Grigor Dimitrov once again offered a stiff challenge to former world number one Rafael Nadal, but remains winless in six career matches against the Spaniard after losing their latest encounter in the Madrid Masters quarterfinals (3-6, 4-6) on May 8.
Nadal started strongly and had a chance to break serve out of the gates, but Dimitrov held on to his service game, which went on for nine minutes. Nadal fared better on the second Dimitrov service game, but was broken right back and then went a break up again, capitalising on a slew of unforced errors from his opponent – Dimitrov would finish the match with 38 unforced errors, compared to Nadal’s 21.
Nadal broke Dimitrov’s serve again to take the set, but it was the Bulgarian who took an early 3-1 lead in the second frame with some sensational winners. But Dimitrov was unable to press his advantage and his frustration showed when he smashed his racquet after being broken back.
Serving to stay in the match, Dimitrov had a game point but more costly errors, including a double fault, his fourth of the match, put Nadal one step closer to reaching his seventh career final in Madrid.
Dimitrov reached the quarterfinal stage at the second consecutive clay-court Masters tournament, but will need to do better next week in Rome, where he reached the semi-finals last year (losing to Nadal).
— TennisTV (@TennisTV) May 8, 2015