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Dimitrov lost to Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals in Melbourne three years ago and last year he fell to Federer in the third round.Dimitrov also reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2014 where he lost to Novak Djokovic, after defeating defending champion Andy Murray in the quarter-finals. Quarter-finals of a Slam, it’s great,” Dimitrov said.“I’m happy that I’m capable to do that.
And Dick Pound, former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said that there had been a “fairly high prevalence of [meldonium] use in tennis.” But if there was any sympathy from Sharapova’s fellow pros, it wasn’t to be found in print.
Wozniacki sniffed, “As athletes, we always make sure there’s nothing in it that could put us in a bad situation.” Petra Kvitová seconded that opinion, telling the Desert Sun newspaper, “We should all know what we are putting into our body.” Said Victoria Azarenka, “A lot of players are upset and disappointed.” Sharapova’s longtime rival, Williams, gave the closest thing to a pat on the back, saying, “[It] showed a lot of courage to admit to what she had done and what she had neglected to look at.” But perhaps the most damning commentary came from the woman long known as tennis’ sweetheart — 18-time Grand Slam champ and ESPN analyst Chris Evert.
“I think throughout the years, these kind of things should have started earlier with examples and all of that.” Dimitrov is currently in Beijing for the China Open, where he booked his place in the second round by beating American Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-7 (7-9) 6-4.
Sharapova admitted to taking meldonium for 10 years for health reasons, but said she wasn’t aware it had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances in January.
The Bulgarian heart-throb has long been touted as one of tennis’s next big things, but he reached only his third major quarter-final with his win over giant-killer Denis Istomin.
Dimitrov, 25, beat the injury-hit Uzbek 2-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 6-1 to reach the last eight and stretch his winning streak to nine matches after he won this month’s Brisbane International.“Even if the players don’t like each other, they converse and are cordial,” says the coach.“That is definitely not the case with Maria.” In some ways, the coach adds, these powerful women really haven’t progressed beyond being teenagers.There was time that I wasn’t sure how to deal with both things in the same time. Istomin, the bespectacled world number 117, showed the effects of a demanding tournament following his sensational second-round upset of six-time winner Novak Djokovic.His game deteriorated after losing a second-set tiebreaker and despite medical treatment, he had trouble getting around the court as Dimitrov charged to victory.“It became a joke amongst everyone [in pro tennis].” Part of the problem may be that this is the one game Sharapova doesn’t know how to play.