Dimitrov’s clay season ends with early French Open exit
Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov became the highest-ranked player in the men’s draw to be knocked out in the first round of the French Open, as the 10th seed lost in straight sets to American Jack Sock 6-7 (7-9), 2-6, 3-6 on May 26.
Despite hitting the same number of winners as his opponent (30), Dimitrov had 28 unforced errors to Sock’s 18, but the real damage to Dimitrov’s bid to avoid another early exit in Paris came from his failure to convert on any of six break-points, while Sock went 3-for-8.
Dimitrov had four break-points in the first set and led 5-3 in the tie-break, but made several errors that helped Sock close out the frame. In the second set, Dimitrov initially appeared unfazed and came close to breaking Sock’s serve, but crumbled in the sixth game of the frame, going down 0-40 and losing serve on an unforced error.
The Bulgarian lost seven straight games spanning the second and third sets, a disadvantage that he never came close to overcoming, as a confident Sock gave his opponent no chance to break back.
The defeat against Sock takes Dimitrov’s record against opponents ranked in the ATP top 50 to 9-10 for the year and is also the eighth loss against lower-ranked players so far this season.
Following last year’s first-round exit against Ivo Karlovic, Dimitrov rebounded by winning at Queens and reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon, but he has struggled to replicate that kind of form this year.
(Photo: Passion Leica/flickr.com)