Gutsy Novak Djokovic Prevails In Grueling Battle With Medvedev To Win US Open - UBITENNIS
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Gutsy Novak Djokovic Prevails In Grueling Battle With Medvedev To Win US Open



Novak Djokovic has become the first player in the Open Era to win a 24th Grand Slam title after outlasting Daniil Medvedev in a testing encounter at the US Open. 

The soon-to-be world No.1 rallied to a 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3, victory in what was a tiresome encounter with the second set of the clash lasting more than an hour and 40 minutes. A key feature of Djokovic’s latest triumph was his play at the net with him winning 37 out of 44 points played. It is the fourth time he has won the trophy at Flushing Meadows in his career and the first time since 2018. 

Djokovic has become the first man to win three major titles within the same season on four separate occasions. Besides this year, he also achieved the hat-trick in 2011, 2015 and 2021. Earlier this season he won the Australian Open and French Open before finishing runner-up at Wimbledon.

“I don’t know where to start, it means the world to me [to win 24 titles], I’m living my childhood dream,” said Djokovic. 
“To make history in this sport is remarkable. It’s special. In every meaning. It’s hard to describe. I had a childhood dream at eight to win Wimbledon and be the best player in the world.’
“I never imagined I’d be here talking about 24 slams. I didn’t know it would be the reality. But I thought I had a chance over the last few years, why not grab it?”

Playing in a record 36th Grand Slam final, Djokovic got off to a dream start against a tentative Medvedev after breaking the Russian two games into the match. A blistering forehand winner moved him to 40-0 before he broke with the help of an unforced error from his opponent. That early lead proved decisive to the outcome of the opener as Djokovic surged to a 5-2 lead. He then had a chance to secure a double break but was unable to do so. Despite that, he sealed the 6-3 lead. 

Historically getting off to a strong start has been crucial for Djokovic. Coming into the final, he has won 72 out of 73 US Open matches when clinching the first set with his only loss being against Stan Wawrinka in 2016.

However, alarm bells started to ring for the 36-year-old during a mammoth gut-busting 105-minute second set. Djokovic looked to have the upper hand early on with him winning 13 consecutive points behind his serve. Then the physicality of the match started to take its toll on him as he started to suddenly look weary on the court and even at one stage fell to the ground following the conclusion of a lengthy rally. He was also stretching numerous parts of his body. 

Medvedev continued knocking on the door and had various chances but was unable to get the breakthrough he desired. Failing to capitalize on a set point opportunity whilst leading 6-5 and losing a mini break advantage early in the tiebreaker. Meanwhile, Djokovic continued to battle through the pain as he somehow snatched a two-set lead after a backhand shot from his rival crashed into the net. 

Djokovic wasn’t the only one to have physical problems with Medvedev taking a medical timeout for treatment on his right shoulder before the start of the third frame. The play of the 2021 champion frustrated his coach, Gilles Cervara, who uncharacteristically yelled at him during one stage. 

The on-court drama continued when Djokovic looked to be cruising to victory after opening up a 3-1 lead before an error-stricken service game handed Medvedev the break back. Triggering more yelling but this time it was Djokovic shouting at his team. Despite that blip, he responded by claiming four straight games to secure the historic title. 

“Congrats to you and your team, I feel like I have not had a bad career, I have 24 titles and you have 24 slams,” Medvedev said to Djokovic. 
“I said in Australia, but I say it again, the first time we met was when I was 500th in the world. He was kind to me, nothing special, but a normal person. He still is, nothing has changed. Something great about this person you can say.”

As part of his celebration, the new champion put on a custom-made t-shirt which said ‘Mamba forever’ with a photo of NBA player Kobe Bryant who was killed in a helicopter accident three years ago. The two were close friends. The number 24 was Bryant’s jersey number and is now also the amount of slams won by Djokovic. 

“I thought about doing this t-shirt a few days ago,” he explains. “I didn’t share it with anybody. Kobe was a close friend of mine, we chatted a lot, about the winner’s mentality.
“When I was struggling with an injury and working my way back. He was one of the people I relied on the most.
“Any counsel, advice… In a friendly way. What happened, his passing, it hurt me deeply. I thought 24, the jersey he wore to become a Lakers legend. It could be a nice symbolic thing to do for him.”

Djokovic has become the oldest male player to have ever won the US Open. On Monday he will return to world No.1 in the ATP Pepperstone Rankings. 


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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