Grigor Dimitrov

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Jaziri upsets top-seeded Dimitrov at Dubai Championships

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Tunisian wild-card entry Malek Jaziri earned the biggest victory of his career by stunning top-seeded Grigor Dimitrov 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the opening round of the Dubai Championships on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old Jaziri, ranked 117th in the world, recorded his first win over a top-5 ranked player by beating the Bulgarian No. 4 in 2 hours, 17 minutes.

Fifth-seeded Richard Gasquet of France was also eliminated, losing to Croatia’s Borna Coric 6-4, 6-3. However, second-seeded Lucas Pouille avoided a similar slip-up as the Frenchman ousted Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-4, 6-4.

Jaziri saved three break points in the second game of the opening set but lost his serve in the 10th game. Dimitrov’s intensity then dropped in the second set and Jaziri broke in the 11th game before holding serve to level the match.

In the decider, Jaziri saved two more break points in the sixth game and the Bulgarian then double-faulted to give his opponent three break points in the next game. Jaziri converted the second for the decisive break.

“I was really aggressive today. I tried hard to keep the ball in, tried hard to attack him, to make a lot of variety in the game today,” Jaziri said. “I tried to keep going, kept encouraging myself by saying, `It’s OK, next game is my serve.’ It was most important is to keep winning my serve. That was the objective in the third set.”

Dimitrov refused to blame any injury, or the cold that affected him in the final loss to Roger Federer in Rotterdam recently, for his performance.

“You have days like this when you can’t really do much else. Unfortunately, I couldn’t play my game to the extent that I was looking for. My movement wasn’t good over the court. I thought I served OK for a little bit, but then I lost my rhythm again,” he said.

Jaziri will next face Dutchman Robin Haase for a place in the quarterfinals. Pouille will get a rematch against Russian Karen Khachanov, who beat him in the Marseille final last Sunday.

Dimitrov helps rival, advances to Brisbane semis

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BRISBANE, Australia — Grigor Dimitrov hurdled the net to check on the welfare of his rival and then help him to a courtside chair for treatment. Two games later, the defending champion had secured his spot in the Brisbane International semifinals.

Top-seeded Dimitrov beat Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-4 in the quarterfinals on Friday to set up a meeting with No. 3-seeded Nick Kyrgios, who rebounded for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over former finalist Alexandr Dolgopolov.

It was Dimitrov’s show of concern for Edmund that brought the crowd to its feet at Pat Rafter Arena. At 4-4 in the third set, Edmund tumbled to the court, clutching his right ankle with both hands.

Dimitrov jumped over the net from his side of the court and raced to help Edmund as he writhed in pain behind the baseline at the other end, giving the British player a hand to get up and then helping him limp to the side of the court.

“At the end of the day, health above all. It’s very unfortunate what happened,” Dimitrov said of Edmund’s injury. “I’ve seen this too many times. I know the feeling. I really hope he gets better.

“In the last two games he wasn’t at his best. I just had to find a way again.”

Earlier Friday, Kyrgios had his left knee heavily taped but didn’t appear to be hampered as he worked his way into the match after dropping the first set in 22 minutes.

Teenage wild-card entry Alex De Minaur followed up his upset victory over Milos Raonic with a routine 6-4, 6-0 win over Michael Mmoh to reach his first tour-level semifinal. The 18-year-old De Minaur will play Ryan Harrison, who led 7-6 (6), 4-2 when Denis Istomin retired from their quarterfinal match with a hip strain.

“There were a lot of nerves coming into this match. It was a big opportunity for me,” De Minaur said. “But I came in here a little more level-headed (than the Raonic match), had more time to play, and was able to play my best tennis.”

Belarusian qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich reached her first tour-level final with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 semifinal win over seventh-seeded Anastasija Sevastova.

Sasnovich, who has a career-high ranking of No. 85, will meet either defending champion Karolina Pliskova or No. 3-seeded seed Elina Svitolina in the championship match.

Goffin ousts Federer in ATP Finals semis

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LONDON — David Goffin ended Roger Federer’s bid for a seventh ATP Finals title by stunning the favorite 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals on Saturday.

The Belgian claimed the biggest win of his career and qualified for the final on Sunday, when he will face Grigor Dimitrov or Jack Sock. They play later Saturday.

Federer looked to be heading toward his 11th final at the elite season-ending tournament when he cruised through the first set, but Goffin took advantage of a drop in his play to level.

Despite having lost all six of his previous encounters with Federer, Goffin was able to execute better in the deciding set, breaking in the third game and producing a nerveless display of serving to seal victory.