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Dimitrov vs Anderson ATP Toronto Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Dimitrov seeks sixth straight win over Anderson, and a berth in the Toronto semis

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 10 Aug 2018
  • Grigor Dimitrov vs Kevin Anderson is live from Toronto on Friday, 10 August from 12:30pm local time/ 5:30pm BST
  • Dimitrov leads 6-1 on head-to-head, and has won the last five meetings
Grigor Dimitrov. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Grigor Dimitrov targets his first semi-final since April when he takes on Wimbledon finalist, Kevin Anderson in the quarter finals of the Rogers Cup on Friday.

Dimitrov is looking to reach the last four in Canada for the second time in his career, having previously gone that far in 2014, when he co-incidentally knocked out Friday’s opponent, Anderson to get into the semi-finals. That was the first of three quarter-final defeats Anderson has suffered in the Rogers Cup, as he also fell in the last eight in each of the last two seasons. Will it be déjà vu on Friday, or can the South African score a breakthrough victory over Dimitrov?

After compiling the best season of his career in 2017, winning a maiden Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati, and the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals to end the year at a career-high mark of No. 3, Dimitrov has generally struggled to reach those heights this year, contesting just the one final- in Rotterdam- all season. He has made a couple of semi-finals- in Brisbane and Monte Carlo, and a notable quarter final at the Australian Open, but that has basically been it as far as significant contributions to the season are concerned.

Dimitrov is yet to reach an ATP World Tour semi-final since Monte Carlo, and Friday’s last eight tie in Toronto will be just his second quarter final since then. Apart from that Monte Carlo semi-final, his record at Masters 1000 tournaments had been poor, losing in the opening rounds at Indian Wells, Madrid and Rome, while he managed just one win in Miami before losing to Jeremy Chardy in the next round. Dimitrov has also faded in the Slams- from a quarter final at the Australian Open to third round at Roland Garros, and then first-round elimination at Wimbledon. He has once again not been at his best in Toronto, but the world number five has dug deep to eke out consecutive three-set wins over Fernando Verdasco and Frances Tiafoe- both matches lasting over two and a half hours.

“Clearly I'm not playing my best tennis, but I'm finding a way and managing to go through those matches, and I think I'm improving”, Dimitrov said. “With each game, with each point that I play, I feel more confident, more stable on the court, and everything falls into its place. So hopefully that's a great step forward for me.”

He recovered from a set down to take out Verdasco in the opening round before fighting back from a break down in the final set against Tiafoe to beat the American 7-6 3-6 7-6, and book his place in the last eight, where he will play Anderson on Friday.

Kevin Anderson. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Anderson is enjoying a career-best season, establishing himself in the top ten with a series of outstanding performances, not least, his wonderful run to the Wimbledon final. The South African reached the final in three of his first four tournaments, winning the New York title and bagging runner-up finishes in Pune and Acapulco. The only blot in that bright start was an opening round defeat to Kyle Edmund at the Australian Open.

Anderson built on that fine start with quarter finals at Indian Wells and Miami, while a steady clay-court campaign, never his favourite part of the year, produced a semi-final in Madrid and a fourth-round run at Roland Garros. He surprisingly lost to Leonardo Mayer in the opening round at Queens, but he more than made up for that at Wimbledon, advancing to his second Grand Slam final following marquee five-set wins over Roger Federer and John Isner.

Playing his first tournament since his All England Club heroics, Anderson needed a third set tie break to take out Evgeny Donskoy in the opening round in Toronto, before taking out Ilya Ivashka 7-5 6-3 to confirm his quarter final berth. Anderson powered down 15 aces against Ivashka, saving four of the five break points he faced. The Wimbledon finalist had battled back from 0-40 down to hold in the opening game of the match, but much of the drama was reserved for the conclusion of the first set. Ivashka broke to take a 5-4 lead, but he couldn’t serve out the set as Anderson took the next three games, breaking twice to win the opening set. He broke away from 3-3 in the second set, breaking once en route a 7-5 6-3 victory.

Anderson and Dimitrov split their first two main draw tour-level meetings, but Dimitrov has won all five reunions since then. 

“He's been playing unbelievable throughout the whole year... Given the facts and the stats right now, for sure he's the favourite,” Dimitrov said. “But as I said, I'm very determined to just keep on fighting and keep on building from my game. I mean, this is what I want. I want to be here.”

However, all of five Dimitrov’s five straight wins have been close, with Anderson taking a set off the Bulgarian in every one of their meetings. With the improvements he has made in his game and mentality since their last meeting at the end of 2016, Anderson has got a great chance of ending that losing streak against Dimitrov on Friday.

Grigor Dimitrov vs Kevin Anderson is live from Toronto on Friday, 10 August from 12:30pm local time/ 5:30pm BST

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Dimitrov vs Anderson ATP Toronto Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Dimitrov seeks sixth straight win over Anderson, and a berth in the Toronto semis

Grigor Dimitrov and Kevin Anderson meet in Toronto on Friday. Can Dimitrov get his sixth straight win over the Wimbledon finalist? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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