Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov won his second-round match at Wimbledon against Australian qualifier Luke Saville in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in just over an hour and a half on June 25.
Dimitrov dominated this centre-court showdown of former Wimbledon junior champions – the Bulgarian a winner there in 2008 and Saville in 2011 – losing only five points on his first serve all match.
After trading service holds in the first set, Dimitrov broke his opponent’s serve to go ahead 4-2 and then staved off a break-point, Saville’s only opportunity in the match, in the next game. He then closed out the set with a service game to love to win the first frame in 29 minutes.
Dimitrov rattled off a winning streak of 12 straight points to break Saville’s first service game in the second set to take a 2-0 lead and then broke his opponent’s serve again to go 4-1 ahead. He won the set on at the first time of asking, dropping only two points on his own serve in the set.
Dimitrov then took his foot off the gas pedal in the third frame, wasting several opportunities to break Saville’s serve before finally getting the break of serve on a double fault by the Australian. Dimitrov, for his part, was troubled on his own serve only once, but quickly dug himself out of a 0-30 hole by winning four straight points.
Saville, ranked 236th in the world and playing only his third main draw match on the ATP Tour, saved one match point, but had no answer for Dimitrov’s unreturnable serve on the second. In the end, the Australian won only 14 points on return (20 per cent), against 34 for Dimitrov (41 per cent).
This is Dimitrov’s first time reaching the Wimbledon third round in five attempts. It is the first time, however, that he went into the tournament as a top-ranked player, seeded 11th, and playing on the show courts.
“It’s the first time for me on that Centre Court today so I was extremely happy coming on to court. I’m pretty confident at the moment, a lot of shots are in place,” he said after the match.
He will next play Ukrainian 21st-seed Alexandr Dolgopolov. The two were due to meet in quarterfinals of the Aegon Championships at the Queen’s Club earlier this month, but Dolgopolov pulled out before the match – Dimitrov would go on to win the title after defeating Stanislas Wawrinka in the semis and Feliciano Lopez in the final.
Dimitrov and Dolgopolov split their two meetings before that, with the Ukrainian winning their first meeting in three sets on the hard courts of Winston-Salem in 2011. Dimitrov won the second match in straight sets in Basel last year, also on hard courts.
(Photo: JCDecaux Innovate/flickr.com)