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



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

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.”

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.


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Jannik Sinner and Roberto Bautista Agut start their campaign with convincing wins in Berlin



Last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner beat German veteran Tommy Haas 6-4 3-6 10-8 in the opening match at the Bett1 Aces, a grass exhibition tournament at the Steffi Graf Stadium. This event features ATP and WTA players and is played in front of a limited number of fans.


Sinner converted his only break point in the fifth game of the first set with two return winners and held on his service games to win the first set 6-4. Sinner converted his third break point to take a 3-2 lead in the first set. Haas broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. The German player broke for the second time in a row and won 12 of his 16 rallies to win the second set 6-3. Sinner bounced back in the match tie-break and raced out to a 5-2 lead. Haas clawed his way back to 7-8, but Sinner earned two match points with a forehand passing shot. The young Italian player sealed the match tie-break 10-8 on his second match point setting up a semifinal against Dominic Thiem.

Roberto Bautista Agut battled past Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 3-6 10-7. In the first set Bautista dropped his serve to go down 0-2 in the opening game and faced two break points on his serve, but he came back by breaking serve twice in the sixth and eighth games to win the first set 6-3.

Struff won the second set with a break in the sixth game, but Bautista Agut took the 10-7 edge to win the match tie-break 10-7. Bautista Agut set up a semifinal against Matteo Berrettini.

Anastasja Sevastova was leading 6-4 4-3, as Julia Goerges was forced to retire injured from the match in the seventh game of the second set.  Sevastova got two breaks in the third and ninth games to win the first set 6-3.

In the final match of the day two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova cruised past Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-1. Kvitova earned the first break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Petkovic broke straight back in the fifth game for 2-3. Kvitova converted his second break point in the 10th game to win the second set 6-4. Kvitova broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the second set 6-1.

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Jannik Sinner dreams to win the US Open and beat Roger Federer on Centre Court at Wimbledon



Last year’s Next Gen Finals champion Jannik Sinner revealed that his dream would be to beat 20-time Grand Slam champion and eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer on the Centre Court at the All England Club at Wimbledon.


Sinner was bidding to make his debut at Wimbledon last year, but he lost in the first round of the qualifying round.

Many fans predict that Sinner has the chance to win a Grand Slam title and become world number 1.

Sinner advanced to Antwerp ATP 250 semifinals last October at the age of 18 after beating Gael Monfils. He became the youngest ATP Tour semifinal since Borna Coric, who reached this stage in Basel at the age of 17. He saved one match point against Steve Johnson in Masters 1000 debut in Rome. He got through to the qualifying round to reach the main draw at the US Open before losing to Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

This year Sinner beat world number 10 David Goffin in Rotterdam second round for the biggest win of his career. The Italian teenager coached by Riccardo Piatti earned his first Grand Slam main draw win at the Australian Open before losing to Marton Fucsovics.

“I know that I am only 18, but I like to play. The more I play, the more I like it. My goal is to win the US Open but I have the dream of beating Roger Federer on the Centre Court at Wimbledon”, said Sinner.

Federer underwent second arthostocopic knee surgery and announced that he will make his comeback in 2021. The Swiss player was sidelined by injury for six months in 2016 and made a successful return in January 2017 by winning an epic five-set Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal. He went on to win Wimbledon later that year and another Australian Open trophy in 2018.

“I hope Roger will play again next season”, said Sinner.

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US Open Must Allow Entourages Of Three Or Four People, Says Thiem

The world No.3 says he is feeling good ahead of the return of professional tennis next month.



Dominic Thiem has come out against proposals to restrict the number of coaching staff that can travel to this year’s US Open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


This year’s New York major will be held behind closed doors for the first time in history and will be implementing a series of measures to help minimise the threat posed by the virus. Part of their plan is to limit how many people a player can bring with them to the tournament. It was originally reported that only one team member per player would be allowed to travel, but it has emerged that the limit has since been extended to three.

Speaking about the limits, three-time Grand Slam finalist Thiem said the idea of only allowing one member of his team to travel with him would be a risk for some players on the Tour.

*”I do not think so. Three or four people must be allowed. It would be extremely risky to travel without your own physio. You need a local coach for this,’ Thiem told The Kronen Zeitung newspaper on Sunday.

Thiem last played a match on the ATP Tour at the Rio Open in February where he lost in the quarter-finals. However, throughout the lockdown he has still managed to maintain his match fitness by participating in numerous tournaments. In total he has played 24 matches across three different countries, including one named after him called Thiems 7.

“Right now I feel very good,” he said. “I have played a lot of exhibition games in the last two months and I am not tired at all. I really wanted to play tennis again, since my start of the year was very good.’
“During This period of confinement at home I have been crushing myself a lot in the physical aspect and already when I returned to training. I have decided to improve the backhand and the serve a little more.”

The ATP Tour will resume next month with Thiem hoping that he can continue his form generated from earlier this year. At the Australian Open he reached the final for the first time in his career before getting edged out by Novak Djokovic. Although when he returns, tournaments will not be the same as before due to the ongoing pandemic with strict safety measures and reduced crowds in place.

“When the circuit returns, the matches will be exactly the same as we had previously, but the atmosphere will be different,” he said.
“All tennis players will miss playing tournaments where many people travelled to see us every day. In New York, Paris or Melbourne there are between 60,000 and 70,000 people every day in the facilities. That previous life we ​​had will not be the same and we may have to get used to this new normal for a few years.”

Thiem is one of only four men to have already made more than $1 million in prize money so far this year on the ATP Tour.

*NOTE: Since the publication of this article quotes have been edited following a translation mix-up.

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