US Open 2014 – Grigor Dimitrov: “I did a lot of unforced errors, especially with my forehand” - UBITENNIS
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US Open 2014 – Grigor Dimitrov: “I did a lot of unforced errors, especially with my forehand”

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TENNIS US OPEN – 2nd of September 2014. G. Monfils d. G. Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6, 7-5. An interview with Grigor Dimitrov

 

Q. What are your thoughts about the match? How tough of a fight was it out there today?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think, first of all, it was a very poor match for me. I don’t know. Where should I begin? Just a bad match for me. Didn’t play as close to the way I wanted to, and I think it was a great stage for me to come out on there on the center court and perform my best. Just everything went the opposite way today. I don’t have to be too down for that. Of course I have to give credit to Gaël that he played a really good match, but I also did a lot of unforced errors and that cost a lot. 6-3 in the tiebreak, I had all odds on me. And it was just poor shot selection. Eventually I didn’t execute at the right time.

Q. Obviously you’re coming off a disappointing match and are disappointed in the result, but it’s been a breakout US Open for you.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I mean, overall it’s been a great US Open for me coming into that second week for the first time. I played exciting matches and played on all the big courts. Today I was happy to get out on Ashe and get the feel for the court. It’s definitely different to play on that court. I take that as a good experience. But that doesn’t help for the way I played today. I’m just disappointed. Just very simple.

Q. What are your thoughts specifically on what Monfils did especially well?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think he defended when he had to. But if you think about it, I did a lot of unforced errors, especially with my forehand. He played very strongly on the good points, served well when he had to, and at break points he really defended well. We all know how — he’s playing well. He’s playing well at the moment and moving well always. He’s a tricky opponent. I must say I give all the credit to him today.

Q. What do you think during the match, because sometimes Gaël looks very tired, but then two points after he plays incredible shots.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don’t think about that because he’s been like that throughout all the matches and I think all the years. Again, I don’t focus on my opponent. I’m always focusing on how I’m playing and what I can do better. Today I could only like focus only on me, because I was just playing bad tennis. I actually couldn’t see what’s gonna happen on the other side. I couldn’t care less. Because everything I tried was just not going my way. I tried to find a way. Again, Gaël, he’s a great player. I mean, he definitely found his way around the court pretty good. That’s what it is.

Q. Two things: You’re still quite young in your career. You’re climbing upwards. What are your thoughts that here we have Roger Federer, elder, at age 34 still doing so incredibly well, and also it’s the end of the slam season? Could you talk about your slam season and assess it, please?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: My slam season, well, it’s been my first year that I have actually did play well with all the slams basically, except French Open. Got into that second week for first time, so that’s a good experience. There’s something that I am definitely gonna take with me. I played I think quite a few matches. The record is becoming more and more on the positive side than on the negative, which is a positive sign. Still I think there is just a lot of work to be done out there, a lot of preparation and all that. I’m 23, but I don’t want to think that I’m young or something like that. I want to win majors. That’s my main goal. I’m not satisfied with my results so far, even though I have done probably — I have come into my best year of my tennis year. I’m not even close to being satisfied. I think that’s one of the nicest things that I feel about it, is that I have that hunger to actually become better every tournament I play, even though I have lost quite a few tough matches this year. I’m pissed, you know. I’m just not happy with that. I know I can do better. Today was proof of that. I’m not going to hide my disappointment. I came out there, poor match, so I’ve got to take it. I have to accept it and move forward. Five tournaments till the end of the year. I’m going to give it all.

Q. Based on the experiences you have had in pushing Nadal close in Australia, Novak at Wimbledon, and here today, what do you think you need to work on in order to take that next step?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: That’s a very good question. What can I work? I mean, I think it was just everything was just very new for me. Sort of coming into that second week was just new, a new experience. What I can do better is next time maybe approach matches like that maybe a little different, especially when you get into that second week. This is where you actually, if you’re in that second week, you have good momentum and you should use it into your favor. Today I occasionally I was a bit anxious at some points and I was going for a few shots that they were not supposed to be played that way. So maybe that. I mean, I think today is just a little tough to think about that a little bit obviously because of the result, but I’m going to reassess everything and sort of have the whole review. As I said, it’s been a great year, but there are still five tournaments to be played. I have basically a great chance to perform well in all five of them, so I’m looking forward to that. It’s going to be a strong finish.

Q. Do you think pressure was a thought today?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Entering into that second week there is no favorite, I’d say. I think everyone has a legitimate chance, especially when you come on that scene, on that court, playing to getting to the quarterfinal matches. This is always a tricky part. I wouldn’t call it pressure, because in a way I had nothing to lose, if you think about it. I just wanted to come on court and swing and play my shots very freely. But, again, I just knew what to expect from Gaël. Actually, he delivered today. So that’s, you know — maybe I don’t give enough credit to him today, but he just did what he had to do in order to beat me

ATP

ATP Montreal: Ruud Thrashes Auger-Aliassime To Reach Semis, Mixed Results For Brits

Casper Ruud eased past Felix Auger-Aliassime to set up a semi-final meeting with Hubert Hurkacz in Montreal.

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Casper Ruud (@OBNmontreal - Twitter)

Casper Ruud only dropped three games against Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach the semi-finals in Montreal.

 

The Norwegian is into the semi-finals in Canada after a dominant performance over home favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Ruud dominated from the start of the match as he produced a sublime performance only committing nine unforced errors throughout the match to reach the last four.

Ruud has had a good season on hard courts this season and is looking to make his second consecutive hard court Masters 1000 final after reaching the final in Miami.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted he got a bit lucky but is happy to be in the last four in Canada, “It was one of those days where everything goes in one favour and luckily it was in my favour,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“With a player like Felix, you need to rely on some margins going your way. I didn’t expect them to all go on my side. It was a bit of a difficult start. I got broken but then was able to turn everything around. I hit my spots, made the shots I needed to and make him hit a lot of balls. That was the game plan and it worked well.

“The last hard-court tournament I played in was in Miami where I reached the final. I wanted to make a deep run here. I didn’t think it was too likely, being the first hard-court tournament back, but I have been playing great from the first point in the first match.”

Ruud will look to claim his first Masters 1000 title this week and rise to four in the world in the ATP rankings.

Next for Ruud is the only Masters 1000 champion left in the draw in the form of Hubert Hurkacz.

Hurkacz defeated the in-form Nick Kyrgios 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 6-1 to reach the semi-finals in Canada.

The eighth seed produced some big-serving and bold decision making as he reached his first semi-final since winning the Halle title.

Heading into their match, Ruud leads the head-to-head 1-0 where the Norwegian was victorious at Roland Garros this year.

Mixed results for British hopefuls

Meanwhile it was a mixed night for British players as Dan Evans reached his second career Masters 1000 semi-final while Jack Draper exited the tournament in the last eight.

Evans defeated Tommy Paul 1-6 6-3 6-4 to reach a landmark moment in his career in Montreal.

After his win Evans described the win as ‘extra special’ as he looks forward to a semi-final meeting with Pablo Carreno Busta, “The crowd, that’s what they buy their tickets for. That’s live sport,” Evans told the ATP website.

“You never know what’s going to happen. It was an amazing match, amazing atmosphere. I played on the court before. In the day it was amazing, but at night, there’s something about playing sport at night, it’s extra special.”

Evans will now play Carreno Busta in the last four after the Spaniard defeated British qualifier Jack Draper 7-6(4) 6-1.

Draper defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier in the week but was no match for the resilient Spaniard.

Saturday’s semi-final will be the first meeting between Evans and Carreno Busta.

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Canada Daily Preview: Semifinal Saturday Features Ruud/Hurkacz and Pegula/Halep

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Simona Halep on Friday in Toronto (twitter.com/NBOtoronto)

The singles and doubles semifinals will be played on Saturday in Canada.  In Montreal, a new men’s singles champion will be crowned, and Hubi Hurkacz is the only semifinalist to have previously won a Masters 1000 event (Miami, 2021).  Hurkacz is also in the doubles semifinals, so it will be a busy day for Hubi.  In singles, he faces a finalist from this year in Miami, Casper Ruud.

 

In Toronto, Simona Halep is the only former champion remaining, and is two wins away from her third title at this event.  On Saturday, she plays Jessica Pegula, who is into the semifinals in Canada for the second straight year.  Like Hurkacz, Pegula is also in the doubles semifinals.  She’s teaming with Coco Gauff, who will become the new doubles No.1 if they win the title.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Saturday’s play gets underway at 12:00pm local time in Montreal and 1:00pm in Toronto.


Hubert Hurkacz (8) vs. Casper Ruud (4) – Not Before 3:00pm on Court Central in Montreal

Hurkacz ended the winning streak of Nick Kyrgios on Friday, taking him out in three sets for the second time this season.  But Ruud was even more impressive on Friday, bouncing back from a marathon victory on Thursday over Roberto Bautista Agut to overwhelm Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, dropping only three games.  Predominantly known as a clay court player, Casper is also establishing himself as a considerable threat on hard courts.  That’s especially true in North America, where Ruud has claimed 16 of his last 19 matches.  But Hubi’s success on this surface remains superior, as does his serving prowess.  While Ruud prevailed in their only previous encounter, just a few months ago at Roland Garros, Hurkacz is the favorite on a hard court.


Jessica Pegula (7) vs. Simona Halep (15) – 1:00pm on Centre Court in Toronto

Halep has been dominant through four rounds this week, advancing without the loss of a set.  Simona has quietly put together a strong record of 36-10 this season, though she’s yet to achieve a big result, with only one title at the 250 level at the start of the year.  Pegula only dropped one set this week, to defending champion Camila Giorgi.  And similar to Halep, she’s accumulated a solid record this year (29-14) without winning a title.  This will be the first career meeting between these two players.  Considering Halep is now 25-6 lifetime at this event, and the way in which she has easily prevailed all week, her superior movement and defense should be enough to reach her fourth final in Canada.


Other Notable Matches on Saturday:

Pablo Carreno Busta vs. Dan Evans – Carreno Busta has played superbly this week, eliminating the likes of Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini without losing a set to this stage.  Dan Evans has survived two grueling three-setters in as many days.  This is their first career meeting.

Beatriz Haddad Maia vs. Karolina Pliskova (14) – Haddad Maia has earned three big wins across the last three days over Iga Swiatek, Belinda Bencic, and Leylah Fernandez.  Pliskova is looking to reach the Canada final for the second straight year.  They have split two previous encounters, both on hard courts.


Saturday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Canada Daily Preview: Quarterfinal Friday in Montreal and Toronto

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Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime on Thursday in Montreal (twitter.com/OBNmontreal)

Canadian No.1 Felix Auger-Aliassime has thrilled crowds in his home country on back-to-back days in Montreal.  On Friday, he faces Roland Garros finalist Casper Ruud, who outlasted Roberto Bautista Agut on Thursday in a marathon match that went well over three hours.  Other ATP action in Montreal includes Washington champion Nick Kyrgios taking on Halle champ Hubi Hurkacz in a rematch from the Halle semifinals.

 

Coco Gauff has survived two extremely dramatic affairs in as many days, ousting both Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka in third-set tiebreaks.  In the quarterfinals, she plays a two-time champion of this event, Simona Halep.  Toronto’s matches on Friday also feature Jessica Pegula and Karolina Pliskova, both of whom reached the semifinals or better of this tournament a year ago.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Friday’s play gets underway at 12:00pm local time in Montreal and 1:00pm in Toronto.


Coco Gauff (10) vs. Simona Halep (15) – 1:00pm on Centre Court in Toronto

Between Wednesday and Thursday, Gauff spent exactly six hours on court during the heat of the early afternoon, in two physically and emotionally taxing matches.  By contrast, Halep spent less than half that time on court across those two days, and is yet to drop a set this week.  And their three previous encounters have all been straight-set victories for Simona.  She prevailed on grass three years ago at Wimbledon, on a hard court this year at Indian Wells, and on clay this year in Madrid.  And considering Halep will be the far fresher player on Friday, there’s not much evidence to suggest a different result in her fourth meeting with Coco.


Casper Ruud (4) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (6) – Not Before 2:00pm on Court Central in Montreal

What will Ruud have left after a three-set match that lasted nearly three-and-a-half hours?  Auger-Aliassime had a much easier time on Thursday, avenging a loss from less than a week ago in the Los Cabos semifinals over Cam Norrie.  Casper and Felix have split four previous meetings at all levels: two at Challenger events, and two at Masters 1000 events such as this.  Three years ago in Miami on a hard court, Auger-Aliassime won in three sets.  Last year in Madrid on clay, Ruud prevailed in straights.  Accordingly, a hard court would seem to favor Felix, especially considering his superior serving abilities.  Most of Casper’s big results have come on clay, though he did reach the final of Miami earlier this year.  I expected the Canadian to play nervously at this event, as Auger-Aliassime was only 3-3 lifetime here ahead of this week, and had lost four of his last six matches since June.  But Felix has embraced the spotlight of playing in front of a packed Canadian stadium, and should be favored over a depleted Ruud on Friday.


Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Nick Kyrgios vs. Hubert Hurkacz (8) – Between singles and doubles, Kyrgios is 13-0 over the last 10 days.  Hurkacz saved a match point on Thursday, eventually defeating Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a third-set tiebreak.  Earlier this year in Halle when he played Nick, Hubi also prevailed in a third-set tiebreak.

Karolina Pliskova (14) vs. Qinwen Zheng – Both players were victorious after tough three-setters on Thursday: Pliskova over Maria Sakkari and Qinwen over Bianca Andreescu.  This is their first career meeting.


Friday’s full Order of Play is here.

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