Match Report

Dimitrov Reaches First Masters 1000 Final In Six Years, Defeats Tsitsipas In Paris

Bulgarian chasing first trophy since 2017
November 04, 2023
Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Jump for joy: Grigor Dimitrov celebrates his win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Paris semi-finals. By ATP Staff

Grigor Dimitrov advanced to his second ATP Masters 1000 final and first since 2017 on Saturday when he clawed past Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-7(1), 7-6(3) at the Rolex Paris Masters.

The Bulgarian is chasing his first tour-level trophy since 2017, when he won the Nitto ATP Finals trophy. The 32-year-old moved to within one victory of achieving that feat after producing a high-quality display against Tsitsipas to improve to 2-6 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series. With little to separate them, Dimitrov produced free-flowing tennis in the third-set tie-break to build a lead, before he struck a backhand pass on match point to advance after two hours and 32 minutes.

"I am just happy I was able to get through that match in such a manner," Dimitrov said. "After that second set, especially the tie-break, it was getting very tricky again. 15/40 down in the third again and I was just thinking it can't keep going like this, so I have to change something. In order to beat someone like him I just had to step through. That is the only thing I could have done.

"Throughout the match I felt I was doing a lot of good things and in the middle of the second [set] he picked up his game and in the end I waited for the tie-break."

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Dimitrov, who reached his only other Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati in 2017, will face Novak Djokovic or Andrey Rublev in Sunday’s final. The 32-year-old is up to No. 14 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings and will climb to No. 12 on Monday if he wins the title. The last time Dimitrov was as high as No. 12 was in October 2018, when he was No. 10. The Bulgarian has now won 41 tour-level matches this year. He has only passed the 40 mark three times in his career.

"I played very good [in the tie-break]," Dimitrov said. "The first five points in the tie-break were excellent. I took those chances and that was all I could do against such a high-quality player. If you let him dictate you are done. But I kept on believing and kept staying focused and made sure everytime I had the ball on the racquet, I did something with it."

Dimitrov took the ball early off both wings to rush Tsitsipas, who earned his 300th tour-level win on Friday. He struck 38 winners, won 23/25 of net points and saved all four break points he faced to earn his seventh Top 10 win of the season. He also defeated World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev in the second round in Paris.

"There were no tears but I got very emotional," Dimitrov said. "I am just living in the moment right now. It has been a funny road of late, but each win means more and more to me."

Tsitsipas was chasing his third ATP Masters 1000 title, having triumphed in Monte-Carlo in 2021 and 2022. The Greek will now travel to Turin where he will compete at the Nitto ATP Finals for the fifth consecutive year.

Did You Know?
The past three matches between Dimitrov and Tsitsipas have gone to deciding-set tie-breaks.

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