Bulgaria’s Dimitrov stumbles against Djokovic
Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov raced to take a quick lead against Novak Djokovic in their third-round match at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, but wasted his opening to push the world number one and crashed out in straight sets 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.
Dimitrov led 5-2 in the opening set, but wasted the chance to go one-up when serving for the set at 5-3, committing four double faults in the game and allowing Djokovic back in the match.
Although the match was fairly even, Djokovic, unlike his opponent, did not waste an opportunity when presented with one, converting two of his three break points in the second set to wrap up the match in just 68 minutes.
Despite his recent surge up the ATP Tour rankings (he is currently ranked 31st), the biggest criticism levelled against Dimitrov over the years has been his apparent inability to cope with the glare of the spotlight on him – more than once, he has started strongly against top-ranked players before breaking down with unforced errors.
After the match, Djokovic said that all he needed to defeat Dimitrov was patience.
“He started off well today, but then I think he gave me the break with four double faults,” Djokovic said. “I haven’t done much really in the match in the second set when I made two breaks. It was all of his unforced errors, so I just needed to hang in there and try to be patient.
“I just tried to stay positive and calm and hang in there and wait for the chances. So that’s, I guess, the biggest positive I can take out of today’s performance.”
Despite his early exit, Dimitrov will still have gained ATP rankings points, since last year he exited Indian Wells in the second round after losing to fifth-seed David Ferrer.
(Grigor Dimitrov photo by mirsasha/flickr.com)