Grigor Dimitrov reaches the Monte-Carlo quarter final for the fourth time in his career - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov reaches the Monte-Carlo quarter final for the fourth time in his career

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Grigor Dimitrov upset Casper Ruud 6-3 7-5 in 1 hours and 31 minutes on Court Rainier III to reach the quarter finals for the fourth time at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. 

Dimitrov had previously reached two quarter finals in 2013 and 2015 and the semifinals in 2018 iin Monte-Carlo. 

Dimitrov has drawn level to 1-1 in his two head-to-head matches against Ruud. The Bulgarian player set up a quarter final match against last year’s Miami Open champion Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Albert Ramos Vinolas 7-6 (7-2) 6-2. 

Dimitrov earned a double break in the third and fifth game to take a 5-1 lead. Ruud pulled one break back in the seventh game in the eighth game for 3-5. Dimitrov sealed the first set 6-3 with his third break in the ninth game. 

Both players went on serve with no break points on serve until the 12th game when Dimitrov earned the decisive break on his third match point. 

“I was really looking forward to the match. I knew if I did the right things, good things would come out of it. Casper is such a great player on whatever surface. He has proved it over and over again at a such a young age, which is nice to see. He has proved it over and over again at such a young age, which is nice to see. I liked that matchup and wanted to see where I was physically and mentally. I just played and enjoyed the game”, said Dimitrov. 

Taylor Fritz has reached the quarter final of the past Masters 1000 tournaments after a 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 win over Sebastian Korda. Fritz is the first US player to reach the quarter final in Monte-Carlo since Sam Querey in 2008. 

The first set went on serve with no breaks of serve en route to the tie-break. Fritz went up a 2-0 lead with his first mini-break. Korda broke back to draw level to 2-2. Fritz won the final four points fom 3-4 down with two mini-breaks to take a 7-4 lead. 

Fritz broke serve to love in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Korda broke straight back to draw level to 4-4. Fritz sealed the second set 7-5 with a break in the 11th game.  

Fritz set up a quarter final clash against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who cruised past David Goffin 6-4 6-1. 

“I thought the match today was pretty good. I was looking out for his return. I did a good job serving, mixing up all my spots. I fought off his returns on my second serves, which was my main focus. It was really good conditions today, so I was able to play what I felt what was my best match”, said Fritz. 

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.

ARMS UP FOR A CHAMPION

The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.

KREJCIKOVA COMES THROUGH UNDER PRESSURE

Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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