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Dimitrov Edges Raonic For Best Slam Performance

Melbourne, Australia

Dimitrov© Getty ImagesGrigor Dimitrov is through to the fourth round of a major for the first time.

Grigor Dimitrov won a gripping tie-break with Milos Raonic on Saturday to reach his first Grand Slam fourth round at the Australian Open. In a battle between two of the ATP World Tour’s young guns, Dimitrov edged the 11th-seeded Raonic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(10) in a raucous atmosphere on Margaret Court Arena.

"I'm definitely satisfied that I have gone through that match," said Dimitrov. "I think it's a great stepping stone for me to get into that second week that I keep talking about. But I have practised a lot. I have done a lot of homework. So, to me, in a way it's a bit expected. So I feel really good coming into the second week and I just take it one match at a time."

Dimitrov saved two set points before converting his fifth match point in the fourth-set tie-break, claiming victory in two hours and 36 minutes as Raonic netted a forehand. The Bulgarian improved to a 2-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Raonic.

Watch Dimitrov Interview

"Milos is one of the biggest servers out there and I just had to have a lot of patience and use every momentum I had in the match," said Dimitrov. "There was some tight rallies here and there, but I guess that's in the game. At the same time, I was really happy to play on that court. It was full house, and that brought an extra good feeling in the end."

"Probably when I look at it after, I would have said, 'I wish I could have gotten through that fourth set tie-breaker and gotten to the fifth,'" said Raonic. "I don't think I'll spend too much time on it. There's too much tennis to be played this year."

Watch Match Highlights

The 22-year-old Dimitrov will play Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the quarter-finals after the Spaniard defeated Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. Bautista Agut backed up his five-set upset win over Juan Martin del Potro in the second round to also reach the fourth round of a major for the first time. Bautista Agut won their one previous meeting for the loss of six games in Beijing last year. 

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