Alexander Zverev

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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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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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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Yesterday’s Australian Open men’s singles semi-final day was huge where one of the best and legendary grand slam champs was out of the main event by surprise by a rising star, while a seasoned finalist will hopefully get his hands on another grand slam title v a first time challenger for Norman Brookes Challenge Cup come tomorrow night at Rod Laver Arena. But for now, the women’s final will be decided tonight between Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) v Qinwen Zheng (China).

Jannik Sinner stunned Novak Djokovic from the beginning where he was too good with an easy 2-1 lead. Although the Serbian might have got one back at the tiebreak, but then it proved to be such a tall order to crawl back when Sinner at last has dethroned the veteran in the end with the win. Novak has been an top player as always but yesterday wasn’t his day when he wasn’t equipped to handle Sinner mightily on-court that cost him big time before he was finally caught up as he won’t be able to defend his crown and will have to wait until 2025 to get it back. On the other hand, Sinner has been simply outstanding where he will now be on course to hopefully win his first grand slam title at age 22. He was so quick to get off the mark before he took his time to expose the long-form skillsets of Djokovic, having been denied a straight sets route but eventually got away towards the finish line at last in the fourth set. He made it to the Wimbledon semi-final last year as well as winning the Davis Cup for Italy, what’s next? The Australian Open Final. Let’s see if he can go all the way tomorrow night.

Meanwhile, 2 x AO semi finalist Alexander Zverev also fired off really well with a 2-0 lead v Daniil Medvedev. However, Medvedev turned himself around in the toughest of the challenges where he won back-to-back tiebreaker sets before he completed an incredible turnaround at the 5th & final set decider for the win after 4 hours & 18 minutes. Zverev thought he had it at one stage but lost his way against a resurgent Medvedev during the second half there. He’s had an amazing summer here that began with the United Cup win including a mighty doubles effort straight after playing singles for the best of his country (Team Germany) before he continues to shine up in the main draw up until this point & unfortunately he just could not pull off v such a opponent who has been to handful of finals more than him. And last but not least, it’s 3 x AO finalist Danill Medvedev from Russia where might had struggled earlier on despite a great start. But he never gave up as the game goes on where Medvedev turned out to be the better player than Zverev when it comes with the long-form game from two escaping tiebreakers to an unbelievable finish for the win. It’s been a long time coming since he first won the 2021 US Open where he defeated Djokovic in straight sets as he won’t be facing him this time like it was two years ago here that went past 1am but he will instead v first-time finalist in Jannik Sinner in the hope of finally winning one as the next AO champ at RLA.

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It was a huge day of Tennis yesterday on what has been a great end to the 2nd half of the Austtalian Open Quarter-Final matches at Rod Laver Arena with back-to-back long spells for the men while there’s some first time breakthrough moments ahead of tonight’s semi-finals in the women’s singles draw followed by a day of the men’s portion on Australia Day Friday.

First of all, Hubert Hurkacz never gave up without a fight including some incredible fight backs to stay in this match. However, Daniil Medvedev has found the great escape just exactly a minute before the four hour mark. The Pole had a great record over the last two years here but this was his 2nd finals match since the 2021 Wimbledon semi-final as he looks to kick on from here in the next grand slam showings as a regular last 16-8 contender. Plus, Alexander Zverev has eliminated 2nd seed Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz by surprise where he got the job done following an unreal 1st half performance with the 3-1 set win. Didn’t see that coming when the 2 x grand slam champion was the favourite to win this one but not only he fired off poorly but was so far behind for the majority despite some good shots in the latter stages. It remains to be seen if Zverev can find a way to beat Medvedev & have the best shot of being in the Final again since the 2020 US Open where he lost to Austrian Dominic Thiem.

Meanwhile in the women, the rising star 19-year-old Linda Noskova’s time was over at the hands of Dayana Yastremska in straight sets. The Czech got a great start to kick things off including the restart but struggled to bridge the other half unfortunately where Yastremska got the upper hand. From Qualifier to now Top 4, she is now one step away from Saturday’s final where beating Zhang & then maybe taking home the trophy would be a fairytale ending from the bottom up to reaching the highest levels in this draw like Emma Raducanu did in the 2021 US Open. And 12th seed Qinwen Zheng from China has overcame a tight 1st set loss on what been a great comeback win v Anna Kalinskaya. Kalinskaya wasn’t bad on her first grand slam knockout match after some highlight wins v Sloane Stephens & 26th seed Italian Jasmine Paolini beforehand with a close 1st set lead. But unfortunately she could not stay ahead & hang in there a bit longer whilst leading up front when Zheng closed in from behind to see her eliminated from the last 8. Zheng is coming off the back end of last year as a first time finalist at the US Open where he could face Aryna Sabalenka again but this time for the final if she can get the job done tonight.

Tonight’s matches Coco Gauff v Aryna Sabalanka again having last met at the US Open Final a few months ago before Yastremska takes on Zhang where one of them will advance on centre stage this Saturday. For Friday, it will be Novak Djokovic v Jannik Sinner followed by Medvedev & Zverev as all three have yet to win a AO trophy here except Novak.

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Oh so close but what a run though by the Aussies after they were unfortunately eliminated from the United Cup semi-finals in the early hours of Sunday morning by Germany, having lost the mixed deciding doubles match 1-2.

Ajla Tomjlanovic fired off really well in the first set, but couldn’t find a way to kick on and hold Angelique Kerber back who was amazing from the set down to bring home a two-set win at the tiebreak (6-4, 2-6 & 6-7 – 7-9 tie). Meanwhile, Alex De Minaur gave the home fans so much hope to keep that run alive. He too bounced back from that close opening set loss with the win v Alexander Zverev (5-7, 6-3, 6-4) to level the semi-final series at 1-1 for Australia where his individual brilliance on the court will see him being ranked World No.10 in the ATP ladder next week. Let’s hope he can have the best Australian Open campaign yet starting next Sunday.

The tables have then turned on Storm Hunter & Matt Ebden to bring it home against Zverev again & Laura Siegemund for a spot to face Poland in the Final who defeated France the other day in a 3-0 whitewash. Now this was such an unreal deciding mixed doubles tie to watch, even though it did go past midnight. They all won each set in the first two (Germany in Stage 1 & Australia in Stage 2) before it went all the way through the best of 10 as Zverev’s decision to stay on has paid off for Germany that broke the hearts of the Aussie team & their fans itself on home turf at Ken Rosewall Arena. The final score was 6-2 – 2-7 tie, 7-6 – 7-2 tie & 13-15.

And speaking on Team Germany, they too have went on to become this year’s United Cup Champions after USA. Yes, these series of finals ties v Poland did end up going just past midnight but gotta say that Zverev has saved the day once again. 

Now He almost lost the match and even the final at one stage by Hubert Hurkacz after Iga Swiatek was too for Kerber (6-3, 6-0) earlier in the evening before he kept his country’s hopes alive going into the championship-winning doubles decider after three hours of play (7-6 with 7-3 tie, 6-7 with 6-8 tie & 4-6). Not only he and Siegmund has played really well right through the every end v Swiatek and Hurkacz again, but they too found both the finish line & the United Cup trophy via the final set tiebreak (4-6, 7-5 & 4-10).

All that’s left to come this week is the Adelaide International, Kooyong Classic, Women’s Hobart International & Men’s Auckland ASB Classic in New Zealand before the main event arrives for the Australian Open at Melbourne Park that will take 15 days beginning on Sunday.

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It wasn’t the ending we wanted to see when Alexander Zverev injured his ankle & retired hurt while trying to stop Rafa Nadal from winning the 2nd set. But this semi-final tie had to be wrapped up immediately as Nadal will advance to Sunday’s main event v Norwegian Casper Ruud at Court Philippe Chatrier. The final score was done just over three overs of play via walkover; 7-6 via 10-8 tiebreaker, 6-6.

Zverev fired off with the early headstart that helped him took advantage earlier in both sets ahead of Rafa. He also showed plenty of fight every time he tries go past set point but just couldn’t find the response & finishing needed to hold off his opponent, especially when after he chased the ball so hard but then lightning struck that sent him a huge blow to his ankle. We’re all gutted not to see Zverev continue playing where we send him best wishes with his recovery, before he hopes to come back sooner rather than later by going one better towards another grand slam final since the 2020 US Open.

And Nadal proved to be the better fighter with a brilliant response and execution that helped him pass Zverev through each set. He’s got so much patience with a close lens in Zverev’s natural game where not only Rafa cancelled his Zverev’s fast start, but he also held him back through the very end through another lifeline to close it out and he came out unscathed on top. Although it wasn’t a happy ending when his opponent injured his ankle, all Rafa did was to shake hands with respect before he moves onto the next challenge towards another possible grand slam title of 2022 tomorrow.

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What a match it has been after a gruelling four hours of play between Novak Djokovic & Rafa Nadal to close out Day 10 of the 2022 French Open. Nadal was too good to open this quarter-final account while Djokovic fought back in the 2nd set, even though it was a very competitive battle to tie 1-1 apiece. However, it’s Nadal who responded well to Djokovic’s fight with another easy 3rd set spell, before he denied the Serbian a 5th set lifeline that turned into his semi-final’s ticket for tomorrow v Alexander Zverev from Germany. The final score is 2-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 via 4-7 tiebreaker.

Djokovic was gutted not to make the Final 4 on his first grand slam campaign of 2022 at the French Open. He shown plenty of fight in a bid to stay in contention against a tough elite grand slam opponent, having responded well from the opening set down before Djokovic almost tied Nadal at 2-2 towards a possible 5th set decider. Unfortunately, he just couldn’t find a way to overtake Nadal for the lead, as well as the need to stay ahead, which ultimately cost Djokovic a semi-final berth.

And congratulations to Nadal after a hard-fought win v the reigning French Open champion. He fired off well very easily for a start with the opening set lead. Now Nadal may have fallen just short by a game or two in the 2nd set, but he’s so good at responding to this fight where he was too good in the 3rd set, cancelled Djokovic’s lifeline towards a possible 5th set decider & turned into a win of his own here under the lights at Court Philippe-Chatrier.

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We’ve just seen one fantastic Round 4 match from the Rafa Nadal v Adrian Mannarino tie to another, as Denis Shapovalov has just eliminated the 3rd seed from Germany Alexander Zverev at Margaret Court Arena. It’s an easier run this time having overcome a couple of long grueling spells in the opening three rounds beforehand, and the Canadian managed to wrap this up in straight sets (3-6, 6-7 via 5-7 tiebreaker & 3-6) where he will now face Rafa Nadal on Tuesday in which will be an interesting take here.

Zverev’s 2022 campaign in Melbourne has came to an end after Round 4, he did his best to stay in the game during the 2nd set via tiebreaker from the opening set down but unable to unpack most of the fire and executions for the majority where Shapovalov noticed his weaknesses, built a decent lead as this tie goes on & couldn’t hold him off following the 2nd set.

And Shapovalov once again unbeaten so far after the first week of the 2022 Australian Open, he credits his ability to play during these long spells which played a part of his upset against the 3rd seed today. Seeing the 14th seed Canadian build such an early lead + escape a 2nd set tiebreak before getting the job done in straight sets is incredible, these types of skillsets will throw Nadal on the pressure cooker & see if this will shock his next opponent towards the semis in two days.

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Team World may have earned a late win at the end of Day 1 last night in the only doubles game but continued to struggle going into Day 2 when it comes to the singles battle, yes there may be really close thanks to John Isner who fought back from the first set down but even in the toughest of challenges he just unable to regroup in the 3rd set tiebreaker.

Meanwhile, Team Europe extend their lead at 7-1 as Alexander Zverev overcame Isner until the very end after extremely competitive rallies in between before Stefanos Tsitsipas didn’t find it difficult to nail down Nick Kyrgios in straight sets.

Scores: 7-6 (7-5 tiebreaker to Zverev), 6-7 (6-8 tiebreaker to Isner) & 10-5 to Zverev

6-3 Tsitsipas, 6-4 Tsitsipas

There’s two matches to come for the rest of Day 2 with Daniil Medvedev v Denis Shapovalov followed by a lone double meeting of Andrey Rublev/Stefanos Tsitsipas v John Isner/Nick Kyrgios.

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