Grigor Dimitrov copes with windy conditions to reach Delray Beach semi-finals, faces surprise opponent in Rajeev Ram (Highlights included) - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Grigor Dimitrov copes with windy conditions to reach Delray Beach semi-finals, faces surprise opponent in Rajeev Ram (Highlights included)

Published

on

Grigor Dimitrov rebounded strongly from a minor wobble in the second set to win in straight sets against Adrian Mannarino (Image via Zimbio.com)

Grigor Dimitrov was in the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2014, but that represented his career highlight to date. The Bulgarian has since struggled, and has not won a title since the year of his excellent Wimbledon run. He managed to ensure that he remains on track to change things though, as he beat Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 7-5 to reach the semi-finals in a blustery Delray Beach. His opponent will be veteran American Rajeev Ram, who defeated German Benjamin Becker 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Both men held strongly through most of the first set, with Dimitrov imperious on first serve, winning all eleven points on that statistic. Mannarino was also playing well in their first career meeting, consistently staying with Dimitrov despite serving from behind. The problem with serving from behind though, is that you are under pressure first as the set nears conclusion, and Dimitrov pounced at five-four, earning three break points, and taking the third. In the blink of an eye Dimitrov had the first set and would again serve first in the second.

Dimitrov did start dropping a few points on first serve in the second, but not nearly enough to give Mannarino a proper look at breaking. To his credit, the Frenchman dusted off the disappointment of the first set, returning to holding serve fairly comfortably through the second, and again stayed with Dimitrov, to four-all. Neither man had faced a break point in the second.

Dimitrov faced a wobble at four-all, double-faulting to give Mannarino a glimmer of a chance at love-thirty, and Mannarino would eventually break to fifteen to serve for the second set. Dimitrov mounted a furious charge, breaking back at the same point he had broken in the first, at five-four though this time it was Mannarino serving ahead, and the break of serve merely meant level terms and not the end of the match.

Dimitrov continued to struggle, double-faulting for the second successive game, and his fourth of the set and match. Going down love-thirty again, Dimitrov this time limited it to a minor wobble, winning the next four points to then put Mannarino under pressure to take the match to a tiebreak. Mannarino could not accomplish the task, going down love-forty after struggling to put first serves in play, and Dimitrov would complete the break and win the match having won the last three games in a row.

Dimitrov on the weather pre-match: “It was so swirly out there that I only practised for 20 minutes. You just have to stay focused and get the job done.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lRcZVLwe_A

Dimitrov’s opponent will be a surprise in Rajeev Ram. Ram achieved his career-high ranking of no.78 in 2009, seven years ago, but looks in great shape to surpass that at the veteran age of thirty-one. Ram is a surprise semi-finalist given that his only previous hard-court semi-final came four years ago at the LA 250,where he lost to Sam Querrey. His ranking is largely based on challenger success and his excellent record at the Hall of Fame Championships in Rhode Island, a grass-court tournament played shortly after Wimbledon, where he is the current defending champion. Yet Ram managed to defeat in-form German veteran Benjamin Becker in a come from behind victory.

In a match featuring a number of service breaks, Ram managed to spread his four breaks across the two sets that he won, whilst Becker could only two in the first and his third early in the final set, when he and Ram traded breaks before the American pulled away.

 

Latest news

Iga Swiatek beats Emma Raducanu to extend her winning streak to ten consecutive matches in Stuttgart

Published

on

Two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek held off 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 after 2 hours and 3 minutes to extend her winning streak to 10 consecutive matches at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. 

Swiatek set up a semifinal match against 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, who came back from a break down in the third set to beat this year’s Dubai champion Jasmine Paolini.

Raducanu came back from 0-40 down to earn the first break of the opening set. Swiatek converted her third break point in the second game in a seven-deuce second game. Raducanu saved the only other break point at deuce in the sixth game. Swiatek won the first four points and five of the first six points to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Swiatek earned five break points in the second, sixth and in the 12thgame, but she converted only one opportunity. Raducanu converted her only break point in the first game. Swiatek won nine more points than Swiatek. 

Swiatek broke Raducanu in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead. This break was decisive, as both players held on their next serve in their next games. 

Swiatek earned six break points in the third, fifth and ninth games, but she converted one chance. The Pole did not face a single break point and won eight more points than Raducanu.

“Raducanu started playing at the beginning pretty loose, like she had nothing to lose, and I totally get that. Sometimes it is like that. I knew I was questioning if she is going to be able to keep the same intensity throughout the whole match. It was not about service games or return games. I was just waiting for my chances to break back and I was sure that I am going to get them”, said Swiatek.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Sebastian Ofner in Barcelona to extend his winning streak

Published

on

Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Sebastian Ofner 6-4 7-5 at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell to extend his winning streak to seven consecutive matches after claiming his third title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters last week. 

Tsitsipas earned an immediate break in the first game. Ofner broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. Tsitsipas earned his second break  in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and served out the first set 6-4 with a hold at 15. 

Tsitsipas broke in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner won three consecutive games with two breaks of serve to take a 5-3 lead. Tsitsipas came back by winning four consecutive games with two breaks of serve to seal the second set 7-5.

Tsitsipas has a record of 17 wins to 5 defeats in Barcelona. The Greek player reached three finals at this tournament in 2018, 2021 and 2023.  

“I feel pretty good, but it is still early in the tournament. The conditions here are very different to Monte-Carlo and I felt it today when I was playing. My job is to adapt and to ensure I can bring my A game again in Barcelona this week. Today was a great test to see where I stand. I am hoping to keep on improving and getting good wins like this under my belt”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitssipas set up a third round match against Roberto Carballes Baena, who beat Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

Musetti saved three break points in the first game of the opening set. The Italian player earned two break points with a backhand down the line. Musetti saved two break points in the seventh game. Both players went on serve un the 12th game when Carballes Baena saved a set point. Carballes Baena went up a 5-1 lead with two mini-breaks in the tie-break. Musetti won three consecutive points to reduce to 4-5. Carballes Baena won the final two points to take the tie-break 7-4. 

Carballes Baena converted his fourth break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Musetti broke back in the fifth game. Carballes Baena saved a break point in the sixth game. The Spanish player sealed the win with a break on his second match. 

Last week’s Monte-Carlo finalist Casper Ruud beat Alexandre Muller 6-3 6-4 to claim his 25th tour-level win of the season. Ruud has drawn level with Jannik Sinner for the most wins in 2024 on the ATP Tour. 

Ruud set up a third round match against Jordan Thompson, who beat Jaume Munar 6-4 2-4 6-4. Roberto Bautista Agut beat Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-4 6-1 to claim his milestone 400th match win on the ATP Tour. Bautista Agut set up a third round match against Cameron Norrie. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Roberto Bautista Agut wins his milestone 400th match on the ATP Tour

Published

on

Roberto Bautista Agut came back from one set down to beat Australian Open doubles finalist Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-3 6-1 after 2 hours and 1 minute at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. 

Vavassori earned an early break in the first game. The Italian player earned three break points in the seventh game, but Bautista Agut saved them. The Spanish player broke straight back in the eighth game. Vavassori broke again in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and saved two break points before closing out the first set 6-4 on his second set point. 

Both players went on serve in the first four games of the second set. Vavassori earned a break point in the fifth game, but he did not convert it. Bautista Agut broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and did not face any break points to win the second set 6-3. 

Bautista Agut broke three times to cruise through to a 6-1. 

Bautista Agut reached the 400th milestone win on the ATP Tour.  The Spanish player has become the 13th active player with at least 400 ATP Tour wins. He achieved 20 wins against members of the top 10, ten wins against top 5 players and four against world number 1s. Bautista Agut is one of the nine players, who have beaten Novak Djokovic as World number 1 more than twice. 

“For me it’s just a number. The important thing is that I have done great work over these years, that I have a very consistent career, a career that I can feel proud of “, said Bautista Agut. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending