Dimitrov kicks off title defence in Stockholm

Grigor Dimitrov advanced to the If Stockholm Open quarter-finals with a 7-5, 7-6(4) victory over Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili.

The second seed converted all three break points and served at 62 per cent during the second-round encounter. Since winning in Stockholm last year, the 23-year-old Bulgarian has continued to shine, nabbing titles in Acapulco, Bucharest and at The Queen’s Club in London.

Jack Sock, who is currently at a career-high No. 51 in the rankings, hit 11 aces past Andrey Golubev on Wednesday in a 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 win. Sock would next face Dimitrov in the Stockholm quarter-finals, should he beat his next opponent, Jeremy Chardy.

Seventh seed Fernando Verdasco, who also reached the Stockholm quarter-finals in 2004 and 2013, defeated Jarkko Nieminen in the second round for a second straight year, recording a 6-3, 6-4 victory against the Finn. The Spaniard next faces Australian Bernard Tomic, who upset third seed Kevin Anderson 7-6(4), 6-4.

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