French Open: Grigor Dimitrov reaches maiden QFs, downs Hubert Hurkacz

The No. 10 in the ATP Rankings will square off against second seed Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals.


ANI | Updated: 03-06-2024 09:47 IST | Created: 03-06-2024 09:47 IST
French Open: Grigor Dimitrov reaches maiden QFs, downs Hubert Hurkacz
Grigor Dimitrov (Photo: Roland Garros/ X). Image Credit: ANI
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Grigor Dimitrov advanced to a Grand Slam milestone at the French Open 2024 as the Bulgarian registered a 7-6(5), 6-4, 7-6(3) victory against Hubert Hurkacz to reach his maiden quarter-final at the clay-court major. The 33-year-old has now advanced to the final eight in each of the four Grand Slam competitions.

Despite a severe fall after diving for a ball deep into the third set, which required treatment for his hand, Dimitrov won in two hours and 51 minutes on Court Suzanne-Lenglen. It was a continuation of his dominance over his close friend Hurkacz in the Lexus ATP Head2Head series. He has won all six tour-level matches against the Pole. Dimitrov expressed his desire to reach the quarterfinals of the French Open after failing to do so previously.

"It's very hard to play against such a good friend. I've known him for quite a few years. We practice a lot and we've had quite a few moments together. I knew it was going to be a difficult match, but I knew also that I had to fight a lot," Dimitrov said in his on-court interview as quoted by ATP. "I always wanted to get to that second week. Roland Garros was the only Slam where I felt that I could not get that extra step. But today, 15 years later, I made it, so I'm very happy with that," he added.

The 10th seed Dimitrov saved all five break points he faced in the first set of the fourth-round match in the French city, including three at 5-5, 0/40. After winning the first-set tie-break, the Bulgarian was a more consistent player over the next two sets and appeared to be cruising to victory when he led 3-1 in the third. Hurkacz, who was also aiming for his maiden quarter-final appearance at Roland Garros, dug deep to force a tie-break but was unable to maintain his momentum. Dimitrov won the opening four points of the tie-break and went on to win despite Hurkacz's 20 aces.

"I think especially when you play on a clay court here, you have to paint [a picture with your tennis]. You need to have finesse and also be able to read the court a little bit. Clay courts are always very tricky, you never know what kind of conditions you are going to get," Dimitrov said when asked about his aesthetically pleasing style. "I like my chances, I like when I can use my body a lot and chase balls around the court. Use my slice, use my variety. At the same time, when the ball is there to be hit, I try to make the most out of it," he added.

The No 10 in the ATP Rankings will square off against second seed Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals. (ANI)

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