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Tsitsipas saves two match points in see-saw win over Dimitrov in Rome

The victory was Tsisipas’ 28th win of the season, tying him with red-hot Carlos Alcaraz for most wins on the ATP Tour in 2022

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning his second round match against Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov at the Italian Open Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning his second round match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov at the Italian Open Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

ATP Rome 1000 | Draws | Schedule

Stefanos Tsitsipas appeared to be coasting to a straight sets victory over Grigor Dimitrov at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome on Wednesday.

But the Greek player had to fight hard to stave off a Dimitrov comeback, saving two match points before earning a third set tiebreak victory to move into the third round of the Rome Masters.

Tsitsipas will next meet Russia’s Karen Khachanov, who defeated 15th seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4, 2-6, 6-1. The Greek player holds a 4-0 lead over Khachanov, but this will be their first meeting on clay.

Dimitrov came from a set and a break down to take Tsitsipas down to the wire

Tsitsipas, the fourth seed this week, broke Dimitrov the Bulgarian’s first service game to move up 3-0. He held on to that break and served out the set 6-3. In the second set, Tsitsipas broke in the seventh game and established a 5-3 lead.

From there, Dimitrov battled back, winning four games in a row to claim the second set 7-5.

In the deciding set, both players went toe-to-toe, with neither player breaking the others serve. Dimitrov earned one match point each in the 10th and 12th games on Tsitsipas’ serve but the Greek player saved both to take the set into a tiebreak.

Once in the tiebreak, Monte-Carlo champion Tsitsipas ran ahead 5-0 only to see Dimitrov pull back to 5-4. This time, the Greek won the next two points to close out the 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 win in two hours and 38 minutes.

The win improved his record to 5-1 over his rival and marked the third tournament in a row that Tsitsipas has defeated Dimitrov after also taking the Bulgarian out in Barcelona and Madrid.

It was also Tsitsipas’ 28th victory of the season, tying him with Carlos Alcaraz for most wins on tour in 2022.

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