ATP Vienna: Grigor Dimitrov & Stan Wawrinka edged out in doubles opener



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ATP Vienna: Grigor Dimitrov & Stan Wawrinka edged out in doubles opener

Former world No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov and three-time Grand Slam Stan Wawrinka exited the Vienna doubles event in the first round after failing just short against No. 2 seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury. Ram and Salisbury, who made it all the way at the Australian Open this year, entered the match as the big favorites but didn't have an easy job as they needed three sets to beat Dimitrov and Wawrinka 6-4 3-6 10-6.

Dimitrov and Wawrinka had the first break point of the match in the fourth game but Ram and Salisbury won the game's deciding point to level the set at two games apiece. In the ninth game, Ram and Salisbury converted their third break point to take a 5-4 lead, before routinely serving out for the opener a game later.

After losing the second set, Dimitrov and Wawrinka bounced back well at the start of the second set as they claimed an early break in the fourth game. Dimitrov and Wawrinka then didn't allow Ram and Salisbury a single break point in the rest of the set to force a decider.

But Dimitrov and Wawrinka made a slow start to the match tie-break, having lost the opening three points. Dimitrov and Wawrinka saved two match points to reduce the deficit to 9-6, before Ram and Salisbury converted their third match point to progress into the quarterfinal.

Dimitrov and Wawrinka will now focus on the Vienna singles

On Tuesday, both Dimitrov and Wawrinka will kick off their respective singles campaigns in Vienna. Dimitrov, now ranked at No. 20 in the world, was handed a tough opener as he is set to face 2018 Paris Masters champion Karen Khachanov in the Vienna first round.

Wawrinka was handed a bit easier draw as he faces rising Chilean star Cristian Garin in his Vienna opener. Meanwhile, Austrian tennis superstar Dominic Thiem and his close friend Dennis Novak were beaten in their doubles opener in Vienna.

Thiem and Novak, who were granted a wildcard into the Vienna doubles draw, fought well against Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski but eventually lost 7-5 6-7 (1) 10-5 to the British doubles specialists. Thiem and Novak started the match with a 2-0 first set lead but Murray and Skupski recovered from an early break down to win the opener.

Murray and Skupski appeared to be cruising toward a straight-set win but Thiem and Novak recovered from a break down in the second set to force a tie-break, which they dominated to force a decider. But Murray and Skupski kept their focus as they easily won the match tie-break to avoid an upset.