Grigor Dimitrov saves three match points to beat Ryan Harrison in Shanghai
Sixth seeded player Grigor Dimitrov saved three match points in the third set tie-break to come back from one set down for a 3-6 6-3 7-6 (8-6) win over Ryan Harrison after 2 hours and 32 minutes. Dimitrov scored his fourth win in five head-to-head matches against Harrison, who won just four games in his most recent defeat against the Bulgarian player at Queen’s in London last June. Harrison saved eight of the eleven break points he faced. Dimitrov faced five break points and dropped his serve twice. The Bulgarian came back from 2-4 down in the decider and from 3-6 in the tie-break by winning five consecutive points to take the win.
Harrison held his first four service games and broke serve in the fourth game when Dimitrov sent his forehand wide. Harrison failed to convert four set points in the 9th game, as he was serving for the set. He faced four a break point, but saved it with a service winner before sealing the set on his fifth set point with an ace after 34 minutes.
Dimitrov served well in the second set and earned three break points in the fourth game. Harrison saved them but Dimitrov earned his first break with a forehand winner. The Bulgarian hit three service winners in the ninth game to seal the win forcing the match to the decider.
The third set started with eight break points and eleven deuces in the first six games. Harrison built up a 4-2 lead with a break in the sixth game, after Dimitrov made a double fault. Dimitrov broke back in the seventh game after Harrison hit his backhand into the net. The next five games went on serve en route to the tie-break. Harrison got two mini-breaks to open up a 5-2 lead and earned three match points at 6-3. Dimitrov hit a forehand winner to win his fourth consecutive point for 7-6 and sealed the win with an ace.
Alexander Zverev went up a double break to open up a 4-0 lead, as Aljaz Bedene was forced to retire from the match after just 12 minutes due to a knee injury. The 20-year-old German player broke in the second game with a smash winner and in the fourth game with a forehand winner. Zverev will face Juan Martin Del Potro in the third round.
Gilles Simon, who finished runner-up in Shanghai in 2014 and reached the semifinal last year, fended off all three break points he faced to beat David Goffin 7-6 6-3 after one hour and a half to score two consecutive match wins since Lyon last May. Goffin, who won two Asian Swing tournaments in Shenzhen and Tokyo, faced five break points and dropped his serve twice. Simon fended off a break point in the first game, when Goffin sent a forehand long.
Goffin failed to convert two break points in the fifth game after costly errors. Both players went on serve in the games and the first set came down to the tie-break. Both players traded mini-breaks in the tie-break before Goffin made a costly double fault on the 10th point. Simon closed out the tie-break by 7-4, as Goffin netted another backhand.
Goffin made another unforced error to drop his serve in the first game of the second set. Simon was solid on serve until the end of the set and brokse serve in the ninth game before securing the win after Goffin made a forehand error. Goffin lost for the first time after a nine-match winning streak. Simon hit 22 winners to just 10 unforced errors, compared to Goffin’s 21-26 ratio.
Viktor Troicki fought back from losing the second set to battle past Dominic Thiem 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5).The Serbian player needed one break in the second game with an ace to open up a 2-0 lead. Thiem saved two break points before holding his serve in the fourth game with an ace. Troicki saved a break point before holding his service game with an ace in the fifth game. He held his next two service games to seal the first set 6-3. The second set went on serve in the first four games before Thiem saved a break point to hold his serve for 3-2. The Austrian player got the only break in the sixth game for 4-2 to take the second set. Thiem held his next two serves to win the second set forcing the match to the decider. Thiem saved the only tow break points of the decider in the second game. Both players went on serve in the next games until the tie-break. Troicki got an early mini-break on the third point to open up a 5-2 lead. Thiem rallied by winning three consecutive points to tie 5-5 but Troicki won the final two points to close out the match.
John Isner battled past Greek Next Gen Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (11-9). Isner saved the only break point of the first set in the second game with a forehand volley. The US player got two mini-breaks with a return and a passing shot to take the tie-break by 7-2. Isner saved the first two break points at 4-4 in the second set. Tsitsipas got the first mini-break of the second set tie-break on the fourth point to open up a 4-2 lead. Isner got the mini-break back for 5-4 as Tsitsipas sent a forehnd long. Isner saved the first set point before earning a match point, which Tsitsipas saved with a down the line backhand. Tsitsipas brought up his third point but Isner saved it with a stop volley. Isner got a mini-break lead, as Tsitsipas sent his backhand long, and sealed the match on the 20th point after 1 hour and 45 minutes.