Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Dimitrov delivering

The men's singles quarter final between 11th seed David Goffin from Belgium and 15th seed Grigor Dimitrov from Bulgaria was one that few had predicted, but both had performed well to reach this stage, Goffin knocking out Thiem in four sets and Dimitrov bringing Istomin's run to an end, also in four.

Goffin's double fault and errors in his opening service game, the second of the match, gifted Dimitrov a break and Grigor enjoyed an early 3-0 lead.

Goffin slipped into gear in the fourth game with a pair of winners and held for his first score. 1-3.  
Four break points it took but Goffin finally broke back and games were on serve 2-3.

A love game tied things up at 3-3.  Strong serving including a last point ace took Dimitrov to 4-3.  
A sharp volley from Grigor plus an inside out forehand winner gave him deuce on the Goffin serve and another winner created a break point. An ace neutralised that.  An ace fixed the second one too. The third disappeared through an error off the serve.  The fourth was converted when Goffin found the court too short. 5-3 Dimitrov.

30-30 when Goffin found the net but break back point when Dimitrov did the same. Saved.
Ace and set point. So it was 6-3

A Goffin double fault brought with it two break points and a Dimitrov forehand winner did the rest 1-0.
Two break back points and a tentative shot by Dimitrov didn't make it over 1-1.

Trouble for servers continued as Goffin was down 0-30 but a backhand winner helped a bit. 30-30 arrived but a double fault and break point soon after.  A weak return effort from Dimitrov and deuce.  The second chance was taken and Dimitrov led 2-1.

A service hold for 3-1.
A Dimitrov forehand pass plus a forehand miss by Goffin and it was 30-30, but an ace and return winner made it deuce.  Goffin held, the winning forehand especially noteworthy. 3-2 Dimitrov.

A Dimitrov forehand winner down the line for 30-15 was countered by a Goffin shot that forced a Bulgarian mistake.  The backhand winner from the Belgian was sweet but not for Dimitrov who faced a break point which was averted, not by anything Grigor could do.  Serve was held and the lead 4-2.

A wonderful return and subsequent retrievals saw Dimitrov win the first point off the next Goffin serve, and he drew errors which resulted in two break points.  The second break arrived and Dimitrov would serve for a two set advantage.

Break point for David as he fought to be relevant in the match.  Dimitrov hit a great forehand to save that one.  David set up a second with a spectacular return winner but it disappeared with the forehand into the net.  The third was saved when a backhand found the bottom of the net, and eventually Dimitrov decided to have set point.  Goffin hit a forehand past him at the net to pull it back to deuce.  The second set point was greeted with a forehand pass and Dimitrov indeed led 6-3 6-2.

In the third set Dimitrov had a break chance in the third game and two in the fifth game but Goffin saved each of them, the second of the them in the fifth with an ace. Unhappy at his conversion rate, Dimitrov wasted no time in holding serve to love and drawing level at 3-3.  He wanted another crack at the Belgian serve.

David served an ace for 15-15 then won one of the best rallies of the match with a drop volley.  From 40-15 he lost three points to face break point.  He could not avoid dropping serve for a third game in a row and Dimitrov could smell a semi final now, ahead 2 sets and a break.

Goffin missed a couple of shots that he should have made and then he hit a brilliant winner to save one game point.  Dimitrov still held and led 5-3.
A ripping forehand crosscourt by Dimitrov and it was 30-30 on the Goffin serve.  Match point came with a netted forehand.  Dimitrov hit it long and deuce.  A second match point.  Deuce again the same way.  Goffin held on and at 5-4 Dimitrov would serve for it.

40-0 and three more match points.  A backhand down the line was the shot that won it.

Grigor Dimitrov into a semi final 6-3 6-2 6-4.  He will play either Milos Raonic or Rafa Nadal.

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