UTS4 – GROUP A
Garin beat Dimitrov – 7-12, 16-6, 15-5, 13-9
- What happened: The Chilean impressed in his first-ever UTS match.
- You will also learn: How Dimitrov couldn’t revive his game despite support from Serena Williams.
- Why you should read this article: It was a fascinating match with some great rallying – and some unorthodox usage of UTS Cards.
El Tanque Cristian Garin made an impressive start to life in UTS by staging a resounding comeback win against Grigor Dimitrov.
The Chilean dropped the first quarter 12-7, but then won three in a row – including two by ten points, meaning an automatic KO.
His Bulgarian opponent was doubtless under par, but equally Garin was more thoughtful with his tactics – including a wilier user of his UTS Cards.
Garin on fire, forgetful Dimitrov
He came out firing in the second quarter, playing some beautiful shots, including a fabulous passing shot and an exquisite lob.
For his part, Dimitrov admitted he was struggling to remember to play his UTS Cards – and guest interviewer Serena Williams admonished him at the second sit-down for his forgetfulness.
“You’ve got to remember your cards!” she told him, before adding: “We are excited to see you go out there and crush it!”
Even that gentle reminder didn’t work – and now Dimitrov needs to pick up his game against Diego Schwartzman in his second match of the day and then against Alexander Bublik on Tuesday. If he doesn’t, he will be knocked out of the competition in the group stages, just as he was at UTS2, where he only won one match against Nicolas Mahut.
It had all started so well for Dimitrov, who smartly took advantage of his opponent’s numerous backhand errors in the first quarter, using the UTS “serve and volley” card very well.
But Garin – who is considered a clay-court specialist, after all – showed that he could be in serious contention for the title here at the Mouratoglou Academy. He now needs to back up that fine opening win with a similar result against his friend and doubles partner Alexander Bublik later on Monday evening.