MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov produced a brilliant display to end Richard Gasquet’s promising Australian Open campaign with a 6-3 6-2 6-4 victory in the third round on Saturday.
Dimitrov, who ended a 2-1/2 year trophy drought by winning the Brisbane International title in the run up to the season’s opening grand slam, appeared to be in a hurry to get off court after the players were kept waiting until almost midnight to start the match.
He broke early in every set and the 18th-seeded Frenchman, who had lost only 13 games in his two previous matches, bowed out after two hours and two minutes of action on a sparsely populated Rod Laver Arena.
The 15th seed, who hit 48 winners, leapt high into the air as he celebrated sealing only his second win in seven meetings over Gasquet.
Dimitrov will next face six-times champion Novak Djokovic’s conqueror, Denis Istomin, for a place in the last eight.
(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)