Carlos Alcaraz Says Quick Rise To Top Form After Injury Inspired By Djokovic And Nadal - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Carlos Alcaraz Says Quick Rise To Top Form After Injury Inspired By Djokovic And Nadal

Published

on

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

Carlos Alcaraz says he wants to emulate two of the Tour’s biggest names by winning titles after coming back from injury after reaching the semi-finals of the Indian Wells Masters. 

The reigning US Open champion is just two wins away from reclaiming the world No.1 position this week after defeating Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-4. Alcaraz’s latest win is a case of sweet revenge for the Spaniard who had previously lost all three of his Tour meetings against Aliassime. The triumph saw him hit a total of 26 winners against only eight unforced errors as he won 81% of his first service points. 

“I feel great. It’s an amazing feeling to come back this year and make the semifinal again,” Alcaraz said afterwards. 
“Beating such a great player as Felix for the first time, I’m really happy with my level and the way that I’m playing.”

After missing the first month of 2023 due to injury, the 19-year-old has won 12 out of 13 matches played with his only loss being to Cameron Norrie in the final of the Rio Open. The dominant display comes after he has been hampered by a trio of injury issues in recent times. Last November he was forced to withdraw from the ATP Finals due to an abdominal problem before sustaining a leg injury whilst training in the off-season. Then to add to his frustration, Alcaraz also suffered a minor hamstring problem during February which ruled him out of a tournament in Mexico. 

The recent misfortunes make his quick rise back to top form even more impressive. Although the Spaniard said that he is ‘not surprised’ by what is happening. He cites both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal as inspirations for him with both of those players winning titles after returning to action following an injury-related break. 

“I am not surprised so much because I am a player who learns really fast,” Alcaraz commented.
“I look to the big players, Djokovic or Rafa. When they are coming (back) from an injury and probably have a great percentage to win the tournament after an injury.’
“So I looked at them a little bit when I was injured and training. They motivate me to play a good game after an injury in my first tournaments. I was surprised when I won Buenos Aires, but right now, I’m not surprised about it.”

Alcaraz will next play Italy’s Jannik Sinner for a place in the final who knocked out defending champion Taylor Fritz in three sets. It is only the third time in Sinner’s career he has beaten a top-five player and he is the first man from his country to reach the last four of the Masters 1000 tournament. 

The head-to-head record between the two players is currently tied at 2-2- but Alcaraz has won both of their meetings that have occurred on a hardcourt, including last year’s US Open clash. Last year Sinner defeated the world No.2 on the clay in Umag and on the grass at Wimbledon. 

“I enjoy these matches (against Sinner) because I have to be really, really focused on every shot. I have to play my best,” Alcaraz said of their rivalry. 
“That’s why Jannik is such a great player, as well. Not only with a great serve and great movements. It is because he pushes the opponent to their limit. Trying to play aggressively with great shots.’
“And for the opponent, it is really tough to be focused mentally and physically during the whole match. That’s what I love about playing against him. It pushes me to the limit. I have to be really, really focused. I love to feel that.”

Alcaraz is one of only two players to have reached the semi-finals of this year’s men’s tournament without dropping a set. The other is Frances Tiafoe who will next play Daniil Medvedev. 

ATP

Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two

Published

on

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. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Carlos Alcaraz Still Owns A Magical Racket

Published

on

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. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Tsitsipas Brothers Hit With Trio Of Fines At French Open

Published

on

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. 

Continue Reading

Trending