Internazionali d'Italia: Dimitrov beats Berdych. Nadal v Murray in the quarter finals - UBITENNIS
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Internazionali d'Italia: Dimitrov beats Berdych. Nadal v Murray in the quarter finals

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TENNIS Internazionali d’Italia – Grigor Dimitrov rallied from a set down to edge Tomas Berdych 5-7 6-2 6-3 on a cool and windy afternoon on the famous Pietrangeli Court to set up a quarter final against Tommy Haas. Andy Murray beat Jurgen Murray 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 on his 27th birthday and will face Rafael Nadal who fought back from a set down against Mikhail Youzhny to clinch a hard-fought win in three sets. Diego Sampaolo

Interviews, results, order of play, draws of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome

Grigor Dimitrov rallied from a set down to edge Tomas Berdych 5-7 6-2 6-3 on a cool and windy afternoon on the famous Pietrangeli Court to set up a quarter final against Tommy Haas.

Dimitrov took his re-match against Berdych who beat last week in the Madrid third round. The young Bulgarian was broken only once and converted on 5 of his 13 break point chances.

Dimitrov took a 3-1 lead and held serve until 5-4 when Berdych broke back. The first set came down to the tie-break. Dimitrov went up 3-1 but Berdych reeled off six consecutive points to clinch the first set.

Dimitrov got a early break in the second set to take a 3-1 lead and pulled away to 5-1 closing out the second set with 6-2. Dimitrov got an early break in the third set and saved a break point at 3-2 in the longest game of the match. He got the match point at 5-2 with a spectacular volley cross dip which delighted the crowd who attended the match on the Nicola Pietrangeli Court and closed out the match with an ace.

Tommy Haas fought back from a set and a break down to upset Stanislas Wawrinka in three sets with 5-7 6-2 6-3. Haas reached the quarter final at the Internazionali d’Italia for the first time since 2002. Haas scored his first win against a top-10 player since his win against Novak Djokovic in Miami in March 2013.

Wawrinka converted on his break point chance to take a 3-2 lead. Haas broke straight back but Wawrinka got another break to clinch the first set with 7-5. Wawrinka broke serve in the third game of the second set for 2-1 but Haas turned around the match by winning five consecutive games to win the second set with 6-2 Haas got a decisive break in the eighth game of the third set and wrapped up the match in two hours. Wawrinka lost in the third round for the second consecutive week after his upset defeat against Dominic Thiem in Madrid.

I had some back problems because of the cold temperature but I have time to be ready for the Roland Garros. I could not move too well. It’s really nothing serious. It’s just painful and I need some rest”, said Wawrinka

Andy Murray vs Jurgen Melzer 7-6 (7-1) 6-4

Andy Murray beat Jurgen Murray 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 on his 27th birthday to reach his best result at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome since his semifinal defeat against Novak Djokovic in 2011.

Murray converted on three of his five break chances to seal a convincing win over the World Number 67 player from Austria.

Murray dropped serve in the first game of the opening set but he fought back from a break down to draw level to 3-3. He saved four break points to hold serve for 5-4. The first set was decided by the tie-break. He clinched the tie-break with a comfortable 7.1. He won 15 points from 16 en route to building up a 2.0 lead in the second set.

Murray broke early in the second set but Melzer broke back for 3-3. Murray got his second break to love in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and held serve for the match closing out the match after 1 hour and 42 minutes.

Last week I was not good at all in Madrid. I was very inconsistent. This week I wanted to play solid tennis as much as possible. Without the wind it was easier to build the points and have a specific game plan”, said Murray.

During the press conference after the match Murray was presented by the organizers with a cake to celebrate his 27th birthday.

Rafa Nadal vs Michail Youzhny 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-1

Murray will meet again seven-time Rome champion Rafa Nadal for the first time since the 2011 final in Tokyo. Nadal fought back from a set down against Mikhail Youzhny to clinch a hard-fought win in three sets with 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-1.

Youzhny dropped serve at 3-all when he sent a backhand wide. The Russian player rallied from a 3-5 deficit in the opening set. Nadal earned a set point but Youzhny saved it. Rafa committed two double faults and Youzhny broke serve with his backhand winner

In the tie-break Nadal went down 0-3 but he won two consecutive points clawing his way back to 2-3. Youzhny pulled away to clinch the opening set with 7-4 at the tie-break. Nadal went down a set and a break but he bounced back to draw level from 0-2 to 2-2. He saved a break point in the following game before winning 10 of the next 11 games to wrap up the match in two hours and 44 minutes.

I get used to my recent struggles. With the years, that’s the normal thing. That’s part of the sport. It’s not possible to win for 10 years with easy scores and easy matches. At the same time I can do much better than I ma doing.

Nadal leads 13-5 in his previous head-to-head matches against Murray and won their last match on clay in the 2011 Roland Garros semifinal.

In the other matches of the third round Milos Raonic fended off all the five break points he faced and hit seven aces when he beat Jo Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in one hour and 48 minutes. Raonic will play against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy who beat Ivan Dodig 6-3 6-2.

David Ferrer took his second consecutive win over Ernests Gulbis with 6-2 6-3 one week after beating the Latvian player in the Madrid quarter finals.

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Daniil Medvedev Can Improve Further After US Open Win, Says Coach

Gilles Cervara has overseen the rise of the world No.2 since 2017 and he believes there is still more to come.

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The 2021 Men's Singles Champion, Daniil Medvedev at the 2021 US Open, Sunday, Sep. 12, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

The team of Daniil Medvedev are already looking into ways the Russian can improve his game less than a week after he won the US Open, according to his coach Gilles Cervara.

 

On Sunday the 25-year-old defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets to claim his first-ever Grand Slam title and become the first Russian man to win a major since Marat Safin in 2005. Impressively Medvedev only dropped one set in the tournament which was against Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp in the quarter-finals.

Guiding Medvedev to glory in New York was his coach Cervara who has been working with him since 2017. The Frenchman was recognized for his work with Medvedev back in 2019 when he was named ATP coach of the Year. Speaking to Tennis Majors earlier this week, Cervara believes part of the success they have had is due to the desire to continuously improve.

“It’s huge to have won the US Open. But Daniil, me and the whole team, we are always focused on performance,” he said. “It’s a way of life, of thinking, which means that I will always be drawn to the idea of doing better, and therefore of winning the next tournament. To make this possible, I have to set up workouts to be even stronger and respond to more situations, to win even more.”

It is hard to question the approach taken by Cervara when you look at Medvedev’s results on the hardcourts. According to the ATP, the world No.2 has won 147 matches and 12 titles on the surface since 2018 which is more than any other player. The next best player is Djokovic with 115 wins and 10 titles.

Medvedev could end the year as world No.1 but it will be far from easy. He is currently more than 1300 points behind Djokovic in the standings. If he wants to overtake him he will need to win or reach the finals of key events in Indian Wells, Paris and the ATP Finals. Although it is hard to project an exact route as it is unclear as to what tournaments will be played.

“I tell myself that it involves work and improving many things on a daily basis. The team has already started to think: yes, he wins a Grand Slam, but we can see a lot of things to improve,” Cervara commented. “These things represent the concrete aspects to be deployed with a view to a potential future great result. To be number one and win other majors, you have to achieve concrete things, at work, every day.”

Just because Medvedev has won a Grand Slam doesn’t automatically mean that he will go on to dominate the Tour. 12 months ago at the US Open, it was Dominic Thiem who triumphed at the tournament. However, the Austrian admitted that he struggled over the following months after achieving one of his career goals. Thiem didn’t play in this year’s US Open due to a wrist injury.

“I don’t think that will happen to him, but if we want to use what has happened for others, then yes it is a point of attention. It’s too early to know. If that happens, we will look for solutions,” Medvedev’s mentor commented.

One of the most unique aspects of Medvedev’s game is how far he stands behind the baseline during points. In one research article conducted by UbiTennis on the 2020 ATP Finals, the average player stood 1.9 meters behind the baseline. However, Medvedev’s return position was between 4.51 and 5.51 meters. Interestingly the analysis found that the further he stood behind the more he won.

Cervara admits that initially he tried to stop Medvedev from standing so far behind the baseline but the Russian refused to do so. His initial fear was that the tennis player was opening himself up to too many angles which his opponent could use. However, he soon came to realise that this wouldn’t be the case.

“I tried to get him to return closer to the line, but he refused,” he said. “He felt that as he got closer to the line, things just stopped happening for him. I think I had the intelligence to listen to him and put myself in his shoes, not to deconstruct something that is advantageous for him thanks to his size, his eye and his playing intentions. And the stats tell us that it pays a lot.”

Medvedev is set to return to action in just over a week at the Laver Cup. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 44-9.

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Top Seed Tennys Sandgren Defaulted From Match Two Games In At Challenger Event

The tennis player was on court for less than 20 minutes before the incident happened.

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Tennys Sandgren’s appearance at the Atlantic Tire Championships Challenger event in Cary was a very brief one after he was disqualified from his first round match for hitting a lines official with a ball.

 

The world No.103 was taking on Christopher Eubanks in the first round on Tuesday and got off to a promising start by breaking in the first game before working his way to a 40-30 lead in the second. However, Sandgren then landed himself in hot water after hitting a tennis ball which struck one of the court officials. At the time the American was frustrated after hitting a forehand error.

The bizarre incident wasn’t caught on camera by the tournament livestream but Sandgren gave his version of events shortly after. He said a ball thrown to him by a ball kid hit him in the genitals and after that he slapped a wayward ball towards the fence. However, that wayward ball ended up hitting the ‘tushy’ of a court official.

https://twitter.com/TennysSandgren/status/1437933892456140809

Immediately after the incident, the tournament supervisor was called to the court by the umpire. Following a brief discussion on the court, Sandgren was then disqualified from the match for an action which he later took full responsibility for.

“Just to be clear, this was all totally my fault,” he wrote on Twitter.

It is not the first time a player has been disqualified for hitting a ball which then struck an official. The most famous incident took place at last year’s US Open when Novak Djokovic was disqualified from his fourth round match after hitting a ball which hit the lineswoman in the throat. In another incident, Denis Shapovalov was disqualified from one of his Davis Cup matches after unintentionally firing a ball into the umpire’s eye.

Sandgren, who is a two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist, has experienced a disappointing 2021 season so far. The American is yet to win back-to-back matches at a tournament and has only recorded a total of eight wins overall. Since January he has fallen more than 50 places in the ATP rankings.

Full video (go to the 19-minuite mark)

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Daniil Medvedev Marks US Open Milestone With FIFA-Inspired ‘Dead Fish’ Celebration

In his own words, the new champion produced an ‘L2 + Left’ celebration after defeating Novak Djokovic in New York on Sunday.

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Daniil Medvedev reacts to winning the Men's Singles championship match at the 2021 US Open, Sunday, Sep. 12, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

Daniil Medvedev’s reaction to winning his first Grand Slam title at the US Open wasn’t random. In fact, he has been thinking about his FIFA-inspired celebration since Wimbledon.

 

On Sunday the world No.2 defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets to become only the third Russian man in history to win a major title. The triumph caused heartbreak for his opponent who was on the verge of achieving the elusive Calendar Slam which last happened on the men’s Tour back in 1968. Leading 6-4, 6-4, 5-4, Medvedev sealed victory after a Djokovic return slammed into the net. Prompting him to literally drop to the ground in a somewhat unusual way.

“Only the legends will understand, what I did after the match was a L2 + Left,” he said during the trophy presentation.

The reference was to the game FIFA with L2 + Left being the code for what is called by some as the brick fall celebration or what Medvedev describes as ‘dead fish.’ When a player would just drop to the ground on his side after scoring a goal.

“When I was running through [the draw at] Wimbledon… I was really confident about my game. I think it was one night, you know, you cannot fall asleep. Five, 10 minutes you have crazy thoughts, like every other person,” he said.
“I was like, OK, if I’m going to win Wimbledon, imagine I win it against Novak or whatever. To not celebrate is going to be too boring, because I do it all the time. I need to do something, but I want to make it special.”

Medvedev’s planned celebration was no secret with him openly speaking with others in the locker room leading up to the US Open. No names of who he spoke to were mentioned by the Russian who says his peers described the idea as ‘legendary.’

“I like to play FIFA. I like to play PlayStation. It’s called the dead fish celebration. If you know your opponent when you play FIFA, many times you’re going to do this. You’re going to score a goal, you’re up 5-0, you do this one,” he continued.
“Yeah, I talked to the guys in the locker [room], they’re young guys, super chill guys. They play FIFA. They were like, ‘That’s legendary’. Everybody who I saw who plays FIFA thinks that’s legendary. That’s how I wanted to make it… It’s not easy to make it on hard courts. I got hurt a little bit, but I’m happy I made it legendary for myself.”

It certainly was legendary from Medvedev.

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