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Fritz To Undergo Knee Surgery

  • Posted: Jun 04, 2021

American Taylor Fritz has revealed that he will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus, an injury that he sustained during his four-set loss to German Dominik Koepfer at Roland Garros Thursday.

But in an Instagram post, Fritz said that he hoped to return to the tour as early as Wimbledon, which begins 28 June.

Fritz posted…

I had really high hopes for @rolandgarros this year, so it’s tough to go out in the 2nd round…even tougher to have to leave the court in a wheelchair. Thank you to everyone for all the kind words and sympathy I’ve received since coming off the court, sorry to worry you all.

On match point when I came down from hitting a forehand, I heard a pop in my knee… When rewatching the videos, everything about my movements looked completely normal but after that pop I couldn’t move and could barely limp myself to the net to shake hands. After sitting down, I wasn’t able to stand up to leave the court. I definitely didn’t want to make a scene by getting wheeled off the court but there wasn’t much else I could do.

I got it scanned and reviewed, and the bad news is that I tore my meniscus and need surgery. The good news is that the surgery is very quick and easy, and I can make a full recovery quickly if all goes well. I’m hoping to be fully ready to go for @wimbledon.

Based off of how bad I initially felt, I’m glad that I will most likely only miss 3 weeks on tour and be back to 100% for the US hardcourt swing.


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#NextGenATP Alcaraz, Part Of The Youth Revolution At Roland Garros

  • Posted: Jun 04, 2021

It has been some time since so many players under the age of 20 were in the third round at Roland Garros. Twenty years, to be precise. Back then, it was Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and Tommy Robredo who were making their breakthroughs.

Two decades later, another Spaniard has contributed to the feat: 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz has reached the last 32 in Paris, alongside #NextGenATP Italians Lorenzo Musetti (19) and Jannik Sinner (19).

“I honestly didn’t know, and I hadn’t paid any attention to it. We young players are there, playing well, this means we’re doing the right things,” Alcaraz said of the historic achievement. “I’m still concentrating on myself. I’m happy for them too, but everyone has their own path.”

His coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, with the benefit of his experience, also seemed unsurprised by the feat: “I don’t know if we’re looking at a generational shift, but it would be very good if from now on we saw these players fighting for the majors. It’s true that in recent years that hasn’t happened, hopefully we can see this situation [that we’re seeing with the young players] much more frequently.”

Alcaraz forms part of the ATP Tour rebellion: the charge of #NextGenATP talents aspiring to earn a place among the tour’s elite. At the moment, he is progressing in giant leaps. This year he has been overcoming hurdles at breakneck speed, the latest coming on Thursday, when he reached the third round of Roland Garros – his personal best in a Grand Slam – by beating Nikoloz Basilashvili.

“He’s a totally different player to the one at Roland Garros last year,” warned Ferrero. In just nine months, since the last edition of the French major in September 2020, Alcaraz has gone from being in the Top 200 in the FedEx ATP Rankings to being on the verge of the Top 80. During that time, he has been fine-tuning his game, evolving his body and maturing his mind.


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“Mentally, he’s much better prepared,” noted the former World No. 1, who guides Alcaraz from the coaches’ box. “Carlos is playing much more calmly, handling situations better in matches. He’s grown a lot in the last year and even since the Australian Open, where he played pretty well in the match he lost [in second round against Mikael Ymer]. Here he’s playing with much more peace of mind and playing as well as he can.”

The player himself agrees with his coach. “What surprises me is that I’m approaching each match very serenely, very sure of myself. I’m improving on things that I wasn’t doing well at other tournaments and improving my attitude a lot. I’m very proud and I’m surprised to have achieved it so quickly,” Alcaraz said of his performance in Paris.

Although Alcaraz is surprised at his rapid progress, he is perhaps less so at his performances so far on the French clay. “I’m not surprised because I know my ability. I have a lot of confidence in myself and I know that this is something I can always demonstrate. It’s a virtue I have and I’m using it, it’s something I can always use.”


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As well as the grandeur of the third round he will face at Roland Garros, terra incognita for the Spaniard, he will have to deal with another new situation: playing this many consecutive matches at one tournament. After three wins in the qualifiers, he has now picked up two more in the main draw and the clash with Jan-Lennard Struff will be his sixth in Paris.

“Carlos is fit,” Ferrero said. “It’s true that he’s been playing a lot of matches in recent weeks, but as it’s a Grand Slam and there are rest days in between, he’s also recovering well. Also, because he’s so young and with the energy he has, everything is going very well, including his fitness.”

Saturday will present the #NextGenATP Spaniard with a new challenge in the City of Lights – the biggest he has ever faced in a Grand Slam – with an opportunity to reach the second week at Roland Garros at stake.

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“What we have to do is play the third round. As simple as that,” Ferrero said. “Young players are always very ambitious, but obviously it would be a mistake to think about the second week. We have to think about Struff, who is a tough player, and not look beyond that because it would be a mistake.”

His pupil is promising the same, aiming to leave his nerves aside and take confidence from the performances he has produced so far. 

“The first match you have to win is against yourself,” Alcaraz said. “In the end, knowing how to manage your emotions is very important and I’m getting better at that.”

Whatever happens in the third round, Alcaraz has made it very clear that he now forms part #NextGenATP rebellion.

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Zverev Fights For Roland Garros Last 16 Berth

  • Posted: Jun 04, 2021

Sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev moved into the Roland Garros fourth round on Friday with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Laslo Djere of Serbia under a closed roof on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The 24-year-old saved three set points at 4-5 in the second set and subsequently won nine of the next 11 games to improve to a 21-8 match record on the season, which includes two titles at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC (d. Tsitsipas) and the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Berrettini).

“I was down 3-5, 40-0 on his serve and you don’t always come back from that score,” said Zverev. “He played a fantastic match, he is playing great on this surface so I knew I had to play much, much better than the first two rounds and I did that today.

“I am happy that the further we go in the tournament the better I start hopefully playing. This is the main goal of my tennis career, to win Grand Slams and I feel in the past year-and-a-half I am on a very good [path] again and I hope I can continue.”

Zverev, who will next face former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori of Japan, struck 31 winners and converted seven of 10 break points for victory in two hours and eight minutes.

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Zverev reeled off the first four games against the Serbian, hitting with great depth and precision from the baseline as Djere struggled to cope. However, after claiming the opener, Zverev suffered a dip at the start of the second set with Djere breaking to love to move 2-0 ahead as the 24-year-old started to play more tentatively. At 5-4 though, Djere failed to convert a 40/0 lead as Zverev saved three set points.

From there on, it was one way traffic with Zverev winning nine of the next 11 games. Djere, who looked depleted of energy after his mammoth five set victory over Miomir Kecmanovic in the second round, is now 13-13 for the season, with his best result a final appearance at the Sardegna Open (l. to Sonego) in April.

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After Traumatic Start To The Year, New Father Johnson Thriving In Paris

  • Posted: Jun 04, 2021

Being separated from family during times of crisis is excruciating. Steve Johnson learned that the hard way this year in Australia.

The American’s wife, Kendall, gave birth to their first child, Emma, on 31 December 2020. Johnson was “50-50” on travelling to Australia to begin with. But just more than a week into his two-week quarantine, he received a phone call with bad news.

“Emma had a routine pediatric checkup and they sent her right to the hospital, because her oxygen levels were extremely low. She was in the ICU for five or six days,” Johnson told “That’s hard. We’re new parents obviously, it’s our first. There are COVID protocols at the hospital. Just my wife was in the room with her. She couldn’t have the support of family because she couldn’t leave Emma’s side. All this stuff just snowballed given the circumstances.”

Johnson, who was set to play an ATP 250 at Melbourne Park and then the Australian Open, immediately decided he would not play those events. The 31-year-old was going to fly home as soon as Australian restrictions would allow.

“I didn’t want to be in Australia. As soon as I got that phone call, I was mentally on a plane back to Los Angeles,” Johnson said. “It just took time, unfortunately. I got back and was able to support my wife as much as possible. I wasn’t able to go to the hospital to see Emma, but Kendall was able to come out.”


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Emma received a few different treatments. About a month later, she had surgery.

“So far, everything looks like it’s trending in the right direction. It’s definitely taken a weight off my shoulders [while I am] here knowing everything is healthy and looking like what normal should be,” Johnson said. “It’s definitely taken a lot of stress off… That’s why I think I was definitely struggling at the beginning when I came back, because my heart and my mind were at different places than the tennis court.”

The four-time ATP Tour titlist played five tournaments at all levels this year before Roland Garros, and he only won one set in those matches. But he has claimed back-to-back five-setters in Paris to reach the third round for the fourth time.

Although things are doing better with his daughter, Roland Garros triggers emotions for Johnson that date back to 2017. On 11 May that year, Johnson’s father, Steve Johnson Sr., suddenly passed away. “Stevie” wrote a first-person My Point essay for detailing the struggles he faced on and off the court as he tried to cope with that devastating loss.

In the second round at Roland Garros that year, Johnson beat Borna Coric in a four-setter that lasted three hours and 53 minutes. As he walked off the court, the American stopped for an interview with Tennis Channel’s Jon Wertheim, during which he couldn’t hold back his emotions. Johnson has asked the ATP and French Tennis Federation to avoid that court because of the raw memories from that match.

But in the years since, Johnson has increasingly found it easier to deal with his loss. A lot of that improvement has come from opening up about mental health.

“The key I think for everybody is the stigma that surrounds it. Normalising it is the most important thing. You see the other athletes do it and that creates the conversation and people’s awareness,” Johnson said. “It’s something that not everybody goes through, but a lot of people go through at all times of life, whether it’s good or bad. There’s no rhyme or reason to why things happen. I’m definitely always open about it and I think that’s not going to change any time soon.”

Johnson began speaking to a professional, which helped. He has also talked with fellow athletes including Mardy Fish, who has battled through mental health issues himself.

“I was a stubborn individual at the beginning… If you’re stubborn, you think you can do things on your own,” Johnson said. “But there are just some things that are out of your control that you just need somebody who knows what they’re doing and who has dealt with it or seen other sides of things that can help put things into perspective. Sometimes when you’re so close to the issue, it’s hard to see.”

Not only has grieving gotten easier for Johnson, but he is getting to enjoy life as a father himself. Emma is now five months old.

“It’s great. It consumes most of my day as crazy as that sounds. It’s been life-changing, really,” Johnson said. “I couldn’t be happier to have a family with Kendall and our daughter Emma and everybody. We FaceTime as much as we can. It’s definitely a blessing to have everything I have.”


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When home, Johnson takes care of his training earlier in the day so he can come home and spend time with Emma. From playing with toys to simply holding her in his arms, the Californian loves it all.

“You do have to be very selfish as an athlete when it comes to your training, whatever it takes for you to be at the peak of your performance. But once I am done with that for the day, I’m all hands on deck with Kendall and Emma. That’s the best part,” Johnson said. “Even the bad days out there, you come home and see her smile and laugh. It pretty much just erases anything that happened that day.”

It has been tough for Johnson to be on the road, especially because he is away from his family. But the American has also found bubble life difficult, as he greatly enjoys spending time with his friends on Tour, going for dinner with them and so on. Johnson is also a gritty competitor who feeds off the crowd. Although he battled from two sets down against Frances Tiafoe in the first round, fans had to leave in the middle of his second-round match on Wednesday evening against Thiago Monteiro due to curfew.

“The first day when I played a five-setter it was the best atmosphere I’ve played in for months, or a year, probably,” Johnson said. “It was pretty full [against Monteiro] and then it was empty. It was just his two people and I had my coach and a couple of USTA people who meandered in. It stinks, because there was a lot of good tennis played after the curfew.”

Despite the crazy year Johnson has had, he now has an opportunity to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the second time when he plays 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta on Friday (ATP Head2Head tied 2-2).

“I felt confident going into that first-round match and the first couple sets didn’t go my way, but I just dug deep and just gave myself a chance. That’s what I pride myself on, just give myself any opportunity I can,” Johnson said. “I was able to turn it around and you never know what’s on the back end of these matches if you can just squeak it out. I’m just trying my best to do that one day at a time.”

Win or lose, Johnson is able to keep his head high, as he knows his family is back home waiting.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Johnson said. “There’s nothing in my life that’s more important than my family, so that’s been quite the blessing.”

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Preview: Tsitsipas, Medvedev Face A Tall Order In Paris

  • Posted: Jun 04, 2021

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev are among the top seeds back in action on Friday at Roland Garros, but they’ve got their work cut out for them as they both face towering Americans for a spot in the fourth round. Sixth seed Alexander Zverev, 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta and 15th seed Casper Ruud also feature on a busy Day 6 in Paris.

Fifth seed Tsitsipas claimed a confident victory over Pedro Martinez to bring his clay-court win streak to six matches in a row. The Greek player has been on song on red clay, lifting a trophy in Lyon and claiming his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters before arriving in Paris.  

Last year’s semi-finalist has a tall order ahead as he eyes a spot in the second week of Roland Garros for the third year in a row. He faces 6’10” American John Isner, the 31st seed, in the night session on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Isner dominated the early match-ups of their ATP Head2Head, but Tsitsipas has won their past three matches to gain the 3-2 edge. 

“I’m sure he can serve well right now. Also, I’m sure he’s a guy who likes to play on clay,” Tsitsipas said. “Conditions are obviously the way they are. I am just going to have to do my thing. Just have to find my way around it.”

Isner famously took Nadal to five sets in the opening round at Roland Garros in 2011. In more recent matches, he’s also earned confidence-boosting wins over Andrey Rublev and Roberto Bautista Agut on the clay courts of Madrid.

“It’s the mentality. I haven’t played a lot this year, but I’m not worried about the fact that I haven’t played a lot,” Isner said after his second-round victory over Filip Krajinovic. “At this stage of my career, I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone. I just want to go out and play free and try to play loose, and be happy with the result either way. That’s what I have done very, very well this year.”


Tsitsipas claimed a win over Isner earlier this year in Acapulco by finding ways to neutralise the American’s powerful serve, and it will be a strategy he’ll hope to repeat as they contest their first meeting on clay. He’ll also have to back up his one-handed backhand, especially against Isner’s high-bouncing, dangerous second serves. The winner of Tsitsipas and Isner will face either 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta or Steve Johnson, who will face off on Court Simonne-Mathieu, in the fourth round.

Second seed Medvedev will take on another of the ‘twin towers’ in Paris as he faces 32nd seed Reilly Opelka on Court Suzanne-Lenglen. The 6’11” American scored wins over Lorenzo Musetti and Aslan Karatsev on his way to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 appearance in Rome. Although he tried to brush it off as a fluke, he’s already backed it up by advancing past the first round of Roland Garros for the first time in three appearances.


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“My brain’s kind of thinking in a different way now, especially when I’m constructing points from serving. I’m so much more calm because I have so much more confidence, so much more trust in my forehand,” Opelka said. “I know there’s still room for improvement, which is exciting for me. I think about it all the time. I’m thinking about how I can get better.”

Opelka’s opponent has similarly learned to embrace clay-court tennis. Medvedev reached the third round in Paris for the first time after recording wins over Alexander Bublik and Tommy Paul, and he’ll be looking to extend his 2-1 ATP Head2Head lead over Opeka in their first clay-court meeting. The winner will take on either American Marcos Giron or 22nd seed Cristian Garin in the fourth round.

Sixth seed Alexander Zverev is also in action on Friday, and he will take on Serbia’s Laslo Djere in the second match on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Zverev claimed a comfortable victory in their only previous meeting on his way to the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC trophy in March.


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The winner of Zverev and Djere will face one of two unseeded and looming opponents, either Kei Nishikori or Henri Laaksonen, who will contest their first meeting on Lenglen. Both Nishikori and Laaksonen took out seeds in the previous round, with Nishikori fighting past 23rd seed Karen Khachanov in his second consecutive five-set match while the Finnish-born Swiss player stunned 11th seed Bautista Agut to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Read More: Hold The Salmon! Laaksonen Is Catch Of The Day At Roland Garros

Fabio Fognini, the 27th seed and 15th-seeded Casper Ruud are also in action, and they could meet in the fourth round should they both advance on Friday. The Italian, who reached the quarter-finals here in 2011, will face Federico Delbonis, while Ruud takes on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as he seeks to advance to the second week in Paris for the first time.

Australian Open finalists Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury lead the way in doubles, taking on Hugo Nys and Tim Puetz on Court 11. Ram and Salisbury, the third seeds, reached the final at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome (l. Mektic/Pavic) before arriving in Paris. Also in action, sixth-seeded Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut will face Jonathan Erlich and Lloyd Harris.

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Thursday also marks the start of mixed doubles, headlined by a mouthwatering clash between Latisha Chan and Ivan Dodig taking on third seeds Demi Schuurs and Wesley Koolhof. Chan and Dodig have lifted two Roland Garros mixed doubles titles in 2018 and 2019, in addition to winning together at Wimbledon in 2019. Their opponents are seeking their first major title in mixed doubles, with Koolhof making his Roland Garros debut in this discipline partnered with WTA doubles specialist Schuurs. 

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