Jannik Sinner Marches On In Indian Wells As Race For No.2 Heats Up - UBITENNIS
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Jannik Sinner Marches On In Indian Wells As Race For No.2 Heats Up



Jannik Sinner has insisted he is not taking anything for granted after sealing his place in the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open. 

The Italian world No.3 defeated Ben Shelton 7-6(4), 6-1, to continue his unbeaten start to the 2024 season. In his latest match, Sinner hit 16 winners against just six unforced errors and won 77% of his first service points to claim his 150th Tour-level hard court victory. Making him the first male player born since 2000 to have reached this milestone. 

Sinner is currently on an 18-match winning streak with 15 of those victories occuring this year. He won his first major title at the Australian Open in January followed by the Rotterdam Open last month. Despite his surge in success, he has vowed not to get too far ahead of himself. 

“I never take things for granted,” he said. “Every tournament, every match you go on court trying to do your best, trying to stay mentally focused. That’s what I try to do.’
“Every day there’s a different opponent. Today was not only a different opponent but a lefty who is serving incredibly well.
“I’m looking forward to this kind of challenge. The next match will also be a challenge.”

Jiri Lehecka will be the next test for Sinner. The Czech 32nd seed already has a duo of impressive scalps under his belt after knocking out Andrey Rublev in the second round and then Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third. Overall, he has produced 11 wins over top 20 opposition during his career with four of those occurring this year. 

“He’s playing incredibly well. I have to be very focused from the first point, and hopefully, I can show some good tennis.” Sinner said of his upcoming opponent. 

Besides chasing after another title in Indian Wells, the 22-year-old is also closing in on the world No.2 spot which is currently being held by defending champion Carlos Alcaraz. The two could clash in the semi-finals of the tournament with the winner of that match claiming the position. Otherwise, the other way Sinner can clinch the position is by either equalling or bettering his rival’s record at the event. 

“Winning a Grand Slam, it’s an incredible feeling, nice feeling. I still have it in my mind. But in the other way, we are already months away. I’m playing here, and I have pressure on my shoulders. This is normal.” He commented.
“I also enjoy these kind of moments on the court. To be around fans and crowd, it’s a good feeling.”

Sinner is the fourth player this decade to have recorded nine consecutive wins over top 20 players. The other players to achieve this are Novak Djokovic, Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev.  


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 Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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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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