Confident Dimitrov Reaches Chengdu Quarter-finals; Auger Aliassime Falls
Sousa holds nerve against Auger-Aliassime
Grigor Dimitrov recorded a high-quality 7-5, 7-5 victory over Briton Daniel Evans on Thursday and is now one win away from reaching the Chengdu Open semi-finals for a second time (2016).
“It’s my first match since the US Open and, for sure, I had a little bit of nerves and wanted to do well." said Dimitrov. "I was just trying to do what I’ve built on in the past weeks. It was a really good win, I will take it in and prepare for the next one."
The fourth-seeded Bulgarian broke Evans in the 12th game of the first set, then took a 3-0 lead in the second set. From a 1-4 deficit, Delray Beach finalist Evans won four of the next five games, but was broken at 5-6.
Three weeks ago, Dimitrov reached his third Grand Slam championship semi-final (l. to Medvedev), having come into the US Open at No. 78 in the ATP Rankings. Dimitrov will next challenge Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik, who struck 13 aces and won 31 of 37 first-service points to beat Jordan Thompson of Australia 6-4, 7-5 in 69 minutes. The 22-year-old Bublik reached his first ATP Tour final at Newport (l. to Isner) in July.
Later in the day, 2018 semi-finalist Joao Sousa held his nerve and withstood 23 aces to beat second-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, a contender for the Next Gen ATP Finals in November, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4 in two hours and nine minutes. Sousa, who reached the St. Petersburg Open semi-finals (l. to Coric) last week, next faces Lloyd Harris, a South African lucky loser, a 6-3, 6-3 victor over fifth-seeded Serbian Dusan Lajovic.
"I think it was another great match against a great player today," said Sousa. "We both served very well today and in the end somehow I was able to make the break. I think I was a little more aggressive and tried to return as best I could, so I’m happy with this win. I feel good here in Chengdu and hope I can keep going."