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Grigor Ditmitrov Upset World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Madrid 0

Posted on May 08, 2013 by JA Allen

The Madrid Match: Dimitrov 7-6, 6-7, 6-3

Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria

Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria

If you watched the match on Tuesday between world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, currently ranked world No. 28, perhaps you witnessed an historic match—much like the fourth round match between Pete Sampras and Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2001.

The Swiss defeated Pistol Pete in five thrilling sets to send the American packing. Sampras would never again reign on Center Court after seven Wimbledon championships while Federer showed the world he could win the big one.

Like Federer, Dimitrov may not capitalize immediately but what the match fully illustrated was that the Bulgarian could win over the best. That critical step Dimitrov took today should instill him with enough confidence to stand toe to toe with anyone on court today. Time will tell, however,  whether this match stands the test of time.

Both combatants mesmerized tennis fans around the globe as the match ebbed and flowed first in Dimitrov’s favor, then in Djokovic’s. The Serb never quit trying to will his way across the finish line. When Dimitrov took the first set tie-break, we all believed that Djokovic was in a dog-fight—but one that he would win—eventually.

The second set unfolded with Djokovic down again, figuratively and literally, as he slipped on the baseline, temporarily injuring an already tender right ankle. But Djokovic righted the ship and won the second set tiebreak.

At that point we all believed that Dimitrov had fought the good fight—but surely the world No. 1 had the momentum to finish the youngster off in the third set. But 3 hours and 5 minutes later, Djokovic was gone and a new potential champion was left standing.

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A Reversal in Tennis Fortunes in 2009 as Federer Vs. Nadal on Clay 2

Posted on April 12, 2010 by JA Allen
Roger Federer wins the 2009 final at the ATP Madrid Open against Rafael Nadal.

Roger Federer wins the 2009 final at the ATP Madrid Open against Rafael Nadal.

2009 did not begin well for the man from Switzerland, Roger Federer. He made headlines after the Australian Open––not because he won––but because he cried a river after his loss. As did his fans.

He did everything better than Rafael Nadal except win the big points when it mattered, losing 5-7, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 2-6. His tears were out of frustration and anger at himself when he felt the match should have been his.

Understandably Federer started the year under pressure––recovering from a back injury suffered in the waning months of 2008. In the early moments of 2009, the World No. 2 lost in the semifinals at Abu Dhabi to Andy Murray. Then he lost again to Murray in the semifinals at Doha. Finally he captured a win in the finals over Stanislav Wawrinka at the exhibition in Kooyong just prior to the Australian Open.

During the lead-up matches to the finals at the 2009 Australian Open, Federer played well enough. He defeated his early opponents in straight sets. In the 4th round he came back from two sets down to defeat Tomas Berdych in five sets. Then he took out both Juan Martin del Potro and Andy Roddick, respectively in the quarterfinals and semifinals to reach the championship match where Nadal awaited.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer pose at the beginning of the 2009 Australian Open final.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer pose at the beginning of the 2009 Australian Open final.

After he lost the Australian Open final, Federer blamed his erratic first serve for his loss; but up until the final, the Swiss maestro appeared to be hitting the ball well.

Regardless, he left Australia distraught over this lost opportunity. A win would have pulled him equal to Sampras’ record of 14 grand slam titles.

Feeling he needed additional time to heal from his back injury and as a further precaution, Federer decided to withdraw from Dubai and a much-anticipated Davis Cup tie with the United States.

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    • Bill Freehan: Michigan Man
      May 12, 2018 | 6:21 pm

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was an 11-time American League All-Star at one of the most demanding positions in baseball, yet outside of Detroit his exploits have been largely forgotten.

      For more than a decade, Bill Freehan was the rock behind home plate for the Detroit Tigers. In addition to earning All-Star honors 10 straight years and 11 times overall, Freehan was a five-time Gold Glove winner and in 1968 finished second in the American League in the MVP voting.

      A true “Michigan Man”, Freehan played his entire sports career representing teams from Michigan.

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