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What a way to wrap up the 2024 Roland Garros Tennis tournament at Court Phillipe Chatrier thanks to an top-notch five-set showdown between Carlos Alcaraz from Spain and German Alexander Zverev. The Spaniard benefited from Zverev’s slow start with the opening set lead but Zverev eventually got himself really quick from the set down at 1-1 apiece before he was leading for the first time after another close 3rd set nettle going into the 4th set, 2-1. But Zverev unfortunately slipped away where not only Alcaraz brought the 5th and final set decider, he also fell short on his 2nd ever grand slam final despite showing A-game performance. Gotta say the poor start serves while unable to arrest Alcaraz’s restart past the 3rd set really cost him as job isn’t done yet for Zverev to hopefully win a major title on his third attempt at whichever might be next time.

At the end of the day, Alcaraz has just won another first ever major this time on the courts of clay in the year 2024 – having first done so at the US Open two years ago followed by Wimbledon last year. He too never gave up to reset himself both from that 2nd set disappointment and also the close 3rd set play where Zverev was on top for a while by quickly nailing his opponent down before he found a way at last to close things out also so quickly towards the very end after a long afternoon out on-court. What’s next for him is to defend his Wimbledon crown going into next month, don’t forget the Olympics gold too if possible & winning back the US Open in early September that would mean finally winning the Aussie Open like Rafa Nadal at least by January next year. The final score was 3-6 to Alcaraz, 6-2 to Zverev, 7-5 to Zverev, 1-6 and 2-6 to Alcaraz.

And on the Aussies here on show, it might be a long way away for someone to thrive in the women’s singles draw but we did so well however in the men with Thanasi Kokkanakis up until the 3rd round by American Taylor Fritz while Alex De Minaur got his breakthrough past the Round of 16 by shocking World No.5 Daniil Medvedev before he was eliminated a few days later by the eventual runner-up finalist in Zverev. Wished we could see more of De Minaur’s fightback where he was usually so good from the set down but upon playing his 2nd grand slam finals here, he just needs to be a bit more patient and we shall see him doing so well on a regular basis as hope De Minaur will go even deeper next time around sooner rather than later.

Australian Open already done at the end of January to kickstart 2024 followed by the Roland Garros tournament just now after another 15 days of play, even though we had some wet weather delays on the outside courts in the early rounds. Next stop, London, England for The Championships on the grass courts at Wimbledon starting Monday July 1st to Sunday July 14th. Then it’s a week-long off before we return to Paris for the 2024 Summer Olympics from Friday July 26th to Sunday August 8th,

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Another year, another triumph at Court Phillipe Chatrier for Iga Swiatek from Poland as she was just good to wrap this women’s final in an hour and eight minutes against World No.12 outsider Jasmine Paolini from Italy in straight sets 6-2, 6-1.

This is her fourth Roland Garros title and third straight championship-winning campaign here since the start of the decade where she dominated the court left, right and centre from start to finish. Known as the Queen of Clay, there’s a bit of weaknesses she would like to work on having endured an inconsistent run mainly in the grass courts at Wimbledon. Although Swiatek did win big on the hard surfaces once two years ago at the US Open but did nothing much though since then as this is something she would do in the hope of winning all other grand slams on a regular basis next time that would show she can stay World No.1 for a very long time. Other than that, congratulations to Iga with another French Open win at the age of 23.

Meanwhile, Paolini came in there hoping she would be the one to finally be the next Grand Slam singles champion after a breakthough run here at 28 which was really tough entering her first final as an outsider to the seasoned champion. She actually got away really well from the beginning where the Italian was able to get ahead for a bit but lost her way for the majority other than the odd glimpses here and there such as that brilliant ace serve straight through past her racket. So bummer to see Paolini settle as 2nd best when Swiatek has been always been outstanding at Roland Garros every year but her stunning run doesn’t stop here as she and her doubles compatriot Sara Errani will take on seasoned Finalists of Coco Gauff (also semi finalist to Swaitek in the semis the other day) & Katalina Siniakova just before the Men’s singles Final tomorrow.

Speaking of the Men’s Final to round off 15 days of play, bring on two-time Grand Slam champ Carlos Alcaraz (Spain) v regular semi finalist who is set for his 2nd main event Alexander Zverev (Germany) tomorrow night (AEST time). There will be a new winner either way as whether or not if 2024 is the year Alcaraz will add the Roland Garros onto his trophy cabinet after he first done that two years ago at the US Open followed by Wimbledon nearly a year ago. If not, will Zverev break his duck from his 2020 US Open disappointment by finally winning his first ever grand slam trophy on the courts of clay at 27? We shall see.

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What a semi final to remember on clay last night by the young Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz who is now on his way to Sunday’s big Roland Garros Final at Court Phillipe Chatrier after overcoming Australian Open champ Jannik Sinner in a long five-set contest.

Yes, he had a really poor start with Sinner winning the easy first set’s play. However, Alcaraz finally got the ball rolling where he managed to equalise his opponent at 1-1 apiece. Although Sinner never backed down in the hope of getting the job done following his 3rd set rebound, but at the end of the day, Alcaraz is the man that showed the best physical and mental toughness through the very end of that semi-final. The Spaniard rolled out the 5th and final decider following another close equalising set before he eventually found a way to close things out so quickly after a long afternoon on-court.

The final score was 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 and 6-3 at Court Phillipe Chatrier.

Alcaraz has unfinished business off the back of his Wimbledon triumph last year despite some disappointments along the way. But he’s stepped up well into the next level at Roland Garros where it will be first big final there in the hope of winning his 3rd grand slam title. He first won the US Open two years ago before Wimbledon last year as 2024 could be the year he wins here and then come January he finally wins at Melbourne Park in 2025 – how about that? For now, he’s never backed down all along to stay in the game as just need to get that ball rolling right from the word go in the first set & he’ll get what he wants.

And Sinner unable to grasp the best out of Alcaraz when he just couldn’t close the game out despite leading a few times. He got straight into it to begin with where the Italian had some good moments to keep in check but then began to slip away once Alcaraz settled in after some time when pressure began to mount on him big time including the 5th set decider before it was too late in the end. It’s gutting to see him fall short after an outstanding last half year as said with the Davis Cup win for Italy & the Australian Open, but this was his first breakthrough (semis) on clay as he will surely look to rebound next time.

Alcaraz’s next opponent for Sunday’s men’s singles final will be joined by Alexander Zverev from Germany who defeated Alex De Minaur the other day during the Quarter-Final. Like the Spaniard, he too have bounced back so fast from the opening set down including a tight 3rd set battle v Norwegian Casper Ruud to book his 2nd major grand slam Final since the 2020 US Open. Having still yet to win a grand slam trophy at 27 following his first time loss to the now retired Dominic Thiem (Austria), can he really break his duck other than winning an Olympic Gold by defying the 21-year-old wonderkid? If not, will see unfinished business by seeing Alcaraz winning another first time major on clay who still has a big future ahead? It all comes down to this come Sunday night (our time) where it’s okay to stay up now going into overnight since the King’s Birthday public holiday (depending on where you live mainly in most states except WA and QLD) takes place the next day on Monday.

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The 2024 Roland Garros women’s singles semi-finals saw two players heading up north for Saturday’s big final while the other two had to fall short and then walk through the exit door across back-to-back matches at Court Phillipe Chatrier. The first semis match was between 3 x Roland Garros winner and defending champion Iga Swiatek (Poland) and current US Open winner Coco Gauff (USA), with Swiatek off to a flying start where she was absolutely too good throughout the first set before she took her time well against such a difficult opponent (who had some moments to stay in the game at times that late to try & give herself a lifeline) that ensured her berth on what is going to be her 3rd straight Final here in straight sets (6-2 and 6-4).

For Gauff, it was good seeing her add another semi grand slam appearance off the back of her US Open triumph last year v Australian Open specialist Aryna Sabalenka. However, she still needs more time before she can hopefully dethrone Swiatek next time around who isn’t an easy opponent to face, especially from someone who knows a whole lot better on clay. Looking at Swiatek, she’s the queen of clay as we all know who was not only too good but also never lost in a big final before as who is going to be there to stop her in its tracks come Saturday? There’s one opponent we shall find out from the 2nd semi-final tie.

That next semi straight after Swiatek v Gauff was the battle between the first-time Roland Garros semi-finalists of Italian Jasmine Paolini and Mirra Andreeva. The first set was close to begin with where Paolini had the upper advantage and Andreeva showing some fight to hold her opponent back. In the end, Andreeva just couldn’t hold on a bit longer to try and turn things her way as Paolini got the job done with the 1-0 lead and then she was too good to bring the match to a quick close in straight sets (6-3, 6-1). She is now one step closer in hopefully ending Iga Swiatek’s winning Roland Garros hoodoo with the hope of winning her ever first singles grand slam trophy at the age of 28 which is a long, long way from here.

Not only that she’s still in the running alongside fellow compatriot Sara Errani in the women’s doubles semi-final later tonight (our time) v Elena Gabriela-Ruse & Marta Kostyuk, so looks like there’s going to be a bit of extra preparation. Who knows? She could win both the women’s singles and also women’s doubles trophies at the same time in Roland Garros history. And on Andreeva, she too also had a great run here including the 4th round earlier in the year at Melbourne Park having gone from 1-0 down to upset Sabalenka the other day during the Quarter-Final. She’d hoped she could do the same v Paolini where she did the best possible to stop the Italian from reaching the first set but just wasn’t her day unfortunately with the semis elimination on-court. At 17 years old, there’s more to come from Andreeva if she can keep it in the 2nd half of this season.

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Alex De Minaur’s breakthrough run on clay at the 2024 Roland Garros has come to an end this morning after he was defeated by World No.5 German Alexander Zverev in straight sets (6-4, 7-6 with 7-5 tie & 6-4). 

This was De Minaur’s 2nd grand slam quarter-finals appearance since the 2020 US Open with Zverev now off to another major semi-final on tomorrow v Casper Ruud from Norway, who got the walk over berth by default following Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal due to a knee injury.

Despite the knockout last 8 elimination, this is the best De Minaur has produced on-court having got away with an easy start in the first two rounds followed by some really good fightbacks that led to some terrific upsets along the way including Jan Lennard-Struff and Daniil Medvedev – even though he was a set down from the beginning. We saw some of his terrific class when he was so close earlier on and also during the 2nd set in a bid to turn things around but unfortunately just not quiet enough as we hoped for where he was out & done after the 3rd set.

Let’s hope he can keep on going on top of his Roland Garros breakthrough by being in the second week all the time that could hopefully see him challenge in the semis and even the singles finals sooner rather than later. It would mean a lot to the tennis world and the Aussie sporting fans once he comes back at Melbourne Park for the next Australian Open edition in January.

Looking at Zverev, he’s the one that holds the cards who knows a lot about this surface more than De Minaur. He worked his way really well one at a time before the German was able to speed his way towards the finish line with little to no strings attached. We all know how good he is having played in a bunch of knockout grand slam matches before including the last three Roland Garros editions. But he’s never won a Final before as Zverev only made it once back in 2020 at the US Open where he lost to the now retired Austrian Dominic Thiem in a long five-set contest.

With Djokovic now out due to injury, is he really the next man to be known as The King of Clay? Time will tell soon enough. We also don’t forget that he was the defending Olympic Tennis gold medalist too during the COVID-postponed Tokyo 2020 Summer Games three years ago.

Now the women’s singles semi-finals will take place later tonight and into the early hours of Friday morning at midnight and the same will follow with the men’s singles semi-finals on Friday night and early Saturday morning. It all takes place at the one & only Court Phillipe Chatrier arena.

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As we all know that Nine and also its subsidiary paid streaming partner Stan Sport is currently your home of Grand Slam Tennis in Australia showing all four tournaments throughout the year. Don’t get me wrong, the coverage has always been great when they first decided to switch over from cricket back in late 2018 that worked really well as they will continue to get better in the years ahead after successfully renewing the Australian Open rights for another five years until 2029.

But what viewers noticed that some days when most of the Roland Garros were held up by wet weather & even so when the whole day’s play went back to normal, it seems the free-to-air telecasts have unexpectedly finished a few hours early rather than approx. 4.30am as originally scheduled. Although they would be happy to stick around a bit longer now, especially when something interesting happens where one will go on until the match is over but then they would rather leave right away to return to normal programming. We also didn’t know that Brett Phillips was there after all during some of the overnight action last week but not very often before the bad weather changed everything despite not being named on Nine’s press releases.

Given the lack of interest amongst Aussie sports and tennis fans here when most of the world’s top stars regularly do so well other than Alex De Minaur, it seems they would go with covering just 1-2 early matches including the knockout singles ties except the all-important Finals for the whole length rather than showing all of them going into the early morning hours like they did in the last few years. I guess when the US Open comes around later this year even without Brett is that maybe they should show some early matches only involving an Aussie live and then have all the night sessions ready during the morning with their own broadcast team rather than miss the early sessions altogether if that’s the way to keep airing this from here.

It would’ve also been better if they put some on 9Go for the overnight action and just take the whole world feed’s coverage when it comes to the early round matches & then do the same for 9Gem during the later knockout ties. Last year’s Davis Cup Finals isn’t the first time we saw without the network’s own broadcast commentary by relaying the world feed. But unfortunately, that won’t work that much either & that’s probably where they’re going given Nine isn’t throwing away all the other grand slams anytime soon thanks to Stan Sport, who continues to showcase all of the grand slams uninterrupted and also ad-free with a whole lot of on-demand viewing like replays, etc. so at least they can get most of the money back.

We all love watching the Australian Open every year with Wimbledon being another big sporting event going into next month since it’s been popular amongst the free-to-air flavour for so long. But what about Roland Garros and US Open? Not so much during a very different time of the year that isn’t January when most other people are busy watching Footy at the same time.

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It’s been a while but grand slam tennis is back for the 2nd tourney out of 4 this year at the Roland Garros in Paris, France, that is going to take over 15 days beginning this Sunday. So a bit similar to what we’ve had back in January for the Australian Open at Melbourne Park in order to give more time for the matches to finish early after a few overnight 5-setters last year.

There will be 1-2 changes coming at Nine where they will only have four people onboard of former doubles champion and Tipping Point Australia host Todd Woodbridge (Host & Co-Commentator), former World No.4 Jelena Dokic, ex-player and 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur & versatile sports announcer who does some NRL for the network Brenton Speed. 

Looks like there will be no Roz Kelly since she will be focusing on the Olympics come July and also wants to be a bit more flexible other than presenting the Friday-Saturday Sydney sports news and the newly rebranded Wide World of Sports Sunday show & no Brett Phillips either for the overnight/early morning host shift. It seems they will relay the world feed coverage for the 2nd half day’s action instead of having Phillips staying up except the both singles finals (Nine will continue to have it on its own), having seen it all along at the 2023 Davis Cup Finals week in Spain where Australia fell short once again to Italy.

And on Stan Sport (subscription required to stream for $25 a month), their whole lots of content including on-demand replays & mini match highlights will continue to come straight from the world feed. They will also continue to run their own daily review show in the mornings from Nine’s Sydney studios with Host Chris Stubbs (who continues to do freelance despite Stan losing the SpeedSeries rights back to Seven) and ex-Tennis player Wally Masur. So that’s that over the next 15 days across Nine and Stan as all eyes on 11th ranked Alex De Minaur and maybe Jordan Thompson (currently World No.37) to hopefully make a breakthrough & have an extended crack in the last eight like Ash Barty did back in 2019 on the courts of clay.

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It’s been an excellent two days from the Australian Billie Jean King Cup team who were too good for Mexico in Brisbane as they became the first team to lock into November’s 12-team Playoff finals that will take place in Seville, Spain. We thought Mexico had the upper hand in the opening singles tie thanks to a great opening set spell by Giuliana Olmos before Arina Rodionova turned herself around with a 1-1 all lead going into the decider before she quickly completed an amazing comeback that lasted just over the two hour mark 3-6, 6-3 and 6-1. Then Daria Saville finished off Friday quicksmart in under an an hour against Marcela Zacarias 6-1, 6-1 where the Aussies only need one more tie to wrap up this five-tie contest.

Come Saturday today, enter 18-year-old Taylah Preston from Perth into the fray against Zacarias once again thanks to team captain Sam Stosur. Although it’s heartbreaking to hear the opponent having to suffer an injury as hope this isn’t too series, but Preston has stood out really well also in straight sets (6-1, 6-1). With that being said, there was no need for another singles tie since Australia already won this qualifier so a finals doubles tie was brought forward as Saville played once again alongside Ellen Perez v Maria Navarro and Jessica Hinjosa Gomez. Great to see Mexico add some spice earlier on but this was a match Australia wanted to make the most out of as if they’re playing in the Finals week today with another straight sets win 6-3, 6-1.

The only blow we’ve learnt from this two-day qualifier that Storm Hunter hurt her achilles earlier this week and unfortunately she won’t be playing at the Paris Olympics later this year. She’s so good in the doubles with Matt Ebden earlier this year in the United Cup while going as far as the 3rd round at the Australian Open including a fairytale 2nd round United Cup semi-final revenge win v Laura Siegemund before she was run down from 1-0 up by Barbora Krejcikova from Czech Republic. For Saville, she still has a long way to go having now been the best ranked Australian women’s singles player recently as a great run on clay at Roland Garros next month or a Wimbledon breakthrough will back up her goal of returning Top 20. And lastly, here’s hoping we have our next grand slam star in Taylah Preston after the now-retired Ash Barty who attended the game inside the hospitality box with her baby son and former player Casey Dellacqua. She had a brilliant game as said against the experienced Zacarias, having known a bit more about Mexico well after she made it all the way to the Final two months ago in the Mexican WTA 125 tournament before she fell short to USA’s McCartney Kessler despite holding a close opening set lead. Look out for her in the years ahead who has amazing potential to win lots of trophies including grand slams. For now, Roll out the next grand slam on the Tennis calendar come late next month to early June for the Roland Garros (French Open) in Paris, France.

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How good was that men’s singles final to wrap up a long 15 days of the 2024 Australian Open at Melbourne Park when we thought Daniil Medvedev (Russia) was just one set away in his 3rd attempt here after a great start with the 2-0 lead v Jannik Sinner (Italy). However, Sinner won back to deny him not just a straight sets attempt but he also brought himself up into a 5th set decider at 2-2 all before the Italian quickly nailed down the seasoned grand slam finalist that secured him his first grand slam trophy towards the end in his first grand slam final. The final score lasted nearly four hours at 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 & 6-3.

Commiserations to Medvedev with the loss yet again who had a brilliant early form to get himself ahead of the match & he thought this would be breakthrough at last to take home his 2nd grand slam trophy since the 2021 US Open as Novak Djokovic cannot defend his title after his unexpected semis loss the other day v Sinner. Despite some close executions to try and shut down Sinner in his tracks whilst leading, he unfortunately lost his way that led to the 4th and 5th sets being activated including the top spot before Medvedev eventually ran out of huff and puff where he had to settle 2nd best in the end to a young and energetic elite challenger right there in Sinner. He will be 28 soon next month but the Russian will need to move on now and improve his other grand slam records at the Roland Garros and Wimbledon later this year which isn’t the same and hopefully that would help him come back & go one better for the fourth possible finals attempt next time in 2025.

Meanwhile, Sinner is having the best form of his life after he came off a semi-final breakthrough at Wimbledon last year while he played a key role with Italy’s Davis Cup win a few months later as the team trophy wouldn’t have happened without his outstanding tennis IQ and physicality that would’ve gone to Serbia or Australia. Now he might have struggled earlier on despite a great start but his long-form game began to click in the third set at 0-2 and he too has got the set or two back from Medvedev, who was never close to Championship Point himself at all, before he overtook the Russian for the lead the first time & Sinner has unleashed so fast he too didn’t hesitate so much to pull off such an unbelievable comeback from behind to now standing on top of Melbourne Park with the Norman Brookes Memorial Cup. It’s his moment tonight and he too deserves that breakthrough as what’s next for him now? He will look to win more grand slams from here by leading the line in Tennis’s next generation of grand slam superstars ahead of Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz just like the 2020s Roger Federer v Rafa Nadal.

The 2024 Australian Open Tennis tournament is now over where we had an awesome 15 days rather than 14 days as well as long spell showdowns, some upset moments that changed the course of the draw and a few first time finalists that includes one first time winner now in the men’s draw named Jannik Sinner. And shout out to some of the Aussies who did so well on home soil such as Alex De Minaur (men’s singles 4th round), Storm Hunter (women’s singles 3rd round) and Matt Ebden (men’s doubles title win last night with Rohan Bopanna). There is plenty of Tennis to look forward throughout the year with the next grand slam of 2024 coming up at the Roland Garros in Paris, France that will begin on Sunday 26th May-9th June.

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The 2024 Australian Open Women’s singles final is now done and dusted with one more match to go for tonight’s men’s singles final before the 15-day competition is over between Jannik Sinner v Daniil Medvedev as Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka is your champion once again after she got the job done without having to drop a set against Qinwen Zheng with the win at Rod Laver Arena. Sabalenka had an amazing performance all around & commiserations to Zheng who gained a little here & there as of late but then the standard was just too much for her to catch up in the end. The final score was 3-6 & 2-6 being done in almost 90 minutes of play. This is Sabalenka’s 2nd straight Australian Open trophy & although she will still be World No.2 behind Iga Swiatek, the search is now on to win the other majors after falling short at the 2023 US Open to Coco Gauff (USA).

First of all, Zheng finally got the ball rolling from behind where she did her best to hold back Sabalenka following a poor start of the match. If she did give herself some time with the early headstart, then she would be in a fair shot to try and bring home another Australian Open trophy for China since Li Na last did that just 10 years ago. But she still could not exploit all of Sabalenka’s weaknesses where Zheng fell way behind as the game does on despite denying her a few Championship points when Zheng unfortunately did not have the chance to bridge her best 2nd half form & finish things off her way in defeat. She had a great last few months of Tennis as Zheng is age 22 with loads of potential to fulfill at World No.7 in the singles rankings.

Meanwhile, it’s been another amazing win from the Belarusian who is now a 2 x Australian Open women’s singles champion this time without having to lose a set and also without too much fuss v Zheng unlike Elina Rybakina last year. She was so quick to get off the mark which was huge so she can take her time to bridge the other half form while Zheng showed a bit of fightback here & there, but Sabalenka didn’t need to throw her game away and that is exactly she has done to bring home another grand slam major with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup to her silverware cabinet. As said, the game is on for Sabalenka to win both another grand slam title or two or even three where she always fell short other than some usual good performances from the 1st round to the knockout stages as well as being the World No.1 singles player again off Swiatek.

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