From Losing To The World No.405 To Stunning Federer: Grigor Dimitrov’s US Open Resurgence - UBITENNIS
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From Losing To The World No.405 To Stunning Federer: Grigor Dimitrov’s US Open Resurgence

It has been an incredible turnaround for the former top 10 player.

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Grigor Dimitrov US Open 2019 (photo via Twitter @USOpen)

Nobody was more surprised about Grigor Dimitrov reaching the semifinals of the US Open than the man himself.

 

Coming into the final grand slam of 2019, the former world No.3 has struggled on the tour. After the French Open, he failed to win back-to-back matches at six consecutive tournaments. Losing to players ranging from world No.21 Felix Auger Aliassime to the world No.405 Darian King. During that period, his ranking plummeted by more than 30 places to 78th in the world. It was starting to look like this was a season to forget. That was until the US Open.

Manoeuvring his way through the first week in Flushing Meadows and avoiding a clash with 12th seed Bona Coric, who withdrew from their clash due to injury, Dimitrov has a chance to play Roger Federer. A player he has been compared to throughout his roller coaster career. On paper he was the underdog, but he managed to prevail in five-sets on Tuesday. Shocking the 20-time grand slam champion, who was affected by a back issue.

“I felt very comfortable from the first point, despite the fact that I was missing a little bit here and there. I had a few opportunities. I kept on believing in what I had to do, in my game plan. I was moving really well. I was hitting my backhand pretty good, changing up the shots.” Said Dimitrov.
“One of the only things for me was try to keep him as much as possible on the court. I did that very well. A lot of long games. Clearly in the end he was not at his best. I used every opportunity I had.”

So how has Dimitrov managed to go from a series of poor runs to a grand slam semi-final so rapidly? For him, he believes things are starting to fall into place when it comes to his game after a turbulent season. He is currently mentored on the tour by former players Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek.

“It was not a pretty time. I’m not going to lie.” Dimitrov admits. “I don’t want to sound too humble, but it was just another match for me really. I don’t want to say I had nothing to lose, because I felt I did.”
“I just came out prepared the best that I could, especially coming out from the past two weeks of preparation, fitness, good matches. I’m trying to build off that. Little by little, things are starting to fall into their place.”

Yet to win a title since the 2017 ATP Finals, the 28-year-old is now in with a strong chance of reaching his first ever grand slam final. In the last four he will take on Daniil Medvedev. The Russian world No.5 has been a revelation on the tour in recent weeks and has won 19 out of 21 matches since Wimbledon. However, Medvedev is currently nursing an array of physical issues with numerous parts of his body taped up. Following his fourth round meeting with Stan Wawrinka, he admitted that he contemplated retiring from the match at one point.

“I think obviously he’s been pretty focused throughout the whole summer. He’s been having a great summer, a lot of confidence building up, winning Cincinnati. A lot of good matches, a lot behind him really.” He said of his next opponent.
“I’ve just seen him a little bit in the background here, how he has played. Clearly he’s doing something right. It’s not going to be an easy match.”

As a result of his US Open run, Dimitrov is set to return back into the world’s top 30 on Monday for the first time since April. He will play his semi-final match against Medvedev on Friday.

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats Pierre Hugues Herbert to reach the quarter finals in Metz

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Pierre Hugues Herbert 6-3 6-4 in an all French head-to-head match to reach the quarter finals at the Moselle Open in Metz.

 

Tsonga won 82 % of his first serve points and fended off all three set points to reach the quarter finals. He broke in the the fourth game of the opening set and in the first game of the second set to seal the win.

Tsonga has improved his winning record to 4-0 in his four head-to-head matches against Herbert.

Tsonga set up a quarter final against Nikoloz Basilashvili, who came back from 4-6 down in the tie-break of the second set to beat German qualifier Yannick Maden 6-2 7-6 (8-6). Tsonga and Basilashvili tied 1-1 in their head-to-head matches, but the Georgian player beat his French rival won their most recent clash in Lyon last May.

Lucas Pouille cruised past this year’s Antalya champion Lorenzo Sonego 6-1 6-4 setting up a quarter final against Filip Krajinovic. Pouille raced out the last five games of the first set and fended off both break points he faced. The Frenchman broke twice in a row in the fourth and sixth game to win the first set 6-1. Pouille rallied from 15-40 down to break serve in the seventh game at deuce. He served out the win after saving two break points in the 10th game.

Pablo Carreno Busta upset David Goffin 6-3 6-2 with four breaks of serve avenging his recent defeat against the Belgian player. Carreno Busta set up a quarter final against Aljaz Bedene, who beat Gilles Simon 7-6 (11-9) 6-2. The Slovenian player fended off two set points at 5-6 and at 7-8 in the tie-break of the first set and won the first four points of the second set en route to closing out the second set 6-2.

 

 

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Daniil Medvedev Scores Sponsorship Deal With BMW

The 23-year-old is set to attend a series of activities organised by the car manufacturer over the coming months.

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Daniil Medvedev’s recent surge in success on the tour seems to be also boosting his profile away from the court after he teamed up with car manufacturer BMW.

 

The world No.4 will take part in a series of activities involving the Russian branch of the BMW company in both his home country and abroad. A contract was signed earlier this week following a meeting in St Petersburg, where Medvedev is playing his latest competition on the ATP Tour. He has agreed to feature in a series of campaigns promoting the BMW M, which specialises in sports cars. No financial details of the contract have been published.

“BMW M is BMW’s fastest, most powerful and most innovative sports car. And Daniil Medvedev is the brightest and most titled Russian tennis player right now.” The director general of BMW Russia, Stefan Teuchert, said in a statement.
“On the tennis court, Medvedev demonstrates qualities typical of BMW sports cars – speed, power, intelligence and a strong character. We are glad that we managed to agree on cooperation, and we look forward to future joint projects.”

23-year-old Medvedev has triggered a surge of interest in him following his summer breakthrough. Prior to the final grand slam of the season, he reached three consecutive finals in Washington, Canada and Cincinnati. Becoming only the third man in history to do after Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi. It was in Cincinnati where he won his first Masters title. Then at the US Open, Medvedev finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal after contesting a five-set epic against the Spaniard.

https://twitter.com/DaniilMedwed/status/1174307458216538112

Medvedev will be hoping to continue his surge of form this week at the St Petersburg Open where he is the top seed. He is yet to contest an ATP final on Russian territory. However, the rising star has stated that his recent surge in success has given him extra belief on the tour.

“I have become convinced: when I am in good shape, I can beat anyone, or at least give a fight. It is most important. I seemed to know this before, but was not completely sure. Now I know this for sure.” Medvedev said during an interview with Sport Express.

According to the ATP, Medvedev has been the most successful player in indoor tournaments on the Tour within the past 52 weeks. Claiming two trophies and winning 22 matches overall. Giving him a 0.786 winning percentage.

He will open up his campaign in St Petersburg on Thursday against compatriot Evgeny Donskoy.

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Casper Ruud beats Alexander Bublik to win his first indoor match in St. Petersburg

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Norway’s Casper Ruud came back from one set down to beat Alexander Bublik 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 at the St. Petersburg Open to win his first win at an indoor ATP Tour tournament.

 

Bublik got the first break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Ruud broke staright back to draw level to 4-4. The first set went on serve until the tie-break which Bublik sealed 7-3 on his first set point. Ruud earned the only break in the third game to win the second set 6-3.

Ruud reeled off the final five games from 1-2 with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games to set up a second round match against Italy’s Salvatore Caruso, who rallied from one set down to beat his compatriot Thomas Fabbiano 2-6 6-3 6-3.

Mikhail Kukushkin came back from 2-4 down in the first set to beat 2017 St. Petersburg champion Damir Dzumhur 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 to secure his spot in the quarter finals.

Russian qualifier Egor Gerasimov cruised past Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-1.

Marton Fucsovics came back from 1-5 down in the first set and fended off five set points to beat Alexey Vatutin 7-5 6-1 setting up a match against Borna Coric.

Joao Sousa cruised past Jozef Kovalik 6-2 6-3 6-2 6-3 without dropping a set to set up a second round match against second seed Karen Khachanov.

 

 

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