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Open Sud de France 2020: Grigor Dimitrov vs Gregoire Barrere, match preview and prediction

ANALYST
Preview
Modified 05 Feb 2020, 18:40 IST

Grigor Dimitrov took a last-minute wildcard into the tournament
Grigor Dimitrov took a last-minute wildcard into the tournament

Amongst the many big names in the field of the 2020 Open Sud de France, Bulgarian fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov has been handed the easiest draw to begin with.

The only looming threat of sorts, João Sousa, has been knocked out by home player Grégoire Barrère in the opening round. And now, the Frenchman is set to play Dimitrov for a shot at the quarterfinals.

While this sounds like a straightforward match for Dimitrov on paper, his opponent's recent results might just sow the seed of doubt in the Bulgarian's mind.

Grégoire Barrère has had encouraging results in Grand Slam events recently
Grégoire Barrère has had encouraging results in Grand Slam events recently

The Frenchman got over a big barrier of never having won a main draw match at a Grand Slam in 2019, and has since reached the second round of all the Slams. He even came close to causing a few upsets, against the likes of Guido Pella and Karen Khachanov.

Add a couple of deep runs at ATP tournaments and wins over top-50 players including Hubert Hurkacz and Cameron Norrie to that, and you have a player looking to come out of the shadows.

Barrère will still have to play some of his best tennis to stay with Dimitrov in the big exchanges, and a lot will depend on how well the fourth seed is playing on the day.

Dimitrov is susceptible to the occasional slip as was seen yet again in Melbourne
Dimitrov is susceptible to the occasional slip as was seen yet again in Melbourne

Dimitrov could very well run away with this one, but that's what a lot of the fans would have been thinking prior to his Australian Open second round match. And yet, the Bulgarian's loss to a rather unheralded opponent (Tommy Paul) did not come as a surprise. We have seen one too many drop in form from Dimitrov to not have known better.

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It would take another one of those cagey starts from him to give Barrère just that glimmer of hope. And if the Frenchman really starts to believe in his ability to stage the upset, he does have the game to execute the kill.

Prediction: Dimitrov to win in three sets.

Published 05 Feb 2020, 18:40 IST
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