Grigor Dimitrov overcame the dogged resistance of Argentine Marco Trungelliti on January 20, winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 to secure his place in the Australian Open third round, where he will meet four-time champion Roger Federer.
Dimitrov opened strongly against his opponent, ranked 210th in the world, whose win in the first round was his first at a Grand Slam, taking an early lead and winning the first set in half an hour. In the second frame, however, the Bulgarian kept making unforced errors at crucial times and, even though he recovered from going a break down early, lost the set after having his serve broken again at 4-5.
But those two breaks in the second set were Trungelliti’s only successes against Dimitrov’s service, out of eight breakpoints, while Dimitrov converted five of nine in the match, bouncing back to win the third set quickly and grinding out the win in the fourth.
Dimitrov has now played two matches to the two-and-a-half hour mark at the Australian Open, having also reached the final of the warm-up tournament in Sydney last week, giving him a distinct disadvantage against Federer, who has a full week of rest on the Bulgarian and has also breezed through his first two rounds in straight sets.
Federer has won all their previous four encounters, with Dimitrov managing to take a set only in their last match in Brisbane earlier this month.
(Photo: Brad Touesnard/flickr.com)