It was a close 1st half battle of Stage 1 to kickstart the Quarter Finals. With Grigor Dimitrov facing off qualifier Aslan Karastev. Having gone side by side 2-2.
But it is Dimitrov who drove in the front seat during the 2nd half. When he pulled away a big lead to win Stage 1 6-2. As Karastev was blown away with a lack of feel. In which was difficult to catch up.
But the 112th qualifier seed from Russia made up lost time. With the early lead 3-2 after the initial break 2. Despite a few tough duels in the deuces part. As Karastev needs this stage win to keep himself in the game. As well another two more to help advance in the Final Four.
Dimitrov though is not giving Karastev an easy ride. Nothing much changed between these two. Both players are battling hard trying to get this Stage 2 win. Having tied 4-4 apiece. Before Karastev got the upper hand ahead of Dimitrov 5-4. And just closed Dimitrov out too easily for the Stage 2 win 6-4. The lead remains 1-1 by Dimitrov & Karastev.
The 3rd stage saw Dimitrov gone ahead up a bit. But he still struggled with a lack of middle ground to catch up. Where the Bulgarian was easily hammered by Karastev 6-1. With Karastev matched a functional 1st & 2nd half run. In which assisted his 2nd stage win after the 3rd set. He just need one more Stage win to book into the Final Four at the Aus Open.
In the end nothing has changed between the two players. With Dimitrov struck at neutral since Stage 3. Despite having the foundations to kickstart each stage portion. But unfortunately did not have the finishing tools to keep Karastev quiet. When Dimitrov picked up an injury before Stage 4. As the 112th seed from Russia won the 4th stage. Plus the win & semi-finals berth.
This Quarter Final game was done in two hours & 32 minutes. Scoreline at Rod Laver Arena is 6-2, 4-6, 1-6, 2-6. The campaign has to end here from Grigor Dimitrov. Got a great start with the early 1st set win as seen with the foundations built. But faltered for the majority having unable to close him out through the deuces. Before the conversion plays began & eventually fell down with injuries. Despite having the ability to start off a game.
He is disappointed not to overcome Karastev. Where he does not let any opponent a free a ride against him. Just not his day to remember. Good luck. While a fairytale run still going from Aslan Karastev. Might have been fired off slowly in the 1st set. But was able to catch up & connect the dots. With a great close battle to overcome Dimitrov. As he is a tough opponent. Then pulled off a big lead that is too easy to execute this game.
We will keep an eye on Novak Djokovic v Alexander Zverev tonight. Where the winner of this other Quarter Final tie will meet Karastev. And face this emerging star from Russia in the 1st semi-Final.