For just the second time in their respective careers, Grigor Dimitrov and Dustin Brown will cross paths on the professional tour to determine who will advance to the following stage of the tournament. This time, however, they are playing for higher stakes, as the winner will advance to the second round of the Australian Open. As for now, Dimitrov leads the head-to-head series 1-0.
After finishing just outside the Top 10 in 2014, Grigor Dimitrov began his year at the Brisbane International, where he defeated Jeremy Chardy and Martin Klizan to reach the final four at the event. It was there, however, that he encountered 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and was downed 6-2, 6-2 with relative ease. He will now look to get back on track with a strong showing over the fortnight in Brisbane.
World No. 89 Dustin Brown began his year at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, where he reached the quarter-final stage of the event following wins over Paolo Lorenzi and Jan-Lennard Struff. Afterwards, he lost to eventual champion David Ferrer 6-2 6-2 to end his title aspirations.
This marks just the second time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour. Dimitrov leads the series 1-0 with a win back in 2012 at the Gstaad event on clay. This will be a tricky encounter for the Bulgarian star, as Brown has a habit of pulling off unforeseen upsets, even if his surface of choice is grass. Given the circumstances, Dimitrov should escape this match relatively scratch-free.
Prediction: Grigor Dimitrov in Straight Sets