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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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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