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Zverev holds off crowd favourite Dimitrov to reach quarter-finals in Paris

The German hit 17 aces as he extended his recent run to 26 wins from his past 28 matches

Alexander Zverev Paris Masters 2021 R3 JB Autissier / Panoramic
  • What happened: Alexander Zverev beat Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-3 in two hours, 45 minutes.
  • Why it matters: Zverev has now won 26 of his past 28 matches as he chases a Tour-leading sixth title of 2021.
  • You will also learn: Dimitrov saved two match points in the second set but Zverev held on in the third.

World No 4 Alexander Zverev continued his winning streak indoors after a hard-fought, hugely entertaining match with Grigor Dimitrov, seeing off the Bulgarian 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-3 in two hours, 45 minutes.

Dimitrov saved two match points in the second set and then had the German in real trouble on a number of occasions in the decider, especially when he led 3-2 and 0-40 on Zverev’s serve. But the German dug deep, served himself out of trouble – he hit 17 aces in all – and then broke in the next game and again two games later to clinch victory.

He’s now won 26 of 28 matches since Wimbledon and will meet either sixth seed Casper Ruud or American Marcos Giron for a place in the semi-finals as he chases a record sixth title of 2021.

Dimitrov saves match points to extend the match

The two men swapped a break a piece in the opening set but it was Zverev who came good in the tiebreak to move ahead. The second set was tight throughout, with no breaks and when a mishit forehand gave him two match points at 6-5 in the second, the match looked over.

But two brilliant volleys saved the first and a drive volley put away the second and Dimitrov then romped through the tiebreak to level the match and take it into a decider.

A semi-finalist in San Diego and most recently in Indian Wells, the 30-year-old Dimitrov has been rejuvenated of late and as he mixed his game up brilliantly, coming forward whenever he could and confusing Zverev with the use of a short slice.

It was the Bulgarian who looked the most likely to break in the third, missing three break points early on and then three in a row from 0-40 at 3-2 up. That was the missed opportunity as Zverev then broke in the next game and saved another break point at 4-3 before breaking a second time -62 minutes after his first match points – to take his place in the last eight.

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