Grigor Dimitrov started the best way to participate in the Cincinnati Masters Tournament after winning an excellent 7-6 (5), 6: 4 victory against Felisiano Lopez in his first game.
So far, the dramatic fighting between the two and their shape at the time spoke of a difficult struggle ahead of the Bulgarian, but at the Central Court of the wonderful complex at Cincinnati the Bulgarian left no doubt that he was the classiest of the two.
Grigor showed a much higher level than what he demonstrated in Washington and Montreal, and he had a legitimate victory in two sets. The service, which was quite troublesome for the Bulgarian in recent times, was the familiar weapon from the early months of the year, and the forehand was infallible and laid the foundations for the confident performance of the Bulgarian.
This is how Dimitrov, who last season played a semi-final at Cincinnati, secured a third-round place where his rival will be Juan Martin Del Potro.
Until now, the Bulgarian and Spaniard had exchanged two wins, their last match being a few weeks ago in a semi-final in Queens, where Lopes won three sets.
From the start of their Cincinnati match, however, Grisho demonstrated that he did not intend to be again on the losing side. Lopez first reached a chance to break into the third game, but after that, until the end of the first set Dimitrov was the more confident tennis player. He missed four breaks in this part, which had to be decided in a tiebreak. In it, a mini-drill was enough to secure the significant advance of Bulgaria's missile # 1.
In the second part, Dimitrov's advantage was more noticeable, he reached an early break for 2: 1, after which he could put an end to the match as the rival in the ninth game. However, Grigor had to cope with his serve, and in his fourth general game he placed a point in the match for 7: 6, 6: 4.
Here's how the battle progressed:
The game started with a good service game for Grigor, in which his starting shot went great and he gave only one point to the opponent. Lopez, however, replied with the same.
The Spaniard first came to a break point after a forehand in the outs of the Bulgarian at 30:40. However, a good start and deep forehands pulled out # 11 in the world and the first break came at 2: 1 for him.
Lopez responded with a game of 0, but his opponent's service continued to work well and he took another easy game.
With a few nice riffs in the sixth game and a lovely pass by forehand, Grigor, in turn, came to his first break at 30:40. There were great games from Lopez, the Bulgarian did not risk and so the veteran took the game for 3: 3. In the key seventh game Dimitrov started at 0:30, but was then perfect in the next four games for 4: 3.
Lopez's first service lost, and after an excellent backhand winner, Dimitrov reached two breaks at 15:40. The first was reflected in the ace and in the second serve in the body prevented Grigor from making a successful run. The game lasted for more than 7 minutes, and the chase missed another break but Lopez still managed to hold off.
The answer was the best possible - a game of 0 for a little over a minute and so Lopez had to serve for staying in the set. World No. 34 did, but Grigor again showed he was feeling more and more comfortable at his service, and with a 0 game he had a minimum of tiebreak.
After another game on 0, it came to one. He started well for Grigor, who came to the first minivan after a defeat of the opponent's forehand for 2: 0. And that was the key, because until the end of the tiebreak, the Bulgarian was excellent on his bid, and this was also his rival. Lopez reflected the first two sets, but on his serve Dimitrov did not make a mistake and after 7: 5 he pulled the score.
The second part began with a quick game for Lopez, and after that, Grigor had to get out of situation 0:30. He did, and then put his opponent in the same situation. After a good pass from backhand, Dimitrov secured three consecutive breaks, and the first one was made with an opponent's fault.
There was a convincing reinforcement of the breakthrough before Lopez, though hard to put an end to the Bulgarian series.
The first weaker game for Grigor has followed since he made his first double mistake, and after several more inaccuracies he gave his opponent two breaks. At this point, however, the service started working again and Dimitrov took the game.
Two games followed at 0, after which Lopez served to stay in the match. Grigor tried to put a point in the dispute here, and he also got a match. Feliciano, however, managed to make the Bulgarian serve for the match. Grisos missed two more games, but in the fourth he managed to put a point in the match after 6: 4 and a little over an hour and a half.