Grigor Dimitrov’s ‘sad’ moment shocks fans
Grigor Dimitrov suffered one of the most excruciating losses in a Grand Slam in recent memory, forced to retire injured after holding a straight sets, 5-1 lead.
The 16th seed from Bulgaria was on the verge of victory over American Marcos Giron in the first round of Roland Garros on Sunday, up 5-1 in the third set with three match points.
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However, things couldn’t have gotten worse from there as Dimitrov suffered a back injury and completely surrendered.
The three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist lost the next nine straight games before stopping in immense pain at 0-3 in the fourth.
“My back hurts. I’m not sure what to say,” Dimitrov said in his post-match press conference.
“Disappointment, that’s all. Nothing else at the moment. It’s sport, it happens.
“I hope we can find out what the problem is because at the moment it’s not good.
“When I can’t use almost any of my weapons, no matter who I’m playing against, I have no choice.”
Dimitrov suffered a similar problem against Aslan Karatsev in the Australian Open quarterfinals in February.
Fans were shocked by the heartbreaking near miss.
Dominic Thiem stunned as Alexander Zverev survives
Dimitrov was not the only high profile victim at Roland Garros on Sunday, with two finalists Dominic Thiem stunned by Spanish veteran Pablo Andujar.
Thiem has struggled for form since winning his first Grand Slam title at the US Open last year, but he seemed to find a way to get past Andujar when he opened a two-set lead.
However, Andujar fought back to win 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-4, recording his first victory over a top five player at the age of 35.
The fourth seed, Thiem, had reached at least the quarter-finals on his previous five visits to Roland Garros, losing to Rafael Nadal in the final in 2018 and 2019.
“I wasn’t struggling with my motivation at all, but the game just wasn’t there today,” Thiem said.
“All the shots lack power. They are not precise enough.”
Meanwhile, sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev rallied after two sets to beat qualifier Oscar Otte 3-6 3-6 6-2 6-2 6-0 in his first round clash.
Zverev, 24, appeared to be heading for an early exit like Thiem, but he found different equipment to turn around.
For the remainder of the match, it was one-way traffic against the 152nd Otte in the first meeting between the two Germans.
“I couldn’t find my rhythm. In the third set I decided to hit the ball a little harder, hit the forehand a little heavier as well and managed to knock it down,” said Zverev during his interview on the pitch.
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