Grigor Dimitrov: “Didn't really feel comfortable on the court. Thought Marcos was playing dominating tennis early on in the match” - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov: “Didn’t really feel comfortable on the court. Thought Marcos was playing dominating tennis early on in the match”

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TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 23rd of January 2015. G.Dimitrov d. M.Baghdatis 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. An interview with Grigor Dimitrov

Q. Reward for the physical work you’ve been putting in?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah. Where should I start from? Tough game. I mean, obviously it was a tough game for me. Didn’t really feel comfortable on the court. Thought Marcos was playing dominating tennis early on in the match. I wasn’t really able to turn things around as fast as I wanted to. I felt quite good physically, which was I think the best sign for me today. I’m not going to hide my excitement of winning the match because it meant a lot to me. To be able to play three and a half hours and win 6-3 in the fifth and feelin really good after the match physically, that says a lot for me. Just getting ready for the next one.

Q. A couple days ago you called Maria the greatest fighter ever. What about the match today, the fight that you showed?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I just said matches like that really defines I think who you are and how you want to be, I don’t know, remembered, your nickname, whatever you guys want to call it. I just feel that matches like that, it’s really important to win, even if it’s not on your best days. I think this is how you go forward. Today was one of those days for me, that I didn’t really feel good on the court, wasn’t really comfortable with my game, but I found a way to fight through it two sets to one down. To me that says a lot. In the same time, gives me a lot of confidence.

Q. Why do you think you weren’t feeling comfortable today?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Because it’s not every day you wake up in the morning and you feel 100% to play tennis, you know. Especially on days like that, it’s really important to keep your sanity, you know, give what you got, play with what you have. So to me was just one of those days that pretty much nothing was going my way. But the only thing I had was like my composure, my physicality that really came through in the fifth set. I thought I played smart when I had to. I think that made a lot of big difference, especially in his game. I thought he was performing really well. I thought he played a really good tennis. So I just had to come up with some extra stuff from me, and I think I did.

Q. Did you have some shoe issues? You switched two or three times.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, but it’s all in the frame. I think I finished the match with shoes on my feet, so that’s good. Yeah, I have enough to finish the tournament with.

Q. Andy took the first set 6-1. If it’s going to be him in the next round, how much do you look forward to that matchup?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, it’s a great matchup for me. I’m always excited to play against him. You know, I had a tough loss against him in Paris. So, you know, it’s a good matchup. I always like that kind of challenge. I think physically and mentally I’m ready to play that match and really give 100% from myself. I’m going out there to win the match. So there’s nothing else I can say about it.

Q. Do you look at your Wimbledon quarterfinal as maybe the best match you played at a slam so far?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Maybe. I would say maybe. But I don’t really think so. It just happened for me on that day to really play good. I thought I really played good on that day. I use every single mistake that he did. I’m sure if I play him in the next round he’s going to be really focused and composed and wants to do everything to stop me. In the same time, I’m feeling really ready, and I like my chances every time I go out on the court. So I think it’s going to be a great matchup.

Q. You gave a passionate salute to your box today. How has Roger helped you on days like today?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I thought I was really calm and composed throughout the match today. I think this is what I really needed today. I couldn’t really push myself even more. But deep down I knew what I had to do. I knew what I wanted also from my team, to cheer me up in a certain way. I mean, I’m sure they believed in me throughout the whole match, so I knew I had their backup. In the end, I just really pulled it through in a manner that I wanted to. You know, it’s all teamwork.

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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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