Claiming His Biggest Title To Date, Grigor Dimitrov Praises ‘Inspirational’ Nadal - UBITENNIS
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Claiming His Biggest Title To Date, Grigor Dimitrov Praises ‘Inspirational’ Nadal

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Grigor Dimitrov (L) and Rafael Nadal (zimbio.com)

Newly crowned Western and Southern Open champion Grigor Dimitrov has paid tribute to Rafael Nadal following his win at the tournament.

 

The Bulgarian world No.9 defeated Nick Kyrgios in straight sets to claim his first Masters 1000 title. Shortly after his victory, a reflective Dimitrov described Nadal as one of the ‘inspirations’ in his tennis career. A fitting tribute to the Spaniard, who has risen to the world No.1 for the first since since 2014 this week.

“To me, he’s always been one of my inspirations. Sometimes when I’m down in the match, I’m, like, if I’m complaining or something, I was, like, Would Rafa do that? I don’t think so.” Said Dimitrov.

Earlier in the year Dimitrov travelled to Mallorca to train alongside the ten-time French Open champion at the Rafael Nadal Academy. It was a opportunity that he relished, describing the experience as ‘amazing.’

“The week I spent with him was just pretty amazing. Just to spend time with him, not even on the court. Even off the court. We were having dinners together and just going to the beach and stuff.” Dimitrov explained.
“The first half morning, we’re just practicing nonstop. I swear to God, nonstop from the early morning. I was, like, Whoa, can we have at least the afternoon off? I was more than thankful for him letting me have that opportunity. You don’t get opportunities like that.”
“I think there is only positive things I can take out of that week with him.” He later added.

Dimitrov has played Nadal nine times on the tour, losing in eight of those matches. His sole victory occurred at the 2016 Beijing Open when he defeated the Spaniard in straight sets.

Following his recent triumph in Cincinnati, the 26-year-old finds himself at his highest ranking since September 2014. Heading into the US Open, Dimitrov has won a total of three ATP titles this season. His win-loss record this year currently stands at 29-14.

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Fabio Fognini sets up final against Danil Medvedev at the Diriyah Tennis Cup in Ryadh

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World number 12 Fabio Fognini beat Gael Monfils 6-4 6-4 in a highly entertaining semifinal after 1 hour and 17 minutes to set up a final against Danil Medvedev at the Diriyah Tennis Cup in Ryadh.

 

Fognini earned two break points in the fifth game of the opening set after two double faults from Monfils. Fognini earned the break to take a 3-2 lead and held on his final service game at love to win the first set 6-4.

Fognini converted his second break point in the third game and saved the only two break points he faced to win the second set 6-4.

This year’s US Open finalist Danil Medvedev beat David Goffin 6-3 6-3. The Moscow player earned his first break in the third game of the opening set. Medvedev saved a break point in the sixth game before earning the double break to seal the first set 6-3.

Medvedev did not convert three break points in the second game of the second set before earning the break in the sixth game to seal the win.

 

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The WTA announces the winners of the 2019 WTA Players of the Year Award

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The WTA has announced the winners of the 2019 WTA Players of the Year Awards, which are broken down into five categories: Player of the Year, Doubles Team of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Comeback of the Year. The players are voted on by members of the international media.

 

Ashleigh Barty has been voted the WTA Player of the Year after winning four titles from six finals. The 23-year-old Australian star won her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, her first Premier Mandatory title at the Miami Open and the Premier level title in Birmingham and her first WTA Finals trophy in Shenzhen. She also finished runner-up in two more finals in Sydney and Beijing. She became the first Australian player to reach the World Number 1 ranking since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976 and the only player to reach the second week at all four Grand Slam tournaments after qualifying for the quarter final at the Australian Open and the fourth round at Wimbledon and at the US Open. She recorded the most matches on Tour on the WTA Tour with 57 wins.

Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic were voted the WTA Doubles Team of the Year. They won two consecutive doubles titles in Istanbul and Roland Garros. They became the first team to successfully defend the WTA Finals title in Shenzhen. The Hungarian and French doubles team also reached the final at the Australian Open, the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarter finals at the US Open. Mladenovic rose to Doubles world number 1 player for the first time in her career after their Roland Garros doubles title.

Sofia Kenin has been voted the WTA Most Improved Player of the Year. The young US player won her first titles in Hobart, Mallorca and Guangzhou and finished runner-up in the Acapulco final. Kenin is one of six players to have lifted three or more titles this season. Only Barty and Karolina Pliskova won more titles. Kenin won the same number of tournaments as Bianca Andreescu, Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka. Kenin beat two world number 1 players in consecutive weeks when she beat Barty at Rogers Cup and Naomi Osaka in Cincinnati and reached the round of 16 at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career, when she beat Serena Williams at Roland Garros.

Bianca Andreescu won three titles (her first Grand Slam at the US Open, Rogers Cup and Indian Wells) and reached her first WTA final in Auckland after beating Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams. She reached a career-high rankng of world number 4.

Belinda Bencic won the WTA Comeback Player of the Year Award. The Swiss player came back from years of injury problems with a highly successful season. She suffered a wrist injury that sidelined her for five months in 2017. During 2019 Bencic won her first titles since 2015 in Dubai and Moscow and qualified for the first time in her career for the WTA Finals. After her win at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow Bencic returned to her best ranking at world number 7. She finished the 2019 season inside the top 10 for the first time in her career at number 8 after ending 2018 ranked world number 37.

Kiki Bertens has won the first WTA Jerry Diamond ACES Award, which is presented to the player, who promotes women’s tennis to fans and media. Bertens took part in 40 kids’ clinics and fan-friendly events.

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Ashleigh Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer wins the WTA Coach of the Year Award

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Ashleigh Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer won the WTA Coach of the Year Award, which recognizes the winning coach for success on the court, but also for serving as an ambassador of the sport, but also for serving as an ambassador of the sport.

 

Tyzzer has coached the 2019 French Open and WTA Finals champion since she made her come-back in 2016 after taking a break from tennis to play cricket. The player from Ipswich signed up for the Brisbane Heat for the inaugural Women’s Bash League.

Under the guidance of Tyzzer Barty won her maiden WTA title at the Malaysian Open and rose to world number 17 in the WTA Ranking. She also finished runner-up in two finals at Birmingham and Wuhan. In 2018 the 23-year-old Australian player won two titles in Nottingham and at the Elite Trophy in Zhuhai and reached the semifinals at the Rogers Cup. Barty won her first Grand Slam doubles title at the US Open with her partner Coco Vandeweghe.

During a successful 2019 season Barty reached the final in Sydney and the quarter final at the Australian Open. She won her maiden Premier Mandatory title in Miami rising to the top 10 for the first time in her career. Barty lifted her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros and won another Premier level title in Birmingham becoming the world number 1 player before Wimbledon. The Aussie player clinched the trophy at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen and ended the 2019 season as the WTA Year-End World Number 1 player.

“You are the captain of our ship. You make sure that we tick along every single day. There would not be another person that I would want to spend the journey with. You are an incredible person, an amazing friend”, said Barty.

 

 

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