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  • Wawrinka ends Dimitrov's Madrid Masters run

    5/10/13 3:08 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Wawrinka ends Dimitrov's Madrid Masters run Stanislas Wawrinka takes out Grigor Dimitrov in three sets on Thursday in Madrid. Wawrinka is through to the quarterfinals while Dimitrov is left to be content with his early-round upset of Novak Djokovic.

    Grigor Dimitrov did in Madrid what Stanislas Wawrinka could not do at the Australian Open, but it is Wawrinka who is continuing his stellar clay-court season this week.

    Wawrinka overcame Dimitrov 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Thursday night. The Swiss held his last nine service games to set up a quarterfinal showdown with No. 7 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

    Coming off a 7-6(6), 6-7(8), 6-3 stunner over Novak Djokovic, Dimitrov wasted no time maintaining his incredible form in this one. The 21-year-old Bulgarian broke his opponent for a 3-1 lead in the first set. Although he gave it back right away, Dimitrov recovered to break again for 5-3. This time, Dimitrov consolidated his advantage in style by serving out the opener.

    An entertaining second frame of play saw both men match each other shot for shot. Dimitrov was two games from the quarterfinals, a destination he reached last month in Monte-Carlo, at 4-4. Wawrinka, though, had other ideas. The Swiss applied pressure on his opponent with a crucial hold in the ninth game and Dimitrov cracked trying to stay in the set at 4-5.

    From there it was all over for the world No. 28, who had been on a physical and emotional roller-coaster for three hours and five minutes against Djokovic on Tuesday. Dimitrov at least had a day off in between matches, but it hardly mattered. Wawrinka raced through the decider losing only one game in the process. Madrid's No. 15 seed, also a quarterfinalist in Monte-Carlo and the champion in Madrid, dropped a mere three points in his last four service games and broke twice even though Dimitrov served at 82 percent in the set.

    "Today I was really trying to focus on myself and not on him," said Wawrinka. "I was trying to change my game a little bit. At the beginning he was doing everything, and I tried to push him a little bit more. That's when I started to serve a little bit better. In the end, I'm really happy to have won that match."

    The 15th-ranked player in the world will battle Tsonga on Friday after the Frenchman also came back from a set down in his victory over Fernando Verdasco.


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