Paris, June 1 (IANS) Spain’s aging tennis pro Fernando Verdasco, 34, on Friday stunned a leading player in his prime, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, 27, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-4, to advance to the last 16 of the French Open, the second Grand Slam event of the season, held on clay court.
Verdasco needed two hours and 21 minutes to advance past Dimitrov into the fourth round for the seventh time in his 15th participation in the tournament, reports Efe.
Verdasco, world No. 35, coped with world No. 5 Dimitrov’s winners, controlling the serve points, only conceding his service game three times out of ten opportunities.
Dimitrov, the 2017 ATP Finals champion, conceded his serve once but broke his rival’s serve, forcing the set into a tie break.
Dimitrov took a 3-1 lead in the tie break, but he eventually lost six out of the next seven points to fall one set behind.
The Spaniard seized total control of the match in the second set, as he held serve, despite facing two break points, and made the most of two out of three break points to double the lead.
Two service breaks in the third set were not enough for Dimitrov, as he conceded his own three times, to lose for the third time against Verdasco in five career matches.
Eyeing his first quarterfinal appearance at the French Open, Verdasco is set to take on either Serbia’s Novak Djokovic or Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.