Dimitrov wins serving duel against Johnson, into Wimbledon third round
Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov faced a stern test from big-serving American Steve Johnson but won in straight sets 7-6 (10-8), 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) to book a place in the third round at Wimbledon on July 1.
After a shaky opening game in which he faced two break points, Dimitrov quickly recovered and went on to serve well, as did his opponent. In the tie-break, the first 17 points went to the player on serve, until a well-placed return shot from Dimitrov forced Jonson into making a mistake.
Dimitrov raced out of the blocks in the second frame, taking a 5-1 lead and closed out the set comfortably. He dominated in the third set again, but Johnson’s big serve bailed him out on several occasions. In the tie-break, however, Dimitrov took an early lead and never relinquished it, closing out the match in two hours and 11 minutes.
Despite closely matched serving stats, where Dimitrov had a slight edge, the Bulgarian also had more winners, 47 to 29.
His next opponent in the third round is Richard Gasquet, the 21st seed, against whom Dimitrov is a career 0-4. The two last played in the spring of 2013, well before Dimitrov’s rise through the rankings that propelled him ahead of the Frenchman.
Gasquet is no stranger to success at Wimbledon, however, having reached the semi-finals in 2007 and progressing to the fourth round on four other occasions.
(Photo: David Pinkney/flickr.com)