The final Masters event of the 2013 season is upon us and the opening day of main draw action will feature an interesting contest between World No. 22 Grigor Dimitrov (Profile) and France’s Michael Llodra (Profile). It is the third time they meet in their career but only the second time on the professional ATP tour, with Llodra yet to best the Bulgarian on the tennis court. Check out the Dimitrov v Llodra Head to Head.
World No. 22 Grigor Dimitrov is coming off a couple of successful weeks on the tour as he won his maiden ATP tour title when he rallied from a set down to defeat World no. 3 David Ferrer in the finals of the If Stockholm Open. It was a fantastic performance and a coming-of-age for the young Bulgarian dubbed ‘Baby Fed’. He followed it up with another strong showing in Basel, where he reached the quarter-finals and met idol Roger Federer for the first time on the professional tour. He went on to lose the match in straight sets, even though he held a break in the second set yet failed to hold his own serve at 5-3 and eventually lost in the tiebreaker. Heading into the final week on the ATP tour, he will be looking to close out the season with another strong showing, then focus his remaining energy on his preparation for a bigger and brighter 2014.
Michael Llorda picked up a big win last week over fellow countryman Richard Gasquet in the opening round in Basel. The win was a particularly impressive one considering the World No. 55 has not played on the tour since a first round US Open loss to Andy Murray. Now looking to end his season on a high note, the Frenchman is looking for a strong performance on home turf. He competed mostly in doubles competition in 2013 and holds a 13-12 overall singles record this season.
The two competitors first met in the Orleans challenger tournament in 2010, in a contest that went three close sets before Dimitrov edged out the victory. The second of the two meetings took place in the 2011 Washington Open but the match was never completed as Llodra retired down 4-3. This time around, they hope to complete their first match on the ATP World Tour tomorrow afternoon. Dimitrov is riding high following his recent performances and it is likely he will remain confident during the match tomorrow.