DOWN BUT NOT OUT

DOWN BUT NOT OUT

DOWN BUT NOT OUT

Dimitrov Rallies To Quarterfinals

By STEVE DORSEY

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Delray Beach, Fla. – Grigor Dimitrov knows all too well that any good player will have those so-called off days when the right stuff just isn’t there. The great ones often somehow find a way to win despite themselves, however.

Dimitrov might be trending in that direction, if the 24-year-old Bulgarian’s 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 second-round win Wednesday night against upset-minded Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovi at the ATP World Tour’s Delray Beach Open is an indication.

Dimitrov had an up-and-down 2015 season in which he dropped out of the Top 20 of the ATP World rankings. He arrived at Delray Beach ranked No. 27 in the world and won his first-round match against Dudi Sela in straight sets. He criticized his play Wednesday night, however, and yet still found a way to fight off the determined Dzumhur, who is ranked No. 88 in the world.

“I didn’t think I was playing well,” said the 6-foot-3 Dimitrov, who failed to register an ace and had five double faults. “Overall, my game was very poor today. That’s just the way it is, to be honest about it, but that’s not going to hurt my feelings.”

Dimitrov, who is making his debut at the Delray Beach Open, said that in the past he likely would not have found a way to win when he was struggling to find his ‘A’ game, but that was not the case Wednesday night on the Stadium Court at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.

“All the credit absolutely to him,” Dimitrov said of Dzumur’s effort. “I was just patient and I was very centered toward the end of the match. I thought I was very composed. A win is a win, that’s the way I see it.”

Dimitrov, the No. 4 seed here, will face No. 8 seed Adrian Mannarino – a three-set winner earlier in the day – in the quarterfinals on Friday.

“Right now, I just want to play a lot of matches,” Dimitrov said. “I’m coming out here to win, and that’s my main goal.”

The third day of action concluded with a 6-3, 6-4 win by the World No. 1-ranked Bryan brothers – Bob and Mike – over Aussies John Millman and John-Patrick Smith in a first-round doubles match. The Bryans are seeking their third consecutive doubles title at Delray Beach and fifth overall.

“It’s always fun playing South Florida,” Mike Bryan said. “We’ve had a lot of success down here and always play well (at Delray Beach). The fans are great and they love tennis, they love doubles, and we feed off the energy. I thought we played a good match in the first round and hopefully we can get a roll going.”

Thursday’s afternoon slate includes an all-American matchup between No. 7 seed Donald Young and wild card Tim Smyczek, followed by No. 5 seed Jeremy Chardy of France versus wild card American Noah Rubin. The featured evening match will pit Argentine wild card Juan Martin Del Potro against Aussie wild card John-Patrick Smith.

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