Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov dug deep on Wednesday, saving three match points against American Ryan Harrison at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, to further strengthen his claims for a spot at next month’s Nitto ATP Finals.

Third seed Dimitrov recovered from a 2-4 deficit in the deciding set and fought back from 3/6 in the tie-break to overcome Harrison 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(6) in two hours and 34 minutes.

When asked about the match points, Dimitrov said, “I knew Ryan was going to hit a risk or just play a solid point. I was ready for either/or. I think at 5/6 when he served that first serve, I knew he was going to come to the net. I just didn’t know where he was going to play. I had a pretty decent return. I just had to be ready for anything. He missed it. Six-all was a great point for me. I think I hustled through pretty good. I knew on that match point I just had to make that first serve. That was the only thing that was in my head.

“He also played an unbelievable match. I’ve got to give him a lot of credit. He got to that point, for sure. It was pretty unfortunate to end up that way, but I just take it as it is right now.”

The 26-year-old Dimitrov is through to the Shanghai third round for the first time, improving to 39-16 on the year that includes three ATP World Tour titles at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp (d. Nishikori), Garanti Koza Sofia Open (d. Goffin) and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (d. Kyrgios).

Dimitrov is currently No. 5 in the Emirates ATP Race To London with 3,365 points – 350 points behind fourth-placed Austrian Dominic Thiem. He is hoping to join Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London, from 12-19 November. There are six places left up for grabs at the season finale.

Dimitrov will next meet Sam Querrey, who remains at No. 11 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, after he beat fellow American and #NextGenATP qualifier Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 7-6(7), saving one set point at 6/7 in the second set tie-break.


Later on a rain-hit day four, 2014 runner-up Gilles Simon ended the eight-match winning streak of Belgian David Goffin, currently No. 8 in the Emirates ATP Race To London and seeking a first-time Nitto ATP Finals qualification, 7-6(4), 6-3 in one hour and 30 minutes. In-form Goffin had picked up ATP World Tour trophies at the Shenzhen Open (d. Dolgopolov) and the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2017 in Tokyo (d. Mannarino) in the past weeks. Simon now goes on to face fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the third round.

Third seed Alexander Zverev, who has already qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals and the 21-and-under Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held in Milan from 7-11 November, advanced to the third round when Briton Aljaz Bedene retired after four games. The German goes on to challenge No. 16 seed Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina on Thursday.

Zverev is now 52-17 on the season, including ATP World Tour trophies at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, the BMW Open by FWU in Munich (d. Pella), the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome (d. Djokovic), the Citi Open in Washington D.C. (d. Anderson) and the Coupe Rogers in Montreal (d. Federer).

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