Watch highlights of Grigor Dimitrov beating Juan Martin del Potro, and Nick Kyrgios advancing at the China Open in Beijing on Wednesday. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo: China Open/VCG.

Dimitrov Sweeps delPo, Into Beijing QFs

2016 finalist will next meet Bautista Agut

Before mid-August, Grigor Dimitrov had lost all five of his FedEx ATP Head2Head match-ups with Juan Martin del Potro. The Bulgarian had never been able to solve the game of the big-hitting Argentine.

How things have changed. Dimitrov won his second consecutive match against del Potro on Wednesday at the China Open, coming through in a tight second-round affair 7-6(6), 7-5 to move into the quarter-finals in Beijing and boost his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals.

“Very pleased that I was able to finish in straight sets. DelPo is an absolutely unbelievable competitor... Every time we play it's absolutely stunning. He's a great guy. I love practising with him. I love competing against him,” Dimitrov said.

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The third seed was down a break in the second set and served at 2-5 to stay in the set. But Dimitrov ran off five consecutive games, including two breaks, to improve to 2-5 against del Potro in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. The win adds 45 more points to Dimitrov's Emirates ATP Race To London tally, giving him 3,185 points, 530 behind fourth-placed Dominic Thiem, who lost in Tokyo on Tuesday.

“I really needed that match... I just had to find a way today. I fought really hard, lowered my expectations, stayed positive,” Dimitrov said. “He's the kind of competitor who can beat anybody... There's not going to be any freebies against him. So I had to work, work and only work today. That was it. I didn't think I played my best tennis but it feels awesome to win on days like that.”

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Dimitrov is seeking to make his debut at the season-ending tournament, to be held 12-19 November at The O2 in London. The right-hander will next face Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, who was leading Aljaz Bedene 6-0, 4-0 when the Brit retired.

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