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Jaziri stuns Dimitrov for first top-10 win

149   //    28 Feb 2018, 01:36 IST
Malek Jaziri celebrates his win over Grigor Dimitrov

Top seed Grigor Dimitrov was stunned in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships as Malek Jaziri came from behind to claim a shock win.

A procession may have looked in the offing when Dimitrov won the first set, but Jaziri produced a remarkable comeback to earn his first victory over a top-10 opponent.

The Tunisian saved seven of the eight break points he faced to emerge victorious 4-6 7-5 6-4 after two hours and 17 minutes.

World number four and reigning ATP Finals champion Dimitrov said: "You have days like this that you can't really do much else. Unfortunately, I couldn't play my game to the extent that I was looking for.

"My movement was not good over the court. I thought I served okay for a little bit, but then I lost my rhythm again.

"All the credit to Malek. He played a good game. He was strong throughout the whole match. Actually was hitting pretty good shots. I mean, [he had] nothing to lose."

Jaziri, who last beat a top-100 opponent 11 months ago, said: "[It is a] great feeling, to win my first [match against a] top-five player.

"I am really happy for that. I tried to fight every point since the beginning. It was so tight.


"I was really aggressive. I tried hard to keep the ball in, tried hard to attack him, to add a lot of variety in the game."

Dimitrov was not the only seed to fall at the first hurdle, with fifth seed Richard Gasquet beaten 6-4 6-3 by Borna Coric.

Second seed Lucas Pouille had no such issues in a 6-4 6-4 triumph against Ernests Gulbis, while fourth seed Damir Dzhumur was a comfortable 6-3 6-4 winner over qualifier Yannick Maden.

Eighth seed Yuichi Sugita defeated Ilya Ivashka 7-5 6-1 but Filip Krajinovic had to recover from an opening-set bagel to beat Thomas Fabbiano 0-6 6-2 6-2.

Pierre Hugues-Herbert overcame Joao Sousa in a match that went the distance and Karen Khachanov got the better of Denis Istomin in two tie-breaks.

Elsewhere in the draw there were wins for Evgeny Donskoy and Jan-Lennard Struff.

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