Bulgaria defeat Denmark in Perth
Originally published on: 04/01/12 11:51
In a match that lasted two hours and 24 minutes, world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki was taken to three sets by Tsvetana Pironkova in Perth today.
The Dane prevailed 75 46 62 but at times she looked a little uncomfortable. Admittedly this is an invitational mixed tournament but to be taken to three sets by the World No. 46 was not what most of the 5,598 spectators would have anticipated.
The Bulgarians are enjoying some considerable support here and it was Grigor Dimitrov who, buoyed by their support, rose to the challenge today and showed his colours today defeating Dane Frederik Nielsen in straight sets 76 (5) 62. The men’s match lasted an hour and 43 minutes, with Dimitrov dominating the second set with seven break points. The 20 year old also served 10 aces during the match.
Despite the result 28-year-old Nielsen, ranked 236 and more used to playing at Challenger level, shared his feelings about playing on the big stage. “I know next week it’s back to reality and I’m Joe Nobody again so I really appreciate every second here and it’s a really great tournament and they take such good care of us players. To be able to play on a stage in front of a great crowd – it’s big for me, it’s a big pleasure it really is.”
Dimitrov called the match “tough” and was generous in his praise of his opponent. “He was reading my serves really well,” he added. But the likeable Dimitrov played well and then went up a gear for the mixed doubles.
And so, as it is with Hopman Cup, we had a live doubles rubber which after the Danes took the first set, went to a final set tie-breaker, in which Pironkova and Dimitrov raced into a 60 lead before wrapping the rubber up in emphatic style 36 64 10-1.
The spectators certainly played their part in their support of the Bulgarians, but it’s fair to say they may have been helped by their opponent’s decision to let Nielsen serve first. But it was fun to watch and with Denmark, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic all having one victory in the Group, the winner of Group A is far from decided. The USA, defending Champs, currently in action against the Czechs in the evening session have yet to win a tie.