Grigor Dimitrov will play Tommy Haas in the quarterfinal of the Rome Masters on May 16 after defeating Czech Tomas Berdych in three sets 6-7, 6-2, 6-2.
This was Dimitrov’s third career win against Berdych and come only a week after losing to the Czech in the third round of the Madrid Masters, during which the Bulgarian started strong before collapsing in the final frame.
This time, it was Berdych that started that started strongly, breaking Dimitrov’s serve early in the first set. Dimitrov would later break back, taking advantage of Berdych’s unforced errors, and even took a 3-1 lead in the tie-break before Berdych surged back, winning six consecutive points to take the set.
Dimitrov came back strongly in the second set, taking advantage of Berdych’s errors to break the Czech’s serve twice in the second frame. The third set, although more balanced, ended decisively in Dimitrov’s favour as well, taking advantage of his strong first serve (winning 16 of 18 points).
Dimitrov, who turns 23 on May 16, will play 36-year-old Haas, who delivered one of the surprises of the tournament so far by defeating third-seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the third round, in the quarterfinal.
It will be the second time Dimitrov will play in a Masters quarterfinal, following last year’s tournament in Monte Carlo (when he lost to Rafael Nadal in three sets), and his best chance yet to make a deep run in an ATP Masters tournament.
(Grigor Dimitrov, photo: mirsasha/flickr.com)