Grigor Dimitrov insists he has 'nothing to prove' despite latest Grand Slam disappointment

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Grigor Dimitrov's wait for a first Grand Slam final appearance continues.

​Grigor Dimitrov says he needs to rediscover his playing rhythm after the disappointment of crashing out of the Australian Open to British hope Kyle Edmund in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

The Bulgarian world No.3 was ambushed 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 by the 49th-ranked Edmund and again misses out in his 30th Grand Slam tournament.

The 26-year-old lost to Rafael Nadal over five sets in last year’s semi-final and has yet to go beyond the last four at a Grand Slam.

“It’s hard to hide the disappointment. It’s how I feel. It hurts and so it should,” Dimitrov told his post-match media conference.

“I need to give myself a couple of days just to relax a little bit and reassess the whole Australian trip.

“I need to be smart the way I’m practising now, not to overdo it again, but in the same time make sure I find my rhythm again, my game itself, the elements when I play.

“That requires quite a bit of work, but I’m certain I’m going to be able to do it and hopefully produce better tennis as the year progresses.”

Dimitrov again struggled on serve, giving up seven double faults and being broken five times. Overall he had 43 double-faults in five matches at the tournament.

“Definitely that’s one of the things I’ve struggled with a lot in the past week,” he said.

“That’s one thing I know if I can turn around, make sure I’m a bit more consistent.

“I felt like some of the matches I was serving pretty much all the matches over 50 percent.

“It’s just the winning percentage (42 percent) on the second serve was pretty low, made quite a bit of double-faults. I can only blame myself on that.”

Dimitrov said despite his early exit from the year’s opening Grand Slam he had nothing to prove.

“In a way, I have nothing to prove to anyone anymore. I’m playing tennis for myself. I’ve pretty much done, in a way, what everybody thought I would do,” he said.

“To me, that’s not about it right now. It’s really about stepping up my own game, my own belief, my own way of playing.

“For sure once you get to the top, everything becomes more narrow. You have a bigger target on your back. Everybody wants to beat you. So, yeah, it gets harder.”​

* Provided by AFP

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Kyle Edmund's heroic run to the Australian Open semi-finals: Numbers behind his Melbourne surprise

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Can't stop him: Kyle Edmund.

Kyle Edmund’s march towards the Australian Open semi-finals this fortnight has been nothing short of remarkable.

The world No. 49 was 0-14 against top-10 opposition prior to these two weeks and had made it past the second round at a Grand Slam just three times before in 13 main draw appearances at the majors.

Now, the 23-year-old South African-born Brit has claimed the biggest win of his career — a four-set success over world No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov, to storm into the last-four at Melbourne Park.

He next faces either Rafael Nadal or Marin Cilic for a dream place in the final.

Edmund’s run to the semi-finals in Melbourne looked like this:

R1 beat Kevin Anderson [11] 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
R2 beat world No60 Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-2, 6-4
R3 beat world No61 Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6, 3-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5
R4 beat world No76 Andreas Seppi 6-7, 7-5, 6-2, 6-3
QF beat Grigor Dimitrov [3] 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

Here’s a close analysis of the numbers behind Edmund’s historic fortnight Down under…

1 – Edmund is the first British man, other than Andy Murray, to reach the Australian Open semi-finals since John Lloyd in December 1977.

1 – Edmund’s win over third-ranked Dimitrov was his first against a top-five opponent in 12 attempts.

2 – five-set wins for Edmund this fortnight, the first time he’s done so at the same tournament.

5 – second serve aces struck by Edmund so far this tournament.

5 – Edmund has posted five consecutive tour-level match wins for the first time in his career.

6 – Edmund is the sixth British male Grand Slam semi-finalist in the Open Era, joining countrymen Roger Taylor, John Lloyd, Greg Rusedski, Tim Henman and Andy Murray.

14 – hours and 48 minutes, total time spent on court through five matches.

22 – break points saved, out of 33 faces throughout the tournament.

30 – Edmund will crack the top-30 for the first time thanks to making the semis. If reaches the final, he’ll rank in the top-20.

74.6 – per cent, Edmund’s success rate in net points this tournament, won 53 out of 71 net points (20/25 in the match against Dimitrov).

78 – aces fired by Edmund so far this tournament.

184 – km/hr, the average speed of his first serve this Australian Open.

278 – winners coming off the Edmund racquet through five matches this fortnight, averaging 55.6 winners per match. He has hit 199 unforced errors.

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Elina Svitolina reveals hip injury following straight-sets drubbing by Elise Mertens in quarter-finals

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World number four Elina Svitolina blamed a hip injury for her humiliation at the hands of Australian Open debutante Elise Mertens Tuesday.

The fourth seed from Ukraine had her nine-match win streak shattered in the quarter-final 6-4, 6-0 by unseeded Belgian Mertens on Rod Laver Arena.

“Today was very tough for me physically,” said Svitolina, who was attempting to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final.

“Going into the tournament, I had a few issues with my health. Yeah, it was very sad that today I was not feeling great.”

The in-form Ukrainian, who won more WTA events than any other player in 2017, said she had suffered the injury in winning the Brisbane International earlier this month.

“It was my hip. I started to feel it actually after the final in Brisbane,” she said.

“Then it was getting worse and then was up and down. You know, I always had the tape, like, a heavy tape under the shorts.

“It’s been there all the time. I had pain all the time. But with painkillers, it was fine.”

World number 37 Mertens, on a 10-match unbeaten streak after winning in Hobart this month, sent Svitolina packing in just an 1hr 13min to become the first Belgian to make the last four since Kim Clijsters in 2012.

“You know, she played great tennis. Long rallies,” said Svitolina. “I couldn’t push on the serve. I gave her this chance to play well, and she did it.

“She didn’t give me opportunities. All the credit to her, because she played really good tennis. I couldn’t really match it.”

Svitolina had needed a run to the final to have a chance of displacing Simona Halep at the top of the world rankings.

In her 22nd Grand Slam appearance, the Ukrainian has now been thwarted three times at the quarter-final stage, the other two occasions being at Roland Garros in 2015 and last year.

* Provided by AFP

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