By Alessandro Mastroluca
- Cameron Norrie def. Dimitar Kuzmanov 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
- Grigor Dimitrov def. Daniel Evans 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
- Grigor Dimitrov/Alexandar Lazarov def. Jamie Murray/Joe Salisbury 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 11-9
SYDNEY – AUSTRALIA – Great Britain lost to Bulgaria in their opening match at the 2020 ATP Cup. Cameron Norrie and Grigor Dimitrov won the singles rubbers, Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury squandered two match points in the decisive doubles match.
-Latest player gear | Pro:Direct Tennis Shop-
Buy the latest gear from the top players from the Pro:Direct Tennis Shop and check out their 80% off sale on selected tennis equipment now on
|CLICK TO BUY FROM PRO DIRECT TENNIS via Britwatch Sports|
Cameron Norrie def. Dimitar Kuzmanov 6-2 3-6 6-2
In his first match of the season, Cameron Norrie struggled to defeat World No.432 Dimitar Kuzmanov. The Bulgarian, whose mother is the Fed Cup captain, won just a couple of games when they faced each other at a Futures event in 2014.
Norrie comfortably sealed the first set without giving his opponent a break-point opportunity. But the Bulgarian turned up the table in the second set as he immediately broke the British left-hander to move 2-0 ahead. That little lapse in concentration made the difference.
Norrie, who produced a pair of untimely double faults in that game, had almost no chances in return during the set. Kuzmanov played solidly, showing that everyone could beat every opponent in a team event. The Bulgarian held his nerve to force a decider, showing his competitive spirit partially due to his family. His grandmother, in fact, was a volleyball coach and his grandfather was one of the founders of tennis in Bulgaria.
As the pressure mounted, Kuzmanov began to produce too many unforced errors. Norrie, who won 69% of first-serve points and 74% of his return points in the decider, took the lead and cruised towards a two-hour victory.
READ MORE | ATP Cup latest schedule and draws
Grigor Dimitrov def. Daniel Evans 2-6 6-4 6-1
In the most expected rubber on the Ken Rosewall Arena, Dimitrov defeated Dan Evans for the third time in four meetings. The Bulgarian captain and leading player offered glimpses of scintillating tennis to blow the British No.1 singles player off the court in a three-set thriller.
The 2017 ATP Finals champion warmed up in a largely uninspiring first set. Evans, on the other hand, broke his serve three times on his way to a comfortable 6-2. Gradually, the Bulgarian started to crunch forehand winners and blistering backhands. Evans fought as hard as he could but, after breaking back to be on serve at 4-5, he struggled to match the opponent’s power from the baseline.
Gradually, Dimitrov used his flashy one-handed backhands to maintain the lead and simply overpowered the World No.42, who could do little to avoid the defeat.
-Viagogo Tennis Tickets-
Search Viagogo for tennis tickets for upcoming tournaments
|CLICK TO BUY TENNIS TICKETS FROM VIAGOGO via Britwatch Sports|
Grigor Dimitrov/Alexander Lazarov def. Jamie Murray/Joe Salisbury 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 11-9
After a nomination change, captain Dimitrov returned to the court, and things got no better for the Brits.
Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury showed a solid effort but they failed to avoid a defeat against Grigor Dimitrov and Alexandar Lazarov in the decisive doubles rubber as Great Britain opened their campaign at the ATP Cup with a tough losing day at the office. The British duo wasted a 9-7 lead in the deciding tie-break, losing the last four points of a heavily contested clash.
On Sunday, at 17:30 local time in Sydney (06:30 GMT), Great Britain will meet Belgium now leading the group standings after a not so comfortable 3-0 win over Moldova.
How to Watch/Follow the ATP Tour
|Live Stream||Amazon Prime Video <– Sign up for trial
Tennis TV (Subscription Required)
|Live Scores||Tennis Live Scores on Britwatch Sports|
Shop at Connected Clubs for a vast range in tennis equipment and training aids to help improve your tennis.
|CLICK TO BUY TENNIS EQUIPMENT FROM CONNECTED CLUBS via Britwatch Sports|
|Follow Britwatch - Sport in General, Brits in Particular!|
|Subscribe to Britwatch Sports|