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Grigor Dimitrov eliminated by Guido Pella at the Los Cabos Open 

Los Cabos, B.C.S., July 31, 2019.- Guido Pella ended Grigor Dimitrov’s Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex dream after dispatching him in the second round. 

Pella, who is the second seed, needed just over an hour and twelve minutes to beat the Bulgarian 6-4 6-2. The Argentine, No. 24 in the ranking who entered via wildcard took advantage of Dimitrov’s failing serve that included 58% of first serves and seven double faults. Next, he will face the Korean qualifier Seewoon Kwon in the the quarterfinals.

“I felt good today, the first set was not easy, but as I was able to get to know my opponent’s game better, I could play better and enter the match that was played at a very fast pace. I think that I am on track, and I know what it takes to get more and more good results – I have to continue to train and keep winning matches like this one. I’m in a good time, I have a good moral and in tennis, that is very important,” said Pella, who is also in the doubles quarter-finals along his compatriot Diego Schwartzman.

On Wednesday night, one of the biggest upsets was the elimination of the Frenchman Lucas Pouille who fell to the Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis in a three set, two hour match with a score of 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The Australian wildcard and 2017 Los Cabos Open finalist, will play in the quarterfinals against Radu Albot of Moldova.

Conclusively, the American Taylor Fritz, fifth seed, had to come from behind to surpass the Indian Prajnesh Gunneswaran. The American, recent finalist in Atlanta last weekend ultimately won the match 4-6 6-3 6-2 in order to advance to the quarter-finals. 

“Peque” Schwartzman advances – Londero eliminated

Los Cabos, BCS, July 31, 2019.- The third seeded Argentine, Diego Schwartzman, is off to a good start at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex after defeating the Latvian Ernests Gulbis, on Pegaso Stadium.

The first set was somewhat uncontrolled by the power of Gulbis but little by little, Schwartzman was able to break his rhythm; with the score tied at 5-5 in the first set, he managed to break his opponent’s serve to close the first set 7-5.

“Peque” was in charge of the second set – he broke Gulbis’ serve three times; Gulbis served a total of nine double faults.

The fans in the stands were favoring the Argentine player, who has become a favorite among the tour due to his high level of play and his charisma

“Every first match that I play at  a tournament, in the first games, in the first minutes, it is easy for us, you adapt to the competition in a new place. However, it took me a while to find my rhythm today.”

In the quarter-finals, Schwartzman will face the Kazakh Mikhail Kukuskin, eighth seed, with whom he has already faced twice in his career; their head-to-head is tied at one a piece – this includes a Davis Cup match won by team Kazakhstan,

In a hard fought match, Kukuskin beat the British Cameron Norrie, 7-5 7-5.

But not everything was good for the country of Argentina today as Juan Ignacio Londero could not continue his winning streak in Mexico after losing to the Korean qualifier Soonwoo Kwon 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Londero, a recent finalist two weeks ago in Bastad, Sweden, offered a strong fight but in the end, the two service games that he lost in the third set cost him the match. This was his first defeat on Mexican soil in his last ten matches.

Another result to highlight is Radu Albot, the seventh seed Moldovan player who had no problems to defeat the Japanese Taro Daniel 6-1 and 6-2. Albot, No. 41 ATP and the 2019 Delray Beach tournament champion was far more superior in the match against the Japanese tennis player who is ranked No. 118.

Title Defense – Fabio Fognini 

Los Cabos, BCS, July 31, 2019.- On June 10, during the weekly ranking updates by the ATP, the Italian Fabio Fognini became the oldest player to enter the Top 10 since the Australian Ken Rosewall did at 38-years-old and the Australian Rod Laver at 35-years-old.

Fognini, is now just the third Italian in the history of the country along with Adriano Panatta and Corrado Barazzutti, to be ranked in the top 10 in the world. It must be added that on April 21st, he won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo after beating Rafael Nadal in the final. Without a doubt, the Italian is one of the favorites to win the Abierto Los Cabos. At 32-years-old, Fognini acknowledges that he has achieved greatness in his career, but he still aspires for more.

“I’m fine, at my best, but I cannot say what will happen here, I want to start this American tour the best I can. The achievements are there, but they are only numbers, as I am No. 9, it is a statistic. Now that I have managed ti be top ten, I now have different objectives that I will try to fulfill. I have achieved the dream that I had since I was young.”

In the current state of world rankings, there are four players in the top ten who are over 30-years-old, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Fabio Fognini; this group has dominated for years, preventing the new generation of players to enter.

“There is a very good new generation, but in the end, the big tournaments are won by the same group of three players for a long time. The next gen has yet to make a quality leap. The average age of the top ten exceeds 30-years-old, so the length of a tennis career is longer now, which is also good. In addition, the trains help us a lot, being more concerned about preventing injuries and playing the least amount of tournaments possible – which means when you play, you have to play well.”

The San Remo native, winner of nine ATP titles, all on clay except for the 2018 Los Cabos, opened up about the three greats of tennis and would aspects he would like to have of theirs.

“From Roger, I would choose to have everything, from Rafa, how he fights, how he suffers even when he is not 100%, from Djokovic, also everything, he is a very complete player, especially his backhand. They are three great players, all different, with different techniques, that play totally differently. I personally would like to see Federer play more because it is pure class.”

The Italian, who is married to Flavia Penetta, two time champion of the Abierto Mexicano de Acapulco, comes from a long and exhausting tour of Europe. Which in addition to Monte Carlo, included stops in Madrid, Rome, Paris, Wimbledon, Croatia, and Hamburg. Because of this, he proclaimed what he does between continents to stay in shape.

“When I have the opportunity to relax on long trips, I sleep, anytime I can do it, I do. I also like to read but I prefer to sleep when taking a trip as long as I have and continue to do. The most important think for me is to sleep and recover the best I can. I like all different genres of music, but video games do not appeal to me,” said Fognini who on Wednesday, will start his title defense against the Spaniard Marcel Granollers.

“For now, I am only focused on the first match. It will be tough, I will have to run a lot; then I will have another opportunity to sit here and talk about the quarter-finals, so I have to go one step at a time,” said the Italian.

He also elaborated on his love for football, he is a big fan of Inter Milan. “I love football, definitely. If I had to choose another profession other than tennis, I would certainly have liked to be a football player.”

Fognini confirmed that he will be playing on the European Laver Cup team in September with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, and Alexander Zverev.

Dimitrov brings the heat at the 2019 ATC  

Los Cabos, BCS, July 30, 2019.- Grigor Dimitrov returned to his winning ways with a spectacular victory over the American Steve Johnson in the first round of the Los Cabos Open. 

The Bulgarian, who had the majority of the Mexican fans on his side, survived after quickly going down 2-5 in the first set. After winning the first set and going up 5-2 in the second, the Bulgarian lost control of his lead, hit way too many unforced errors, allowing the American to come back into the match. The third-set was full of drama and emotions as it got sent to a third set tiebreaker; Dimitrov won the match 7-6(4) 4-6, 7-6(5) in two hours and twenty-eight minutes.

“I think that from the first point, on even the first game, I though it was going to be one of those matches where I knew I was going to be okay. I knew I had to be ready for everything. Pretty good first set for me. Then, in the second set I had my chances. He started servicing better, it was just harder to return well. Then in the third set he played a good game to break me serving, the tiebreak was super tight, but I ended on a good note so I’m pretty pleased,” said the Bulgarian.

He added that his relationship with the Mexican fans is a very important one. “I would like to think that I have a good relationship with Mexican fans. When I first played in Acapulco it was pretty amazing. I think the crowd really appreciates the competitive nature of the sport as well so that makes it easier to play. So yes, coming into the court, it was really special for me. I really appreciated it because it has not been a good start of the year for me.”

The Bulgarian, No. 57 in the world, just broke a four match losing streak. He will now face the second seed in the draw, the Argentine Guido Pella in the round of 16 this Wednesday.  Pella won their most recent match-up at the 2017 Masters 1000 in Miami.

 In other matches, the British Cameron Norrie, recent semi-finalist in Atlanta, began his Los Cabos campaign with a straight set 7-6(4) 6-0 victory over the Frenchman Gregoire Barrere to advance to the next round.

Norrie, semifinalist at this year’s Abierto Mexicano de Acapulco, will now meet Mikhail Kukuskin of Kazakhstan in the Round of 16.

 In the last match of the day, that concluded at midnight, the American and fifth seed, Taylor Fritz, ended the German qualifiers Dominik Koepfer’s dream run. The match lasted just one hour to finish with a score of 6-3 6-4. Fritz arrives in Los Cabos as a finalist in last week’s ATP in Atlanta; next, he will face the Indian Prajnesh Gunneswaran.

2018 Los Cabos Open Doubles Champions Out

Los Cabos, BCS, July 30, 2019.- The biggest surprise of the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex was the elimination of the defending doubles champion, the Mexican Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela  and Marcelo Arévalo of El Savador who lost to the American Dennis Novikov and the Mexican Hans Hach Verdugo.

On Grandstand Caliente, Verdugo and Novikov dominated the match 7-5 6-3 despite the fact that the fans in the audience favored the Mexican/Savadorian duo.

“I think we played very well, with an incredibly high level. Unfortunately today, we could not get the win – they played better than us during the important points, so we must give the credit to our opponents,” said Marcelo Arévalo.

“Every time you enter a tournament, you know there is a chance that you are going to lose, 15 of the 16 teams will have a losing week – obviously, we all have the dream to win, but we trust that the year that consists of 52 weeks, we play between 30 and 40 tournaments. We just have to turn the page and onto the next one,” Reyes-Varela added.

On the other hand, Hans Hach Verdugo and Dennis Novikov will now face the Indian Divij Sharan and the Israeli Jonathan Erlich in the second round (they defeated the Australian John Patrick-Smith and the Japanese Ben Mclachlan 7-5 6-1 in the first round).

The Mexican Hans Hach, regretted having to defeat Reyes-Varela and Marcelo Arévalo because they are good friends of his. “It is hard to compete against good friends, but I think we played better today, and we achieved a great victory. I know that it is not easy to defend an ATP title, I knew that hte first rounds were going to be complicated for them, especially coming as the defending champions. That is why I entered this match relaxed and let the pressure stay on the other side,” concluded the Sinaloa native.

Pella and Schwartzman take Mexican Mocktail Classes

Los Cabos, BCS, July 30, 2019.- As part of the player activities for the fourth edition of the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex, Argentines Guido Pella and Diego Schwartzman celebrated their first round doubles victory by taking a “Mocktail” Class at the Alpaido Restaurant located in the Solaz Los Cabos Resort. 

Itzel Álvarez de la Vega, Bar Manager of the restaurant, was in charge of directing the South American tennis players throughout their time of creating the best drinks and cocktails. 

Schwartzman and Pella, friends on and off the court, also agreed that their favorite drinks are sweet with a splash of citrus. The bar had juices, syrups, flavorings, where different combinations could be used to reach the perfect balance for an appetizing drink. 

Guided by Itzel’s guidance, Guido Pella made a cocktail that contained of pineapple juice, strawberry syrup, orange juice, peppermint, lemon juice, and ice.

“El peque” Schwartzman, chose a cocktail that includes pineapple juice, orange juice, lemon juice, passion fruit syrup, basil, and ice cubes. 

In the end, both players were delighted with the class – from now on, they will be able to prepare their own drinks at home after a hard workout.

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