Dimitrov Scrapes Past Johnson In Los Cabos

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www.atptour.com|31-Jul-2019 12:51

Bulgarian looking to start second half of the year on a high note

Grigor Dimitrov ended a four-match losing streak and improved to 12-12 on Tuesday by grinding out a 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(5) win against American Steve Johnson at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex.

Dimitrov broke in the sixth game of the third set with a forehand winner up the line, but saw a match point come and go at 5-3, 40/30 before being broken while trying to serve out the match. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion, however, recovered in the tie-break, nailing a diving volley winner to bring up his second match point.

"I knew I had to be ready for everything. It was a pretty good first set from me. Then in the second, I had my chances. He started serving better. It was just harder to return well, and then again in the third, he played a good game to break me when I was serving [for the match]. The tie-break was super tight," Dimitrov said.

He now leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Johnson 5-2 and will face second seed Guido Pella for a place in the ATP 250 quarter-finals.

"He's been playing great tennis. Lefty. I can expect anything from him, but right now I'm really focussed on my side of the net. This is the more important thing. I've worked on a lot of things in the past months. I feel that slowly but surely I'm getting back to a good rhythm," Dimitrov said.

Fifth seed Taylor Fritz, BB&T Atlanta Open finalist (l. to De Minaur), won 88 per cent (28/32) of his first-serve points and never faced a break point to beat German qualifier Dominik Koepfer 6-3, 6-4. Fritz, who won his maiden ATP Tour title last month in Eastbourne (d. Querrey), will next meet Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India.

Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero had beaten Chile's Cristian Garin only twice in their seven non tour-level meetings. But Londero is 1-0 against Garin at tour-level, having upset the sixth seed 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. Londero will next face South Korean qualifier Soonwoo Kwon, who sped past Germany's Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, last week's Gstaad finalist, 6-2, 6-1.

Seventh seed Radu Albot ran away with his first-round match against Serbian Janko Tipsarevic 7-5, 2-6, 6-0 and will face Taro Daniel of Japan for a spot in the quarter-finals. Daniel routed American Tennys Sandgren 6-2, 6-0 in 63 minutes.

Brit Cameron Norrie set up a second-round meeting with Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin by beating Frenchman Gregoire Barrere 7-6(5), 6-0.