Australian Open

'Ugly' win keeps Dimitrov believing

2018-01-18 07:07
Grigor Dimitrov (AP)

Melbourne - Grigor Dimitrov says he's relieved he won "ugly" after surviving a huge second round fright at the Australian Open, a match he admits may been lost in years gone by. 

The Bulgarian world No 3 had to pull out all stops to beat off world No 186 MacKenzie McDonald in five sets on Rod Laver Arena late Wednesday and stay in the tournament. 

Dimitrov, who has never been beyond the semi-finals of a Grand Slam, looked headed for an early exit before he fought off the American qualifier 8-6 in the fifth set. 

"It was just a hard day. I'm admitting it. I couldn't even hide it. Sometimes you get those days. I landed on the good side of things," he told reporters. 

But in a sign of his growing maturity, he added: "I think in the past years, maybe I would have lost that match." 

Looking ahead to the rest of the tournament, Dimitrov said he needed to be "a little bit more positive, even if everything was going against me". 

"I'm glad that day is behind me and I landed on the good side. Overall the body feels well, so that's a good sign." 

The third seed said he will spend the time before his third-round match with rising Russian star Andrey Rublev analysing what went wrong and what he can do better. 

"I'll have a good day of rest, reassess the match, see maybe the reason why I didn't perform that well or why I couldn't raise up my game when I had to," he said. 

"I'm sure I'm going to find out for my next match. I think that's the beauty of tennis, you always get another day, you survive to another day. Every day is different. 

"Grand Slam is a long way. It's a two-week tournament. Anything can happen. Right now I'm just positive, happy with the situation. You know, win ugly."


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