Tennis News

From around the world

Murray Flies Through Grass Opener At Surbiton Challenger

  • Posted: Jun 05, 2023

Murray Flies Through Grass Opener At Surbiton Challenger

Top seed Evans to be in action Tuesday

Andy Murray kicked off his grass-court season in winning fashion Monday. The Scot defeated former World No. 19 Hyeon Chung 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the ATP Challenger Tour 125 event in Surbiton.

The three-time major champion displayed smooth court coverage, often working his way to the net. In action just 20 minutes from the All England Club, where the 36-year-old has won two Wimbledon titles, Murray won 24 of 29 first-serve points to oust the South Korean Chung, who was playing just his third match since returning from two-and-half-years off due to a back injury.

Murray will next meet a qualifier, China’s Yunchaokete Bu or Briton Harry Wendelken.

In other action at the Lexus Surbiton Trophy, fifth seed Jason Kubler defeated Gijs Brouwer 6-1, 7-6(4) and Denis Kudla survived Christopher O’Connell 6-3, 5-7, 6-2. Wild card Ryan Peniston cruised past Jiri Vesely 6-4, 6-2.

Top seed and World No. 25 Daniel Evans will be in first-round action Tuesday against Australian teenager James McCabe.

Source link

Zverev Lifts Level To Down Dimitrov, Return To Roland Garros QFs

  • Posted: Jun 05, 2023

Zverev Lifts Level To Down Dimitrov, Return To Roland Garros QFs

Argentina’s Etcheverry upsets Nishioka to extend best major run

Headlining the Roland Garros evening session for his third straight match, Alexander Zverev again closed the curtains on both Court Phlippe-Chatrier and his opponent with a battling victory under the lights.

After an eventful four-set win against Frances Tiafoe on Saturday, Zverev needed only three sets to move past Grigor Dimitrov on Monday evening. But his 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 victory still packed plenty of drama, with the German battling back from a break down in the second set and surrendering a 3-0 lead in the third.

“I felt like at 3-0 in the third set I got very unfocused. I kind of thought the match was over before having it over, and I was not concentrated anymore, and my serve went missing a little bit, ” Zverev said post-match, explaining why he returned to the court for some serving practice. “So I just wanted to get the feeling of having that back, because it’s going to be important for after tomorrow, I think.”

Follow The Cast Of ATP Tour | Break Point

His victory saw him through to the Roland Garros quarter-finals for the fifth time in six years, and he will seek his third straight semi-final when he faces Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry on Wednesday. The 26-year-old has reached nine major quarter-finals overall, with his best Grand Slam result a run to the 2021 US Open final.

Zverev opened in imperious form against Dimitrov, dominating the early stages of the match with powerful baseline hitting and just five unforced errors in the opening set. Dimitrov began to find his footing — and his forehand — in the second to build a 4-2 lead, but Zverev snapped back by winning seven straight games to move to the brink of victory.

The German’s charge was aided by untimely errors from Dimitrov, who struggled with consistency throughout the match and finished with 50 unforced errors. That was again the case down the stretch, as Zverev rattled off the final three games of the match after Dimitrov roared back from 0-3 to level the final set.

The Bulgarian was a constant threat on return but only converted on two of his 16 break chances in the two-hour, 17-minute match. Zverev was far more efficient, claiming seven of 15 break points.

Dimitrov was bidding for his first Roland Garros quarter-final, an achievement that would have made him the 10th active player to reach at least the quarters at all four majors. Zverev could join that elite club with a deep run at Wimbledon next month, with two fourth-round runs (2017, 2021) his best showings on the London lawns.

<a href=''>Tomas Martin Etcheverry</a>
Photo credit: Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Argentina’s Etcheverry booked his place opposite Zverev with a 7-6(8), 6-0, 6-1 win against 27th seed Yoshihito Nishioka. The Argentine entered Roland Garros with an 1-5 record in Grand Slam main draws and has now knocked off three seeds in a row to reach the quarters, beginning with 18th seed Alex de Minaur and 15th seed Borna Coric. 

“For me I have a lot of emotion right now. I think I am really, really happy. The best moment of my life,” Etcheverry said in his post-match presser. “Of course, in the next round it’s going to be tough. Sascha Zverev, I think he has a lot of more experience than me, but I feel really good to play against him. I am playing incredible tennis this week, and just I have to focus on my game and trying to do the same like I am doing every day.”

You May Also Like:

Why Etcheverry’s Love Of Roland Garros Goes Beyond Tennis

After winning a tight opening set against Nishioka, in which he saved a set point at 6/7 in the tie-break, Etcheverry eased through the finish line as the Japanese star began to show the effects of the 14 sets he played in his previous three matches. The 23-year-old finished with 37 winners including 12 aces after just over two hours on court.

Etcheverry’s breakout run to the quarter-finals has lifted him 18 places to No. 31 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, putting him ahead of Zverev, who is defending semi-final points. The winner of Wednesday’s matchup will move into the Top 25, with Etcheverry set for a new career-high regardless of the result.

Source link

Gille/Vliegen Dream Run Continues At Roland Garros

  • Posted: Jun 05, 2023

Gille/Vliegen Dream Run Continues At Roland Garros

Middelkoop/Mies down defending champs Arevalo/Rojer

Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen broke new ground on Monday at Roland Garros, where the Belgian duo reached their maiden Grand Slam semi-final as a team by downing 14th seeds Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni 6-4, 7-6(4).

Gille and Vliegen outhit their 14th-seeded opponents by 34 winners to 26 on the way to a 99-minute victory on Court Simonne-Mathieu. They rallied from 1-4 in the second set to force a tie-break, in which they won five of the final six points to seal their win.

The unseeded duo is chasing its third tour-level crown of the season (Pune, Estoril) in Paris this fortnight. The pair has risen five spots to ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings as a result of their run in the French capital.

Follow The Cast Of ATP Tour | Break Point

Their next opponents will be Matwe Middelkoop and Andreas Mies, who ended the Roland Garros reign of 2022 winners Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer with a 7-6(6), 6-1 triumph at the clay-court major.

Middelkoop and Mies saved a set point in the 12th game en route to winning the opening set of the quarter-final clash before they accelerated through the second set for a one-hour, 55-minute victory. Middelkoop and Mies, who is a two-time Roland Garros champion, arrived in Paris with a 1-3 record for the year as a team but have not dropped a set on the way to the final four.

Source link

Coaches' Corner: Louis Cayer Dishes On Doubles

  • Posted: Jun 05, 2023

Coaches’ Corner: Louis Cayer Dishes On Doubles

Cayer explains differences between coaching singles and doubles

Louis Cayer is one of the preeminent voices in the doubles world, currently helping British doubles players. World No. 1 Neal Skupski, who along with Wesley Koolhof is in the Roland Garros quarter-finals, is one of his charges.

Cayer spoke to about the biggest differences between coaching singles and doubles players, the intricacies of doubles some might not notice, and more.

How different is it coaching doubles players compared to the singles players?
I’ll start with coaching doubles players, because this is what I presently do. I think it’s a bit underestimated because I have to coach a Deuce-side player, maximise his strengths, his potential. I have to coach the Ad-side player for the same reason, but I have to also coach a team to [figure out] how they will gel, team patterns, team strategy. So it’s like if I have three players to coach. And when I scout, I have to scout the Deuce-side player, scout the Ad-side player and scout how the [opponents] play as a team, which plays they like to do together and combine that. So it’s quite complex.

Plus, I have a philosophy that we have to coach a performer and a player. But what triggers the performer, to activate someone [is different for different people]. For you it could be, ‘Come on, come on’. And the other one is very [calm]. ‘Okay, let’s go, I want to be sure you’re calm for the match’. And so when you do either pep talk, it’s not as complex as a football team or a hockey team, but still you have to gauge a bit what tone you will give to the pre-match talk, respecting the different individuality and stuff like this. So I think it’s quite complex at that level.

Follow The Cast Of ATP Tour | Break Point

Tactics, it’s a lot of offence-defence. In singles, for example, if you serve wide, you make most of the time the volley [into the] open court, particularly if you serve and volley. If you stay back, you look to hit in the open court. But in doubles, if you make a first volley, if the receiver’s partner puts pressure on you, you may have to [go] short cross court. If they both stay back, you volley down the middle on the backhand side… So there’s a lot of decision making that you have to do, because of the complexity of having two players on the court…

Tactics are a bit more complicated [with] exploiting space, covering space. For me in singles, you work with your game style, you’re very confident in game style, you know how to play against three or four major game styles, you’re skillful on different surfaces… and you need especially a great engine. You have to be ready to run side to side for four hours. If you don’t have that big physical engine, I think even if you have nice technique, you cannot succeed in singles.

In doubles, we have to be honest, it is less taxing physically. The matches are an hour and a half, you don’t have these lateral side-to-side [movements]. I don’t say you don’t have to be fit, because they are very fit. But it’s a different type of fitness and the level of endurance required for singles and doubles is not even a close match.

You were talking about your Deuce player, you have your Ad player, and then the team. People who watch doubles might not think about the intricacies of that. What are some other things that people may not recognise about doubles that goes beyond what meets the eye?
On the mental aspect for example, some players were not good in singles and became good in doubles because of the negative self talk that you can have in singles. You lose the point, you’re alone, you get into your little misery, you get a bit down, you start to be flat. In doubles, we have rescue tactics.

There’s the three-second rule — go to your partner whenever you have that dynamic. So I missed a shot, my partner is there right away… It’s easier to be in the present, it’s easier to cultivate the high performance, high-positive energy, which is essential for [finding the] peak-performance state. You cannot get a peak-performance state without high-positive energy.

In doubles, you have a partner to help you to be in that space all the time. So on the mental level, it could be easier than singles where if you’re starting to get tired or negative, or you get beat, I think it takes much more mental discipline to stay fighting like Nadal and Djokovic, who are just amazing.

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

When people watch doubles, they think of net play, people coming forward and being at the net. What’s something that people don’t understand about the net game that these guys make look so easy?
Okay, first, the myth, I want to make the point [that] there are too many coaches [who] force club members to serve and volley saying, ‘This is the game’. How it’s played now, over 55 per cent of the Top 100 males stay back on their serve. Neal Skupski started to really climb the rankings when he decided to serve and stay back. He can still serve and volley, but he stays back quite often.

So 55 per cent of the men stay back and I would say 95 per cent of the women stay back, so don’t force everybody to serve and volley and to come to the net. But that being said, I think there are three types of volleys.

There’s the volley at midcourt. If you serve and volley, you have to make a ball at midcourt. It’s different footwork technique, different biomechanics…. You join your partner and we call that being in a wall position between the net and the service line. And then you have to cover the court like this.

The down-the-line player, in our system at least, [has] more responsibility of the middle. So you move laterally, but you cut the angle if it comes in the middle, and the other player, same thing. So there’s different skills. And most important, often in singles, they come to the net to finish the point and doubles you come to the net to make the point. So you’re often involved in defence, people hitting very hard at you, stuff like this, where you have to develop a lot of great defensive skills.

Source link

NCAA Champ Quinn Among 21 College Players To Qualify For ATP Accelerator Programme

  • Posted: Jun 05, 2023

NCAA Champ Quinn Among 21 College Players To Qualify For ATP Accelerator Programme

The ATP-ITA programme is part of a long-term strategy to promote the rise of young talent in the professional game

NCAA men’s singles champion Ethan Quinn is among 21 college players who will benefit from direct entry into ATP Challenger Tour main draw and qualifying fields as part of the new Accelerator Programme, a joint initiative between ATP and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).

The programme was developed to increase the development pathway for top players in the American Collegiate system. Following the NCAA championships last month at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona/Orlando in Florida, it was announced that 21 players would benefit from the Accelerator Programme.

Players ranked in the Top 20 of the ITA final singles rankings who have finished their education are granted up to eight Accelerator Spots at Challenger 50 and 75 tournaments, with opportunities split between main draw (for Top 10 ITA ranked players) and qualifying (11-20). Players who reach the quarter-finals or better of the individual NCAA Division I Tennis Championships also qualify for the Accelerator Programme if not already eligible via their ITA ranking. These opportunities are available from 1 July for a period of 12 months.

You May Also Like:

Students Of The Game: The Collegiate Pathway To The Pros

Players who continue their education and qualify for the programme will receive six opportunities over six months (July–December), enabling them to benefit from the programme during their college off-season and parts of their fall season.

Accelerator Programme Qualifiers

 Player College
Eliot Spizzirri Texas 
Ethan Quinn Georgia
Arthur Fery Stanford
Ondrej Styler Michigan
Chris Rodesch Virginia
Johannus Monday Tennessee
Melios Efstathiou Wake Forest
Antoine Cornut-Chauvinc Florida State
Andres Martin Georgia Tech
Toby Samuel South Carolina
Liam Draxl Kentucky
Cannon Kingsley Ohio State
Murphy Cassone Arizona State
Andrew Fenty Michigan
Sebastian Dominko Notre Dame
Nishesh Basavareddy Stanford
Connor Thomson South Carolina
Garrett Johns Duke
Jake Fearnley TCU
Alafia Ayeni Kentucky
Alexander Bernard Ohio State

Source link

Ruud Digs Deep, Ousts Jarry To Reach Roland Garros QFs

  • Posted: Jun 05, 2023

Ruud Digs Deep, Ousts Jarry To Reach Roland Garros QFs

Norwegian to take on Rune or Cerundolo in last eight

Casper Ruud knows how to hang tough at Roland Garros.

Repeatedly placed under pressure by Nicolas Jarry in the pair’s fourth-round clash Monday in Paris, the fourth seed battled to a 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-5 victory. Ruud saved 14 of 17 break points across three tightly contested sets to reach his third major quarter-final.

The Norwegian prevailed in a first-set tie-break, rallied from 1-4 to claim the second set and then 2-4 to clinch the third and seal a three-hour, 20-minute triumph. His rock-solid baseline display in blustery conditions proved decisive against the aggressive Jarry, who hit 56 winners to Ruud’s 30 in an engrossing clash. Yet the Chilean was unable to match his opponent’s consistency at key moments.

“It was great for me. Three very, very tough sets,” said Ruud. “I think today I can thank my team for pushing me every day in practice because not every day is as tough as [this one]. But I do the work and I felt physically fine.

“I was ready for more if we had to play more, so it was a win not just for me but my team as well. We have done great work the last couple of years, and I’m happy to be back in the quarter-finals.”

Ruud, who reached the championship match at Roland Garros last year, has now won a Tour-leading 85 matches on clay since 2020. The 24-year-old will take on Holger Rune or Francisco Cerundolo in the last eight as he continues his bid for a maiden Grand Slam crown.

Follow The Cast Of ATP Tour | Break Point

Jarry narrowly defeated Ruud in a three-set quarter-final in Geneva just 11 days ago, and there was once again little to choose between the two players for most of Monday’s encounter. Jarry’s booming serve and powerful groundstrokes ensured he was competitive throughout but Ruud’s high-class defensive skills frequently made the difference in longer exchanges.

Ruud was a point away from falling to a double-break deficit in the second set, but he saved break point at 1-4, 30/40 to hold. That was typical of the World No. 4’s display, as he raised his level to great effect to keep Jarry in his sights.

After completing his second-set comeback, Ruud repeated the feat in the third to frustrate Jarry. He won five of the final six games to clinch victory and improve his ATP Head2Head series record against the Chilean to 2-1.

“It’s difficult. His serve is great, he plays very aggressive,” said Ruud, when asked about the deep returning position he used to counter Jarry’s delivery. “I’m happy that I had enough court to work with today. This court is probably the biggest court on clay that we have, so for me who likes to return from the back, it’s good.

“It’s tough. It’s been windy this year. I think I managed to do well. I was down a break in both the second and the third [sets]… I was very happy I was able to neutralise his serve and win the most important points of the match.”

Despite his defeat, Jarry’s run in Paris was a continuation of the his resurgence in 2023. The Chilean began the year at No. 152 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings but lifted his second and third ATP Tour titles, respectively, in Santiago and Geneva to rise to a career-high No. 35 on the eve of Roland Garros. With his fourth-round appearance in the French capital, the 27-year-old has risen six spots to No. 29 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

Source link