Roger Federer And Novak Djokovic Are Not Entertaining Players To Watch, Claims Ex-No.1 - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer And Novak Djokovic Are Not Entertaining Players To Watch, Claims Ex-No.1

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Roger Federer Wimbledon 2021
Roger Federer (SUI) playing against Adrian Mannarino (FRA) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

Roger Federer is one of the most decorated players in the history of tennis but one of his former peers believes his style of play lacks entertainment. 

Marcello Rios, who played the Swiss Maestro twice on the Tour back in 2002, says Federer is less appealing to watch compared to the likes of Nick Kyrgios or Fabio Fognini. Two players who can get highly animated during matches at times and have been involved in various controversies. During an interview with ESPN journalist Ricardo Shannon, the Chilean continued his outspoken remarks by adding that he also doesn’t find it entertaining to watch Novak Djokovic in action before branding the sport as ‘boring like cricket.’ 

“Federer for me is not a player that you see and you say ‘how entertaining’. I like the way he plays because he’s a guy with incredible ease, very intelligent on the court, very good. But he is not a Kyrgios, a Fognini that you see him and you are waiting for him to make a fuss, to leave a mess. That’s more entertaining”. Clay magazine quoted Rios as saying.
“I don’t find Djokovic an entertaining guy on the court either,” he added.

Rios’ comments are somewhat unsurprising to those who are familiar with his career. After winning the 1997 Monte Carlo Masters, he said during the trophy ceremony that the prize money didn’t even cover his losses from a casino he visited the previous week. In other incidents, he was once disqualified from the Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles for verbally abusing a chair umpire and also took a swipe at the WTA Tour by saying “winning a Grand Slam is easy for girls.” A Sports Illustrated article referred to him as ‘the most hated man in tennis.’

However, Rios also managed to have a successful career. He won 18 ATP titles, including five Masters 1000 events, and was ranked No.1 in the world for six weeks.

Criticizing the rules currently implemented in the sport regarding players’ behaviour, he has paid tribute to Kyrgios for what he describes as ‘revolutionizing’ the system. The Wimbledon finalist has beaten every member of the Big Three and has proven to be a popular figure among tennis fans. Although he has been fined on numerous occasions for poor behavior and was once issued with a suspended ban.

“Tennis has always had restrictions. If you swear, you get a fine; if you throw your racket, another fine. In press conferences you couldn’t talk bad things about anyone. Wimbledon makes you dress in white making you look like I don’t know what,” the 47-year-old said.
“Tennis is boring, it’s like watching cricket. Then a guy like Kyrgios comes out and revolutionizes everything. He packs stadiums, it’s a spectacle. My personality was also a bit ‘wrong’. I used to attract a lot of attention by throwing racquets, or by saying ‘old fuck’ (to an annoying lady in the crowd). People were entertained.”

Rios recently had a short stint of coaching after working with China’s Juncheng Shang before their collaboration ended abruptly. Shang previously said his former coach was ‘disrespectful’ towards him but the exact details of what occurred haven’t been publicly disclosed. As for Rios returning to coaching in the future, it looks very unlikely.

“No. I wouldn’t coach anyone else, although if Federer calls me I couldn’t say no. I would even look after his babies.” He concluded. 

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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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