ROLAND GARROS 2013
Djokovic Sets Dimitrov 3rd Rd Clash
by ATP Staff|
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will face Grigor Dimitrov in a mouthwatering third-round clash at Roland Garros. Djokovic will be out for revenge after losing to the 22-year-old Bulgarian three weeks ago in an epic contest at the Mutua Madrid Open. Should he beat Dimitrov, Djokovic would claim his 500th match win.
"I think he's got more confident as he was getting big wins in the past few months, and so he's a tough player now to beat now, definitely," said Djokovic. "Even though maybe his style of play could be better on the hard court or faster surfaces, he's showing that he can play equally well on clay. He pushed [Rafael] Nadal to a tough three sets in Monaco. He beat me in Madrid.
"It's going to be a tough one for both of us, definitely. I need to be on top of my game. But here it's best of five. It's going to be very physical and all the hard work that I put into preparing for this tournament, hopefully will play into my advantage and will pay off on the court."
Watch highlights of Djokovic Vs. Dimitrov in Madrid
The 26-year-old Djokovic is on a quest to become the eighth man in history to complete the career Grand Slam and is five wins away from winning his first Roland Garros trophy. The Belgrade native won through the second round on Thursday as he dismissed Argentine Guido Pella 6-2, 6-0, 6-2 in 86 minutes. Djokovic hit 29 winners and broke serve seven times in the pair’s first meeting.
Djokovic reached the Roland Garros final last year, finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal in a rain-interrupted match spanning two days. The right-hander won his sixth major championship at the start of the year at the Australian Open (d. Murray).
World No. 28 Dimitrov beat French wild card Lucas Pouille 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-1. The match was twice subjected to lengthy rain interruptions, at the end of the second set and again midway through the third set before Dimitrov prevailed in one hour and 48 minutes.
"I feel I'm playing good," said Dimitrov. "I know I can bring a bit more steam into the game. I think I might need that the next round. So I'm actually really looking forward to the next round. Hopefully it's going to bring out the best out in me.
"Playing against the No. 1 player in the world, it's of course a pleasure. But at the same time you've got to do everything from yourself and you've got to do the best thing you can."
Dimitrov is through to the third round of a major for the first time. He reached his first ATP World Tour final at the Brisbane International in January (l. to Murray) and has compiled a 19-11 match record this season.
Watch highlights of Djokovic Vs. Pella