Grigor Dimitrov finally retrieved his 2019 season by reestablishing himself on the major stage like the US Open.
The former world No. 3, who earlier in the summer hard-court swing lost to a player ranked outside the Top 400, defeated Roger Federer for the first time in eight attempts to reach the semifinals—a run that catapulted the Bulgarian more than 50 spots for a return inside the Top 30.
On Thursday in Chengdu, Grigor Dimitrov took the court for the first time since losing to Daniil Medvedev at the Flushing Meadows. He didn’t disappoint at all. In a match that was packed with some quality tennis, particularly in the opening set, the fourth seed defeated Dan Evans, 7-5, 7-5, to advance.
Grigor Dimitrov’s solitary hiccup came when he served for the match at 5-3 in the second set; he hit two loose unforced errors to drop the serve but recovered to break Evans on his second match point when his opponent pulled a forehand wide.
The 28-year-old improved to 2-1 against the British player after winning the two’s first meeting in more than three years. Evans had won that match and felt happier about that.
Currently ranked No. 26, Grigor Dimitrov is desperately striving to win his first title since lifting the biggest trophy of his career at the 2017 ATP Finals in London. In the quarterfinals, Dimitrov will mee Alexander Bublik after the Kazakh beat Jordan Thompson, 6-4, 7-5.
Second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime was not as lucky. The 19-year-old Canadian was lost to Portugal’s Joao Sousa, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4.
In an extraordinary effort, Sousa did not face a breakpoint, while also withstanding 23 aces from the Canadian. The 30-year-old finished their first-time meeting in just two hours and 15 minutes.
Starting back to a third-round defeat against Khachanov in Montreal, Auger-Aliassime has failed to record a win in his past four matches.