Daniil Medvedev Grinds Down Dimitrov To Reach Maiden Grand Slam Final - UBITENNIS
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Daniil Medvedev Grinds Down Dimitrov To Reach Maiden Grand Slam Final

Daniil Medvedev battled past Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets to reach his first grand slam final.

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Daniil Medvedev (@TennisChannel - Twitter)

Daniil Medvedev booked his place in the US Open final with a 7-6(5) 6-4 6-3 win over Grigor Dimitrov. 

 

The Russian wasn’t the better player but won the bigger points to grind down a frustrated Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets.

It was the 20th win of Medvedev’s US hard court season as he reached his first ever grand slam final in effective fashion.

Awaiting him in the final is either Matteo Berrettini or Rafael Nadal.

This match had all the makings of a difficult one for the Bulgarian from the start as he was made to be too aggressive from the start.

A quick break of serve from the Russian gave him confidence in his defensive skills as he was once again grinding the points in his favour.

However it would be apparent that a key theme of this match would be nerves as both men were looking to make their first grand slam final.

After a couple of missed serves, Dimitrov pounced to gain the break back for 2-2 as he decided to switch up tactics and shorten points up at the net.

In a tournament that has seen him gain his inner-confidence back, Dimitrov was now playing his best set of tennis in a while as he looked to break down the Russian.

Mixing up the play well with slices and good variety was bound to cause the 5th seed some troubles, just like when he succumbed to losses against Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal this season.

Serving well was the key, with precise and accurate serving causing Medvedev trouble on return, which meant that everything was heading towards winning the set.

There was one thing that was missing from Dimitrov’s recent game and that was something that is very crucial in tennis, which is winning the big points.

Just after playing a tight set point, the Bulgarian would play a mediocre tiebreak against a nervous Medvedev, who was making mistakes himself.

Some powerful shot-making sealed the opening set which lasted an hour in a nervy affair on Arthur Ashe and nerves would play a part in the second set as well.

The Cincinnati champion had recovered from an early break down to win three games in a row but was broken again in the fifth game to show signs of frailty.

As the second set went on, the rallies started to lengthen in what was turning into a war of attrition and stamina with a 39 shot rally topping it off.

Although the former ATP Finals champion once again played the better tennis, he was once again outdone by some poor points in the wrong time of the match.

What Dimitrov lacked in, Medvedev thrived in as he took his first set point of the second set to break right at the death for a two sets to love lead.

https://twitter.com/usopen/status/1170100151198900226

Despite his conservative returning all night, Medvedev was better when it mattered the most as he now assumed control of this semi-final.

A crushing break in the fourth game was the final blow as the Russian sealed a straight sets win to book a place in his first grand slam final.

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After the match Medvedev reveals he loves the USA after a complicated relationship in recent weeks with the crowd, “I have to tell you it sounds not bad (to be in a Grand Slam final),” Medvedev admitted.

“As I said before, the tournament of controversies. I feel the was much closer in the first set, finally I’m here after three sets. When I was going to the USA, I didn’t know it would be that good. I have to say I love the USA!”

The Russian has the chance to cap off an incredible summer on Sunday with the US Open title on Sunday, where he will face Matteo Berrettini or Rafael Nadal.

 

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Loss Meaningless To Dominic Thiem In Hunt For ‘Most Difficult’ Title At ATP Finals

The world No.5 explains why the key to his latest match was keeping it short, but not necessarily winning.

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LONDON: Dominic Thiem isn’t going to be losing any sleep over his latest loss at the ATP Finals with the ultimate prize still in his sight.

 

Thiem, who qualified for the semi-finals of the tournament of Tuesday, was far from his best as he slumped to a straight-sets loss to Matteo Berrettini. Who has become the first Italian in history to win a match at the event. It is hard to read too much into Thiem’s latest performance with him openly admitting that his focus was on his upcoming semi-final clash. Highlighting one of the drawbacks of having a round-robin tournament with some matches providing irrelevant to the overall standings.

“Of course I was still trying to win that match, but also, at the same time, I knew in my head that I have to take care (of my body) for Saturday because obviously, it’s the way more important match,” Thiem explained during his press conference.
“I’m really trying to get the body going 100% for Saturday, and it wouldn’t be that smart if I would have another three-hour match today.”

The comments do not mean that Berrettini just had a walkover win and he was made to work for the victory. Which levels the head-to-head between the two players to 2-2. However, both would admit that with not much on the line there was a lack of intensity.

“I think that today was maybe even the weakest compared to those three (matches).” Thiem states.
“We had a great one in Shanghai. We had a great one in Vienna and also here. Of course, it affected a little bit that both of us, we couldn’t do anything about the standings in the group anymore.”

The 26-year-old has certainly illustrated his worthy candidacy to lift the title on Sunday in London following his previous triumphs. Earlier this week he scored back-to-back wins over Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Should he end up playing Nadal over the weekend and win, he would become the first player to defeat all members of the Big Three in the same tournament since David Nalbandian at the 2007 Madrid Masters.

There is still a way to go for Thiem to clinch the biggest title of his career to date. The Austrian believes he if he does manage to win the tournament, any other title is not off-limits for him.

“I think that maybe this tournament is the most difficult to win because you have to beat five top 10 guys in a row. Okay, you can afford to lose one match maybe, but still, I’m 100% sure that if you win this title you can win, as well, any other title.” He explains.
“I haven’t done it yet, but I think that if you win this title, it gives you a lot of confidence for Australia (Open) because it’s the closest, but for the full next year as well.”

Few can dispute the fighting spirit of the Austrian on the court in London. However, after a long season, he admits that he isn’t fully healthy. A situation his rivals also find themselves in. Although some are struggling more than others at present.

“I’m not 100%, but it didn’t affect me in these three matches,” Thiem admits. “That’s why I also really need to be careful because I really hope I have two more matches so I can give all that I have and my own 100% in the remaining two matches.”

Thiem could play one of three players in the semi-finals depending on the outcome of Friday’s matches. Awaiting him will be either Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev or Daniil Medvedev. The only way he can play Nadal is if they both progress to the final.

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Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo secure their semifinal spot in the ATP Finals in London

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Former ATP Finals runners-up Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo battled past Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 10-7 after 1 hour and 44 minutes to finish the Group Jonas Bjorkman with a 2-1 round robin record.

 

Kubot and Melo came back from an early break down and fended off four set points before Ram and Salisbury converted their fifth chance to win the opening set 6-4.

Kubot and Melo fended off a break point in the seventh game with a great serve, before they converted their first break point in the 10th game.

Kubot and Melo won five consecutive points in the Match Tie-Break to open up a 6-2 lead. The Polish and Brazilian players converted their fourth match point to secure their spot in the semifinal.

 

 

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Matteo Berrettini Scores Historic Win Before Exit From ATP Finals

The 23-year-old ends his breakthrough season on the ATP Tour with another milestone in his career.

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LONDON: Matteo Berrettini has become the first Italian man in history to win a match at the ATP Finals after defeating Dominic Thiem on Thursday afternoon.

 

The world No.8 managed to dismantle the game of his rival, who was far from his best at times, with the help of his blistering serve to seal the 7-6(3), 6-3, victory. Ending Thiem’s streak of four consecutive wins over top 10 players, including Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer earlier this week. In total Berrettini hit 30 winners to 21 unforced errors and converted both of his break point opportunities.

“I’ve always had great fights against him. I was able to stay mentally focused, especially in the first set when I lost my serve because I didn’t play a great game.” Berrettini said afterward.
“I’m really happy with my performance because I am not feeling great physically.” He added.

The downside to the round-robin format of the event is that some matches end up being irrelevant with this being one of them. Regardless of the outcome, Thiem has already qualified for the semi-finals and Berrettini is on his way out. Nevertheless, the 23-year-old Italian was playing for pride at The O2 Arena.

A close start to the match saw neither playing managing to gain any momentum during the first eight games. Then inconsistencies in Thiem’s game started to haunt him. Berrettini’s ability to hit the ball deep into the court forced his rival to make a series of errors as he broke for a 5-4 lead. However, it was his turn to stumble behind his serve as Thiem broke back to level with relative ease.

Despite neither player capitalizing on their advantages, the tiebreaker was a one-sided encounter. Three Thiem unforced errors, as well as a winning Berrettini slice, saw him go behind 0-4 in the blink of an eye. Creating enough of a margin for Berrettini to seal the first set with the help of a 134 mph ace.

Thiem clearly looked flat on the court compared to two days ago when he downed Djokovic, however, nothing should be taken away from Berrettini. Who kept focus and stuck to his game plan throughout the match. A backhand passing shot, followed by a crosscourt winner enabled him to break once again midway through the second set. Easing towards victory after just 76 minutes play, Berrettini closed the match out with a delicate drop shot.

“I’m really proud of myself, but also for my team, my family and my friends. It’s been an unbelievable season.” He reflected on his year.
“I didn’t expect at the beginning of the season to be here (in London). I hope to come back next year, but now I just want to say thanks to those guys (his team). Without them, it couldn’t be possible.”
“I’m happy to finish with a win.“

Despite the loss, Thiem will finish at the top of the Bjorg Born Group. He will play the runner-up of the other group in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Whilst Berrettini’s ATP season is over, he can’t rest yet. Next week he will be in Madrid playing for his country in the Davis Cup along with many other of his fellow players.

“There is one more event. I have to rest a little bit and then I think I deserve a holiday.” He declared.

Berrettini ends 2019 with 43 wins on the ATP Tour in what is a career best. He started the year ranked 54th in the world and didn’t make his top 10 debut until last month.

Italian men in the ATP Finals

-C. Barazzutti in 1978 – 0 wins and 3 loses
-A. Panatta in 1975 – 0 wins and 3 losses
-M. Barrettini in 2019 – 1 win and 2 losses

 

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