Australian Open: Dimitrov beats Novak in 1st round

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Melbourne, Jan 15 (IANS) Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov opened his bid for a first Grand Slam title with a comfortable 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 win over Austrian qualifier Dennis Novak in the first round of the men’s singles category at the Australian Open tennis tournament here on Monday.

World No.3 Dimitrov needed one hour and 38 minutes to prevail over the player 220 spots lower than him on the ATP rankings in their first ever meeting.

The 24-year-old Novak committed a total 21 unforced errors compared to just 12 winners, handing his rival 14 breakpoints.

The 2017 ATP Finals champion seized on 6 of them, and was able to save the two he presented the Austrian.

Dimitrov is scheduled to play either the United States’ Mackenzie McDonald or Sweden’s Elias Ymer in the second round.

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The Bulgarian hopes to build on his performances in 2017, when he won his first-ever ATP title in Canada and the ATP Finals in London, and reached the semifinals at Melbourne, his best run so far at the first Grand Slam of the season.

Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta, the 10th seed, prevailed over Australian wildcard Jason Kubler 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

American John Isner, seeded 16th, was stunned by Australian Matthew Ebden 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

In another upset in men’s singles, Briton Kyle Edmund stunned South African Kevin Anderson, the 11th seed, 6-7 (4-7) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

–IANS

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