Grigor Dimitrov Draws Positives From Scare, Berdych Halts Shapovalov At Queen’s - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov Draws Positives From Scare, Berdych Halts Shapovalov At Queen’s




Grigor Dimitrov (

LONDON: It was far from a simple day for former champion Grigor Dimitrov, who required almost two hours to defeat French qualifier Julien Benneteau 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, at the Aegon Championships.


As the temperature soared to over 30 degrees, the Bulgarian was faced with the possibility of becoming the latest seed to fall. Beneteau, a ten-time ATP Finalist, conjured up a game plan of hitting the ball deep and pushing Dimitrov out of his comfort zone. The approach was an successful one as he broke in the very first game of the match before clinching the opening set.

Despite the stern scare, Dimitrov refused to be beaten. On Monday he spoke of his love for the grass and how he relishes playing on the surface. This passion was evident as he responded by fighting for every point, clenching his fist and shouting ‘come on!’ Reflecting on the early stage of the match, Dimitrov stated that he felt no extra pressure about the possibility of becoming another seeded casualty.

“It’s tiring as it is already to have to fight for every point and try to find a way to win, and if those kind of thoughts are starting to come into your head, then you’re going to lose the match way before you actually get to the match.” Dimitrov explained.

During the early stages of the middle set, a masterful backhand lob from the sixth seed rewarded him a break point for 3-1, which was gifted to him due to a Beneteau double fault. The sole error from the Frenchman proved to be a turning point in the match with Dimitrov levelling at one set all.

Fighting off Beneteau, Dimitrov avoided the scare by the skin of his teeth. A backhand return landed into the corner of the court to move him up 3-2, placing the 26-year-old in the lead for the first time. From then, the outcome was inevitable as back-to-back aces secured Dimitrov’s place in the quarter-finals.

“I don’t want to get too down on myself just because I think throughout the whole match I did a lot of double faults, but they were all intended double faults. It’s not like I was tight or nervous or anything like that, no. I was just going for serve.” The sixth seed evaluated about his latest performance.

Berdych breathes a sigh of relief

The final match of the day saw tour veteran Tomas Berdych fight his way past rapidly rising 18-year-old star Denis Shapovalov. It was a clash between two players at completely different stages of their career, but Berdych’s experienced prevailed him to a hard-fought 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 7-5, win.

Engaged in a 135-minute marathon on center court, both players produced a serving Masterclass with only one break occurring in the entire match. Underdog Shapovalov didn’t appear intimidated by the occasion as he fired a total of eight aces and 42 winners. Unfortunately for the Canadian, the sole break occurred at 5-6 in the final set as he serve to stay in the match.

“It was a really great match,” Berdych told BBC Sport.
“Denis put up some great tennis and made me work really hard.”

Berdych, who has progressed to his second consecutive ATP quarter-final after Stuttgart last week, will play either Fernando Verdasco or Jeremy Chardy in the next round.


Singapore Champion Alexi Popyrin Dedicates Maiden ATP Title To Family

The world No.114 battled back from a set down to become the fifth active Australian player to win an ATP singles title.




Rising star Alexi Popyrin has claimed the biggest title in his career to date after triumphing in the final of the Singapore Open on Sunday.


The 21-year-old battled back from a set down to defeat world No.46 Alexander Bublik 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, in what was his first ever final on the ATP Tour. Popryin, who had never got past the quarter-final stage of a Tour event prior to this week, managed to turn his fortunes around with the help of an emphatic service display. During the second set he dropped no points behind serve and only one in the third. Overall, the Australian produced 11 aces and broke Bublik five times en route to victory.

A former junior world No.2 who won the 2017 French Open boys’ title, Popyrin has become the fifth active player from Australia to have won an ATP title. The other four are Nick Kyrgios, Alex de Minaur, Bernard Tomic and John Millman. During the trophy ceremony Popyrin said the breakthrough was a result of hard work as he paid tribute to his family.

“I’ll definitely have very fond memories of Singapore now, I’ll definitely remember this for the rest of my life,” he said.
“We put a lot of hard work in the pre-season and it’s paying off in the start of the year I’ve had. In Australia I felt really good so it’s just good to see all the hard work paying off.
“My family behind the scenes, they’ve sacrificed so much for me and to finally win a tournament just shows how much hard work they put in with me also. This is for them 100 per cent.”

Prior to Bublik, Popyrin also scored a win over former US Open champion Marin Cilic in the semi-finals. The breakthrough continues what has been an encouraging start to the season for the Next Gen star. At the Murray River Open in Melbourne he took Grigor Dimitrov to three sets before losing in the third round. Then at the Australian Open he knocked out top 20 player David Goffin.

Meanwhile, Bublik is left wondering what might have been. It was the second time the Kazakh has reached a Tour final this season after Antalya where he had to retire due to injury.

“His first final, his first title, I have four finals, which hurts now but just congratulate you and next time we’ll see if we can face in the final,” Bublik said.

Popyrin will rise to a ranking high of 82nd when the standings are updated on Monday.

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beats Hubert Hurkacz to reach the quarter final in Montpellier




Alejandro Davidovich Fokina came back from 1-3 in the opening set and converted four of the ten break points to claim a 7-5 6-2 win over Hubert Hurkacz in 1 hour and 34 minutes at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier. 


Hurkacz went up a break in the fourth game at deuce to take a 3-1 lead. Davidovich Fokina broke back in the fifth game at 15 and held serve to draw level to 3-3. Hurkacz saved a break point in the seventh game to hold serve after two deuces. Davidovich Fokina converted his second break point in the 11th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Hurkacz saved three break points in the third game of the second set, but Davidovich Fokina broke twice in the fifth and seventh games at deuce to win the final four games from 2-2 securing his spot in the quarter final. 

The 21-year-old Spanish player set up a quarter final against Egor Gerasimov, who knocked out Aljaz Bedene 6-4 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 51 minutes. Bedene converted his second break point at deuce in the first game. Gerasimov broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Gerasimov closed out the first set 6-4 with a break on his opportunity in the 10th game.

Bedene went up a break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. Gerasimov broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Gerasimov earned five match points at 6-1 in the tie-break. Bedene saved the first three chances, but Gerasimov closed out the tie-break 7-4 on his fourth opportunity. 

Roberto Bautista Agut cruised past Gregoire Barrère 6-0 6-3. The Spanish player built up a 6-0 2-0 lead with four consecutive breaks. Barrère came back by winning three consecutive games to take a 3-2 lead with a break in the fourth game. Bautista Agut reeled off four consecutive games with two consecutive breaks to win the second set 6-3 

Dennis Novak came back from 3-5 down by winning the final four games in the second set to beat Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 after 1 hour and 35 minutes. Novak set up a quarter final clash against German Peter Gojowczyk, who came back from one set down to beat Juri Vesely 6-7 (3-7) 7-4 (7-4) 6-3 after 2 hours and 28 minutes. Gojowczyk hit 17 aces and won 86 % of his first service points. Gojowczyk saved four break points in the ninth game. Vesely earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-brek 7-3. The second set went on serve en route to the the tie-break. Gojowczyk earned one mini-break to win the tie-break 7-4. The German player converted his only break point in the second game to seal the third set 6-3.

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John Isner not happy with the cut in prize money for Miami Masters

John Isner took to Twitter to raise some issues about the ATP and latest state of affairs in Tennis.




John Isner (@usta - Twitter)

The American took to social media to vent his frustration saying it doesn’t make sense.


John Isner took to twitter today after hearing the news that the Miami Open will be cutting its prize money down with the singles champion only taking $300,110 with a first round loser only winning $10,000 in prize money.

Isner and many other players on tour believe the tournament should be forced to due an audit to truly reveal what their finances are and to see if they are hiding anything.

“How about a true audit to see how much tourneys are actually hurting and then a money formula after the event to reconcile?”

“Amazing we still don’t have this in a lot of our big events. How does that make any sense?” 

He also tweeted about the promoters saying the system the ATP uses is broken.

The American also spoke of the unfairness in the cuts the players are taking in comparison to the actual events.

“So players should take a 60% cut and 80% champions cut while ATP executives keep full salaries, benefits, and expense accounts? Make that make sense. Seems just a little bit hypocritical, don’t ya think?”.

Isner finally believes the players should benefit from the tournament not just in the short term but over a long tenure.

““Tennis is plagued by conflict and lack of transparency”

The tournament is scheduled for March 23rd at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and the tournament has confirmed they won’t be doing a quarantine like the Australian Open.

The players will need to provide a negative PCR test to board a flight to the US and once they land they will be tested once again and isolate until a negative result is shown.

The players will only be allowed at the hotel and the venue and any player who doesn’t respect the rules will be subject to penalties and be withdrawn from the tournament.

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