Wimbledon: Dimitrov takes out the defending champion Murray in straights - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon: Dimitrov takes out the defending champion Murray in straights

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – Twice now Andy Murray has had to defend his major title and twice he has failed to do so falling in the quarterfinal round each time. Murray came into this matchup in excellent form having not dropped a set in the first four rounds. Prior to this year, Grigor Dimitrov has failed to get past the 2nd round at this tournament. Cordell Hackshaw

 

Results, Order of Play, Draws and Interviews from The Championships

Twice now Andy Murray (3) has had to defend his major title and twice he has failed to do so falling in the quarterfinal round each time. Murray came into this matchup in excellent form having not dropped a set in the first four rounds. Prior to this year, Grigor Dimitrov (11) has failed to get past the 2nd round at this tournament. However, this year on the grass courts, Dimitrov has looked quite at home having won Queen’s Club tournament prior to this event. Dimitrov has been showing signs all season long that he is ready to make a break into the top echelon on the game. Him making his first major semifinal is a huge step in that direction especially after beating the defending champion Murray in straight sets 6-1 7-64 6-2 in just over 2 hours. “I was pretty steady during the whole match and came out the winner,” said Dimitrov after the match.

Murray was on the attack from the very onset of the match giving himself a 0-30 lead on Dimitrov’s serve. He would earn himself a break point in this opening game but Dimitrov would hold serve as Murray’s backhand found the net. Murray went on to hold serve with ease but that would be just about the only easy thing he would have in this match. Dimitrov broke the defending champion twice in that set, the second time at love and served it out 6-1 in 25 minutes. Murray would later state, “I started the match badly. And I think that gave him confidence. You know, I should have done a better job.” Murray’s life remained difficult as Dimitrov made it clear in the 2nd set that he was looking to break in every Murray service game. His aggression paid off as he broke in the 7th game for a 4-3 lead. Murray got the break back for 4-4 and held serve for 5-4. They remained on serve till 6-6 for a decisive tiebreaker with Murray again having to save break points in order to get to the breaker.

Murray opened the breaker with a double fault, which seemed to encapsulate his entire state of mind in the match thus far; he was well off his game today. Murray would get back the mini break and they remained on serve to 4-4. Dimitrov then stepped up the intensity and earned himself the minibreak for 5-4. The set now rested in his hand with two serve. He went 6-4 with his signature backhand winner and then an amazing pick up volley for the set 7-65.

Perhaps British fans were not initially concerned by this 2-0 sets lead that Dimitrov had attained. Their local hero Murray had after all staged several miracle comebacks here at Wimbledon, including last year in the quarterfinals against Fernando Verdasco. However, there must have been real panic as Dimitrov remained on for the upset by breaking in the 6th game of the 3rd set for a 4-2 lead after Murray again double faulted. Dimitrov consolidated this break with an ace to go up 5-2. Now Murray had to serve to stay in the match. There would be no Murray Magical comeback today from the defending champion. He looked defeated as he soon fell behind 0-30 in this crucial game. Murray double faulted yet again to bring up two match points for Dimitrov at 15-40. Dimitrov would only need one as Murray’s forehand found the net. Dimitrov is through to his first major semifinal 6-1 7-6 6-2.

Dimitrov spoke of performance in the match, “As soon as we started warming up, I sensed his game wasn’t at his highest level and I was pretty confident and playing good tennis. The first set helped me get into a good rhythm. The second set tie-break was a key moment for me. Coming into the third set, I knew I had a lot of things under control.” Murray replied that he felt fine and added, “Today was a bad day, you know, from my side. I made many mistakes, unforced errors, and then started going for too much and taking chances that weren’t really there.” There is very true for Dimitrov was clearly the better player on court today. The Bulgarian outperformed Murray in every single category. Dimitrov had 10 aces and 3 double faults to go with 32 winners and 18 errors while Murray had 5 aces and double faults, 24 winners and 37 errors. Even on serve, Dimitrov was the better man. He got more 1st serves in than Murray and won 77% of those points and 59% on 2nd serves. Murray on the other hand only won 72% on 1st serve and a pitiful 31% on 2nd serve. This difference clearly explained why Dimitrov had more break opportunities, nine in total and coverted five of them whereas Murray would only break that once in the 2nd set. Dimitrov will next face Novak Djokovic in the semifinal for a chance at his first major final. If he wants to win that matchup, he would have to maintain this form and then some in order to deny Djokovic a chance at a 2nd Wimbledon title.

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Dominic Thiem Rules Federer Out Of GOAT Debate

The Austrian puts forward his theory on who should be regarded as the best player in history.

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Dominic Thiem; e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger, 27.10.2022

The honour of which player deserves to be regarded as the greatest of all time (GOAT) should be decided based on one factor, according to Dominic Thiem. 

 

The former world No.3 has weighed in on the debate by suggesting that the argument should be settled by the number of Grand Slam titles a player has won as they are the most prestigious tournaments in the sport. In tennis, the four major tournaments are the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. 

Thiem’s GOAT criteria have therefore ruled Roger Federer out of contention. The Swiss maestro was at one stage the frontrunner due to the numerous records he has broken throughout his career. However, he retired from the sport last year with 20 Grand Slam trophies under his belt which is less than both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who are currently on 22 each. 

“In my opinion, the Grand Slam titles should be the defining criteria when determining the best of all time, they are the four most important tournaments in tennis,” Eurosport quotes Thiem as saying. 
“Everything else is fine, but it’s not the same. The Slams are what counts, so the GOAT will probably be the one with the most Grand Slams.”

Others will argue that more factors should be taken into account in the subjective debate. For example, Federer has won 103 ATP titles which are more than his two rivals, Djokovic holds the record for most weeks as world No.1 and Nadal has won more tournaments on clay than any other player in history. Furthermore, there is the players’ win-loss rate on the Tour and their records against the top 10 players. 

Recently at the Australian Open Djokovic won the men’s title for a historic 10th time in his career. An achievement that has been hailed by Thiem who was runner-up to the Serbian at Melbourne Park in 2021. 

“I am not very surprised, Djokovic still looks young,” he said. “Physically and mentally, because of the way he moves on the court. It’s like he was 25 years old.
“We have to be honest, he is the best, so his victory was not very surprising.”

Thiem has won one Grand Slam title which was at the 2020 US Open when he became the first man in the Open Era to come back from two sets down to win in the final. He has also been runner-up at the French Open twice, as well as the Australian Open once. 

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Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open Injury ‘Hard To Believe’ In The Eyes Of His Opponent

Some details surrounding Djokovic’s battle with a hamstring issue ‘doesn’t make sense,’ according to Enzo Couacaud.

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Image via Adelaide International Twitter

The only man to take a set off Novak Djokovic during the Serbian’s run to a historic 10th Australian Open title believes there are unanswered questions over his injury. 

 

France’s Enzo Couacaud took a set off the world No.1 before losing their encounter in the second round at Melbourne Park. At the tournament Djokovic was dealing with a hamstring problem which he picked up at the Adelaide International earlier this year. Throughout the tournament, he was wearing strapping on his leg and there was uncertainty about if he would be able to continue playing in the Grand Slam event. 

Despite the issue, Djokovic claimed a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title by disposing of Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in the final. Afterwards his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, claimed that 97% of players would not have played if they were in a similar situation. The exact diagnosis of Djokovic’s injury hasn’t been addressed by his team but Australian Open director Craig Tiley said he suffered a 3mm tear. 

However, Couacaud has questioned the significance of the injury to begin with. During an interview with Tennis Actu, the world No.172 believes that some of the details appear to be ‘far-fetched’ as he draws parallels with Rafael Nadal, as well as footballer Kylian Mbappe.  

“Novak claimed he was playing with an injury, a big injury,” said Couacaud. “When athletes are injured in combat sports, they often can’t continue. When Rafael Nadal is injured, he can’t run. Kylian Mbappe, for example, is out for two weeks.
“And those are the greatest athletes, not those who don’t have access to top-notch care. It is therefore difficult to believe that only one man in the world can continue with an injury.
“When you take the examples of Nadal or Mbappe, but especially Rafa, with an injury to Wimbledon, he couldn’t even serve. When you see the greatest who can’t set foot on the pitch and another who wins a Grand Slam by playing every day for 15 days. It still seems a bit far-fetched.
“There are little things that don’t make sense to me. I was always told not to stretch with an injury. You saw Novak stretching all the time. You say to yourself, either they have a new method in Serbia, or it’s weird. Little things like that, he has his staff, but I’m too far to judge the authenticity of anything. It is true that it seems hard to believe.”

It is not the first time Djokovic has faced accusations that he has in some way exaggerated the significance of an injury. He encountered a similar situation during the 2021 Australian Open where he suffered an abdominal injury. After winning the tournament, he confirmed that he sustained a tear in the region. 

Speaking to journalists at Melbourne Park last month, the tennis star once again hit back at his critics and claimed that he was being singled out. 

“I leave the doubting to those people – let them doubt,” Tennis Majors quoted Djokovic as saying in Serbian following his fourth round win over Alex de Minaur. “Only my injuries are questioned. When some other players are injured, then they are the victims, but when it is me, I am faking it. It is very interesting… I don’t feel that I need to prove anything to anyone.
“I am not really interested at this point what people are thinking and saying. It is fun, it is interesting to see how the narrative surrounding me continues, narrative that is different compared to other players that have been going through similar situation. But I am used to it, and it just gives me extra strength and motivation. So I thank them for that.”

Djokovic has won 93 ATP titles during his career which is the fourth-highest tally in history. Only Ivan Lendl (94), Roger Federer (102) and Jimmy Connors (109) have won more. 

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Novak Djokovic ‘Hurt’ By Father’s Absence From Australian Open Final

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Novak Djokovic - Roland Garros 2022 (foto Roberto dell'Olivo)

Novak Djokovic said he mutually agreed with his father that he did not attend his latest Australian Open match but admits it was a bitter pill to swallow. 

 

Srdjan Djokovic had attended his son’s matches throughout the majority of the tournament but has recently been caught up in controversy. On Wednesday a video surfaced on social media of the 62-year-old posing for a photo with pro-Russian supporters with one of the fans waving a flag with the face of Vladimir Putin on it. Another fan was also wearing a t-shirt with the ‘Z’ symbol on it which is used to support the Russian army. 

The Russian and Belarussian flags were banned from the tournament this year following an incident in the first round. A Russian flag was shown during a match between Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl and Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova. Prompting anger from Ukraine with its ambassador to Australia calling for a ‘neutral flag’ policy to be implemented. 

Srdjan has since issued a statement saying the incident was ‘unintentional’ and said his family ‘only wish for peace in the world.’ He subsequently also missed Djokovic’s semi-final match to avoid any possible ‘disruption’ before doing the same for Sunday’s final.

“I thought things would calm down in terms of media and everything, but it didn’t. We both agreed it would probably be better that he is not there,” Djokovic said after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas to win a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title
“That hurts me and him (Srdjan) a lot because these are very special, unique moments. Who knows if they repeat again? So it was not easy for him.”

Whilst he was not in the stands, Djokovic was reunited with his father shortly afterwards. Although the tennis star said Srdjan ‘was not feeling his best’ due to the situation. 

“It is what it is. I think in the end also what he told me is that it’s important that I feel good on the court, I win the match, and he’s here for me,” Djokovic continued. 
“If it’s going to be better for me as the outcome of the match so that he’s not in the box, then so be it. That was the whole conversation.’
“In a way, I’m also sad that he was not there, present, in the stands. But he was throughout the entire tournament, so it’s fine. In the end, we have a happy ending.”

Djokovic has now won five out of the past seven Grand Slam tournaments he has played in. At the Australian Open alone he has won 28 matches in a row.

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