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By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, October 19, 2017

Grigor Dimitrov

Grigor Dimitrov drilled nine aces and did not drop serve defeating Jerzy Janowicz, 7-5, 7-6 (5), to advance to the Stockholm quarterfinals.

Photo credit: China Open Facebook

Stockholm is the site of Grigor Dimitrov’s first ATP title.

The top-seeded Bulgarian made a winning start in his Stockholm return.

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Dimitrov drilled nine aces and did not drop serve defeating buddy Jerzy Janowicz, 7-5, 7-6 (5), to advance to the Stockholm quarterfinals.

It is Dimitrov’s fourth quarterfinal in his last five tournaments and his ninth quarterfinal of the season.

The 2013 Stockholm champion will play wild card Mischa Zverev for a final four spot.

The fifth-seeded Zverev converted four of five break points in a 6-2, 6-3 sweep of Serbia’s Viktor Troicki that spanned 67 minutes. Dimitrov has won both prior meetings with the 30-year-old Zverev with both matches going the distance earlier this season.

US Open finalist Kevin Anderson pounded 18 aces and did not face a break point in a 6-3, 6-2 decision over Hyeon Chung in 65 minutes.

"I like the conditions," Anderson said. "Had a couple of tough matches over the years. Definitely, want to go all the way. It would be a fantastic feeling to compete for a title here. It all starts with one match. I'm very pleased with how today went and need to get ready for tomorrow." 

The second-seeded South African moved into a quarterfinal clash with Fernando Verdasco, who was a 6-4, 6-2 victor over lucky loser Jurgen Zopp yesterday.

In a match of first-serve, first-strike tennis rallies were brief. Dimitrov thumped an ace down the middle, eventually holding at 15 for 3-2.

Wielding his slice backhand to disrupt Janowicz’s rhythm, Dimitrov caressed an angled backhand volley that helped him work through a love hold for 6-5.

At 5-6, Janowicz splattered a forehand into net giving Dimitrov his first break point of the day at the 40-minute mark.

Blocking back a deep return, Dimitrov took the set with a clenched fist when Janowicz stuck another forehand down line into net.

Both men held firm on serve through the second set.

Sliding a low slice, Dimitrov lured the six-foot-eight Janowicz into an error for a love-30 lead in the 10th game. Janowicz withstood the challenge to level after 10 games.

Good fortune turned the tie break in the world No. 8’s favor. Skimming the net with an inside-out forehand, Dimitrov slammed a smash for the mini break and a 4-2 lead. A stinging serve gave him triple match point.

When Janowicz missed the mark on a drive, Dimitrov was through to his sixth Stockholm quarterfinal in 95 minutes, raising his 2017 record to 41-17.


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