ATP Weekend Wrap: No Grigor, No Problem for Sofia Debut
by Staff | February 7th, 2016, 7:15 pm
  • 15 Comments

No Grigor, But You Get Agut for 2016 Sofia Debut


Even more than Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov skipping his country’s debut ATP event because he wasn’t offered enough appearance money, the Sofia Open will be remembered for  top seed Roberto Bautista Agut etching his name in the history books as the event’s first winner.

The Spaniard in the final of the Garanti Koza Sofia Open topped No. 2 Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-4. He followed up a win in Auckland for his second title of 2016.

“I have to be happy about this start to the season, the way I play,” he said. “I used drop shots a lot today because he is a great defender and sometimes he stays very far from the baseline. I needed to find a way to break the rhythm and drop shots gave me a lot of points today. To beat Viktor you have to work a lot.”

The 27-year-old Bautista Agut is 12-2 on the year and reached the round of 16 in Melbourne. Troicki fell to 3-6 in career finals.

“He was playing better — more offensive, more aggressive, took more risks,” said Troicki, who won the Sydney title in January. “He also didn’t miss many balls. I felt like the better I played, the better he played. I had a long match yesterday. I needed to be 100 percent fit to win. He started the season very well. He played great the last four tournaments. So I congratulate him. He deserved the win.”

Three’s the Charm for Gasquet in All-French Montpellier Championship

Richard Gasquet came out of the all-French final at the Open Sud de France with his third career tournament title, beating compatriot Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-5, 6-4.

He improved to 13-12 in career ATP finals after a fourth straight final in Montpellier, France.

“I am very proud to win my third title here, because it was a great match against a good friend,” the 29-year-old Gasquet said. “He had nothing to lose, so it was great to win.”

Mathieu ran to a 3-0 lead in the first set and even broke late in the set, but couldn’t close. Gasquet broke early in the second and fought off a late surge by Mathieu to clinch the championship. Mathieu fell to 4-6 in career ATP finals.

Gasquet fortified his Top 10 standing at No. 10 on the ATP Rankings.

Burgos Burgles Quito Dirt Title

Ageless Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos defended his Ecuador Open Quito claycourt title on Sunday, winning his second straight with a 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 win over Thomaz Bellucci.

The 35-year-old followed up on his 2015 effort when he became the first Dominican to win an ATP title.

“I can’t describe the feeling when I saw the last ball go out,” he said. “It was an unbelievable moment, to win back-to-back in Quito. Last year I was very nervous. I could barely breathe serving on match point. This year I was much more relaxed closing out the match.”

In the sunny and windy conditions, Estrella Burgos in the third set broke in the first game and rode the lead to victory, his career second title.

“The wind did not allow me to maintain a good level,” said Bellucci, who fell to 4-3 in career finals. “I was dominating and I had options to win the match, but I wasted them. In the third set, I lost my rhythm on serve and he raised his level.”

 


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15 Comments for ATP Weekend Wrap: No Grigor, No Problem for Sofia Debut

danica Says:

Grigor, if this is really the reason for you not appearing, then it is really disappointing. You pretty much let down your fans at home.


Margot Says:

There was an interview with Racheed in the Sunday Times. Can’t post a link, you have to pay for timesonline.
Basically he said Dimi 1) wasn’t prepared to work hard enough and b) wasn’t committed enough to improving his game to the extent that he might win majors.
Implied that applied to the majority of “young guns” and why top 10 continue to dominate.


Wog Boy Says:

If that is true about Grigor he should be absolutely ashamed of himself. I was in Sofia in August last year, had a great time, great hospitality and beautiful city including mount Vitosa on it’s outskirts, they love Grigor and they love Nole, I just can’t believe the issue was the money. The boy from country town in Bulgaria didn’t want to play maiden ATP tournament in his own country, shame on you Grigor.


Dave Says:

Margot,

If that is true what Racheed said, I can’t believe I put Grigor in my top 10 this year. The guy is insanely talented. Talent doesn’t win matches though.


jane Says:

margot, wow, it’s disappointing to hear it officially, from his former coach, but it’s rather what i always suspected. as for not appearing at his “home” tournament due to money, it says even more about him. sigh.

i hate to stereotype but is this evidence of the so-called “entitlement” generation in tennis?


Wog Boy Says:

I think Racheed is looking fir another victim to “coach” so he has to find excuse for his failure with previous players he “coached”.


jane Says:

ha ha, wog boy. i take it you think rasheed is bad eh? he certainly didn’t help monfils when they worked together. but i have to wonder: even if he isn’t right about grigor, i can’t fathom why dimitrov’s been so ‘stalled’ in his development, regardless of coach? it makes me think it has to be himself – on some level anyhow.


Wog Boy Says:

jane,

I agree, Grigor is more interesting in who is he going to date (polite word for something else) than about his tennis.

Coach is there to try to change and improve the player, Racheed hasn’t improved one single player he coached, quite opposite, look at the Hewit, his injuries started basically with Racheed, Monfils and the rest. Racheed is a fitness trainer, not a coach and he is bloody good salesman, when it comes to selling himself.


jane Says:

that’s true wog boy; i think tsonga had a really successful period after getting rid of rasheed.

real shame about grigor; it’s clear he has talent. but talent is nothing without work, too.


Dave Says:

Good points Wog Boy. I don’t mean to change the subject, but I find it very curious that there has been as far as I know, zero details to the surgery of Federer. What knew was it? left or right. How big was the tear? how much cartilage did they need to cut out? If it was the left knee, which I would assume is the one he jumps with when serving, that could be a much bigger issue. If anyone has heard any details, I would be interested in knowing. Some people are down playing the injury quite a bit. After talking with my dad who has had torn meniscus on both knees and multiple surgeries on one of them, it seems a lot more serious than everyone is letting on about. My dad was even saying from a mental standpoint it isn’t so easy to trust your knee and put any kind of pressure or major impact on it. This takes a lot of time to get over. And the re-injury, it’s not so difficult to have issues with it again. After the talk I had with my dad, the earliest I see Federer coming back is some time in April, if not beginning of May.


Dave Says:

Also, when you look at the course of a full tennis match, every time he jumps up to serve and lands, it puts pressure on the bad knee. Every time he does an overhead smash. Sudden quick movements and changes of direction in a split second can all cause strain. My dad also mention that the ligaments even stretch to overcompensate, and that changes the dynamics of a persons knee. It’s not some easy or simple process to make a full recovery for a tennis player or any person for that matter.


Margot Says:

@Dave
It’s the gist of what RR said but as far as it’s the “truth” about him and other young players, who knows? As Wog Boy says, he may have an axe to grind.
But, I do have a but, there’s such a lot of publicity around the extra-curricular activities
of not just Dimi, but the others too.I can’t remember anything like regarding the older generation when they were the same age.
Now, is this because the “feeding frenzy” is a lot worse these days or ……..?


J-Kath Says:

Sorri to but in on Dimi’s thread but there is no current Andy thread.

Thought I’d share this twit:

“Slight delay in the announcement of the Murray baby, as they waited for Hawkeye to confirm that it was out.”


Van Persie Says:

Lol J-Kath, that is a funny tweet :)
Well, Congrats to Andy and Kim!


BBB Says:

Rasheed made similar comments when he was interviewed during the Australian Open either by the Tennis Channel or by ESPN, can’t remember which. In essence, that the young players with potential didn’t have ‘processes’ in place to allow themselves to maximize their talent. He cited Federer and Djokovic as professionals with the right entourage and work ethic, and was hardest on Tomic and Kyrgios. I don’t remember him being quite as hard on Dimitrov.

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