• Murray meets Dimitrov in Sony Open third round

    3/25/13 7:12 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Murray meets Dimitrov in Sony Open third round A marquee matchup on Monday in Miami pits Andy Murray against Grigor Dimitrov. The winner will face either Andreas Seppi or Thomaz Bellucci in the fourth round.

    Andy Murray and Grigor Dimitrov will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers and for the second time this season when they collide in the third round of the Sony Open on Monday. Murray has won both of their previous encounters; 6-4, 6-4 to years ago in Bangkok and 7-6(0), 6-4 earlier this season in the Brisbane final.

    The third-ranked Scot has turned in a solid but unspectacular 2013 campaign up to this point. In addition to his Brisbane title, Murray also finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open and he is coming off a quarterfinal showing in Indian Wells (lost to Juan Martin Del Potro). Miami's No. 2 seed improved his record for the year to 14-2 with a 6-3, 6-1 blowout of Bernard Tomic on Saturday.

    "It's tough to say who's better," Murray said when asked to compare Dimitrov with Tomic. "They have had similar results. Maybe Bernard; he's done better in the slams and obviously won a tournament. Grigor has played well this year."

    Dimitrov boasts a solid 11-6 record this season, although that is due to two tournaments and two tournaments only. Interspersed with some disappointing results, the 21-year-old Bulgarian reached the Rotterdam semifinals to go along with his performance in Brisbane. Dimitrov led Simone Bolelli by a set on Saturday when the Italian was forced to retire.

    The underdog definitely has the talent to make this interesting, but--like Tomic--you never know if that talent is going to be showcased on any given day. Murray should have too much guile for this to become anything other than a straight-setter.

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Dimitrov is a chokaholic. He choked serving for the first set against Djokovic in IW by serving 4 double faults and he choked again with 3 DF when serving for the first set against Murray.

nadline , 3/25/13 9:20 PM

If the likes of Dimitrov are the future of the ATP, I know I'll be watching the WTA in the future..........

rafaisthebest , 3/25/13 9:31 PM

Watching Muzz-Dimitrov game makes it so apparent how Rafa has re-tooled his game into an attacking force, Muzza just seems sooooo defensive.........

rafaisthebest , 3/25/13 9:37 PM

Just as well cos Andy's playing s***e :(

deuce , 3/25/13 9:38 PM

Must say, Baby Fed's really living up to his nick-name, choking at vital points like Big Fed.......

rafaisthebest , 3/25/13 9:41 PM

Above post was in response to D choking!
RITB I think the conditions are so heavy, it's difficult to play attacking tennis. Ball seems to be bouncing really high. Mind you, have only seen snippets of matches so am not in a gr8 position to tell.

deuce , 3/25/13 9:41 PM

But then again, deucy, if one is playing Choke-meister a.k.a Dimipova, why bother with attacking tennis? You KNOW said gentleman will come bearing gifts............

rafaisthebest , 3/25/13 9:46 PM

What's the point of all those pretty shots if you can't gut out the big points?

rafaisthebest , 3/25/13 9:53 PM

Andy seems to have woken up and playing better, gr8 shot to take 3-0. Hates day matches still.

deuce , 3/25/13 9:59 PM

Dimitrov is even copying Federers antics...

textor , 3/25/13 10:04 PM

Dimitrov just doesn't have the mental toughness to get it done in the crucial parts of a match. He crumbles under the pressure.

I think Andy knows what he has to do here. He won that first set tb and can now play more freely and go for his shots. I see him taking control from this point on in the match.

Nativenewyorker , 3/25/13 10:05 PM

To be honest, Baby Fed had to go into overdrive at the beginning of the first set to take it Andy and I think Andy was overwhelmed and worried about 'what if' he beats me. Apart from not being able to maintain that level, Baby Fed plays the big points badly through sheer over excitement and nerves.

Whilst Baby Fed's got the shots he seems to have inherited shanking from Daddy Fed with his one handed b/h. The one handed b/h is so last decade. A guy of his age shouldn't be using it. At the best of times it's hard to direct the ball to precisely where you want it, whilst the two-handed b/h gives you more control.

#Shankalot jnr

nadline , 3/25/13 10:13 PM

Watching Baby Fed makes anyone take their hat off to the 17 year old Rafael Nadal who stepped on court and beat the #1 player, known as TMF, at the first time of asking.

nadline , 3/25/13 10:25 PM

Congrats Andy!

danica , 3/25/13 10:32 PM

Not Andy at his best but he got the job done.

ed251137 , 3/25/13 10:39 PM

I think Andy played well enough to win. Dimitrov showed some fight when Andy was serving for the match, but in the end it wasn't enough. Andy served well when he needed to in order to get the win.

Dimitrov has real talent and the shots to do something in this sport. I hope he can get it all together, improve his mental focus and concentration and maybe fitness and discipline.

Nativenewyorker , 3/25/13 10:43 PM

Another big choke from dimitrov. 3 DF while serving for the set. Still, he did show some positive signs in this match. Still, I hope he gets his serving yips and consistency sorted out with his coach. He is my favourite of the youngsters. I certainly prefer him to say, Tomic for example.

tj600 , 3/26/13 1:01 AM

IMO, Dimi has the weapons, but like Tsonga, he sometimes tends to go for too much. He has some poor execution despite having some good point constructions. I do agree that among the youngsters, he's one most likely to succeed and on any surface. I think Raonic will succeed more for quick surfaces with his big serves. Tomic? I think he's better on slower surfaces, as he'll have more time to get to the ball, he being not a great mover. Maybe Tomic is like Gasquet, having all the talent but doesn't put in enough efforts, so he may be one who takes a longer time to realize his full potential (if ever).

luckystar , 3/26/13 4:21 AM

dimitrov has to fix what goes on between the ears. He's got the talent but what good is talent if you can't keep the mind steady. Another problem he has is his endurance. he needs to find a doctor who could help him as djokovic did. dimitriov is too small, and does not have the fire power needed to make the powerful returns generated by the top 10 players. he'll always be an also-ran unless he fixes his head and beefs up his body.

scoretracker , 3/26/13 6:05 AM

luckystar, 3/26/13 4:21 AM

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on Dimitrov. Watching him against Murray today, I found myself trying to put my finger on what is going on with him. I think he definitely has the game to succeed on all surfaces. So your thought is that he tends to just go for too much? He had a ton of UE's in that match. I am trying to remember, but at last count the commentators said he had like 38 UE's. That could come from just going for too much, as you said.

Regarding Tomic, I am not optimistic about him realizing his full potential. I can see Dimitrov trying to improve, but Tomic's performance against Murray was just dreadful. It does seem like he is tanking matches at times and that's probably the worst trait I can think of in a professional tennis player. I think Tomic will need a complete attitude change if he is to do well.

Nativenewyorker , 3/26/13 7:17 AM

Tomics new nickname should be "Tomic the Tank Engine". Its quite obvious to me that after the first set against murray(where he was ok) he tanked in the 2nd set. Its not the first time I have seen him do it, and its a dreadful attitude. The first thing he needs to do is get rid of his dad as a coach. I cant think of a single father-son coaching partnership that has actually worked in recent history.

tj600 , 3/26/13 9:43 AM

That nickname has already been bestowed upon him. His father clearly has no control over him but would any self respecting coach want to take him on.

ed251137 , 3/26/13 9:57 AM

But ed his father's been a really bad role model eg arguing with umpires on court whule his son's been playing.
Agree with tj and would add father-daughter seem even worse, examples are legion, just one, I remember poor Dinara Safina's parents, tennis coaches both, always comparing her unfavourably with Marat,

deuce , 3/26/13 10:19 AM

there was also jelena dokic and her dad. That one didn't work out so well...

tj600 , 3/26/13 10:28 AM

I don't think he tanked against Murray as such, he just couldn't maintain the level he started off with. To beat players like Murray you have to maintain a very high level for two hours or more and whilst some players can do that for half a set or a set, their level is bound to drop because they are playing above their capabilities.

Why would he tank the match? He is succeeding in convincing some people to believe that the match is always on his racquet. I'm sure he wants everyone to think that if he didn't tank his matches he could beat anyone so he maintains the 'aura' that he is a talented player, if only.....

You don't get points for having an aura you have to go on court and win the matches.

nadline , 3/26/13 10:45 AM

u play Jelena, I play Caroline...;)

deuce , 3/26/13 11:24 AM

and trump u with, surely the creepiest of all, Monsieur Bartolli....of course, before anyone jumps on me,t here are exceptions, Richard Williams being one, but not many.

deuce , 3/26/13 11:28 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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