Contrasting Fortunes For Grigor Dimitrov And Kei Nishikori At The Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Contrasting Fortunes For Grigor Dimitrov And Kei Nishikori At The Australian Open

Grigor Dimitrov will look to make a lasting impression in Melbourne as Kei Nishikori exits at the Australian Open.

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Grigor Dimitrov (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Grigor Dimitrov cruised past Marin Cilic in straight sets while Kei Nishikori crashed out of the Australian Open at the hands of Pablo Carreno Busta.

 

Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori were both dealt with tough first round matches as they looked to regain some of their form that took them to consistent grand slam semi-finals in the past.

First up was Kei Nishikori as he looked to topple former US Open semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta.

In this grinding match, rallies were inevitably going to be long with the returner benefiting from second serve opportunities.

After sharing breaks early in the first set, Carreno Busta managed to dictate points more often to seal a crucial break in the seventh game.

However the former grand slam finalist wasn’t fazed by the deficit in score-line as he broke when the Spaniard served for the set to pull it back to 5-5.

The Spaniard managed to generate more power and angles when it really mattered as two games in a row sealed the first set.

A second set tiebreak soon followed after another exchange of breaks with both players bringing their best tennis.

In the end Carreno Busta’s quality shone through as he took the tiebreak 7-4 and produced the better tennis in the crucial moments.

Nishikori’s hard quarantine before the Australian Open took its toll as he ran out of energy and quality to hurt the well-rounded Spaniard as the world number 16 completed victory in 2 and a half hours.

The Spaniard will now play Jiri Vesely in round two as Nishikori ponders on how he re-joins Tennis’ elite.

Meanwhile Grigor Dimitrov was in action while Nishikori struggled as he took on former US Open champion Marin Cilic.

Dimitrov is now coached by Nishikori’s former coach Dante Bottini as he aims to finally challenge for the big tournaments.

Based on this performance that may not be as far away as people may suspect as his shot-making looked clean as he went to work in hitting through the big Croatian.

A break in the seventh game was enough to seal the first set for the Bulgarian in 43 minutes.

The second set was even more comfortable as Cilic continued to produce erratic tennis, which eventually lead to 41 unforced errors for the match in total.

Two more breaks meant a two sets to love lead and control of the match. Cilic, who had only won two matches in his last seven tournaments, managed to break for a 5-3 lead in the third set.

An unconfident serve though and Cilic struggled to close out the set and bold shot-making from Dimitrov saw him fight back and take a third set tiebreak to claim victory.

Up next for Dimitrov is Alex Bolt as the Bulgarian looks to ensure a statement week follows in Melbourne.

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Top Seed Tennys Sandgren Defaulted From Match Two Games In At Challenger Event

The tennis player was on court for less than 20 minutes before the incident happened.

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Tennys Sandgren’s appearance at the Atlantic Tire Championships Challenger event in Cary was a very brief one after he was disqualified from his first round match for hitting a lines official with a ball.

 

The world No.103 was taking on Christopher Eubanks in the first round on Tuesday and got off to a promising start by breaking in the first game before working his way to a 40-30 lead in the second. However, Sandgren then landed himself in hot water after hitting a tennis ball which struck one of the court officials. At the time the American was frustrated after hitting a forehand error.

The bizarre incident wasn’t caught on camera by the tournament livestream but Sandgren gave his version of events shortly after. He said a ball thrown to him by a ball kid hit him in the genitals and after that he slapped a wayward ball towards the fence. However, that wayward ball ended up hitting the ‘tushy’ of a court official.

https://twitter.com/TennysSandgren/status/1437933892456140809

Immediately after the incident, the tournament supervisor was called to the court by the umpire. Following a brief discussion on the court, Sandgren was then disqualified from the match for an action which he later took full responsibility for.

“Just to be clear, this was all totally my fault,” he wrote on Twitter.

It is not the first time a player has been disqualified for hitting a ball which then struck an official. The most famous incident took place at last year’s US Open when Novak Djokovic was disqualified from his fourth round match after hitting a ball which hit the lineswoman in the throat. In another incident, Denis Shapovalov was disqualified from one of his Davis Cup matches after unintentionally firing a ball into the umpire’s eye.

Sandgren, who is a two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist, has experienced a disappointing 2021 season so far. The American is yet to win back-to-back matches at a tournament and has only recorded a total of eight wins overall. Since January he has fallen more than 50 places in the ATP rankings.

Full video (go to the 19-minuite mark)

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Daniil Medvedev Marks US Open Milestone With FIFA-Inspired ‘Dead Fish’ Celebration

In his own words, the new champion produced an ‘L2 + Left’ celebration after defeating Novak Djokovic in New York on Sunday.

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Daniil Medvedev reacts to winning the Men's Singles championship match at the 2021 US Open, Sunday, Sep. 12, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

Daniil Medvedev’s reaction to winning his first Grand Slam title at the US Open wasn’t random. In fact, he has been thinking about his FIFA-inspired celebration since Wimbledon.

 

On Sunday the world No.2 defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets to become only the third Russian man in history to win a major title. The triumph caused heartbreak for his opponent who was on the verge of achieving the elusive Calendar Slam which last happened on the men’s Tour back in 1968. Leading 6-4, 6-4, 5-4, Medvedev sealed victory after a Djokovic return slammed into the net. Prompting him to literally drop to the ground in a somewhat unusual way.

“Only the legends will understand, what I did after the match was a L2 + Left,” he said during the trophy presentation.

The reference was to the game FIFA with L2 + Left being the code for what is called by some as the brick fall celebration or what Medvedev describes as ‘dead fish.’ When a player would just drop to the ground on his side after scoring a goal.

“When I was running through [the draw at] Wimbledon… I was really confident about my game. I think it was one night, you know, you cannot fall asleep. Five, 10 minutes you have crazy thoughts, like every other person,” he said.
“I was like, OK, if I’m going to win Wimbledon, imagine I win it against Novak or whatever. To not celebrate is going to be too boring, because I do it all the time. I need to do something, but I want to make it special.”

Medvedev’s planned celebration was no secret with him openly speaking with others in the locker room leading up to the US Open. No names of who he spoke to were mentioned by the Russian who says his peers described the idea as ‘legendary.’

“I like to play FIFA. I like to play PlayStation. It’s called the dead fish celebration. If you know your opponent when you play FIFA, many times you’re going to do this. You’re going to score a goal, you’re up 5-0, you do this one,” he continued.
“Yeah, I talked to the guys in the locker [room], they’re young guys, super chill guys. They play FIFA. They were like, ‘That’s legendary’. Everybody who I saw who plays FIFA thinks that’s legendary. That’s how I wanted to make it… It’s not easy to make it on hard courts. I got hurt a little bit, but I’m happy I made it legendary for myself.”

It certainly was legendary from Medvedev.

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Medvedev cruises past Auger Aliassime to reach US Open final

Daniil Medvedev is into his third grand slam final after cruising past Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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Daniil Medvedev addresses the crowd after winning a Men's Singles semifinal match at the 2021 US Open, Friday, Sep. 10, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

The world number two booked his spot in Sunday’s final after beating the Canadian in straight sets.

 

Danil Medvedev is into his third grand slam final at the US Open after beating the Montreal native Felix Auger Aliassime in two hours and four minutes 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 hitting 21 winners and 12 aces in the win.

After winning the first set the Canadian had a chance to even the match but faltered when serving for the second set and that’s when the match completely turned on its head.

“It was a strange match and in the second set where everybody felt it was going to be one set all and you never know where the match is going to go and I managed to save the setpoints and the match turned around completely and I didn’t play my best but I am happy to be in the final on Sunday”.

The first set stayed on serve until 3-3 when the Russian earned the first three breakpoints of the match and got the break to take a 4-3 lead and it was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second set was almost the same as the first five games went on serve and we didn’t witness a breakpoint until 3-2 when the 21-year-old set it up with a great passing shot and broke to take a 4-2 lead.

At 5-3 with the world number 15 had two set points and that’s where the match turned when the world number two managed to save both and break back and broke the following game and served out the second set.

The world number was in full control now and at 1-1 of the third set managed to get the early break and after consolidating it broke the Canadian serve once again and that was enough for him to serve out the match.

After the match in his on-court interview, Medvedev was asked about playing in his second US Open final and his third overall and if he feels different going into it.

“Last time was a crazy match and if it’s the same match on Sunday I hope I can win this time.”

Medvedev will face the world number one Novak Djokovic, who is looking for the calendar grand slam.

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