The 2nd seed Grigor Dimitrov passed the first obstacle in Marseille, beating Sebastian Korda 6-1, 7-6 in an hour and 32 minutes. Grigor made a flying start, leading 6-1, 4-2 before Sebastian bounced back, reaching a tie break but losing it 7-5 to propel the rival over the top.
Dimitrov showed his kindness after the win, climbing to the stands and taking a selfie with a disabled fan who cheered for him during the match. Novak Djokovic applauded Grigor's kind gesture, sharing the picture of his good friend and his fan on Instagram.
The Bulgarian outplayed the American behind the first and second serve, defending two out of three break chances and securing three breaks. Grigor squandered game points in the first game of the encounter and offered Sebastian a break chance after a backhand error.
The 2nd seed denied it with an ace and held after the third deuce with a service winner. Korda grabbed the second game with a service winner, and Dimitrov clinched the next one with a crafty serve & volley combo. The American wasted a game point in the fourth game and dropped serve after a loose backhand, pushing the Bulgarian 3-1 in front.
Grigor closed the fifth game at love with a service winner, cementing the lead and gaining a boost. The 2nd seed took charge in the sixth game and secured a break at love with a smash winner that sent him 5-1 up.
Grigor Dimitrov took a selfie with his fan in Marseille.
Dimitrov wrapped up the opener with a forehand winner in game seven after 35 minutes, hoping for more in set number two.
With nothing working his way, Sebastian lost serve in the first game of the second set after a backhand error, and Grigor cemented the lead with a powerful serve in game two, rattling off his seventh game. Korda held at love in game three, and Dimitrov followed that pace in the next one for 3-1.
The Bulgarian secured the sixth game with a forehand winner, opening a 4-2 lead and moving closer to the finish line. The American held at love in game seven and made a push on the return in the next one. Grigor missed a slice and faced two break points.
The young gun painted a backhand down the line winner on the second, pulling the break back and locking the result at 4-4. Grigor served to stay in the set at 4-5 and held at love to prolong the battle. They served well in games 11 and 12, introducing a tie break.
Dimitrov grabbed an early mini-break and moved 3-0 up with an unreturned serve. The Bulgarian hit a double fault in the sixth point for 3-3 and lost another point behind the initial shot to fall behind. Korda grabbed the fifth point in a row for a 5-3 lead, looking good to force a decider.
The Bulgarian forced the rival's mistake in the ninth point, returning to the positive side and reaching 5-5 when the American netted a backhand. Grigor created a match point with a service winner and seized it after Sebastian's backhand mistake, advancing into the quarter-final.
Grigor Dimitrov 🇧🇬 qui grimpe dans les tribunes à Marseille pour offrir un cadeau et prendre une photo avec un fan qui l’encourageait pendant le match.