Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios make early exits in Cincinnati after reaching final last year

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Last year’s Cincinnati finalists Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios both suffered three-set defeats in their rain-postponed third rounds on Friday.

Defending champion Dimitrov was down 6-2, 3-6, 1-2 when his clash with Novak Djokovic was halted on Thursday due to showers that have wreaked havoc with the schedule in Mason, Ohio over the past two days.

The Bulgarian, who now trails Djokovic 1-8 head-to-head, had a great start on Thursday, taking the opening set with two breaks, and losing just six points on serve in total. But Djokovic dug in and drew level before play was suspended.

Returning to Centre Court on Friday, Djokovic held on to the service break he had from the day before to complete the win and set up a quarter-final against Milos Raonic, scheduled shortly after on Friday.

Dimitrov, who started the week ranked No. 5 but will likely drop to No. 7 after his third-round exit, has not had the best results this season, despite finishing 2017 on a high, claiming the ATP Finals crown.

He’s taking lots of positives though from his quarter-final showing in Toronto last week, and his two matches in Cincinnati.

“It’s going to be up and down, for sure, I think. I haven’t played that many matches, so every match that I win or I play well, I want to take the positive out of it,” said the 27-year-old.

“And even if, from negative matches like last week when I lost to Anderson, I played a really bad match, but in the same time, I’m, like, okay, I need to try to get the best that I can from that situation, and, yeah, move forward. I mean, that’s all I have to think of right now and that US Open is around the corner.

“Yeah, absolutely. Take maybe couple of days off, maybe watch the match a little bit more, see what I could have done better or things that I need to focus on, keep on working and, yeah, I mean, we start again in New York.”

Dimitrov hasn’t defeated Djokovic since Madrid in 2013 and this was one of their closest matches since then.

“I got him exactly where I wanted him to be, and he also, in those moments, he just kind of relaxed a little bit and he started going for more, because that’s his only chance to beat me. Everything went his way, to be honest,” admitted Dimitrov.

Meanwhile, Kyrgios hit out at officiating in Cincinnati, and complained about a lengthy toilet break Juan Martin del Potro took in their third round on Friday.

The 23-year-old Aussie, a runner-up here last year, fell 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 6-2 to Del Potro, who left the court for a nine-minute toilet break after he dropped the second set, which angered an already irritated Kyrgios, who had been arguing with umpire Adel Nour over an interruption made by a line judge during play.

After the match, Kyrgios posted, then deleted, a post on his Instagram story that, in his opinion, summed up his week in Cincinnati.

“Two point penalties. Horrendous umpiring. Crazy toilet breaks,” read the post.

His mother Norlaila Kyrgios also weighed in on the matter saying on Twitter: “Something as ordinary as a toilet break is a debatable topic at this level of tennis. Does the player really need to go, or is it a ruse to buy time, clear the mind and alter momentum? Coincidentally, it’s usually when someone loses a set.”

Kyrgios, who has been struggling with a hip issue and played both his matches in Cincinnati with both knees taped, is likely to drop from 18 to 30 in the world when the new rankings are released on Monday – his lowest ranking since February 2016.

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Watch: Nick Kyrgios tries to justify tanking in the second set of win at Cincinnati Open

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Nick Kyrgios tried to justify his tanking in the second set of his clash against Borna Coric at the Cincinnati Open.

According to the Australian, his decision to give less than his full effort in the second set allowed him to take the third set in the 7-6, 0-6, 6-3 win.

“In the second set when I was 4-0 down, I knew there was no real point in me going out there and competing and obviously wasting energy trying to battle back against a guy like that,” Kyrgios said.

See his full comments in the video below.

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Greg Rusedski 'not a fan' of Davis Cup format change

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Greg Rusedski is not convinced of the new changes

Former British number one Greg Rusedski has hit out at the proposed changes to the Davis Cup.

Tennis associations across the world on Thursday voted for a new World Cup-style week-long tournament to be played at the end of the season, bringing an end to the traditional home and away format spread throughout the year.

The new tournament, funded by an investment group led by Barcelona’s former Spain international Gerard Pique, will begin in November 2019.

Eighteen countries will be divided into six groups with each qualifying round consisting of three matches – two singles and one doubles – of best-of-three sets.

The top teams from each group and the two highest-scoring runners-up will play the quarter-finals on the Friday, with the semi-finals on Saturday and the final held on Sunday.

The Lawn Tennis Association, the governing body of British tennis, voted against the revamp and Rusedski, who was a stalwart of Great Britain’s Davis Cup team for 12 years, fears it will be a turn-off for players and fans alike.

“There needed to be changes but I’m not a fan of what they’ve proposed,” Rusedski, now an Amazon Prime Video presenter, told Press Association Sport.

“Guys are always complaining they are tired at the end of the year. So where is it put? Slap bang right after the ATP Finals.

“Rafael Nadal says he wants to shut up shop, Roger Federer says he needs to go on holiday, and they’re going to play five matches back-to-back in a week, the day after the end-of-season championships?

“So the calendar-positioning of it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. There’s a lot of things they haven’t consulted the players about. The first year they might play but will they play in two, three, four years? I’d be very surprised.

“I know Novak Djokovic and Nadal have been positive about it but Pique is their friend.

“The investment is fantastic news. But is the concept right? I’m not so sure. I’ll miss the home and away ties. You win the Davis Cup at home, or on the road. You’ll lose that environment.

“Are people going to travel to watch for one week in November? Are players going to play? Those are the huge question marks. It’s not really the Davis Cup. It’s become a week-long thing now.”

Great Britain are in Davis Cup action in Glasgow next month, in a World Group play-off against Uzbekistan which has now been rendered virtually meaningless.

“Does that actually matter now?” added Rusedski. “With this new format it’s just become an exhibition now.

“Looking at all these proposals there’s no clarity. If the players and people in the sport don’t fully understand it how can it be voted to be agreed upon.
“That’s what dumbfounds me. What have you actually agreed to?”

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