Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Dimitrov scrapes past Thiem

Dimitrov scrapes past Thiem

Dimitrov surrendered a one-set lead at London's O2 Arena and then needed two chances to serve for victory in the decider before edging past the talented Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 7-5.

In the absence of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, all eyes are on a potential showdown in London between Nadal and Roger Federer, who started his bid for a seventh ATP Finals title with a straight-sets victory against American Jack Sock on Sunday. I mean, I think there's a lot of components that are kind of coming together at some point. "It's not easy playing here for the first time".

Having become the first player from Bulgaria to qualify for the event, Dimitrov quickly settled into his new surroundings.

Back came Dimitrov, though, with a break to love and he made no mistake in the final game of the match, converting his third match point as Thiem fired long from the baseline.

"There's always a little bit of tension before every match". He served under 50% and he needed more than that to avoid those break points he had to play against, but he had a chance to fight until the very end, breaking Grigor's serve in the 10th game of the final set, when Bulgarian served for the win.

Dimitrov, who had missed five match points in defeat to Thiem at the Madrid Open earlier in the season, finally managed to stagger across the line but not until he had blown his first two match points.

But rather than Dimitrov, Thiem it was who wilted.

The sixth seed broke Thiem three times, including late in the third set when Thiem was serving at 5-5 (0-30) when he double faulted twice to hand Dimitrov the break.

"To be honest, I didn't think that much about that last match against him".

"I'm not going to lie - I was pretty nervous, my first match out here", he told reporters.

"It was kind of a similar situation".

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