Tennis

Bulgarian stands in Anderson’s way in Toronto

Cape Town – South Africa's Kevin Anderson must overcome a negative head-to-head record against Bulgarias Grigor Dimitrov if he is to reach the Toronto Masters semi-finals.

The fourth-seeded Anderson on Thursday defeated Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka in straight-sets to set up a quarter-final duel with the fifth-seeded Dimitrov, who battled past American Frances Tiafoe.

Anderson may be seeded higher than Dimitrov but he has struggled in their previous head-to-head matches.

Dimitrov has won six of the seven matches contested against Anderson on the ATP World Tour, with their most recent meeting in Stockholm in 2016 when the Bulgarian won in three sets.

Andersons lone victory came back in 2012 at an indoor hardcourt event in San Jose.

However, the South African will be the more confident player heading into Fridays encounter having endured a stellar season.

He reached his first Masters 1000 semi-final in Madrid in May and made headlines at Wimbledon when he reached the final before losing Serbia's Novak Djokovic.

Dimitrov, who won last years season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London, has struggled in 2018 and last reached a quarter-final in April.

Anderson will also be eager to improve a poor record in Masters 1000 quarter-finals. He had lost all 10 of his previous quarter-finals at Masters 1000 level – the ATP events rated just below the Grand Slams – before breaking his duck in Madrid.

Results from the ATP Toronto Masters tournament on Thursday (x denotes seeding):

Third round

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x5) bt Frances Tiafoe (USA) 7-6 (7/1), 3-6, 7-6 (7/4)

Kevin Anderson (RSA x4) bt Ilya Ivashka (BLR) 7-5, 6-3

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) bt Novak Djokovic (SRB x9) 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3

Alexander Zverev (GER x2) bt Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 6-3, 6-2

Marin Cilic (CRO x6) bt Diego Schwartzman (ARG x11) 6-3, 6-2

Robin Haase (NED) bt Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 7-5, 6-2

Karen Khachanov (RUS) bt John Isner (USA x8) 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/1)

Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 7-5, 7-6 (7/4)

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