Men’s Semifinal: [CR28] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs. [CR89] Rajeev Ram (USA)
Despite the higher ranking, Dimitrov has never beaten Ram. Ram had nothing to lose and played freely. Dimitrov knows he has a lot to lose and the pressure has gotten to him. Much is expected of him, his nickname “baby Federer” shows how much the tennis world expects from him. Unlike his namesake, Dimitrov does not relish the pressure. Perhaps with time he will get comfortable with the expectation and his game; however, until he does, he will continue to struggle in matches that should be relatively benign. Credit Ram who played his game and stayed sharp the entire match. The 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Dimitrov sent him to his first final at Delray Beach and gives him a chance to contest his third singles title.
Rio Open, Brazil
PELLA STUNS RED HOT THIEM
Men’s Semifinal: [CR19] Dominic Thiem (AUT) vs. [CR71] Guido Pella (ARG)
I was thoroughly baffled by the lackadaisical effort from Thiem in the first set. I thought for a while that he was injured; however, I soon realized that he was not prepared for Pella. The rain which has plagued the tournament from day one came at an opportune moment and gave Thiem a temporary reprieve. I hoped that he would use it to gather his energy and focus, which he did for a while; however, Pella would not be denied. Pella won 6-1, 6-4 and advanced to his first career final since he turned professional in 2007.