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French Open: Dimitrov downs Cilic in classic, Stan proves he is the man

By Opta
Grigor Dimitrov needed four hours and 24 minutes to see off Marin Cilic

Paris, May 30: Grigor Dimitrov won a five-set battle with Marin Cilic and Stan Wawrinka came to a young fan's rescue at the French Open, while Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer cruised into the third round on Wednesday (May 29).

Dimitrov has tumbled down to 46th in the rankings, but the Bulgarian is through to round three at Roland Garros after a 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 defeat of 11th seed Cilic.

Wawrinka will face Dimitrov after hammering Cristian Garin 6-1 6-4 6-0 and then protecting a young boy as fans swarmed to get his autograph.

Nadal, the 11-time champion in Paris, dispatched Yannick Maden 6-1 6-2 6-4, while Federer cruised past Oscar Otte 6-4 6-3 6-4 on Wednesday.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kei Nishikori were among the other winners, while Benoit Paire took the final set against Pierre-Hugues Herbert 11-9 in a marathon all-French encounter.

DIMITROV BACK IN BUSINESS

Dimitrov needed four hours and 24 minutes to see off Cilic and was on a high after hitting 60 winners in an epic contest on the new Court Simonne-Mathieu.

He said: "Every win that I have now, I appreciate it. I don't really think of who I'm playing against. I just want to have those wins. It was a very, very important match to me, without a doubt.

"Clearly I have struggled the past two, three months. The shoulder hasn't been great."

STAN PROVES HE IS THE MAN

Wawrinka showed his class not only with his racket but also by carrying a boy and helping to find his father as fans desperately tried to get his signature.

The Swiss said: "People were pushing too much, and he started to cry because he had some pain.

"I took him out of that mess a little bit, and he was in pain and sad. So for sure, I tried to make him feel better, give him a towel, and try to find his dad."

I PROBABLY KNOW MORE ABOUT HIS FATHER - FEDERER

Talking of parents, Federer's next opponent will be Casper Ruud - the 20-year-old son of former ATP Tour player Christian Ruud - in the next round.

"I know probably more about his dad than about him. Even though I never played him, the father." said the 20-time grand slam champion.

"I know that he's improved a lot, you know, in recent years, and I think he plays very well on the clay. Again, I haven't seen him play a whole lot. But for any 20-year-old to be on the big stage, playing a top guy, on a centre court, that's what you dream of, at least I did.

"When you're growing up and thinking to be a professional tennis player, it's not so much about actually playing a certain player, it's about playing on a certain court. He's going to get that either on Lenglen or Chatrier for the next match."

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Story first published: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 3:00 [IST]
Other articles published on May 30, 2019
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