Grigor Dimitrov dug deep to complete a prompt revenge job Wednesday at the Rolex Paris Masters.
The Bulgarian battled to a 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-6(2) triumph against Daniil Medvedev to reach the third round at the ATP Masters 1000 event in the French capital. Dimitrov led by a set before falling to defeat in the pair’s second-round clash in Vienna just six days ago, but he made no mistake this time around as he powered 48 winners to Medvedev’s 22 for his first victory against the World No. 3 since 2021.
Dimitrov struggled to serve out the match after maintaining the upper hand for much of the deciding set. He led 5-2 before letting slip four match points on his own serve at 5-4 and then another two on return at 6-5, but the World No. 17 kept his composure admirably to dominate the deciding tie-break and seal a two-hour, 54-minute win.
“At 5-4 and 40/15, I just didn’t go enough for my shots,” said Dimitrov. “That’s it, and against a player like him, he’s going to take it, simple as that. I could have done a few things differently. Obviously, it’s very different when you see it from the outside now, but I’m going to watch a little bit for sure.
“I want to see what I could have done a little bit better since I was playing a good game and to get up to 5-4, 40/15, I thought I played an excellent game with very good shot selection. It slipped there, but a good outcome in the end.”
Dimitrov had already shown great mental strength to move ahead in the third set after Medvedev had blunted the Bulgarian’s fast start with a rock-solid second-set showing. The 2020 Paris champion Medvedev could not carry that momentum into the decider, although he did not go down without a fight — the six match points he saved included a 47-shot rally that ended with Dimitrov netting a backhand.
“It’s extremely difficult,” said Dimitrov, when asked how he regathered himself after missing the match points. “You have to accept [it], there is not much to do. The moment has passed. In the end, I had to just remain in the game, looking after my shots and trying create some opportunities again.
“I knew I might have another one. We both were fairly tired. In the end we had some crazy rallies and amazing points. It came down to a few points here and there, just like the last match [in Vienna].”
Now 38-20 for the season, including a 6-10 record against Top 10 opponents, Dimitrov will take on Alexander Bublik next in Paris-Bercy, where he reached the semi-finals in 2019. The 32-year-old, who reached a championship match in Geneva earlier this year, is chasing his first ATP Tour title since he won the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals.