Don’t be deceived. In fact the fourth seed seed required four hours and 19 minutes to overcome the world no.57 Jared Donaldson 6-7(1) 6-4 4-6 6-4 10-8; and by making the third round here, he has equalled his career-best performance at the French Open. Dimitrov was so relieved to outlast his opponent in the endurance dogfight that he kissed each of his own knees en route to the handshake at the net.
“I just felt good,” he smiled in explanation. “I know what it is to be on the other side, and cramping. I know he tried his best. He was playing very physical tennis from the first point, and played a very good match. I thought I had quite a bit left in the tank, which was great. I finished the match in a comfortable way, even though it was 10-8 in the fifth.
“It’s great to win a match in five sets – it stays with you, you keep it, especially on clay and here at the French Open. It was one of those matches when I didn’t play my best, but found a way to hear those last words – game, set, match.”