March 19, 2018

Grigor Dimitrov earns battling victory over Dominic Thiem on ATP Finals debut

14 November 2017, 03:46 | Marlene Myers

ATP Finals: Grigor Dimitrov stutters to three-set victory over Dominic Thiem

Grigor Dimitrov earns battling victory over Dominic Thiem on ATP Finals debut

Roared on by a fervent Bulgarian contingent in the O2 Arena crowd, Dimitrov responded well to the setback, an excellent stop volley seeing him secure the first break of the third set to lead 4-3.

Grigor Dimitrov defeated Austria's Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 here in the opening match of the Pete Sampras Group at the ATP Finals.

The fourth seed was not as fortunate in game six, though, as a forehand miss handed Dimitrov another opportunity which he did not let slip before wrapping up the first set by holding to love.

Long touted as a future superstar, the 26-year-old is trying to lose his unwanted title as "Baby Fed" for his uncannily similar playing style to Roger Federer. I feel like I played an okay match. You kind of make a decision. It was just against like fighting with my demons to find the right path to be consistent enough. "This is where I always wanted to be at, among the top players, also being able to come through in my first match, it's only positive".

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For now, though, Dimitrov is intent on celebrating his historic win. "I thought about my last match against John (Isner) in Paris", said Dimitrov, referring to another recent loss in which he wasted a match point.

"I'm not going to lie - I was pretty nervous, my first match out here", said Dimitrov. "But I think from now on, it can get only better".

His breakthrough win coupled with Rafael Nadal's withdrawal from the tournament with a knee injury leaves Dimitrov poised to reach the semi-finals.

Thiem applied pressure in game eight but it came to nothing, however with Dimitrov serving for the match for a second time the Austrian finally found a way through to level the decider at 5-5.

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