Grigor Dimitrov: “It was pretty windy today, so, yeah, I think overall it's been a good start for me.” - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov: “It was pretty windy today, so, yeah, I think overall it’s been a good start for me.”

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TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 19th of January 2015. G. Dimitrov d. D. Brown 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. An interview with Grigor Dimitrov

 

Q. That the start you wanted?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, it was a good start for me. Of course, I expected it to be tricky. The conditions were good. Court was great. I think it was just a little tough for everyone to get into that rhythm, to get used to the court. It was pretty windy today, so, yeah, I think overall it’s been a good start for me.

Q. You were playing the sets goals. Have you set any goals for this year what you want to achieve?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I always have goals, especially when it comes to slams, I would say. I don’t want to say the other tournaments are less important, but every tournament I enter is to win. In the same time, you know that a tournament can change your whole schedule, your whole world. So in a way, this is my goal: To basically win everything that I play. From then on anything can happen. But to set one goal in particular, I’m not sure I’m that type of a guy.

Q. Since Roger Rasheed took over as your coach your slam form has been much improved. How does he make a difference to you?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Been working with Rog I think over a year now, and I think we established a really good platform, a work ethic, and I think a good relation. I think all those components in a way are really, really important, especially when you want to have such a close and tight relationship with a coach. It’s never easy. But at the same time, I think we sort of found our way of practicing, of scheduling, of doing things in the right way. I still don’t believe we were perfect, but we’re still working on that, too, to get the right groove every time you come to an event or whether it’s off-season or anything like that. So I think he brought a lot of good things into my game. I would like to say it’s always been about the details, especially when it comes to big matches, big moments. That’s quarterfinals, semifinals, and all the slams, of course.

Q. Does it make a difference that this is his home country?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I feel it help. I mean, I guess it does help, but I always felt good coming out of here and always had great support in Australia. Feel like an adopted Australian sometimes, especially when you come out on the court and you see all the fans cheering for you, which is great. It really helps you and boosts your confidence. It’s just little different to play out here, and I like the vibe. All positives leaning on my side.

Q. Dustin is kind of a unique player. How tricky was it for you to play against him? Maybe hard to get into a rhythm?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, it’s never easy to play against him. I believe I played against him on clay court maybe three, four years ago. I remember it was tight three sets. You don’t know what to expect against him. I think the biggest thing for me today was that I just came out on the court and I was really composed. I knew what I had to do, and I just didn’t — I didn’t feel like I gave him chance to do his game, so to speak. Didn’t give him chance to play his shots. I think that discouraged him a little bit. After a couple breaks I already knew the match can go on my side, but at the same I have to stay focused. It’s best-of- five sets and you never know what kind of shot or ball can take you out of that momentum.

Q. What’s the condition like out there on that court? The courts can get pretty swirly.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: They were very swirly. That was the trickiest thing today. I think I had a warmup around 9:00, 9:30 and it was pretty dark and cold. I was thinking, God is it going to be like that the whole time. The next thing you know I came out on the court it was all sunny and nice weather and all that. It was pretty windy, I must say.

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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