Dimitrov into maiden third round at Wimbledon
CLARE LOVELL AND LIAM FITZGIBBON
Queen's champion Grigor Dimitrov showed the value of extra grasscourt practice on Wednesday (local time), when an assured 6-3 6-2 6-4 victory over Australian Luke Saville took him into Wimbledon's third round for the first time.
The 23-year-old Bulgarian, who blazed through the Wimbledon warm-up event two weeks ago, showed no Centre Court nerves in dispatching Saville, 20, like him a former junior champion at the All England Club.
After being knocked out in the second round in his last three appearances at Wimbledon, Dimitrov said he was delighted to move further into the tournament.
"I always wanted to do that. I wanted to do well on grass," he said. "At the moment I'm trying to adapt to each player each day."
Dimitrov has risen through the rankings to 13th this year after winning titles in Acapulco and Bucharest as well as Queen's.
He won the boys' Wimbledon title in 2008 and qualifier Saville, the second youngest man in the draw and now ranked 236 in the world, followed him in 2011.
ANOTHER AUSSIE FALLS
Marinko Matosevic has fallen agonisingly short of reaching the third round at Wimbledon, losing to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in a five-set epic.
The Australian world No 58 went down 6-7 (7-5) 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (11-9) 4-6 7-5 in a marathon encounter lasting four hours and 15 minutes.
Matosevic rode a wave of emotions on Court 17 but failed to build on his impressive run of form since finally breaking his grand slam duck at last month's French Open.
The 28-year-old missed a chance to reach the last 32 of a grand slam for the first time.
Again employing an "old school" serve-and-volley style encouraged by his coach Mark Woodforde, Matosevic twice came from behind to take the first set in a tiebreak.
The Australian's focus wavered in the second as he became agitated with several line calls.
"Everything's a fault," he muttered before saving five break points to hold serve in the second game.
Matosevic saved three set points in the tiebreak before Chardy converted his fourth opportunity to level the match.
The Australian squandered three break points against serve to take the third set, with Chardy prevailing in another epic tiebreak.
Matosevic, rallying a small but enthusiastic crowd behind him, hit back in the fourth set, securing a crucial break and maintaining his focus on serve.
He looked headed for victory after breaking early in the deciding set but Chardy broke straight back.
Serving to keep his hopes alive, the Australian saved two match points from 0-40 down before Chardy edged a tense finish to set up a third-round encounter with Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Matosevic becomes the third Australian to fall in the second round.
- Reuters, AAP