‘Super Unlucky’ Grigor Dimitrov Opens Up On Injury Which Ended His Australian Open Dream - UBITENNIS
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‘Super Unlucky’ Grigor Dimitrov Opens Up On Injury Which Ended His Australian Open Dream

The former top 10 star revealed that he ‘couldn’t put his socks on’ prior to playing his quarter-final match.




Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov says it is simply a stroke of bad luck which has resulted in him exiting the Australian Open with an injury cloud over his head.


The 18th seed crashed out of the tournament on Tuesday in four sets to Russian underdog Aslan Karatsev who has become the first qualifier to reach a Grand Slam semi-final on their debut in the Open Era. However, the match is a case of what might have been for Dimitrov who had a one-set lead and multiple breakpoint opportunities in the second. However, as the encounter progressed the Bulgarian struggled with his movement on the court due to a back issue that first occurred just 24 hours beforehand.

“There’s no point to hide anything or whatever. I just got a back spasm yesterday (Monday) at some point, and that was it. We couldn’t fix it on time,” Dimitrov told reporters.
“I’m Just taking it in and trying to move on.”

To rub salt into his wounds, the 29-year-old didn’t suddenly suffer the back spasm whilst training or doing some sort of physical activity. Instead, he says it started whilst he was doing ‘regular movement.’ Leaving him with a bitter pill to swallow.

“That’s sport. Just super unlucky,” he said. “I felt great over all the past days. I felt I was on a good path. We’ve (my team) done great work. I was very positive and upbeat for whatever, whoever I had to play.”
“(Then) today I couldn’t put my socks on before the match, so I knew it was going to be a tough moment for me. I tried, but it was not good enough.”

It was the first time Dimitrov had reached the last eight of a major since the 2019 US Open. Earlier in the tournament he has scored wins over the likes of Marin Cilic and Alex Bolt before going on to stun third seed Dominic Thiem in the fourth round. Ironically out of the eight quarter-finalists in Melbourne this year Dimitrov spent the least amount of time on court.

Knowing that he was not at his best and taking painkillers prior to playing Karatsev, Dimitrov says his decision to continue in the tournament was driven by adrenaline. The men’s draw has been marred by a high number of injuries occurring. Matteo Berrettini, Casper Ruud and Dominic Thiem have all admitted to physical problems of some sort. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic had an abdominal issue but hasn’t publicly said what it is.

“I’ve played with a cracked toe and other things, but having a back spasm, everything goes through that part of the body, all the rotation, reactions,” Dimitrov explained.
“I love moving around the court, but when I’m not capable to use my motricity, my speed, my legs, my reaction, just everything becomes very insignificant. Whether you serve or hit a forehand or whatever, it’s just electricity kind of goes through your body.’
“Yes, I struggled; that’s fine. I’m admitting it, I’m taking it in. But please, give the credit to him (Karatsev) for today.”

Despite the blip, the former world No.3 believes he is still on the right track with the help of new coach Dante Bottini who had previously worked with Kei Nishikori.

“I’m just going to take the positives out of this situation. What just happened, happened. I cannot take it back. I need to swallow it. But at the same time I’m not just going to keep my head down. Today has been just bad luck. That’s what it is,” he concluded.


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

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




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




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.




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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