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Dimitrov Donates Ventilators To Hometown Hospital

  • Posted: Apr 02, 2020

Dimitrov Donates Ventilators To Hometown Hospital

Bulgarian shows support for COVID-19 relief efforts

Grigor Dimitrov is committed to making a difference during his time off from competing. The Bulgarian donated ventilators to the hospital in his hometown of Haskovo in a bid to help those affected by COVID-19 in his country.

“I come from a really small town and never forgot where I came from. I just want to help, simple as that,” Dimitrov said to “I’ve been playing for Bulgaria all my life. I still have a Bulgarian passport. I really appreciate the people and all the support throughout the years. It’s not only a way of giving something back to the country, but deeply moves me and makes me feel alive.”

Dimitrov is currently in California, but remains in touch with family back home and has kept up on the news about how the coronavirus is impacting Bulgaria. He believes it’s more important than ever for the world to unite in looking at ways to be of service.

“I’ve always been very aware of what’s happening in my country. We often forget who the real heroes are in situations like this: all the doctors, the people working in gas stations or grocery stores, the cleaning staff at the hospitals,” Dimitrov said. “You have to appreciate that and I don’t think we’ve always done the best at it, even in good times.”

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Dimitrov is also looking at other ways to continue his philanthropy in the future. He admitted to having “notepads lying around everywhere” filled with ideas and hopes to bring some of them to life.

“Hopefully, I can have the right opportunities, right partners and the right structure to do the things I’ve always wanted to do, whether it’s in the medical field or education or something like that,” Dimitrov said. “I just know there are bigger things and I’d really like to not only be heavily involved, but give a part of myself for it.”

There are 449 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bulgaria as of 2 April.

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'Good-Looking' Iguana & No. 1 Promposal: Memorable Off-Court Moments In Miami

  • Posted: Apr 02, 2020

‘Good-Looking’ Iguana & No. 1 Promposal: Memorable Off-Court Moments In Miami

Look back on four fun moments from the Masters 1000 tournament

From Jim Courier’s first ‘Sunshine Double’ and Andre Agassi’s six titles to the birth of the rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the Miami Open presented by Itau has delivered highlight after highlight since its inaugural tournament in 1985. But the good memories from this Masters 1000 tournament extend beyond the court. 

We take a walk down memory lane and relive four fun moments from the past four years…

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2019: Federer’s Favourite Child
Roger Federer has done countless interviews over the years, but he faced probably the toughest question at all from #NextGenATP reporter Miomir Kecmanovic on media day in Miami. 

“We all know you have four kids. We want to know which one is your favourite,” asked Kecmanovic.

Federer, father to twin girls Charlene and Myla and boys Leo and Lenny, laughed as he replied, “Cheeky question, huh? Good one! I’ve actually never been asked!”

2018: Tiafoe Undercover
Does that ticket scanner look familiar? Eagle-eyed fans entering Crandon Park got an unexpected surprise when they found Frances Tiafoe scanning them in. “You are a champion!” said one man. “This is not your job,” said another woman. “Good game last night!”

But not all the spectators were as observant. Wearing a cap and sunglasses, the young American managed to fool a number of people… 

2017: Iguana In The House
The score was tied 3-3 in the third set, with Tommy Haas set to serve to Jiri Vesely during their first-round match, when an iguana climbed to the top of a baseline scoreboard and rested at the best seat on Court 1. “It’s a big one,” said the umpire. Officials tried to shoo the reptile away with a towel, but he refused to budge.

With play temporarily suspended, Haas walked over and snapped a selfie with the animal. “It’s nice for him to stop by. Good-looking iguana,” said the veteran, who was making his final appearance in Miami.

Eventually, though, the iguana’s fun in the sun ended, but not before a victory lap. The reptile pranced around and across the court, sprinting to the opposite baseline as the fans cheered.

2016: The World’s Best Promposal?
It may be difficult to beat this promposal from one young fan, who enlisted the help of Novak Djokovic in Miami. As the World No. 1 finished up a practice session, the fan hung over the railings with a sign, “Nole, would you please help me with my ‘promposal'”. 

Djokovic was happy to assist, promptly pulling the fan from the crowd. “Rebecca, will you go to prom with Ricardo,” he asked, giving her a choice of two tennis balls — one with Y for yes and N for no.

“I’ll remember it, and I hope they do too,” said Djokovic. “I hope they have a nice time at prom.”

Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, the 2020 Miami Open presented by Itau will not proceed as scheduled.

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Novak Djokovic, Miami's New King

  • Posted: Apr 02, 2020

Novak Djokovic, Miami’s New King looks back on Djokovic’s six title runs

Although Andre Agassi established himself as the original king of Miami, Novak Djokovic took over the throne after his retirement and could surpass the American’s achievements at this event.

Both men share the tournament record for most titles won (6), but Djokovic accomplished the feat in fewer attempts (11 vs. 17) and holds a better win-loss record (44-7, 86% vs. 61-13, 82%). The Serbian has reached the final in seven of his 12 appearances in Miami.

From his maiden ATP Masters 1000 triumph as a 19-year-old to his record-tying triumph in 2016, takes a look back at each of the World No. 1’s six title runs in Miami.

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2007: Djokovic’s Arrival
Djokovic came to Miami with four ATP Tour titles to his name and his first Masters 1000 final just days earlier, having lost to Rafael Nadal in the BNP Paribas Open final. Buoyed by his Indian Wells breakthrough, he powered through Miami in what remains one of his dominant runs.

The 19-year-old Serbian lost an average of five games per match to reach the final, gaining revenge against Nadal in the quarter-finals and dropping just a single game against Andy Murray in their semi-final clash. Djokovic ended the inspired run of Guillermo Canas in the championship, sweeping past the Argentine qualifier 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 for the biggest title of his career.

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2011: The Sunshine Double
At the start of 2011, it was unclear who would be able to stop Djokovic. He opened the year on an 18-0 run after titles at the Australian Open, Dubai and Indian Wells.

Four years after his last title in Florida, Djokovic delivered an equally dominant run to his second Miami final. The second seed dropped a combined 18 games in his first five matches to set up a championship clash with Nadal, whom he had defeated two weeks earlier in the Indian Wells final.

After two sets in which Djokovic and Nadal shifted between peak form and patches of errors, both men showcased their best tennis in a gripping final set. Djokovic belted a forehand into the corner to prevail 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(2) after three hours and 21 minutes of punishing tennis.

Djokovic’s triumph marked the first ‘Sunshine Double’ of his career. He picked up his seventh Masters 1000 crown and brought his 2011 record to 24-0, marking the best start to a season since Ivan Lendl began with 25 consecutive victories in 1986.

2012: Murray Revenge
Djokovic continued to cement his status as the man to beat on hard courts, opening the year with his third Australian Open title. With center court in Miami proving to feel like home for him, the World No. 1 raced through the top half of the draw without dropping a set and earned the right to face Andy Murray in the final.

The Serbian was eager for payback after dropping the 2009 Miami final to Murray. The Brit only completed three matches during the 2012 tournament after receiving walkovers in his third round and semi-final, but the lack of match play left him undercooked and Djokovic pounced on his slow start.

Although Murray worked his way into the match, he was unable to make a dent in Djokovic’s service games. The top seed didn’t face a break point en route to a convincing 6-1, 7-6(4) win, marking his first three-peat at a Masters 1000 event.

2014: Hard-Court Dominance
After defeating Roger Federer in a third-set tie-break to take the title in Indian Wells, Djokovic looked to score his second Sunshine Double and secure his fourth Miami crown.

The second seed had an unconventional path to the final that included walkovers in the third round against Florian Mayer and semi-finals against Kei Nishikori. But Djokovic’s straight-sets win over Murray in the quarter-finals confirmed that he was still in top form when he took the court.

Nadal once against stood across the net in the final, but the Serbian had a clear mental advantage. Djokovic owned a flawless 3-0 record in Miami finals, while Nadal was winless (0-3) at the same juncture.

Djokovic’s superior serve saw him take 83 per cent of points when he got his first serve in play and his penetrating groundstrokes pinned Nadal well behind the baseline. The World No. 2 coasted to a 6-3, 6-3 win and further proved his hard-court dominance over the Spaniard. Although Nadal led their ATP Head2Head rivalry 22-18, Djokovic held a 14-7 edge in their hard-court series.

2015: Repeat Business
For the third time in his career, Djokovic arrived in Miami on the back of victories in Melbourne and Indian Wells. Unlike some of his other dominant runs in Miami, the defending champion was pushed from the first ball this time. He went to a deciding set in his opening round against Martin Klizan and a fourth-round clash with Alexandr Dolgopolov, but ultimately advanced to a sixth final in Florida.

Waiting for Djokovic in the final was another showdown with Murray. Djokovic had won their past nine hard-court meetings and even when Murray appeared to have an edge in the hard-hitting rallies, the Serbian looked confident in being able to wear his opponent down.

After delivering his best tennis for two sets, Murray was unable to keep up with the physical demands required to beat Djokovic. The top seed sprinted through the final set for a 7-6, 4-6, 6-0 victory and became the first man in the Open Era to complete the grueling Sunshine Double three times.

2016: Making History
A now-familiar pattern for Djokovic saw him once again enter the second Masters 1000 event of the year with titles in Melbourne and Indian Wells. His confidence only grew at his most successful Masters 1000 event and the top seed once again powered through the draw, outlasting David Goffin in an entertaining semi-final to face Nishikori.

The Japanese, competing in one of the biggest hard-court finals of his career, broke Djokovic in the third game of the match. It would be the only momentum he held that afternoon as the Serbian claimed his sixth straight win over Nishikori with a 6-3, 6-3 triumph. Djokovic lifted a then-record 28th Masters 1000 title and matched Agassi’s tournament record with his sixth crown.

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Five Things To Know About Borna Coric

  • Posted: Apr 02, 2020

Five Things To Know About Borna Coric

Learn about the Croatian’s sporting idol, his rise on the ATP Tour and more

Borna Coric has become a consistent force on the ATP Tour, using his rock-solid baseline game to break opponents down, while also going on the attack when necessary. The 23-year-old Croatian is currently No. 33 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, and he has not dropped from the world’s Top 50 since 30 October 2017. looks at five things you should know about the 6’2″ right-hander:

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1) He is a two-time ATP Tour titlist
Coric has won two ATP Tour titles, earning his maiden trophy in Marrakech three years ago. The Croatian needed to work hard for that crown, saving five championship points in the title match against German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Coric’s second title also came in style, defeating Roger Federer in the 2018 Halle final. He earned two Top 5 victories in that tournament, also upsetting Alexander Zverev in the first round.

2) Coric showed his talent early

Before turning 18, Coric showed his skills by defeating some of the best players of this generation. At 17, he beat Rafael Nadal (2014 Basel), and at 18 he defeated Andy Murray (2015 Dubai). The 2014 ATP Star of Tomorrow has tallied 13 Top 10 wins, and he is only 23.

Coric qualified for the first edition of the Next Gen ATP Finals in 2017, and he has climbed as high as No. 12 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

3) Borna’s favourite day of the week was Monday
When Coric was a junior travelling to tournaments in Croatia, he had added incentive to make a deep run. He recalls that championship matches were on Monday, so if he advanced that far, he would get to miss a day of school.

“That was great. That was awesome. That was one of the memories which I had back then,” Coric said. “I did not want to go to school and that was something cool. You could just play the match on a Monday and it was a final, so that was great. “

Coric has grown plenty since then, and this year he represented Croatia as his country’s No. 1 singles player at the inaugural ATP Cup in Sydney. He defeated Austria’s Dominic Thiem, who not long thereafter reached the Australian Open final.

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4) He remembers his first international tournament vividly
Coric played his first tournament outside of Croatia in Rome in 2005, losing in the final. His whole family — includng his parents and sister — went with him and stayed in a camper van.

“I remember almost every detail. I started basically to prepare for the tournament two weeks before, and I actually thought we were going to play on a small court,” Coric recalled. “I came there with my whole family and we were playing on a normal court with normal balls, so then I started being very nervous. I remember also that we were staying in this caravan, all four of us. It was quite funny. It was a very small place for four people, but back at that time I just didn’t mind.

“After the [final] match I just went to do 100 pushups and situps because I was just mad at myself that I lost.”

5) Borna meet… Mike Tyson?
Coric’s favourite sports personality is perhaps a surprise: boxer Mike Tyson. He got to meet the former heavyweight champion at the 2016 BNP Paribas Open, when he was still a teen.

“I watched it all on YouTube, basically, and I just liked his fire… I think that’s unbelievable,” Coric said. “I was watching his fights and I just find him very entertaining, I loved the way he was fighting. It was really cool. I always wanted to meet him.”

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Naomi Broady: GB player considered supermarket work during coronavirus lockdown

  • Posted: Apr 02, 2020

Naomi Broady says she considered applying to work in a supermarket after Wimbledon was cancelled and the tennis season halted until at least 13 July.

Wimbledon was called off for the first time since World War Two on Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Broady has not played a match since suffering an ankle injury last October.

“Tennis is an individual sport and we win our money, so if we’re not able to win it, we don’t get any, it’s that simple,” she told BBC Radio Manchester.

“I was looking at doing supermarket work, especially at the start when they were saying they were struggling for staff.”

  • Wimbledon cancelled due to coronavirus
  • ‘There are bigger things in life than tennis’ – Katie Swan

In addition to the entire grass-court season being abandoned, the French Open, on clay, has been rescheduled from May to 20 September-4 October.

Broady says professional tennis players have yet to receive any financial support despite the cancellation of tournaments.

The 30-year-old continued: “No players will be earning money whilst the tours are off. I know a lot of the lower ranked players who don’t really make [much] money on the tour, don’t have savings and they’re campaigning to try and get some sort of financial help or relief.

“The small bit of relief, almost, is that everyone is in the same boat. The country is in lockdown now so unless players have got a court in their own back garden, which isn’t many of them, no one is able to do anything at all.”

Broady and her younger brother Liam, also a professional player, have signed up on social media as volunteers to help people in their area with shopping or prescription pick-ups.

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