Grigor Dimitrov powers past Andy Murray to reach Mexico final

 

Grigor Dimitrov emerged victorious from an epic encounter with reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray to reach the final of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.

In a gruelling match that lasted until the small hours of the Mexican morning, Bulgarian number one Dimitrov recovered from the loss of the first set to win 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/3) and book a showdown with big-serving South African Kevin Anderson.

Murray, who was playing in his first semi-final since winning Wimbledon last year, started strongly but wavered enough to allow Dimitrov to clinch a second-set tie-break.

The 22-year-old Bulgarian then fluffed a chance to break Murray for victory in the decider but dominated the last breaker to reach the third final of his career.

Murray dropped his opening service game in each of his previous three matches this week, but the boot was on the other foot this time around as he got the immediate break when Dimitrov pulled a forehand wide after a lengthy rally.

And, despite facing three break points, Murray held for a 2-0 lead.

Dimitrov held to get himself on the board and Murray followed suit, before sealing a second break for a commanding first-set advantage.

Some dominant play at the net saw the Bulgarian rally to reach 5-4 but Murray would not be moved on his own serve and duly clinched the opening set - his seventh in a row against Dimitrov.

He took the first game of the second set and, after Murray held, Dimitrov exulted with the crowd after winning an epic rally to go 2-1 up.

From that point on he retained the upper hand. While Murray could seemingly do no wrong on his own serve, Dimitrov was giving absolutely nothing away and the Scot did well to force the tie-break.

However, Dimitrov quickly surged into a 6-1 lead and, despite Murray forcing the breaker back to 6-5, he would surrender his first ever set to the Bulgarian in their third career meeting.

Murray soon found himself down a break in the third set as fatigue began to take its toll.

Dimitrov's dazzling display continued and he built a 4-2 lead before the British number one decided to drop deep in order to rally towards clawing a game back.

Dimitrov then put himself in prime position to meet Anderson by winning the eighth game on the stroke of 2am local time, but Murray promptly held to force his opponent into serving for the match.

The Scot let a break point pass him by when losing a fearsome rally but would level at 5-5 as Dimitrov's nerves led him to make two unforced errors.

The 11th game was an epic tug-of-war that went Murray's way and, having served for the match minutes earlier, Dimitrov was suddenly tasked with serving to stay in the tournament.

He held to love.

A visibly frustrated Murray would take the first point but Dimitrov duly powered through the breaker to clinch a dramatic victory over the second seed in just under three hours.

PA

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?