ATP Tour

Dimitrov outlasts fifth seed Simon

2016-01-04 11:10
Grigor Dimitrov (AFP)

Brisbane - Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov launched his campaign to return to the world's top 10 when he outlasted fifth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon in the opening round of the Brisbane International on Monday.

The powerful Bulgarian saw off Simon 6-3, 7-6 (12/10) in two hours and five minutes to move into the second round of the season-opening tournament.

Dimitrov had a disappointing 2015, slipping from 11th in the world to his current ranking of 28, but during Monday's match he showed glimpses of the form that saw him touted as a future top-five player.

He broke Simon once in the first set then recovered from losing his serve early in the second set to take it to a tiebreak.

The big-serving Dimitrov always looked the more dangerous in the tiebreak and skipped out to a 6-4 lead.

However, Simon battled back and saved three match points against an increasingly nervous Dimitrov.

The Bulgarian had three more match points but finally sealed the win on his seventh when he blasted a serve at the Frenchman's body, which Simon bunted wide.

Dimitrov will now play either American Steve Johnson or Serbia's Victor Troicki in the second round and is on track for a quarter-final clash against top seed Roger Federer, a repeat of last year's semi-final which the Swiss ace won 6-2, 6-2. Federer has received a bye into the second round.

American Denis Kudla moved into the second round when he downed Australian wildcard John-Patrick Smith 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.