Twenty-one-year-old Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov defeated World Number 1 Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open, prevailing 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (8-10), 6-3 in a shock upset.
A tight first set saw the young Bulgarian save a set point at 5-4, with Djokovic sportingly challenging a poor line call on behalf of his opponent. Dimitrov held serve before going on to clinch the tiebreaker, where he had to save further set points coming from 4-6 down to win the breaker 8-6.
The second set was equally hard fought, with both players exchanging breaks before the Serb #1 won a closely contested tiebreak (10-8).
Heading into the third set decider, the momentum was with Djokovic, but only very briefly. Roared on by the Spanish crowd, Dimitrov made his big statement, breaking Djokovic early, and hanging on to take the set 6-3, claiming his biggest career scalp to date.
Dimitrov, an accomplished junior who won both the US Open and Wimbledon junior titles in 2008, has long been considered a future star of the sport. Recently, he laid down a marker of intent by pushing Rafael Nadal all the way in a tough match in Monte Carlo.
Today he went one better, in what will be seen as a significant breakthrough.