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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday February 10, 2020

A highly anticipated battle at the ABN Amro in Rotterdam went the way of Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian worked his way past No.8-seeded Denis Shapovalov 6-3 7-6(3) on the strength of a single break of serve and some fine play in the second set tiebreaker to take his place in the second round.

Tennis Express

“He’s a quality player indoors,” said Dimitrov of the Canadian. “He’s very dangerous with his serve.”

Dimitrov converted his lone break point in the opening set and, most important, he saved all three break points he faced over the course of the 90-minute encounter.

“I was trying to use every little opportunity that I had to make sure that I seized those moments,” said Dimitrov. “Honestly that was it. I was calm in the important moments, came to the net when I had to, so overall the things that I had to right, I did very well.”

Shapovalov drops to 3-6 on the season—he has dropped four straight since his first-round win over Vasek Pospsil at Auckland.

Dimitrov will face either Felix Auger-Aliassime or Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round. He improves to 4-3 on the season and 13-7 lifetime at Rotterdam.

Three other players registered wins on Day 1 in Rotterdam.

Sixth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Marton Fucsovics 4-6 7-6(1) 6-1, while Pablo Carreno Busta knocked off Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-7(3) 6-4.

Compatriots Bautista Agut and Carreno Busta will meet in the second round. Bautista Agut leads the head-to-head 2-1 but the pair have split their two hardcourt matches.

In the final match of the night session Dan Evans won on his Rotterdam debut, 6-3 7-5 over qualifier Philipp Kohlschreiber.


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