© Henk Koster

Grigor Dimitrov advances to the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament second round after beating Yuichi Sugita on Wednesday.

Dimitrov Battles Past Sugita In Rotterdam Opener

Montpellier champion Pouille upset by #NextGenATP Rublev

Grigor Dimitrov began his campaign for a first ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament title with a hard-fought 6-4, 7-6(5) win over Yuichi Sugita on Wednesday.

Watch Hot Shot As Sugita Floors Dimitrov

The 2013 semi-finalist was made to work hard throughout the one-hour, 46-minute encounter against Sugita, but found his best level at the tail-end of both sets to secure the win. In the first set, Dimitrov broke his Japanese opponent at the perfect time, in a marathon tenth game, to take a one-set advantage. Sugita, who was making his debut in Rotterdam at the age of 29, served to force a deciding set at 5-4, but Dimitrov once again showed his quality in the crucial moments to break serve. The Bulgarian went on to clinch victory on his second match point in the tie-break.

Standing between Dimitrov and a place in the quarter-finals is Filip Krajinovic. The Rolex Paris Masters finalist edged 17-year old Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 on Tuesday.

Montpellier champion Lucas Pouille’s first match after winning his fifth career title ended in defeat, after #NextGenATP star Andrey Rublev shocked the No. 7 seed 7-5, 6-4. On his main draw debut in Rotterdam, Rublev broke the Frenchman on four occasions, after trailing 0-3 in the first set, to secure his place in the second round. The Russian No. 1 will next face Damir Dzumhur who upset another of last week’s success stories, Marius Copil, 6-4, 6-4.

Did You Know?
Grigor Dimitrov made his ATP World Tour main-draw debut and secured his first tour-level win in the Netherlands. In 2008, Dimitrov lost to Igor Andreev in s-Hertogenbosch in his first tour encounter and won his first match at tour-level in 2009 against Tomas Berdych in Rotterdam.

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