Head to head history
The Bulgarian leads 3-2 but Troicki’s two victories in 2016 were the most memorable - a tiebreak-deciding win (9-7) in the final in Sydney (the Serb’s last tournament triumph) after staving off a championship point followed by a fightback from two sets to one down to prevail in their first round match here at Roland-Garros. Last year, though, in their most recent meeting, Dimitrov prevailed comfortably in his home tournament in Sofia.
Form coming in
Troicki’s had a fairly lean time, having won three and lost four in his clay-court campaign and being forced to withdraw from the Italian Open with injury before the second round. Dimitrov, on a three-match losing streak, is not faring much better, though, after his landmark 2017 campaign, admitting “I haven't found my game right now” although he looked as if he may chance upon it in his closely-fought three-setter against Kei Nishikori in Rome.
Dimitrov’s four first-round exits in seven French Opens says it all about his ongoing struggles here and he’s never gone as far as Troicki, who’s made the last-16 on three occasions.
With one of the most volatile temperaments on tour, Troicki’s explosive nature can work to his advantage if he channels it constructively, unsettling the nervous Dimitrov. The Bulgarian’s single-handed backhand is most exposed on clay, and Troicki will aim to drag him wide on that wing and keep him off-balance on his least-favoured surface.