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1 Response to ao21karatsev_dimitrov

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    Points won by each set: | 16-31, 38-33, 28-12, 28-17 |
    Points won directly behind the serve:
    35 % Karatsev – 37 of 105
    29 % Dimitrov – 29 of 98

    An extraordinary story… 27-year-old Karatsev [114], who was drifting between Futures and Challengers for a few years, only occasionally playing in the main-level events (didn’t play any in the years 2017-19), had too low ranking to even try advance to the majors. In the “covid season” he finally began to keep a good form at the Challenger level (two titles in four finals) and moved in the ranking from no. 293 to 112. He advanced to Australian Open thanks to a qualifying event held in Doha (January), and one month later becomes the first Grand Slam semifinalist in his major debut! I knew that he had a good chance to defeat Dimitrov [21] seeing him in the previous two rounds as he eliminated Schwartzman [9] and Auger [19], but for the first 40 minutes he was playing catastrophic tennis even though the match was played without spectators. His first two service games of the 2nd set were crucial. He saved five and two break points respectively which allowed him to return to his normal self. Dimitrov led 4:3* in the 2nd set when the Russian took 15 of the last 18 games. Credit to him, because until he led 3:1* in the 3rd set, the Bulgarian was playing his standard tennis. Then after Dimitrov’s serve, Karatsev played a great return off the forehand. Dimitrov couldn’t react to that shot, but he actually stopped playing in that game, demonstrating a total indifference. He lost the last three games of the set only walking and took a medical time-out off the court. It was later revealed that he felt a back spasm at 1-all in that set. In the 4th set Dimitrov’s movement improved, but he couldn’t be competitive and trailing *2:5, he actually delivered a few serves only to watch how Karatsev hits return winners. “It’s an unbelievable feeling. Of course it’s my first time playing [a Grand Slam] main draw, first time [in the] semis,” Karatsev said in his on-court interview. “It’s incredible.”

    # Players with the fewest main-level events in the Grand Slam semifinals:
    5 – Edmondson (Australian Open ’76), J.McEnroe (Wimbledon ’77)
    10 – Karatsev (Australian Open ’21)
    11 – Voltchkov (Wimbledon ’00)

    # Five qualifiers in the Grand Slam semifinals:
    Wimbledon ’77 – John McEnroe [236]
    Australian Open ’77 – Bob Gilitnan [365]
    Roland Garros ’97 – Filip Dewulf [122]
    Wimbledon ’00 – Vladimir Voltchkov [237]
    Australian Open ’21 – Aslan Karatsev [114]

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