Grigor Dimitrov To Reasses Season As Roland Garros Curse Continues - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov To Reasses Season As Roland Garros Curse Continues

Grigor Dmitrov will reasses his season after a straight sets defeat to Fernando Verdasco.

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Grigor Dimitrov (zimbio.com)

Grigor Dimitrov has said that he will reassess his 2018 season after his Roland Garros curse continued with a straight sets defeat to Fernando Verdasco.

 

The Bulgarian lost 7-6(4) 6-2 6-4 to the always dangerous Verdasco on Court one in what was a frustrating afternoon for Dimitrov. The loss means that the fourth seed’s curse continues as he is yet to reach the second week at Roland Garros, which is a surprise given his athleticism on this surface. After the match the Bulgarian explained that he will now reassess his 2018 season and takes full responsibility, “Yeah, I mean, the way things are right now, it’s a tough way to put things,” said Dimitrov.

“Obviously I really expected to play better on clay.  I mean, throughout the last matches I played, even in the Madrid, Rome, Paris, all matches, I had everything to win.  So absolutely my fault. I need to — I don’t know.  I need to reassess that a little bit more.  Every year I pretty much play well on the clay but never good enough to have a better result. But I definitely need to take some time off now to kind of reassess the whole clay court season, to be honest.  I think that’s going to be the No. 1 priority for me now to kind of step out from the tennis for a little bit, try to watch some matches and sort of try to progress somehow and just get better.”

After his semi-final in Monte-Carlo, it has been a rough clay court season for the Bulgarian after back to back losses to Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori in Madrid and Rome, so this will be another obstacle Dimitrov has to overcome in his bid to become a grand slam champion. The world number five’s next tournament will be at Queens club in London on the grass courts, which starts on the 18th of June.

 

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Andy Murray battles past Frances Tiafoe in a marathon match in Antwerp

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Andy Murray battled past Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8) in a marathon match after 3 hours and 45 minutes to advance to the second rund at the European Open in Antwerp. 

 

Murray came back from a set down in the first set before prevailing in the tie-break. 

Tiafoe opened up a 3-1 lead with an early break in the third game and a hold. Murray reduced the deficit to 2-3 before Tiafoe needed a medical time-out to treat a back problem. Murray broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Both players traded breaks in the next two games. Tiafoe wasted a set point. Murray closed out the tie-break with two mini-breaks followed by two consecutive aces.

Both players fended off break points to stay on serve in the second set. Murray saved a set point to hold and forced the second set to to another tie-break. Murray hit a forehand down the centre of the court to open up a 3-1 lead. Tiafoe pulled back on serve after a return into the net from Murray. Tiafoe earned two mini-breaks to take a 4-3 lead. The US player hit a forehand down the line to earn a set point, but Murray saved it to draw level to 6-6. Tiafoe converted his sixth set point with a forehand half-volley to win the 81-minute second set forcing the match to the third set. 

Tiafoe earned a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, but Murray broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. Murray saved two break points to hold for 4-3. Tiafoe held serve to draw level to 5-5 forcing the decider to a third tie-break. Both players earned two mini-breaks in the tie-break before Murray gained a two-point lead, but Tiafoe drew level to 5-5. Murray saved two match points before sealing the win with a backhand dropshot, which Tiafoe could return into the net. 

Murray avenged a defeat against Tiafoe, who beat the Scotsman in the second round at Winston Salem last August. 

Murray will face Diego Schwartzman on Thursday. 

“I think it’s the longest three-set match I have played by quite a distance. I am tired right now, obviously it was an unbelievable battle. Nowadays, obviously my body is old now. I have played a lot of matches on the Tour. I don’t mind playing long matches, but that was taking it to another level. Brilliant match. Amazing atmosphere. Thanks to everyone who came and supported. It’s just so nice. To be back and playing in front of crowd again”, said Murray.  

Murray and Tiafoe played the longest best-of-three set match of 2021, improving the previous record set by Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who played for 3 hours and 38 minutes in the Barcelona final. 

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Jenson Brooksby upsets Reilly Opelka to boost his chance to qualify for the Next Gen Finals in Milan

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US Next Gen rising star Jenson Brooksby continues his chase for a spot in the Next Gen Finals in Milan with a 6-4 6-4 win over Reilly Opelka after 1 hour and 12 minutes. 

 

Brooksby earned his first break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Opelka saved two break points to hold serve at deuce, as he serving to stay in the first set. Brooksby served out the first set in the 10th game before breaking at love in the fourth game to seal the second set 6-4.

Brookby won a set against Novak Djokovic in the fourth round at the US Open and lost the semifinal against Jannik in Washington this year. 

“It’s been a great year. I am happy. I feel like I have been focused, playing well. I will hopefully finish this year strong. He has definitely got one of the best serves on Tour. I thought we had a good game plan. I have been hitting them well and executed pretty well here, so I am happy with that”, said Brooskby. 

Brooksby will face this year’s US Open quarter finalist Botic van de Zandschulp. 

Another US Next Gen player Brandon Nakashima cruised past Alex De Minaur 6-4 6-0. Nakashima converted five of his ten break points. 

De Minaur converted his second break point in the fifth game at deuce to take a 3-2 lead. Nakashima broke straight back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Nakashima broke serve on his third chance at deuce to close out the first set 6-4 and earned three more breaks to take a bagel win in the second set. 

Nakashima reached his first two ATP Tour finals in Los Cabos and Atlanta. 

Lorenzo Musetti beat Gianluca Mager 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-3) after 2 hours and 8 minutes in the all-Italian first round match. Musetti set up a Next Gen clash against his compatriot Jannik Sinner, who won their only previous clash 6-7 7-6 6-3 in the pre-qualifying round of the Rome Internazionali d’Italia. Mager earned the first break in the third game at deuce to take a 2-1 lead. Musetti pulled back on serve in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3, but he dropped his serve in the seventh game to trail 3-4. Musetti broke back in the 10th game to draw level to draw level to 5-5. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Musetti earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Musetti did not convert two break points in the first and third games of the second set. Mager earned a set point in the 10th game, but Musetti saved it to force the set to the tie-break. Musetti earned three match points at 6-3 with his fourth mini-break and converted his first chance with a spectacular serve and volley.  

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Ekaterina Alexandrova moves into the second round at the Kremlin Cup after Ons Jabeur’s retirement due to injury

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Ekaterina Alexadrova reached the second round of the VTB Kremlin Cup after Ons Jabeur was forced to retire, when she trailing 6-1 1-0. Alexandrova has scored the fifth top 10 win of her career. 

 

Alexandrova entered the match with a 4-1 lead in her head-to-head matches against Jabeur. The Tunisian player made her top 10 debut, becoming the first Arab to reach the top 10 of either the women’s or men’s professional rankings. Jabeur is currently ninth in the Race to the WTA Finals. 

Alexandrova hit a return winner to earn the first break of the match at 3-1 before saving four break points in the next game to hold serve for 4-1. 

Alexandrova went up a double break and closed ou the first set 6-1 with her fifth ace. The Russian player earned an early break in the first game of the second set, before Jabeur withdrew from the match. Alexandrova set up a second round match against Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina. 

Anett Kontaveit beat Katerina Siniakova 6-3 6-3 after 1 hour and 13 minutes securing her spot in the second round. Kontaveit has continued her good period of form after winning two WTA titles in Cleveland and Ostrava. The Estonian player reached the quarter final after beating defending champion Bianca Andreescu. Tereza Martincova cruised past Romanian lucky loser Irina Bara 6-0 7-5 after 1 hour and 19 minutes. Martincova set up a second round match against second seed Garbine Muguruza.

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