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Alcaraz surges, Sinner maintains lead in PIF ATP Live Race To Turin

  • Posted: Jun 09, 2024

Carlos Alcaraz began Roland Garros in seventh place in the PIF ATP Live Race To Turin. The Spaniard occupied a qualifying position for this year’s Nitto ATP Finals, to be played from 10-17 November in Turin, but was far from the top of the standings.

The 21-year-old changed that over the course of the past fortnight by winning the Roland Garros title. Alcaraz is now third in the Live Race and within 500 points of the player he defeated in Sunday’s final, Alexander Zverev.

PIF ATP Live Race To Turin

Player   Points
 1) Jannik Sinner  5,300
 2) Alexander Zverev  4,385
 3) Carlos Alcaraz  3,900
 4) Casper Ruud  3,435
 5) Daniil Medvedev  3,150
 6) Stefanos Tsitsipas  2,465
 7) Alex de Minaur  2,255
 8) Andrey Rublev  2,220

Alcaraz is now in good position to qualify for the season finale for the third consecutive year (he did not play in 2022 due to injury). 

Jannik Sinner, who lost to Alcaraz in five sets in the Roland Garros semi-finals, maintains his lead in the Live Race. The Italian, who on Monday climbs to No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings for the first time, owns a 915-point advantage over second-placed Zverev in the Live Race.

Sinner has competed twice in the Nitto ATP Finals (once as an alternate, in 2021) and is well on his way to another appearance at the year-end championships, where a year ago he thrilled his home crowd with a memorable run to the final.


Seven of the eight players currently in qualifying position have played in the Nitto ATP Finals before. The only exception is seventh-placed Alex de Minaur, who is attempting to earn his place in Turin for the first time.

The top eight in the Live Race are Sinner, Zverev, Alcaraz, Casper Ruud, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, De Minaur and Andrey Rublev.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic, who has won the event a record seven times, is currently on the outside looking in. The Serbian is in 10th place, 360 points behind Rublev, who is eighth with 2,220 points. Djokovic withdrew ahead of his Paris quarter-final due to a meniscus tear in his right knee.

Another player to watch is Grigor Dimitrov, the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion. The resurgent Bulgarian is in ninth place with 2,075 points.


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Alcaraz on Roland Garros triumph: 'It was something I dreamed of since I started playing'

  • Posted: Jun 09, 2024

Carlos Alcaraz made more history on Sunday at Roland Garros, where aged 21 he became the second-youngest champion at the clay-court major since 2000. Alcaraz defeated Alexander Zverev in five sets in the final and is the seventh Spanish man to triumph at the event.

Alcaraz revealed he achieved a childhood dream by winning in the French capital.

“Winning a Grand Slam is always special. Winning your first in every Grand Slam is always super special. But in Roland Garros, knowing all the Spanish players who have won this tournament and being able to put my name on that amazing list is something unbelievable,” Alcaraz said. “[It is] something that I dreamed about being in this position since I started playing tennis, since I was five, six years old. So it’s a great, great feeling.”

Alcaraz won his maiden major at the US Open on hard court in 2022, before he triumphed on grass at Wimbledon last year. By winning Roland Garros on clay, he has become the youngest man to earn a major trophy on all three surfaces.

The No. 2 player in the PIF ATP Live Rankings was asked about how he has acclimatised to all three surfaces so quickly in his career.

“I grew up playing on clay court, but most tournaments of the Tour it is on hard court. So I had to practise more on hard court, doing the preseason on hard court. So I started to feel more comfortable moving, hitting my shots playing on hard court, but I think my game suits very well on every surface because I practice it,” Alcaraz said.

“With drop shots, my volley, I wanted to develop my style of being aggressive all the time. Practising the defence and all that stuff, but my main goal is being aggressive as much as I can. So I think on grass it is pretty well or I have to do it on grass almost every time, but in all surfaces, I think it’s a pretty good thing.”


Three-time major champ Alcaraz dropped just one set en route to the semi-finals in Paris before he clawed past Jannik Sinner and Zverev in five sets to win his 14th tour-level title and eighth on clay. The Spaniard holds an 11-1 record in fifth sets, often producing his best under pressure.

“I know that when I’m playing a fifth set you have to give everything and you have to give your heart,” Alcaraz said. “I mean, in those moments, it’s where the top players give their best tennis. So as I said many times, I wanted to be one of the best tennis players in the world, so I have to give extra in those moments in the fifth set, I have to show the opponent that I am fresh. Like we are playing the first game of the match.”

Alcaraz arrived in the French capital having missed the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome due to a right forearm injury. Despite playing with strapping in Paris, the 21-year-old looked largely comfortable throughout his seven matches.

Alcaraz is pleased the work he put in with his team, including coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, paid off.

“I said before the tournament, I consider myself a player who doesn’t need too many matches on my back just to get at 100 per cent. I had a really good week here in Paris, practising with good players. I felt really well playing sets, moving, hitting my shots before the tournament began,” Alcaraz said. “Obviously every match that I have played, I was getting better and better.

“All the work that I put every day before coming here and every day here has been really good work with my team that helped me to get 100 per cent physically, mentally, and hitting good shots and putting a good level on the court. So I think that’s why I performed at my best at the end of the tournament.”


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Alcaraz rallies past Zverev for first Roland Garros title

  • Posted: Jun 09, 2024

Another major triumph, another all-time record achieved in the young career of Carlos Alcaraz.

The third seed on Sunday outlasted Alexander Zverev 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 to lift the trophy at Roland Garros. With his four-hour, 19-minute win on the Paris clay, the 21-year-old Alcaraz became the youngest player to capture a Grand Slam title on three different surfaces after his triumphs on hard courts at the 2022 US Open and grass at 2023 Wimbledon.

Just as he did against Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals, Alcaraz kept cool after falling two-sets-to-one behind to secure a gritty victory against Zverev. The Spaniard, who arrived at Roland Garros having not competed for three weeks due to a right arm injury, raised his level to win 12 of the final 15 games and secure a major crown for the third consecutive season.

As well as his three Grand Slam titles, Alcaraz has won 11 ATP Tour crowns and in 2022 became the youngest No. 1 in PIF ATP Rankings history. Although he did not consistently produce the sort of brilliant, dazzling tennis that helped him reach those milestones against Zverev, he was clinical under pressure to overhaul the German and maintain his perfect record in Grand Slam finals.

Alcaraz and Zverev both tried to mix up their play to keep their opponent on his toes, but it was Alcaraz’s ability to produce big points at big moments that ultimately proved crucial. The Spaniard converted nine of 16 break points he earned, according to Infosys Stats, with Zverev converting just six of 23.

A pivotal moment in the deciding set came with Alcaraz serving at 2-1, 15/40. The Spaniard sent down a second serve that was called out, but the chair umpire checked the mark and called it in. From nearly double-faulting to relinquish serve, Alcaraz went on to hold serve and consolidate his early fifth-set service break.

Alcaraz, who is now 52-10 in Grand Slam matches, is the seventh Spaniard to lift the Coupe des Mousquetaires. That list includes his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, who won the Paris major in 2003.


Alcaraz and Zverev’s ability to stay the course physically was tested throughout the match. The No. 4 in the PIF ATP Rankings Zverev spent 19 hours and 27 minutes on court en route to Sunday’s clash, the longest road to a Roland Garros final since the start of recorded match times in 1991. Yet even in defeat, the German often appeared the fresher of the two players, with Alcaraz drinking pickle juice during changeovers to ward off cramp and receiving treatment to his thigh at 4-1 in the fourth set.

Alcaraz clinched the opening set by locking in on return after a cagey start in which both players dropped their opening service game. Zverev began his second major final by serving back-to-back double faults, prompting him to immediately change his racquet. He was nonetheless broken three times in the opening set, and also had to fend off two break points to hold in another of his service games at 2-4.

Despite falling behind, Zverev kept his focus, and an improved serving performance from the fourth seed helped him halt Alcaraz’s charge on return. The German landed 83 per cent (20/24) of his first serves in the second set and won 80 per cent (16/20) of those points, according to Infosys Stats.

After winning five straight games to claim the second set, Zverev then turned the final further on its head by reeling off another five consecutive games to claim the third. Alcaraz had served for the set at 5-2, but he soon found himself two-sets-to-one down as Zverev found another hot streak.

Despite his opponent being just one set away from victory, Alcaraz did not panic. He made a rapid start to the fourth set by winning the opening four games, before saving all five break points he faced in the decider to clinch his win.


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Predictor Picks: Why Shelton, Bublik & Humbert can make quick starts on grass

  • Posted: Jun 09, 2024

After a thrilling clay-court season, the stars of the ATP Tour move on to grass, beginning this week at the BOSS OPEN in Stuttgart and the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Before each tournament week, looks at three players who might be good selections for fans in the PIF ATP Rankings Predictor.

Make Your Picks Now!

Ben Shelton — defending 0 points
The American is one of the biggest servers on the ATP Tour — his game is made to wreak havoc on returners, especially on grass.

Shelton has only played five tour-level matches on grass in his young career (2-3). But like he showed this clay-court season, the lefty is a quick learner and will have an opportunity to make his mark on the surface in Stuttgart, where he is the second seed.

The 21-year-old will play a qualifier in the second round (he has a first-round bye) and will pursue his second title of the season after triumphing on clay in Houston. 

Alexander Bublik — defending 20 points
One year ago, Bublik won the biggest title of his career on grass at the ATP 500 event in Halle. Will he claim another trophy on the surface this week in Stuttgart?

Bublik has one of the most unpredictable games on the circuit. On grass, his serve always gives him a chance. The Kazakhstani is fourth on the ATP Tour this year in aces according to Infosys ATP Stats.

Bublik is the third seed in Germany and will begin his tournament against Fabian Maroszan or Hamad Medjedovic. With only 20 points to defend this week, the 26-year-old has plenty of room to add net points to his PIF ATP Rankings breakdown.


Ugo Humbert — dropping 50 points
Like Shelton, Humbert owns a devastating lefty serve. However, the Frenchman has even more of a pedigree on grass.

Humbert claimed his first ATP 500 title on the surface in 2021 at Halle and owns a 20-15 tour-level grass-court record, according to the Infosys ATP Win/Loss Index. That is his best winning percentage of any surface.

The 25-year-old is the third seed in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and will open against a countryman: Arthur Fils or Arthur Cazaux.

Bonus Ball — Ben Shelton
With no points dropping this week, why not give Shelton a shot? He proved his ability to transition from surface to surface well when he began the clay-court season by lifting the trophy in Houston.

Shelton has won multiple matches at seven tournaments this year, and he will try to make it eight in Stuttgart. If you place your Bonus Ball on Shelton to double your points and he wins the title, it would net your team 500 points.


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