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Frances Tiafoe's Love Letter To Tennis

  • Posted: Sep 05, 2023

Frances Tiafoe’s Love Letter To Tennis

American dishes on his most memorable match and more

Frances Tiafoe was introduced to tennis because his father was the head of maintenance at a tennis facility in College Park, Maryland. Now the American is competing on the biggest stages in the world with countless fans watching him.

That journey is not lost on Tiafoe, who is playing in his second consecutive US Open quarter-final on Tuesday evening against countryman Ben Shelton.

“I fell in love with tennis when I understood the one-on-one competition,” Tiafoe said in a love letter to tennis. “I really enjoy competing one on one, I really enjoy the loss [being] on me, the win’s on me. And I like to feel fully in control and not have to worry about any teammate.”

In the below ATP Uncovered video, Tiafoe explains the ups and downs he has gone through to reach this point in his career, why he enjoys putting a smile on fans’ faces and more.

Which match do you think Tiafoe holds closest to his heart? Watch the video to find out.

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Zverev Holds Off Sinner In Five, Sets Alcaraz QF At US Open

  • Posted: Sep 05, 2023

Zverev Holds Off Sinner In Five, Sets Alcaraz QF At US Open

German reaches his third quarter-final at Flushing Meadows

Alexander Zverev has advanced to the quarter-finals of the US Open after holding off a resurgent Jannik Sinner on a brutally humid Sunday night in New York.

Zverev kept his cool in the deciding set on Arthur Ashe Stadium to seal a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory and reach his 10th major quarter-final. The 12th seed was pushed all the way by Sinner, who had struggled physically in the second and third sets but came roaring back into contention with a valiant fourth-set showing.

Sinner began suffering with cramps in both legs during the second set and by midway through the third set his condition worsened to the point that Zverev approached him to check on his wellbeing. The Italian’s condition improved sufficiently in the fourth and fifth sets to ensure a pulsating climax for the Sunday night crowd, but Zverev outhit his opponent by 14 winners to seven in the final set to seal a hard-earned four-hour, 40-minute fourth-round triumph.

Both players felt the effects of humid conditions. Sinner frequently towelled off after points and Zverev changed his shoes and socks early in the second set. In a dramatic fourth game of the second set, Sinner appeared to show discomfort with cramps in both his right and left legs but showed great resolve to save five break points to hold serve.

In the third set, after dropping serve to fall behind 2-4, Sinner appeared to cramp severely in both his left hamstring and quad and was limping so noticeably that Zverev checked on his condition.

The Italian received the second of two permitted treatments for cramps from ATP physio Clay Sniteman at the end of the third set and looked somewhat rejuvenated in the first game of the fourth, when he earned four break points before Zverev ultimately escaped the 20-point game with a 129 mph ace within moments of midnight and the three-hour mark of the match.

A resolute Sinner went on to claim the only break of serve of the fourth set in the ninth game as Zverev double faulted on break point, but the Italian was unable to maintain his momentum into the decider. Zverev expertly kept his composure, breaking in the second game and saving the only break point he faced on serve to improve to 42-20 for the 2023 season.

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Zverev, the 2020 US Open finalist, claimed just his second victory over a Top 10 player in 15 meetings at the majors. He improved his Lexus ATP Head2Head record with Sinner to 4-1 and repeated his win over the Italian in the same round at Flushing Meadows in 2021, when he went on to reach the semi-finals.

It was the second heartbreaking late-night defeat in New York for Sinner in the space of a year. In 2022, the Italian completed a five-hour, 15-minute marathon quarter-final with Carlos Alcaraz that finished at 2:38 a.m. Sinner had held a match point but the Spaniard claimed the victory and went on to win his maiden major title.

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New Routine Taylor-Made for Fritz's Deep US Open Run

  • Posted: Sep 05, 2023

New Routine Taylor-Made for Fritz’s Deep US Open Run

Fritz to play Djokovic Tuesday in the quarter-finals

The world saw firsthand the heartbreak Taylor Fritz experienced at last year’s US Open. The American No. 1 allowed Netflix’s cameras inside his circle throughout the process of his surprising defeat to World No. 303 Brandon Holt in the first round for the filming of Break Point.

Fritz’s coach, Michael Russell, helped explain what led to the upset and how Team Fritz has learned from the experience.

“There were a lot of different dynamics at play. I think Taylor was here too long prior to the tournament. Seven days of preparation sometimes can create a little bit of burnout leading up to it,” Russell told “And then he just put way too much expectation and pressure on himself. You’re always going to have that pressure as the No. 1 American coming into your home Slam, but he really felt like, basically, he should win the tournament coming in.

“You want to have that confidence and that belief, but at the same time, there are 128 guys. They have to win seven matches in order to win a tournament, and there are a lot of exceptional players in that field. So combine that with the fact that you’re playing a fellow American that you grew up with, who knows your game so well, all those pressures, and he just didn’t manage it as well as he could have.”

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Russell clearly credited Holt, saying the Californian “played an exceptional match”. The former No. 60 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings tried to take positives from the experience and adapted Fritz’s preparation for this year’s US Open.

“This year, we arrived Tuesday evening, Taylor was able to go back to Miami, where he has a place, for four days, which just really helps mentally and emotionally get ready and just a little bit of a break after a four-week stretch of playing the US Open Series of hard-court tournaments,” Russell said. “Then we actually increased the volume in the three days of practice here to imitate a little more of that three-out-of-five-set match play. And then we shut it down Saturday before the tournament started.”

Fritz’s “extracurricular commitments” — media, for example — have been minimal and the full focus has been on his tennis.

“Not to say that he’s not doing any of those,” Russell said. “But it’s managed much better from a time perspective and I think that’s really helped him physically, mentally, and emotionally deal with the pressure that’s always going to be there.”

This year, Fritz went from an early New York exit to a dominant first-week performance. The home favourite lost a combined 13 games in his first three matches against Steve Johnson, Juan Pablo Varillas and Jakub Mensik, before also dismissing Dominic Stricker in straight sets.

“You’re always going to be nervous, it’s normal. It’s part of sport. When you walk into competition, there’s always that unpredictability of what’s going to happen, but at the same time, it’s having the confidence, it’s having the belief in yourself. And then also, the preparation creates that confidence,” Russell said. “This year, the preparation was better. Of course, we have a lot of talks about staying relaxed, about staying confident. It’s very cliche, but controlling the controllables.

“You can’t worry about what other things are happening with other players, what the points are, what the money is. Literally just focussing on the ball, focussing on the court. It’s the same ball, it’s the same court for everyone. The lines are the same dimensions everywhere you go.”

Fritz will try to keep that in mind when he steps onto the court inside Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday for his quarter-final against 23-time major winner Novak Djokovic. The Serbian leads their Lexus ATP Head2Head 7-0.

“You can only control what you can do. So if your opponent is going for records or your opponent’s won this many tournaments and this many Slams, that’s great, that’s exceptional, and that’s for him,” Russell said. “But at the end of the day, tomorrow, when you guys both wake up, you’re walking out on that same court, and you’re trying to win the last point. So I think it’s ‘What can I do to win that last point? How do I make my opponent as uncomfortable as possible? How do I create that adversity?’

“For Taylor, that’s what the game plan is and what can he do game plan wise that can make Novak uncomfortable?”

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The 2022 Nitto ATP Finals semi-finalist accomplished that against Djokovic in Turin last year. The eventual champion won in two tie-breaks, but Fritz served for the second set.

“That was some of the best tennis I’ve seen Taylor play and Novak was flustered,” Russell said. “I think if Taylor would have won that second set, it would have been a very interesting third set because that was some of the best tennis I’ve seen.”

Regardless of past results, Russell wants his charge to “play free” and “play relaxed” as he tries to make the US Open semi-finals for the first time.

“Enjoy it, get the crowd involved. The American crowd playing in the US Open, Ashe Stadium. No. 1 American against arguably the greatest player of all time,” Russell said. “I want you to enjoy the experience and look like you’re enjoying the experience. Go out and show a lot of positive emotion, a lot of spring in your step and just, take it all in and have fun.”

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Medvedev Third Player To Qualify For 2023 Nitto ATP Finals

  • Posted: Sep 05, 2023

Medvedev Third Player To Qualify For 2023 Nitto ATP Finals

The 2020 champion joins Alcaraz and Djokovic in Turin

Daniil Medvedev on Monday became the third player to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, which will be held in Turin from 12-19 November. The 27-year-old joins Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic at the season finale.

Medvedev will compete in the year-end championships for the fifth consecutive year after defeating Alex de Minaur to make the US Open quarter-finals. He won the Nitto ATP Finals in 2020 and reached the final in 2021.

The five-time qualifier has earned his place at the Pala Alpitour with a consistent season during which he has lifted five ATP Tour trophies, including two ATP Masters 1000 triumphs.

From the start of Rotterdam in February, Medvedev won 26 of 27 matches. He earned crowns in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai. After losing to Carlos Alcaraz in the Indian Wells final, he emerged victorious in Miami.

The 27-year-old also enjoyed a breakthrough on clay. Medvedev went 10-3 on the surface and claimed his first title in Rome, where he lost just one set en route to the trophy.

According to Infosys ATP Stats, the former World No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings has won 53 matches this year, second on the ATP Tour behind only Alcaraz. It is the third time he has earned at least 50 tour-level victories in a season (2019, 2021).

Medvedev owns a 9-7 record at the Nitto ATP Finals.

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