Dimitrov Downs Garin To Reach First Paris Semi-final
Bulgarian to meet Djokovic or Tsitsipas in last four
After emphatically snapping a six-match winless record in the third round of the Rolex Paris Masters on Thursday, Grigor Dimitrov claimed another straight-sets victory to book his place in the semi-finals on Friday.
Backing up his impressive 72-minute win against Dominic Thiem, the Bulgarian survived a late test to move past Cristian Garin 6-2, 7-5 in 89 minutes. Dimitrov is through to his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final since the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in April 2018.
Since dropping the opening set in his first-round match against Ugo Humbert, Dimitrov has claimed eight consecutive sets to improve to 13-7 at the ATP Masters 1000 event. The 28-year-old is through to his second semi-final of the year after making his third Grand Slam semi-final appearance at the US Open in September.
Dimitrov will meet Novak Djokovic or Stefanos Tsitsipas for a spot in the championship match. The World No. 27 owns one victory from nine FedEx ATP Head2Head encounters against Djokovic and is yet to meet Tsitsipas on the ATP Tour. Dimitrov will be aiming to reach his first final since a runner-up finish at last year’s ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament (l. to Federer).
Dimitrov started quickly, attacking Garin’s forehand and playing with variety to jump into a 3-0 lead. Dropping just four points behind his first serve (16/20), the eight-time ATP Tour titlist maintained his advantage to 5-2 before dictating play with his forehand to earn a second break and, with it, the first set.
After trading breaks early in the second set, Garin capitalised on a series of errors from Dimitrov to serve for the set at 5-4. But the Bulgarian raised his level to move through to the semi-finals. Dimitrov played with aggression on his forehand and varied the pace on his backhand to earn three straight games and a place in the last four.
Garin ends his breakthrough season on the ATP Tour with a 31-22 record. The 23-year-old became the first Chilean to win an ATP Tour trophy since Fernando Gonzalez in 2009, lifting ATP 250 crowns on clay in Houston and Munich.