Marseille | Dimitrov and Hurkacz get off the mark

The top seeds stepped into action and all four are safely ensconced in the quarter final stage of the Open 13 Provence event in Marseille.

Grigor Dimitrov (2) eased through relatively easily as he dominated his opening set against Sebastian Korda but the Bulgarian then had a fight on his hands in the second as the American fought back before accepting a 6-1 7-6(5) defeat at the ATP 250 level event.

Dimitrov, the world No.13, converted two of three break points he earned in a stunning first-set and had to hold off the Korda fightback, recovering quickly after letting slip a 4-2 lead to clinch a satisfying 93-minute win in the tie-break.

“I think the first set was amazing,” Dimitrov said in his on-court interview. “Honestly, whatever I was touching was getting to the right place and in matches like that sometimes it is very difficult to maintain it throughout the two sets.

“In the second he had one look, and he took it. The game he broke me, amazing returns and just amazing play overall. So he kind of took the ball away from my racquet, and I had to find a way to get back.”

Dimitrov has opened the season in a very positive manner and now holds an 8-1 win-loss record for 2024 which includes a third-round appearance at the Aussie Open and the Brisbane title.

His next opponent is Frenchman Arthur Rinderknecht who battled past the Czech Jiri Lehecka 7-5 7-6(5) to reach the last eight.

Meanwhile the top seeded Hubert Hurkacz also progressed, moving past Alexander Shevchenko 6-1 6-4 to make a winning start to his Marseille campaign.

The Pole, who is the defending champion and world-ranked at No.8, blasted 13 aces in his 67-minute victory.

The Czech, Tomas Machac, who ousted Andy Murray in the opening round, is Hurkacz’s next opponent.

Also through to the last eight are China’s Zhang Zhizhen and Alejandro Davidovic Fokina following straight set wins over Emil Ruusuvuori and Felix Auger Alaissime.

China’s Zhang upset the two-time finalist from Canada, Auger Aliassime 6-4 6-4 and will face third seed from Russia, Karen Khachanov, a 6-2 6-2 winner over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.

Spain’s Davidovich Fokina overcame Finland’s Ruusuvuori 6-3 7-5 and as the fifth seed, he now tackles Frenchman Ugo Humbert, who took out his countryman, qualifier Hugo Gaston 2-6 6-1 6-3.



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