Carlos Alcaraz Backs Sinner To Challenge Djokovic For No.1 Spot - UBITENNIS
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Carlos Alcaraz Backs Sinner To Challenge Djokovic For No.1 Spot



Novak Djokovic has already sealed the year-end No.1 ranking but in the new season, Carlos Alcaraz has tipped another player to challenge for the top spot. 

The world No.2 has hailed Jannik Sinner following the Italian’s three-hour win over Djokovic at the ATP Finals on Tuesday evening. Sinner triumphed over the 24-time Grand Slam champion in front of roughly 14,000 fans in his home country in a match that was also a ratings hit. Italian broadcaster Rai confirmed that the match was the most watched on their channel in the past 10 years and Sky Italy attracted the second-highest viewership for a tennis match in its history (second to Djokovic’s clash with Matteo Berrettini in the 2021 Wimbledon final). 

Alcaraz is fully aware of the Sinner’s talent after previously playing him seven times on the Tour but only winning three of their meetings. This year he beat the world No.4 in Indian Wells before suffering losses in Miami and Beijing. 

“As a huge fan of tennis, it was one of the best matches of the year,” he said in tribute to Sinner’s win over Djokovic in Turin. 
“It was a high quality of tennis and an unbelievable match. I think everybody enjoyed that match.’
“Honestly, it would be really tough if I face Jannik in Italy. The crowd is going to be behind him. But who knows? I would love to play that battle against him. Every match that we face each other is an amazing match.” 

Continuing his praise of Sinner, the 20-year-old says he has no doubt about his ability to win a Grand Slam and even potentially claim the No.1 position as early as next year. 

“He is one of the those guys who are able to win a Grand Slam. I think he’s going to reach the No. 1 in 2024 or he’s going to give himself the chance to reach the No. 1.” He added. 

Of course, the Spaniard himself is hoping to rise back to the top of the standings after holding the position for a total of 36 weeks so far in his career. 

As for the ATP Finals, Alcaraz says he is building in confidence following his straight sets win over Andrey Rublev in what was his first-ever win at the tournament. In his opening match, he was beaten in three sets by Alexander Zverev. 

“Beating Rublev, who is a great player, gives you a lot of confidence,” he commented. “Obviously it’s a little bit more special to win after the loss in the first match.’
“I’ve been struggling with my level the last few months. Playing this match in this quality, at this level, it’s really helpful for me coming into the third one (match). I’m really happy to show this level and realize that my level is still there, giving myself a chance in this tournament.”

Alcaraz has now beaten 10 top 10 players this season. To put that into perspective, only two other men under the age of 21 have done this since 2000 – Rafael Nadal and Lleyton Hewitt. 


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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