Tennis News

From around the world

Zverev, Del Potro, Dimitrov Highlight Movers Of 2017

  • Posted: Nov 20, 2017

Zverev, Del Potro, Dimitrov Highlight Movers Of 2017

ATPWorldTour.com recaps the biggest Emirates ATP Rankings movers of the 2017 season

One of the biggest storylines of the 2017 ATP World Tour season was undoubtedly the fresh faces ascending the Emirates ATP Rankings. A new contingent of stars staked their claim with career-highs inside the Top 10, sending a message to the rest of the circuit. Meanwhile, veterans returning from injury rediscovered their elite form in returning to the upper echelons of the game.

Four players made their debut in the Top 10 in 2017: Alexander Zverev, David Goffin, Jack Sock and Pablo Carreno Busta. Zverev and Carreno Busta are the biggest movers to the Top 10, with both rising 20 spots from the start of the season. At age 20, Zverev is the youngest member of the group and is the highest-ranked German since Tommy Haas in 2002, concluding his campaign at No. 4. The first-time qualifier at the Nitto ATP Finals was bolstered by ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns in Rome and Montreal. Carreno Busta, meanwhile, soared from No. 30 to No. 10 behind semi-final finishes at the US Open and in Indian Wells.

The German and the Spaniard were two of five players to rise double-digit spots to the Top 10, joining fellow debutant Sock as well as Grigor Dimitrov and Roger Federer. Sock rose 15 spots to No. 8 following his title at the Rolex Paris Masters, while Nitto ATP Finals champion Dimitrov climbed 14 spots to No. 3, three years after first making his Top 10 debut. On the heels of a tour-leading seven titles, Federer impressively returned to No. 2 after falling out of the Top 10 due to injury. He also moved up 14 spots.

In addition, World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is in the top spot to conclude a season for the fourth time. After kicking off 2017 at No. 9, he has made the biggest single-season jump to year-end No. 1 since Andy Roddick went from No. 10 in 2002 to No. 1 in 2003.

Biggest Movers Inside Top 20

Player

Positions Moved

Start of 2017

End of 2017

Kevin Anderson

+53

No. 67

No. 14

Juan Martin del Potro

+27

No. 38

No. 11

Alexander Zverev

+20

No. 24

No. 4

Pablo Carreno Busta

+20

No. 30

No. 10 (career-high)

Sam Querrey

+18

No. 31

No. 13 (career-high)

Jack Sock

+15

No. 23

No. 8 (career-high)

Roger Federer +14 No. 16 No. 2
Grigor Dimitrov +14 No. 17 No. 3 (career-high)

While Carreno Busta, Dimitrov, Federer, Sock and Zverev enjoyed significant moves to the Top 10, two players celebrated even bigger ascents to the Top 20. Kevin Anderson soared 53 spots to No. 14 following an injury-plagued 2016 campaign, while Juan Martin del Potro rose 27 places to No. 11. With neither player having Emirates ATP Rankings points to defend in January, both will be in strong position to return to the Top 10 in the early stages of the 2018 season.

The surging #NextGenATP contingent also made great strides in climbing the Emirates ATP Rankings this year. Denis Shapovalov, the ATP Star of Tomorrow presented by Emirates, was also named the Most Improved Player for a reason. The Canadian teen vaulted 199 spots, from No. 250 to No. 51, thanks to a breakthrough semi-final run at the Rogers Cup and Round of 16 finish at the US Open.

Two other #NextGenATP stars also enjoyed moves of at least 100 spots to the Top 100, with Andrey Rublev catapulting 117 positions to No. 39 and Stefanos Tsitsipas rising 120 spots to No. 89. Rublev notched his maiden ATP World Tour title in Umag, while Tsitsipas won his first ATP Challenger tour crown in Genova, Italy, and had a stunning run to the semi-finals at the European Open in Antwerp as a qualifier.

But no list of 2017 Emirates ATP Rankings movers would be complete without Matthew Ebden, Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Filip Krajinovic and Nicolas Jarry, following their performances on the ATP Challenger Tour. The quartet are the only players to soar at least 200 spots to the Top 100. Stebe and Krajinovic were nominees for the Comeback Player of the Year in the 2017 ATP World Tour Awards presented by Moët & Chandon, while Ebden has risen a whopping 615 spots to No. 80 in his return from knee surgery. Jarry, aged 22, makes his Top 100 debut on Monday after claiming his third title of the season in his comeback from wrist surgery.

Source link

Dimitrov: 'I Still Have A Lot To Give'

  • Posted: Nov 20, 2017

Dimitrov: 'I Still Have A Lot To Give'

Biggest title of his career gives Bulgarian high hopes for 2018

Grigor Dimitrov knows as well as any, the problem with being a precocious prospect is the enormous weight of expectations from a young age. Wrapping up 2017 as the Nitto ATP Finals champion, he has made it abundantly clear he has landed.

For years, the gifted Bulgarian has garnered hype as one of the next big things. His results have provided hope, but it was not until 2017 that he solidified his intentions with a first tour title in 2.5 years in Brisbane, a title on home soil in Sofia, a maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy in Cincinnati and now the biggest title of his career at The O2.

Dimitrov started the year in a canter, falling in a high-quality five-set semi-final defeat to Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open semi-finals. But after a triumph over David Goffin in the Sofia final helped propel him to a 16-1 start in 2017, inconsistency began to plague the mid-part of his season, the type that had so often hamstrung his progress in previous years.

At 26, maturity, experience and dedication taught Dimitrov, though, he could turn things around if he put his mind to it. Qualifying for his first season finale was surely validation and a hint of what was potentially in store for 2018.

“I think I’ve had good results in the past, but now, as I said, I need to be even more consistent on those kind of events, and in the same time raise up my level on occasions like this,” Dimitrov said.

“Obviously, this is a great, unbelievable achievement for me, yes. But I still have a lot to give. I want to perform better and better.”

You May Also Like: Goffin Proves He Belongs On The Big Stage

 

Win or lose the final against Goffin on Sunday, Dimitrov was assured of reaching a career-high of No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. A form and motivation slump had seen his ranking take a hit when he fell to as low as World No.40 in July last year.

“There I was thinking, ‘How can I put it together, put three balls in the court?’ But again, with the right state of mind, with the right people, with the right support, things happen,” Dimitrov said.

“For me, that period really helped me a lot. I think I needed that. And I appreciate those, six, seven months that were a complete struggle for me. I appreciate them in a way that only yourself, if you’ve been through that, you would understand that… Little by little, drop by drop, here I am.”

Victory over Goffin saw the Bulgarian finish his debut Nitto ATP Finals campaign undefeated, having seen off No. 4 seed Dominic Thiem, Goffin and Pablo Carreno Busta in the group stages.

After he let four match points slip against Jack Sock the last time they played this year in Indian Wells, Dimitrov was understandably nervous when he needed three match points to get the job done in their semi-final of the season finale on Saturday. In Sunday’s final, there would be no repeat of the 6-0, 6-2 thrashing he dealt Goffin in the group stage.

He knew the Belgian was going to change his tactics after the previous clash. This one would require patience.

“Well, I was a little bit tired, as well. I had to play a few matches obviously back-to-back against solid opponents,” Dimitrov said of his more conservative approach on Sunday. “I think throughout the whole week, I’ve been keeping a good level. I knew that David is going to try something new. He had to be aggressive so he doesn’t let me play my game.

“Obviously a little nervous towards the end of the match, which is I think quite normal. But again, I’m over that hurdle. I’m very happy just to finish strong.”

It caps a career-best season for the Bulgarian and a potential prelude to what’s in store. For now, it’s a few days of complete rest until he admits he’ll probably have to go for a run: “I’m going to get so restless.”

Watch Live

 Watch Full Match Replays

Source link

Dimitrov makes history by beating Goffin to win ATP Finals – highlights & report

  • Posted: Nov 20, 2017

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov became the first man for 19 years to win the ATP Finals on his debut appearance with victory over Belgian David Goffin.

Sixth seed Dimitrov, 26, claimed the biggest title of his career as he won 7-5 4-6 6-3 at London’s O2 Arena.

The Bulgarian collected £1.9m in prize money for coming through the tournament unbeaten in five matches across the group stage, semi-finals and final.

He will end the year ranked third in the world, with Goffin up to seventh.

“I’m still trying to think about what I just did,” said Dimitrov, who follows in the footsteps of Spain’s Alex Corretja, who won the season-ending title on his debut in 1998.

“This is a great, unbelievable achievement for me, but I still have a lot to give.

“One of my main goals is to win a Grand Slam tournament. This has always been a dream of mine. Now, slowly, I think [I’m] getting there.”

Injuries to Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic kept two of the sport’s biggest names out of the ATP Finals, while world number one Rafael Nadal was forced to pull out injured after his opening round-robin match and Roger Federer was stunned in the semi-finals by Goffin.

But Dimitrov said it was too soon to say a new era was coming to tennis.

“Next year I think is going to be obviously pretty interesting, especially the beginning of it,” he said. “There’s still quite a few names that are going to come back and play. You should never count them out.”

He added: “Am I one of those guys? Well, right now I’m right here. I’m the winner of the tournament. But that’s about it.

“The important thing is just to stay on the ground and put your head down, even work harder because once you get to that point, everything becomes so narrow for you.

“I don’t want to get too hyped up because I’ve done well, now I’m number three in the world. This makes me even more locked in, more excited about my work, and for what’s to come.”

While Dimitrov’s season is now over, Goffin will try to help Belgium to a first ever Davis Cup victory against France next week.

“It was a special week for me,” said the Belgian. “A week with a lot of emotion and a lot of fatigue. Now I am feeling tired but it was an amazing week.”

Finland’s Henri Kontinen and Australian John Peers, the second seeds, retained the doubles title they won last year with a 6-4 6-2 win over top seeds Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Brazilian Marcelo Melo.

How the match was won

Dimitrov had thrashed Goffin for the loss of just two games only four days earlier in the group stage, but the Belgian proved a far tougher opponent in the final.

Goffin beat top seeds Nadal and Federer on the way through, and he made the early running as the underdog once again.

Dimitrov had to recover breaks of serve twice in the opening eight games but moved ahead when he converted a fifth set point in game 12.

After five breaks of serve in the first set, the second was a much tighter affair, with Dimitrov missing out on a potentially decisive break in game six after a Hawkeye challenge.

Goffin grabbed his chance in the next game with a forehand winner and confidently served out the set to force a decider.

The final set was a thrilling contest in itself, with Dimitrov fending off four break points in the first game before moving 4-2 up when Goffin sent a backhand long.

With two hours on the clock, and the large Bulgarian contingent chanting “Grigor, Grigor”, their man edged to the brink of victory, only for Goffin to serve his way back from 0-40 and three match points down.

The Belgian was given a huge ovation by the 18,000 spectators inside the O2 Arena, and he fended off a fourth match point, before Dimitrov finally sealed it when Goffin dumped a seemingly unmissable drop volley into the net.

Reaction

Tim Henman, former British number one:“It could be a huge moment in Dimitrov’s career, a turning point winning on a huge stage.

“The next step is to get into a Grand Slam final and get one of those under his belt.”

Pat Cash, former Wimbledon champion: “I think the Australian Open is the obvious target for Dimitrov, before the other guys get a grasp of their fitness again. It’s a good opportunity for someone like Grigor to get to a final or, who knows, even win.

“It was a crazy year last year and I think the guys coming back will take a bit of time. I think we’ll see Nick Kyrgios, Alexander Zeverev, and we should see Dimitrov press towards Grand Slam semis and finals.”

Analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

The size of the prize, and the opportunity presented by the absence of Roger Federer, caused bundles of nerves – and also some gripping drama.

A visibly tiring Goffin showed great resilience in the deciding set, until a poor volley prevented him saving a fifth championship point.

Dimitrov won his first Masters event in Cincinnati in August and has now landed the biggest title outside of the Grand Slams. He has always had to deal with huge expectations, and that will only increase when he arrives in Australia in January as the world number three.

This title should give him enormous confidence, and hopefully the springboard to develop further the huge potential he has always shown.

Follow tennis with the BBC
Alerts: Tennis news sent to your phone
My Sport: Sign up to follow tennis news

Source link

Page 1 of 1,36112345...102030...Last »