The Week in Tennis: Dimitrov suffers epic meltdown, Almagro ends title drought

Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov lost the Istanbul claycourt final on Sunday after a series of violent racquet-smashing tantrums resulted in a championship-ending game penalty.

Second seed Dimitrov was leading Argentina's Diego Schwartzman by a set and 5-2 before he completely lost control of himself and eventually the match.

Schwartzman, the world number 87, went on to claim a 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-0 win for his first title.

First-time winner Diego Schwartzman and runner-up Grigor Dimitrov with their trophies. Image courtesy: Twitter/@istanbulopen

First-time winner Diego Schwartzman and runner-up Grigor Dimitrov with their trophies. Image courtesy: Twitter/@istanbulopen

But it was 24-year-old Dimitrov's antics that grabbed the headlines as he lost 11 of the last 12 games.

Bidding for a fifth career crown and playing in his eighth final, the Bulgarian became increasingly frustrated with his inability to close out the match, smashing racquet after racquet into the Istanbul clay.

Once he went into a third meltdown courtside at 0-5, 40-40 in the decider, it resulted in a game penalty and forfeit of the match.

"I let myself down, I let my team down, I let my family down with that behaviour," said Dimitrov, the world number 29 told reporters.

"I started cramping at 5-2 in the second set. It was very unfortunate that I couldn’t close out the match. I have to give credit to Diego."

Watch how Dimitorv's meltdown and how the match ended below:

Almagro ends four-year title drought

Nicolas Almagro ended a title drought lasting four years on Sunday when the experienced Spanish clay-courter defeated younger compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 to win the Estoril Open.

Nicholas Almagro with the Estoril trophy. Image courtesy: Twitter/@EstorilOpen

Nicholas Almagro with the Estoril trophy. Image courtesy: Twitter/@EstorilOpen

The victory in nearly three hours of struggle, marked the first title for the 30-year-old Almagro since winning Nice on clay in May, 2012.

The world number 71 has spent much of the last few seasons coming back from injury but he boosted his growing confidence with the approach of Roland Garros by lifting the 13th trophy of his career.

"Every event is tough, with Roland Garros coming up, things are really tight. Everyone wants to be ready for the French Open," said the winner.

"It's great to win a title after so long, it was a battle today with Pablo, who was playing really well.

"I've improved during the week, I've been losing a lot of matches that I should have won. I'm looking for my tennis again. But I'm gaining more confidence with my game."

Almagro made life difficult for himself throughout each of the first two sets, lasting a total of two hours.

He finally took command with a break early in the final set and escaped for victory on a third match point with the 13th trophy of his career.

Earlier, Almagro was unable to serve out the opening set and also lost a 6-2 lead in the ensuing tiebreaker.

Carreno Busta, ranked 50th and twice a finalist this season, saved four Almagro set points before seizing the opening set on his own first opportunity.

But Almagro rallied in the second as he battled back, earning and losing a break to enter a second tiebreaker, which he won to square the match at a set each.

Almagro broke in the third game of the final set and rode the margin out to the narrow win on his third match point.

The champion had lost the Buenos Aires final this season, with Estoril the 23rd final of his career.

Pants a lot as Kohlschreiber wins third Munich title

Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber won Munich's ATP tournament for the third time after downing Austria's Dominic Thiem in Sunday's final and was promptly presented with a pair of Bavarian lederhosen as part of his prize.

Having won the 2007 and 2012 titles, Kohlschreiber, who hails from the neighbouring Bavarian city of Augsburg, ran out the 7-6 (9/7), 4-6, 7-6 (7/4) winner after a huge tussle in the final which lasted just under two and a half hour.

Philipp Kohlschreiber gets a typical Bavarian leather trousers and a BMW car as a present. Image courtesy: Twitter/@BMWOpenbyFWUAG

Philipp Kohlschreiber gets a typical Bavarian leather trousers and a BMW car as a present. Image courtesy: Twitter/@BMWOpenbyFWUAG

"This is a great tournament and has been something of a lucky charm for me," said Kohlschreiber, who collected 82,450 euros in prize money, a new sports car -- and a luxury pair of leather lederhosen, the traditional Bavarian dress.

"Dominic made life very difficult for me today. My time here is coming to an end and he will win the tournament sometime."

Having lost the first set on a tie-breaker, the 22-year-old Thiem rallied to take the second, breaking Kohlschreiber to go 4-3 up as the set then followed serve.

Kohlschreiber, 32, was not to be denied and squandered two match points at 5-4 up in the third before Thiem broke back to take the game to a second tie-breaker.

Having lost to Britain's Andy Murray in last year's Munich final, this is Kohlschreiber's seventh career ATP title.

Thiem, ranked 15th in the world, has a bright future and has already picked up 26 wins and two titles this season.

Kohlschreiber, ranked 27th in the world, steam-rolled his way to his fifth Munich final after seeing off compatriot Florian Mayer, Juan Martin del Potro and Fabio Fognini en route.

Safarova wins Prague Open

Lucie Safarova won her first title of the year by defeating Samantha Stosur of Australia 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 on clay in the Prague Open final on Saturday.

Ranked 16th in the world, Safarova defeated fellow Czech Karolina Pliskova to get into the final, while Stosur enjoyed a walkover when Russia's Svetlana Kuznestova withdrew due to a thigh injury.

Lucie Safarova with her seventh WTA title. Image courtesy: Twitter/@WTA

Lucie Safarova with her seventh WTA title. Image courtesy: Twitter/@WTA

Safarova, who lost to Serena Williams in the French Open final last year, struggled on serve in the opening set and was soon 0-2 down.

The Australian then had problems of her own on serve in the second set, four double faults allowing the home player to move ahead.

The deciding set was a cliff-hanger with 29-year-old Safarova breaking to love to lead 4-3 before serving twice for the win.

It was her first title success since Doha in February of last year and follows an injury-hit start to the season that saw her crash out five times at the first round stage.

Bacsinszky rekindles clay love

Timea Bacsinszky clinched her first title of 2016 on Saturday with a straight sets win over Marina Erakovic in the Rabat final in a timely boost ahead of the French Open where she was a semi-finalist last year.

First title of 2016 for Timea Bacsinszky. Image courtesy: Twitter/@WTA

First title of 2016 for Timea Bacsinszky. Image courtesy: Twitter/@WTA

The top-seeded Swiss star cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win over her New Zealand opponent after a week which saw her lose just one set in five matches at the Moroccan claycourt event.

It was Bacsinszky's first title on red clay with all three of her previous tournament victories coming on hardcourts.

(With inputs from AFP)


Published Date: May 02, 2016 01:43 pm | Updated Date: May 02, 2016 01:44 pm


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