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Dimitrov primed for Brisbane run

As upsets sprung up around him, sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov kept his cool at the Brisbane International as he eyes a top 10 return.

Dimitrov primed for Brisbane run

As upsets sprung up around him, sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov kept his cool at the Brisbane International as he eyes a top 10 return.

JOHN MILLMAN of Australia returns a shot in a Men's Singles match of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in New York City.
JOHN MILLMAN of Australia returns a shot in a Men's Singles match of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in New York City. Picture:Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

It's all been fun and games for former world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov at the Brisbane International.

But for fellow seeds Kyle Edmund and Nick Kyrgios? Not so much.


As upsets sprung around him in the second round, sixth seed Dimitrov kept his cool to book a Brisbane quarter-final clash with ex-US Open finalist Kei Nishikori of Japan.

There was no joy for third-seeded Briton Edmund, who succumbed to Japanese qualifier Yasutaka Uchiyama.

And defending champion Kyrgios - the eighth seed - was in no laughing mood after his shock three set loss to unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

But laidback Bulgarian Dimitrov had no complaints, crediting a fun-loving off-court approach that includes a daily trip to a local arcade game centre for his Brisbane form as he eyes a top 10 return in 2019.

Dimitrov - the 2017 Brisbane champion - was the first man into the quarter-finals after sealing a 6-3 6-4 win over world No.38, Australia's John Millman.

"I have my hoops, my arcades, my car (computer) games - I like to keep things simple," world No.19 Dimitrov said.

It seems to be working.

Now under the wing of new coach Andre Agassi, Dimitrov extended his Brisbane record to 18-5 as he looked to bounce back from a disappointing 2018.

Dimitrov was burdened with "the next Roger Federer" tag for years but it wasn't until 2017 that he started to deliver on the promise, winning four titles including the Brisbane crown.

He cruised into the world's top five before stumbling in 2018, with a 24-19 record (6-4 at grand slams) with no title to show for his troubles.

Dimitrov, 27, felt he was back on track with Agassi now by his side but believed he would get a true gauge lining up against world No.9 and second seed Nishikori.

"It's perfect to play a match like that to kind of see where your game is at, how your movement goes," he said.

"Kei is always the favourite. Right now he's been playing unbelievable.

"But I like my chances."

Nishikori proved too good for Denis Kudla, overcoming the American 7-5 6-2 in just 80 minutes.

Fifth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic overcame Serbian qualifier Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3 7-6 (7-2).

He will line up in the quarters against the winner of three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray's clash with fourth-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev.

But world No.14 Edmund was not so lucky.

Despite being fresh from a first round bye like Nishikori, Edmund fell 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 to Uchiyama in a boilover.

World No.180 Uchiyama's quarter-final opponent is Chardy who upset Kyrgios 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-3.

AAP


AAP




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