News: Record broken as Grigor Dimitrov defeats Richard Gasquet
While most people are up and about this Sunday morning, Bulgarian 15th seed Grigor Dimitrov will hopefully be asleep, and for good reason.
Dimitrov’s straight-sets win over Frenchman Richard Gasquet, the 18th seed, began at 11.58pm, the latest start to a match in Australian Open history.
While the three-setter wasn’t the latest finish, a delayed night session, owing to Rafael Nadal’s epic five-set encounter with German youngster Alexander “Sascha” Zverev, meant both night matches were delayed.
After Australian Daria “Dasha” Gavrilova took three sets to dispatch Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinzky, in two and a half hours, Dimitrov and Gasquet were kept in the wings until well past 11.30pm.
Hopefully by five I’m going to be done with everything, all the stretchings, the rehab, just sleep in, come back tomorrow, hit some balls. Kind of go to bed again,” he said in his post-match press conference.
Dimitrov, a former world No. 8, has set up a thrilling fourth-round showdown with Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, who beat both defending champion Novak Djokovic and Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in five-set matches to progress to the fourth round.
He said he would not request a later start time on Monday owing to his late match against Gasquet.
“I’m not one of those guys that go, ‘Can you please play me at 1am in the morning,’ whatever. Whatever time. I really don’t care. I wouldn’t think they’re going to put us early to play anyway,” he said.
While over the years there has been some talk about a match curfew at the Australian Open, Dimitrov said it’s just part of the game.
“We had matches in the past finishing four, five in the morning. It’s in the game. Whatever it is, it’s in the game. I just had to deal with whatever was in front of me,” he said.