Grigor Dimitrov Beats Damir Dzumhur To Progress To Second Round At Queen’s

Grigor Dimitrov Beats Damir Dzumhur To Progress To Second Round At Queen’s
20 June 2018
Grigor Dimitrov beat Damir Dzumhur 6-3 6-7 6-3 to progress to the second round of the Queen’s Club Championships in London. The Bulgarian played out the first three-set match of the championships thus far and overcame a second-set resurgence from his Bosnian opponent.

The build-up: What were we expecting?
This was always going to be a tough match for Grigor Dimitrov. Damir Dzumhur was one of the toughest first round opponents he could have come up against as the Bulgarian looked for the perfect start in his quest to win a second title at Queen’s Club. It was the third meeting between the two men in singles matches with Dimitrov winning both matches, the latter of which was in Beijing last year.

Queen’s is always seen as something of a warm-up to the Wimbledon Championships. The season’s third grand slam will take place next month and the best way to prepare for a grass tournament in London is another grass tournament in London. Dimitrov is currently eighth-favourite to secure his first career grand slam next month at 18/1 according to the latest 10Bet odds.

Dimitrov made his first Queen’s appearance back in 2009 and already has his name on the trophy. He beat Feliciano López in the final to secure the title back in 2014 and was looking for a solid performance after some inconsistencies in recent years. Dimitrov reached the semi-finals last year but failed to make it past the second round in the two prior tournaments. It was Damir Dzumhur’s first appearance at Queen’s.

“I actually have a special relationship with grass and our time is out there and you try to get the most out of it,” Dimitrov said before the match.

“The transition from clay to grass I need to be ready for. There is so much going on but in the same time the basics of that surface, I don’t want to say I’ve mastered them, but I know those things.

“I need to make the right decisions out on the court and follow my game and instinct.”

The Match
The number-two seed Grigor Dimitrov started the match well. He really took the match to his opponent and took a commanding lead. The first set was a breeze as Dimitrov controlled the match and played on the front foot. He raced into a commanding lead and stayed there, taking the first set 6-3.

In the second, things changed. Damir Dzumhur started to show his quality as the match became a groundstroke battle. Neither player could hold serve and Dimitrov appeared to lose a little confidence. Still, the Bulgarian battled on and took it to a tie-break which is opponent came out on top in.

In the third and final set of this first round match, the old Dimitrov returned. He looked more confident and started hitting the ball cleanly. He produced a number of fantastic winners which his opponent simply couldn’t deal with as Dimitrov took the third set 6-3 to progress to the next round.

The Aftermath: What comes next?
“I was a bit rusty obviously and need to brush up on a few things and come back and get a bit better,” Dimitrov said on court after the match.

“I just want to play as many matches as possible on grass. It's a tough field here and you have to be on the edge every single round.”

He progresses to the next round of the Queen’s Championships where he will come up against former world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the second round. The man who has won eleven career grand slam titles is unseeded at Queen’s but got past John Millman in straight sets to reach round 2.

This was always a probability when the draw was made but Dimitrov played down the blockbuster nature of this second round clash.

“Every round matters a lot here it is as simple as that,” he said on Sunday.

“Obviously, some of the players are unseeded and they have had a great success over the years. But at the same time, it is time to play, it is time to step up the game and if I have to play whoever in the early rounds I’m out there to make a difference.

“I like to say that a lot of things in life are about timing and maybe this is the time for me to get to the next step. I need to do well against those kinds of players early on to succeed.”

It promises to be a fascinating second round clash as Grigor Dimitrov prepares to take on Novak Djokovic. The Bulgarian number one performed well in the first and third sets of his match against Damir Dzumhur but will need to improve his consistency if he is to come out on top against Djokovic. Dimitrov has a history at the Queen’s Club Championship but he will have to look forward if he is to reach the third round this year.

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