Dimitrov emerges from slump to knock out Simon
By Clare Lovell
LONDON (Reuters) - Grigor Dimitrov announced his return to form at Wimbledon on Thursday, putting out 16th seed Gilles Simon with an exhibition of power, speed and deft touch and declaring it was an "excellent, excellent excellent" feeling.
The 25-year-old Bulgarian has suffered a slump since he reached a career-high ranking of nine in 2014, the year he beat defending champion Andy Murray to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals.
"I was quite a bit unfortunate with some of my matches the past months I would say... but the only thing I can do is give myself the best shot possible," he said after beating Simon 6-3 7-6(1) 3-6 6-4 in the second round.
Now ranked 37th, his opponents knew that he was the dangerous floater in the draw and so it proved for Simon, who has a fine record on grass, having beaten Dimitrov in their last two matches on the surface.
He led the Bulgarian 5-1 head-to head going into the match.
Dimitrov was clearly in command from the start on Thursday. He won nearly 80 per cent of the points on his booming first serve which he sent down at 130 mph (209 kph).
But it was not all plain sailing for the inconsistent Dimitrov, who, after allowing Simon only one point in the second-set tiebreak, struggled again to keep his mind on the match.
A break point he failed to convert at the start of the third set unsettled him. Continued...