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Last Updated Tuesday May 22 2018 07:19 PM IST

Australian Open: Dimitrov downs Rublev to reach last 16

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Grigor Dimitrov Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria celebrates winning against Andrey Rublev of Russia. Reuters

Melbourne: Third seed Grigor Dimitrov survived a tricky test in fierce heat against feisty young Russian Andrey Rublev to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

The 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory looked comfortable enough for the 26-year-old but it was far from plain sailing on Rod Laver Arena against the 30th seed who knocked him out of last year's US Open in straight sets.

Dimitrov, a semifinalist last year, was a set and a break to the good but errors began to creep into his game and he surrendered the initiative as Rublev broke twice to level the match and then moved a break ahead in the third set.

Bulgarian Dimitrov upped his game to avert the danger though and recovered to take the third set.

After snatching the Rublev serve to take a 5-4 lead in the fourth, Dimitrov had to save a break point before claiming victory when he raced forward to ram home a forehand winner.

"These are the most important matches for me, when certain things are not working for me and I find a way," he said on court. "He's a good player. He beat me at the US Open so I knew what to expect and what I had to do.

"The heat didn't scare me at all today, that's fine. I just needed to stay calm and composed ... go with the flow."

Read also: More Sports News

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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