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By Chris Oddo | Friday January 19, 2018

 
Grigor Dimitrov

Grigor Dimitrov didn't play perfect tennis but he played well enough to defeat Andrey Rublev and reach the second week at the Australian Open for the fourth time.

Photo Source: Mark Peterson/Corleve

For the second consecutive round Grigor Dimitrov struggled with his form and his opponent. And for the second straight time he found a way to win.

Dimitrov slogged through blistering heat and a determined foe to exact revenge on Russia’s Andrey Rublev, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. The Bulgarian fell to Rublev at last year’s U.S. Open and he avoided the same fate by battling tooth and nail with what he called less than 100 percent of his best tennis.

“These are the most important matches for me,” Dimitrov said on court after his victory. “When things aren’t working and I’m able to find a way. ... Certain things in my game aren’t working at the moment, but I’m pleased I won the match.”


Dimitrov was only able to win 20 of 53 second serve points over the course of the three hour and five-minute affair and he faced 15 break points, surrendering four breaks to Rublev.

But when he needed it most, Dimitrov won the big points and pounced on his opportunities to claim the third and fourth sets. He faced two break points while serving for the match and saved them both before closing the contest to book his spot in the fourth round at the Australian Open for the fourth time.

Dimitrov will face either Nick Kyrgios or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the round of 16.

 

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