Grigor Dimitrov reacts to surprising No. 4 seed Casper Ruud in Monte Carlo

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Grigor Dimitrov reacts to surprising No. 4 seed Casper Ruud in Monte Carlo

Former world No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov said he was really excited about playing Casper Ruud in Monte Carlo as he was determined to deliver a strong performance. Dimitrov, now ranked at No. 29 in the world, put up a great performance on Thursday to beat Ruud 6-3 7-5 and progress into the Monte Carlo quarterfinal.

It was the second meeting between the two and Dimitrov's first win over Ruud. Ruud is becoming a dominant force on clay and Dimitrov entered the match as the underdog. “I was really looking forward to the match,” Dimitrov said in his on-court interview, per the ATP website.

“I knew if I did the right things, good things would come out of it. Casper is such a great player on whatever surface. He has proved it over and over again at such a young age, which is nice to see. I liked that matchup and wanted to see where I was physically and mentally.

I just played and enjoyed the game”.

Dimitrov escaped with a straight-set win over Ruud

Ruud served out the opening game of the match, before Dimitrov claimed back-to-back breaks and won five games in a row to take a 5-1 lead.

Dimitrov failed to serve out for the first set in the eighth game but clinched his third break in the ninth game to win the opener. In the second set, both players firmly held on to their serve until the 12th game, when Dimitrov broke Ruud when the Norwegian was serving to stay in the match.

“It is always tough this week because you are switching surfaces,” Dimitrov added. “So I try and not be too tough on myself in practice. I just try to do the simple things. It is going so well so far”.

Dimitrov plays next either Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Dimitrov is aiming to make his second Monte Carlo semifinal. Dimitrov reached his lone Monte Carlo semifinal in 2018, before losing to Rafael Nadal.