The clay courts of Roland Garros have not been kind to Grigor Dimitrov, who has failed to progress beyond the first round of the French Open in the past three years, but he tied his career best by reaching the third round of the second Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year.
Dimitrov notched his second straight-sets victory on May 31, overcoming Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 13 minutes, recording 43 winners to Robredo’s 20 in the process. Dimitrov did not face a single break-point while converting three of nine break opportunities, one in each set.
But after facing two veterans – Frenchman Stéphane Robert, 37, and Robredo, 35 – Dimitrov could face sterner opposition in his next match, unless Japan’s Taro Daniel manages to upset 20th seed Pablo Carreño Busta in their match later in the day.
After a strong start to the year, which saw him reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open where he lost an epic five-set match to a resurgent Rafael Nadal, sandwiched in between titles at the tournaments in Brisbane and Sofia, Dimitrov has had an indifferent couple of months on the North American hard courts and during the European clay season, going 5-7 since lifting the Sofia Open trophy in his first tournament appearance in native Bulgaria.
As a result, he has hovered just outside the ATP Tour top 10 and is currently ranked 13th in the world. He might have to wait until the summer grass season before that changes, as a deep run in Paris looks unlikely with Canada’s fifth-seed Milos Raonic potentially looming in the fourth-round and a re-match with Nadal, the nine-time French Open champion, in the quarterfinal, should Dimitrov make it that far.
(Photo: Passion Leica/flickr.com)