Gstaad: Bellucci Prevails Over Dimitrov, to Play Tipsarevic in the Final

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 Gstaad: Bellucci Prevails Over Dimitrov, to Play Tipsarevic in the Final

Bellucci played a strong seminfal against Dimitrov, as he hit his lefty forehands with a pace that effectively kept Dimitrov on the backfoot.  In the 1st set, Dimitrov utilized his backhands to good effect, alternating it with his backhand slice to offset the rhythm of the rallies.  At 30-15 on 4-4 on his serve, Dimitrov won an impressive point at the net, after he moved Bellucci out wide on his backhand side.

At 5-5 on his serve, Dimitrov faced a sterner test, as he committed an unforced error on his forehand to face BP.  Bellucci had another BP, but he overhit a FHDTL passing shot that sailed long.  Dimitrov was able to hold, to force at least a TB in the 1st set.  Bellucci showed signs of nerves as he served to force a TB.  He hit an errant dropshot on his forehand, which gave Dimitrov setpoint.  Still, Bellucci managed to hold.

Rain interrupted the match right before the TB.  Once play resumed, Bellucci went up a mini-break with a driving forehand that drew a weak reply from Dimitrov.  Dimitrov lost his composure, as he began to commit errors off both wings.  After Bellucci hit a long forehand, Dimitrov got on the board at the TB, 1-4*.  The point at which Bellucci went up 5-1 in the TB exemplifies the dynamic between the two players in the TB — Bellucci had hit a short forehand to the middle, which seemed an invitation for Dimitrov to use his backhand to create an angle that would throw his opponent off balance.  However, he was unable to generate the pace with his backhand, and eventually, Bellucci would have 5 SPs in the TB.  Dimitrov served well to save two SPs, but Bellucci won the TB 7-3 through a strong forehand, which drew a weak backhand reply from Dimitrov.

After another rain delay, Dimitrov had a strong start in the 2nd set, as he immediately broke Bellucci’s serve.  Perhaps owing to the rain delays, both players’ level seemed to drop in the 2nd set.  Bellucci broke back to get on serve, and the second set would eventually go to another TB.  Bellucci played a lovely point to go up a mini-break, courtesy of a backhand to the ad side of the court, which successfully pressured Dimitrov’s forehand and forced a netted reply.  Through another backhand, Bellucci managed to go up 5*-2 in the TB.  After hitting a pace-heavy forehand, Bellucci earned 4 MPs.  Although nerves seemed to strike Bellucci, as Dimitrov made a last grab at saving the match, Bellucci played a drop volley to the match 7-5 in the TB.  The exultant celebrations in his player box, as well as his triumphant smile, showed the strong week that Bellucci has had in Gstaad (he’s only lost one set in 4 matches).

Bellucci will face first seed Janko Tipsarevic in the Gstaad final, in a replay of the Stuttgart SF last week, when the Serbian prevailed in three sets over Bellucci en route to winning the title.

The second SF between Paul-Henri Mathieu and Tipsarevic was closely contested, with Tipsarevic finally winning the TB by a scoreline of 12-10.  In the first set, Mathieu missed five SP chances.  This SF featured both players going for winners, but Tipsarevic proved to be more consistent.  Tipsarevic consolidated on his 1st set TB win to close out the match in the second set, 6-3.  He now plays for his second title in as many weeks.

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