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ATP Tennis News From Vienna • Gulbis Defeats Sock, And Dimitrov Loses To Kukushkin

Photo by @GDimitrovBgfans via Instagram.



By Ricky Dimon


The only thing shorter than Grigor Dimitrov’s hair was his stay in Vienna.


Sporting a bizarre haircut revealing either signs of hair loss or perhaps simply a loss of brain cells that led him decide on such a style, Dimitrov lost his opening match to Mikhail Kukushkin at the Erste Bank Open on Wednesday. The 10th-ranked Bulgarian double-faulted a ridiculous 11 times before falling 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 23 minutes.


“It was a really tough match today,” Kukushkin assured. “I would say Grigor did not play his best tennis today, for sure, but still he is a really tough opponent to beat. There were a lot of games where I had an opportunity to break him, a lot of break-point chances that I didn’t use. When you have so many opportunities and don’t use them, [you often] lose the match. So I’m pretty happy with my performance.”


The upset bug also hit at the Swiss Indoors Basel, where Marius Copil ousted No. 2 seed 7-5, 7-6 (2) during second-round action. Copil, who had to qualify to get into the main draw, fired an incredible 21 aces in just two sets without double-faulting a single time.


“I played the last three matches really good; I felt confident,” the Romanian explained. “I know at the end of the year I’m also playing well because I love to play indoors; it’s my favorite surface. I know with my serve I can do some damage. I’m really happy to be here in the quarterfinals and I hope I can keep on going.”


In order to keep going he will have to beat Taylor Fritz on Friday. Fritz advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 7-5 defeat of fellow wild card Henri Laaksonen.


“I know him really well; he’s a good kid,” Copil said of Fritz. “He plays really well; he’s also in form right now. We’re both playing well. I think it will be an entertaining match.”


Fritz’s ice-cold countryman Jack Sock did not fare as well on Wednesday. The American lost to Ernests Gulbis for the second time in six times, this time via a 7-5, 6-4 decision. Gulbis had previously beaten Sock in a three-setter in last week’s Stockholm quarterfinals.


At one point during their Vienna showdown, Sock and Gulbis were jawing at each other from across the court and Sock told the Latvian to “play by the rules” after Gulbis was called for a time violation while fiddling with his strings before Sock served.


The former world No. 10 ended up breaking Sock’s serve in that game and then served out the match one game later to clinch victory.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @TennGrand.


Editors Note: Both Ricky and Lovey have a soft spot for Gulbis. He is never boring. But the guy that blew us away today was Monfils. He is so amazing. Love to see him playing in full body gear. Lovey says Gael is the the “360 degree man.” He turns on a dime to change direction. Probably one of the most talented athletes to ever play tennis and Novak and a few others. (FR)

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