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Dimitrov Saves Pair Of Match Points For QF Win

Toronto, Canada

Dimitrov© Getty ImagesGrigor Dimitrov denied Kevin Anderson on two match points to advance to the Toronto semi-finals.

Grigor Dimitrov survived two match points on Friday, rallying past Kevin Anderson 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(8) in two hours and 59 minutes to move into the Rogers Cup semi-finals.

A mirror image of their most recent encounter, in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel title match, Dimitrov would battle back from a break deficit in the third set once again, denying Anderson when the South African served for the match at 5-4. In the Acapulco final, the 23 year old overcame 46 winners and on Friday he would prove to be just as clutch in the big moments, withstanding 44 winners and 15 aces, while breaking on three of nine opportunities.

Dimitrov advanced to a second consecutive ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final, following a run to the final four in Rome (l. to Nadal). A three-time champion this year, the Bulgarian improved to 15-2 in decisive-set matches in 2014.

"I knew what to expect against him," said Dimitrov. "I have played him I don't even know how many times already, and I don't remember us having a straight-set match. I knew in a way that he can serve himself out of the situation or any of that, but I think we didn't play at our best. Still, when it came down to those big points, I think it was a lot about the mental toughness and what situation you want to put yourself in to win the point. In the end I was just a little bit stronger on that side and I went for the shots that I know I can win."

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Anderson, who was bidding to achieve his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi, had two match points on his racquet at 5-4 40/15, but was unable to convert on either chance, burying a sitting forehand into the net on the second. Dimitrov would reel off seven straight points to break back and consolidate and he would prove to be the steadier of the two down the stretch, also overcoming a mini-break deficit at 4-5 in the deciding tie-break.

"It was pretty tough," lamented Anderson after the match. "I'm still probably processing it all, but as disappointing and frustrating as a match can possibly get.

"I worked really hard and obviously you never want to lose a match after having a couple of match points...Just probably one of the tougher losses on my serve in my career so far." 

Dimitrov saved a match point for the second time this year, having rallied against Feliciano Lopez in the final of the Aegon Championships for his first grass-court title. He has since reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon last month (l. to Djokovic).

The Haskovo native will battle No. 13 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a spot in the final. Tsonga leads the FedEx ATP Head2Head 3-0, with all three meetings coming in 2011.

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