From the outset, Murray meant business, taking advantage of a very sloppy start from the Bulgarian to break in the first game of the match. Dimitrov has been enjoying a resurgence of late, since teaming up with Murray’s former coach and long-time friend Dani Vallverdu, and worked hard to muster up his only break point opportunity of the first set, failing to convert.
Murray did try and push Dimitrov further but by now the Bulgarian seemed to have lost his opening nerves, saving two break points and making Murray serve out for the first set. With a dismal 30% first serve percentage, Murray made sure that his second serve, for so long a weakness, kept on the pressure.
The second set was a more competitive affair, and we saw once more the kind of flair that was missing earlier on in the year. Andthere was more. As Murray lined up to serve out the second set, the crowd were treated a gruelling but thrilling 43-shot rally which kept Dimitrov in with a shot, as he broke the top seed to love (via @TennisTV)
With that break Dimitrov steam through the next 11 points to force a tie-break, but he struggled to hold on to his serve in the early exchanges. By the time he managed a couple of holds Murray was back to his dominant self, closing out a straight sets win.
With Djokovic’s withdrawal due to a continuing elbow issue, Murray pockets a cool 500 points and closes the gap between him and the World No. 1 to 1,555 points. Murray is scheduled to play Shanghai, Vienna, Paris before going on to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. Djokovic is only scheduled to play the two Masters 1000 events before defending his title in London.
Murray receives a bye in Shanghai, and main draw play will continue at 1pm (6am BST).
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