Tennis News

From around the world

How Alcaraz Is Leaning On Federer & Murray To Find Footing On Grass

  • Posted: Jun 22, 2023

How Alcaraz Is Leaning On Federer & Murray To Find Footing On Grass

Spaniard also admires Djokovic’s ability to slide on the surface

Carlos Alcaraz is one of the more experienced 20-year-olds ever to compete on the ATP Tour, his precocious talent already earning him four ATP Masters 1000 titles, a US Open crown and several stints atop the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

But when it comes to grass, the Spaniard is still green.

Alcaraz entered the Cinch Championships with a 4-2 career record on the slick surface, but he’s now through to his first grass-court quarter-final at The Queen’s Club in London. As he builds his confidence on the lawns, he shared some insight into how he has developed his game.

In addition to watching videos to scout his opponents, Alcaraz has also been trying to emulate the likes of Roger Federer and Andy Murray in their grass-court movement. 

“I want to look up to the best players on grass and movers. On grass, Roger and Andy for me are the best players that are moving great on grass. So I want to be the same, like them,” he said of the pair, who have 10 Wimbledon titles between them (eight for Federer, two for Murray).

While he also admires Djokovic’s grass-court prowess, the Spaniard thinks the four-time defending Wimbledon champion’s fancy footwork is a bridge too far, at least at this point in his career.

“I’m not talking about Djokovic because Djokovic slides like [on a] clay court,” added Alcaraz. “[That is] not my case, but I try to put similar stuff in my game that Roger and Andy does in grass.”

You May Also Like:

Alcaraz Bounces Back With Dominant Win To Reach Queen’s Club QFs

Asked to expand on what he’s learned about moving on grass, he explained how it differs from navigating clay and hard courts.

“Moving on grass, as I said a few times, for me is the key of everything on grass. It’s the key if you are playing good or not,” Alcaraz said, noting that he has grown in confidence after two strong matches at the London ATP 500 event.

“You have to be more focused on the footwork here,” he continued. “I can’t slide as I do on clay or on hard court, so you have to know that and, practising from that part, you have to adapt your moves or your hit on grass.”

Source link

Challenger Standout Cazaux Inspired By Nadal, Curry, Kobe

  • Posted: Jun 22, 2023

Challenger Standout Cazaux Inspired By Nadal, Curry, Kobe

The 20-year-old is a two-time ATP Challenger Tour champion

“Rafa, you put me on tennis!”

Arthur Cazaux developed a love for tennis at a young age, when he was sitting at his home in southern France watching the-then 19-year-old Rafael Nadal compete at Roland Garros.

Little did Cazaux know that the Spaniard would someday become one of the sport’s greatest players and the Montpellier native would be a professional tennis player himself.

Becoming a pro was a childhood dream for the #NextGenATP Frenchman, who is making rapid progress on the ATP Challenger Tour.

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

“My first tennis memory was when I was three years old and I watched Roland Garros on TV. Nobody in my family played tennis, but I watched Roland Garros with my father and I saw a Rafael Nadal match,” Cazaux told the ATP Challenger Tour media team. “I don’t know why but I was shocked. I fell in love with tennis and Rafael Nadal. Since that day, I’ve played tennis and I’ll never give up.

“I met [Rafa] in 2018 at the Roland Garros gym, I took a picture with him. It was my first junior Grand Slam, and I saw him. I was like, ‘I must take a picture with him!’ It was a big memory. Rafa, you put me on tennis!”

The 22-time major champion Nadal is not the only sporting legend that Cazaux idolises. He is also a big fan of basketball players Stephen Curry and the late Kobe Bryant.

“Kobe was one of my first idols, I was a big fan of his mentality in everything,” Cazaux said. “I tattooed a black mamba on my arm because [of his] ‘black mamba’ mentality.”

Cazaux is part of a promising list of young French stars that are making an impact early in their careers. The 2020 Australian Open boys’ singles finalist is one of three Frenchmen in the Top 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Live Next Gen Race: Arthur Fils (4th), Luca Van Assche (6th), Cazaux (7th).

You May Also Like:

Cazaux Climbs In Next Gen Race After Nottingham Run

The 20-year-old Cazaux started the year on a 13-match winning streak (including qualifying) and claimed his second Challenger title in Nonthaburi, Thailand. This past week, Cazaux enjoyed a breakthrough run to the final at the Nottingham Challenger, where he fell short to three-time major champion Andy Murray.

“It was my first week on grass courts, it was a great feeling to play my first professional tournament on grass,” Cazaux said. “It was a long way to the final because I started from the qualies. In the last round of qualies, it was very tough because I played a British wild card [Daniel Cox] and I won 7-6 in the third, it was a tough match.

“I played at a very good level and it was a wonderful week. To reach the final against Andy Murray was the best final.”

Despite playing his first grass-court swing, Cazaux has continued his early success on the surface. On Thursday, he reached the semi-finals of the Lexus Ilkley Trophy after Sho Shimabukuro was forced to retire in the second set.

Cazaux will next meet Australian Jason Kubler in the last four Friday.

Source link

Rublev Takes Hanfmann Revenge With Halle Win

  • Posted: Jun 22, 2023

Rublev Takes Hanfmann Revenge With Halle Win

Griekspoor saves match point to upset Hurkacz

Is Andrey Rublev rustling up another deep run at the Terra Wortmann Open? The 2021 finalist booked his spot in the last eight at the grass-court ATP 500 event on Thursday with a 7-6(5), 6-3 victory against Yannick Hanfmann.

Rublev delivered a solid display to hold off the World No. 53 Hanfmann and improve his record in Halle to 8-3. Home favourite Hanfmann had led 5/3 in the first-set tie-break but was unable to push on and forge a repeat of his victory in the pair’s fourth-round meeting last month at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome.

“The important thing was I was able to win against a tough player like Yannick,” said Rublev. “The last time he beat me and he’s playing better and better. Especially on grass, he’s even tougher to play against because he has such a good serve and a good game at the net. I was able to win the match in two sets so I’m really happy.”

After winning five of the final six points to claim the first-set tie-break, Rublev carried the momentum into the second second, in which he established an ultimately unassailable 4-0 lead. With the OWL Arena roof closed during the second set to shelter the court from the torrential Halle rain, Rublev pushed on to a one-hour, 39-minute triumph in which he converted three of his six break points.

The World No. 7 will now prepare for his sixth tour-level quarter-final of the season against last week’s ‘s-Hertogenbosch winner Tallon Griekspoor. The 25-year-old Rublev is a 13-time ATP Tour titlist and is chasing his maiden crown on grass this week in Germany.

Griekspoor saved a match point against defending champion Hubert Hurkacz to notch a 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(8) victory and extend his winning run to seven matches. The Dutchman knocked off the sixth seed on his fifth match point, after Hurkacz battled back from 3/6 in the decisive tie-break to move within one point of the quarter-finals at 8/7.

The result levels the pair’s ATP Head2Head series at 1-1 less than one month after Hurkacz downed Griekspoor in five sets in the Roland Garros second round.

Entering Halle at a career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking of World No. 29, Griekspoor is seeking the third ATP Tour title of both this season and his career.

Source link

‘The Crowd Was Always On Fire’: Zverev Pays Tribute To Federer In Halle

  • Posted: Jun 22, 2023

‘The Crowd Was Always On Fire’: Zverev Pays Tribute To Federer In Halle

10-time champion was honoured on ‘Roger Federer Day’ at ATP 500

Gone from the ATP Tour, but still firmly in the minds of fans and players alike.

Roger Federer, a 10-time Terra Wortmann Open champion, was honoured in a special ceremony on centre court Wednesday at the grass-court ATP 500. It was the 103-time tour-level titlist’s first visit to a tennis tournament since his final match as a pro at the 2022 Laver Cup. For many, it was a happy reminder of what the Swiss great brought to life on Tour.

“Off court he was always extremely nice to everyone,” home favourite Alexander Zverev, who was beaten by Federer on the first of his two Halle championship-match appearances in 2017, told “He was a true gentleman, but he was still very, very private. He didn’t let a lot of people into his life, I think.

“On the court, it was always a joy to play him, because you knew the stadium would always be sold out, the crowd would always be on fire. So in that regard I think tennis misses him.”

<a href=Roger Federer” />

Roger Federer greeted hundreds of fans during his visit to Halle on Wednesday. Photo Credit: TERRA WORTMANN OPEN/Valentin Diehl.

You May Also Like:

‘It’s Good Times In Tennis’: Federer Honoured In Halle, Praises New Generation

Another home hope in the Halle field, Yannick Hanfmann, recalls Federer inspiring him as a young player.

“Any time he is around, it’s a good thing, because the guy is a hero to so many. To me as well. I remember I took a trip to Switzerland through a contact, and I was able to meet him. We took a picture when I was maybe 13 or 14 years old, and then a few years later we actually had a practice week together in Dubai. That was surreal, and we kind of recreated that picture.

“I miss Roger of course. I wish I had played him one time. I was close [once] to playing him in a draw. Roger is a legend, so it [was good] to have him here.”

Source link

Sinner Overhauls Sonego In Halle

  • Posted: Jun 22, 2023

Sinner Sensational Under Pressure To Reach Halle QFs

Italian to meet Struff or Bublik in quarter-finals

Jannik Sinner is digging deep on the Halle grass at the Terra Wortmann Open.

The fourth seed held off the powerful Lorenzo Sonego on Thursday for a 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 second-round triumph at the ATP 500. Sinner saved all eight break points he faced in an intriguing two-hour, 52-minute encounter inside OWL Arena to reach his ninth tour-level quarter-final of the year.

It was the second three-set win in a row on event debut for Sinner, after Richard Gasquet pushed him the distance in his opening match. The 21-year-old will next play the winner between home favourite Jan-Lennard Struff and Alexander Bublik.

More to follow…

Source link