Tennis Star Dimitrov Tests Positive For Coronavirus

File: Tennis star, Grigor Dimitrov. Photo: [email protected] Grigor Dimitrov

 

Grigor Dimitrov said on Sunday he has tested positive for coronavirus after pulling out of an exhibition tournament which also featured world number one Novak Djokovic.

“I want to reach out and let my fans and friends know that I tested positive back in Monaco for Covid-19,” world number 19 Dimitrov wrote on Instagram.

“I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused. I am back home now and recovering.”

Last weekend, Dimitrov, 29, took part in the Adria Tour event in Belgrade with Djokovic, world number three Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev, ranked seven.

He also played in the second leg of the Balkans tournament in Zadar on Croatia’s Adriatic coast on Saturday.

However, he withdrew after losing to Borna Coric, complaining of feeling unwell.

Later on Sunday, the final between Djokovic and Russia’s Andrey Rublev was immediately cancelled as a precaution.

“This is the best possible decision. We have to take care about security of all involved,” former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, the tournament director of the Zadar event, said in remarks quoted by local media.

“Those who were in contact with Grigor will be tested. I tested by chance three days ago and I’m negative.”

Zverev and former US Open winner Marin Cilic were also in the Croatia line-up.

“I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during these past days gets tested and takes the necessary precautions,” added Dimitrov.

– ‘Novak took news very hard’ –

Djokovic’s brother Djordje, who is the overall tournament director, told Sportske Novosti daily paper online edition: “Novak? He took this news very hard. We undertook all the measures prescribed by the governments of Serbia and Croatia.”

Bulgarian Dimitrov is a former world number three who was the ATP Tour Finals champion in 2017, one of his eight career titles.

The Adria Tour, organised to fill the gap in the virus-hit tennis calendar which has been on ice since mid-March, played out to a daily crowd of 4,000 fans at Djokovic’s tennis centre on the banks of the Danube in Belgrade last week.

Dimitrov, Djokovic and Thiem, as well as the other players, were then seen partying at a packed Belgrade night spot.

Thiem has since travelled to the south of France to play in another exhibition tournament, the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in Nice.

On Sunday, tournament chief Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach of Serena Williams, tweeted a picture of Thiem undergoing a coronavirus test at the event being staged at his tennis academy.

The Adria Tour had already suffered an embarrassing setback when the planned Montenegro leg of the four-nation tournament was cancelled over coronavirus protocol rules.

Montenegro was due to be the third stop on June 27 and 28 after Croatia and before the conclusion in Bosnia.

But organisers said the visit to Montenegro had to be called off when it became apparent Serbia did not match strict health requirements.

Meanwhile, asked to comment on social distancing measures during the Belgrade leg, Djokovic said both Serbia and the region had been relatively successful in containing the virus.

“Of course you can criticise, you can also say this is dangerous or not, but it’s not up to me to make the calls what is health-wise right or wrong,” the 17-time Grand Slam winner told reporters, stressing he was acting in line with recommendations of the Serbian government.

Last week, the ATP and WTA said they were restarting their tours in August.

However, the US Open in New York will be played behind closed doors and under strict health protocols which Djokovic has described as “extreme” and “impossible”.

The drama surrounding Dimitrov’s test brought sympathy but also questions from fellow players.

“While watching images from the Adria Tour, I kind of felt that something was really wrong. Am I the only one? Is it a consequence of it? Get better soon Grigor,” tweeted French player Alize Cornet.

Noah Rubin of the US added: “It’s just not okay. Reckless and disappointing that they thought tennis deserved the risk.”

Djokovic Sets Up Tsitsipas Clash As Dimitrov Beats Thiem

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns the ball to France’s Corentin Moutet during their men’s singles tennis match on day three of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 – Rolex Paris Masters – indoor tennis tournament at The AccorHotels Arena in Paris on October 30, 2019.  AFP

 

Novak Djokovic saw off Britain’s Kyle Edmund on Thursday to reach his eighth Paris Masters quarter-final, while Grigor Dimitrov knocked out fifth seed Dominic Thiem.

Top seed Djokovic, battling Rafael Nadal for the year-end world number one spot, needed seven set points in the first set before winning 7-6 (9/7), 6-1.

“It was good. I wasn’t really feeling comfortable in the first set,” said the 32-year-old, who has been struggling with the flu this week.

“It was a bit like yesterday (against Corentin Moutet). I hope to be better in the next match.”

The 16-time Grand Slam champion is chasing a record-extending fifth Bercy title and will next face world number seven Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Alex de Minaur 6-3, 6-4.

The 21-year-old Tsitsipas leads his head-to-head with Djokovic 2-1, after victories at the Shanghai Masters earlier this month and the 2018 Canadian Open.

Djokovic is hoping to tie Pete Sampras’ record of finishing six years as the world’s best player, but Nadal can be sure of denying the Serbian that achievement with a maiden Paris title this week.

The Spaniard takes on three-time Grand Slam title-winner Stan Wawrinka in his third-round match later on Thursday.

World number 75 Edmund, hoping to push for a place in Britain’s Davis Cup squad, held his own in the first set, saving two set points to send the opener to a tie-break.

He then rallied from 6-3 down in the breaker to level at 7-7, saving four more set points as his powerful forehand started to dominate, but Djokovic finally took it at the seventh time of asking with a winner up the line.

Edmund’s resistance was ended as Djokovic broke to love in the third game of the second set en route to a run of six straight games which secured an ultimately comfortable victory.

 Dimitrov downs Thiem 

Former world number three Dimitrov produced a fantastic performance to beat fifth seed Thiem 6-3, 6-2 and reach the last eight in Paris for the first time.

It will also be the Bulgarian’s first Masters quarter-final since the Canadian Open last year as he continues his rise up the rankings.

Dimitrov was the world number 78 heading into the US Open, but reached the semi-finals and is now ranked 27th.

The 28-year-old, who had dispatched 12th seed David Goffin in round two, defended brilliantly throughout as two-time French Open runner-up Thiem appeared to feel the effects of winning his home title in Vienna last weekend.

Dimitrov will take on Cristian Garin for a semi-final spot, after the unseeded Chilean saved three match points in a deciding-set tie-break to end the run of French qualifier Jeremy Chardy.

The world number 42 claimed five straight points to close out victory, winning 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) to book his maiden Masters quarter-final.

“It was a really tough fight, Jeremy is such a good player. I played my best,” said Garin.

Greek star Tsitsipas, who has reached at least the semis in each of his last three tournaments, eased past De Minaur, ending the Australian’s hopes of qualifying for next month’s ATP Tour Finals in London.

AFP

Dimitrov Stuns Federer To Reach US Open Semi Against Medvedev

Roger Federer of Switzerland serves to Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in their Men’s Singles Quarter-finals tennis match during the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 3, 2019. DOMINICK REUTER / AFP

 

Grigor Dimitrov rallied for a shocking upset of 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer at the US Open on Tuesday, the lowest-ranked New York semi-finalist in 28 years advancing to face Daniil Medvedev.

The 78th-ranked Bulgarian, who had dropped all seven prior meetings with Federer, made a dramatic fightback to defeat the Swiss third seed 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 at Arthur Ashe Stadium and will face Russian fifth seed Medvedev in Friday’s semis.

“I’m just happy,” Dimitrov said. “The only thing I was telling myself was to stay in the match. Physically I was feeling pretty good. I was hitting some shots against him that were hard to hit.”

Dimitrov reached his first US Open semi-final to match the deepest Slam runs of his career from Wimbledon in 2014 and the 2017 Australian Open.

Not since 174th-ranked Jimmy Connors reached the 1991 quarter-finals had New York seen so lowly a figure on the ATP ratings list reach the last four.

Dimitrov is also the lowest-ranked Slam semi-finalist since 94th-rated Rainer Schuettler of Germany at Wimbledon in 2008.

Federer, a five-time US Open champion who has not won at Flushing Meadows since 2008, breezed through the first set in 29 minutes and appeared to have withstood the danger until Dimitrov opened the fourth set with a break.

Federer was denied on five break points in the 10th game of the fourth set and Dimitrov held to force a fifth set.

“I was trying to stay in that game and make him stay on the court as much as possible. After that he started slowing down a little bit,” Dimitrov said.

“It’s a best of five sets. Anything can happen.”

Federer went off the court for a private medical timeout to treat his upper back near his neck.

“This is Grigor’s moment, not my body’s moment,” Federer said.

Dimitrov broke Federer twice on the way to a 4-0 lead in the final set and the 38-year-old Swiss star had no effective reply, foiled by 61 unforced errors in falling after three hours and 12 minutes.

“It’s OK. It’s how it goes,” Federer said. “I tried my best. I fought with what I had and that’s it.”

Federer would have become the oldest Slam semi-finalist since Jimmy Connors at age 39 at the 1991 US Open.

Medvedev defeated three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to reach his first major semi-final, shaking off a sore left quadriceps that made him contemplate quitting the match. Now he gets two days of rest.

“That’s huge advantage regarding what happened to my leg,” Medvedev said. “It should be OK.”

Medvedev took a medical timeout, had the area taped and took a painkiller.

“In the fourth set, I started feeling the painkiller and started moving better,” he said. “For sure I hope to be ready for the semis.”

 Medvedev’s hot summer 

Medvedev has maintained momentum from a sizzling August in which he reached three ATP finals, winning a title at Cincinnati and finishing runner-up in Montreal and Washington.

Medvedev, 23, is the youngest US Open semi-finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2010 and Russia’s first Slam semi-finalist since Mikhail Youzhny at the 2010 US Open.

Dimitrov and Medvedev have split two prior matches, Dimitrov winning at Queen’s in 2017 and Medvedev avenging the loss a few weeks later in Washington.

“He has been having a tremendous summer,” Dimitrov said of Medvedev. “I know his game. I’m just going to try and recover and reassess the match first and prepare from then on for Daniil. He’s a tough player. He’s tricky.”

Wawrinka, foiled in a bid for his second US Open title in four seasons, said he did not think Medvedev would be holding the trophy on Sunday.

“He can, but I don’t think he will. I think it’s going to be really difficult,” Wawrinka said. “Because he looks to start to be tired, and he has to beat some more tougher player in the semi-final and then in the final.”

In Wednesday’s quarter-finals, Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal, an 18-time Grand Slam champion, faces Argentine 20th seed Diego Schwartzman and French 13th seed Gael Monfils plays Italian 24th seed Matteo Berrettini.

AFP

Nadal Beats Dimitrov To Cruise Into 12th Monte Carlo Final

Nadal Beats Dimitrov To Cruise Into 12th Monte Carlo Final
Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates after his victory against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov during their semi-final match at the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series tournament on April 21, 2018, in Monaco. YANN COATSALIOU / AFP

 

World number one Rafael Nadal swept aside Grigor Dimitrov to ease into his 12th Monte Carlo Masters final with a 6-4, 6-1 victory on Saturday.

The 31-year-old, who needs to win an 11th Monaco title to retain the number one ranking ahead of Roger Federer, will face either Kei Nishikori or Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final.

“Every year is different and equally special,” said Nadal, after beating Dimitrov for the 11th time in 12 meetings.

“So I’ll just focus on doing the things that I have to do to give me another chance tomorrow. That’s it.

“I don’t want to think about another title yet, I just want to think about the way I have to play and try to be ready for it.”

Nadal came through a tight first set but always looked too strong for Dimitrov and raced through the second in half an hour.

The top seed is bidding for an outright record 31st Masters title this week and extended his run of consecutive sets won on clay to 34.

Nadal, playing his first ATP tournament since he retired from his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic in January with a hip injury, has shown no signs of rust.

Following a 6-0, 6-2 last-eight demolition of Dominic Thiem, Nadal has lost only 16 games in four matches this week.

Dimitrov immediately put Nadal’s serve under pressure with two perfectly-judged lobs forcing deuce, but the top seed came through an eight-minute opener.

Nadal didn’t take long to get into his stride, breaking at the first time of asking as Dimitrov struggled in the longer rallies.

The Bulgarian continued to go for his shots and brought up three break-back points in game five as Nadal followed a double fault with two wayward groundstrokes.

Nadal fired long, before Dimitrov saved a break point himself with a venomous forehand to level at 3-3.

The fourth seed was displaying the resolve needed to push Nadal on his favourite surface, and came back from break point down again as the Spaniard continued to miss chances.

But Dimitrov wasted all of his earlier good work, handing Nadal two set points with back-to-back double faults and a wild forehand.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion wrapped up the set with a whipped forehand onto the line.

That effectively ended Dimitrov’s chances, and Nadal broke to love in the second game of the second set.

Nadal stormed towards the finishing line with eight straight points on his opponent’s serve and a wide Dimitrov backhand wrapped up yet another comfortable victory.

AFP

Dimitrov Beats Goffin To Reach Monte Carlo Semis

Dimitrov Beats Goffin To Reach Monte Carlo Semis
Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov plays a forehand return to Belgium’s David Goffin during their singles tennis match at the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series tournament in Monaco on April 20, 2018. YANN COATSALIOU / AFP

 

Grigor Dimitrov benefited from a second-set collapse by David Goffin on Friday to reach the Monte Carlo Masters semi-finals for the first time with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) victory.

The 26-year-old Bulgarian got the better of a nervy Goffin in a repeat of last year’s ATP Tour Finals final to book a last-four clash with either defending champion Rafael Nadal or Austrian Dominic Thiem.

“I felt like I could have done things a bit better, especially at the beginning of the second set,” said Dimitrov.

“Hopefully in my next match I can do better in those moments.”

The pair will team up later on Friday in the doubles quarter-finals, but there was little charity on offer from Dimitrov towards his partner turned opponent.

Dimitrov has struggled on clay in the past and has never passed the French Open third round, but he was too strong for sixth seed Goffin in the Monaco sunshine.

Fourth seed Dimitrov edged a tight opening set after failing to serve for it as Goffin produced a poor service game at 5-4 down before the Belgian recovered to race into a 5-1 lead in the second.

But Goffin wasted three set points on his own serve as he tightened up on the most important points, and Dimitrov broke twice to force a tie-break.

The world number five wrapped up victory in the breaker on his second match point to claim one of the best wins of his career on clay.

AFP

Indian Wells: Dimitrov Suffers Shock Defeat In Opening Match

Indian Wells: Dimitrov Suffers Shock Defeat In Opening Match
File photo

 

World number four Grigor Dimitrov slumped to a shock 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-3 defeat to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in his opening match of the ATP Indian Wells Masters on Saturday.

Dimitrov continues to struggle in the California desert, the 26-year-old Bulgarian No. 1 never made it past the third round in seven appearances.

Dimitrov reached the final earlier this year in Rotterdam, where he lost to Roger Federer. That came after a breakthrough 2017 which saw him win four titles, including Sofia, Cincinnati, Brisbane and the ATP Finals.

Verdasco, 34, is making his 15th straight appearance in Indian Wells and trying to improve on his 2009 quarter-final run.

AFP

Federer Tops World Ranking, Faces Dimitrov In Rotterdam Final

Federer Tops World Ranking, Faces Dimitrov In Rotterdam Final
Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates after winning over Netherlands Robin Haase in their quarter-final singles tennis match at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam on February 17, 2018. John THYS / AFP

 

Roger Federer celebrated becoming the oldest man to reach the world number one ranking by making the Rotterdam Open final on Saturday with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) victory over Italy’s Andreas Seppi.

The 36-year-old Federer racked up his 14th win from 15 matches with 33-year-old Seppi, the world number 81 who had enjoyed a memorable week by reaching the semi-finals as a ‘lucky loser’.

Top-seeded Federer will face Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday’s final.

Dimitrov, the second seed, advanced to the semi-finals when Belgian opponent David Goffin was forced to retire after injuring his eye when the ball flew off his own racquet.

Dimitrov was leading 6-3, 0-1 at the time.

AFP

Dimitrov Storms Into Last Four At ATP Finals

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov. Photo: Glyn KIRK / AFP

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov raced into the semi-finals of the ATP Finals with a 6-0, 6-2 demolition of David Goffin on Wednesday.

Dimitrov has never quite lived up to his billing as the heir to Roger Federer’s throne, but the world number six’s eye-catching rout of Goffin was a reminder he is still young and gifted enough to finally make the breakthrough.

The 26-year-old unloaded 18 winners to dismiss the Belgian world number eight at London’s O2 Arena and seal his spot in the last four with one match to play.

Dimitrov, who defeated Dominic Thiem in three sets in his Pete Sampras group opener, has already made history as the first Bulgarian to qualify for the season-ending Tour finals.

And, while Federer remains the title favourite following Rafael Nadal’s injury withdrawal, Dimitrov will fancy his chances of becoming the first debutant winner since Alex Corretja in 1998.

Goffin, another first time Tour Finals qualifier, had made a flying start with his dramatic three-set victory over Nadal on Monday.

But that victory was slightly devalued as the world number one was struggling with a knee injury and pulled out of the tournament after the match.

Now Goffin will have to win his last group match against Thiem to have a chance of joining Dimitrov in the semi-finals.

World number two Federer, aiming for his seventh Tour Finals title, has already qualified for the last four from Boris Becker group after winning his first two matches.

Alexander Zverev or Jack Sock will advance with Federer as the second qualifier from the Becker group.

Dimitrov had won three of his four previous meetings with Goffin and he was quick to establish control once again.

Goffin had a strapping around his left knee and Dimitrov immediately tested his mobility.

Moving Goffin around the court with some deft groundstrokes, Dimitrov landed an early blow with a break in the second game of the first set.

Dimitrov was dominating from the baseline and, with Goffin unable to find any rhythm, the Bulgarian broke twice more to take the set in just 27 minutes.

Goffin fared little better in the second set as Dimitrov made it nine game in a row to take a 3-0 lead.

The Belgian finally held serve in the 10th game, sparking mocking cheers from the crowd as he avoided the embarrassment of a total whitewash.

Dimitrov was warned for a coaching violation when the umpire said his coach Daniel Vallverdu told him to “use your forehand”.

The Bulgarian claimed he didn’t hear it, but he regained his composure to close out the victory.

Later on Wednesday, Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta makes his Tour Finals debut against Thiem after replacing the injured Nadal.

Carreno Busta has reached a career high 10th in the world rankings after compiling a 36-24 record this year.

Austrian fourth seed Thiem has won all four of their previous encounters.

AFP

Dimitrov Downs Kyrgios To Win Cincinnati Open

Grigor Dimitrov

Bulgarian seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov clinched the biggest win of his career when he beat Nick Kyrgios 6-3 7-5 in the final of the Cincinnati Open on Sunday.

Dimitrov, who has toiled through his career with little reward against the game’s ‘Big Four’, grasped his opportunity against the talented but unpredictable Kyrgios.

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) holds the Rookwood Cup after defeating Nick Kyrgios

One break in each set was enough for Dimitrov, 26, to prevail under a broiling afternoon sun on the outdoor hardcourt for his seventh career victory, and his first in a Masters 1000 series event.

Kyrgios could not reproduce the brilliance he displayed in beating Rafa Nadal in the quarter-finals, though the Australian displayed some grit to dig himself out from under two break points in the seventh game of the second set.

Alas, it was not enough, as Dimitrov pounced on another break chance in the 11th game and then served out for victory.

Janowicz Knocks Out Dimitrov From Stuttgart Open

French OpenSecond seed Grigor Dimitrov slumped to a 7-6 (4) 6-3 loss to world number 155 Jerzy Janowicz at the Stuttgart Open on Thursday.

Janowicz made the most of the momentary lapses in concentration by Dimitrov to book an unexpected quarter-final spot.

Earlier, number three seed Tomas Berdych beat Australian Bernard Tomic 7-6 (4) 6-2 to qualify for the last eight.

The Czech professional tennis player will face Feliciano Lopez in the quarter-final after the Spaniard beat France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-3 3-6 6-2.

Murray, Radwanska Through To China Open Final

Andy Murray, Olympics, Zika VirusAndy Murray will face Grigor Dimitrov in the final of the China Open after earning a straight-sets win over David Ferrer in Beijing.

Murray prevailed 6-2 6-3 in a one-sided contest that spanned one hour 32 minutes.

Murray will now challenge for his 40th tour title and also has the chance to close the gap on leader Novak Djokovic at the top of the ATP rankings.

It will be his ninth final of the season, having won four and lost four of the previous eight, and his first appearance in the china open final.

In the female category, Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 7-6 6-3 in the semi-final of the china open.

Agnieszka-Radwanska
Agnieszka Radwanska

Svitolina, who upset world number one, Angelique Kerber, in the third round, recovered from 3-love in the second set but was unable to close the gap on the 2011 china open champion.

Radwanska took one hour 41 minutes to beat the 16th seed and book a meeting with Britain’s Johanna Konta in Sunday’s final.Agnieszka-Radwanska-in-China-open

Konta earlier defeated eighth seed Madison keys of the united states 7-6, 4-6 6-4.

The final game will hold on Sunday, October 9.

Andy Murray Through To Australian Open Final

Andy MurrayAndy Murray has reached his fifth Australian Open final after defeating 13th seed Milos Raonic.

Murray needed five sets to beat the 25-year-old Canadian.

The 28-year-old Scot prevailed 4-6 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2 in a gruelling four-hour contest.

He will meet defending champion Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final.

Murray, who has been a runner-up in the Australian Open four times, said of the epic battle, “It was tough in that third set. In the tie-break he didn’t miss a single serve and it is frustrating when you don’t get a say in the points.

“He definitely slowed down in the fifth set, which was unfortunate for him. It would have been nice to have played a more competitive fifth set. The fourth set, I thought he was still moving well. You just have to focus.”

About his chances against Djokovic on Sunday, he said, “A lot of things are important against the best players in the world. You can’t do anything poorly.

“Novak’s played extremely well, in his last couple of matches in particular. Hopefully this time it can be a different result.”