucially a set point. Ruud converted on the next point with the help of another error from his opponent, this time from the forehand side.

Continuing to tame the threat coming from across the court, Ruud had all the answers asked of him by a frustrated Auger-Aliassime. In the fourth game of the second set, the Norwegian was taken to deuce on his serve for the first time but still came out on top. Then at 3-3, he broke for the first time after three consecutive errors from the world No.6 who started to implode on the court. That break gave Ruud enough of a margin to close out the match after just under two hours of play. He sealed victory on his first match point with a serve out wide which his rival returned out. 

“This is some of my best level since the US Open. The last couple of months have been a bit of a struggle but you have to accept it as well,” said Ruud, who hasn’t won back-to-back matches since the US Open.

“You will face difficult moments in your career and maybe these last few months have been one of those. Let’s see if I can turn it around.

“Today was a great win. Felix has been on a roll this fall and I knew he was going to come out strong. I played well and found some of my best level. I’m extremely happy with that. I knew if I wanted to have a chance I had to bring my A-game and I did just that.”

It is only the third time in 2022 that Ruud has beaten a top-10 player. At the ATP Finals, he will play Rafael Nadal and Taylor Fritz later in the week who will face each other on Sunday evening.

“The next match is going to be tough no matter who I play. At least I have a win in the bag. I’m sure there have been people who have won their first match and then lost their next two at the tournament so I am not going to count on anything. I’m just going to focus on the next matches.” The two-time Grand Slam finalist concluded. 


Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker

According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.



Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.


Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.

This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.

The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.

Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.

“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.

“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”

Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.

Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.

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Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development

Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.



(@tennisnewsbrazil - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.


The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.

Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.

“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”

It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.

One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.

Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.

“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.

“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.

“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”

Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.

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Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain



Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans. 


Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.  

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying. 
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”

Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.

“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” atptour.com quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’

Will Kyrgios play?

Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity. 

“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …” 

Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment. 

“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions. 

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