Dimitrov Triumphs Over Alcaraz in a Shanghai

Dimitrov Triumphs Over Alcaraz in a Shanghai
11 October 2023
In a stunning match on Wednesday, Grigor Dimitrov clinched avictory over the World No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz, securing a 5-7 6-2 6-4 win, whichpropelled him into the quarter-finals of the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

Despite entering the competition with a 0-3 deficit againstthe Spaniard in the Lexus ATP Head2Head series, the Bulgarian showcasedexemplary skill on the court, effectually reversing the score. Dimitrovexhibited precise timing on the ball and strategically utilized his backhanddrop shot to constrain Alcaraz, who had his sights set on his 13thquarter-final berth in 14 events this year.

The 32-years-old Dimitrov managed to fire 29 winners,adeptly recovering after losing a 5-3 lead in the initial set. This win markshis maiden quarter-final in an ATP Masters 1000 for the year and the 17th inhis professional tenure, achieved after a robust two hours and 10 minutes ofplay.

"I stayed in the match, that was the first thing,especially after the first set," Dimitrov said. "I was serving verywell throughout the first set and he made a few errors. I pushed him to make alot of errors at certain moments. At 4-5 he played an amazing game and anotherat 6-5. I was creating a lot of opportunities."

"After the second break in the second set I think Iunderstood his service games and was able to put more balls in and read hisserve a bit better. I think in the third set it was a bit of cat-and-mouse. Ithink we both played a solid set. He made a few errors, and I was very solidand served well when I had to. "

In pursuit of his first title since his victory at the 2017Nitto ATP Finals, Dimitrov, who also made it to the Shanghai quarter-finals in2017, is set to face 22nd seed Nicolas Jarry next. The World No. 19 has scored17 victories against Top 5 players, including a previous triumph over a Top 2player, Daniil Medvedev, in Indian Wells in October 2021. And this month,Dimitrov defeated then-World No. 4 Holger Rune in Beijing.

"I knew what I had to do," Dimitrovsaid when reflecting on his win. "I knew I had to apply constant pressureagainst him. Even if I was down, even if my shots were not good enough, I hadto put him in uncomfortable positions. He doesn't like being on the back foot.I was coming in quite a little bit and trying to put him in awkwardpositions."

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