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Saturday, 30 March 2024 14:49

Grigor Dimitrov sets Jannik Sinner showdown and earns Top 10 return.

Staff Reporter.

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Grigor Dimitrov is set to climb back into the top 10 for the first time since 2018 after beating Alexander Zverev on Friday to seal a spot in the Miami Open final, with the Bulgarian saying he is finally reaping the rewards of his hard work.

Dimitrov had been touted as a potential winner of the biggest prizes in tennis since becoming Wimbledon junior champion in 2008 with a style likened to that of Roger Federer, but the 32-year-old has yet to live up to his early promise.

However, he has been in fine form in recent weeks, defeating top-10 players Carlos Alcaraz and Hubert Hurkacz at the Miami Open, before claiming a 6-4 6-7(4) 6-4 win over fifth-ranked Zverev in the semifinal.

"I think the consistency of beating top players, that to me is a bigger success than anything else," Dimitrov told reporters after his win.

"If you do that, you get the ranking. If you do that, things are just getting better for you... I think the discipline brought me to this moment. There is nothing else. I didn't kind of deviate from my target.

"I had small targets throughout - every single week I had a target, and also to be able to put my body through all that on a daily basis was also very important for me. When you start putting all that together, I think it's what I'm most proud of."

Dimitrov, who faces world No 3 Jannik Sinner in Sunday's final, said he is hoping to employ his diverse array of skills to the best of his ability.

"I know I have a lot of tools in my bag that I can use, but also I need to make sure that I use them at the right time," Dimitrov said.

"I think today, for example, I was able to, especially in the third set, I was able to use those ones, you know, the finesse, use the slice a little bit more, be a little bit more aggressive with my forehand, serve and volley, coming in."