Bulgaria’s Dimitrov handed easy draw in Australian Open

Grigor Dimitrov was drawn in Andy Murray’s section of the Australian Open, the first tennis Grand Slam of the year, but will face no strong opposition prior to his prospective fourth-round match against the British number one.

Dimitrov, who reached the quarterfinal of last year’s Australian Open and set the tone for a season that also saw him win three titles and break into the top 10 for the first time, will begin his campaign in Melbourne against Germany’s Dustin Brown, ranked 89th in the world.

The Bulgarian won their only previous encounter, on the clay courts in Gstaad in 2012, with the winner facing either Maximo Gonzales of Argentina or Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko, two players just inside the top 100 of the ATP Tour rankings.

In the third round, if seedings bear out, Dimitrov is slated to meet Belgium’s David Goffin, seeded 20th in the tournament, before a likely showdown against Murray. Dimitrov is 2-4 against Murray, but both his wins came during his break-out season last year, at Acapulco and in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, where Murray was the defending champion at the time.

Bulgaria’s top female player Tsvetana Pironkova has a much tougher draw and will face another Briton, Heather Watson, in the first round. If she prevails, the Bulgarian could face 11th-seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the second round.

Pironkova has never progressed beyond the second round in Melbourne, reaching that stage of the Australian Open on six previous occasions, including last year, when she lost in straight sets to Samantha Stosur.

The Australian Open starts in Melbourne on January 19.

(Photo: Brad Touesnard/flickr.com)



The Sofia Globe staff

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