Good guy Dimitrov helps rival, advances to semis


January 06, 2018

BRISBANE, Australia (AP):

Grigor Dimitrov hurdled the net to check on the welfare of his rival and then help him to a courtside chair for treatment. Two games later, the defending champion had secured his spot in the Brisbane International semi finals.

Top-seeded Dimitrov beat Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-4 in the quarterfinals on Friday to set up a meeting with No. 3-seeded Nick Kyrgios, who rebounded for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over former finalist Alexandr Dolgopolov.

It was Dimitrov's show of concern for Edmund that brought the crowd to its feet at Pat Rafter Arena. At 4-4 in the third set, Edmund tumbled to the court, clutching his right ankle with both hands.

Dimitrov leaped over the net from his side of the court and raced to help Edmund as he writhed in pain behind the baseline at the other end, giving the British player a hand to get up and then helping him limp to the side of the court.

"At the end of the day, health above all (matters). It's very unfortunate what happened," Dimitrov said of Edmund's injury. "I've seen this too many times. I know the feeling. I really hope he gets better.

"In the last two games he wasn't at his best. I just had to find a way again."

injuring himself

Asked if he was concerned about injuring himself as he crossed the net, Dimitrov said it was something he did not think twice about.

"It was just such an instinct for me," he said. "I didn't think, 'OK, I'm just going to go around the net, or I'm going to go that post.' It was just like such a natural instinct for me to go and jump over.

"I do it sometimes at practice just for fun and all that, but obviously it was different circumstances today."

Earlier yesterday, Kyrgios had his left knee heavily taped but did not appear to be hampered as he worked his way into the match after dropping the first set in 22 minutes.

Teenage wild-card entry Alex De Minaur followed up his upset victory over Milos Raonic with a routine 6-4, 6-0 win over Michael Mmoh to reach his first tour-level semi final. The 18-year-old De Minaur will play Ryan Harrison, who led 7-6 (6), 4-2 when Denis Istomin retired from their quarterfinal match with a hip strain.

"There were a lot of nerves coming into this match. It was a big opportunity for me," De Minaur said. "But I came in here a little more level-headed (than the Raonic match), had more time to play, and was able to play my best tennis."

The women's final will feature No. 3-seeded Elina Svitolina against Belarusian qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Svitolina rallied to beat defending champion Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 7-5, and Sasnovich reached her first tour-level final with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 semifinal win over seventh-seeded Anastasija Sevastova.

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