Daniil Medvedev Sinks Sinner To Win Maiden Miami Title - UBITENNIS
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Daniil Medvedev Sinks Sinner To Win Maiden Miami Title

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Daniil Medvedev’s impressive start to 2023 is showing no signs of stopping after the Russian defeated an ailing Jannik Sinner in straight sets to win the Miami Masters. 

The world No.5 surged to a 7-5, 6-3, win over Sinner who was physically struggling throughout the final and at one stage required medication. Medvedev did experience some periods of patchy play but managed to overcome them with the help of 27 winners and he converted four out of six break points. 

Medvedev’s latest victory has strengthened his position at the top of the 2023 leaderboard. He is the only ATP player to have won 28 matches and claim four titles this season. Overall, he has contested five Tour finals before the start of the Monte Carlo Masters which is something that hasn’t been achieved on the Tour since Roger Federer did so in 2006. 

“I’m really happy. Today was a tough match. It was probably the hottest and most humid day of the tournament. The conditions were not easy and I don’t know if Jannik had a small injury or cramp. It was tough conditions and I was also struggling. I tried not to show it,” Medvedev said afterwards.
“I hadn’t won such a big title in a year-and-a-half so my hands got a little bit shaky and the serve was a little bit tougher. I’m happy that I managed to get myself better and close the match.” 

Coming into the final, Medvedev boasted a perfect 5-0 head-to-head record against Sinner with Miami being the first time the two have locked horns outdoors. Despite his dominant lead, he found himself involved in a roller-coaster opening set. Medvedev won his first two service games without dropping a point before stumbling in his third. A lull in his form enabled Sinner to break on his fifth opportunity with the help of a drop shot at the net to lead 3-2. Making it only the fourth time in the entire tournament Medvedev has dropped serve. 

Despite the blip, Medvedev broke back immediately to draw level before it was Sinner’s turn to stumble. The Italian started to appear wary on the court which prompted him to call for a medical time out where he receive medication from a doctor. Resuming proceedings, Sinner continued to battle but it was not enough. Trailing 5-6, a forehand error (Sinner’s 26th unforced error of the match) crashed into the net to gift Medvedev the opening set.  

In pole position, the former US Open champion broke two consecutive times in the second frame to close in on claiming his 19th Tour title. Serving for the title, he sealed victory on his second championship point by hitting a serve down the line which his rival returned into the net. 

“I don’t want to focus on it too much otherwise I repeat myself but as you can see I can sometimes handle myself and be calm on the court when I feel that it is a real hardcourt,” Medvedev admitted afterwards. “So thanks a lot to whoever made such a court (at the Miami Open). I was really happy to play on it.”

As for runner-up Sinner, he has only won four out of 22 matches against top-five opposition so far in his career. Although earlier in the Miami Open he defeated Carlos Alcaraz to record his first win over a No.1 player. Reflecting on his latest performance, the 21-year-old admitted that he had been feeling unwell. 

“Congratulations Daniil, not only for this tournament but for reaching the final of the last five and playing incredible tennis,” he said. 
“I woke up this morning not at my best. I felt a little bit sick but thanks to everybody for your support it means a lot to me. You gave me a lot of energy but unfortunately today I couldn’t play at my best.”

On the ATP Tour Medvedev has won 16 consecutive matches against Italian players. Despite winning 19 ATP trophies he is yet to win the same event twice. 

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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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