Grigor Dimitrov: "To finish the year in the top three is a wonderful reward" - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov: “To finish the year in the top three is a wonderful reward”

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Grigor Dimitrov enters today’s final unbeaten after taking a narrow win over Dominic Thiem before dropping just two games in each of his two remaining round-robin matches against David Goffin and Pablo Carreno Busta earlier this week. On Saturday the Bulgarian player came back from losing the first set to beat Jack Sock 4-6 6-3 6-0 in the semifinal after dropping just three games in the final three games.

 

“I think I started the match exactly the way I wanted. After that break at 3-0 in the first set, I think it was a little bit of a turning point. He stepped in the court, started being a little more aggressive. I let him play his game. I think that was the first set. The second was one-way street. It was a very good play, as simple as that. In the third I just had to find those little cracks in his game to break him. After that it was a good finish for me”, said Dimitrov.

The Bulgarian star lost his previous match against Sock in the 2017 Indian Wells after missing four match points. Dimitrov had to hold his nerve, as Sock saved four match points and even earned two break points in yesterday’s semifinal before the Bulgarian player sealed the win, when Sock netted a forehand.

“Sometimes not only you have to fight yourself mentally, but you need to fight like demons from previous matches or your opponent. There are just so many matches that you bring out. I was very happy the way I handled the pressure. Even though I was down a breakpoint or something, even if I had to play an extra game or games, I had to accept it. You learn from those moments. I certainly learned from that experience”.

Dimitrov will finish the year as the new world number 3 behind Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer after a great season highlighted by four titles in Brisbane, Sofia and Cincinnati.

“The goal was to finish the year in the top 10. Now I finished in the top 3. It’s a wonderful reward. This is what I have been working for. I think it’s not only good for me, but also for the whole team. I think that gives us a good platform to start in the off-season and have a good start to the new year”, said Dimitrov.

Dimitrov leads 4-1 in his previous head-to-head matches over the other finalist David Goffin, who beat Roger Federer in the other semifinal. Dimitrov beat Goffin dropping just two games iin his 6-0 6-2 n the round-robin match earlier this week. Last winter Dimitrov beat his Belgian rival in the Australian Open quarter final and in the Sofia final. Goffin took his only win over Dimitrov last February in the Rotterdam quarter finals. Goffin comes into this evening’s final after beating Rafa Nadal in the round-robin and Roger Federer in the semifinal in two three-set matches.

Both Djokovic and Goffin are making their first appearance at the ATP Finals, although Goffin played one match against Novak Djokovic as alternate to replace Gael Monfils.

Dimitrov is aware that this Sunday’s final will be a totally different match from his previous clash against the Belgian player.

“The first match is in the past. I wish I could press “Replay”. I am sure neither one of usi s going to think about that. He is a very intelligent player. He knows his way around the court very well. Any given day, any particular moment he makes it dangerous. He had a few good wins already and has been playing well through the end of the year. I think he has got a lot of confidence. None of us has nothing to lose. We are out in the first final. I think it’s going to be exciting.

Dimitrov is the eleventh player in the history of the ATP Finals to reach the final in his first appearance at this event and the first debutant to achieve this feat since David Ferrer in 2007. For the first time since the 2008 final between Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko the title match will be played between two players who make their debut at the ATP Finals.

“It’s another match. Obviously David has done well this week beating Rafa and Roger. I think his confidence is going to be high there. I am not going to focus on his confidence or his game right now. I am just focusing on myself, the recovery that I am going to be up there. It’s not going to be the same after I played against him. I think it is a different stage for both of us. It’s wonderful day to play on. I think Sundays are always the greatest days to play.”

Goffin has become the sixth player to beat Federer and Nadal in the same event and the first player to beat the top two players at the ATP Finals since 2009, when Nikolay Davydenko beat world number 2 Nadal in the round-robin group and world number 1 Federer in the semifinal.

Goffin scored his first win against his idol Federer after losing his previous six head-to-head matches. The Belgian player grew up with a poster of Federer on his bedroom wall

“Both are really special. It was the first time against Rafa. Then the semifinal for the first time for me here in such a big event, big tournament, it was a perfect moment. It’s the best win of my career for sure”, said Goffin.

 

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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)
OUT (SE)
ALT Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
WC Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
WC Sock, Jack (USA)
WC Nakashima, Brandon (USA)
WC Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
WC Brooksby, Jenson (USA)
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)

OUT Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
Wolf, J.J. (PR, USA)
ALT Purcell, Max (AUS)
ALT Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
ALT Torpegaard, Mikael (DEN)
ALT Ebden, Matthew (AUS)
ALT Ramanathan, Ramkumar (IND)
WC Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)
WC Blanch, Ulises (USA)
WC Saville, Luke (AUS)
WC Fenty, Andrew (USA)
Alternates:
OUT O’Connell, Christopher (AUS)
IN Broady, Liam (GBR)
IN Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS)
OUT 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)
OUT Escobedo, Ernesto (USA)
OUT 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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