Carlos Alcaraz Creates History With Gruelling Win Over Sinner To reach French Open Final - UBITENNIS
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Carlos Alcaraz Creates History With Gruelling Win Over Sinner To reach French Open Final

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Carlos Alcaraz has become the youngest male player in history to reach a third Grand Slam final on a third different surface after staging a valiant fightback against Jannik Sinner at the French Open. 

The Spanish third seed found himself trailing early on before battling his way to a 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, victory over a Sinner, who struggled with cramping in his hand and had a leg massage during stages of the marathon clash that lasted more than four hours. He has become the second-youngest player to reach the title match in Roland Garros since 2000. The only person to have reached this stage at a younger age is Rafael Nadal.

“You have to find the joy in suffering,” Alcaraz said of his latest triumph in Paris.

“That’s the key. Even more here on clay at Roland Garros. Long rallies. Four-hour matches. Five sets. You have to fight and suffer. As I talked with my team many times, you have to enjoy suffering.”

Taking to the court for their ninth Tour-level meeting, soon-to-be world No.1 Sinner got off to a dream start by surging to a 4-0 lead without dropping a point behind his serve. Throughout the opener, Alcaraz’s undoing was his unforced errors with most of them coming from his forehand side. Enabling the second seed to seal a 6-2 lead with relative ease despite glimmers of good shotmaking produced by his opponent. 

It wasn’t until early on in the second frame that Spanish fans finally had something to cheer about with Alcaraz recovering from losing his serve by breaking a faltering Sinner, whose shot intensity started to lessen, two times in a row en route to levelling the match. Prompting flashbacks to his Wimbledon final against Djokovic last year where he lost a one-sided opening set before clinching the match. 

The drama continued with Sinner unexpectedly suffering a problem with his right hand, which was likely due to cramping. Prompting him to undergo some brief treatment early in the third set after coming through a 13-minute service game. 

“I saw him struggling a little bit. I was (also) cramping… Jannik as well in the 3rd set. We had to fight.” Alcaraz commented.

“I learned from last year’s match against Djokovic when I was in the same position like today. I know in these momentsyou have to be calm and keep going because the cramp is gonna go away. You have to stay there and fight. It was a little weird in the 3rd set.”

Ironically the scare proved to be a blessing in disguise for Sinner, who also had some minor treatment on his right leg during another changeover. Returning to his heavy hitting and making the most of some mistakes coming from across the court, he snatched the third set by winning five out of six games played. 

Sinner gave everything he had but it was only fitting that Alcaraz would stage yet another comeback during the showdown as he orchestrated the crowd to motivate him. Breaking at the very end of the fourth set to force a decider.  

Relishing the atmosphere, Alcaraz suddenly became rejuvenated on the court as he blasted the ball towards Sinner and hit a series of impressive winners to close in on victory. He failed to convert his first two match points chance due to some courageous hitting from his nemesis but he prevailed on his third after a Sinner forehand shot landed out. 

“The toughest matches I’ve played in my short career have been against Jannik,” he said. “The US Open in 2022.. this one.. that shows the great player that Jannik is. The team he has, and the great work he puts in every day…I hope to play many many more matches like this against Jannik. 

This was one of the toughest matches I’ve played for sure.” 

Alcaraz has now beaten five top-five players in Grand Slam events so far in his career. In the final, he faces a showdown against either Alexander Zverev or Casper Ruud.

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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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