Grigor Dimitrov’s talent continues to be unleashed at the Rolex Shanghai Masters. The Bulgarian surprised first seed Carlos Alcaraz on Wednesday 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the Asian ATP Masters 1000, signing one of the most special victories of the 2023 season.
The former world No. 3 came into the match without giving a turn of service in the tournament, a security that helped him stay calm in important moments against the Murcian. In a contest that was contested at full speed, Dimitrov threw his forehand to control the pace and create a lead break, all set in the match. Dimitrov’s athletic ability matched the backcourt forces of Alcaraz, creating a match of extraordinary exchanges.
Dimitrov showed remarkable mental fortitude after failing to close out the first set on his serve. Although Alcaraz delivered a psychological blow by winning the last three games of the first set (from 4-5 to 7-5), Grigor responded with two flawless sets in which he did not concede a single point. break points until victory is achieved.
“I stayed strong; that’s the main thing, especially after the first set,” Dimitrov said. “I served at a high level in the first set, and he made some mistakes. I forced him to do it at certain times. At 4-5, he had an impressive game, and another at 6-5. There are many opportunities.”
“After the second break in the second set, I think I understood his service games; I was able to return more balls and read his serve better. In the third set, it was a more balanced situation. We both played a solid set. He made some mistakes, but I was very solid, and I served well when I needed to.
Two virtuosos of the defensive game covered the court from side to side, testing their skills to surprise the opponent. Grigor accepted Alcaraz’s drop shots and leveled up with a sharp forehand and backhand angle to take the win after two hours and 11 minutes of battle.
The victory allowed Dimitrov to speak (1-3) in the history of the Lexus ATP Head2Head against the Spaniard, who built an impregnable wall in his first three duels in the rivalry in Paris-Bercy, Madrid, and Queen’s. Some experiences that Grigor uses wisely to find the right plan towards victory
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“I know what I have to do,” Dimitrov said of his victory. “I have to create constant pressure. Even if I’m behind on the scoreboard or if my shots are not good, I have to put him in uncomfortable positions. He doesn’t want to see himself in that situation. playing something inside and put him in awkward places. usual”.
Dimitrov will play in the quarterfinals of the Rolex Shanghai Masters against Chilean Nicolás Jarry. The South American dominates the Lexus ATP Head2Head record 2-0 against the South American in an unprecedented clash on hard surfaces or in ATP Masters 1000 tournaments.
Alcaraz is looking to regain No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race to Turin, a milestone he will achieve by reaching the final in Shanghai. The Spaniard, who is 500 points behind Novak Djokovic, thus ends his participation in the Asian tour and heads to the indoor season, where he plans to compete in the ATP 500 in Basel and the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris-Bercy and will participate for the first time in the Nitto ATP Finals.
The student of Juan Carlos Ferrero is aiming in Shanghai for his third ATP Masters 1000 title in the 2023 season after becoming champions in Indian Wells and Madrid.
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Carlos Alcaraz has imposed absolute stability, reaching at least the quarterfinals in 13 of the 15 tournaments he has played this season. The Spaniard, the year’s victory leader with 63 wins on the ATP Tour, is just outside the top eight at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome and the Rolex Shanghai Masters.