Dimitrov clinches first top 10 scalp
Originally published on: 26/03/12 11:07
Grigor Dimitrov showed the biggest sign yet that he is capable of delivering on his long-heralded potential after overcoming world No.7 Tomas Berdych in three sets at the Sony Ericsson Open.
After nine previous defeats to players ranked inside the top 10, it took Dimitrov two hours and 16 minutes to record his first win over a top 10 player in ATP competition, beating the Czech 6-3 2-6 6-4 to reach the fourth round of a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time.
“Today was a great match, a great day for me,” said the Bulgarian, who was watched from the stands by Serena Williams, who he is reported to have once dated. “I didn’t expect to play that well. I didn’t make enough first serves, though. [I] got a bit lucky at 4-4 in the third [set] and I was happy to close out the match.”
The 2008 junior Wimbledon champion inflicted Berdych’s earliest defeat in Miami since 2007, when the Czech lost to Juan Ignacio Chela at the same stage.
Dimitrov, who teamed up with coach Patrick Mourataglou on a full-time basis earlier this month, is currently ranked at No.101 in the world – some way from the career best No.52 he achieved last August – but can expect a substantial climb up the ladder after the tournament having fallen to Sergiy Stakhovsky in the first round last year.
His next opponent is Janko Tipsarevic, who negotiated No.18 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, sporting a new hairstyle in Miami, 6-4 5-7 6-2 in two hours and six minutes.