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It is Nadal, then, who is through to face Roger Federer in the quarter-finals tomorrow night. That clash will be the 31st time Nadal and Federer have met and promises to be an entertaining affair.
NADAL 6-2 5-7 6-2 - GAME, SET & MATCH! Nadal rattles through the game to bring up three match points with a big first serve that Dimitrov can only return long. The first chance goes begging for the Spaniard when he sends an inside-out forehand wide across court after backing away from the ball. But there's no such mistake on the second, Nadal content to pepper the lines and wait for Dimitrov to make the error - a backhand wide down the line.
NADAL 6-2 5-7 5-2 - BREAK! Dimitrov goes wide with a forehand down the line, after running round the ball. It's confirmed by hawkeye and gives Nadal two more break points. Dimitrov saves the first with an ace and gets lucky on the second when Nadal nets a backhand after easily getting up to a poor drop shot. A third chance also goes begging for Nadal and Dimitrov saves a fourth with a smash winner. But Nadal breaks on the fifth, Dimitrov netting a forehand, and will serve for the match next.
NADAL 6-2 5-7 4-2 - An ace and an inside out forehand across court, which Dimitrov can only net, help Nadal to a 30-0 lead in double quick time. Dimitrov pegs one back before Nadal earns himself two game points. The Bulgarian deals well with a head height backhand volley which zooms just to the left of his head, getting another point back from Nadal. But a tame backhand into the net helps the Spaniard hold. Nadal is just two games away again now from a place in the last eight.
NADAL 6-2 5-7 3-2 - Another brutal rally ends with an inside out forehand winner across court from Nadal to fashion another break point but Dimitrov saves it with a sensational forehand stop volley winner before going on to hold with a huge serve out wide that a flailing Nadal can only return into the very bottom of the net. Still just the one break of serve separating these two players in this final set.
NADAL 6-2 5-7 3-1 - Dimitrov is left doubled over in frustration after a golden opportunity to get himself a break back point is squandered with a regulation forehand long of the baseline. Instead Nadal has a game point, which he takes full advantage of with a backhand stop volley winner.
NADAL 6-2 5-7 2-1 - Great variation on the serve from the Bulgarian as he posts a hold to 15 by ghosting into the net behind his serve and dinking a neat forehand volley winner just over the net.
NADAL 6-2 5-7 2-0 - Dimitrov stumbles on the baseline when he gets his toe caught, on his way to chase down a forehand. He hits into the net to hand Nadal two game points. The first goes begging for the Spaniard when Dimitrov comes up with a dipping forehand that Nadal can only volley into the net. But the world number three does secure the game at the second time of asking, consolidating the break with a forehand winner.
NADAL 6-2 5-7 1-0 - BREAK! Dimitrov sends a forehand long of the baseline to fall 0-30 behind on his own serve. Another forehand error from the Bulgarian hands Nadal three early break points in this final set but the Spaniard only needs the one when Dimitrov slaps down his fourth double fault of the match.
NADAL 6-2 5-7 - SET! Nadal goes wide with a forehand across court to hand Dimitrov two more set points. The Spaniard saves the first with an injection of pace on a forehand down the line followed by a tricky smash winner. But Dimitrov does take the set at the second time of asking in this game, a low sliced backhand across court doing the damage for the Bulgarian as Nadal sends his forehand reply wide down the line. For the third successive meeting, Dimitrov has taken a set off Nadal.
NADAL 6-2 5-6 - Dimitrov posts a good service hold to 30 to sneak ahead once more and leave Nadal serving to stay in the set for a second time. A big serve out wide, which Nadal can only net in return, and Dimitrov has ensured that, at worst, this set ends in a tie-break for him.
NADAL 6-2 5-5 - A sensational sliced, squash-like, forehand passing shot winner from Dimitrov (after the Bulgarian had guessed right on the Nadal smash) brings up set point for him. The chance goes begging when he sends a forehand return long. The Bulgarian gets a little unlucky on the next point when his forehand down the line catches the top of the tape and bounces just marginally long and Nadal goes on to hold with a sliced forehand drop shot volley.
NADAL 6-2 4-5 - Aces number six and seven come in quick succession for Dimitrov as he holds to love to leave Nadal preparing to serve to stay in this second set after the change of ends, just minutes after being potentially two games away from a quarter-final match-up with Roger Federer.
NADAL 6-2 4-4 - BREAK! A first game point goes begging for Nadal when he sends a regulation forehand long of the baseline and then Dimitrov levels at deuce with a vicious backhand passing shot that the Spaniard can only just volley back into the bottom of the net. Deuce turns into break back point for Dimitrov after Nadal misses a forehand across court. And the Bulgarian does break back with another ground-stroke, this time in inside out forehand that Nadal can only volley back into the net.
NADAL 6-2 4-3 - BREAK! Nadal skips around the ball and flicks an inside-out cross court forehand off his shoelaces and away for a passing shot winner to go 0-30 up on the Dimitrov serve. The Bulgarian pegs one point back when Nadal nets a forehand and then a second when Nadal's inside out forehand drifts just marginally long across court. Dimitrov sends a forehand long though to hand Nadal a break point before slapping down a double fault to concede his serve. Ouch.
NADAL 6-2 3-3 - Dimitrov can't find a way past Nadal and ends up netting his second attempt at a passing shot before the Spaniard brings up three game points with an ace. The Bulgarian denies him on the first with an angled cross court forehand winner but Nadal does hold at the second attempt with a brutal forehand approach shot and an inside-out cross court smash winner.
NADAL 6-2 2-3 - Dimitrov nets an off-balance backhand to allow Nadal off the mark at 30-15. But he rattles a forehand winner down the line, after running round the ball, on the next point before holding with another huge serve that Nadal cannot return in play.
NADAL 6-2 2-2 - Nadal is not entirely happy with his level of play, again shaking his head after another error, but he still only allows Dimitrov the one point before holding with an ace and leveling up once more.
NADAL 6-2 1-2 - Dimitrov turns and clenches his fist towards his camp after sealing a hold to 15 with another ace - his fourth of the match so - to keep his nose in front early in this second set.
NADAL 6-2 1-1 - Nadal is left looking distressed after a netted forehand sees him squander a first game point. But he does seal the game at the second attempt with another brutal inside-out forehand that Dimitrov can only chip back wide on a running backhand attempt.
NADAL 6-2 0-1 - Just like the start of the first set, Dimitrov opens with a love service hold - firing an ace down the centre of the court to bring up three game poins before holding with another big second serve and forehand winner combo.
NADAL 6-2 - SET! Nadal thinks he's brought up three set points with a vicious forehand down the line, which Dimitrov can only flick back into the net. The Bulgarian challenges the call, confirming his suspicion that the ball was out, to earn himself a point. But the world number three quickly brings up set points anyway. He only needs one chance though, an inside out forehand across court having too much pace for Dimitrov, who nets his reply. Nadal has the first set.
NADAL 5-2 - BREAK! Nadal is continuing where he left off against Benjamin Becker last night as he races through a second break of serve. The Spaniard will serve for the opening set after just 28 minutes as Dimitrov loops another forehand well long of the baseline.
NADAL 4-2 - A very neatly dinked forehand drop shot from Nadal wrong-foots Dimitrov on the baseline and goes for the winner that pulls the Spaniard level at 30-all. He quickly finds himself trailing by a break back point but does enough with a trip into the net to force Dimitrov into pulling his running backhand pass wide across court. And from there Nadal goes on to hold when a backhand sails long from the Bulgarian.
NADAL 3-2- Much more solid from Dimitrov this time around as he holds to 15 with a huge serve that Nadal cannot deal with. The Bulgarian did that well in the first game and a half on his serve, keeping the Spaniard guessing on the return and that's what he needs to keep doing if he is to stand any chance tonigh.
NADAL 3-1 - Nadal gets himself out of a potential spot of bother at 30-all with a looping forehand spun across court followed by a flattened out forehand winner down the line. Dimitrov manages to level at deuce but a netted forehand and a backhand error while going for the down the line shot and Nadal has the hold that consolidates the early break.
NADAL 2-1 -BREAK! After starting the game with another blistering serve, Dimitrov finds himself staring at an early break point when he sends a forehand long of the baseline. But he can do nothing about it, sending a forehand wide and cross court. The Bulgarian challenges half-heartedly but is already on the way back to the chair but the time hawkeye confirms Nadal's break of serve.
NADAL 1-1 - Nadal also posts a comfortable opening service game, albeit to 15 instead of love, sealing the game with a series of brutal forehands that eventually force Dimitrov to go for the deep sliced backhand only to drift the ball long.
NADAL 0-1 - An emphatic start from Dimitrov as he makes light work of being made to open the match, starting with a love service hold that concluded with an ace.
So, the players are just about ready to go and it will be Dimitrov to get the clash underway after Nadal won the spin of the coin and elected to receive first...
The winner of this clash will meet Roger Federer in tomorrow's quarter-finals, Nadal of course on a scintilating run of form that has seen him win eight titles since February including the Montreal Masters last week.
These two players have faced each other twice before with Nadal winning both of those clashes. But they have been far from easy, the Spaniard dropping the middle set in both of them - in Rotterdam way back in 2009 and then in Monte Carlo earlier this year.
Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage from Rafael Nadal's Cincinnati Masters third round clash against Grigor Dimitrov.
|Grigor Dimitrov||Rafael Nadal|
|Haskovo||Place of birth||Manacor|
|1.88 m||Height||1.85 m|
|77 kg||Weight||85 kg|