Dominic Thiem Admits 'Physical Issues' Played Part In Australian Open Loss - UBITENNIS
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Dominic Thiem Admits ‘Physical Issues’ Played Part In Australian Open Loss

The world No.3 is staying coy about his current fitness after suffering a shock loss at the Grand Slam.

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Dominic Thiem admits that he is dealing with some ‘physical issues’ but hasn’t elaborated on what they are following his shock loss at the Australian Open on Sunday.

 

The reigning US Open champion produced a costly 41 unforced errors as he crashed out 6-4, 6-4, 6-0, to Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round. Making it the seventh time out of the last eight years that Thiem hasn’t been able to reach the quarter-final stage in Melbourne. The loss comes two days after his epic encounter with Nick Kyrgios where the Austrian came back from two sets down to win in a late-night encounter. Although Thiem is reluctant to blame his latest performance on one specific issue.

“I think a combination of some things, some little physical issues, plus a real bad day, plus the fact that, well, he’s a great player. So a combination of those three things, and a result like that can happen,” Thiem told reporters.
“Some little physical issues. I don’t want to find any excuses. But the thing also is that I’m also not a machine. Sometimes I would like to be, but there are really, really bad days. As soon as you’re not a hundred percent there on the court on this level, then results like this come up, and that’s exactly what happened today.”

The court speed of Rod Laver has been under discussion through the tournament with some saying it is a lot quicker than usual. Earlier in the week Thiem described the event as ‘one of the fastest Grand Slam tournaments I’ve played so far.’ Raising a question if the speed of the court had an impact on his latest performance?

I think Rod Laver is a little bit slower even than John Cain, so it was very, very fast, probably the fastest Grand Slam I’ve played so far. But that wasn’t the issue today,” he stated.

The 25-year-old didn’t have the best preparation heading into the tournament in terms of match results. After his 14-day quarantine, he lost two out of his three matches at the ATP Cup. His only victory was over France’s Benoit Paire who retired from their encounter with injury.

Thiem’s exit has also opened the door further in his section of the draw which is currently headed by Novak Djokovic who himself is dealing with an injury. The world No.1 will play Milos Raonic in his fourth round match on Sunday.

“It’s a really bad day today, bad match from my side. The high from the US Open is long gone. It was great for some days, but the tennis world goes on so fast,” he concluded.

As Thiem exits Melbourne, Dimitrov will play Russia’s Aslan Karatsev in the quarter-finals. It is the fourth time the Bulgarian has reached the last eight of the tournament in his career.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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