ATP Kuala Lumpur: Dimitrov Back from the Brink - UBITENNIS
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ATP Kuala Lumpur: Dimitrov Back from the Brink

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Dimitrov al torneo di Indian Wells 2015

Dimitrov wins 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

A day that initially looked  promising for big shocks in Malaysia eventually left most empty-handed, with only one seeded player exiting the draw.

 

That player was Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who was the victim of a resurgent Benjamin Becker. The veteran German recovered from the loss of the opening set to win through 5-7, 6-1, 7-5.

The main story of the day was the intriguing matchup between Bulgarian fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov and unseeded Portuguese Joao Sousa, fresh off his runner-up effort in St Petersburg. The match marked Dimitrov’s first since his disappointing exit at the hands of Mikhail Kukushkin in the US Open second round. Sousa started a at breakneck pace, breaking twice to stun the flashy Bulgarian. First set to Sousa 6-2. Dimitrov found his game in the second set, attacking far more with his forehand, with the Sousa serve wavering. Set two to Dimitrov 6-3. The Bulgarian has struggled to match his high performances of last year, and again there were signs of unease in the final set. Sousa broke first, and led 4-2. A tense deuce game followed on the Sousa serve, and Sousa had chances to close out for a 5-2 lead. Dimitrov though, brokeback to level again. Sousa again forced break points, as he looked to regain the initiative, but this time Dimitrov held firm. The Bulgarian then demonstrated the ruthlessness of the top players by breaking, this time for the lead. Sousa to his credit kept fighting despairingly until the end, earning 0-30, but finally succumbed. Dimitrov advanced by the score of 2-6,6-3, 6-4.

Though a match against an unseeded player, the win constitutes a big success for Dimitrov. His opponent was in fine form, yet he hung in and dug out a result. A situation that is all too rare for him.

Other results saw eight seed Vasek Pospisil negotiate Nicolas Almagro’s vanquisher, Marcos Baghdatis, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3. David Ferrer came up against one of the few players on the tour older than him. The thirty-three year old Spaniard defeated thirty-six year old Radek Stepanek 7-5, 6-3.  Other veterans Ivo Karlovic and Feliciano Lopez progressed courtesy of wins over Nikoloz Basilashvili and Mischa Zverev respectively. Seventh seed Nick Kyrgios continued his serene progress with a straightforward 6-3, 6-2 win over Tatsuma Ito.

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Dominic Thiem reaches his first quarter final at the Australian Open

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Dominic Thiem eased past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 50 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open. Thiem has extended his winning streak to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Monfils.

 

He fought back from two sets to one down to beat Australia’s Alex Bolt in the second round, but he won eight of his past nine sets to advance to the quarter finals.

Thiem got two breaks in the first set and never faced a single break point in the entire match. The Austrian player converted his fourth break point after three deuces, as Monfils missed a backhand volley wide. Thiem started the third set with an early break in the first game, as Monfils hit an inside-out forehand wide from the middle of the court wide. Thiem won his next service games and held his final game at love.

Thiem will face Rafael Nadal in a re-match of last year’s Roland Garros final.

“I think that I played my best match so far at this year’s Australian Open. It’s a very good feeling. The score looks way easier than the match was. I think I was lucky to make an early break in each set and I was managing to hold my serve well. I am so happy because I am in the quarter final here for the first time”, said Thiem.

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Alexander Zverev tops Andrey Rublev to set Australian Open quarter final against Stan Wawrinka

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Alexander Zverev beat his friend Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the first time in his career and his third at Grand Slam level.

 

Zverev broke serve once in each set. The German player has not dropped a set at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.

Zverev ended Rublev’s 15-match winning streak. Rublev had not lost a match since October, winning four matches at the Davis Cup last November and back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.

In the opening set Zverev earned his first break at 3-3, as Rublev hit a forehand into the net. He held his serve to consolidate the break and wrapped up the first set after 29 minutes, when Rublev hit a crosscourt backhand wide.

Zverev started the second set with an immediate break in the first game of the second set and closed it out with a hold at love with an ace after 29 minutes.

Zverev broke serve for the third time in the match in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4, when Rublev made a groundstroke error, and sealed the win with a forehand volley.

“It feels amazing. I played some great matches against some great opponents. This is Andrey’s first loss of the season, having won two tournaments and getting through to the fourth round with unbelievable tennis. I have known Andrey since we were ten years old. I think he will be top 15, top 10 very soon. I am just happy and I hope I can continue”,said Zverev.

Zverev will face Stan Wawrinka in the quarter final. The German star beat Wawrinka twice in their previous two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.

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Stan Wawrinka edges Danil Medvedev in a five-set thriller to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open

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Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka reached the quarter final at the Australian Open for the fifth time in his career with a 6-2 2-6 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 win over fourth seed and 2019 US Open finalist Danil Medvedev after 3 hours and 25 minutes. Wawrinka qualified for the last eight for the first time since 2017.

 

Wawrinka earned his first break in the fourth game, when Medvedev sent his backhand long. Wawrinka did not convert two more break points in the sixth game before breaking for the second time at love to close out the opening set 6-2 after 32 minutes. Wawrinka won 85% of his first serve points and hit 16 winners to 8 unforced errors in the opening set.

Medvedev broke in the third game of the second set to open up a 3-1 lead, when Wawrinka netted his forehand. The Russian player clinched the second set with three service winners at 5-2 to level the score.

Medvedev broke serve in the seventh game of the third set after a backhand error from Wawrinka and closed out the set with a service winner in the 10th game.

Wawrinka wasted a break point in the fourth game of the fourth set. Both players traded service holds en route to the tie-break. Wawrinka earned an immediate mini-break to open up a 3-0 lead in the tie-break. The former Australian Open champion hit a half-volley winner to cruise to a 5-2 lead and converted his first set point, when Medvedev netted a backhand in the ninth point.

Wawrinka broke Medvedev at 15 in the first game of the fifth set and saved three break points at 2-1. Wawrinka went up a double break in the seventh game and forced an error from Medvedev to wrap up the match, as he was serving for the win in the eighth game.

Wawrinka set up a quarter final against Alexander Zverev, who beat Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4. Zverev beat Wawrinka twice in their two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.

“That was an amazing match and an amazing atmosphere. It was really tough to play against Danil. It was really tough to play against Danil. I had to raise my level in the fourth and fifth sets. The level was super high and the atmosphere is something special here in Australia. I am finding solutions. I was losing a bit of confidence in the second and third sets, and was fighting against myself to play my game. I had to fight, stay positive and I am happy with the result”,said Wawrinka.

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