Dimitrov Continues Winning Ways Against Wawrinka
Johnson upsets Tsonga on Thursday
Grigor Dimitrov scored another upset over second seed Stan Wawrinka on Thursday at the Western & Southern Open, requiring just a single break of serve in each set to prevail in their third-round clash, 6-4, 6-4.
"I need matches like that," said Dimitrov. "I need 10 or 12 more of those matches to sustain that level and also to send a statement not only for me, but towards everyone. I'm here to play and here to compete."
Next up for Dimitrov is Steve Johnson, who continued his red-hot summer by saving four set points to advance to the quarter-finals over seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-3, 7-6 (4). The American leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 2-1 and has won their past two matches, including a third-round victory this year at Wimbledon.
"Stevie has got a lot of confidence. He's pumped to play, but so am I," said Dimitrov. "It all depends on how I'm going to play and really making it happen in the clutch moments.
The win over Tsonga also ensures that Johnson will become the top-ranked American on Monday, taking over the spot that John Isner has held since July 2013.
“It hasn't sunk in yet. I just found out, so it's an honour,” Johnson said. “John has held that spot for a while, and I'm just glad that there are a bunch of Americans pushing towards the top.”
Dimitrov and Wawrinka traded service holds in the opening set until 4-4, when Dimitrov converted on his second break point chance and then served out the set in the next game. The Bulgarian broke Wawrinka once again in the second set to take a 4-3 advantage. Dimitrov was flawless on serve throughout the second set, dropping just three points and holding to love to close out the match.
Dimitrov improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry against Wawrinka to 4-2 and has won their past four meetings. His win today also gives him victories over Wawrinka on every surface.
Johnson earned the lone break of serve in the opening set with Tsonga serving at 1-2. Both players traded service holds throughout the second set, with the American saving a set point at 5-6 to force a tie-break. He then saved three more from 3/6 down, winning the last five points of the match to clinch the victory.
“It's not like he was serving at 6-3 so he had two good looks. I just took care of business on my serve,” Johnson said. “Kind of hoped he doesn't hit an ace and I can get in a point. Took my chance at 5-6, it worked. Then I got another look on the second serve at 6-all and was fortunate to get out of there.”
Johnson improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry against Tsonga to 2-0. After posting a 6-13 record on the ATP World Tour through Roland Garros, he has gone 20-7 since June.