Grigor Dimitrov Edges Past Thiem In Historic Debut At ATP Finals - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov Edges Past Thiem In Historic Debut At ATP Finals

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Grigor Dimitrov (zimbio.com)

LONDON: National pride was just as important as winning for Grigor Dimitrov in his maiden match at the ATP World Tour Finals.

 

The world No.6 became the first Bulgarian player to feature in the event as he battled his way past Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, in a thrilling encounter. The marathon 142-minute fist-clenching clash saw both players delight the animated crowd. Dimitrov secured the win with the help of eight aces and converted five out of his eight break point opportunities.

“I’m not going to lie – I was pretty nervous, my first match out here,” Dimitrov told the BBC.
“I’m just very grateful to win that match, especially in that manner. It’s never easy to come out here and play for the first time.”

During a match of fine margins, it was Thiem’s unforced errors that let him down during the opening set. Dimitrov settled down almost instantly, hitting an array of winners and moving seemingly effortlessly around the court. Reminding fans of why he has the nickname ‘baby Federer.’ Thiem also illustrated glimmers of his talent, but struggled to find the right balance in his shot-making. The fragile play of the Austrian’s game cost him dearly in the sixth game after a forehand drifted long, securing Dimitrov a break for 4-2. Triggering chants of ‘Grigor’ from the crowd.

Firmly in pole position, Dimitrov sealed the opening set with 14 winners to only five unforced errors. Clinching the 6-4 lead with the help of another costly Thiem error.

Despite Dimitrov clinching the lead, Thiem refused to give up. The Austrian has already played 27 tournaments in 2017 prior to this week, but showed no signs of fatigued. It was like a game of chess on the court with each player being careful with their movement. Ten games went by before a break point occurred at 5-5 on Thiem’s serve. Dimitrov was unable to seize the moment after some nifty serving from his rival. The failure to do so proved costly as the fourth seed secured the breakthrough he wanted to force the match into a decider.

The titanic showdown between two players, positioned to one day fill the void when the era of the big four comes to an end, continued to delight the British crowd. Thiem kept threatening, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed by grabbing the break for 4-3 in the decider. Continuing to avoid danger, he recovered from a 0-30 deficit in the following game to move to four points away from victory.

Still, it was far from over for the former Wimbledon semifinalist as Thiem roared back to level 5-5. Once again it appeared as if the tides were turning, but a disastrous service game from the Austrian positioned Dimitrov back within touching distance of the win. This time he didn’t buckle under the pressure after a Thiem backhand shank sent him over the finish line.

“This is where I always wanted to be at, among the top players.” Dimitrov commented about his presence in London. “Also being able to come through in my first match, it’s only positive.”

Despite losing, Thiem is still within contention of qualifying for the semifinals of the tournament. Although he may need to defeat both David Goffin and Rafael Nadal.

“It was I think way better performance than the last weeks, last tournaments, but still not perfect, obviously.” Thiem analysed in an upbeat manner.
“I think it (the match) was pretty open until the end.  I think there were some things just not good enough.  I think he deserved to win.”

The win is sweet revenge for Dimitrov, who levels his head-to-head record against Thiem to 2-2.

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Cameron Norrie ‘Happy’ With Performance After Extending Winning Run Against Kyrgios

Cameron Norrie spoke about his confidence after reaching the last eight in Atlanta.

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Cameron Norrie (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Cameron Norrie is satisfied with his recent performances after reaching the Atlanta quarter-finals.

 

The in-form Brit extended his winning streak to five matches after defeating Nick Kyrgios in Atlanta.

Norrie eased to victory with a 6-1 6-4 win in a match which saw three breaks of serve from the Brit to make the last eight.

After winning his maiden title in Los Cabos, Norrie now is starting to feel confident in his game.

In his post-match interview the world number 29 insists that he is happy with his level as he continues his great season, “It’s very nice to be back here in Atlanta,” Norrie explained.

“It’s good to have Nick back… really enjoyed the match and really happy with my level. It’s cool to be playing at this level and [I am] happy and satisfied to be getting some wins. I’m enjoying my tennis.”

Next for Norrie will be Emil Ruusuvuori as he looks to continue his momentum and solidify his status as the man to beat in US hard court swing.

The other quarter-finals will see Los Cabos finalist Brandon Nakashima take on Jordan Thompson, Taylor Fritz will face fellow American Reilly Opelka.

While five-time champion John Isner will face Christopher O’Connell in the last eight with the American serving 49 aces in two matches so far.

Play will begin at 17:00 BST while Norrie’s match will likely take place at 20:00 BST.

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‘Probably Gonna Quit’ – Tennys Sandgren Blasts Performance After missing Out On Olympic Medal

The tennis star described his fourth place finish as ‘dog s**t.”

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Former Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren said he is close to retiring from tennis after missing out on a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Sandgren and doubles partner Austin Krajicek fell in straight sets to the New Zealand pairing of Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell, who are the first tennis players from their country in over 100 years to win a medal. The loss is a frustrating outcome for the American who wasn’t afraid to express how he felt after the match. Tokyo was the ninth doubles tournament Sandgren has played in this year.

“I mean, who f*ing cares you know, what do I have to show for it? We have a good week and fourth place is dog s**t.” He told the Olympic News Service.

Speaking straight after his loss, the highly emotional 30-year-old then cast doubt on his future in the sport. He is currently ranked 82nd in the world and has a win-loss record of 6-14 so far this year. However, he is yet to reach a quarter-final in singles.

I’m probably gonna quit. That might be my last match. I’m close, yeah, I’m close.” He replied when asked about his career.

As for if he would have done anything different in the bronze medal match, Sandgren replied ‘not to have been so bad.’ He also expressed disappointment that the tennis tournament took place behind closed doors. Prior to the Olympics, organisers decided to hold all events in Tokyo without fans due to a surge of COVID-19 cases in the city.

“It would have been a great event with fans,” he via via teamusa.org. “Playing on an outside court without fans, I mean, you might as well be playing in Idaho in the middle of nowhere.”

Sandgren and Krajicek were America’s last chance to win a medal in the tennis competition. It is the first time the country has failed to win any medal since tennis returned as an Olympic event in 1988.

“There’s not much you can say about that except it’s pretty, pretty devastating to lose that one. You know, give yourself a chance to get a medal and then to lose those two (matches – including the men’s doubles semifinal) is tough, but you have to give those guys credit today. They played well.” Krajicek concluded.

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Updated Entry List For Washington

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photo by atptour.com

The US Open Series is ready to get to the heart, with the historic tournament of Washington D.C.

 

The Citi Open in Washington, the only ATP tournament to be contested next week, will follow Atlanta in the American summer tour. The event has been taking place on hard-courts since 1969, when Thomaz Koch from Brazil won the first edition defeating Arthur Ashe in the final.

Rafael Nadal, who has received a Wild-Card, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alex De Minaur will be the first three seeded players. Jannik Sinner, Aslan Karatsev, Karen Khachanov and the defending champion Nick Kyrgios are committed to play as well, while Milos Raonic and John Isner have withdrawn. Denis Kudla, Brandon Nakashima and Feliciano Lopez will play with a Wild-Card.

NEWS: Karen Khachanov (who is playing the Olympics) has pulled out from the tournament; Mackenzie McDonald takes his place in the main draw.

NEWS: Aslan Karatsev has withdrawn, he has been replaced by Colombia’s Daniel-Elahi Galan.


ATP 500 Washington (DC, USA), entry list:
OUT Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
OUT Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
OUT Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Sinner, Jannik (ITA)
OUT Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
OUT Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
OUT Isner, John (USA)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Millman, John (AUS)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Korda, Sebastian (USA)
Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
Paul, Tommy (USA)
Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
Querrey, Sam (USA)
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
OUT Pella, Guido (ARG)
Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
OUT Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
Giron, Marcos (USA)
Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
OUT Munar, Jaume (ESP)
OUT Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
(SE)
WC Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
WC Sock, Jack (USA)
WC Nakashima, Brandon (USA)
WC Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
(WC)
OUT (WC)
Alternates:
IN Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)
IN Johnson, Steve (USA)
IN Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
IN Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
IN Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
IN Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
OUT Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
IN Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
IN Duckworth, James (AUS)

IN Anderson, Kevin (RSA)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)
OUT Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)

OUT Martinez, Pedro (ESP)
IN McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
IN Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
IN Kudla, Denis (USA)

Alt.1 Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
Alt.2 Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
Alt.3 Sousa, Joao (POR)
Alt.4 Zapata Miralles, Bernabe (ESP)
Alt.5 Seyboth Wild, Thiago (BRA)


ATP 500 Washington, qualifying:
OUT Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
OUT Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
OUT Duckworth, James (AUS)

OUT Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
OUT Johnson, Steve (USA)
OUT Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
OUT Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
OUT Ymer, Mikael (SWE)

OUT McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
OUT Kudla, Denis (USA)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)

OUT Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
OUT Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
OUT Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
OUT Anderson, Kevin (RSA)

Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
Wolf, J.J. (PR, USA)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN O’Connell, Christopher (AUS)
IN Broady, Liam (GBR)
IN Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS)
IN Brooksby, Jenson (USA)
IN Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
IN Cressy, Maxime (USA)
IN Marchenko, Illya (UKR)
IN Gomez, Emilio (ECU)
IN Jung, Jason (TPE)
IN Ofner, Sebastian (AUT)
IN Ymer, Elias (SWE)
IN Soeda, Go (JPN)
IN Mmoh, Michael (USA)
IN Escobedo, Ernesto (USA)
IN Kokkinakis, Thanasi (AUS)
IN Fratangelo, Bjorn (USA)
IN Krueger, Mitchell (USA)

IN Ito, Tatsuma (PR, JPN)
Alt.1 Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
Alt.2 Ramanathan, Ramkumar (IND)
Alt.3 Torpegaard, Mikael (DEN)
OUT Sock, Jack (USA)
Alt.4 Purcell, Max (AUS)
Alt.5 Ebden, Matthew (AUS)

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