Grigor Dimitrov Eyes Improvement Following Australian Open Loss - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov Eyes Improvement Following Australian Open Loss

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Grigor Dimitrov (zimbio.com)

World No.3 Grigor Dimitrov admits that there are areas in his game that he needs to improve following his Australian Open exit.

 

The Bulgarian third seed crashed out in four sets to 23-year-old Kyle Edmund in the quarter-finals of the tournament. Suffering his worst lost (in terms of ranking) since going out to Andrey Rublev at the US Open last September. It comes after what has been a shaky campaign in Melbourne for Dimitrov. Earlier in the tournament, he overcame blips in his matches against Mackenzie McDonald and Rublev.

“I think overall it wasn’t a bad one, but certainly wasn’t where I wanted to be.” Dimitrov concluded about his Australian Open run.
“That’s at least the positive thing, that there’s a little bit of a room that I feel I can improve quite a few weeks ahead of me. I need to be smart the way I’m practicing now, not to overdo it again, but in the same time make sure I find my rhythm again, my game itself a little bit, the elements when I play.”

Focusing on the positives of his run, it is the fourth time that Dimitrov has managed to reach the last eight of a major tournament. Melbourne remains his most successful grand slam with 20 matches wins under his belt. Dimitrov is currently ranked third in the world following his run at the ATP Finals title last November.

“I’m very critical with myself. I always want a lot from myself. When I don’t reach a certain goal that I’ve planned, it really drops me down.” The 26-year-old explained.
“It makes me sad. But those are the moments that I think I’ve learned throughout the years, especially last year after here was tough after I lost the semifinal. But, again, I still had to kind of lift myself up and kind of go on, like pick myself up, dust myself off.”

One area of improvement he is seeking concerns his serve. Against Edmund he produced seven double faults and won 53% of his second service points. To put this into perspective, he has only managed to win 50% or more second service points in two out of his five matches in Melbourne.

Dimitrov’s winning second service rate
R1 – 58%
R2 – 28%
R3 – 38%
R4 – 40%
QF – 53%

“I’ve been thinking since day one, even Brisbane, I still felt that I have not served well enough.” Admits Dimitrov.
“Definitely that’s one of the things I’ve struggled a lot in the past week. That’s one thing I know if I can turn around, make sure I’m a bit more consistent.”

Admiration for Edmund

Despite suffering disappointment, Dimitrov has praised the efforts of his rival. The Brit was playing in his first grand slam quarter-final and has become only the sixth male player from his country to reach the last four of a major tournament in the open era. He is also set to break into the top 30 on the ATP Emirates rankings for the first time in his career.

“Kyle deserves all the respect. He deserved to win, simple as that,” said Dimitrov.
“He’s been working so hard the past months. I’ve seen that. [I’ve] played him a couple of times.
“I take full responsibility of my match today. There’s no point for me to say what I did wrong because I can sit here and talk about it, but it’s all about him right now. He’s the winner.”

Edmund will play either Rafael Nadal or Marin Cilic in the semifinals. Meanwhile, Dimitrov is set to return to action in the second week of February at the Sofia Open in his home country of Bulgaria.

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Elina Svitolina Splits With Coach After Five Years

The tennis star issued a brief statement saying ‘the time is right’ to go in another direction.

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image via https://twitter.com/ElinaSvitolina

Elina Svitolina is on the hunt for a new coach after parting ways with Andrew Beetles.

 

The two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist issued a statement on Monday confirming that she will no longer be working with her British mentor with them both deciding to go ‘their own ways.’  Beetles, who is the former hitting partner of Ana Ivanovic, spent his first full season with Svitolina back in 2017. He started as an assistant coach before later being promoted. Under his guidance, the Ukrainian rose to a ranking high of three and won 11 Tour titles.

“After 5 years and 11 titles together!! Andy and I both agreed it was the right time to move our separate ways. I am very thankful for all his hard work and endless support. I wish him only the best in his future career!’ Svitolina wrote on Twitter. 

The announcement comes a week after Svitolina suffered a shock first round loss at the Tenerife Open to Colombia’s Camila Osorio who went on to reach the final. So far this season she has won 41 out of 61 matches played on the Tour with her best performance occurring at the Chicago Open where she won the title. Svitolina also won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games and reached the quarter-finals of the US Open. 

Svitolina, who married Gael Monfils earlier this year, is currently ranked sixth in the world. She is hoping to finish the season ranked inside the world’s top 10 for the fifth year in a row.

There is currently no information about who may take over as the new coach of the 27-year-old. 

Svitolina’s 2021 results

  • Melbourne 1 – QF
  • Australian Open – R4
  • Doha – QF Dubai – R2
  • Miami – SF
  • Stuttgart – SF
  • Madrid – R1
  • Rome – QF
  • French Open – R3
  • Berlin – R2
  • Eastbourne – R2
  • Wimbledon – R2
  • Tokyo Olympics – Bronze medal
  • Canadian Open – R2
  • Cincinnati – R2
  • Chicargo – Champion
  • US Open – QF
  • Chicargo 2 – QF
  • Indian Wells – R4
  • Tenerife – R1

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Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the line-up at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna

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Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the line-up at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. The Greek star will play in the Austrian capital for the second time in his career. 

 

Tsitsipas will face 2017 ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in the first round. The Greek player will be looking to avenge his defeat against his Bulgarian opponent, who took the win in three sets 6-7 6-4 6-4 in their previous head-to-head match at last year’s edition of the Vienna tournament. 

Tsitsipas will be aiming to win his third title this season following his triumphs in Monte-Carlo and Lyon. 

Number 2 seed Alexander Zverev will play in the Erste Bank Open main draw for the second time. This year Zverev won two Masters 1000 titles in Madrid and Cincinnati and the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.

Matteo Berrettini will open his campaign against Alexei Popyrin. The Italian star is the third seed and has a good chance to qualify for the ATP Finals in Turin. This year Berrettini won two titles in Belgrade and Queen’s and reached two finals at the Madrid Masters 1000 and Wimbledon. 

Hubert Hurkacz holds the final qualifying spot for Turin in ninth place with 2955 points, 110 points ahead of Jannik Sinner, who won his fourth title this season in Antwerp following his previous wins in Melbourne, Washington and Sofia. The 20-year-old Italian star also finished runner-up to Hurkacz in his first Masters 1000 final in Miami. 

Sinner has become the first Italian player in history to win four ATP titles in the same season and is the youngest player to win five ATP Tour titles since 19-year-old Novak Djokovic claimed the Estoril trophy in 2007. Sinner will face a tough first round match against Reilly Opelka. 

Sinner dropped just a total of eight games against Lloyd Harris in the semifinal and Diego Schwartzman in the final. 

The line-up also features another Masters 1000 chmpion Cameron Norrie, who won at Indian Wells and is currently ranked 11th in the ATP Race to Turin with 2795 points ahead of this year’s US Open semifinalist Felix Auger Aliassime (2330 points). 

Andy Murray will play in Vienna for the third time in his career as a wild card. Murray won the Austrian tournment twice in 2014 and 2016. He will take on Hurkacz, who won his previous head-to-head matches against the British player in Cincinnati and Metz. Murray beat Frances Tiafoe in a marathon match after 3 hours and 45 minutes in Antwerp last week. 

Kevin Anderson got through to the qualifying round to secure his spot in the main draw. The 2018 Vienna champion will face Alex De Minaur, who won two titles in Antalya and Eastbourne. The top first-round matches are: Diego Schwartzman against Fabio Fognini, Gael Monfils against Lorenzo Musetti, Daniel Evans against Carlos Alcaraz. 

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Ann Li clinches her first WTA Tour title in Tenerife

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Ann Li clinched her first WTA Tour title with a 6-1 6-4 win over 19-year-old Spanish player Camila Osorio after 1 hour and 10 minutes at the Tenerife Ladies Open.

 

Li reached her second final after her first title match against Anett Kontaveit at the Grampians Trophy in Melbourne last winter was not played just before the Australian Open. 

Li converted five of her ten break points and hit 15 winners. Osorio earned her first break in the opening game. Li bounced back by winning six consecutive games with three breaks of serve. The 21-year-old US player hit 8 winners to 6 unforced errors. Li broke Osorio at love with a forehand return winner in the first game of the second set. Osorio got the break straight back in the second game. Li earned the decisive break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out the win with a forehand overhead for 6-4 in the 10th game.

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