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Dimitrov Saves Match Point To Triumph At Queen's

The Queen's Club, London, England

Grigor Dimitrov saved one match point as he captured his first ATP World Tour grass-court title on Sunday with a 6-7(8), 7-6(1), 7-6(6) victory over Feliciano Lopez in the final of the Aegon Championships.

The Bulgarian received 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €90,100 in prize money after winning his fourth ATP World Tour title. Since joining forces with coach Roger Rasheed in October 2013, the 23 year old has won titles indoors in Stockholm (d. Ferrer), on outdoor hard court in Acapulco (d. Anderson) and on clay in Bucharest (d. Rosol). 

"I'm really happy with the win," said Dimitrov. "Obviously I knew what I had to do today out on the court, and [Lopez] is one of those competitors that when it comes to fast surfaces, he's always very tricky to play. I just fought hard and left everything out on the court - that was my main goal. I achieved what I was looking for."

Dimitrov made his debut at The Queen’s Club five years ago, ranked World No. 361, as a recipient of a wild card from then-Tournament Director Chris Kermode. Following his victory, the right-hander made his way over to the now-ATP Executive Chairman & President Kermode, sat courtside, to hand him his match racquet in recognition. 

"I really feel [like] part of his family," said Dimitrov. "I've known him for quite some time now. It's probably the least thing I can do for him, just a little gesture."

The fourth seed was on the brink of defeat when he trailed 5-6, 30/40 in the second set. However, teeing up on a second serve return, Lopez netted a forehand down the line to squander his opportunity. Dimitrov seized the momentum and cantered through ensuing the tie-break to level the match.

Federer

Leading 40/0 on serve at the start of the third set, Dimitrov looked comfortable, but Lopez regrouped after the disappointment of the second set and fought back to engineer the first service break of the match. However, serving at 4-3, two double faults proved costly for Lopez as he let Dimitrov back into the match and the Bulgarian took his chance. In the deciding tie-break, Dimitrov converted his second match point as Lopez netted a forehand after two hours and 31 minutes.

“I think when you face players like Grigor, you know that even playing the way I played today there is a chance to lose because he's a great player,” said Lopez. “He never gives up, as he showed today.

“It's tough to lose when you play such a great match. Overall it was a great week for me. It has been a great preparation for Wimbledon, and hopefully in Eastbourne, next week, I can do well again. It’s true that I'm feeling great. I'm playing good and hopefully I can continue playing like this for the next two or three weeks.”

The 32-year-old Lopez was contesting his 10th ATP World Tour final and dropped to a 3-7 mark. The left-hander was bidding to win his second grass-court crown, following victory at the Aegon International last year. He will be defending his title in Eastbourne next week.

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