Grigor Dimitrov and Kevin Anderson will clash in the final of the Mexican Open on Saturday evening, where they will both be looking to lift their first trophy of the season. This marks the fifth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Dimitrov leading the head-to-head series 3-1, including two consecutive victories in their last two meetings back in 2012.
Bulgarian No. 1 Grigor Dimitrov picked up what he considered the “best win of his career,” when he rallied from a set down to defeat British No. 1 Andy Murray in three thrilling sets. Dimitrov needed two tiebreakers in the final two sets, yet he managed to snatch the victory to arrive at his first ATP World Tour final of the season. The win was a form of revenge for Dimitrov, who lost to Murray in his first ATP final in Brisbane last year, and will now get an opportunity to contest for his second ever title on the professional circuit.
“At the moment it feels like the best win of my career,” said Dimitrov. “I always thought Andy was an unbelievable player. We all know how he competes. I was really happy with how I played today. I wanted to win badly. He doesn’t give up easily, but I’ll take that win in two tie-breaks.”
Anderson toppled last week’s Rio Open finalist Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 to reach the final of the Mexican Open in his debut at the event – his second ATP World Tour final in as many weeks. The 27 year old hit 19 aces and converted 3/13 break points to earn the victory in exactly two hours of court-time. This is the first time Anderson will take part in ATP finals in two consecutive weeks, yet has not been victorious in his last four straight title contests, which may factor into his confidence tomorrow against Dimitrov.
“I’m really excited about the match I just played,” said Anderson. “I thought I got off to a good start. It was really difficult in the second set, he was hanging in there, created a chance and took it. I was happy with the way I finished in the third. It’s the first time I’ve been in finals consecutive weeks. It feels great.”
Dimitrov and Anderson have previously met on four occasions on the professional tour, with Dimitrov leading the series 3-1. While he may be the favourite, particularly following his impressive semi-final upset win, Dimitrov’s three victories over Anderson each took place on grass courts, while Anderson’s sole victory came on a hard court surface, which evens out the playing field for Saturday night’s final. The two have not contested a match in 18 months, a duration of time of which saw the young Bulgarian win his maiden title on the tour as well as his biggest professional victory. If Dimitrov can carry forth the momentum and perform at his utmost abilities, he should manage the win in three sets.
Prediction: Grigor Dimitrov in Three Sets