Grigor Dimitrov has seen his rise in the tennis world rankings but has yet to win a major title. The 23-year-old Bulgarian is out to prove that he’s just more than an up-and-comer now and hopes to beat the dangerous Gael Monfils of France in the Round of 16 of the men’s singles competition of the 2014 US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.
About a year ago at this point of the 2013 ATP season, Dimitrov was ranked 29th in the world but has since reached career-highs entering the final grand slam of the year as the 8th best player in the world. On the other hand, Monfils was once a top 10 player— ranked seventh in his career-high—but that came three years ago and has since spent the time fluctuating between the 20s and 30s in the ATP rankings.
It was three years ago when Monfils defeated Dimitrov in the opening round of 2011 US Open winning in straight sets, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-4. Dimitrov beat Monfils in the semifinals of the 2014 BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy in Bucharest, Romania when the Frenchman retired after trailing 5 games to 1 in the first set due to an injury.
Dimitrov went on to win the title in Romania and is one of the four championships he has won in his young career with wins in London, Acapulco and Stockholm the last two years.
The winner of the Dimitrov-Monfils clash will advance to the quarterfinals to join earlier qualifiers Andy Murray (Great Britain), Novak Djokovic (Serbia), Kei Nishikori (Japan) and Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland) and will most likely face Roger Federer in the next round. The Swiss Maestro faces Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain also on Tuesday (Wednesday in Australia).
Except for 0-6 first set in the third round against David Goffin of Belgium, Dimitrov has yet to lose a set in this tournament with wins over Ryan Harrison (USA), 6-2, 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the first round; Dudi Sela (Israel), 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in the second round and Goffin, 0-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the third round
Meanwhile, Monfils has yet to lose a set at the 2014 US Open with victories against Jared Donaldson (USA), 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round; Alejandro Gonzales (Colombia), 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round,; and an upset over countryman Richard Gasquet, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in the third round.