Dimitrov and Bouchard Fall on Tuesday at Citi Open
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Fan favorites Grigor Dimitrov and Eugenie Bouchard crashed out of the Citi Open on Tuesday at the hands of Dan Evans and Camila Giorgi respectively. Dimitrov played with malaise in the afternoon heat, creating an opportunity for Evans that he seized upon. The Brit dictated with his one handed backhand and came away with a 6-4 6-4 victory in less than an hour and a half of play. Dimitrov was broken in the opening game of the match, then broken once more after breaking back. He had a chance at the end of the first set to get the match to 5-5, but failed to do so.
In the second set, it was more of the same, with Evans steady on his serve, snuffing out chances for Dimitrov. Evans attacked Dimitrov’s serve and ended up 5-2 up, and serving for the match. He had three match points serving 5-2, but Dimitrov clawed back, and made a late rally, holding at love to force Evans to serve for the match once again at 5-4. Despite the final game going to deuce, a fifth match point was finally the clincher for Evans, as Dimitrov’s baseline game simply broke down when it mattered. A woeful season continues for Dimitrov, while Evans is perhaps making his move into a regular ATP tour quality player.
Bouchard, another would be star who has had woeful results this season, fell to Giorgi 7-5 6-4. She was behind the entire first set, at one point 4-1 down, only to break back, before eventually being broken on her own serve when serving to force a first set tiebreak. In the second set, the story repeated itself, with Giorgi going 4-2 up, Bouchard breaking back, but losing her own serve at 4-5 with the match on the line. Giorgi only had one match point, but it’s all she needed to score a big win.
In other WTA results, Naomi Broady defeated Irina Falconi 6-3 6-4, Sabine Lisicki was all smiles against Kristina Kucova 6-3 7-5, Christina McHale got past the unorthodox Monica Niculescu 6-3 6-4, Tamira Paszek defeated qualifier Lauren Albanese 6-3 6-4, Monica Puig won the lone battle on the day against Oceane Dodin 6-2 4-6 6-3 in two hours, and Risa Ozaki stunned Sloane Stephens 6-2 6-1 in less than an hour. Stephens played one of her worst matches of the season, while Puig looked dominant until she didn’t against Dodin, and had to fight her way back.
In the lone ATP doubles match on the day, Lukasz Kubot and Alexander Peya won a tight battle against Brian Baker and Austin Krajicek 4-6 6-2 10-8.
As for ATP singles, there were a lot of close tiebreak matches on the day. Brian Baker needed two tiebreaks to defeat the big serving Sam Groth. Groth was poor on return, as is usual, but just a few points difference separated the two men, as a frustrated Groth easily could have been the winner instead. Fellow American Ryan Harrison didn’t play incredibly great, but he still defeated a likely jet-lagged Stephane Robert 7-6 6-3. Ivan Dodig retired down 6-2 4-2 against Yoshihito Nishioka, as he was also feeling the effects of fatigue.
Austin Krajicek lost twice on the day, as he also fell in singles at the hands of Rendy Lu, 6-1 7-6. Donald Young found himself in a tight contest with lower ranked qualifier Ernesto Escobedo, he eventually prevailed 6-4 3-6 6-3, as Escobedo had few chances in the third set to get back into the match. Tall American Reilly Opelka battled hard for what would have been a big win against Malek Jaziri, but Jaziri was steady on his own serve, despite his struggles against the American’s height. The match finished 6-7 7-6 7-6, as late in the third set, Opelka was experiencing shoulder pain and had to call the trainer. With as well as he played against an ATP tour regular, Opelka showed more than a glimpse of his potential.
Another young gun, Denis Shapovalov, put up quite the contest against an ATP regular. Lukas Lacko needed three sets against the young Canadian, winning 7-6 4-6 6-4. The first set of the match featured four breaks of serve, while the second had just one, which went against Lacko. Shapovalov tightened up his game as the match went on, while Lacko forced him to hit a lot of his one handed backhands, a lethal, but at times erratic shot for him. In the third, Shapovalov was serving to make it 5-5, but found himself broken on match point, sending Lacko into the next round by the skin of his teeth. Despite the loss, it’s clear Shapovalov has the game to compete well on the ATP tour as a young gun.
Alexandr Dolgopolov found himself in a two hour war against Jordan Thompson. Dolgo was cruising up 6-4 in the first set, and connecting on his blistering shots from both wings. He played a miserable second set however, losing it 6-1, and in the third set, he was a comfortable 5-2 up, before getting broken and eventually forced into a third set tiebreak, a tiebreak that he got ahead in, and didn’t look back, taking the match 6-4 1-6 7-6. Though he surely wished the match had been easier, Dolgopolov packed the stands with his exciting play.
In late action, Benoit Paire dominated Jared Donaldson 6-0 7-5, and Sam Querrey came back from a shock first set dropped against Bjorn Fratangelo to win 6-7 6-4 6-4. Querrey wasn’t broken in the match until late in the third set, and at that point he was still 5-3 up, and served the match out in his next service game to earn an important victory. Thunderstorms moved in late on Tuesday, interrupting Steve Johnson vs. Adrian Mannarino (4-2 for Johnson), Kristina Mladenovic vs. Samantha Crawford (6-2 1-3), and Lauren Davis vs. Shelby Rogers (4-4). Those matches will be completed today.
The tournament marches on today with big matches on both the ATP and WTA side as the top seeds take to the court.