2013 Tennis full match
ATP WORLD TOUR SEASON REVIEW
Best Of 2013© Getty ImagesGrigor Dimitrov scored the biggest win of his career so far when he upset Novak Djokovic in Madrid.
ATPWorldTour.com reviews the Top 5 ATP World Tour matches of the year, beginning with Nos. 5-3. (We will look at the best Grand Slam matches of 2013 beginning Wednesday.)
5. Grigor Dimitrov d. Novak Djokovic 7-6(6), 6-7(8), 6-3, Madrid 2nd RD
The signs had been there four weeks earlier that Grigor Dimitrov was set for a major win on the ATP World Tour. Long touted as one of the hottest young prospects, Dimitrov had begun to start fulfilling his potential with a runner-up showing at the Brisbane International in January. Then, at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, he took a set off the 'King of Clay' himself, Rafael Nadal, in a close quarter-final defeat.
Words of wisdom from girlfriend Maria Sharapova before he walked onto court to face then-World No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Mutua Madrid Open perhaps gave the Bulgarian the belief he needed to claim the biggest win of his career and announce himself on the ATP World Tour. He duly stepped up and produced an exhilarating and dramatic performance to beat the Serb in three tight sets.
"Of course this has been what I've been working for, to play matches like that, and why not win them?" Dimitrov said. "Today was one of these days that I felt good on court. I felt I had enough hours of practice in the weeks before. I felt that I could actually hang with Novak the whole match. That's the whole purpose of getting ready for big events and eventually for big matches."
Watch Dimitrov Hot Shot
After saving three set points to steal the first set, Dimitrov looked to have blown his chance to upset Djokovic when he began to struggle with cramp in the latter stages of the second set and let slip a 4-2 lead. He squandered a match point at 7-6 in the tie-break and Djokovic duly levelled the match. Dimitrov found a second wind, though, and came back at Djokovic in the third set, securing an early break which ultimately proved decisive in the three-hour, five-minute contest.
"I thought the tie-break was pretty intense obviously, " said Dimitrov, who would go on to win his first ATP World Tour title later in the year at the If Stockholm Open (d. Ferrer). "He stepped up on a few shots. He's Novak. At the end of the day, you can expect anything from him. He played a great tie-break, so I couldn't do much... Of course I tried to stay really positive. I believed in myself. I think that was the big sparkle coming into the third set."