© Belga

Grigor Dimitrov converted three of his five break point opportunities against Pablo Andujar on Wednesday in Antwerp.

The 'Extra Edge' That Helped Dimitrov Advance In Antwerp

Bulgarian wins 84 per cent of first-serve points in three-set win

Fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov made a successful European Open debut on Wednesday evening, battling past four-time ATP Tour titlist Pablo Andujar 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals.

“I think tonight I just stayed in the match in a very good manner,” Dimitrov said. “I think a lot of that was experience playing indoors. You don’t get the chance to play a lot of matches indoors and the times that I have, I’ve always felt that I have a little bit of an extra edge, especially in the big moments during the match. I think today was also one of those matches.”

Dimitrov has won more than 64 per cent of his matches indoors (72-40) and 69 per cent of those played outdoors (248-170). This will be the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion’s third quarter-final of the year, having also made the last eight in Acapulco (SF) and Rome (QF). Dimitrov is chasing his first title since lifting the trophy at The O2 nearly three years ago.

How To Watch

The fourth seed let slip one of the two breaks he earned in the third set, but he had enough of a buffer to triumph after two hours and 21 minutes.

“I actually played very good in the first set, but lost it. Then I thought to myself, ‘Okay, let’s just find another way,’” Dimitrov said. “I think matches like that early on are very important and you’re into the tournament now. That is probably the thing that I’m most happy with tonight.”

The 29-year-old will next play another former World No. 3, Milos Raonic or Brit Cameron Norrie. Another seed who reached the quarter-finals was eighth seed Alex de Minaur, who ousted Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-2.

De Minaur rallied from the brink to beat Richard Gasquet in three sets on Tuesday. The Australian had an easier time against Lopez, breaking the lefty's serve four times.

Daniel Evans also reached the last eight in Antwerp with a 7-6(3), 6-2 victory against American Frances Tiafoe. The Brit saved five of the six break points he faced to advance after one hour and 41 minutes.

Evans is trying to become the third consecutive player from Great Britain to win the European Open. Kyle Edmund was victorious in 2018 and former World No. 1 Andy Murray triumphed last year.

More stories like this in: